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AGE OF IRON by Angus Watson

AGE OF IRON Angus Watson

Bloodthirsty druids and battle-hardened Iron Age warriors collide in the first volume of this action-packed historical fantasy trilogy.
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SYMBIONTMira Grant

The second terrifying novel in the Parasitology series by New York Times bestselling author Mira Grant!
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Posts Tagged ‘K. J. Parker’

Best Books of 2012

We were thrilled to see some Orbit books and authors on “Best of” round-ups for 2012. See below for some great recommendations!

Publishers Weekly Best Books 2012, SF/Fantasy/Horror
THE TROUPE by Robert Jackson Bennett
THE KILLING MOON by N.K. Jemisin

NPR Year’s Best Science Fiction
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

Library Journal Best Books 2012, SF/Fantasy
STRAY SOULS by Kate Griffin
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

RT Book Reviews, Editors’ Best of 2012
THE KILLING MOON by N.K. Jemisin

Los Angeles Public Library, Best of 2012: Fiction
TIMELESS by Gail Carriger

io9, The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2012
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
THE KILLING MOON and THE SHADOWED SUN by N.K. Jemisin

Explorations: The B&N SciFi and Fantasy Blog, The Best Fantasy Releases of 2012
THE BLINDING KNIFE by Brent Weeks
SEVEN PRINCES by John R. Fultz
RED COUNTRY by Joe Abercrombie
THE KILLING MOON by N.K. Jemisin

Best Paranormal Fantasy Releases of 2012
BLUE-BLOODED VAMP by Jaye Wells
COLD DAYS by Jim Butcher
TEMPEST’S FURY by Nicole Peeler
Best Apocalyptic Fiction Releases of 2012 and Best Zombie Fiction Releases of 2012
BLACKOUT by Mira Grant

Reddit r/Fantasy Best of 2012
THE BLINDING KNIFE by Brent Weeks

The Book Smugglers
THE KILLING MOON by N.K. Jemisin

Fantasy Faction
RED COUNTRY by Joe Abercrombie
THE BLINDING KNIFE by Brent Weeks
BITTER SEEDS by Ian Tregillis

The Wertzone
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
RED COUNTRY by Joe Abercrombie
SHARPS by K.J. Parker
THE KILLING MOON by N.K. Jemisin
EXISTENCE by David Brin
THE KING’S BLOOD by Daniel Abraham

The Midnight Garden
BLACKOUT by Mira Grant

Rob’s Blog o’Stuff
THE TROUPE by Robert Jackson Bennet
THE KING’S BLOOD by Daniel Abraham
RED COUNTRY by Joe Abercrombie
EXISTENCE by David Brin
BLACKOUT by Mira Grant
CALIBAN’S WAR by James S.A. Corey
SEEDS OF EARTH by Michael Cobley
The Eli Monpress series by Rachel Aaron

The Speculative Scotsman
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

The Ranting Dragon
THE KILLING MOON by N.K. Jemisin
SHARPS by K.J. Parker
THE BLINDING KNIFE by Brent Weeks

To find out more about these titles and where you can purchase them, visit our corporate websites in the (US | UK | AUS). Feel free to share your favorites from 2012 in the comments below.

RT Book Review’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards

RT Book Reviews has revealed the full set of nominees for the 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards, and a number of Orbit books are among them. Congratulations to all the nominees!

Science Fiction Novel

  • THE HYDROGEN SONATA by Iain. M. Banks (US | UK | ANZ)
  • BLACKOUT by Mira Grant (US | UK | ANZ)

THE HYDROGEN SONATA US cover BLACKOUT cover

Fantasy Novel

  • THE SHADOWED SUN by N.K. Jemisin (US | UK | ANZ)

THE SHADOWED SUN cover

Epic Fantasy Novel

  • SEVEN PRINCES by John R. Fultz (US | UK | ANZ)
  • SHARPS by K.J. Parker (US | UK | ANZ)

SEVEN PRINCES cover SHARPS cover

Urban Fantasy Novel

  • 13 by Kelley Armstrong (UK | ANZ)
  • BLUE-BLOODED VAMP by Jaye Wells (US | UK | ANZ)

THIRTEEN cover BLUE-BLOODED VAMP cover

Urban Fantasy Protagonist

  • TEMPEST’S FURY by Nicole Peeler (US | UK | ANZ)

TEMPEST'S FURY cover TEMPEST'S FURY UK cover

Urban Fantasy Worldbuilding

  • COLD DAYS by Jim Butcher (UK | ANZ)

COLD DAYS cover

Get To Know K.J. Parker

Sharps, a fantasy novel by K. J. Parker. Cover shows a fencer standing on cobbled streets, pooled with bloodEn garde! SHARPS (US | UK | AUS) is  a new novel by the K.J. Parker featuring a high-stakes competition that will topple kingdoms. You won’t see action like this in the summer Olympics that’s for sure.

Publishers Weekly described it as “a ripping good adventure yarn, laced with frequent barbed witticisms and ace sword fighting… Parker’s settings and characterizations never miss a beat, and the intricate political interplay of intrigue is suspenseful almost to the last page.”

Collected here are five spoiler-free interviews with K.J. Parker about SHARPS and some of Parker’s earlier novels.

Pornokitsch | Staffer’s Musings | Fantasy Book Cafe | Fantasy Book Critic | Book Worm Blues

 

Why you (yes, you!) should be reading K. J. Parker

Published this week, SHARPS (UK | US | ANZ) is the superb new fantasy from K. J. Parker in which a single fencing tournament could decide the fate of two warring kingdoms.

One of Parker’s most passionate fans is Jared Shurin, half of the team behind Pornokitsch and a judge/administrator for the Kitschies awards. Jared has given SHARPS a stellar review – “Sharps may be the book that fantasy fans are waiting for” – and has just conducted an in-depth interview with the enigmatic Parker.

When we asked Jared what it is about the books of K. J. Parker that he loves so much, and why you should be reading them, he was only too happy to tell us . . .

Jared: As a shamelessly vocal, frothing-at-the-mouth K. J. Parker fan, I may be exactly the wrong person to write a piece on “Reading K. J. Parker”. For me, it is a no-brainer. For fifteen years, Parker has been consistently writing some of the best books in fantasy. Clever, thoughtful, funny, dark, political – stories with empires and sieges and swords and gods and magic – everything I love about the genre.

However, taking a step back, I realise that not everyone’s been obsessively stalking Parker’s creative output. Sharps, as a stand-alone novel – and one of Parker’s best to date – is the perfect starting point for a new reader. But in aid of those who need a little more convincing, I’ve tried to break down the reasons I read Parker. On a long list, here are the top five:

1. Plain-spoken. Parker writes in a straight-forward, direct way. The prose is easy, which lets the reader concentrate on the story and not fuss about deciphering the text itself. There’s no mythic vocabulary, no chanting in italics, no poetry (whew) and not a whiff of Ancient Elvish. Parker proves that you can write about complex, big ideas in plain language. The books are deceptively simple and wonderfully quick to read.

2. Educational. This sounds like a joke, but Parker’s books will open your eyes to the fascinating world of button-making. Also: currency regulation, fletching arrows and, dare I say it, charcoal-burning. Each book has one or more central metaphor: a self-reflective device that’s used to structure the story. As the symbol that ties everything together, that charcoal becomes really important – and, thanks to Parker’s skill as a writer, surprisingly enjoyable.

Still, it isn’t all briquettes and buttons. If you’re nervous that lumber mills and drop hammers aren’t your thing, there’s plenty of excitement. Blue and Gold is about alchemy. Pattern brings in volcanoes (nothing boring there). The Escapement focuses on siege warfare. And Sharps? Sharps is about swords. Another reason that this book makes the ideal first Parker: what fantasy reader can resist a book about sword-fighting?

3. Proper badasses. I don’t want to give you the impression that Parker’s books are all bone-grinding and economic theory, because they aren’t. Some of fantasy’s hardest warriors lurk within these pages – Bardas Loredon, Suidas Deutzel and Poldarn among them. Deadly fighters from all walks of life: highly trained and extremely motivated. Parker’s books also contain some of the most compellingly vicious fight scenes. The sword-monks and raiders of the Scavenger trilogy, the mechanised warfare (and epic sieges) of the Engineer trilogy, the underground battles in The Proof House, and, of course, the swordplay of Sharps. From classic fencing to brawls, pitched battles to lethal duels, Sharps has a glut of action. As always, everything is exhaustively researched as well. (What else would you expect from an author that makes their own swords?) Read the rest of this entry »

Locus’s 2011 Recommended Reading List

Locus published their 2011 Recommended Reading List today, and you’ll see a lot of Orbit authors among their choices:

  • Leviathan Wakes, James S.A. Corey (US | UK | ANZ)
  • Deadline, Mira Grant (US | UK | ANZ)
  • Rule 34, Charles Stross (UK | ANZ)
  • The Heroes, Joe Abercrombie (US)
  • The Dragon’s Path, Daniel Abraham (US | UK | ANZ)
  • Heartless, Gail Carriger (US | UK | ANZ)
  • The Fallen Blade, Jon Courtenay Grimwood (US | UK | ANZ)
  • The Kingdom of Gods, N.K. Jemisin (US | UK | ANZ)
  • The Hammer, K.J. Parker (US | UK | ANZ)

And, in case you missed them the first time around, keep reading for a round-up of other Best of 2011 lists!

Read the rest of this entry »

THE HAMMER has hit the mark

It’s great to see that others share our extremely high opinion of K. J. Parker’s The Hammer (UK I US I ANZ) which has been getting some fantastic reviews below. K. J. tells a mean tale of justice, betrayal and how far a man will go for his cause. Gritty, tense, fabulously written and you can see for yourselves in our free extract.

Or take a look at what these people of good taste have to say …

This fantasy is less about wizards (of which there are none) and more about morality, family and notions of justice and duty … the small size of the stage makes the enormity of Gignomai’s actions all the more powerful’ SFX

As a big fan of the author’s work, I had the highest expectations for The Hammer … it was as good as I expected and it’s an early candidate for my best of 2011″ SFFWorld.com

“The dark humor and superb style of the author are on display continually through the novel, while the twists, turns, jaw dropping moments characteristic of a K. J. Parker novel materialize often” FantasyBookCritic blog

“A story with guts, glory and above all else a principle character facing not only personal dilemmas but also overcoming the odds to succeed …  definitely beautifully written” The Falcata Times blog

The Hammer is vintage Parker – a fascination with, and a central role for, made objects like swords and guns, a revenge plot carried out with clear-eyed viciousness … in a book steeped in moral ambiguity and the complex thought processes of realistic, not fantastical, characters” Bookgeeks.co.uk

Cover Launch: THE HAMMER

K.J. Parker’s critically acclaimed Engineer trilogy featured  three great covers by Keith Hayes. Since then, Parker has been writing  stand-alone novels, and any one of them is a great place to jump in without any series-long commitment. Of course, I’m sure you’ll be back at the bookstore buying the Engineer books as soon as you finish any of these books, but you can start slow if you don’t believe me…

The Company was really an ensemble story, so we wanted to show the characters on the cover, but for The Folding Knife and The Hammer, I really wanted to continue the “artifact” look of The Engineer Trilogy.

Read the rest of this entry »

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