We’ve had some magnificent new praise Kim Stanley Robinson and his novel SHAMAN (US | UK | AUS). Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gary Snyder had this to say:
“KSR has turned his formidable knowledge and imagination from outer space and future science onto the deep human past. He unfolds the rich and complex lives of our upper Paleolithic forebears: a lad with no family, called Loon, makes it from boyhood to a role in his small society as a Shaman, under the difficult, nutty, mentorship of an elder named Thorn. His trials, hungers, dangers, and skills remind us that our minds and tools are sophisticated and very ancient. A moment struck by watching the great beauty of a wild horse, a vision of two young women braiding each others’ hair by a stream, put us all in the same place. Wild food, vast landscapes, insight, logic, handiness, lovely and sometimes difficult sex, and talks by the fire – all under the sky – or on a long long walk – make up a world we are still in. I don’t think anyone but Kim Stanley Robinson could have brought this off.”
World-renowned artist Marina Abramović said simply that it was the “best book of the year.”
And finally the New Yorker added that “Robinson is one of our best, bravest, most moral, and most hopeful storytellers.”
You can read the full admiring piece on the author and his work here or read a sample from the novel.
This week, Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312 (US | UK |AUS) was released in paperback! Robinson’s beautifully crafted novel came out over a year ago, and what a year it’s been. 2312 has since won the Nebula Award, was nominated for the Hugo and Arthur C. Clarke Awards, and was a Tiptree Award honoree. So if 2312 has been on your radar, now is a pretty good time to pick it up in paperback.
The last twelve months have seen some pretty big triumphs and losses in the space sciences, too. Let’s take a moment to reflect on some of those historic developments.
1. Asteroid Miners Wanted: The private sector has taken some huge leaps forward this year. In fact, when 2312 was released in hardcover, an asteroid mining company called Planetary Resources launched with the goal of eventually mining precious resources from near-earth objects. The timing could not have been more fitting since one of the technologies explored in 2312 is the mining and terraforming of asteroids. Most recently, Planetary Resources is wrapping up a Kickstarter project to fund their ARKYD telescope raising over $1,000,000 in the process.
2. Here Be Dragons: The private sector scored another big win that summer when Space X successfully launched and recovered their first Dragon spacecraft – becoming the first commercial spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station. Space X has a lot of great footage of their missions on their website which you should really check out.
3. Retirement of the Shuttle Program: One of the sadder stories of the year was the retirement of NASA’s shuttle program. Although I’m tickled pink to be able to visit the Shuttle Enterprise at the Intrepid Museum here in New York ,it is somewhat depressing to realize that the shuttles have all been grounded permanently.
4. Curiosity Arrives on Mars: As one era closes, a new one begins. On August 6th, 2012 Curiosity landed on Mars. Unlike Spirit, which landed in 2004 at a time when fewer of us had high-speed Internet and vast social networks, Curiosity’s exploration of the fourth planet from the sun is something we can all easily feel connected to.
5. Voyager Missions Celebrate 35 Years in Operation: Launched in 1977 (the same year as Star Wars: A New Hope!), Voyager 1 and 2 are both still flying strong. Although neither probe has reached interstellar space yet, Voyager 1 penetrated a new region of Deep Space in December 2012, which is reason enough to celebrate and break out the Romulan ale.
7. Chris Hadfield becomes my new favorite person: There really isn’t a better way to close out this list than by directing you to Commander Hadfield’s Youtube channel and what might be the best cover ever.
I could probably go on – and on and on – about this, but I’ll stop there and turn it over to you. Let us know what made your highlight reel. Were you able to see any of the shuttle fly-overs? Show us some pictures!
Locus has just announced the finalists for the 2013 Locus Awards, and we’re thrilled to see some familiar names on the list! Congratulations to Iain M. Banks, James S.A. Corey, and Kim Stanley Robinson for their nominations in the Science Fiction Novel category; and to N.K. Jemisin and Charles Stross for their nominations in the Fantasy Novel category.
Below are the full lists of nominees for those two categories.
SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL
The Hydrogen Sonata, Iain M. Banks (US | UK | ANZ)
In two weeks, the Nebula Awards Weekend will be taking place in San Jose, CA. Best of luck to all the nominees, but especially Kim Stanley Robinson and N.K. Jemisin, who both have works nominated for Best Novel this year! Here are some of the other conventions and events where you’ll find Orbit authors this month.
Mira Grant was also nominated, as Seanan McGuire, for three other Hugo Awards in the Best Novelette and Best Fancast categories. She breaks a record as the first person to appear on the ballot five times in a single year!
In addition, Mur Lafferty was nominated this year for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, for the second year running. We’ll be publishing Mur’s novel THE SHAMBLING GUIDE TO NEW YORK CITY (US | UK | ANZ) next month.
A new season of books is inbound, and it sure looks like it’s going to be an exciting one! Here’s the first crop of covers from the Fall 2013 – Winter 2014 season. We’re still putting the finishing touches on a few more, but you’ll be seeing them soon.
Because the smaller scale doesn’t do any of these fantastic covers justice, click on the images below to see a larger version. So pin, tweet, and comment to your heart’s content and tell us which books are already on your “Must have!” lists!
Spring is almost here but we’re already looking forward to summer and autumn 2013! That’s because we’ve got some amazing books coming up for the rest of this year with freshly designed covers to share with you. This isn’t our whole list of published titles for the year – just the covers we think you might not have seen before.
Click on the individual cover images below to see the larger version and let us know your favourites!
Today, the SFWA announced the list of 2012 Nebula Awards nominees. Congratulations to all the nominees, but especially to Orbit authors Kim Stanley Robinson and N.K. Jemisin for their nominations for Best Novel! This is Jemisin’s third nomination for the award in as many years.
Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed (DAW; Gollancz ’13) Ironskin, Tina Connolly (Tor) The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK) The Drowning Girl, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Roc) Glamour in Glass, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor) 2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
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