Covered in Blood

Although the book won’t be published until February next year, we’ve just received the advance jacket proofs of Charlie Huston‘s third Joe Pitt novel, Half The Blood of Brooklyn, and we proclaim it to be the best yet! Behold!

Half the Blood of Brooklyn

If you haven’t delved into the Vampyre Manhattan of the Joe Pitt novels, you’re missing a treat (a very dark, very violent kind of treat — but a treat nonetheless). Charlie Huston‘s Orbit debut Already Dead and follow-up No Dominion have been variously described as ‘bloody great’, ‘brilliantly rendered’, ‘well worth seeking out’ and — in a nutshell — ‘a damn fine read and, crucially, a very interesting new take on vampires’.

That pretty much says it all. If you want a seamless blend of pulp noir, crime thriller and the supernatural, Joe Pitt’s your man!

We have lift-off…

Tim HolmanWell, after months of meticulous planning, discussing and strategizing, it’s launch month for Orbit in the US. The books are in the stores, the reviews are coming in, and the marketing campaigns are underway.

With all of the preparation that surrounds the launch of a new imprint, it’s easy to forget the importance of that relatively brief moment when somebody sees a book for the first time — in stores, in libraries, online, or wherever — and makes a decision. As publishers, we can edit the books, and package the books. We can promote them, both directly and by working with retailers. And we can make sure that they are available as widely as possible.

But will that book catch your eye? Will you pick it up? Will you read the blurb and like the sound of it? Will you flick through a few pages and be excited enough to want to carry on? And then, of course, if you’ve done all of those things, will you enjoy it as much as we have?

Only time will tell, of course. But we’d like to thank everyone who has helped us get to this stage, and given us so much support and good advice, in particular: the authors, the agents, the booksellers, the librarians, and the reviewers. And I’d like to give special thanks to the woman I saw on the subway yesterday reading Karen Miller’s The Innocent Mage and not looking up once. I hope she didn’t miss her stop … actually, I hope she did.

Stross Steals Fire From The Gods

Glasshouse by Charles StrossWell . . . not quite. But Charles Stross’ Glasshouse has just won the 2007 Prometheus Award for best libertarian novel of the year.

Founded in 1979 and awarded since 1982 by the Libertarian Futurist Society, the award honours science fiction writers whose books examine the meaning of freedom. Orbit has some history of achievement in this award, with Charlie following the success of Ken MacLeod’s 2006 winner, Learning the World. Ken has won the Prometheus three times, in fact — a point Charlie wittily acknowledges on his blog.

Our congratulations to Charlie on the success of Glasshouse, which was also shortlisted for this year’s Hugo AwardCharlie’s fourth consecutive shortlisting. The last writer to achieve that was a fellow by the name of Silverberg . . .

Terry Brooks UK Tour

Terry Brooks

Terry Brooks
(photo: Judine Brooks)

Internationally-bestselling author Terry Brooks is going to be touring the UK later this month to promote his new book The Elves of Cintra. Selecting places to do book signings is always a fraught process — especially for an author as popular as Terry with fans all around the country. Future tours will concentrate on areas that we haven’t covered this time, especially Scotland and the North of England. However, for this tour, we’ve come up with the following itinerary for Terry, and hope very much to see you at one of these signings.

Monday 17 September

1pm: Signing at Forbidden Planet, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London. For more information, call the store on 020 7420 3666 or visit www.forbiddenplanet.com.

Wednesday 19 September

5.30pm: Signing at Waterstone’s Bluewater, Greenhithe, Kent. For more information, call the store on 01322 624831, email manager@bluewater-west.waterstones.com or visit www.waterstones.com.

The Elves of Cintra by Terry Brooks

Thursday 20 September

12.30pm: Signing at Waterstone’s, Wesley Walk, Basingstoke. For more information, call the store on 01256 460646, email manager@basingstoke-wesleywalk.waterstones.com or visit www.waterstones.com.

4.00pm: Signing at Waterstone’s, 17 Stanley Walk, Bracknell. For more information, call the store on 01344 488124, email manager@bracknell.waterstones.com or visit www.waterstones.com.

Friday 21 September

12.30pm: Signing at Waterstone’s, 50-52 Smithford Way, Coventry. For more information, call the store on 02476 634224, email manager@coventry.waterstones.com or visit www.waterstones.com.

7pm onwards: Terry is one of the Guests of Honour at Fantasycon — see their website for details.

Saturday 22 September

10am onwards: Terry will be doing an interview and panel at Fantasycon — see their website for details.

4.00pm: Signing at Waterstone’s, 1-5 Bridlesmith Gate, Nottingham. For more information, call the store on 0115 948 4499, email manager@nottingham.waterstones.com or visit www.waterstones.com.

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.