Looking forward to the publication of Matter by Iain M. Banks next year (from Orbit in both the UK and US) I’ve been surfing the huge and helpful body of websites on the Culture, and happened on this comprehensive Wikipedia entry listing the ships of the Culture. They include the General Contact Unit “Well I Was In The Neighbourhood”, the Offensive Unit “All Through With This Niceness And Negotiation Stuff” and, my favorite, the Demilitarized Rapid Offensive Unit “Resistance Is Character-Forming”.
Archive for Orbit UK
There’s a great review of Sean Williams’ Saturn Returns, recently published by Orbit UK, at Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review. Graeme concludes that it “ties up enough loose ends to give a satisfying sense of closure while leaving the broader plot strands to run on into later books . . . I think this will shape up to be one of the better sci-fi series that are out there.”
Graeme is also running a competition to win one of ten signed copies of the book — just visit his website for more details. But do hurry — entries need to be in by Monday 9 July.
Last month, Paul Raven wrote a terrific review of Marianne de Pierres’ new book Dark Space for online magazine Scalpel, which sadly folded shortly afterwards. However, it’s good to report that Paul’s review has found a new home at T3A Space. Paul describes it as: “very dark. Unflinchingly so; it’s a complex and exciting novel, almost devoid of cheap sentiment and comfortable vindication. It’s not a cheerful read, but it is a very rewarding one. It’s always a joy to find intelligent and exciting space opera; to find it being written by a woman unafraid to bring her own perspective to a traditionally masculine genre, doubly so.”
Today’s edition of The Times includes their choice of best summer reads, including an SF selection from critic Lisa Tuttle. There’s a good representation of Orbit UK titles: the ubiquitous Charles Stross picks up a fantastic recommendation for Glasshouse, which “twists and surprises in impressively mind-bending style.”
Meanwhile, Laurell K. Hamilton, whose latest Anita Blake novel The Harlequin is published by us this month was described as “the queen of erotic vampire thrillers . . . increasingly baroque, but still a hardcore guilty pleasure.”
Finally, two books published by our sister imprint Atom, which publishes for young adult readers, were also chosen: Scott Westerfeld’s Parasite Positive is described as “the best of the many vampire books around”, while Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight is recommended for “those who prefer the more romantic idea of the sexy vampire . . . an old-fashioned love story in modern dress.”
Hot on the heels of the coverage in the latest issue of Death Ray, the new issue of SFX just arrived. Like their rivals at Death Ray, they had good thing to say about Christopher Moore’s A Dirty Job: “The real joy . . . comes from the way that, rather than relying on the central premise to carry him through, Moore wrings so many laughs from the incidental stuff. This contrast of the domestic with the demonic draws comparisons to Buffy the Vampire Slayer but, as well as matching Joss Whedon’s whip-smart dialogue joke for joke, Moore is an exceptional novelist. At times, his prose exudes the quality of John Irving.”
They also review Charlie Huston’s new book No Dominion, the second outing for vampyre private eye Joe Pitt, of which they write: “You’ll like this . . . it’s a damn fine read and, crucially, a very interesting new take on vampires.”
I’ve just received my copy of issue 3 of Death Ray, a startup glossy SF magazine. It’s good to report that there are some nice reviews of Orbit UK titles, especially Allen Steele’s Spindrift — “an interesting, entertaining, well-told tale” — and Christopher Moore’s A Dirty Job, described as “an insightful piece on the nature of death, and grief, how we deal with such things and find the strength to go on. Christopher Moore is adept at making such points even while making the reader laugh out loud at the absurdity of life in general. And that’s his greatest strength.”
There’s also an interesting feature on the young adult/SF crossover, with contributions from Orbit’s Publishing Director Tim Holman and Editorial Director Darren Nash. And though we don’t publish either of these authors, I really enjoyed the extended piece on Neil Gaiman and a shorter article on Samuel R. Delaney’s Babel-17. Death Ray is available through newsagents in the UK, and readers in the US can find it at branches of Barnes & Noble and Borders.
There’s a terrific interview on Fantasy Book Critic with Mike Carey, whose series of novels featuring freelance exorcist Felix Castor is published by Orbit in the UK: The Devil You Know and Vicious Circle were published to massive acclaim last year, and the third book, Dead Men’s Boots, is due in September. Readers in America can discover just how dark and irresistible Castor’s world is in July, when our sister company Grand Central Publishing releases The Devil You Know in the US.
Orbit UK author Charles Stross can be seen on www.bookzone.tv, discussing his latest book The Atrocity Archives, which we’re publishing in paperback next month.
Philip Palmer is the author of the fabulous debut Debatable Space, to be published by Orbit in January. He is also a dramatist of some note, and his short play Gaza is being recorded today to be broadcast on Radio 4 tomorrow at 7pm. Philip imagines what it’s like for ordinary people caught up in the violence and in-fighting in Gaza City, as well as portraying the reactions of British nationals working in the region.
The play will be repeated on Sunday, and you can catch it for a further week on the Listen Again section of the BBC website.
Do have a listen if you get the chance!