Like most successful publishers, Angry Robot only accepts submissions through literary agencies. Earlier this year, however, we ran a pilot programme to see how many unpublished – but talented – authors there were without representation. During March, we invited all unagented authors to submit completed manuscripts as part of an “Open Door Month”. We received over 990 novels during that period – or 30 per day! That’s a lot of reading!

Today, we are absolutely delighted to announce the first acquisitions to come through that process. Two new authors, each with deal for at least two novels, have now joined the Angry Robot family. And there will be more to announce in the weeks to come.

Cassandra Rose Clarke is an important and versatile new talent. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is the heartbreaking story of the journey from childhood to adulthood, with an intriguing science fictional twist. Her other book for Angry Robot is The Assassin’s Curse – a fantastical romp, starring Ananna, a no-nonsense lady pirate, born into pirate royalty. Cassandra stated, “I’m beyond excited to have Angry Robot publishing my first-ever novel, and not only because of the delightful coincidence that my novel involves a robot who is, on occasion, angry. Angry Robot’s reputation is stellar and their author list incredibly impressive – I’m humbled to be included amongst their ranks!”

Eagle-eyed followers of Angry Robot may have noticed a couple of months ago that AR Editor, Lee Harris, tweeted about a book he was reading on the train – a book that so moved him that on reaching his destination, he had to finish it, sitting on the railway platform in the rain. That book was The Mad Scientist’s Daughter. But contrary to eye-witness statements, those were not tears rolling down his face. Just rain. OK? Just rain. Anyway… see the game last night? <note to self: insert other manly things here, before this post goes live>

We take a somewhat darker turn with an astonishing pair of books from Lee CollinsThe Dead of Winter and She Returns From War. Both novels follow Cora Oglesby, a bounty hunter with a reputation for working supernatural cases, and for always getting her man… creature… whatever. Lee said, “Having been steeped in science fiction and fantasy since infancy, I’m perfectly comfortable with the idea of joining an army of robots in their rampage across the globe. Still, as excited as I am at the prospect of rubbing shoulders with Angry Robot’s outstanding authors (among whom I will surely feel like the tag-along kid brother), publication was really a secondary goal of my submitting to them. My primary reason was the hope, however slim, of cybernetic augmentation.”

Both authors’ debut novels will be published by Angry Robot in autumn 2012, with their second books scheduled for spring 2013.

And what of the next Open Door Month? Will there be one?
A good question – we’re glad you asked. Following the success of the project, we expect to run a similar Open Door period in spring 2012, details of which are to be confirmed at a later date. So don’t ask us about it yet, because we don’t know the details. When we do, we’ll be shouting it from the rooftops. Or perhaps opening a window and shouting it through there, instead – it can get quite windy on those rooftops, you know!