Archive for Orbit US

The Escapement Arrives

International Covers for The Escapement

K.J. Parker’s Engineer Trilogy continues to wow the critics. In the Locus review of Evil for Evil (US, UK) and The Escapement (US, UK) Faren Miller says of the trilogy:

“The whole thing is brilliant – disturbingly so, since these fantasies (without a whit of magic) explore the human condition and reveal it all, brain, heart, guts and bowels, with a startling precision.”

And over at Strange Horizons, Farah Mendlesohn has a fascinating review of the trilogy that gets at the heart of what makes these books so compelling:

“The trilogy format of Parker’s work is deceptive: it both does, and doesn’t conform to recognisable fantasy trajectories. Yes, in almost all of the books there is at least one person who rises to power or moves towards the centre of the action; there is always big landscape; there are wars and many nameless people die. But the stories which form the plot are interlocked through future, present and past. Parker writes stories in which individuals become enmeshed in the machine, and in which economics is the god on which all the principals are sacrificed. ”

Read the whole review here.

You can find the first chapter of Devices and Desires here. Book three, The Escapement, is out this month.

Vampires, Snowmen, Vampire Snowmen?

Over at SF World Mark Yon (clearly skeptical about any urban fantasy starring a Vampire) finds a lot to like in Jennifer Rardin’s Once Bitten, Twice Shy:

“This is one that should be read: one for me that stands with my current faves Jim Butcher and Mike Carey.”

Another One Bites the Dust

At Scifichick.com Angela has a review of the next book in the Jaz Parks series, Another One Bites the Dust,

“With more action and tougher bad guys, this sequel doesn’t disappoint.”

And for a chance to win a copy of the first two books in the series (plus what looks like a very tasty chocolate snowman) visit Urbanfantasy.blogspot.com

How do you eat an elephant?

Innocent Mage coverKaren Miller, the bestselling author of the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker duology, has just written a fantastic Quote of the Week piece over at The Book Swede.

“How do you eat an elephant? One mouthful at a time.”

I don’t know the source of the above quote, but it’s become one of my mantras as I really settle down into this writing gig. Writing novels is a major commitment of time, of energy and most of all, of faith. Sure, if you’re looking purely at word count, one average novel of 30 chapters is the same as someone writing 30 short stories. And there are lots of people out there who’ve written 30 and more short stories, so … there’s no difference, right?

Wrong.

Read more >>

Midnight is in fact coming to Orbit!

Midnight Never ComeWe are delighted to confirm Orbit UK’s acquisition of Marie Brennan’s Midnight Never Come and sequel – two dark and fantastical stories of the faerie court, the first book being set in Elizabethan England.

Midnight Never Come is a lyrical and sinister tale of intrigue and betrayal, seamlessly weaving historical detail with the fantastic. And don’t miss Marie’s massively impressive academic credentials either – a B.A. in anthropology, folklore & mythology from Harvard University, with current projects including a Ph.D. in anthropology and folklore. Whew! As you’d expect with author who bears comparison with authors such as Neil Gaiman, in-house feedback has been just great. ‘Had me hooked from the start’, ‘clever and convincing’ and ‘wonderfully atmospheric’ are just some of the comments received, and I’m looking forward to when it’s unleashed for review.

To give you a taster of the plot, I can reveal the following details . . . In hidden catacombs beneath London, a second Queen holds court: Invidiana, ruler of faerie England, and a dark mirror to the glory above. In the thirty years since Elizabeth ascended her throne, fae and mortal politics have become inextricably entwined, in secret alliances and ruthless betrayals whose existence is suspected only by a few.

That’s it for now but be sure to let us know if you want to know more!

The Free-willing Brian Ruckley

Brian Ruckley

There’s a fascinating interview with Brian Ruckley over at Grasping for Wind that covers the role of fate in Winterbirth.

“…I (in my infinite wisdom) had a pet theory that there were too many fantasy stories in which prophecies of one kind or another were central drivers of the plot (this was quite a long time ago – there are fewer of them around these days. Prophecies have gone out of fashion a bit.). I figured that every time a prophecy shows up it raises an obvious question about the role of free will in all these imagined worlds, since it at the very least implies an element of inevitability about what’s going on.”

Read more >>

World Fantasy 2007

This year, World Fantasy was at Saratoga Springs, New York. It was a lovely town upstate and I, for one, had forgotten what trees looked like!

Attending the convention was Orbit from both here and across the pond: Tim Holman, Publishing Director (US & UK); Darren Nash, Editorial Director (UK); George Walkley, Business Manager (UK); Alex Lencicki, Marketing and Publicity Director (US); Jennifer Flax, Editorial Assistant (US); and me (Devi Pillai, Editor, US)!

Some of our lovely authors also attended: Marie Brennan, Robert Buettner, Jo Graham, Karin Lowachee, Jennifer Rardin, Lilith Saintcrow, Jeff Somers and Walter Jon Williams. It was also great to see Daniel Abraham and Scott Bakker from Orbit in the UK.

Friday

The Orbit team took an early train fortified with plenty of Dunkin Donuts coffee on Friday morning. Our car, fully packed for World Fantasy, included: Diana Gill of Eos, Anne Sowards and Jessica Wade of Ace and Roc and Rome Quezada of the Science Fiction Book Club.
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A Very Jaz Parks Halloween

Happy Halloween from everyone here at Orbit! In honor of this most scary holiday, Jennifer Rardin, author of Once Bitten, Twice Shy (US / UK ) and the upcoming Another One Bites the Dust, has written us a Jaz Parks treat!

Taking Out the Trash: A Jaz Parks Mini-Mission

The demon appeared just as the president’s psychics had predicted, clattering from the furnace of the deserted glass blowing studio. He saw us immediately, targeting him with the only weapon that would vanquish him. A bazooka whose charges were packed mainly with shredded law books. Apparently to this devil, justice was a killer.

“Wait!” he squeaked. “Avarice! Apartheid! What the hell is the word!” He banged his knobby knuckles against his forehead so hard they left red marks.

Vayl and I traded puzzled looks as he screamed, “I’m not the one you want! Please!” He went to his knees, probably staining his white pants. Since it was Halloween, it made sense that he wore a sailor suit. And people might actually buy that his bulbous nose and square, yellow teeth were part of a mask—if he survived the night. It was our job to see he didn’t.
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Devices and Desires

desires.gif Devices and Desires is getting terrific reviews for its US launch. The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly said:

“Parker’s intricately plotted and meticulously detailed book, the first in a proposed trilogy, moves as deliberately and precisely as an antique watch.”

Publishers Weekly called it an “exquisite feat of literary engineering.” And in the December issue of Realms of Fantasy Magazine, Paul Witcover says:

“…the first volume of the Engineer Trilogy is an audacious and utterly captivating novel that, like the great Gormenghast books of Mervyn Peake, eschews magic in the creation and elaboration of an intricately detailed fantasy world.”

Read chapter one of the book right here. Book two, Evil for Evil, is out now in the UK, and will be in stateside stores this November.