Hello, hello and welcome to this week’s regular round-up of angrily robotic goings-on from across the Interwebs. Your friendly, neighbourhood Robot Overlord chums have been sweltering in a UK heatwave all this week (well, apart from the Lee Unit, who started the week sweltering in a Tunisian heatwave, just to be different).

We’ve just about managed to divert enough power from the cooling systems to keep our AR-activity-detection circuits working reasonably well. Here’s the AR-activity that we’ve detected on the incoming channels as a result:

Evil Dark, by Justin GustainisEvil Dark, the second Occult Crimes Investigation by Justin Gustainis was reviewed by Mel at Mel’s Random Reviews: “If you haven’t read any Urban Fantasy with a male protagonist, this is a good starting point. Especially if you like plenty of wise-cracks and a good story. Recommended for fans of Ben Aaronovitch and Kevin Hearne. 8.5 out of 10.” There’s an interview with Justin (and giveaway!) at Fangs Wands and Fairy Dust and Steph has posted a review as well: “There’s plenty of danger and action, along with some pathos and a good mystery that make it great for [adult] men or women.”

Mister Chuck Wendig has continued to rake in the plaudits for Blackbirds. Seanan, on LiveJournal: “Miriam is a damaged protagonist, and her story is a damaged story, and I loved it. It’s like the bastard child of American Gods, Sparrow Hill Road, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and you should check it out if you like these things.” RoughJustice at Crime Fiction Lover: “Joe Lansdale, Dave Zeltserman, Tom Piccirilli, and Norman Partridge are all great writers who blend crime fiction with horror and the supernatural. With Blackbirds, Chuck Wendig deserves to join them on that list.” Heather at Fic Talk: “This was a dark and twisted book … but I can’t help but be excited for the next book to be released in this series.” J.M. at Semi-Educational Reviews: “Blackbirds is a tightly clenched fist just waiting to sock you one. In the solar plexus … I give it big, fat A+. Read it. As soon as possible. Go, now.” And J. at Fantasy Opinion: “Is this a book I’ll recommend to anyone? Not really. It’s too dark and murderous for some. Would I recommend it to my friends? I already did. It’s brilliant.” All fine people of excellent taste and judgement, clearly.

Night's Engines by Trent JamiseonComing Soon: Night’s Engines by Trent Jamieson (June 2012) has been reviewed by Keith at Futures Past and Present, who said: “The pace is fast, the action thrilling, and the dialogue real. I blew through this one, it moves so quickly. It’s a fresh and original piece of work, one I recommend highly.” And so do we.

Also Coming Soon: Strangeness and Charm (June 2012) by Mike Shevdon, who was the guest of honour on the 36th Episode of the Audio Tim, talking about (amongst a great many other things) his Courts of the Feyre series.

Coming a Little Later On: Paul S. Kemp‘s sword & sorcery saga The Hammer and The Blade (July 2012), which was reviewed by Shadowhawk at The Founding Fields: “Swords & Sorcery at its best for a modern audience, The Hammer and The Blade echoes the magic of the old Dragonlance novels and takes the reader on a fast-paced adventure against sorcerors and demons through some of the most dangerous locations in the world.” Paul at The Functional Nerds said: “The Hammer and the Blade is old school Sword and Sorcery with an appealing pair of protagonists whose feats of derring-do and likeable personalities kept me turning the pages.” And Erik at I Will Read Books concluded: “The Hammer and the Blade was certainly a book I’ll remember for being fun and action packed. I’m a big fan of sword and sorcery, so hopefully we will see more of Egil and Nix in the future.”

Coming a Month After That: vN (August 2012) by Madeline Ashby was reviewed by Liam at Troubled Scribe: “A captivating conglomeration of Stephen Spielberg’s A.I., a little mix of I, Robot, and even The Matrix seem to infiltrate their way into vN, Ashby’s first novel.” Captivating conglomeration? Try saying that ten times fast in the middle of a heatwave (have we mentioned it’s warm in these parts?)

Snippets from our authors’ blogs

Newly-signed Angry Robot author Wesley Chu has been guest-posting over at fellow Angry Robot / Strange Chemistry author Laura Lam’s blog, telling the world just how good it feels to have signed that two-book deal. Yeah, baby!

Anne Lyle explains why she reads reviews (of her own work) and reveals an extremely sane and sensible attitude towards the whole thing. Other published writers, take note.

David Tallerman‘s short story ‘Slow Drowning’ – a tale of the creeping, soul-sucking horror of… gnomes! – has been posted at This is Horror.

Chuck Wendig answers readers’ questions at his own Terrible Minds blog.

And finally…

Our Lee charmed the pants off the folks at the Round Table Podcast, during a 20 minute chat with them, so much so that they invited him back to host a workshop session with Kevin O. McLaughlin.

And our Emlyn has been talking to The Paige Today about his freshly-paperbacked novel, Hunted, and his suitably nefarious and devious plans for our brand new crime imprint Exhibit A.

That’s your lot! If you’re in the UK, here’s hoping the heatwave is scheduled to linger over the weekend. Don’t forget your sun-block. And remember to rehydrate frequently. (We recommend using lager. Because lager makes you dizzy. And dizzy meat-suits are much, much easier for the Harvester Droids to catch…)

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