Orbit, the science fiction and fantasy imprint of the Hachette Book Group, plans to serialize The Two of Swords, a new story by acclaimed fantasy novelist K.J. Parker, beginning April 21 with the first three episodes. New installments of the story will be released monthly in e-book editions until the series is completed, to be followed by a collected print and digital editions.
Parker, whose epic stories center around complex politics and personalities, has saiid that the the full story of The Two Swords has not been finished though Parker also emphasized that the ending is known. The story, Parker said, will feature a large cast of characters and, “a broad, unified sweep of significant events, witnessed by a wide spectrum of diverse characters—farm boys, soldiers, spies, tradesmen and emperors.” Parker described the concept as “a sort of relay-race structure, passing the narrative baton from observer to observer,” that will allow the author to, “quite literally, make history.”
Parker is the author of the novellas A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong and Let Maps to Others, consecutive winners of the World Fantasy Award in 2012 and 2013, respectively. The e-book installments will be available for sale at all major e-book retailers and more information about the serial will be available at TwoOfSwords.net, which will also have links to preorder and purchase the titles. Each episode will be priced at 99 cents. The site will also host an online community for readers to discuss the progress of the story.
“It’s difficult to say exactly what The Two of Swords is, or will become, in terms of literary form,” Orbit publisher Tim Holman said. “It definitely won't be a short work – the story is too big – but I'm not sure we can call it a novel. Whatever The Two of Swords is, we're hugely excited to be publishing it!"
Corrections: The imprint is named Orbit, not Orbit Books. Tim Holman's name was misspelled. An earlier version of this story also made erroneous assumptions about the author's gender that have been removed. K.J. Parker is a pseudonym and the author's gender is not known.