Just another day at the office… IN HELL!

Lilith Saintcrow’s third novel in the Dante Valentine series is just out in the US. (It will be available in the UK from Orbit in November)

If you haven’t checked them out – you should – especially since we’re reissuing the first two books with brand new covers, along with #3! I’ve posted the covers below. There’s also a Dante Valentine desktop wallpaper at Lilith’s site (it’s especially appropriate if your boss is demonic)

The Devil’s Right Hand

The final two books will be out in November 07 and January 08.

Saint City Sinners

To Hell And Back

And even more exciting – for those who want a sneak peak — here is the first book in the Jill Kismet series Night Shift, due out July 2008.

Night Shift

SFX Reviews

Unmarked Graves by Shaun Hutson

The latest issue of SFX is just out, and there are a couple of reviews of Orbit titles.

Charles Stross’ The Atrocity Archives gets a four star review: “The world is beautifully handled; believable and well-envisioned . . . a highly enjoyable bit of spy-fi.”

Also attracting praise is Shaun Hutson’s new book Unmarked Graves: “He’s a master of the short, snappy title, as much as he is at producing succint, horror-filled novels. Subtle? Nope, but he deserves his success, as his work is both gripping and — unlike that of some of his contemporaries — rarely outstays its welcome . . . if you like your horror testosterone-charged and visceral, then you could do much worse . . . Oh, and it’s got a great ending too.”

Introducing The Electric Church

Electric Church Ad

We’ve told you about Jeff Somers’ compulsory blog (*), now check out the-electric-church.com , a front for the actual Electric Church that purports to be an “official” book site. The site includes a puzzle of such devious design most of the Orbit team is convinced no one will solve it. (Jeff and I have more faith in the amateur codebreakers out there) Visit the site to take a crack at it. Or just poke around and chat with a Monk-bot to learn more about Dennis Squalor. You can also read the first chapter of The Electric Church here.

(*) Jeff Somers’ blog is not actually compulsory (but then we would say that, wouldn’t we.)

Science Fiction Awards Watch

The team behind the late, lamented SF review site Emerald City, Cheryl Morgan and Kevin Standlee, have launched a new online project, Science Fiction Awards Watch. They describe the purpose of the new site:

So what is this all about? Well, there are few things that the science fiction community likes to talk about more than awards, so we thought it might be good to have a central place where these conversations can take place . . . We have a number of fine critics who have offered to participate in discussions here from time to time, and we are looking for more . . . There will also be public debate. After all, the Hugo Award winners will be announced very soon now, and somehow that always results in a storm of controversy around the blogosphere. Which is why we are launching this site now. We are coming up to what we expect to be the busiest time of the year for award controversies.

You can find out more on their site.

Baaaaa!

Lamb by Christopher Moore

Hot on the heels of last month’s A Dirty Job, which SF Site calls “a book that entertains steadily, alternating Beta Male tribulations and black comedy,” comes Christopher Moore’s Lamb.

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal is the story of Biff, the Messiah’s best bud, who has been resurrected to fill us in on what really happened. Locus says it’s “a laugh-out-loud, roll-on-the-floor dark comedy” and Bookreporter.com is “impressed by the author’s humor, inventiveness, and bravery in taking on this story. His dialog sparkles with sarcasm and wit.”

The Bookbag is also clearly a fan, saying “it could just as easily have been called: Life of Brian — the Early Years. It is that irreverent, that subtle, that funny.”

Verily, that’s some pretty high praise. Lamb is available from all good book retailers this month.

Three Times the Horror in August!

Unmarked Graves by Shaun Hutson

And no, we’re not talking about the British weather. Orbit’s Master of the Dark, Shaun Hutson, has three titles out this month and they’re definitely not for the faint of heart.

Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review says: “Unmarked Graves actually reads like an action/horror movie written on paper, a fast moving, gut wrenching roller coaster ride of gore, mania and terror.” And Dreamwatch SciFi agrees: “This book will shock you. And so it should.”

The Guardian is a fan of Dying Words, out this month in paperback, calling it “a novel that gets the job done. Pared-down prose in staccato chapters whisks the reader through a scary white-knuckle ride . . . if you want pacy, explicit, edge-of-the-seat storytelling, Hutson is always a good bet. Great fun.”

And those in the mood for some classic horror should check out Shaun Hutson Omnibus 1: Shadows and Nemesis which The Bookbag says will give you “some excellent sleepless, violence- and gore-filled nights . . . there’s plenty of gore but what really lifts this book out of the ordinary is the plot and the ending which had a twist I really wasn’t expecting . . . very, very well done.”

Looking for more terrifying treats? Shaun will be the guest author on Paul Kane’s Shadow-Writer site in September and will soon be in Hub Magazine being interviewed by Marie O’Regan.

Brian Ruckley Interview

Brian Ruckley

Brain Ruckley talks with Aiden Moher at A Dribble of Ink. It’s a wide-ranging discussion, covering Winterbirth, Bloodheir (the second novel in the trilogy, out next spring from Orbit) as well as the trauma of seeing a favorite book adapted to the screen:

“When I saw that trailer it was a bit like someone kicking in the door of your house, making straight for the cupboard where you keep the best-loved toys of your early years and beating on them with a sledgehammer.”

Brian blogs at www.brianruckley.com, and you can read an excerpt of the book here.

Philip Palmer’s Breaking Point

Philip has been pretty busy recently, what with checking the proofs for Debatable Space and finishing the first draft of his next book for Orbit — it’s no wonder the strain is starting to tell . . . But seriously, Philip has been doing a huge amount of work in recent months for his new radio play for Radio 4, and you can catch this tonight from 9-10pm.

The play is entitled Breaking Point and is an insightful and powerful exploration into psychological manipulation, and how to ‘break’ people in interrogation. We see the story from an unusual perspective as we follow Jon Starkey, undergoing training to become a British Army interrogator. As the drama unfolds, we see the effects on him and his family as he joins the ‘war against terror’. Philip talks about the play on his blog and you can also find out more on Radio 4’s site.

If you miss the play on Friday, you can listen for a further week after broadcast, courtesy of Radio 4’s ‘listen again’ facility. Philip has also written an interesting piece on the making and recording of the play, an engaging read.

Radio 4 describes its Friday plays as “strong stories that reflect the world: entertaining, emotionally engaging and challenging” and Breaking Point will certainly be all of these things.

A Cultural Matter

Here’s a question: whose next SF novel features spaceships with the following names?

Now We Try It My Way

Experiencing a Significant Gravitas Shortfall

Subtle Shift in Emphasis

Liveware Problem

Don’t Try This At Home

You’ll Clean That Up Before You Leave

Without doubt one of the most highly anticipated SF novels to be published next year, Matter is the new novel from Iain M. Banks, the UK’s bestselling SF author. It’s a Culture novel — the first for 8 years — and Iain has just delivered the final manuscript. And I’ve just read it. And . . . WOW!!! (that’s a technical publishing term). Being a Culture novel, we’ve also got a whole heap of new Culture ship names to look forward to. My favourite today is Don’t Try This At Home. We’re scheduled to publish Matter in the UK and the US in February next year, and here’s a sneak peek of the cover:

Matter Cover