Yes, it certainly was damn hard to keep this news under wraps, but now it is time, at last, to talk of great things. Namely, that Angry Robot has signed two of the absolute hottest up-and-coming fantasy writers.
ALIETTE DE BODARD is a writer and computer specialist whose short fiction has already brought her a John W Campbell Award nomination, for best newcomer. Living in Paris, Aliette is French, of Vietnamese extraction, but she writes exclusively in English.
Her deal with Angry Robot follows an extremely fortuitous layover in Calgary, Canada, following the World Fantasy Convention last winter. Forced to spend an extra day at the airport, she fell in with a couple of cheery Brits, who mentioned they were setting up a new publishing imprint, and a new literary agency respectively. After no little persuasion, Aliette revealed that she’d been working on her debut novel. A few months later, like the plot of a Hollywood movie, here we are – with the novels represented by new agency Zeno, and to be published by new imprint Angry Robot.
SERVANT OF THE UNDERWORLD is a wild mix of fantasy and crime novel, set in Aztec times. In this alternate world, though, the gods are real and stalk the temples, demanding sacrifices from the people. Amidst the bloodletting, a serial killer appears to be getting away with murder – but how do you find a murderer in a world where the streets themselves are awash with blood? The deal with Angry Robot is for three novels in this setting, to be published from Spring 2010 onwards.
No less noteworthy is LAVIE TIDHAR. Currently based in Laos, in South-East Asia, he is an Israeli who has lived in places as exotic as Vanuatu, South Africa and (woah) Britain. As well as a clutch of highly regarded short stories and novellas, his website World SF has attracted much attention for focussing specifically on the SF and fantasy produced in non-English speaking countries of the world.
Despite this, his debut series for Angry Robot focusses on one of the most quintessentially British genres, namely steampunk. In THE BOOKMAN, a masked terrorist of that name brings London society practically to a standstill by placing bombs inside books. After several atrocities against London’s theatres, he outdoes himself with an audacious attack on the blessing of the launch of the first expedition to Mars (by giant cannon!). For young poet Orphan, it seems his destiny is entwined with that of the shadowy terrorist, and so it turns out to be.
Like a steam-powered take on V for Vendetta, rich with satire and slashed through with wild adventure, this is book one of a series that will run to at least three volumes. The Bookman will be published by Angry Robot in Spring 2010, with sequels to follow at nine-month intervals.
Both deals were done by AR publishing director Marc Gascoigne in conjunction with the fine folk at Zeno Literary Agency of London. Let joy be unconfined. Hell, yeah.