Posts Tagged ‘Jim Butcher’

CHOSEN: Out Today From Benedict Jacka

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”

– Charles Stross on CHOSEN

Banner shows the Alex Verus series: magical London urban fantasy by Benedict Jacka

Listen to COLD DAYS by Jim Butcher

We’ve released the paperback and audio editions of Jim Butcher’s COLD DAYS (UK|ANZ) today, the latest novel in the Dresden Files. To celebrate the release, we thought we’d share an audio extract!

COLD DAYS is read on audiobook by James Marsters (known to some of us as ‘Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer’), who makes an absolutely excellent Harry Dresden. Listen to James do his stuff here:

Ian Tregillis in conversation with Charlie Stross on The Laundry Files

The Coldest War - the second novel in the Milweed Triptych following BITTER SEEDS, a fantasy series featuring superhumand and dark magic, and earning comparisons with Charles Stross's Laundry Files novelsThis week sees the release of THE COLDEST WAR (UK | ANZ) , the second novel in Ian Tregillis’s landmark series, the Milkweed Triptych. The trilogy began with BITTER SEEDS (UK | ANZ) and concludes with the forthcoming NECESSARY EVIL (UK | ANZ).

These novels feature a secret history of Twentieth Century conflicts in which scientifically-enhanced superhumans and dark magic collide. The result is described by Fantasy Faction as ‘oh-so compelling, fascinating and frighteningly convincing’ and by Cory Doctorow  as, ‘some of the best – and most exciting – alternate history I’ve read. Bravo.’

The Apocalypse Codex, a Landry Files novel by Charles StrossIt’s possible to draw a few parallels between the themes in the Milkweed novels and Charles Stross’s highly popular Laundry Files (including the recent THE APOCALYPSE CODEX – UK | ANZ) – a series of science fiction spy thrillers featuring Bob Howard, once an IT geek, now a field agent working for a British government agency dealing with occult threats. They’re what SFX calls ‘beautifully handled, believable and well envisioned – a highly enjoyable bit of spy-fi.’

For that reason we were really interested to hear these two exceptionally clever Orbit authors in conversation about their series. The results are below!

Ian: In an afterword to THE ATROCITY ARCHIVES (“Inside the Fear Factory”) you mention that while writing the first Laundry novel you were advised to avoid Tim Powers’s novel DECLARE.  And that later you were made aware of the Delta Green supplement to The Call of Cthulhu RPG, which again resides in a similar neighborhood.

Bitter Seeds - the first novel in the Milweed Triptych, a fantasy series featuring superhumand and dark magic, and earning comparisons with Charles Stross's Laundry Files novels(After BITTER SEEDS debuted, people assumed I had been influenced by DECLARE, Delta Green, *and* the Laundry novels!  But, like you with DECLARE, I wanted to avoid cross-contamination. So I didn’t dive into THE ATROCITY ARCHIVES until after I turned in THE COLDEST WAR, at which point I was 2/3 through the Milkweed trilogy and the story was on a ballistic trajectory.)

But of course even Powers wasn’t the first to marry espionage and the occult – Dennis Wheatley’s novel THEY USED DARK FORCES first appeared in 1964, and Katherine Kurtz‘s LAMMAS NIGHT was published in 1983, as just two examples.

In the above-mentioned afterword, you make a strong case for why it’s natural to blend horror, the occult, and espionage.  So is this an idea that’s continually bubbling into the aether to be rediscovered by other writers?  Or have we reached the point where we’re having a conversation within an actual subgenre?

Charlie: It is indeed an actual subgenre! Or maybe a sub-subgenre: a corner of that section of urban fantasy that is preoccupied with the interaction between agents of the state and the occult. (more…)

RT Book Review’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards

RT Book Reviews has revealed the full set of nominees for the 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards, and a number of Orbit books are among them. Congratulations to all the nominees!

Science Fiction Novel

  • THE HYDROGEN SONATA by Iain. M. Banks (US | UK | ANZ)
  • BLACKOUT by Mira Grant (US | UK | ANZ)

THE HYDROGEN SONATA US cover BLACKOUT cover

Fantasy Novel

  • THE SHADOWED SUN by N.K. Jemisin (US | UK | ANZ)

THE SHADOWED SUN cover

Epic Fantasy Novel

  • SEVEN PRINCES by John R. Fultz (US | UK | ANZ)
  • SHARPS by K.J. Parker (US | UK | ANZ)

SEVEN PRINCES cover SHARPS cover

Urban Fantasy Novel

  • 13 by Kelley Armstrong (UK | ANZ)
  • BLUE-BLOODED VAMP by Jaye Wells (US | UK | ANZ)

THIRTEEN cover BLUE-BLOODED VAMP cover

Urban Fantasy Protagonist

  • TEMPEST’S FURY by Nicole Peeler (US | UK | ANZ)

TEMPEST'S FURY cover TEMPEST'S FURY UK cover

Urban Fantasy Worldbuilding

  • COLD DAYS by Jim Butcher (UK | ANZ)

COLD DAYS cover

ARALORN & Mercy Thompson pin-up calendar!

Aralorn, an omnibus edition of two fantasy novels from Patricia Briggs, author of the Mercy Thompson booksTomorrow sees the release of ARALORN (UK | ANZ) from the multi-talented Patricia Briggs. It’s an omnibus edition of two gripping fantasy novels: Masques and Wolfsbane.

Aralorn’s a shapeshifter who rejects her noble birthright to live a life of adventure as a mercenary spy. (Check out the blurb here!)

I loved these novels and I’m pretty sure anyone who likes the Mercy Thompson books will really enjoy this too. Aralorn might be living in a different age to Mercy Thompson, but rest assured – she’s just as badass . . .

And speaking of Mercy Thompson, check out her recently released hot pic that will feature in an upcoming in this literary pin-up calendar. It’s drawn by the artistic genius Lee Moyer.

Image of Mercy Thompson, a character from Patricia Briggs' novels, featured in a literary pin-up calendar drawn by Lee Moyer and organised by Patrick Rothfuss
Image by Lee Moyer

The calendar’s being arranged by Patrick Rothfuss, and via his own charity Worldbuilders, the proceeds are going to a very worthwhile cause: Heifer International, who work with communities to end hunger and poverty throughout the world.

These calendars are going to be very sought after indeed, featuring twelve sizzling-hot babes from the novels of some of the most popular fantasy authors around – such as Jim Butcher, Neil Gaiman, Charlaine Harris, Jacqueline Carey, Terry Pratchett, George R. R. Martin, Robin Hobb and N. K. Jemisin.

So it looks like Mercy and her trusty cross wrench will be in good company . . .

Cover Launch: COLD DAYS by Jim Butcher

In November we’re thrilled to be publishing COLD DAYS [UK | ANZ] – the latest Harry Dresden novel from New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author, Jim Butcher.

We’ll talk excitedly about COLD DAYS nearer the time of release, but for now here’s the wonderfully atmospheric cover:

A man in a hat holding a gun, against a snowy background

COLD DAYS publishes on 29 November 2012 in both hardback and ebook formats.

Meet Jim Butcher’s new friends Benedict Jacka and Alex Verus

The first Alex Verus novelIt’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.

 

GHOST STORY launch and competition

We’ve been counting the days until we can unleash Jim Butcher’s Ghost Story (UK | ANZ) onto the world — and publication day is at last upon us. And you can catch the first four chapters here before you rush out, waving your arms around, to get the new book!

We also have some great GIVEAWAYS, in the shape of five signed hardback cover proofs and five A3 print-outs of front cover artwork. Full terms/conditions plus pictures of the great stuff itself are here and to enter just fill in the small form below this post and click submit. And it’s for UK residents only! Lastly, if you didn’t catch the great mini interview with Jim Butcher on Harry Dresden, plus rereads of the entire series, these are here.

Early reviews have been rightfully amazing too, and we couldn’t agree more …

The Dresden Files defines all odds by getting better and better … If you love Urban Fantasy drop everything to catch up now. There is no other UF series that comes close”
GavReads.co.uk

Ghost Story is a wonderful addition to the Dresden Files series … one of the most consistently well-written urban fantasy series in existence”
LoveVampires.com

“This stunning, exciting series entry with its heart-stopping action will shock and thrill”
Library Journal

‘Fans will be gratified … plot twists and high-stakes combat with an assortment of supernatural beings”
Publishers Weekly

 

Jim Butcher on Harry Dresden

We are enormously excited that Ghost Story is out THIS THURSDAY and we hope a lot of you are too!!!

To start launch week on a real high note and to keep you going for just a few days longer, we asked Jim Butcher himself a few questions about his biggest creation…

Did you always know Harry’s grizzly fate (thinking of his ghostly nature by Ghost Story) or do his adventures evolve for you organically as you write?

Oh, I knew from the get-go that I was going to kill him at some point — and then make him solve his own murder. That’s just how the universe seems to treat the poor guy. : ) There are some story events that are fixed in my mind — mostly the large-scale stuff, such as the war with the Red Court, the rise of the Fomor, and the oncoming events of the story’s endgame. The fluid organic things tend to be very personal matters — Dresden’s friends, his family, and especially his romantic relationships.

Do you sometimes find yourself slipping into the Harry Dresden character when say at the supermarket? What would he buy?!

Nah, I’m not Harry Dresden and not much like him, except maybe when he’s screwing up somehow. : ) Getting into character is something that happens after several minutes at the keyboard, and it doesn’t really intrude on the rest of my life.

Dresden buys bachelor chow — things you can prepare by popping in the oven for a few minutes, or maybe by boiling a little water — and which are not too expensive. He’s never really had an expansive budget. : )

Who is your favourite minor character and why?

Butters, I think. He was supposed to be a one-off character when I first designed him, a kind of wacky ME that provided a little color and humor while I was dishing out some grisly details about a murder. But I liked the guy so much, I had to give him a job, and now he’s become part of the regular cast. Butters is such a contrast of clueless and spooky-smart, and while he’s never going to be a studly hero, he’s never going to leave a friend in the lurch, either. I just like the guy.

What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked about the Dresden Files series?

“How do I get in touch with the real White Council?”

Followed closely by a statement: “I’m from the real White Council, and we aren’t pleased with what you’re doing.”

Finally, could you give us one little-known fact about Harry and his world?

Harry loves horses! He doesn’t get to ride much anymore, but when he was living with Ebenezar on his farm in the Ozarks, they went riding all the time. Granted, given his size, it might be fair to say that horses don’t like him nearly as much as he likes them, but I wouldn’t want to be presumptuous about the opinions of Equine-Americans.

Thanks Jim!

Jim Butcher’s all-new Dresden Files novel is out this week (27th July). If you haven’t already met Harry Dresden, check out our quick rereads to the rest of the series below:

STORM FRONT
FOOL MOON
GRAVE PERIL
SUMMER KNIGHT
DEATH MASKS
BLOOD RITES
DEAD BEAT
PROVEN GUILTY
WHITE NIGHT
SMALL FAVOUR
TURN COAT
CHANGES

CHANGES by Jim Butcher: A Dresden Files reread

Mark Yon has been a reviewer and web administrator at SFFWorld, one of the world’s biggest genre forum sites, for nearly ten years. He has also been on the David Gemmell Awards organisation committee for the last two years. In this series of rereads, Mark will guide us below through the whole of Jim Butcher’s fabulous Dresden Files series as we count down to the new hardback Ghost Story at the end of July.
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Changes: a Dresden Files novel by Jim Butcher.

Here is, as the title would suggest, where everything changes. This is the Dresden equivalent of Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls, or of the Battle of Minas Tirith. This is one where Jim rips up what has gone before, and makes, in many ways, a fresh start. Many of our previous reference points are removed here — this book really does transform things in the Dresden world.

As I’ve said before, the Dresden books have a reputation of starting with a bang. This one is pretty outstanding:
‘I answered the phone, no big deal, until I heard the message: ‘They’ve taken our daughter.’

The phone call is from Susan Rodriguez, his ex-girlfriend who was turned into a vampire by the Red Court back in Death Masks. Harry is told about the daughter he didn’t know, Maggie, kept in secret from Harry for her protection. And then that Arianna Ortega, Duchess of the Red Court, has found out about her, kidnapped her and plans to use Maggie against Harry. Arianna is out for revenge following the death of her husband, an action precipitated by Harry.

Over the next three days Harry’s task, with Susan and half-vampire Martin, is to find his daughter and save her from Queen Arianna and the evil vampires!

Simple? Well, when Arianna initiates the kidnapping, she also simultaneously proposes a peace settlement between the vampire Red Court and the Wizards: something that would be greatly desired by the exhausted Wizard Council. Thus given a choice of saving Harry’s daughter or ending the war, the Wizards’ activities seem most concerned with ending the War – exactly Arianna’s point. (more…)