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Orbit Books

Entry updated 6 February 2023. Tagged: Publisher.

Publishing line launched in 1974 as the sf/fantasy imprint of the London-based company Macdonald Futura, which was bought by Little, Brown in 1992; in 2006 Little, Brown was in turn acquired by Hachette Livre.

Along with a medley of mostly though not exclusively US reprint works, early Futura/Orbit releases included paperbacks of significant retro Anthologies edited by Brian Aldiss, such as Space Opera (anth 1974). Orbit later backed such notable authors as: Iain M Banks, whose early Culture Space Operas were reissued as Orbit paperbacks and from Use of Weapons (1990) made their debut in Orbit hardback, a practice which continued to the end of the author's life; Orson Scott Card with later volumes of the Ender series (initially via the Legend imprint acquired by Orbit from Random House in 1997); "James S A Corey" (see Daniel Abraham and Tyler Corey Franck) with The Expanse; Tom Holt with many humorous fantasies, followed by more serious fantasy as by K J Parker; Ann Leckie with her Imperial Radch tales beginning with the Hugo-winning Ancillary Justice (2013); Ken MacLeod with the Fall Revolution series opening with The Star Fraction (1995), followed by other sequences; Claire North (see Catherine Webb); and Charles Stross with the UK editions of nearly all his work, from the 2004 paperback of Singularity Sky (2003) and including the popular Laundry sequence. In 1993 Orbit published the second edition of this encyclopedia as a massive hardback running to 1370 pages.

Further Orbit authors have included Kevin J Anderson, Paolo Bacigalupi, David Brin, Mike Carey, Gail Carriger, Michael Cobley, Mira Grant (see Seanan McGuire), Jon Courtenay Grimwood, N K Jemisin, Garry Kilworth, Mur Lafferty, Elizabeth Moon, Simon Morden, Lilith Saintcrow, Kim Stanley Robinson, Allen Steele, Tricia Sullivan, Tade Thompson, E C Tubb with Space: 1999 novelizations, Tad Williams and Walter Jon Williams.

In the twenty-first century Orbit has expanded internationally, with Orbit US based in New York from 2006 and Orbit Australia launched in 2007. The company remains a major publisher of genre fiction. [DRL]


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