Archive for Orbit US

Cover Launch: THE CITY OF DUSK by Tara Sim

Life, Death, Light, and Darkness—all converge on the city of dusk…

We are so excited to share with you the stunning cover for The City of Dusk, Tara Sim’s adult fantasy debut—or, as the author puts it (quite perfectly), “the queer goth metal fantasy of her dreams.”

Set in a lush and intricate world of bone and shadow magic, of vengeful gods and defiant chosen ones, we knew this epic story needed an equally epic design. Orbit associate art director Lisa Marie Pompillio and illustrator Ben Zweifel certainly delivered! But don’t take our word for it. Take Tara’s, who says: “The first time I saw this cover, I gasped. From the foreshadowing design elements to the incredible depiction of Nexus, I couldn’t ask for a more perfect way to capture the book’s atmosphere.”

Feast your eyes on the gorgeous cover below, and prepare to enter the city of dusk next March by preordering the book here, and by following Tara Sim on twitter, @EachStarAWorld!

Design by Lisa Marie Pompilio

City illustration by Ben Zweifel

For every realm, there is a god.

For every god, there is an heir.

For every heir, there is a price.

Nexus was once a thriving and vibrant city. But 500 years ago, the gods withdrew their favor, sealing the four realms away from each other. And now, all the realms are dying.

Unwilling to stand by and watch the destruction, the four heirs to the divine power—Angelica, an elementalist with her eyes set on the throne; Risha, a necromancer fighting to keep the peace; Nik, a soldier who struggles to see the light; and Taesia, a shadow-wielding rogue with a reckless heart—will sacrifice everything to save the city.

But their rebellion will cost them dearly.

Cover launch: TERMINAL WORLD by Alastair Reynolds

One of Alastair Reynolds’ most imaginative visions of the future is getting a fresh new look to match his other brilliant space operas. Terminal World is an adventure like no other—set in humanity’s only surviving city, an ex-spy gets sucked into a dangerous quest that will take him beyond the city walls when a mysterious winged man turns up dead in his morgue. Check out Terminal World available on December 21st! 

Cover design by Lauren Panepinto

Spearpoint, the last human city, is an enormous atmosphere-piercing spire. Clinging to its skin are the zones, a series of semi-autonomous city-states, each of which enjoys a different—and rigidly enforced—level of technology. 


Following an infiltration mission that went tragically wrong, Quillon has been living incognito, working as a pathologist in the district morgue. But when a near-dead angel drops onto his dissecting table, Quillon’s world is wrenched apart one more time, for the angel is a winged posthuman from Spearpoint’s Celestial Levels—and with the dying body comes bad news.


If Quillon is to save his life, he must leave his home and journey into the cold and hostile lands beyond Spearpoint’s base, starting an exile that will take him further than he could ever imagine. But there is far more at stake than just Quillon’s survival, for the limiting technologies of the zones are determined not by governments or police, but by the very nature of reality—and reality itself is showing worrying signs of instability . . .


Check out Alastair Reynolds’ Inhibitor Trilogy!

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.

Orbit US is hiring!

Orbit US is looking for a Marketing Manager to join our New York office. This position offers a great opportunity to join a dynamic and successful team publishing a wide range of award-winning and bestselling Science Fiction and Fantasy authors.

If you love science fiction and fantasy and are excited about developing creative and exciting marketing campaigns, you can apply through the Hachette Book Group job board. This is an in-house position based in our office in New York City.

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?



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


“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: THE LAST WISH – ILLUSTRATED EDITION by Andrzej Sapkowski

Fantastic news for  the Witcher fans out there! This December, you’ll get to experience The Last Wish—the story collection that started it all—in a new form: a deluxe hardcover edition featuring seven stunning illustrations by seven award-winning artists.

We’ll be revealing the full artist roster soon, but today, our spotlight is on the incredible cover! ICYMI when it was revealed by Netflix during WitcherCon, here’s our favorite monster hunter as imagined by artist Tommy Arnold:

Cover art by Tommy Arnold, @tommyarnoldart. Design and art direction by Lauren Panepinto.

We asked Tommy why he chose this portrayal of Geralt for the cover, and here’s what he had to say: “Geralt is, in some ways, defined by his separation from humanity. There’s a loneliness to him. But like all consummate professionals, he’s most at home in his work. The peace he finds from existential questions in simply fighting monsters, the calm at the center of the storm—that’s what we were after here.”

This special edition is being designed by Orbit’s fabulous creative director, Lauren Panepinto, who adds, “One of the best things about working on The Witcher is the wealth of great scenes and characters—both human and mythological—that beg to be depicted. It has been very enjoyable for me to design this deluxe edition of The Last Wish around so many great artists who are also fans. There is a different artist for each of the seven stories (and maybe a bonus here and there), and each has a unique take on the characters within. The overall red and black palette will unify these diverse illustrations into a design-forward take on Sapkowski’s world. It’s been a joy to work with such a great team on such a fun project. Witcher fans are going to love seeing so many fresh views of these stories.”

The book is available for pre-order in the US and UK, so go ahead and toss a coin to your favorite bookstore!


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.” ―

“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 and on Twitter at @leslyepenelope.

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