At the time of writing this opening sentence, it has been 5 years 7 months, 5 days and 6 hours since I started work for Angry Robot. When I joined, I knew about genre, and I knew a bit about books, and I knew about putting together a weekly short fiction ezine, and (as a very early adopter) I knew about ebooks, but I knew very little about the business of publishing.
I’ve learned a huge amount in my time at Angry Robot, and it is only because of the mentorship of my friend and publisher Marc Gascoigne, that I have progressed as far as I have. Five years ago I would not have dreamed that I would not only be heading up the team of a new imprint for Tor.com, but find myself nominated for a Hugo award. And I couldn’t have done it without Marc’s leadership, and the support of the various fine folk who I have been proud to call my colleagues at Angry Robot.
I’m on the train, now, heading home from Angry Robot Towers for the last time, so I thought it worth mentioning a few of my highlights of the last five years and change.
Heading into the office on January 3, 2009 for my first proper job in publishing. Treated with more professional courtesy than my newbie status probably warranted.
July 1, 2009
Our first books hit the shelves – Lauren Beukes’s Moxyland and Kaaron Warren’s Slights. Two books that even now feature highly on my Favourite Angry Robot Books list.
Amanda Rutter, the editor of our erstwhile YA imprint, said one day, “You know – there really should be a YA convention in the UK.” Marc and I both said, “Well, why don’t you go make one, then?” so Amanda contacted lots of fine folk at lots of other fine publishers, and YALC was born. Though Strange Chemistry stopped publishing before YALC happened, it happened because of Amanda, and I’m proud that Angry Robot had a part in its conception. Amanda does not get enough credit for her part in this.
The Hugo Nomination
Not only was I stunned to find myself shortlisted for Best Editor (Long Form) this year, but I was more stunned when I discovered that no British editor has ever been nominated in the past. There are plenty of other fine folk in the UK who deserve this, and I will probably blog about them at some point over the next few weeks.
Discovering New Talent
I mentioned this in the recent 5-year Celebration blog post, but it has been an absolute delight and privilege to help some of the genre’s best new authors publish their first books.
New Friends and New Family
Despite a few dirty uncles sitting in the corner, loudly drooling into their bowls, our genre has provided me with the sort of family and friendship I never experienced in any previous occupation. The quantity of alcohol consumed at conventions might have something to do with this, but that’s only part of it.
So, thank-you Marc, Mike, John, Mike 2, Amanda, Emlyn, Caroline, Bryon, Abi, Steve, Chris and all the support staff at Osprey HQ. I’m not going to say “goodbye” to Angry Robot. I was there from the start, and it will always be my baby. I will continue to follow AR with keen interest, and cheer it on from the sidelines.
As should you – it really is the best independent publisher in the world, you know!
Over and Out,