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Book Trailers: Love ’em? Hate ’em?

Author Marc Laidlaw has been giving thought to trailers for books lately. And he has some problems with the way they’ve been done. And, he has some ideas for how they could be done differently.

Accordingly, he tries his skills on Jesse Bullington’s THE SAD TALE OF THE BROTHERS GROSSBART. See what you think.

What would you want to see, in a book trailer? (Besides a refreshing absence of spoilers….)

Author post

“You want to know WHAT?”

When I ask friends and acquaintances about their specialties  so I can get the details in books right, usually it’s simple stuff.   Ask the naval historian who commanded the Adriatic Squadron in the early days of WWI, and out pops “Ernest Troubridge.”  Ask the martial arts enthusiast to show me how to disarm the fellow with the blaster, and I’m soon flat on the ground.     Read the rest of this entry »

The Engineer trilogy reissues — get your free extracts here

As well as some tempting frontlist books, January also brings Orbit UK some very handsome reissues of K. J. Parker’s Engineer trilogy. And free extracts are available here for all three books: Devices and Desires (click here for extract), Evil for Evil (extract here) and The Escapement (extract here).  The reissues will also be available via Orbit Australia from March. It’s great to see this trilogy getting a new lease of life as it’s received so much critical acclaim since its first publication. SFX deservedly called it ‘One of the finest fantasy trilogies of recent years,’ and I’ll leave you with a quote from Locus to further whet the appetite:

‘I was hooked from the very first scene … 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, guns and bowels, with a starting precision. Parker gets back to basics, the things that drive the oldest tales: love and war, hope and betrayal’


The Electric Church in One Minute

The date is drawing closer for the UK release of The Eternal Prison (UK/US/ANZ), the third novel in Jeff Somers’  fast and furious techno-thriller series, the Avery Cates sequence. By putting his genius video-making skills to use, Jeff has provided us with two handy bite-size films to remind you of the series so far in speedy fashion. Here we present the first: ‘The Electric Church in One Minute.’  (And for those poor misguided individuals who haven’t  sampled the sheer awesomeness of Avery Cates yet – no fear! Doesn’t feature too many spoilers…)

Stay tuned for ‘The Digital Plague in One Minute’!

Trudi Canavan wins Aurealis Award!

Fantastic news just in: The Magician’s Apprentice (AUS / UK / US) has won the 2010 Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel!

Many congratulations to Trudi – and, indeed, to all of the shortlisted authors in what was a very strong field.

Click on the image above to read an extract.

Interview with Sharon Tancredi, Illustrator of Tempest Rising

I wanted to direct you art fans out there over to an interview that the blog DarkFaerieTales.com did with one of my favorite Orbit illustrators, Sharon Tancredi. You’ll recognize Sharon’s work immediately if you’ve seen Nicole Peeler’s Jane True series. I’ve just received the art from Sharon for Jane True #3 and it’s fantastic! We’ll be launching the cover here soon. But for now, check out the interview and some of Sharon’s other work. (I love her fine art pieces.) Read the rest of this entry »

Sony options Jeff Somers!

Fantastic news: Sony have optioned the movie rights to Jeff Somers’ Avery Cates novels. A very wise move in our opinion, as there’s no doubt that these books would make the most awesomely full-throttle, kick-ass movies ever.

Read all about it here, and if you haven’t been lucky enough to experience the explosive, pedal-to-the-metal action-fests that are the Avery Cates novels yet, check out the third instalment, The Eternal Prison (UK/US/ANZ), released in February in the UK and Austalia, and already available in US. And while you’re at it, why not take a peek at our very attractive reissues of The Electric Church (UK/US/ANZ) and The Digital Plague (UK/US/ANZ).

Mike Cobley’s SF news frenzy

To follow on from Darren’s post, Michael Cobley has started his year with a bit of a roar. The mass market of Seeds of Earth was out yesterday. Then book two of this trilogy, The Orphaned Worlds is out in April (see the amazing cover, right) and Michael’s not slowing down any time soon …

He has a short story, Black Fragmentia, out in the latest edition of PS Publishing’s Postscripts Quarterly (PS 20/21). Then The Maker’s Mark (set in the Seeds of Earth universe) is to appear in Newcon Press’s Conflicts short story anthology, due out in February/March 2010. March will also see Michael at  Glasgow’s Aye Write festival as one of their featured authors. Amongst other things, he’ll be participating in a panel entitled ‘The Early Days of a Better Future’, along with other genre authors Ken Macleod, Richard Morgan, Hal Duncan and Debbie Miller. Then, in April, Michael will be at this year’s annual SF/F Eastercon convention where he’ll be chairing a couple of panels.

And lastly, as a treat for his fans, Michael is running a little competition to give away copies of the Seeds of Earth mass market edn. On ruminating his test question, Michael says he swung ‘between absurdly easy (how many letters are there in Greg’s surname and can you chew gum and walk at the same time?) or arcanely obscure (what is the Irish Gaelic translation of the 5th word on the 9th line on page 156?)’ but ultimately he went for something inbetween, and see here for more details. The deadline is 28th Jan … unless he changes it.

Looks like Michael has a busy Spring season ahead, and we’ll be keeping an eye on his rather stellar trajectory. Go Mike!

D is for The Deed of Paksenarrion

And D is for The Deed of Paksenarrion, an omnibus edition of Elizabeth Moon‘s much loved fantasy series. Comprising The Sheepfarmer’s Daughter, Divided Allegiance and Oath of Gold, this massive tome is a wonderful read in its own right but also serves to whet the appetite for Elizabeth’s first new fantasy in almost two decades. Oath of Fealty will be published in March, but meanwhile, you can discover for yourself what prompted praise like this:

‘Engrossing’ Anne McCaffrey 

‘A superlative fantasy trilogy’ Booklist

‘Elves, dark sorcery, and high chivalry … thrilling’ blogcritics.org 

and you can read an extract from The Deed of Paksenarrion here.

In Their Own Words: Robert Jackson Bennett on MR SHIVERS

Robert says:

When I first started writing Mr Shivers, I eventually realised that what I was trying to write was a mythology.

Myths are fundamentally part of our deep collective subconscious. They’re figures and stories that are instantly recognisable, buried so deep they’re practically ingrained in us. I wanted to use mythology of the Great Depression and Southern folklore, things we all could identify without thinking – Hoovervilles and dirt roads and bogwater ditches, ramshackle homes sitting abandoned in empty fields, and desperate drifters trekking across harsh countries. Overloaded Zephyrs and Fords trundling west, kicking up dust. The echo of blues and gospel music haunting the hobo camps, and trading liquor or tobacco for a knife or a place to sleep. And always the promise of greener pastures out there, hiding somewhere behind a stretch of the horizon.

I wanted to take that and mix it with an even older mythology. Something much more primal, much more savage. Maybe when these wanderers struck out for the West they stumbled across something in the far ranges. An old story that’d been going on since before time was time. Maybe they’d found a place where the very bones of the earth rose up and pierced the rock and the dust. And maybe there was something living in those bones, something that’d been making its home there and had just been returning after a long while abroad . . .

It was about then that I realised Mr Shivers had been wandering for a while, but it was about time someone set him to paper.

Mr Shivers [UK|US|AUZ] is available from all good booksellers now.

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