Posts Tagged ‘debut’

Acquisition Announcement: Eliza Chan’s Fathomfolk Makes a Splash at Orbit

An author photo of Eliza Chan, she is holding a notebook and looking into the camera. Photo by Sandi Hodkinson
Photo Credit: Sandi Hodkinson


We are delighted to announce that Orbit has acquired two books in a highly-anticipated fantasy series inspired by East Asian mythology and watery folk tales from British debut author Eliza Chan. Eliza has published various pieces of short fiction but Fathomfolk will be her first novel.

Alexander Cochran (C&W) sold world rights to Editorial Director Jenni Hill at Orbit, Little, Brown Book Group. Brit Hvide has acquired for Orbit US.

In Eliza’s duology, revolution is brewing in the semi-submerged city of Tiankawi, between humans and the fathomfolk—sirens, sea witches, kelpies, and kappas—who live in its waters. This debut fantasy is perfect for fans of Fonda Lee’s Jade City and Sarah J. Maas’s House of Earth and Blood.


Eliza says: “I am thrilled that Fathomfolk has found a home with Orbit. They have published so many groundbreaking, cherished favourites of mine over the years and I am gobsmacked to be within that number. I am looking forward to working with Jenni and Brit, knowing my flooded world is in the best hands.”

Jenni says: “Eliza is such a find, and I am so glad that she decided to choose Orbit as the home for her debut! Fathomfolk is simply irresistible: we loved Eliza’s charming characters, her depth of worldbuilding: there were literal squeals of glee in the Orbit editorial meeting when we discussed her work, from team members who will remain anonymous for dignity’s sake…”

Alex says: “I loved the rich and beautifully drawn world of Fathomfolk from the first moment I read Eliza’s work, and I’m absolutely delighted that she’s found such a brilliant editor and home in Jenni and the team at Orbit.”


For more information about Fathomfolk, please contact Orbit publicist Nazia Khatun (

Translation rights enquires should go to Jessica Perdue at Little, Brown Book Group (

Author photo credit: Sandi Hodkinson

About the author: Eliza Chan is a Scottish-born Chinese-diaspora author who ‘writes about East Asian mythology, British folklore and madwomen in the attic, but preferably all three at once’. Eliza’s work has been published in The Dark, Podcastle, Fantasy Magazine and The Best of British Fantasy 2019. She lives in the North of England with her partner and young child. Fathomfolk is her first novel. @elizawchan



Cover Launch: THE GUTTER PRAYER by Gareth Hanrahan

Set in a world of dark gods and dangerous magic, Gareth Hanrahan’s remarkable debut, THE GUTTER PRAYER (UK|US|ANZ), is set to be a must-read for fantasy fans in 2019. It will hit the shops early next year, and we’re thrilled to reveal the striking cover below.


Illustration by Richard Anderson
Design by Steve Panton


This thrilling and visceral debut is already generating some brilliant early buzz:

‘A gripping tale that meshes beautifully with its fascinating, darkly inventive setting’
James Islington, author of The Shadow of What Was Lost

‘A ground-breaking and extraordinary novel . . . Hanrahan has an astonishing imagination’
Peter McLean, author of Priest of Bones

‘Laced with the blackest of humour and packed with magic and mayhem, this is fantasy turned up to 11’
Anna Stephens, author of Godblind

‘An absolutely stunning debut . . . I loved it! Highly recommended ’
Michael R. Fletcher, author of Beyond Redemption

‘Beautifully written. Gripping. Guerdon is the city of my dreams’
Anna Smith Spark, author of The Court of Broken Knives



In the ancient city of Guerdon, three thieves – an orphan, a ghoul and a cursed man – are accused of a crime they didn’t commit. Their quest for revenge exposes a perilous conspiracy, the seeds of which were sown long before they were born.

A centuries-old magical war is on the verge of reigniting and in the tunnels deep below the city, a malevolent power stirs. Only by standing together can the three friends prevent a conflict that would bring total devastation to their city – and the world beyond.

Acquired: Madness, Mayhem, and K.S. Merbeth

Merbeth author photo 1Even after Mad Max: Fury Road has been in theaters for months, people still cannot stop talking about it — the amazing world, the non-stop action and best of all, the strong female main character. So what better than to acquire a book perfect for fans of that kind of post-apocalyptic madness and mayhem?

BITE by K.S. Merbeth is a dark debut with an edge of black humor that will sweep you off your feet:

“Need a ride?”

Kid has no name, no family and no survival skills whatsoever. But that hasn’t stopped her from striking out on her own in the wasteland that the world has become.

But when Kid accepts a ride from two strangers, she suddenly becomes the newest member of a bloodthirsty raider crew. Dragged on a messy chase, through shoot-outs and severed limbs, the group must outrun everyone they’ve wronged. But in a world that’s lost its humanity, not everything is as it seems and this time it isn’t monsters that crave flesh….

Debut author K.S. Merbeth paints a world that is both fascinating and unnervingly possible. Acquired by Orbit in a two-book deal from Emmanuelle Morgan at Stonesong, this blockbuster will hit shelves summer 2016!

Meet the author of BATTLEMAGE: Stephen Aryan!

photo by Hannah Webster, copyright Stephen AryanOrbit recently acquired a debut epic fantasy trilogy by British author Stephen Aryan. The first book in the series, BATTLEMAGE, tells the story of mages treated as living weapons during a war between empires. It’s chock full of magic, scheming and truly epic battle scenes as these mages fight hard for an army that fears and distrusts them.

We’re sure you’re curious to meet the newest addition to Orbit, so we’ve created a mini-interview here with Stephen where you can get to know each other!

JH: Hi Stephen! Welcome to the Orbit gang!

SA: It’s a gang?

JH: Yep, we hang around on street corners, publishing books and scaring the neighbours. So what can you tell us about BATTLEMAGE, your very first novel?

SA: It’s an epic fantasy story set during a massive war and told from three main points of view; the front line warriors, the Heads of State and Generals conducting the war, and the Battlemages, wizards trained to fight and kill with their magic. Expect chopping off of limbs, political and espionage shenanigans, and black humour.

JH: Magicians, witches, wizards, we’ve read about them before – what’s different about your Battlemages?

SA: They’re a dying breed and are in demand all over the world. The Grey Council, the people in charge of magical training, abandoned their post years ago: the result is the majority of those born with a sensitivity to magic receive no training at all. Some have a little, which makes them unstable and, quite possibly, explosive as they don’t know how to control their power. Accidents happen quite often which has made a lot of people afraid of magic. So Battlemages are both feared and respected because they have immense power that makes them seem superhuman to most people, but they’re also necessary.

JH: Which books and authors influenced you in the writing of this series?

SA: The Earthsea novels by Ursula Le Guin was one early influence, which focus on Ged, a wizard who has several painful events that shape him as an adult. The other series that really made me think about wizards and magic were the Belgariad and the Malloreon novels by David Eddings. In both series there are only a handful of really powerful magic users who are also demi-gods and they walk that fine line between using their power to guide and protect humanity versus letting events run their natural course. LEGEND by David Gemmell was a big influence in terms of characterisation and my approach to story. Also the the work of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, in particular their Dragonlance novels, as they have magic, non-human races and diverse characters which I have in my books as well.

JH: If there’s one reason that readers should be looking forward to BATTLEMAGE, it is:

SA: Only one? Hmm, because it’s a rollicking good story with plenty of action, memorable characters, epic battles and a sense of humour throughout.

BATTLEMAGE will be out in October 2015, with the sequels to follow six months after. If you’d like to hear more from Stephen in the meantime, you can follow him on twitter at @SteveAryan or check out his website.