Fantasy fiction comes in many forms, as two new signings to Angry Robot attest. The energetic indie [that’s us – Ed] has snapped up two series by British authors who take very different approaches to the genre.

Debut author ANNE LYLE joins the imprint with the Night’s Masque trilogy of Elizabethan fantasies. Explorers have returned from the New World bearing strangely primitive natives – and their uncanny elders, regal beings straight out of the Norse legends who call themselves skraylings. Hired to protect these strangers, disreputable swordsman Mal Catlyn soon finds himself dragged into a world of conspiracy and dark magic. The first, The Alchemist of Souls, is an irresistible combination of dashing swordplay and cunning alternate history from a natural born storyteller. It will be published simultaneously in the US and UK in March 2012.

Anne said: “The Alchemist of Souls came out of my fascination with the early modern period of European history. This was an England of religious terrorism, state paranoia, surveillance and rising gun crime, and the emergence of new forms of mass entertainment. Sound familiar? I don’t seem to be very good at sticking to one genre within a book, so Angry Robot’s penchant for mash ups made them the perfect fit.”

This contrasts neatly with the new series by another debut novelist, DAVID TALLERMAN. The notorious Easie Damasco is a rogue and a thief and a scoundrel, who somehow always lives to see another day. In the first of his outlandish adventures, Giant Thief, Damasco manages to steal the wrong treasure and ends up with an entire army on his tail. Riotous swashbuckling adventure in the popular tradition of recent fantasy successes Scott Lynch and Joe Abercrombie, the Easie Damasco adventures will run to at least three books.

Both deals were done between Marc Gascoigne, Publishing Director, and the authors’ agents, which in both cases just happened to be John Berlyne and John Parker of the Zeno Agency. The deal is for world English rights for physical, digital and audio editions.

Marco commented, “These are two very different fantasy series, but they share a common quality – thoroughly engaging storytelling. Both these authors have the that rare skill of grabbing the reader in an opening paragraph and taking them off on a wild, wild ride full of magic, swordplay and adventure.”

More information can be found, well, here… in a bit. We know you’ll welcome both Anne and David to the Angry Robot family.