Hello, hello and welcome to our regular Robot Round-Up! We’ve got a treasure-trove of tasty links for you to peruse this week; the usual selection of reviews, interviews, guest posts and more, all involving our awesome Angry Robot Authors, plus one or two members of the AR crew.
So, without futher ado or kerfuffle:
• “[Blackbirds is] one dark book. Think Six Feet Under co-written by Stephen King and Chuck Palahniuk … Wendig’s surefooted prose means that this ride is well worth sticking your thumb out for.” 4 **** said SFX Magazine.
• “I genuinely can’t recommend this novel highly enough. I may contact Amazon and ask if they’ll create a sixth star just for this. Miriam Black is a fascinating creation and I look forward to meeting her again.” said Pablocheesecake at The Eloquent Page.
• “It’s a high octane ride through the dark recesses of humanity, a smashing blend of noir and the supernatural that combines the best of classic crime novels with downright genuine creepiness.” said Keith at Adventures Fantastic.
• “Miriam’s narrative voice is infectious. Wendig evokes a palpable mood of gritty redneck Americana; if you’ve ever stayed in a horrible roadside motel or eaten at a greasy spoon, you know this world. The villains will make your skin crawl. The plot moves quickly and builds to a satisfying end with plenty of emotional oomph.” said Kelly at FantasyLiterature.com.
• “Full of violence, sex, drinking swearing and awesome, Blackbirds is compulsory reading for anyone who loves urban fantasy, or even just a damn good book.”
• “Blackbirds is a hauntingly macabre book … The prose is visceral and brutally beautiful.” said Kiara at Waiting for Fairies.
• “Blackbirds, a rough, unflinching suspense tale from Chuck Wendig, introduces us to Miriam and the torture of knowing how people die, yet being powerless to stop it.” said Cupcake at Cupcake’s (Book) Cupboard.
• “Forcefully paced and darkly humorous, Chuck Wendig doesn’t just establish himself as the new voice of horror, but jumps on top of the genre and does a little dance to prove his point.” said The Guilded Earlobe, of the Brilliance Audio edition of Blackbirds.
• “…a piece of dark and gritty urban fantasy, where ‘magic’ is a gift granted through trauma, where fate appears to hold power over people.” said Laura at Roots Half Hidden.
• “This is a must read for fans of paranormal books on the much darker and grittier side of things. I was hooked a few short pages in and could barely put Blackbirds down until I was finished.” said Tabitha at My Shelf Confessions.
• “I tore through Blackbirds and couldn’t stop reading. I may not have fallen in love with her at first sight, but Miriam made for a riveting lead character and I had to find out how it would work out, because in the end I did come to care for her.” said Mieneke at A Fantastical Librarian
Chuck also told John Scalzi’s Whatever all about the Big Idea behind Miriam Black’s story last week. And urges writers to “Own the Crazy” at writerunboxed.com. And at Boomtrom’s Criminal Complex he explains why ‘Genre is a Moving Target’. He also crops up on the 100th episode of the Functional Nerds podcast and episode #129 of Vodka O’Clock. He’s been guest-blogging at StephenBlackmoore.com. He’s been interviewed by LitStack. In traditional Terrible Minds ’25 Things’ mode he reveals the 25 Things I Learned While Writing Blackbirds. And you can win one of three copies of Blackbirds by following @scifibulletin on Twitter and then tweeting them with the answer to a competition question plus the appropriate hashtag. See SciFiBulletin.com for the question you’ll need to answer, plus full entry details. (Open to UK residents only. Closing date: Thursday May 10th.) Damn, that’s a lot of Wendig. More, please!
Evil Dark (also out now!) by Justin Gustainis was reviewed by Lightsaber Rattling, where Peter saud: “If you are a fan of police procedural stories and also enjoy horror, this is an interesting mixture of the two genres.” And Amber, of Amberkatze’s Book Blog, said: “I thought the debut in the series, Hard Spell, was amazing but this sequel ROCKED!” And at Falcata Times they said: “…great prose, a wonderful twist of fate that keeps you guessing and of course a whole host of colourful supporting cast members and all in all it’s a book that satisfies on so many levels.”
Meanwhile, Justin has been talking to The Once and Future Podcast about his Occult Investigations series and his Quincy Morris books. He’s also been busily guest blogging at Paperback Dolls, where he’s been telling them all about his Personal Demons and at Cherry Mischevous, where he introduces a few of Scranton’s supernatural residents.
The third instalment in Mike Shevdon‘s Courts of the Feyre series, Strangeness and Charm is out next month and was reviewed this week at SF Book reviews where Antony called it: “one of the stand out novels and series of recent times, simply magical.”
Likewise out next month: Night’s Engines, the second and concluding part of Trent Jamieson‘s Nightbound Land series, reviewed most favourably this week by Upcoming4me, where their reviewer said: “Night’s Engines ultimately provides a satisfactory ending to the duology. But to be completely honest, I would be quite happy if Trent eventually changed his mind and made this a trilogy or even quadrology because I would be more than glad to take another trip to Shale.”
Paul S. Kemp‘s The Hammer and The Blade has received its first Russian-language review (that we know of) at Fantlab.ru. 8/10 stars and (according to Google Translate), reviewer Aleks called it: “A wonderful tribute to the classics of the genre, ‘Might and Magic’ [we’re pretty sure they mean ‘Sword and Sorcery’ rather than the computer game franchise – AR] with all its attendant advantages, disadvantages and limitations … All fans of Robert E. Howard and Fritz Leiber [are] urged to pay attention to [The Hammer and The Blade] when it goes on sale in June this year.” And there’s another, glowing review at The Troubled Scribe, where Liam concluded: “I found myself wanting more – many, many more – Nix and Egil adventures. With this fierce and untamed fantasy world Paul Kemp has created, I see no reason why there won’t be a vast number of them in the foreseeable future.” You can read a fresh extract from The Hammer and the Blade over at paulskemp.com as well.
Reviewer David Marshall took at look at Matt Forbeck‘s Carpathia for the Sacramento / San Francisco Book Review and said: “This is a beautifully constructed horror novel with the tension ratcheting up inexorably as night falls on the Atlantic.”
There’s a review of David Tallerman‘s Giant Thief in Theaker’s Quarterly Review issue #40, where the eponymous Mr Theaker says: “the book is as much fun as you’d expect the story of a thief who steals a giant to be”.
Lavie Tidhar‘s The Great Game was warmly reviewed in the latest issue of Locus Magazine: “Achieves moments of surprising depth and beauty, with real insights into human history and psychology as well as the immense and varied wealth of writing in the last half of the 19th century. It’s a virtuoso performance.” And at AllwaysUnmended as well, where Jessica said: “Spies, monsters, machines, and mad scientists fill every page, and the action never stops … Twists and turns await around every corner, constantly leaving readers wonder what will happen next.” And Android Dreamer took a look at series-opener The Bookman by and declared it to be: “brilliantly written, strong characters, wonderful world, and an engaging story make for a novel that is absolutely a must-read”.
And finally, Mighty Mur Lafferty, Angry Robot podcaster extraordinaire, is the subject of a 20 minute focus at roundtablepodcast.com. And our Lee has been describing his working day to Book Chick City, where you can also win a prize pack of three of our terrific titles.