Posts Tagged ‘Stan Nicholls’

Acquisition announcement: THE GREY BASTARDS by Jonathan French

Jonathan French, author of gritty fantasy The Grey Bastards

Orbit UK has acquired rights to The Grey Bastards plus a sequel by US author Jonathan French.

It’s a wild and gritty epic fantasy debut that invites you to enter the world of orcs and half-orcs – as you’ve never seen them before . . .

You might have heard of The Grey Bastards because it won Mark Lawrence’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off 2016 – meaning that a panel of ten top fantasy bloggers picked it as the winner out of hundreds of entries. And this win was thoroughly deserved . . . This fantasy debut is brimming with raucous energy.

It’s the story of Jackal – who is proud to be a Grey Bastard, a member of a sworn brotherhood of half-orcs. Unloved and unwanted in civilized society, the Bastards eke out a hard life in the desolate no-man’s-land called the Lots, protecting frail and noble human civilization from invading bands of vicious full-blooded orcs . . .

Jonathan’s voice stood out to us as one of the freshest we’ve read in years. The story overflows with crisp dialogue, blood-soaked action, an entertaining sardonic voice and a wonderfully compelling cast of characters. It’s an irresistible action tale that will thrill readers of fantasy such as Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence, Stan Nicholl’s Orcs series and Markus Heitz’s Dwarves series.

And just look at the whole host of amazing reviews it’s already received!

‘Frankly excellent’ ~ Mark Lawrence, bestselling author of Prince of Thorns

The Grey Bastards dragged me in immediately. A bloody good tale of battles, intrigue, betrayal, duty and war pigs’ ~ Brian McClellan, author of Promise of Blood

‘A gritty adventure with a fantastic, foul-mouthed voice and filthy, lovable characters in a wonderfully original world of half-orcs on giant hogs.  Fans of Abercrombie’s The First Law or the soldierly banter of Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen will like this a lot’ ~ Django Wexler

‘Jonathan French has to be lauded for his plot ingenuity, bawdy charm and vicious characters. The Grey Bastards has instantaneously catapulted him into my must-read list’ ~Fantasy Book Critic

‘I’d like to raise a tankard to The Grey Bastards’ brilliance’ ~ Fantasy Faction

‘I f*cking loved this book. The Grey Bastards went down like a shot of good top-shelf tequila: warm and smooth, but with one hell of a spicy kick’ ~ Bibliosanctum

These guys were all pretty darn excited about the half-orcs, and dammit – you should be too. Look out for The Grey Bastards in June 2018.

And as the Bastards say, LIVE IN THE SADDLE, DIE ON THE HOG!

Picturing the Orcs

If I was castaway on that mythical desert island with a single palm tree beloved of cartoonists I’d want to be washed ashore with a crate of books.  But that shouldn’t be taken as an admission that I regard other mediums, such as movies, and in particular comicbooks, as any less legitimate.  Which is why I was so thrilled at the prospect of an Orcs graphic novel.

I owe artist and film director Joann Sfar my thanks for kicking it off.  Joann, a leading light in the new wave of French comicbook creators, recommended my Orcs novels to Mark Siegel, Editorial Director of First Second Books, an imprint dedicated to publishing high-quality graphic novels.  I loved the idea of moving my concept and characters into a different medium, and Mark suggested that rather than adapt any of the existing novels I might like to come up with a new story.

While I was putting it together, Mark was busy auditioning artists, and eventually choose Joe Flood, best known for his HELLCITY strip.

I’d worked on two graphic novels before, back in the ’90s, when I adapted David Gemmell’s LEGEND AND WOLF IN SHADOW into graphic novel form.  I also wrote a handful of short strips for comicbooks.  What I did then was write scripts in the traditional way.  I described what a panel should show and what should go in dialogue balloons and captions of exposition.  But this wasn’t an adaptation like the Gemmell books; it was an original story.  I had to assume that at least a portion of the graphic novel’s readership would be coming to my orcs universe for the first time.  I felt I needed to introduce new readers to the set-up and the point of view I was adopting.  I also had to convey to Joe the feeling I wanted to put over – the texture of the story, if you like.  So I decided to write the thing as a short story, a fully rendered piece of fiction, as I might if it was intended to be published in an anthology.  It ended up running to over 20,000 words, and was called FIT FOR PURPOSE at that stage.  Later, it became ORCS: FORGED FOR WAR.


The Orcs are Coming!

Stan Nicholls’ ORCS is one of the most entertaining fantasy books of recent years. The idea is simple: take fantasy’s ultimate bad guys (the orcs); add a teaspoon of compassion, followed by a great big dollop of aggression. Sit back and enjoy the fun. ORCS has already been a huge bestseller, with worldwide sales rapidly approaching a million copies. Orbit will be unleashing them for the first time in the US this September. And do we love this cover? We certainly do.