Posts Tagged ‘lilith saintcrow’
- - September 22nd, 2015
We remember when urban fantasy first arrived on our shelves, but the genre has changed significantly since then. Are these stories still popular? If so, why? We asked some of Orbit’s authors for their take on the genre’s past, present and future.
Where does urban or contemporary fantasy come from?
JIM BUTCHER, author of the bestselling Dresden Files, as well as recent adventure fantasy THE AERONAUT’S WINDLASS
‘Urban fantasy is nothing more or less than the resurgence of fairy tales. We’ve changed what our big bad wolves look and act like, and our forests appear somewhat different than they used to, and Little Red Riding Hood is generally much more heavily armed than she has traditionally been, but we’re telling the same stories, in the same ways, with the same emphasis on the fantastic and the terror and delight of its clash with our everyday world.
It’s the everyday reality that so many of us find terrifying – to such a degree that we flee to tales of vampires and werewolves and dark sorcerers just to lighten the mood.’
CHARLIE FLETCHER, author of THE OVERSIGHT and THE PARADOX
‘People have always created stories to try and make sense of stuff they could neither see nor understand. ‘Urban’ fantasy is just a logical step since as society has become less rural and more metropolitan so the old dark woods of the old fairy-stories have been replaced by a sodium-lit concrete jungle. And of course we may have moved to the cities, but we brought our darkness with us.
There’s a lot of product jammed in under the urban fantasy label that doesn’t do it for me, but the books that do mean something to me are the ones that engage creatively with the inevitable transition from the old to the new world and deal with its consequences as a central part of the story (AMERICAN GODS by Neil Gaiman is a particularly fine and definitive example of this).’
What does the future of urban fantasy look like?
LILITH SAINTCROW, author of the Bannon and Clare Affairs and BLOOD CALL, as well as many other urban fantasy series
‘I think the last five years, as with any shiny new trend, have brought a certain amount of reader fatigue. Urban fantasy isn’t going away, but it’s not so much of a Wild West ‘let’s throw a vampire in there and hope it sticks!’ anymore. Which is very good, if sometimes frustrating when paranormal or urban fantasy is what you want to write.
After working in publishing for so long, I see “urban fantasy” as a genre title, nothing less, nothing more. There’s always a market for tales well told, and urban fantasy, like any genre, offers a set of tools and toys for a writer to play with.’
BENEDICT JACKA, author of the Alex Verus novels
‘I’d have trouble pinning down exactly how urban fantasy’s changed over the last five years, but I’m pretty sure that it’ll stay popular for the foreseeable future. The mash-up nature of urban fantasy lets it evolve easily, and the sources it draws on (comic books, games, epic fantasy) still have a lot of resonance for city-dwellers. So while I’d expect the type of urban fantasy stories to shift over time, I think the genre will stick around for a good while yet.’
PATRICIA BRIGGS, author of the Mercy Thompson series and the Alpha and Omega series
‘There isn’t a reader appetite for urban fantasy the way there used to be. Five years ago, any book that was urban fantasy was guaranteed a certain number of readers. I think, and it is not a bad thing, that readers are pickier now. For me as a reader, right now, what I love about urban fantasy is that there are so many good storytellers working in this field. Good stories still work and can still find an audience, though it might take longer to find a readership than before.
One of the things that I actually like about this is that we are seeing more diversity in books that are published again. I love, love, urban fantasy. But I also love space opera, traditional fantasy, and contemporary fantasy – and those genres were getting drowned.’
ELLIOTT JAMES, author of CHARMING
‘I like to read stories where the extra-ordinary and the ordinary mingle. Some people sneer at escapist literature, but “escape” implies relief, release, and freedom, none of which are bad things. Escape also inevitably holds a mirror up to the thing being escaped from.
Urban fantasy often gives ordinary characters a chance to demonstrate extraordinary qualities. It encourages readers to examine what it means to be human through contrast or by eliminating a lot of the obvious assumptions.
There have always been stories that introduced fantastical otherworldly elements into the everyday knockabout world that we humans optimistically call reality, and I expect there always will be.’
- - September 23rd, 2014
If you’ve been waiting on the edge of your seat for the latest from urban fantasy star, Lilith Saintcrow, wait no more! PACK, a brand new e-only standalone, is now available.
When the world falls apart, Lydia knows all you need is a gun and a dog. Unfortunately, she’s going to find out that’s not quite enough…
If you’re a fan of the Dante Valentine and Jill Kismet books, this urban fantasy should be on your must-read list. It’s also a great entry point work if you haven’t had the chance to sink your teeth into one of Lilith Saintcrow’s book’s yet.
And just in case you need another reason to check out this latest from Lilith Saintcrow, see what others have had to say about this master of urban fantasy!
“No one does gritty and paranormal better than Saintcrow.” — RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)
“She’s fabulous. ” — Christine Feehan
“What’s not to love? Fans of Laurel K. Hamilton should warm to Saintcrow’s dark evocative debut.”
If the Victorian era is more your style, check out Lilith Saintcrow’s THE IRON WYRM AFFAIR and the rest of the Bannon & Clare series – available in print and e-book.
I have enjoyed the Bannon & Clare books thoroughly. From inception to proofs, even when frustrated at the characters’ insistence on doing what they pleased instead of what I thought was proper, I have felt a secret little thrill of joy at each page.
No little of that joy comes from research—a huge canvas map of 1880s London hanging on my office wall, full of notes and dirty from my fingermarks, a shelf groaning under various Victoriana books and assorted notes stuffed in a binder covered with fleur-de-lis, long emails exchanged with various people about pepperbox pistols and gaslamps.
The other half comes from gleefully throwing research out the window and taking off into the wild blue yonder with only a guess and a prayer.
The longer a series goes on, the more choices one initially makes in the first flush of creation become…well, not quite a straitjacket, but foundation specs that need to be honored if a work is to have any internal consistency at all. In other words, you can have utter lunacy on the page, but it must be consistent lunacy.
I am certain there is much madness in any book of mine, but I do try to make it consistent. Part of that consistency is Emma Bannon’s character. She is female in a time and place that doesn’t allow women a great deal of leeway, and navigating through such a sea is a difficult thing. Her talents and business acumen make it both more and less difficult in varying ways, and she is most often the one to “rescue” Clare. That inversion, and the power dynamics between them, is fascinating for me.
Even though Archibald Clare is a mentath and a gentleman, he is not so much a hero as a socially awkward misfit unable to compromise his honour for advantage, and not really caring what the world thinks of him. Emma Bannon cares even less, but is forced to play the social games of a lady as if she did, because it makes things easier for her and those she protects. Neither of them are quite heroes, and I like that the usual “gendered” roles—rescuer and rescued, logic and emotion—for both of them shift and change all through the series.
Another area of consistent madness is the uneasy relationship between magic and Industrial Revolution technology in the series. I hesitated over calling the Bannon & Clare Affairs “steampunk” because to me, that’s an aesthetic, not a genre. I much prefer the term “alt-history,” especially since I know the exact moment their historical timeline diverged from our own less-magical (perhaps?) one.
Above all, though, I set out to tell some ripping good, exciting yarns. I hope I’ve succeeded. I did have plans for what I called “the traveling books”—Bannon & Clare in America, in Russia, in India during the Raj—but alas, those are not to be.
So I hope you enjoy The Ripper Affair—and I hope my madness, so to speak, is consistent.
THE RIPPER AFFAIR (US | UK | AUS) is available now! Look for it online and in stores everywhere, and check this sample from the audio book read by Moira Quirk.
- September 9th, 2013
Another summer has come and gone, and here at Orbit, we’re already hard at work on next year’s exciting line-up! Here are some of the jackets we have ready so far with more to follow over the next few months.
Click on the images below to see a larger version and appreciate each cover in its full glory. Pin, tweet, and comment away with reckless abandon. Let us know which books have already piqued your interest!
Art Credits: Reign of Ash: Illustration by Larry Rostant; Heaven’s Queen: Design by Kirk Benshoff; Dance of Shadows: Photo Illustration by Gene Mollica & Michael Frost, Design by Kirk Benshoff; The Girl With All The Gifts: Design by Duncan Spilling; Cibola Burn: Illustration by Daniel Dociu, Design by Kirk Benshoff; Baptism of Fire: Illustration by BARTŁOMIEJ GAWEŁ, PAWEŁ MIELNICZUK, MARCIN BŁASZCZAK, ARKADIUSZ MATYSZEWSKI,MARIAN CHOMIAK , Design by Lauren Panepinto; Path to Power: Illustration by Raphael Lacoste, Design by Kirk Benshoff; Justice: Design by Wendy Chan; Broken Eye: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Silas Manhood, Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Ripper Affair: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Craig White, Design by Lauren Panepinto; Cursed Moon: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Don Sipley, Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Fifth Season: Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Widow’s House: Design by Kirk Benshoff
- - September 9th, 2013
As Summer comes to an end, here at Orbit we’re already looking forward to the amazing selection of books that next Spring brings. We’re very pleased to present a selection of covers for some of our exciting releases in the first half of 2014. It promises to be a very good year.
Click on each of the covers to see a larger version, and let us know your favourites.
Art Credits: Reign of Ash: Illustration by Larry Rostant; Heaven’s Queen: Design by Kirk Benshoff; Dance of Shadows: Photo Illustration by Gene Mollica & Michael Frost, Design by Kirk Benshoff; The Girl With All The Gifts: Design by Duncan Spilling; Cibola Burn: Illustration by Daniel Dociu, Design by Kirk Benshoff; Path to Power: Illustration by Raphael Lacoste, Design by Kirk Benshoff; Justice: Design by Wendy Chan; Broken Eye: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Silas Manhood, Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Ripper Affair: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Craig White, Design by Lauren Panepinto; Cursed Moon: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Don Sipley, Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Fifth Season: Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Widow’s House: Design by Kirk Benshoff
With THE RED PLAGUE AFFAIR (UK|US|ANZ) released so close to the birthdate of Arthur Conan Doyle (that’s today!), and its two Victorian sleuths owing much to Sherlock Holmes (after all, which fictional detectives do not?) we asked the author, Lilith Saintcrow, to tell us a bit about Doyle’s influence on her work.
THE RED PLAGUE AFFAIR is the second of Bannon and Clare’s adventures and the follow up to THE IRON WYRM AFFAIR. Listen to the audiobooks here.
Bannon and Clare – ready for action.
For a long time, I didn’t even know Sherlock Holmes existed. Instead, I loved another boy.
His name was Leroy “Encyclopedia” Brown.
I had two battered, ancient Encyclopedia Brown collections when I was a kid, probably from some garage sale or another. Most of the stories have receded into the mist that is my bad memory for everything before I was 20, but I remember a particular story where Leroy figured out an ambulance was the getaway vehicle because the stupid criminals put someone in it feet-first.
I was completely enchanted by the idea that a regular kid could, just by observation, change the course of events. This seemed a superpower anyone was capable of acquiring, with enough stubborn persistence and attention to detail. I mean, flight and superstrength are pretty badass, but I think most kids start suspecting neither are truly available outside their imaginations pretty early on.
I am not sure when I first began to suspect that my dear Leroy was an homage to someone else. It was probably at the point that Young Sherlock Holmes blazed into my consciousness, and I immediately marched into the library and started looking for “based on the stories of.”
Imagine my surprise upon meeting Holmes and Watson, two middle-aged men decidedly less attractive to the twelve-year-old girl I was. Arthur Conan Doyle’s prose style gave me a little difficulty, but much less than Shakespeare and only a little more than Louisa May Alcott. Plus, there were murders. Chases. A network of street kids bringing information. Cocaine. Music. Horses.
Irene Adler. Read the rest of this entry »
- - December 3rd, 2012
Other people hoard things. I hoard books. It is probably the best part of an editor’s job, the new acquisition. The new author, the new book, the new everything…
There are some novels that I buy because I want to. And some because I think they’re great. Some because I know that they tell us about ourselves, but in a new way..and the list goes on. But there are some novels that I buy Because.
And it stops there as I can’t imagine a world where this book isn’t MY book. (Yes, yes, it’s also the author’s…) But it’s MINE. Mine to read, mine to tinker with, figure out the cover, and then pet it when its all done.
Sigh. Yes. I sound unhinged, don’t I? But that is the world of the editor. We basically exist to buy books. Oh. And drink. But that’s for another post.
The newest book that I bought is called THE DAMNATION AFFAIR (UK | US). It is the newest novel by Lilith Saintcrow and it is the 16th book that I will have worked on with Lili. 16!!!! Whoa! I got this as a ms from Evil Agent who knows my weaknesses and sent me a manuscript that basically said it’s a zombie love story! From Lili! Reader, I bought it.
If you’ve read IRON WYRM AFFAIR (UK | US | AUS), you’ll know about Bannon & Clare (if not, click here!). DAMNATION AFFAIR is set in the same world, but instead of Victorian England, we move out West. To the old West. Where somethings just don’t stay dead….
The West is a wild place, where the poison wind blows and the dead walk. But there is gold, and whiskey, and enough room for a man to forget what he once was–until he no longer can.
Jack Gabriel’s been the sheriff in Damnation almost since the town grew out of the dust and the mud. He keeps the peace–sort of–and rides the circuit every dawn and dusk with the chartermage, making sure the wilderness doesn’t seep into their fragile attempt at civilization. Away from the cities clinging to the New World’s eastern rim, he doesn’t remember what he was. At least, not much.
But Damnation is growing, and along comes a schoolmarm. Catherine Barrowe is a right proper Boston miss, and it’s a mystery why she would choose this town where everything scandalous and dangerous is probably too much for a quality lady like her. Sometimes the sheriff wonders why she came out West–because everyone who does is running from something. He doesn’t realize Cat may be prickly, delicate, and proper, but she is also determined. She’s in Damnation to find her wayward older brother Robbie, whose letters were full of dark hints about gold, trouble…and something about a claim.
In a West where charm and charter live alongside clockwork and cold steel, where hot lead kills your enemy but it takes a blessing to make his corpse stay down, Cat will keep digging until she finds her brother. If Jack knew what she was after, he could solve the mystery–because he was the one who killed Robbie.
The thing is, Cat’s brother just won’t stay dead, and the undead are rising with him…
And seriously? If zombies clashing with cowboys don’t make you want to read this, I don’t know what will.
To find out more about THE DAMNATION AFFAIR and Lilith Saintcrow’s other novels, become a fan on Facebook.
- - August 30th, 2012
THE IRON WYRM AFFAIR (UK | US | ANZ) is a steampunk fantasy about what happens when all the geniuses of Londinium are targeted by a vicious killer. The sorceress Emma Bannon and one of the last remaining such geniuses, Archibald Clare, must struggle to solve the mystery and stay alive!
Archie’s unnatural deductive faculties are why he’s in danger – and of course Emma’s not too bad at solving mysteries herself! Can you deduce like a Victorian detective? Read on to try your skills . . .
Question: Although those on a mission for the crown have little time for frivolous parlour games, there’s no harm in keeping one’s deductive faculties sharp. Bannon and Clare have decided to test each other over the dessert course . . . Emma tells Archibald about an American gentleman and his son who were involved in an industrial accident in one of Londinium’s clockhorse factories. The man was killed, but the son lived and was rushed to St. Thomas’s Hospital. The head surgeon glanced at the boy and confessed, “I cannot operate upon this patient – he is my son!” How could this be?
Highlight the space below to reveal the answer:
Archie tells Emma that the doctor was the young gentleman’s mother.
Question: Archibald tells Emma about a Grecquean island where those from the North side of the island always lie, and those from the South always tell the truth. Archie was sampling the cuisine at a local restaurant when three men approached him. The first man told Archie that himself and his compatriots were from the North. The second man said ‘only one of us is from the South’. The third man said nothing at all. Archibald asks Emma which of the men were from the North.
Highlight the space below to reveal the answer:
Emma knows that only the second man was from the South, but scolds Archie for the frankly preposterous nature of his riddle.
Question: Emma regales Archibald with the details of her visit to a charming country estate while investigating its owner for crimes against Queen Victrix. Although the owner was not at home, as Emma was returning to her carriage a vicious guard dog lunged at her. Although it could not reach her as its chain was attached to a tree, it followed her every move, growling horribly, and had access to both of her carriage doors. Although her bodyguard Mikal was keen to shoot it for threatening his mistress, Emma sternly told him to put away his pistol as she could see a way back to her carriage without the use of force or magic. What did she do?
Highlight the space below to reveal the answer:
Archibald guessed correctly that Emma led the dog around its tree until the chain had been shortened enough that she could reach her carriage.
Question: Inspired by Emma’s canine riddle, Archie tells her about the time a hired hansom was conveying him through the streets of Londinium. The hansom came to a street painted entirely black. The gas lamps were broken, no doubt by flashboys, and neither Archie nor the coachman were carrying lanterns. Nevertheless, the coachman managed to swerve in time to avoid the entirely black dog that ran out on the road in front of them. How could he have seen the dog in time?
Highlight the space below to reveal the answer:
Happily for the dog, Emma concludes, it was daylight.
How did you do? Share some of your favourite riddles with us in the comments . . .
- - August 1st, 2012
Lilith Saintcrow launches a new steampunk series this August with THE IRON WYRM AFFAIR (US | UK | AUS). Adventure and intrigue lie in wait for detective duo Bannon and Clare as they try to unravel the mystery behind a string of murders targeting London’s geniuses. You can read the first chapter here and get a sense of Emma Bannon’s sharp wit. This novel is a ton of fun so we thought: what could be more fun than bringing two charming ladies like Gail Carriger and Lilith Saintcrow together to introduce this new novel?
Read on to find out several fun and interesting facts about Lilith and THE IRON WYRM AFFAIR and find out which character(s) Lilith would most like to slap.
About you, the Author!
Gail: Tea or coffee and how do you take it?
Lilith: Yes to both. Coffee I take as espresso with a little heavy cream, tea I take mostly with gingersnaps. But there’s nothing like a cuppa when the day’s going dreadfully.
Gail: Describe your personal style for author appearances.
Lilith: You mean other than the perfume of complete terror? I have dreadful social anxiety. Normally I’m in jeans, a T-shirt with no holes, boots, and eyeliner. I agonize over appearances, they’re nerve-wracking. I have to wear something I can run in if the zombie apocalypse occurs.
Gail: If I were to observe the writer beast in its native environment, what surprising thing might I see? What does the environment look like?
Lilith: A tall glass of water with a squirt of Key Lime juice in it. That’s my preferred drink while writing. Also, a statue of Ganesh the Remover of Obstacles as writer right next to my computer, and on the other side a bonsai tree. It used to be the Saddest Little Bonsai In All The World, because the cat wanted to chew on it, and on my desk is the one place the cat can’t get to it. So the bonsai is recovering now. Also, there are a bunch of 3×5 notecards with different notes and page numbers on them, and a Keep Calm and Carry On paperweight.
Read the rest of this entry »
- - July 27th, 2012
Deduction and magic combine in a new Steampunk series by Lilith Saintcrow that debuts next month. It’s the first book that features detective duo Emma Bannon and Archibald Clare.
Whether you are a current fan of Lilith’s novels or someone who loves a good mystery with a Steampunk twist– THE IRON WYRM AFFAIR (US | UK | AUS) is a book you’ll want to investigate further. Publishers Weekly gave this book a starred review saying, “sensual writing, intricate plotting, and sympathetically quirky, satisfyingly competent characters make this series one to watch.”
Here is the first chapter. Enjoy!
Chapter One: A Pleasant Evening Ride
Emma Bannon, Sorceress Prime and servant to Britannia’s current incarnation, mentally ran through every foul word that would never cross the lips of a lady. She timed them to the clockhorse’s steady jogtrot, and her awareness dilated. The simmering cauldron of the streets was just as it always was; there was no breath of ill intent.
Of course, there had not been earlier, either, when she had been a quarter-hour too late to save the other unregistered mentath. It was only one of the many things about this situation seemingly designed to try her often considerable patience.
Mikal would be taking the rooftop road, running while she sat at ease in a hired carriage. It was the knowledge that while he did so he could forget some things that eased her conscience, though not completely.
Click to read more.