Author Archive

Lambda Award for Annalee and Audie Award for Ann!

Last night Orbit UK author Annalee Newitz won a Lambda Award for LGBTQ science fiction and fantasy, with her debut novel AUTONOMOUS (UK|ANZ).

AUTONOMOUS has also been shortlisted for the Nebula and Locus Awards this year. Huge congratulations to Annalee (and happy Pride month all)!

It’s a good time for awards as Ann Leckie and reader Adjoa Andoh also won an Audie Award for PROVENANCE (UK|ANZ|US) last weekend, for best science fiction audiobook! The awards were presented at the 23rd Annual Audies Gala at the New York Historical Society, where the Orbit team and Ann herself were in attendance. N. K. Jemisin also presented several awards on the night, too!

Listen to a sample of PROVENANCE here.

BLOOD OF ASSASSINS and a mystery worthy of Girton Club-Foot himself

RJ Barker’s Wounded Kingdom series begins with apprentice assassin Girton Club-Foot and his master attempting to discover the identity of a rival assassin.

BLOOD OF ASSASSINS, the second book in the trilogy, is out this week, and RJ has been investigating a mystery worthy of Girton himself – who IS that assassin on the cover? In the tweets below, RJ thinks he has the answer…

What do you think, has he solved it?

We hope you’re as excited for the release of BLOOD OF ASSASSINS as we are! And if you haven’t read AGE OF ASSASSINS yet, perhaps some of these lovely people can persuade you?

‘RJ Barker is a singular sensational new voice in epic fantasy’ Nicholas Eames, author of Kings of the Wyld

‘A breath of fresh air’ Peter Newman, author of The Vagrant

‘Outstanding’ James Islington

‘Simply unputdownable’ Fantasy Book Review

‘Hugely enjoyable’ Jen Williams

‘Addictive’ Bibliosanctum

‘As sharp as any blade’ Jon Skovron

‘Steel-sparking action’ Chris Brookmyre

‘I can’t wait for more!’ Melissa Caruso

Cover Launch: The Labyrinth Index by Charles Stross

The Labyrinth Index by Charles Stross

Feast your eyes on the latest Charles Stross cover, with design by Crush Creative and Ellen Rockell. THE LABYRINTH INDEX, coming later this year, is the ninth novel in The Laundry Files, where spy thrillers meet the supernatural . . .

Britain is under New Management. The disbanding of the Laundry – the British espionage agency that deals with supernatural threats, has culminated in the unthinkable – an elder god in residence in 10 Downing Street.
But in true ‘the enemy of my enemy’ fashion, Mhairi Murphy finds herself working with His Excellency Nylarlathotep on foreign policy – there are worse things, it seems, than an elder god in power, and they lie in deepest, darkest America.

A thousand-mile-wide storm system has blanketed the midwest, and the president is nowhere to be found – Mhari must lead a task force of disgraced Laundry personnel into the storm front to discover the truth. But working for an elder god is never easy, and as the stakes rise, Mhari will soon question exactly where her loyalties really lie.

Cover launch: AUTONOMOUS by Annalee Newitz

We’re thrilled to announce that Orbit UK is publishing Annalee Newitz’s stunning new novel AUTONOMOUS – a wildly inventive science fiction debut from the co-founder of io9.

Released in the US this autumn, AUTONOMOUS has already received tonnes of praise and we’re delighted to be bringing it to a new audience with a colourful twist on Will Staehle’s wonderful cover.

Look out for our early ebook release (available now) or buy the audio or paperback edition from 15th March 2018.

Earth, 2144. Jack is an anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap medicines for those who can’t otherwise afford them. But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their work, doing repetitive tasks until they become unsafe or insane.
Hot on her trail is an unlikely pair: Eliasz, a brooding military agent, and his indentured robotic partner, Paladin. As they race to stop information about the sinister origins of Jack’s drug from getting out, they begin to form an uncommonly close bond that neither of them fully understands.
And underlying it all is one fundamental question: is freedom possible in a culture where everything, even people, can be owned?

Autonomous is to biotech and AI what Neuromancer was to the internet’ NEAL STEPHENSON
‘Something genuinely and thrillingly new’ WILLIAM GIBSON
‘Holy hell. Autonomous is remarkable’ LAUREN BEUKES

Winner of Africa’s First Speculative Fiction Award Announced alongside Orbit Publishing Deal

 Tade Thompson, author of ROSEWATER (photo credit David Thompson)Please join us in welcoming Tade Thompson to the Orbit family! The news is out – we will be publishing his Rosewater trilogy next year.

Tade’s also just had another VERY exciting bit of news to announce, as Rosewater was awarded Best Novel today at the inaugural Nommo Awards. These are the first awards ever given for African speculative fiction or science fiction – a landmark moment for the genre and for Tade!

The winners were announced as part of the Ake Arts and Book Festival in Abeokuta, Nigeria, and also included Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti winning Best Novella and a tie between Lesley Nneka Arimah and Tendai Huchu for Best Short Story. The awards were set up by the African Speculative Fiction Society.

While Rosewater was originally published by indie press Apex Book Company agent Alexander Cochran (C+W Agency ) sold world rights in this and two more novels in the trilogy to Orbit last month. The trilogy will chronicle the effects and aftereffects of a biological catastrophe first on an individual, then on a community and finally the world.

Rosewater is a town on the edge. A community formed around the edges of a mysterious biodome, its residents comprise the hopeful, the hungry and the helpless – people eager for a glimpse inside the dome or a taste of its rumoured healing powers.
Kaaro is a government agent with a criminal past. He has seen inside the biodome, and doesn’t care to again – but when something begins killing off others like himself, Kaaro must defy his masters to search for an answer, facing his dark history and coming to a realisation about a horrifying future.

Tade Thompson is the author of Rosewater, a John W. Campbell Award finalist and Best Novel winner for the inaugural 2017 NOMMO Awards for African speculative fiction. His novella The Murders of Molly Southbourne has recently been optioned for screen adaptation. He also writes short stories, notably ‘The Apologists’ which was nominated for a British Science Fiction Association award. Born in London to Yoruba parents, he lives and works on the south coast of England where he battles an addiction to books.

Benedict Jacka Cover Launch: The Bumper Issue

We’re delighted to launch the cover for MARKED, designed by Ceara Elliot and Emily Courdelle! This is the ninth book in Benedict Jacka’s magic-filled Alex Verus series, publishing in July next year.

MARKED sees probability mage Alex Verus tracking down dangerous magical items unleashed into the world by dark mages. When the Light Council decide they need his help in negotiating with the perpetrators, Alex must use all his cunning and magic to strike a deal…

MARKED continues the bold, colourful new look for the series that we established with BURNED and BOUND. Now – at Alex’s request (and who are we to deny a probability mage’s predictions?) – we’ve given the first six books brand new designs to match. If you think these new covers are vivid and irresistibly eye-catching, well . . . Alex Verus knew you would!

These fabulous new designs – also courtesy of Ceara Elliot and Emily Courdelle – will be appearing in bookstores throughout 2018.

(more…)

Cover Launch: Age of Assassins by RJ Barker

It’s a game of
ASSASSIN VERSUS ASSASSIN
when Girton Club-Foot and his master are hired by a queen to catch the killer who’s coming for her son.

Set in a world ravaged by magic and the ambition of noblemen, this debut epic fantasy features a cast of assassins, knights and fools which will delight any fan of Brent Weeks, Robin Hobb or Assassin’s Creed. AGE OF ASSASSINS is coming to Orbit this August.

Our fantastic cover has been designed by Tom Sanderson, at the-parish.com.

If you’d like to know more about RJ Barker, watch our 2017 debut author video  (skip to 1:17 for RJ’s section) or follow him on twitter at @dedbutdrmng.

THE AGE OF ASSASSINS HAS DAWNED!

Confident and stylish, masterful in the execution, once it has you in its grasp it just doesn’t let go . . . RJ Barker’s debut novel AGE OF ASSASSINS has a lot in common with the ruthless killers who inhabit its pages.

So we are simply delighted to announce that we’ve acquired this epic fantasy trilogy from a supremely talented British debut author. AGE OF ASSASSINS, the gripping first book in RJ Barker’s trilogy, is packed full of intrigue, adventure and magic. It tells the story of Girton Club-foot, a young man apprenticed to a master assassin, who is thrust into a world of politics and treachery when the queen hires the duo not to cause an assassination, but to prevent one.

The trilogy was acquired by Orbit in a three-book deal for World English language rights, from Ed Wilson of Johnson and Alcock literary agency. AGE OF ASSASSINS will hit the shops in summer 2017.

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS Movie: See the Poster and Trailer!

You can now watch the movie trailer for M. R. Carey’s THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS! Directed by Colm McCarthy (Sherlock, Peaky Blinders and Doctor Who), starring  Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton and Paddy Considine, and introducing Sennia Nanua, the film is a major release for Warner Bros and due to come out in the UK on September 23rd.

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS was a word-of-mouth bestseller with over half a million readers worldwide. We’re beyond excited to see characters such as Melanie and Miss Justineau brought to life on the big screen – eagle-eyed fans might spot the author himself in there among the zombie hordes too.

We can’t wait! Here’s the official poster released by Warner Bros:
girl-with-all-the-gifts-posterClick here for everything you need to know about THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS movie release.

Meet the Author: An Interview with Ken MacLeod, Author of THE CORPORATION WARS

Brand new SF adventure THE CORPORATION WARS: DISSIDENCE publishes this week, so we spoke to Ken about rebel robots and the inspiration behind the book.

Hi Ken! Can you tell our blog readers how you would persuade someone to read The Corporation Wars in just one sentence?

“Robots and walking-dead space mercenaries fight for the future of humanity among the stars!”

What drew you to tell this story?

“As so often, it came from coincidence – I was browsing my bookshelves and was reminded of Hans Moravec’s idea that A.I. machinery working for human owners in space might end up following its own path, and at the same time I was flicking through a David Friedman book about the evolution of law. The book just happens to be called The Machinery of Freedom, and suddenly . . .”

The main human character, Carlos, spends a lot of time in a virtual reality and in a robot’s body. What is it that makes him still human?

“His memories, his subjective awareness, and his body image seem to do the job for him. Whether we’d think of him as human if we had the misfortune to meet him in a dark alley is another matter.”

Ken MacLeodThe robots of the Corporation Wars are truly compelling characters, even though they do not have any emotions per se. How did you tackle the challenge of writing robot conversation in human language?

“By using poetic licence, basically. I follow Brian Aldiss’s example, in his classic short story ‘Who Can Replace a Man?’ and have my robots arguing and thinking like rather annoyingly logical and literal-minded speakers of a natural language like English. And in my view they do have emotions, albeit ones that they express clunkily as ‘positive and negative reinforcement’.”

Who inspires you as a writer?

“Aldiss, Asimov, Atwood, Ballard, Bass, Banks, Blish, Brunner, Bujold, Delaney, Faber, Harrison, Heinlein, Le Guin, Miller . . . all the way through to Vinge, Wyndham and Zelazny.”

Although humanity is exploring the stars in the Corporation Wars, they’ve brought a lot of their old rivalries and allegiances with them. Do you think we’ll ever evolve past conflict, or is it part of what makes us human?

“Besides the conflict between human projects and machine purposes, the stories involve a literal resurrection of an old human conflict, over this very question: whether humanity can ultimately live at peace, whether in a co-operative or a peacefully competitive society, or whether war and domination are ineradicable and possibly even desirable, or at least necessary. I’m firmly of the opinion that peace is possible, though not easy to establish.”

Can you tell us a bit about your writing routine – are you a planner or are you more spontaneous?

“I strive to plan, but sometimes I let the story run away with me or take an unexpected turn. And as you know, sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t, and then has to be painfully unpicked after an editor has asked sharp questions. I really do find that painful, so the more planning the better, I think.”

The Corporation Wars trilogy grapples with big questions about A.I. and what it means to be really alive. How close do you think we are to true A.I., and at what point do you think A.I. machines can be considered alive?

“Philosophers talk about ‘the hard problem’ of consciousness, of subjective awareness. And they’re right, it is a hard problem! I used to be confident I had a consistent answer to it, but a lot of long online arguments way back in the 1990s and some further reading convinced me I was mistaken. There’s a consistent answer given in the books, but it’s not one I could necessarily defend in a rigorous way.”

Finally ­– why do so many great SF writers come from Scotland?

“There’s only been one great SF writer from Scotland, and we all know who he was.”

THE CORPORATION WARS: DISSIDENCE is out now! Listen to an extract from the audiobook here:

Listen to an audiobook extract of sci-fi epic, Dissidence! By Ken MacLeod