Orbit Books has launched a digital short fiction program, offering original stories from Orbit authors. The stories will be available at all major e-book retailers, currently only in the U.S., although other territories will be added in the future. Most of the e-books are priced at $1.99.

The launch list includes apocalyptic SF by Mira Grant, urban fantasy stories from Jaye Wells and Jennifer Rardin, and military SF from T.C. McCarthy. In June, Orbit will release Perfect Shadow, an original novella by bestselling author Brent Weeks, for $2.99.

Orbit publisher Tim Holman told PW, "Short fiction can be a great way to discover new authors. We suspect that the most likely audience in the first instance will be an author’s existing readership, but not in every case. Going forward, it will be really interesting to see if shorter forms of fiction become more popular among digital readers. Perhaps novellas will–for some readers at least–be more appealing than novels, and in turn perhaps there will be more novellas written and published."

Orbit launched in the U.K. in 1974 and launched its U.S. list in 2007. Last summer, the imprint indicated it would be selling short fiction on its site in the future. In 2009, it sold dollar e-books on its site.