Author Archive

The Most Awesomely Bad SFF Cover in the World

Here at Orbit we’re very proud that our books tend to be smart, sophisticated — dare we say, awesome? (yes, we dare) — but there’s still a part of all of us that loves the look and feel of a truly, epically bad SFF book cover. And since we don’t get a chance to publish books that fit that profile we thought we’d call on our readers to help us create one — or at least create the jacket for one.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be asking for your help coming up with the most ridiculously bad high-concept SFF book cover in the universe – think Wyvern II: The Wyverning, or Martian Under the Doormat. (We know you can do better) Once we’ve settled on the titles we’ll work out the reading line, the blurbs, and cover elements. And then, with your help, our fearless Orbit US Creative Director Lauren is going to design a cover for it that will present it in all its mad glory.

Think you can help? Leave your suggestions for titles below (*)

(*) As much as we appreciate good satire, the point of this exercise isn’t to riff on the titles of an older work, or to haze existing covers — we want to come up with new vistas of badness, so original titles only please.

Did we mention it’s bloody?

Praise for Brian Ruckley’s Fall of Thanes continues to snowball (*) around the web.
Over at the Hotlist, Pat calls it :

Dark, bloody, depressing, uncompromising, with a poignant ending that should satisfy most fans and characters that stay true to themselves till the very end, Fall of Thanes is an impressive conclusion to what is definitely one of the best fantasy series of the new millennium.

At Grasping for the Wind, John writes:

“The story has a great sense of oppression about it, and readers will wonder if all will finally end well for the characters we have come to appreciate.”

And The Mad Hatter’s Book Reviews says:

Fall of Thanes is one of the bloodiest books I have read in the last few years save The First Law trilogy although the Godless series may have a higher body count.”

UPDATE: Simon over at BookGeeks gives it a great review as well:

Fall of Thanes was for me a strong conclusion to a very enjoyable trilogy, a sequence of books that embodies everything I enjoy about traditional epic fantasy, and I look forward to seeing what Brian Ruckley does next.”

Uncompromising. Bloody. Cold. Now that’s what we’d call a perfect beach read!

(*) This being The Godless World, that snowball is probably gritty and specked with blood and bits of mail.

Sapkowski wins Legend!

Blood of Elves US edition
Blood of Elves US edition

Andrzej Sapkowski’s Blood of Elves has won the inaugural David Gemmell Legend award! The announcement was made at the awards ceremony on Friday in London.

The award — chosen by popular vote — honors works “written in the ‘spirit’ of the late, great David Gemmell, a true Master of Heroic Fantasy.”

Blood of Elves is out now from Orbit in the US. ( print | ebook )

You can read an extract from the book here.

Rival nominee Joe Abercrombie was also in attendance, and reports:

“The validity of the David Gemmell Legend Award was called into serious question on Friday night when I didn’t win.”

Joe did get a chance to wield the axe though.

DEEDS OF MEN — a free novella!

Marie Brennan’s IN ASHES LIE is out next month from Orbit (US | UK). In the meantime, she’s releasing an ebook of a new novella set in the same world. Best of all, it’s totally free (although you can donate if you’d like) and it’s available in HTML, Epub, and PDF.

Here’s Marie on the novella:

Today, to mark the one-month countdown to the release of IN ASHES LIE, I’ve posted on my website a free Onyx Court novella titled DEEDS OF MEN. Taking place between MIDNIGHT NEVER COME and its sequel, this story is a murder mystery set at the end of the reign of James I (1625). You don’t need to have read either novel to understand the novella, nor do you need to read this piece to understand ASHES, but I hope it will serve as a fun “extra” for readers who want more of the setting and the characters.

And here’s a description of the book:

A young man lies dead in a Coldharbour alley. Before his death, he uncovered secrets that could threaten the mortal world above and the faerie world below. Now, to find the murderer and protect both realms, Sir Michael Deven will need the help of a man with reason to hate the fae of the Onyx Court — the victim’s own brother.

So what are you waiting for? Download DEEDS OF MEN here.

Welcoming Jack Womack

We’re happy to announce that Orbit US has just hired Jack Womack as Publicity Manager, working on both Orbit and Yen books. You may know Jack from his work as a novelist (with 6 books in the SF/F area, including Random Acts of Senseless Violence) or from his guest stints on William Gibson’s blog (check out photos from his recent trip to Barcelona) but he’s also a well known publicist in the S/FF field. He starts today, and we’re hoping soon he’ll be sharing some gems from his book collection at

Author Tweets

If you’ve ever wondered what’s going on in an author’s head, you can get a sense of it by following them on twitter. Here, Jeff Somers waxes eloquent on technology.

See more author tweets after the jump, and click any of them to follow on twitter yourself!