Orbit UK has won debut author Everina Maxwell's space opera series, described as "queer sci-fi romance", in a three-way auction.
Chris Scheina at St Martins Press, Macmillan US, sold UK and Commonwealth rights in three titles to senior commissioning editor Jenni Hill at the Little, Brown Book Group imprint. Tamara Kawar at ICM sold US rights to Ali Fisher at Tor and translation rights are being handled by Daisy Meyrick at Curtis Brown.
Hill said: “I couldn’t be happier that Everina chose Orbit to launch her career in the UK. Winter’s Orbit [the first in the series] is a truly phenomenal debut, and the story of Prince Kiem and Count Jainan is one to rival all the best love stories of science fiction and fantasy.”
Winter's Orbit is planned for publication next February. The synopsis reads: "Winter’s Orbit begins when Prince Kiem, an infamous minor royal of the Iskat empire, is commanded to renew the empire’s bonds with its most troublesome vassal planet. He is ordered to do this via a reluctant marriage to the planet’s representative, Count Jainan. As tensions rise, secrets are revealed and shadowy alien forces begin to take an interest, the Iskat empire’s hold on the system begins to crumble and Kiem and Jainan must act to keep the escalating hostilities under control."
Maxwell said: “With Winter’s Orbit, I wanted to write a queer sci-fi romance that explores the fallout of a political arranged marriage, plus all the joys and problems of two people falling slowly in love despite the diplomatic chaos around them. I'm so happy it has resonated with readers and I'm very excited to bring Kiem and Jainan's story to Orbit!”
The subsequent book release dates are yet to be announced.
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