Orbit’s first two releases in the US, Lilith Saintcrow’s The Devil’s Right Hand and Karen Miller’s The Innocent Mage, have charged up the fantasy mass-market bestseller lists to #3 and #4 respectively. A great start — and great excitement at Orbit HQ!
Archive for Orbit US
Bookgasm.com 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.
Well, 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.
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.)
Brain Ruckley talks with Aiden Moher at A Dribble of Ink. It’s a wide-ranging discussion, covering Winterbirth, Bloodheir (the second novel in the trilogy, out next spring from Orbit) as well as the trauma of seeing a favorite book adapted to the screen:
“When I saw that trailer it was a bit like someone kicking in the door of your house, making straight for the cupboard where you keep the best-loved toys of your early years and beating on them with a sledgehammer.”
Here’s a question: whose next SF novel features spaceships with the following names?
Now We Try It My Way
Experiencing a Significant Gravitas Shortfall
Subtle Shift in Emphasis
Don’t Try This At Home
You’ll Clean That Up Before You Leave
Without doubt one of the most highly anticipated SF novels to be published next year, Matter is the new novel from Iain M. Banks, the UK’s bestselling SF author. It’s a Culture novel — the first for 8 years — and Iain has just delivered the final manuscript. And I’ve just read it. And . . . WOW!!! (that’s a technical publishing term). Being a Culture novel, we’ve also got a whole heap of new Culture ship names to look forward to. My favourite today is Don’t Try This At Home. We’re scheduled to publish Matter in the UK and the US in February next year, and here’s a sneak peek of the cover:
John at SFsignal posts a great review of The Electric Church by Jeff Somers, giving the book 4.5 out of 5 stars and writing in summary:
PROS: Excellent pacing; well-written action sequences; fun characters; dark setting.
CONS: There’s something remarkably unsettling about passionately rooting for the killers and thieves.
BOTTOM LINE: A first-rate piece of science fiction entertainment.
You can read the full review at SFsignal.com. The monks of the Electric Church will be in bookstores this September. In the meantime, keep an eye on the official site. It’s just a splash page now, but we hear they are building something in there…
A quick follow-up to Tim’s post yesterday about the critical reaction to Winterbirth in the US: blogger The Book Swede is inviting readers to submit questions for an interview he’s doing with Brian Ruckley — visit his site for more information.
The first (of many, we hope!) Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly in the US has just arrived and it’s for Brian Ruckley’s Winterbirth. In their own words, it’s an “outstanding fantasy debut … ensuring a fervent audience of epic fantasy fans looking for something innovative in a genre that can be anything but.” Scroll down the page here to read the full review.
(I’m not sure, btw, whether the fantasy genre as a whole is any more or any less innovative than other genres — answers on a postcard, please — but it’s great to see a reviewer recognizing that Brian Ruckley is a writer with his own distinctive voice.)
Meanwhile, in another lovely pre-publication notice in the US, Kirkus Reviews describe Winterbirth as “epic fantasy in the mode of George R.R. Martin and R. Scott Bakker . . . readers who like their fantasy dark, multi-threaded and political will sink their teeth into this.”
To read an extract from Winterbirth, visit www.brianruckley.com
Karen Miller, whose bestselling debut novel The Innocent Mage was published by Orbit UK in April and will be published by Orbit US in September, has been interviewed by Sandy Auden at www.uksfbooknews.net.
It’s a deceptively simple story that hides layers of depth and allows the author to explore a host of intense themes. “There’s love, hate, revenge, and sacrifice for starters, and the price of fighting for what you know is right. Then there’s the fact that nothing important comes for free; that people can be hateful but still have value; and that it’s not the gifts you’re born with, but what you do with them that counts. And not forgetting: friendship isn’t easy, but it’s always important.”