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Category: Fiction

Cover launch: ZERO-G by Rob Boffard

We’re very proud to present the cover for ZERO-G (UK | US | ANZ) by Rob Boffard. It’s a totally edge-of-your-seat thriller set in space, and it really shows that Rob is a force to be reckoned with in the world of science fiction.

This is the second book in the Outer Earth series, which started with TRACER (UK | US | ANZ). To say that this series is addictive and explosive is an understatement.

The action takes place on a giant space station orbiting Earth, which contains the last surviving members of humanity. Meanwhile, 300 miles below, our planet lies in ruins.

Our main character is Riley Hale – a tracer, or courier. If you need something taken from one part of Outer Earth to another, she’ll get it there – and fast.

In book one, Riley gets caught in a conspiracy which threatens the future of the space station and humanity itself. And now in ZERO-G, she really has nowhere left to run. Not only is she being blackmailed and being forced to break just about every law that exists on Outer Earth, but a lethal virus has also broken out, and is tearing its way through the station. It really seems like this could be the end for human kind – unless Riley can move fast enough.

We’re going to have a rather out-of-this-world campaign happening for ZERO-G nearer to January 2016, when the book releases.

In the meantime, you can catch up on all the action with the first book TRACER. Check out the impressive list of reviews below!

Tracer by Rob BoffardTRACER sets a new standard for all-action SF’ – Ken MacLeod

TRACER is the literary equivalent of a base jump: fast, exhilarating and unforgettable, and once you start it you can’t stop. I loved it’ Sarah Lotz, author of THE THREE

A stunning debut by Rob Boffard that never lets up, from the nerve-jangling beginning to the explosive end‘ – James Douglas, author of THE DOOMSDAY TESTAMENT

Relentlessly fast pace…Vivid action scenes’ – SFX;

Compelling, compulsive…Thoroughly entertaining – this one’s worth picking up if you’re in the mood for some sci-fi action’ – SCIFI AND FANTASY REVIEWS

If you’re after a fast-paced, action-packed, cinematic space adventure, then Tracer is absolutely for you . . . A promising debut, I think Rob Boffard is an author to watch’ – CIVILIAN READER

A hugely enjoyable and exciting space dystopia . . . I loved this. I’ll definitely be looking out for the next book in the series’ – NUDGE BOOK

(See below for the ZERO-G cover in its full glory…) Read the rest of this entry »

Orbit Fantasy Writing Workshop – the results…

Orbit Fantasy Workshop with Karen MillerThis summer, we ran our first ever Orbit Fantasy Writing Workshop. It was led by the million-copy bestselling author Karen Miller, and we’re pleased to say it was a great success. We had an enthusiastic response from writers taking up the challenge to write 2,000 words of a fantasy novel in one week, and a large number of these participants also submitted their sample to our writing competition at the end of the week.

We were superbly impressed with the quality of submissions we received. All of them showed promise, and we can honestly say that we enjoyed every sample we read. The judging process proved very tricky, but the Orbit Editorial Team and Karen Miller have now picked their winner.

Congratulations to S. M. White from Louisville, Kentucky, who has won the competition with his submission “The Broken Door”.

We were all thoroughly captivated by this sample. It tells the tale of Kirren – a soldier who has been set to watch over the gates of his city and guard against the demons that wait outside. When a battle-worn stranger appears at the walls, demanding to be let in, Kirren refuses – as he has been ordered to open the gates to no one. But when the stranger outside is attacked by a demon, Kirren must decide whether to obey his orders, or give into his compassion by aiding his fellow man…

This sample fulfilled the writing challenge that Karen had set of writing about a moral dilemma – and it did it in style.

The Falcon Throne, a new epic fantasy novel from Karen MillerThe prize S. M. White will receive is a number of editorial consultations with an Orbit editor and Karen Miller herself on this sample and further sections of his complete novel.

We have also informed a small number of competition entrants about being on the final shortlist, and they will all be receiving free copies of Karen Miller’s novel THE FALCON THRONE (US |UK | AUS).

For all those who took part but didn’t win – please don’t be disheartened. The quality of everything we received was high, and we hope that you’re going to keep plugging away, because writing is all about sticking at it!

We’re hoping to run another Orbit Fantasy Writing Workshop in future, so please do look out for that. In the meantime, for more writing inspiration, follow Karen Miller on her site at www.karenmiller.net

Meet the author: Julia Knight, author of the Duellists novels

Julia Knight, author of Swords and Scoundrels, book one in the Duellists trilogyWe interviewed Julia Knight, author of the Duellists trilogy. The first book, SWORDS AND SCOUNDRELS (UK|US|ANZ) is out this month. It’s a fast and furious fantasy adventure about two siblings, Kacha and Vocho, who are known for the finest swordplay in their kingdom – until they are dishonoured and forced to become reluctant highwaymen. The sequels LEGENDS AND LIARS  (UK|US|ANZ) and WARLORDS AND WASTRELS  (UK|US|ANZ) will follow in November and December 2015.

What was the inspiration behind SWORDS AND SCOUNDRELS?

Lots of things! I was reading a lot about post-Moorish Spain – which was inspiration for the fallen empire in the book – and Renaissance Italy, which inspired all the city states that are at each other’s throats. Then add to this a re-reading of the Musketeers, and my happening across a video for an architect’s design for a clockwork city and….hey presto!

Swords and Scoundrels, Legends and Liarsa and Warlords and Wastrels - the Duellists Trilogy by Julia Knight

Which was your favourite character to write?

That is a really hard question, as I love them all in different ways. Vocho was a blast to write, because he’s just so vain and unintentionally funny but he does have a heart too (when he remembers). I like Kacha because she takes no crap from anyone, especially Vocho. Petri was supposed to be the bad guy . .  . but I found I rather felt for his predicament . . .

Who really is the better duellist – Kacha or Vocho?!

Depends on who you ask . . . As Vocho says, she’s better at technique, but he has an advantage in strength and reach. Both are devious as required. I’d say they both have their strengths but that balances out so they are actually fairly evenly matched.

Where’s your favourite bookshop?

I’m going to cheat and say it’s a toss up between Forbidden Planet in London and my local Waterstones in Horsham, West Sussex. Forbidden Planet because I cannot leave without buying *something* and it is just so very cool. And my local Waterstones because it’s got everything – a café, squishy sofas, staff that really know their books (and are more than happy to chat about them, or help me find something). It also has a decent SFF section which brings me on to the next question…

When you walk into a bookshop which section do you gravitate to first?

I always gravitate to the SFF section first in any bookshop. However I do have a soft spot for other genres – historical (both fiction and non-fiction) and crime in particular, so once I’ve mined the SFF I tend to browse there too. Frankly I’ll read almost anything!

What we can expect from the next Duellists novel LEGENDS AND LIARS?

Dastardly magicians, dashing duellists and warring cities. It gets deeper into the characters, and darker too, though it’s still got plenty of light-hearted moments . . .

New from Claire North, author of HARRY AUGUST and TOUCH: The Gameshouse novellas

At the start of November, we are launching something brand new from Claire North – author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling novels The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and Touch.

Enter the world of the Gameshouse, a world where the best players compete secretly not just for riches – but for political power, for the control of kingdoms, for their very lives… These are the tales of The Serpent (UK|US|ANZ), The Thief  (UK|US|ANZand The Master (UK|US|ANZ).

The Gameshouse novellas are three digital stories that can be read separately, but which also fit together to make a complete, intricately woven tale.

Covers for the Gameshouse novellas The Serpent, The Thief and The Master by Claire North, author of thw First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

These stories are thrilling, so rich and beautifully crafted. They’re a perfect example of how Claire’s stories are breathtaking in scope but also painfully intimate. If you’re a fan of her previous novels then we know you’ll love these stories – and they’re also a great way to sample her writing for the first time.

See below for the blurb for the first novella, The Serpent:

In seventeenth century Venice exists a mysterious establishment known only as the Gameshouse.

There, fortunes are made and broken over games of chess, backgammon and every other game under the sun.

But those whom fortune favours may be invited to compete in the higher league . . . a league where the games played are of politics and empires, of economics and kings. It is a league where Capture the Castle involves real castles, where hide and seek takes place on a scale as big as the British Isles.

Not everyone proves worthy of competing in the higher league. But one woman who is about to play may just exceed everyone’s expectations.

Though she must always remember: the higher the stakes, the more deadly the rules . . .

All three titles will be released digitally at the start of November 2015, and are available for pre-order now. They will also be available as a complete volume in audiobook.

Cover launch: FIRE TOUCHED, the new Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs

We’re very proud to present the UK cover for FIRE TOUCHED, the new Mercy Thompson novel by Patricia Briggs.

Waiting for the next Mercy book can be tough for urban fantasy fans, since we’re all on the edge of our seat to find out what happens next in this gripping series . . . But we’re glad to say that that it’s coming in March 2016 and is available for pre-order now.

Fire Touched, the new Mercy Thompson urban fantasy novel by Patricia Briggs

There’s a real treat in store with this new book . . . see what’s to come below!

Mercy Thompson is back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer . . .

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans and the fae, Mercy, Adam and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

Cover launch for THE LAZARUS WAR: LEGION

Today we’re excited to unveil the cover for THE LAZARUS WAR: LEGION (UK | US | ANZ).

If you like gripping action and adventure in deep space, along with tales of elite fighters and frightening alien tech (we certainly do!), then this series is for you. We love it with a passion . . .

Book cover for The Lazarus War Legion by Jamie Sawyer - a science fiction adventure

This great artwork comes from the artist Ioan Dumitrescu. This is the second book in the series following THE LAZARUS WAR: ARTEFACT (UK | US | ANZ), which is already available digitally. It features Conrad Harris, otherwise known as Lazarus. He’s a man who has died a hundred deaths. There are some battles in deep space which no human could survive . . . So Lazarus and his team run suicide missions against a hostile alien race in remotely operated simulant bodies.

This series is from Jamie Sawyer, a great new talent on the SF scene. You can find him on Twitter as @JSawyerAuthor. Check out what some other great science fiction authors have been saying about his series:

Lazarus War Artefact by Jamie Sawyer‘A gripping read that moves at warp speed’ Jack Campbell, author of the Lost Fleet novels

‘Starships sporting particle beam weapons, railguns the size of skyscrapers, laser batteries, missiles… And then there are the uber-human super-soldiers clad in powered armour and wielding plasma weapons… Is that enough for you?…This, dear readers, is the good stuff. Recommended’ Neal Asher, author of the Agent Cormac novels

‘A highly promising science fiction debut – a fun, gripping adventure story, with a mystery at its core that kept me turning the pages’ Gary Gibson, author of STEALING LIGHT

‘An adrenaline shot of rip-roaring military SF packed with cinematic action sequences and tightly drawn characters’ Stephen Deas, author of ELITE: WANTED, EMPIRES: EXTRACTION

THE LAZARUS WAR: ARTEFACT (UK | US | ANZ), is already available as an ebook, and THE LAZARUS WAR: LEGION (UK | US | ANZ) is available for pre-order now. It releases as a digital-first edition in under a month, on the 1st September 2015.

The complete series will be released in print next year, but now’s a great time to get ahead of the game and snap it up in ebook for a reduced price. You’ll see just why Jamie is such an exciting new talent with big things to come!

Check out the blurb for THE LAZARUS WAR: LEGION below… Read the rest of this entry »

THE RISING: the superb sequel to THE MECHANICAL by Ian Tregillis

We’re thrilled to present THE RISING (UK | US | ANZ), the stunning new novel in the Alchemy Wars series by Ian Tregillis, coming this December.

It is the gripping tale of Jax, a mechanical man or “clakker”, who has thrown off the bonds of slavery. He is no longer bound to the will of the humans that created him. But now he is on the run – because to be free is to be dangerous . . .

THE RISING is the sequel to THE MECHANICAL (UK | US | ANZ), a novel which was exceptionally well received this year.

Read the reviews below to see just why Ian Tregillis is being lauded as one of the most original new voices in speculative fiction.

‘The first thing readers will say after finishing this splendid book is: “Wow.” The second thing will probably be: “When can I read the next one? . . . This is a rousing SF/fantasy adventure, with a brilliantly imagined and beautifully rendered alternate world’ Booklist

‘One of the sharpest, most intelligent, hugely compelling works I’ve read this year’ Forbidden Planet International

The Mechanical, Alchemy Wars 1 by Ian Tregillis‘The Mechanical is as intricate and exquisite as the clockwork wonders it brings to life’ NPR

‘His characters are as convincing as ever, the plotting is beautifully articulated . . . readers with an interest in dark, intelligent fantasy will find much to admire here’ Kirkus

‘The rich characters and gripping story really make this tale soar’ Publishers Weekly

‘A hugely entertaining novel’ SFX

‘Absolutely fascinating, and unapologetically clever’ Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews

‘So absorbing that readers will be dying for the next entry in this new series’ Library Journal

‘This book is truly unlike anything I’ve ever read before . . . I can’t wait to see what the next installment in The Alchemy Wars will bring’ Bibliosanctum

Look out for THE RISING in December 2015 and see the full cover below. Read the rest of this entry »

Orbit Fantasy Workshop – join the write-along challenge!

Orbit Fantasy Workshop with Karen Miller

Have you always wanted to write your own fantasy novel? Have you got some great characters and plot lines bouncing around in your head that won’t leave you alone? Have you written a few stories but finally want to get going on your first real masterpiece? This is your chance . . .

I’m delighted to say that today we’re kicking off the Orbit Fantasy Writing Workshop.

This is a communal online write-along event, designed to get the creative juices flowing for aspiring fantasy authors worldwide.

It’s a great opportunity to finally put pen to paper, and get some advice on what makes a great story. Sitting down and writing can be tough, but it’s easier when you know there are many other people like you going through the same thing at the same time. So get involved and get writing today!

The Challenge

I’m setting you a specific challenge – to write 2,000 words of your very own fantasy novel by the end of next Monday, 3rd August. But I have some guidelines:

Since one of the most vital things about what makes a novel tick is the characters, I’d like you to write a scene which shows how one of your characters is morally conflicted i.e. a scene in which they’re torn between doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, or the wrong thing for the right reasons.

This could be a scene merely made up of a conversation between one or more other characters. It could show a character’s actions on a battlefield. It could be a tale of an assassin who shows mercy, or an honourable champion doing something terrible. It could have an epic fantasy feel, a coming-of-age feel or an urban fantasy feel. So long as it’s a fantasy scene which shows characters that are neither obviously good nor bad, it will fit the bill.

We hope this workshop inspires you to get writing – because that should be a highly rewarding experience in itself. But there is a competition element to this too.

The Competition

Once you’ve written your 2,000 word sample as per the above challenge, you can either just sit back and admire your work – or you can submit it into our competition. The Orbit team will read every submission that is entered (submissions must be a maximum of 2000 words). And along with the Orbit folk, I will be picking one entry to win a series of in-depth editorial sessions about their writing with myself and an Orbit editor.

This is your chance to have your writing read by industry experts and receive feedback that could set you on the path to writing your own bestselling fantasy novel. An entry form will be posted on this site on Friday 31st July, and entries can be submitted until the end of 3rd August.

Advice Along The Way

The Falcon Throne, an epic fantasy novel from Karen MillerI hope to be able to offer some helpful guidance over the coming week for any budding authors who get involved. My own writing career so far, from writing my debut THE INNOCENT MAGE (US | UK ) to my latest novel THE FALCON THRONE (US | UK | AUS), has been a wild ride. And if a new writer can be helped by something I’ve said, it will make all the hard work worthwhile.

Throughout this week I will be providing words of advice and encouragement on the Orbit site and on the Orbit Twitter feed (though there’s no requirement to be on Twitter to take part). Feel free to leave any questions or comments below, or use the hashtag #OrbitFantasyWorkshop to let us know how your writing is coming along. And if you’d like to ask any specific questions about writing during the week, you can ask me them directly in the Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session I’m doing this Wednesday. I’m here to help, so fire away!

Let’s get going!

So where to begin? The answer is to pick up your pen and start writing. And in order get your ideas in line, see my first piece of advice here on Writing Your First Fantasy Novel.

See details of the next stage here.

*Update* Submissions are now open here.

SWORDS AND SCOUNDRELS…Introducing the Duellists series by Julia Knight!

En garde! We have something very exciting in store for fantasy fans this Autumn . . .

Announcing the Duellists trilogy – a brand new adventure fantasy series from the hugely talented British author Julia Knight.

This year we’ll be releasing not just one, but all three books in this fast and furious series – full of ruffians, scoundrels and rogues . . . and more action than you can shake a very pointy stick at!

The three books are as follows:

SWORDS AND SCOUNDRELS (UK | US | ANZ) – October 2015

LEGENDS AND LIARS (UK | US | ANZ) – November 2015

WARLORDS AND WASTRELS (UK | US | ANZ) – December 2015

So what’s the series about? Well, it follows two former champion duellists, a brother and sister named Kacha and Vocho. They’re down on their luck – and have been forced to become reluctant highwaymen. But when they pick the wrong carriage to rob, their simple plan to win back fame and notoriety go south fast . . . and they’ll find themselves mixed up in a plan to reclaim a stolen throne.

Covers for the Duellists books by Julia Knight - Swords and Scoundrels, Legends and Liars and Warlords and Wastrels

The world-building in this series really draws you in and the dynamic between the characters is superb – I can’t wait for you guys to meet Kacha and Vocho. If you’re into the likes of Douglas Hulick, Scott Lynch and Brandon Sanderson then this will be right up your street. And what’s great is, you’ll be able to get your hands on the whole series fast!

Look below for more details and to see the covers in full. You can follow Julia on Twitter as @Knight_Julia and her series is available for pre-order now . . .
Read the rest of this entry »

Orbit launches a Fantasy Writing Workshop with Karen Miller

This summer, Orbit is launching an online fantasy writing workshop, hosted on OrbitBooks.net. It will be led by Karen Miller – the million-copy bestselling author who rose to fame with her debut The Innocent Mage, and whose most recent release is the critically acclaimed epic fantasy The Falcon Throne (UK | US | ANZ).

The free week-long event, which starts on 27th July 2015, will invite aspiring authors to take part in a communal online “write-along” challenge, during which they will each be encouraged to pen their own sample of a new fantasy novel. They will also be invited to submit this sample into a competition at the end of the week.

Miller will be kicking off the writing workshop by setting a writing challenge for aspiring fantasy authors on 27th July, and will be providing advice and words of encouragement throughout the week. She will also taking part in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session on 29th July, during which time participants will be able to put their own questions on writing to her.

Miller said: “One of the hardest things about starting a writing career is the feeling that you’re alone, that nobody understands what you’re going through, and that it’s really hard to figure out how to do it right! That’s why I’m so excited to share a little of what I’ve learned since I wrote my first fantasy novel. It’s been a wild ride, these past few years, and if a new writer can be helped by something I’ve said, it will make all the hard work worthwhile.”

Any aspiring authors interested in taking part should follow @OrbitBooks on Twitter and look for the hashtag #OrbitFantasyWorkshop for updates, or sign up to the Orbit newsletter here.

For further information contact gemma.conley-smith@littlebrown.co.uk or anna.jackson@littlebrown.co.uk

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