Archive for Orbit UK

Do not joke with Brian Ruckley about haggis.

Over at Nethspace, Brian Ruckley responds gamely and hilariously to the “Haggis Question.”

“You do know every year in Scotland several tourists who are flippant about haggis get hunted down and slaughtered like curs by howling, kilt-clad, claymore-wielding mobs, don’t you? It’s virtually a national sport.”

Read the whole interview here.

Though the world of Winterbirth was partly inspired by Brian’s native Scottish Highlands, it is (so far, at least) haggis-free.

Over at Fantasy Book Critic US readers can enter for a chance to win a copy of Winterbirth, along with a set of Orbit US launch month titles.

Mike Carey on Camera

Mike Carey, the author of the Felix Castor novels, recently came in to the Orbit offices, and we thought we’d take the opportunity to sit him down in front of a camera and ask him to talk about his new book, Dead Men’s Boots (which is attracting some really good early reviews — as you can see here).

Of course, having Mike talk about the third book was too good a chance to pass up, so we also recorded him talking about the two previous books in the series, The Devil You Know and Vicious Circle.

You can see the resulting videos by following the link below, and also on our YouTube page.


Link Catch-Up

Winterbirth by Brian RuckleyThings are fairly hectic at Orbit UK — we’re really looking forward to fantasy legend Terry Brooks touring the UK next week, so there’s a certain amount of dotting Is and crossing Ts going on — and it’s all too easy to miss things taking place around the blogosphere. So here’s a catch-up on what’s being happening with our books and authors:

Ian Irvine has written an essay on the books that are important to him for the distinguished academic Norman Geras’ blog.

Sean Williams is answering questions from readers on the Australian SpecFic in Focus forum — you’ve got until 15 September if you want to ask him something.

As a marketing hack, I was fascinated by this interesting analysis of how a reader decides what to buy in a bookshop, using Brian Ruckley’s Winterbirth as a case study, written by a genuine marketing expert, Roy Bayfield of Edge Hill University.

Jeff Somers’ The Electric Church is out later this month. It’s already picked up some great reviews. The Guardian called it “an exhilarating example of powerful and entertaining storytelling.” Meanwhile, blogger Graeme Flory rated it eight out of ten and wrote of it: “I read a couple of pages; then I read some more, the next thing I knew, it was Sunday night and I’d finished it. Great stuff, every single page tells you in no uncertain terms why this book has been chosen as part of Orbit’s opening salvo on the US market . . . an entertainingly bullet spattered read that hints at great things from Somers in the future.”

Graeme has also reviewed Mike Carey’s new book Dead Men’s Boots, which rates a mighty nine and a half out of ten, and the comment, “If you’ve already read the first two books then I guarantee you’re going to absolutely love this one. If you haven’t then I suggest you pick up The Devil You Know [Mike’s debut for Orbit] and get reading. You won’t regret it.” There’s also an interview with Mike on Graeme’s blog.

The final word on Dead Men’s Boots goes to the estimable John Berlyne, who says in his SFRevu review: “What Carey develops . . . is yet another extraordinarily gripping supernatural mystery . . . These Castor books are as fiendishly addictive as nicotine and are made all the more satisfying by Castor’s deadpan, ironic fatalism . . . The net result is another superb, highly involving novel from Mike Carey.” You can read the rest of the review here.

Cliffhanging just posted a fantastic review of Karen Miller’s The Innocent Mage.

It’s a rare book indeed that after 640 pages, it ends on a cliffhanger, and you sit back and go, “Damn, I wish I had the second book in the series to start.” But that’s exactly what I thought after plowing through Karen Miller’s marvelous The Innocent Mage… read more >>

To all you readers dangling from the edge of that cliff, we cry from below: hold on! The second book in the series, The Awakened Mage, will be in stores this October. If you haven’t read the book yet, you can find chapter one right here.

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!

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

Wednesday 19 September

5.30pm: Signing at Waterstone’s Bluewater, Greenhithe, Kent. For more information, call the store on 01322 624831, email or visit

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 or visit

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

Friday 21 September

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

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 or visit

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 , 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.)


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 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.