Alex Lenciki, from Orbit, just sent me some exciting news. Orbit US has acquired the rights to Joe Abercrombie’s upcoming standalone novel Best Served Cold, along with three other debut novels.

From the Press Release:

Scoundrels! Grave-robbers! Spinsters! Heiresses! Hot on the heels of its decision to double the size of its list in the US, Orbit welcomes four new stars of fantasy fiction.
Orbit is pleased to announce the upcoming releases of four new books from four new stars of fantasy fiction: BEST SERVED COLD by Joe Abercrombie (June 2009); THE SAD TALE OF THE BROTHERS GROSSBART by Jesse Bullington (Sept. 2009); SOULLESS by Gail Carriger (Nov. 2009); and THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS by N.K. Jemisin (Sept. 2009).

When Joe Abercrombie burst onto the fantasy scene with his widely-praised First Law Trilogy SFF World called his books “compelling, character-driven, adult fantasy, for readers who want to be entertained as well as challenged.” BEST SERVED COLD will be his hardcover debut in the US. A stand-alone novel of mercenaries, gruesome deaths, and twisted plans, BEST SERVED COLD returns readers to the world introduced in the First Law Trilogy, but with an all-new cast of scoundrels.

Jesse Bullington came to the attention of the SFF world when author and critic Jeff VanderMeer posted on his blog about a novel handed to him by a young man in his local video store. That novel was THE SAD TALE OF THE BROTHERS GROSSBART, and VanderMeer wrote: “The odds of being handed a novel by a new, relatively young writer and being blown away by what you read are…very low. But that’s exactly what happened.” At Orbit we were blown away too. This tale of philosophical grave-robbers on the run is bloody, grim and thoroughly engaging.

Gail Carriger’s SOULLESS introduces Alexia Tarabotti, a spinster who foils an attack by a vampire (with a parasol, no less) only to be dragged into the supernatural politics of Victorian London (where parasols will become increasingly handy). A novel with equal parts wit and action, SOULLESS is a comedy of manners with vampires – a thrilling and hilarious debut.

THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS, by N.K. Jemisin, is a brilliantly original debut fantasy. A young woman vies to become the heir to the throne of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and must bargain with the gods themselves to save her life – and her people.

As a big fan of Abercrombie’s works, it’s nice to see that he’ll be coming back to the US by way of the good folks at Orbit. Also, the story behind Jesse Bullington’s debut sounds pretty wild! You can find the whole press release HERE.