Posts Tagged ‘urban fantasy’
- - 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step since as society has become less rural and more metropolitan so the old dark woods of the old fairy-stories have been replaced by a sodium-lit concrete jungle.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.’
- - August 17th, 2015
We’re very proud to present the UK cover for FIRE TOUCHED, the new Mercy Thompson novel by Patricia Briggs.
Waiting for the next Mercy book can be tough for urban fantasy fans, since we’re all on the edge of our seat to find out what happens next in this gripping series . . . But we’re glad to say that that it’s coming in March 2016 and is available for pre-order now.
There’s a real treat in store with this new book . . . see what’s to come below!
Mercy Thompson is back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer . . .
Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.
Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans and the fae, Mercy, Adam and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?
- - May 14th, 2015
Everybody’s favourite probability mage arrives on audiobook today! The complete Alex Verus series is now available to buy in audio. This London-based urban fantasy series by Benedict Jacka has a growing legion of fans including Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs and Charles Stross. The sixth book in the series, VEILED, will be out in August.
Listen to a sample here:
- - April 9th, 2015
“With the Crescent City series, Painter proves herself a master of Urban Fantasy, creating a darkly gorgeous new world, richly drawn characters, and nonstop action.”
— Kristen Callihan
“[Kristen Painter’s] rich, modern storytelling lays out an intricate plot layered with plenty of action and intrigue. Exquisite characters lie at the center of this story… From the first page, House of the Rising Sun is truly a superb and exciting read.”
— RT Book Reviews (4.5 Stars), Top Pick!
Readers and reviewers alike have been raving about Kristen Painter’s Crescent City series, and as of this week, the wait is over! GARDEN OF DREAMS AND DESIRES (US | UK | AUS) is available, and now you can collect the entire trilogy from any of your favorite retailers.
New to the series? Read an excerpt from the first book, HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN, here!
Praise for the Crescent City series:
“I tore through Painter’s new series. Best new urban fantasy out there!”
— Kresley Cole, New York Times bestselling author
“Urban fantasy fans will enjoy entering Painter’s vividly drawn world.”
— Library Journal
“Painter creates an intricate, well-crafted plot, along with compelling, distinctive characters and an enthralling twist… this story will definitely have readers turning pages all night!”
— RT Book Reviews
- - March 19th, 2015
“The Pax Arcana books are seriously good reads. Action, humor, and heart with unexpected twists and turns. If you are (like me) waiting for the next Butcher or Hearne — pick up Elliot James. Then you can bite your nails waiting for the next James, too.” — Patricia Briggs, New York Times #1 bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson series
If you, like Patricia Briggs, have been hoping for more from Elliott James’s Pax Arcana series, then rest assured! We have just acquired two more books following the adventures of John Charming. FEARLESS (US | UK | AUS), the sequel to DARING (US | UK | AUS), is out in August, with the new books to follow in 2016 and beyond.
But if your nails are too short from all the biting, there will be new short stories from Elliott James this spring! Bulls Rush In is out April 28 and Talking Dirty on May 19.
New to the series? Read an excerpt from the first book!
- - January 16th, 2015
For all you urban fantasy and Kristen Painter fans out there, the wait is finally over! We are delighted to share the cover by Mélanie Delon for GARDEN OF DREAMS AND DESIRES — the spectacular conclusion to the Crescent City series.
Magic is twisted and chaos reigns in this climactic final novel in the Crescent City trilogy by award-winning author Kristen Painter.
New Orleans is on the brink of war.
Harlow is a ghost in her own body. She has no control, no power — all she can do is watch as her twin sister Ava Mae lives recklessly and foolishly, slowly destroying everything Harlow has worked so hard for.
Augustine needs to focus on his new role as Guardian of New Orleans, as tourists mysteriously disappear off the streets, but all he can think of is rescuing Harlow — Keeping his family safe.
As the Coven grows more powerful, control of the city hangs in the balance and if the witches prevail, no fae will survive.
GARDEN OF DREAMS AND DESIRES will publish April 7, 2015. New to this fabulous series? Check out the first two (House of the Rising Sun and City of Eternal Night) — out now!
- - January 7th, 2015
Happy New Years everyone! We hope 2015 is already off to a smashing start for each and every one of you. To kick off another great year of publishing, let us tell you about two brand new novellas that are available now in the US and UK! If you made a resolution to read more this year, there is no time like the present to get started!
FIRE WATER by Jaye Wells
Rookie cop Kate Prospero only has one more training assignment to pass before she’s officially sworn in to Babylon Police Department. But the veteran cop in charge of the river patrol boat is a salty old guy isn’t happy about playing tour guide to a rookie and seems even less interested in real police work. But while on patrol, they stumble on to what appears to be a floating dirty magic lab. This highly combustible situation might finally be the key to these two unlikely partners finding common ground.
For more adventures of Kate Prospero, check out DIRTY MAGIC (US | UK | AUS).
RETURN TO HONOR by Brian McClellan
Captain Vlora is a powder mage in the Adran army. Once the favored, adopted daughter of the field marshal, she is now a pariah amongst those she called her family. Her superior officers would like nothing more than to send her to a far off posting and forget about her, but no one is exempt when there is a war – and powder mages are desperately needed.
When a traitorous guard captain goes on the run with information that could harm the war effort, Vlora is sent on his trail. She has three days to find him; she will have to make new friends and test the limits of her skills. Fail, and good soldiers will die. Succeed and maybe, just maybe, she can begin to work her way back into the field marshal’s good graces.
A new story set in the world of the Powder Mage trilogy, the most acclaimed and action-packed new epic fantasy series in recent years. RETURN TO HONOR takes place directly following the events of book one, PROMISE OF BLOOD (US | UK | AUS).
- - December 2nd, 2014
Mardi Gras — a time of fun, frivolity, and anonymity. It is an event that draws people from around the world, and serves as the very colorful – and very deadly- backdrop for Kristen Painter’s new book in the Crescent City series!
Mardi Gras approaches, bringing with it hordes of tourists eager to see the real-life Faery Queen holding court atop her festival float. When the Queen is kidnapped, it’s up to Augustine, the fae-blooded Guardian of the city, to rescue her before time runs out.
But Augustine’s mystifying protégée, Harlow, complicates the task by unintentionally aiding the forces of evil, drawing danger closer with each step. The Queen might not be the first to die…
Check out an excerpt here.
City of Eternal Night is the second installment in the Crescent City series — an adventure you’re not going to want to miss! Check out what reviewers and fans are saying:
“Painter creates an intricate, well-crafted plot, along with compelling, distinctive characters and an enthralling twist… this story will definitely have readers turning pages all night!” — RT Book Reviews on City of Eternal Night (Top Pick!)
“Painter delivers on her promise of excitement and romance in the second installment of the Crescent city Series.” — Publishers Weekly on City of Eternal Night
“…by the end of the book I was awed because the path I thought this book would take, was nothing like how it turned out, and I LOVE when an author can surprise me…. City of Eternal Night was an excellent follow-up to my favorite book of the summer, continuing the story beautifully and keeping us on our toes.” – The Saucy Wenches Book Club
“Between the Fae and the witches, City of Eternal Night features some really fantastic magic…. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next one.” – Vampire Book Club
- - December 1st, 2014
What’s your dearest wish? In celebration of the recent e-book release of JINN AND JUICE (US | UK | AUS) , we’re granting wishes! Step right up and rub the magic lamp, but be careful what you wish for….
Jinn and Juice is a brand new urban fantasy novel by Nicole Peeler, author of the wickedly awesome Jane True series. For a limited time, you can pick up the e-book for only $2.99 in the US and £1.99 in the UK
Here’s a bit more about the story:
Cursed to be a jinni for a thousand years, Lyla nears the end of her servitude — only to be bound once again against her will. Will she risk all to be human?
Born in ancient Persia, Lyla turned to her house Jinni, Kouros, for help escaping an arranged marriage. Kouros did make it impossible for her to marry — by cursing Lyla to live a thousand years as a Jinni herself.
If she can remain unBound, Lyla’s curse will soon be over.
Unfortunately, becoming Bound may risk more than just her chance to be human once more — it could risk her very soul…
Praise for Jinn & Juice:
“Peeler is perfect. Jinn and Juice is her best urban fantasy yet with vibrant characters that leap off the page fully formed from the first line. Fast-paced, rowdy, smart, irresistible, and tender, there’s just no one who hits the urban fantasy marks as well as Peeler. Buy this book! Read it! Love it!”—Kat Richardson
“Peeler has done it again! Jinn and Juice is a delightful read filled with action, humor, heart, and a heroine to cheer for. And it doesn’t hurt that there are also sirens, trolls, bugbears, and plenty of Pittsburgh steel.”—Kevin Hearne
“Jinn and Juice is a raucous, raunchy tale well told. One thing’s certain: you’ll never look at Pittsburgh the same way after you’ve taken Nicole Peeler’s mythic joyride up, down, and sideways in pursuit of an abducted teenage girl and freedom from a thousand-year curse. Legend and history, betrayal and love intertwine as the story moves from lascivious sex clubs to the unraveling of a mystery to a magical jinni throw-down which will leave you panting for more. Jinn and Juice is Urban Fantasy at its smartest, naughtiest, funniest best.”—Juliet Blackwell
“Snarky, sexy! Beautifully descriptive and painstakingly plotted. Lyla is a smart, sly and just this side of scary. Peeler’s world-building is clever and complete with every possible fairy folk character! The other-worldly seems familiar and glamorous all at the same time. And I learned how to curse in a few new languages, so it was educational!”—Molly Harper on Jinn and Juice
*The print edition of Jinn and Juice will be available for purchase in April 2015.
- - November 10th, 2014
Great news! In March 2015 we’ll be releasing DEAD HEAT (UK | ANZ) a new urban fantasy novel from Patricia Briggs – and it’s a brand new Alpha and Omega book. FAIR GAME (UK | ANZ) was the last novel in this series, and fans have been dying to find out what happens next to Anna and Charles . . .
It’s very much a case of “opposites attract” with these two. With Charles being an Alpha and Anna being an Omega, they represent the different sides of the shifter personality. Watching their relationship develop, and how they face each dangerous new situation together is just so addictive . . .
Please see here our brand new cover artwork for the book, which is from the illustrator Fred Gambino. Look out for it in March 2015, and read the blurb below!
For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, or at least it starts out that way . . .
Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up – and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.
DISCOVER THE NEW CHARLES AND ANNA NOVEL 2 FROM THE NO. 1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING PATRICIA BRIGGS.