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Fantastic Women

Orbit author Karen Miller, whose novel The Innocent Mage was published by Orbit UK in April and will be published by Orbit US in September, has started a programme of interviews with female speculative fiction writers on her Livejournal — the first in the ‘Fantastic Women’ series is an interview with Glenda Larke, whose book Heart of the Mirage is published by Orbit UK next month.

Link Roundup

Blogger Graeme Flory has just reviewed Fiona McIntosh’s Odalisque, which Orbit UK publishes this month. He says of it: “I found myself racing through the book to find out how it ended and now I want to read more. McIntosh has created a cast of characters that get under your skin and stay there; relationships are vividly drawn and made this reader want to work through to their conclusions.” You can read the rest of his review here, and there’s also a competition to win one of ten signed copies.

Micro-blogging tool Twitter seems to be the web application everyone’s talking about at the moment. If you’re using it, you can follow updates to this site through our Twitter page.

Finally, Orbit readers in South Africa may be interested in the Fantasy Feast, a special promotion being run through August and September at the Reader’s Paradise bookshop in Cape Town.

A History of Vengeance

At her newly redesigned site, Lilith Saintcrow writes about the inspirations for the Dante Valentine series.

Originally she came from several piecemeal sources. I was watching a lot of the first Kill Bill movie and a wonderful Roman Polanski movie based on an Arturo Perez-Reverte novel, The Ninth Gate, not to mention watching a lot of Seven Samurai. (I’m a big Kurosawa fan.) Danny has a katana because, well, what else does a samurai have? Edged metal and honor. She’s my answer to Toshiro Mifune, I guess.

Other cinematic inspirations? Lady Vengeance, Lady Snowblood, and La Femme Nikita.

Click here to read the article on Lilith’s blog.

Priestess of the Write: An Interview with Trudi Canavan

Trudi Canavan

Trudi Canavan
(photo: Paul Ewins)

The extraordinary, and fantastically gripping, conclusion to Trudi Canavan’s Age of the Five trilogy, Voice of the Gods, was published last week by Orbit UK. To mark the conclusion of her second trilogy, Trudi was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions that we had about her writing, her life and what’s coming up next . . .

The publication of Voice of the Gods will mark the completion of your second trilogy. How do you think your life and your writing have changed between when The Black Magician trilogy was published and now?

Aside from moving house three times, and going from different levels of broke to having financial security, there’s a structure to the future that I’m not used to having. Having been self-employed for over a decade, I was used to not knowing what I’d be doing in a year or two. Now I plan my future in book series.

Read the rest of this entry »

Stross on the BBC

Charles Stross

Charles Stross
(photo: Charlie Hopkinson)

Orbit UK author Charles Stross has contributed a piece to the BBC website, published today. It’s a fascinating look at the effect that increased data storage will have on history and memory:

We’ve had agriculture for about 12,000 years, towns for eight to 10,000 years, and writing for about 5,000 years. But we’re still living in the dark ages leading up to the dawn of history.

Don’t we have history already, you ask? Well actually, we don’t. We know much less about our ancestors than our descendants will know about us.

Indeed, we’ve acquired bad behavioural habits — because we’re used to forgetting things over time. In fact, collectively we’re on the edge of losing the ability to forget.

You can read the rest of the piece here.

Odalisque Video

Odalisque book coverThis month, Orbit UK is publishing Odalisque, the start of a new series by Fiona McIntosh. It’s a dark novel set in a world of Byzantine manoeuvres and courtly intrigue — Interzone commented in their review: “I approached her new book Odalisque, set in the city-state of Percheron, with high expectations. They were more than justified . . . a beautifully structured novel, full of cruelty, wonder, mystery and terror. It has a splendid momentum that holds its audience through thick and thin. Fiona McIntosh goes from strength to strength. This is a dazzling start to her Percheron series.”

Fiona was in the UK on holiday last week, and in between sightseeing managed to get in a number of signings at bookshops in London: particular thanks to Stef at Waterstone’s 19-23 Oxford Street, Jon at Borders Oxford Street, Lee at Borders Charing Cross Road and C.J. at Waterstone’s Trafalgar Square. However, we also arranged for Fiona to make a short video about Odalisque, and you can see it on our YouTube page.

General Contact Unit “Recent Convert”

Looking forward to the publication of Matter by Iain M. Banks next year (from Orbit in both the UK and US) I’ve been surfing the huge and helpful body of websites on the Culture, and happened on this comprehensive Wikipedia entry listing the ships of the Culture. They include the General Contact Unit “Well I Was In The Neighbourhood”, the Offensive Unit “All Through With This Niceness And Negotiation Stuff” and, my favorite, the Demilitarized Rapid Offensive Unit “Resistance Is Character-Forming”.

Saturn Returns Review and Competition

Saturn Returns by Sean WilliamsThere’s a great review of Sean Williams’ Saturn Returns, recently published by Orbit UK, at Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review. Graeme concludes that it “ties up enough loose ends to give a satisfying sense of closure while leaving the broader plot strands to run on into later books . . . I think this will shape up to be one of the better sci-fi series that are out there.”

Graeme is also running a competition to win one of ten signed copies of the book — just visit his website for more details. But do hurry — entries need to be in by Monday 9 July.

Readers in the UK can find Saturn Returns in good bookshops, including Waterstone’s, where it’s being promoted as the SF Bookseller’s Choice for July.

Orbit at the ALA

Jo Graham

Jo Graham
(photo: Robert Walters)

Wilda Williams at Library Journal reports here on a lunch hosted by Orbit at the ALA (American Library Association) Convention in Washington D.C. recently. It was great to have the chance to talk with so many librarians and journalists about our launch list and publishing strategy, and hear about some of the issues and challenges they face.

And I got to meet Jo Graham, author of Black Ships, for the first time. She’s fantastic. She spoke wonderfully about her debut novel and read the opening pages beautifully. Everybody wanted more — but they’ll have to wait! Also got to see the White House for the first time — but Jo was the highlight of the day for me.

Dark Space Review Redux

Dark Space by Marianne de PierresLast month, Paul Raven wrote a terrific review of Marianne de Pierres’ new book Dark Space for online magazine Scalpel, which sadly folded shortly afterwards. However, it’s good to report that Paul’s review has found a new home at T3A Space. Paul describes it as: “very dark. Unflinchingly so; it’s a complex and exciting novel, almost devoid of cheap sentiment and comfortable vindication. It’s not a cheerful read, but it is a very rewarding one. It’s always a joy to find intelligent and exciting space opera; to find it being written by a woman unafraid to bring her own perspective to a traditionally masculine genre, doubly so.”

Read the rest of the review here.

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