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Founded in 1974, Orbit UK is a British publisher of Science Fiction and Fantasy, producing upwards of 80 titles per year.  Their sister imprint, Orbit US, was established in 2007, and currently publishes approximately 40 titles per year.

From their website:

“We are committed to attracting more readers to Science Fiction and Fantasy. Whether you’re an existing SFF reader, read it in the past and have given up, or never read it before, if you love imaginative fiction, you’re in the right place.”

With the use of high quality paper, eye-catching artwork and interest-piquing titles, I believe they are well on their way to meeting that goal.  And here’s what I really love – they publish quickly.  A prime example of this is the Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks.  The first volume, The Way of Shadows, was published in October of 2008, quickly followed by Shadow’s Edge in November, and Beyond the Shadows in December.  This is a great marketing strategy, and one that was nearly unheard of in the industry prior to 3 years ago.  Not only does it mean keeping a new author prominent on the shelves and fresh in readers’ minds, but shorter wait times between installments.  Everyone wins!  (Note:  Not all Orbit titles are published this quickly, but you generally don’t have to wait long – a few months, as opposed to a year or longer).

While browsing through the Orbit US Publishing Schedule, I came across some exciting titles set for publication later this year (These dates may change).   Synopses for each of the novels listed below can be found here.

The Poison Throne & The Crowded ShadowsCeline Kiernan

April, 2010                                            July, 2010

Lord of the Changing Winds & Land of the Burning Sands – Rachel Neumeier

May, 2010                                         June, 2010

The Bone PalaceAmanda Downum (follow-up to The Drowning City, published September, 2009)

August, 2010

And finally, The Black PrismBrent Weeks

August, 2010

To learn more about this publisher, view Publishing Schedules for the UK, US and Australia, and read extracts of upcoming titles, visit the Orbit Books website.

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Forthcoming …

There are a few titles coming up in the next couple of months that I am really excited about.  The first of which, is Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb.  This marks the long-awaited and much-anticipated return to the Rain Wilds.  An all-new story with appearances from some the characters we know and love from Hobb’s previous works.  Release Date:  January 26th, 2010.

The second book, Dragon Haven, is tentatively set to be released later this spring.  (I’m sure this date will be revised, if only to torment me!)

Next up is Jade Man’s Skin by Daniel Fox, the second book in the Moshui, the Books of Stone and Water trilogy.  From his website:

“In this second volume of his soaring epic, Daniel Fox weaves the ancient myths and legends of feudal China into a fantasy world of brutal war and brittle passion, immortal gods and mystical creatures.”

The first in the series, Dragon in Chains, caught my interest long before its release.  However, my local bookstore couldn’t keep it in stock long enough for me to get my hands on a copy.  I’m uploading the ebook to my iPod now, watch for a review in the coming weeks!  Release Date:  February 16, 2010.

And finally, we have The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin.

From her website:

“Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle with a pair of cousins she never knew she had.”

Political intrigue, fallen Gods, a young girl suddenly named heir to the throne, thrust into a life she never expected, with a family she didn’t know she had?  My interest is definitely piqued!  Release Date:  February 25, 2010.

You can read Chapters 1-3 at N. K. Jemisin’s website (follow the link above), and one of her previously published short stories, The Narcomancer, here.

(A big thanks to Aidan over at A Dribble of Ink for bringing this author to my attention!)

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