Archive for Orbit UK

Cover launch: FOR THE THRONE by Hannah Whitten

In case you missed it, readers were at the edge of their keyboards for Hannah Whitten’s cover reveal for FOR THE THRONE this past Wednesday on Twitter. FOR THE THRONE is the sequel to Hannah’s instant New York Times-bestselling debut For the Wolf. And, with the help of over 500 readers, we all got to witness the glory of her new cover! With design by Lisa Marie Pompilio, this cover is full of amazing details that hint at the story to come: twisting vines, a royal crown, and a deep sense of looming danger. We are so excited for you to read the book when it finally comes out in Summer 2022! In the meantime, you can pre-order your copy now: US | UK. And, if you haven’t had a chance to check out For the Wolf, order a copy here: US | UK!

Design by Lisa Marie Pompilio

 

The First Daughter is for the Throne
The Second Daughter is for the Wolf…

Red and the Wolf have finally contained the threat of the Old Kings but at a steep cost. Red’s beloved sister Neve, the First Daughter, is lost in the Shadowlands, an inverted kingdom where the vicious gods of legend have been trapped for centuries and the Old Kings have slowly been gaining control. But Neve has an ally–though it’s one she’d rather never have to speak to again–the rogue king Solmir. 

Solmir wants to bring an end to the Shadowlands and he believes helping Neve may be the key to its destruction. But to do that, they will both have to journey across a dangerous landscape in order to find a mysterious Heart Tree, and finally claim the gods’ dark, twisted powers for themselves.

Acquisition Announcement: SOME DESPERATE GLORY by Emily Tesh

Orbit UK is  delighted to announce the acquisition of  World Fantasy Award-Winning author Emily Tesh’s highly anticipated debut novel, SOME DESPERATE GLORY. A thrillingly told queer space opera full of complex characters and boundless imagination. By turns epic and intimate, it’s coming-of-age story about what empires and systems of war do to the young soldiers in their care. It’s about overcoming indoctrination and who you must become when every choice is stripped from you.

Read on for a taste of what’s in store:

Kyr lives in the bowels of Gaea Station alongside the last scraps of humanity, training for the day she can avenge the destruction of planet Earth at the hands of the all-powerful, reality-shifting weapon known as the Wisdom. She trusts and even loves Command, but when they assign the wrong missions – her beloved brother Magnus to a useless suicide and her to bear sons until she dies trying – she knows she has to take humanity’s revenge into her own hands.

But she soon learns that not everything she’s been raised to believe is true and the Wisdom is far more complex and dangerous than she could ever have imagined.

 

Emily Tesh, a two-time Astounding Award finalist, is the author of the World Fantasy Award-winning Greenhollow Duology. She grew up in London and studied Classics at Trinity College, Cambridge, followed by a Master’s degree in Humanities at the University of Chicago. She now lives in Hertfordshire, where she passes her time teaching Latin and Ancient Greek to schoolchildren who have done nothing to deserve it. She has a husband and a cat. Neither of them knows any Latin yet, but it is not for lack of trying.

We can’t wait to share Some Desperate Glory with you next year! In the meantime, please join us in welcoming Emily to Orbit. You can find her on Instagram and at emilytesh.net.

Cover launch: THE BOOK OF GOTHEL by Mary McMyne

What does every beautiful, gothic fairytale reimagining need? An equally beautiful, fairytale inspired cover! Feast your eyes on the cover of The Book of Gothel. Designed by Lisa Marie Pompillio, it perfectly evokes the witchcraft and magic, crumbling towers, dark woods and otherworldly secrets of this gorgeous debut novel that spins the familiar story of Rapunzel on its head by centering its villain. Get excited for The Book of Gothel to publish in Summer 2022. And in the meantime, say hello to Mary McMyne on Twitter @MaryMcMyne and at her website.

 

Haelewise has always lived under the shadow of her mother, Hedda—a woman who will do anything to keep her daughter protected. For with her strange black eyes and even stranger fainting spells, Haelewise is shunned by her village, and her only solace lies in the stories her mother tells of child-stealing witches, of princes in wolf-skins, of an ancient tower cloaked in mist, where women will find shelter if they are brave enough to seek it.

But when her mother dies, Haelewise is left unmoored. With nothing left for her in her village, she sets out to find the tower of legend—a place called Gothel, where Haelewise meets a wise woman willing to take her under her wing.

But Haelewise is not the only woman to seek refuge at Gothel. It’s also a haven for a girl named Rika, who carries with her a secret the Church strives to keep hidden. A secret that just might explain why Haelewise keeps hearing her mother’s voice.

Cover Launch: BEYOND THE HALLOWED SKY by Ken MacLeod

We’re delighted to reveal the cover for BEYOND THE HALLOWED SKY, the first novel in the Lightspeed trilogy, from science fiction legend Ken MacLeod.

Humankind is on the precipice of a great discovery – the invention of faster-than-light travel – that will unlock a universe of new possibilities, and new dangers. BEYOND THE HALLOWED SKY hits shelves in November and you can pre-order your copy now! Read on for a taste of what’s in store. . .

Cover design by Duncan Spilling

When a brilliant scientist gets a letter from herself about faster-than-light travel, she doesn’t know what to believe. The equations work, but her paper is discredited – and soon the criticism is more than scientific. Exiled by the establishment, she gets an offer to build her starship from an unlikely source. But in the heights of Venus and on a planet of another star, a secret is already being uncovered that will shake humanity to its foundations.

Praise for Ken MacLeod:

‘Ken MacLeod is up there with Banks and Hamilton as one of the British sci-fi authors you absolutely have to read’ SFX

‘He is writing revolutionary science fiction. A nova has appeared in our sky’ Kim Stanley Robinson, on The Star Fraction

‘Prose as sleek and fast as the technology it describes . . . watch this man go global’ Peter F. Hamilton on The Star Fraction

‘Science fiction’s freshest new writer . . . MacLeod is a fiercely intelligent, prodigiously well-read author who manages to fill his books with big issues without weighing them down’ Salon  

You can find Ken MacLeod on Twitter @amendlocke

Fantasy Authors in Conversation: Anthony Ryan and John Gwynne

Authors Anthony Ryan and John Gwynne discuss their novels THE PARIAH (US | UK) and THE SHADOW OF THE GODS (US | UK) as well as historical influences on their works. And much more!

..

Anthony Ryan: Hi John. Congratulations on The Shadow of the Gods, which you know I enjoyed immensely. It’s probably best if we deal with the big important questions first, to wit: what’s the difference between a sword and a seax?

John Gwynne: Hi Anthony, great to be here chatting to you. I’m so pleased you enjoyed The Shadow of the Gods, and I love your question about a seax, but before I get to that I’ve just got to say this; Vaelin Al Sorna [the main character in Ryan’s Raven’s Shadow series] is one of my favourite characters in fantasy, like, ever. He’s iconic and I imagine he will be remembered in the Fantasy Hall of Fame alongside characters such as Druss and Logen Ninefingers.

Okay, now that I’ve got that out of my system, onto the difference between a sword and a seax.

A seax is essentially a big knife, used during the Viking era for all manner of tasks. It’s a single-edged blade, with a broken back tapering to a point. Little to no crossguard, with the blade ranging in size roughly from 6 inches up to about 14 inches in length, although there are variations either side of these dimensions. The Norse were a practical and pragmatic people and the seax was a multi-purpose tool, useful for cutting kindling, chopping vegetables, gutting and skinning a meal, and stabbing your enemy (particularly useful whilst in the shield wall, which would be cramped conditions with little room to swing a blade, much like the Roman gladius). A sword during the same period was longer, tended to be double-edged and with a more prominent crossguard.

Another difference is the way the seax and sword would be worn. A sword would be scabbarded and hung from a baldric or belt to hang roughly diagonally across the hip. A seax would have a scabbard with two or three suspension points and usually would hang from your belt horizontally across your front, roughly around the area of your upper thighs. This was a comfortable position for rowing.

Just to blur matters a little, there were also examples of a langseax, or long-seax during the Viking period, which is a blade with the same design as a seax (single edged, broken back, small or no crossguard) but being longer, of a roughly similar length to a sword. I’ve read various theories on why the langseax was used, and one of the ones I like the most is that the long-seax was used for ship combat, because there would be no danger from a single-edged sword in a back-swing of cutting rigging. So much of ancient history is filling in the gaps and educated guessing, so as to whether that’s true or not, I don’t know, but I like that logic.

Onto my first question to you, Anthony. I’ve recently read your latest novel due to be published later this year, The Pariah, which I loved. I felt a strong medieval and Robin Hood inspiration in its setting and style, though this is a much grittier tale, with a heavy dose of revenge thrown in. Can you tell me a little about your inspirations for The Pariah?

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Cover Launch: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO CONQUERING THE WORLD by K. J. Parker

If you’re already adept at defending walled cities and successfully ruling empires, and you’re looking for your next big challenge, we’ve got the perfect book for you. With the launch of A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO CONQUERING THE WORLD (US | UK) this November, World Fantasy Award-winning author K.J. Parker brings his acclaimed sequence of novels that began with SIXTEEN WAYS TO DEFEND A WALLED CITY (US | UK) to a refreshingly pragmatic conclusion. We’re thrilled to present the final book’s cover below.

Design by Lauren Panepinto

Praise for SIXTEEN WAYS TO DEFEND A WALLED CITY (US | UK) and HOW TO RULE AN EMPIRE AND GET AWAY WITH IT (US | UK)

“Readers are ensured a good time and a barrel of laughs to boot.” –Publishers Weekly

“Parker’s latest epic fantasy proves that all the world is, indeed, a stage, and Parker himself is a master impresario.” — Library Journal

“Full of invention and ingenuity . . . Great fun.” — SFX

“As with most of Parker’s work, there is a melancholy undercurrent that gives the humor weight. As heroes go, Orhan is a reluctant and flawed one . . . . [but] when Orhan works the problem, we can’t help but watch.” —Locus

“Launches a witty adventure series . . . Readers will appreciate the infusion of humor and fun-loving characters into this vivid and sometimes grim fantasy world.” –Publishers Weekly

Cover Launch: LEVIATHAN WAKES 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION by James S. A. Corey

Can you believe it’s been a full ten years since LEVIATHAN WAKES first published? The first book in the Expanse launched a stellar New York Times-bestselling nine-book space opera series that went on to connect with millions of readers, win a Hugo Award, and inspire a hit TV show. To celebrate, we’re launching a beautifully designed 10th anniversary edition of the book that started it all on September 21st (Pre-order in the US | Pre-order in the UK). Featuring a reversible cover, painted edges, a black and magenta foil case, and a stunning endpaper map, this edition is the best way to celebrate the modern masterwork of science fiction before it comes to a close later this year.

For the design of this anniversary edition, we wanted to highlight the incredible fanbase that has grown up around the Expanse, including all the great artists — both fans and professionals — who have contributed to the universe that grew around the books and show. We found poster artist Jay Clark’s homage to the Rocinante and his solar system map online, and commissioned him to adapt his work to this new edition. Meanwhile, we decided to honor Daniel Dociu’s original Leviathan Wakes cover art by reprinting it in its uncropped glory on the inside of the book jacket.

Praise for The Expanse

“It’s been too long since we’ve had a really kickass space opera. LEVIATHAN WAKES is interplanetary adventure the way it ought to be written.” ―George R.R. Martin

“This is the future the way it was supposed to be.” ―The Wall Street Journal

“As close as you’ll get to a Hollywood blockbuster in book form.” ―io9.com

“Riveting interplanetary thriller.” ―Publishers Weekly

“The science fictional equivalent of A Song of Ice and Fire…only with fewer beheadings and way more spaceships.” ―NPR Books

“High adventure equaling the best space opera has to offer, cutting-edge technology, and a group of unforgettable characters.”  —Library Journal (starred review)

Cover Launch: THE BONE SHIP’S WAKE by RJ Barker

We’re thrilled to reveal the cover of THE BONE SHIP’S WAKE (UK | US), the final book in RJ Barker’s swashbuckling Tide Child trilogy. Return to the high seas on 30th September 2021, and don’t forget to pre-order (UK | US)! But in the meantime, you can check out the beautiful cover below and read on for a taste of what’s in store for Joron Twiner and the crew of the Tide Child. . .

The sea dragons are returning, and Joron Twiner’s dreams of freedom lie shattered. His Shipwife is gone and all he has left is revenge.

Leading the black fleet from the deck of Tide Child Joron takes every opportunity to strike at his enemies, but he knows his time is limited. His fleet is shrinking and the Keyshan’s Rot is running through his body. He runs from a prophecy that says he and the avian sorcerer, the Windseer, will end the entire world.

But the sea dragons have begun to return, and if you can have one miracle, who is to say that there cannot be another?

Praise for the Tide Child trilogy:

‘Excellent . . . one of the most interesting and original fantasy worlds I’ve seen in years’ Adrian Tchaikovsky

‘Brilliant’ Robin Hobb

‘Swashbuckling awesomeness . . . a fascinating world and a twisty plot, both rooted in characters I came to care about. A definite winner’ John Gwynne

‘A vividly realised high-seas epic that pulls you deep into its world and keeps you tangled there until the very last word’ Evan Winter, author of The Rage of Dragons

‘A rip-roaring oceanic adventure, packed with violence and beauty. It’s about the beauty of the sea and the brutality of humanity, as well as huge sea monsters and ship-to-ship battles. A perfect storm of fantasy storytelling’ Starburst

You can find RJ Barker on Twitter @dedbutdrmng

 

 

 

Acquisition Announcement: THE MONSTERS WE DEFY by Leslye Penelope

Are you ready to discover the magical side of Washington D. C.? Orbit is delighted to announce the acquisition of THE MONSTERS WE DEFY, a riveting historical fantasy novel by Leslye Penelope, author of the Earthsinger Chronicles.

Set in 1925 Washington D. C., The Monsters We Defy follows a woman with the unique ability to communicate with spirits who must assemble a ragtag crew bestowed with magical gifts to pull off a daring heist and save her community from malevolent beings. Blending rich historical details, African American folk magic, and sharp social commentary, Leslye has crafted a caper that is sure to delight fans of Alix E. Harrow, P. Djeli Clark, Leigh Bardugo, and N. K. Jemisin.

I’m sure you’re eager to know more! Here are a few words from Leslye about what inspired her to write this novel:

“Girl Kills Detective,” “Sniping Negress Held for Slaying” — the headlines of the newspaper articles tell their version the story of Clara “Carrie” Minor Johnson, a seventeen-year-old girl from Washington, DC who was arrested during the Red Summer riots of 1919 for killing a policeman. 

That detective had been one of the policemen to burst into Carrie’s bedroom during the middle of the riot. Police claimed there had been a sniper shooting from the roof—neighbors dispute this. Carrie and her father hid under the bed. Shots were fired at the intruders and the police fired back, injuring both father and daughter. They lived; Detective Harry Wilson died. Eighteen bullet holes were left in the door to Carrie’s bedroom.

A jury convicted Carrie of manslaughter, but she was given a new trial after her original judge, on his deathbed, regretted not allowing her to use self-defense. The new district attorney dropped the charges, basically admitting the young woman was in fear for her life and that he would not get another conviction.

She was freed from jail at the age of nineteen and then disappears from history. Six years after Red Summer, in August of 1925, the Ku Klux Klan marched down Pennsylvania Avenue. The climate of oppression and terror for Black Americans had changed little. How might Carrie at twenty-three have viewed her world? What might she have done with her second chance?

I imagine a future for Carrie—this girl who fought back, who shot back, and lived, and ultimately went free. I imagine a life of struggle and agitation, of magic and love, and becoming an agent of change in her community. 

The Monsters We Defy uses Carrie’s history as a springboard for a story weaving Black folk magic, history, and romance into the adventure of a caper. A story not of Black pain, but Black survival and the pursuit of joy.

THE MONSTERS WE DEFY publishes Summer 2022. In the meantime, please join us in welcoming Leslye to Orbit! You can find her at https://lpenelope.com/ and on Twitter at @leslyepenelope.

Orbit US senior editor Nivia Evans acquired World English rights from Sara Megibow at kt literary.

 

Acquisition Announcement: THE UNDERTAKING OF HART AND MERCY by Megan Bannen

Get ready for your guaranteed most delightful read of 2022! Orbit is thrilled to announce the acquisition of Megan Bannen’s  adult debut, THE UNDERTAKING OF HART AND MERCY. Princess Bride meets You’ve Got Mail in this enchantingly quirky, completely refreshing fantasy with a rom-com-worthy premise, perfect for readers of The House in the Cerulean Sea and The Invisible Library. Set in a world equally full of magic and demigods as it is donuts and small-town drama, this utterly unique fantasy is sure to sweep you off your feet.

Hart Ralston is a demigod and a marshal, tasked with patrolling the wasteland of Tanria. The realm the exiled old gods once called home is now a forsaken place where humans with no better options or no better sense come seeking adventure or spoils, but more often end up as drudges: reanimated corpses inhabited by the souls of those who’ve died in Tanria before. Hart tells himself that his job is simple: neutralize the drudges with a quick zap to the appendix and deliver them back to polite society at the nearest undertaker’s, leaving the whys and hows of the drudge problem for men without the complexities of a god in their family tree. But working alone, Hart’s got nothing but time to ponder exactly those questions he’d most like to avoid.

Too much time alone is the opposite of Mercy Birdsall’s problem. Since her father’s decline, she’s been single-handedly keeping Birdsall & Son undertakers afloat in small-town Eternity—despite definitely not being a son, and in defiance of sullen jerks like Hart Ralston, who seems to have a gift for showing up right when her patience is thinnest. The work’s not the problem—Mercy’s good at it, better than any other Birdsall—but keeping all her family’s plates spinning singlehandedly, forever, isn’t how Mercy envisioned her future.

After yet another run-in with the sharp-tongued Mercy, Hart considers she might have a point about his utter loneliness being a bit of a liability. In a moment of sentimentality, he pens a letter addressed simply to “A Friend,” and entrusts it to a nimkilim, an anthropomorphic animal messenger with an uncanny connection to the gods, (and in Hart’s case, a bit of a drinking problem). Much to his surprise, an anonymous letter comes back in return, and a tentative friendship is born.

If only Hart knew he’s been baring his soul to the person who infuriates him most–Mercy. As the two unlikely pen pals grow closer, the truth about Hart’s parentage and the nature of the drudges creeps in. And suddenly their old animosity seems so small in comparison to what they might be able to do: end the drudges forever. But at what cost?

Be prepared for THE UNDERTAKING OF HART AND MERCY to be your absolute favorite beach read of summer 2022, and in the meantime give a warm welcome to author Megan Bannen on Twitter @MeganBannen, Instagram @meganbannen, or her website https://www.meganbannen.com/! See you in Eternity!