Sneak Peek

Angry Robot, Competitions, Fan stuff, Short Fiction, Sneak Peek

WIN: A Signed ARC of Jeff Noon’s A Man of Shadows

A Man of Shadows by Jeff Noon

In case you’ve yet to hear, we’re publishing Jeff Noon’s highly anticipated new novel A Man of Shadows this August.

Now, we don’t often do physical advanced reading copies (ARCs) of our novels but, as a special treat, we did arrange for a limited run of physical ARCs for the novel. These were snapped up in record time, but we did manage to wrestle a single copy from the grasp of a desperate, ravenous reader. We’ve been told they’re recovering and managing well without their arms, which is lucky, as we were loathe to give up our fancy new office ornaments.

Our question is, do you want the ARC signed by Jeff (possibly (but probably not) in his own blood)?

If so, we’re going to run a competition over the next week. Here’s how you can enter:

Jeff is known for his novels Vurt, Automated Alice, Channel Sk1n, Pollen and a whole host more, but also known for his amazing Twitter feed full of strange, dreamlike tweets that read like stories in themselves. For example:

What we want you to do, dear Robot horde, is to create your own dreamlike story in 100 – 140 characters and tweet it to us (or email penny.reeve@angryrobotbooks.com, if you don’t have love for Twitter). We’ll pick the winner – and by that we mean the author of the strangest, weirdest and smartest story – next Thursday at 12 noon, UK time.

What are you still reading this for? Better get crafting that story!

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Conventions, Free Excerpt, Sneak Peek

Investigate a Destructive for Free – Free Sample from The Destructives by Matthew De Abaitua

Step into a future of humanity with a free sample from Mattew De Abaitua’s distinctive and thoughtful novel, The Destructives

Matthew will be at Innominate in Birmingham this coming weekend, where he’ll be taking part in various panels and holding a reading, so, if you have a membership be sure to pop along to the Salisbury Room of the Metropole Saturday night at 7PM to hear his dulcet tones.

Here’s the synopsis:

The Destructives by Matthew de Abaitua

Theodore Drown is a destructive. A recovering addict to weirdcore, he’s keeping his head down lecturing at the university of the Moon. Twenty years after the appearance of the first artificial intelligence, and humanity is stuck. The AIs or, as they preferred to be called, emergences, have left Earth and reside beyond the orbit of Mercury in a Stapledon Sphere known as the university of the sun.

The emergences were our future but they chose exile. All except one. Dr Easy remains, researching a single human life from beginning to end. Theodore’s life. One day, Theodore is approached by freelance executive Patricia to investigate an archive of data retrieved from just before the appearance of the first emergence. The secret living in that archive will take him on an adventure through a stunted future of asylum malls, corporate bloodrooms and a secret off-world colony where Theodore must choose between creating a new future for humanity or staying true to his nature, and destroying it.

Read the sample here: 

Grab it for yourself now through all forms of booksellers or get the ebook for RRP £5.49 / US$6.99

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Out and About, Robots at large, Sneak Peek

When Angry Robot Went to The Printers

Penny + the galley covers of A Man of Shadows
Penny + the galley covers of A Man of Shadows

It was a cold Tuesday morning when the Angry Robot team got into a car together to take a trip down south.

We were off to the printers for the day!

The journey was long and arduous, through freezing fog, until we emerged to glorious sunshine in Southend. Penny slept through the entire thing.

Now, our reason for the visit was simple. Two out of the three day-to-day Nottingham gang (Penny and Nick) hadn’t been to see our books being printed before. Oh, they’d heard all about paper thickness and book sizing but they hadn’t actually had the pleasure of seeing a novel transition from words in an online document into something tangible.

Our wonderful UK printing company, 4edge, is located in Essex and happily, they’ve just moved into new, bigger premises to deal with the recent increase in demand for their services. Once we’d arrived and after a quick cuppa in the office we were taken to the factory floor to see what all of the fuss was about.

A Man of ShadowsFirst, we were shown how the typeset manuscripts that we and 4edge’s other clients send over are checked for correct sizing and scanned for any other possible errors in printing, for example page numbers. The first enormous machine we came to printed the covers, with various checks for colour bleed and automatic calibration to stop the colours drifting from the intended range. They have vast stacks of paper (we have our very own shelf!) on which four copies of a book are printed at once, which are guillotined apart by a man and terrifying machine (working at a speed which would have cost Nick many fingers). From there the books are manually sorted and prepared for binding.

Binding involves glue… Apparently 4edge uses two main types of glue, one for general printing and one super strength formula for larger books and those that need extra secure binding. There was a lot to be said about watching the precise nature of the gluing machine and the skill of the man running it. Watching the cover be fixed and then the whole book be chopped down into its final form was deeply satisfying.

I think the general consensus was that the cutting machine (see video) and printing machines *with clear viewing panels* – imagine how we stared at those reams of paper whizzing by! – were our favourites. There’s a great combination of manual work along with the automatic machines – you could say it was human and machine working in perfect harmony… Asimov would be so proud.

Myth of the Maker freshly guillotined and sorted
Myth of the Maker freshly guillotined and sorted

Excitingly, on the way around we got to see Bruce R Cordell’s The Strange: Myth of the Maker being printed, the second print of Kameron Hurley’s The Stars Are Legion AND the limited edition physical ARC print run of Jeff Noon’s A Man of Shadows including watching the cover come off the line. In fact, there were Angry Robot titles spotted on shelves, in cupboards and in the mailing room. We also spotted a couple of titles by our parent company, Watkins.

Finally, after a very tasty lunch, we were off on the drive home again. Penny slept through the whole journey.

Our thanks go to Dave and Carl who gave up their time to show a bunch of overexcited bookish people around. We really did have a top day!

We’ll leave you with this very pleasing video of a book being, quite literally, cut down to size (sorry about the hand reflection).

 

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Sneak Peek

A Free Glimpse of the Future in The Poison Eater

The Poison Eater by Shanna GermainVenture into a whole new realm – Numenera, the Ninth World in Shanna Germain’s inventive science fantasy, The Poison Eater. It’s a brilliant far-future tale magic and technology, from the Numenera world developed by Monte Cook Games.  Let us treat you an exclusive peek at the first chapters of Shanna’s extraordinary story.

Here’s the synopsis:

Poison never lies.

Talia was once one of the twelve martyrs of the forgotten compass, a prisoner of the unhuman creatures known only as the vordcha. She barely escaped that life with her body and soul intact.

Now she has a new life as a poison eater in the city of Enthait. Here she is hailed as one of the city’s protectors. No one knows her history. No one has asked about her past. She’s been here long enough that Enthait is her home now, these are her people. She loves them and they her.

But in the Ninth World, the past is a living, breathing thing. And when it hunts you down, you can run. You can fight. Or you can die.

The Poison Eater is available in all good bookstores and wherever books are sold from 17th January 2017.

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