Wishlists at the ready, it’s that time of year again! Orbit is incredibly proud to present a selection of covers from this autumn to winter in 2015. There is plenty more incredible cover art yet to be released, but for now enjoy this brilliant preview of what’s to come later this year and early next.
Which new books are on the top of your list?
Click on the covers below to see a larger version.
We’re proud to release the cover of the fifth Alex Verus novel by Benedict Jacka, designed by Ceara Elliot. HIDDEN will be released in September 2014, but until then you can catch up with probability mage Alex Verus in the first four novels, FATED (UK|ANZ), CURSED (UK|ANZ), TAKEN (UK|ANZ) and the recently released CHOSEN (UK|ANZ).
Happy publication day to Benedict Jacka! The latest Alex Verus novel, CHOSEN (UK|ANZ), is released today, after much anticipation from the fans!
Alex Verus, the Camden-based mage who just can’t stay out of trouble despite his ability to see the future, returns in CHOSEN, when someone comes looking for revenge for deeds Alex commited in his past, as an apprentice to the Dark mage Richard Drakh . . .
See Benedict talk about CHOSEN’s moral abiguity here in John Scalzi’s The Big Idea: ‘In FATED, CURSED and TAKEN, Alex had gotten into quite a few fights, but not because he wanted to – it had usually been a case of self-defence. But what would he do if someone was coming after him for a justified reason? What if they wanted him dead for something that really was his fault?’
Alex Verus has a considerable number of readers rooting for him, including Harry Dresden author Jim Butcher and Laundry Files author Charles Stross, so let’s hope he survives the experience!
Harry Dresden would like Alex Verus tremendously – and be a little nervous around him. I just added Benedict Jacka to my must-read list.”
– Jim Butcher
Whoop-ass excitement from the new master of magical London”
In September we release CHOSEN (UK|ANZ), the fourth Alex Verus urban fantasy novel from Benedict Jacka. In an interview below, another Orbit fantasy star Francis Knight (author of FADE TO BLACK – UK|US|ANZ, and the soon-to-be-released BEFORE THE FALL –UK|US|ANZ) finds out more about the writing of this highly popular series . . .
Francis Knight: So, Alex Verus, wizard in London. I suppose certain comparisons are inevitable, if a bit easy. So who and/or what were your inspirations for this series? I know when I start, the first idea generally morphs into something bigger. What was the initial spark, the first ‘what if…’ that led to the book becoming reality?
Benedict Jacka:The Alex Verus setting is an adult version of a YA setting that I’ve been using on and off for almost 15 years – the whole mage world and the magic types was something I first came up with back in 2000-ish. Between 2000 and 2008 I wrote four YA books in the setting, all with teenagers as the main characters who all had elemental powers of some kind. None of the books got published, so I kept giving up and shelving the series and trying something else.
In 2009 I decided to pull out the setting yet again to give it another shot, with an adult main character this time. I was getting dissatisfied with the elemental mages as protagonists, though, and at some point I had the idea of using a protagonist whose abilities were information-based instead of brute force. The rest of the story snowballed from there!(more…)
Next week sees the release of the fantasy novel BEFORE THE FALL (UK|US|ANZ), the second Rojan Dizon novel by Francis Knight (following FADE TO BLACK – UK|US|ANZ).
Below, another Orbit fantasy star Benedict Jacka, author highly popular Alex Verus novels, interviews Francis on the towering fantasy world of Mahala . . .
Benedict Jacka: One way to describe the Rojan Dizon books would be dark fantasy – how did you end up moving into that genre, and what’s it like to write in compared to other things you’ve done in the past?
Francis Knight: By accident! It started off as an antidote to what I had been writing – romance – and went from there. I like to challenge myself each time I start something new, and this was it. Every genre has its restraints, and I wanted to explore not-so-nice “heroes” and not-so-Happy-Ever-After endings and lots of other things that a romance reader might be very disappointed to find in her book! In particular I wanted to explore how being a not particularly nice chap doesn’t have to prevent you from doing the right thing.
BJ: How difficult do you find it to write a protagonist of the opposite sex? Do you find yourself asking guys for advice on how a male character would react in a particular scene you’re writing?
FK:The first time it was hard, I have to say. I actually find I prefer it nowadays. It’s a lot easier to separate my characters from me for a start! Also I love trying to get inside a guy’s head, see what makes them tick. I do sometimes ask husband/male friends/betas for advice about whether a guy would do X – but it’s just not that simple. It’s not about whether he’s a guy or not, it’s about who he is. Some guys would do one thing, and others would do the opposite. They’re still both guys.
BJ: So, the scenes in Fade to Black which go into detail on exactly what Rojan and the other pain-mages do to themselves to fuel their pain magic . . . did you deliberately make them wince-inducing or did it just work out that way?
FK: I actually tried not to be too graphic there, but it was necessary to show something, I think, or it wouldn’t have been honest. There’s a fine line between glossing over something important and showing graphic things that are unnecessary. Of course, that line is going to be different for everyone. I inferred more than I showed (I think/hope), but that goes for lots of things. (more…)
Spring is almost here but we’re already looking forward to summer and autumn 2013! That’s because we’ve got some amazing books coming up for the rest of this year with freshly designed covers to share with you. This isn’t our whole list of published titles for the year – just the covers we think you might not have seen before.
Click on the individual cover images below to see the larger version and let us know your favourites!
Last night some of the Orbit team enjoyed a fun evening with various authors, readers, reviewers and publishing folk at Goldsboro Books in London. ‘Magic in the Court’ featured bestselling author Deborah Harkness and a number of other notable urban fantasists, including Orbit’s very own Benedict Jacka, who was celebrating the release of his new Alex Verus novel TAKEN [UK | ANZ].
Speeches were made by David Headley (Director and owner of Goldsboro Books) and Deborah Harkness, drinks were consumed and a fine time was had by all. Many thanks to Headline and to Goldsboro owners David and Daniel for a wonderful evening.
TAKEN is the third novel featuring probability mage Alex Verus – a seer who runs a magic shop in North London when he isn’t busy fighting scheming otherworldly forces – and is out now (signed copies are available at Goldsboro Books).
Welcome to Fountain Reach Ancient seat of the Aubuchon dynasty Majestic setting of the White Stone tournament
Alex Verus’s (not necessarily reliable) reputation attracts all sorts. Most are plain bonkers. Yet there’s one invitation he just can’t refuse.
At Fountain Reach, Alex is perfectly placed among the noted and notorious to figure out why apprentices have been vanishing. But the tournament is a minefield of ancient grudges and new threats, and Alex can’t afford to miss a trick as his elusive adversary stays one step ahead in this most dangerous of games.
The first two Alex Verus books, FATED [UK | ANZ] and CURSED [UK | ANZ] have already caused a serious buzz amongst urban fantasy fans.
FATED is an excellent example of not just great urban fantasy but also of brilliant story telling. There is a near perfect mix of everything and it has been masterfully crafted with a meticulous eye for those pieces of humanity that make a great protagonist and a fantastic story” – FANTASY FACTION
“Jacka follows his urban fantasy debut, FATED, with an even more impressive tale of gunplay and spellcraft in present-day London . . . Readers will savor this tasty blend of magic, explosions, and moral complexity” – PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY (starred review)
TAKEN has already earned similar praise:
Alex Verus is back in his best adventure to date. Author Benedict Jacka has found his feet and delivers a ripping, action packed novel that’s an indulgent treat for urban fantasy fans” – BOOKBAG
There’s no chance of a face-off between Alex Verus and Harry Dresden though, as Jim Butcher has confirmed he’s a huge fan:
Harry Dresden would like Alex Verus tremendously – and be a little nervous around him. I just added Benedict Jacka to my must-read list. FATED is an excellent novel, a gorgeously-realized world with a uniquely powerful, vulnerable protagonist. Books this good remind me why I got into the storytelling business in the first place.
Benedict Jacka can be found on the internet both at his website and on Twitter. You can read an extract from FATED here, while the fascinating discussion that Benedict had recently with Jim Butcher can be found here.
Benedict will be attending Fantasycon at the end of September, so do come and find him to say hello! Benedict’s schedule is as follows:
Friday 28th September – (2pm-3pm, FITZHERBERT ROOM) – ‘Blurring the Genre Boundaries’.
Saturday 29th September (10am-11am, RUSSELL ROOM) – ‘Fantasy Fiction: Keeping it Real?’, plus a reading at 8 pm.
Benedict will also be involved in the Portsmouth Literary Festival on 30th October, as part of a panel discussion entitled ‘Urban Fantasy and the City Setting’, with fellow Orbit authors Jon Courtenay Grimwood and Kate Griffin, as well as Ben Aaronovitch.
Everyone’s favourite Probability Mage, Alex Verus, returns in September with the publication of TAKEN [UK | ANZ] – his most dangerous adventure yet. A wonderful buzz has been building around this series, which began in March with FATED [UK | ANZ] and continued last month with CURSED [UK | ANZ]. Perfect for fans of Jim Butcher and Ben Aaronovitch, TAKEN will cement Benedict Jacka’s status as a rising star of urban fantasy.
Here’s the cover, courtesy of our talented designers Nick Castle and Sian Wilson.
TAKEN is out in paperback and ebook on 6 September 2012.
It’s been a long time coming, but the wait is finally over! Orbit UK published FATED (UK | ANZ) yesterday in the UK and our international markets. FATED is the first book in Benedict Jacka’s superb urban fantasy series starring probability mage Alex Verus. FATED and the series are already off to a running start, with an enthusiastic Jim Butcher giving it the thumbs up in this online conversation with Benedict Jacka, as well as Patricia Briggs saying that FATED is ‘a deft, thrill-ride of an urban fantasy – a stay-up-all-night read. Alex Verus is a very smart man surviving in a very dangerous world.’
I’m very proud and happy to be Benedict Jacka’s UK editor, and although it’s felt like a very long time to wait to bring you this book, I hope you enjoy it too. If you are a fan of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series or Ben Aaronovitch’s RIVERS OF LONDON, I think you’re going to love Alex Verus and FATED. You can read the first chapter here.
There is a hidden, magical London that is all around, yet often remains unseen . . . and for good reason, since it’s a dangerous place. This Thursday, Forbidden Planet are celebrating this other London, by hosting a signing session with urban fantasists Kate Griffin and Benedict Jacka. The signing will take place at Forbidden Planet’s London store on Shaftesbury Avenue from 6 – 7 pm.
Kate Griffin will be signing her new novel THE MINORITY COUNCIL (UK | US | ANZ), the fourth book in her urban fantasy series featuring resurrected sorcerer Matthew Swift.
Matthew Swift, the Midnight Mayor, is in charge. He hopes. And London is having some issues. The new drug on the market is fairy dust and it turns humans into walking drug labs. Teenage vandals are being hunted by a mystical creature and ordinary criminals are dying by magical means. If Swift is going to save London from a rising tide of blood, he will have to learn – and fast – what it really means to be Midnight Mayor.
Kate has swiftly (bad pun fully intended) built a dedicated fanbase with her tales of a hidden London forged from urban myths, legends and magic. The critical acclaim has been equally impressive:
NEVERWHERE for the digital age . . . The best novelists transcend genre and Griffin’s excellent Matthew Swift sequence, which tells of an eldritch and fantastical London, proves this point” SFX
“Few can claim to share the same level of creativity and individual style as Griffin” SCIFI NOW
Benedict Jacka will be a new name to many of you, but it won’t stay that way for long. Fresh from his panel appearance at the SFX Weekender, he will be signing copies of FATED – a debut novel that reveals him to be a major new talent in urban fantasy, and a book perfect for fans of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files and Ben Aaronovitch’s RIVERS OF LONDON.
Camden, North London. A tangled, mangled junction of train lines, roads and waterways. Where minor celebrities hang out with minor criminals and where tourists and moody teenagers mingle. In the heart of Camden, where rail meets road meets leyline, you might find the Arcana Emporium, run by one Alex Verus. He won’t sell you a wand or mix you a potion, but if you know what you’re looking for, he might just be able to help. That’s if he’s not too busy avoiding his would-be apprentice, foiling the Dark, outwitting the Light and investigating a mysterious relic that has just turned up at the British Museum.
Sunday Times bestselling author, Jim Butcher, is already a dedicated fan:
Harry Dresden would like Alex Verus tremendously – and be a little nervous around him. I just added Benedict Jacka to my must-read list. FATED is an excellent novel, a gorgeously realized world with a uniquely powerful, vulnerable protagonist. Books this good remind me why I got into the storytelling business in the first place”
FATED (UK | ANZ) will be followed by CURSED (June 2012) and TAKEN (September 2012). Be sure to get in on the ground floor of what promises to be the next huge urban fantasy series.
Both Kate Griffin and Benedict Jacka can be found online; Kate’s website is here, and Benedict’s smart new web presence is here.