Hello, hello and welcome to another of our regular Robot Round-Up link-a-thons. It’s been a short week here in the Angry Robot UK HQ, thanks to QEII’s diamond jubilee and the associated double bank-holiday. But that hasn’t stopped our authors from doing their thing, nor the massed ranks of reviewers who have been taking a look at an impressive selection of Angry Robot books this week. So, without further ado or digression:

Strangeness and Charm by Mike ShevdonMike Shevdon‘s recently-released Strangeness and Charm – volume III in the Courts of the Feyre series – was reviewed this week by Pablocheesecake The Eloquent Page, who loved it: “The Courts of the Feyre is swiftly becoming one of my favourite series. There is a fantastic quality to Mike Shevdon’s work that I’ve yet to discover anywhere else. Strangeness and Charm is a great example of modern urban fantasy executed perfectly.” Paul Simpson at SciFi Bulletin enjoyed Mike’s attention to historical detail: “Shevdon incorporates a lot of real history into his stories (although having lived there for a long time, I don’t recall there being a museum in Burgess Hill that has useful artefacts that can be used for nefarious purposes – maybe there’s a glamour on it?” Mike could tell you the answer to that one, but then he’d have to magically mind-wipe you. (Or maybe he already did..?)

Paul S. Kemp‘s The Hammer and the Blade is out next month and the reviews are continuing to flood in (bullet-point time…)

• Bane of Kings at The Founding Fields: “An awesome fantasy novel shows that Kemp can work his magic in almost any setting, be it in a galaxy far far away, the Warhammer World or in his own creation. A rollercoaster ride that is not to be missed.”
• Matthew at Silver Pen Scribe: “I wouldn’t hesitate in picking up on future novels featuring Egil and Nix … I’d gladly take part in any adventure those two set out on, and treasure every blessed moment.”
• Ryan at Battle Hymns: “If you like your fantasy to have stakes that are more personal than epic, and if you like heroes who are short on morals, then The Hammer and the Blade is for you. You’ll get a heavy dose of action and adventure, and a plot that will make it hard to put this book down.”
• Rebekah, for the British Fantasy Society: “To all intents and purposes this is a buddy movie waiting to happen, and I’m looking forward to reading the next installment. It kept my attention and interest throughout and has obvious potential to continue and develop.”
• A succinct summary from Gillian Pollack: “enough humour and enough cliff-hangeriness to make every page worth turning”. (We’re with Gillian: if ‘cliff-hangeriness’ isn’t a word then it bloody well should be.)

The Hammer and the Blade, by Paul S KempPaul has been talking to The Founding Fields, about The Hammer and the Blade and the differences in writing shared-universe and original creation fiction and to Big Shiny Robot about lots more Egil & Nix related stuff. There’s another interview with Paul at Civilian Reader, with lots of discussion of The Hammer and the Blade as well as Paul’s writing influences and practices, plus his advice for would-be tie-in / shared-universe writers out there. And over on his blog Paul presents Ten Reasons to Buy The Hammer and the Blade, none of which we could argue with (especially number 6 – who wants pet pee in their shoe, eh? – and number 4, which goes without saying…)

Madeline Ashby‘s vN (August 2012) was reviewed by Carl Barker for the British Fantasy Society, who had this to say: “With an excellent grasp of her subject matter and much to say within the genre, Ashby looks set to become one of the most important new voices in this particular branch of SF, and I for one shall be awaiting her next book with great interest. Download to your system at the earliest opportunity.”

Lee Battersby, author of The Corpse-Rat King (September 2012) has been profiled and interviewed for an Aussie Snapshot at Ebon Shores. Lee has begun posting on-request excerpts from The Corpse-Rat King via his Facebook Page and, come publication day, two lucky participants will win ebook copies of the book… full details on Lee’s blog.

Leo Elijah Cristea was suitably impressed with Anne Lyle‘s The Alchemist of Souls and said so in his review: “Anne Lyle’s writing is beautiful, elegant and gripping; be prepared to be swept away to a rich and colourful depiction of a different Elizabethan England, where treachery and danger abound.”

Adam Christopher‘s debut Empire State was reviewed by Vinca for SF Crows Nest: “With enough twists and turns to keep you engaged throughout this was an entertaining novel and a highly promising debut from Adam Christopher.” And Empire State has also been spotted in the wild, in the Empire State Building Gift Shop, no less. Now that’s what we call product placement!

We think this is a first for one of our books: a drunken video review of Chuck Wendig‘s Blackbirds by LeAnna the Literary Lush:

Not that we condone the excessive consumption of alcohol per se but… ah, hell, who are we kidding? We work in publishing for crying out loud! Hugely entertaining drunken reviews? More, please! (Chuck was impressed, too.)

Amortals by Matt Forbeck was reviewed by Shadowhawk at The Founding Fields, who said: “Incredibly gripping and a downright science-fiction thriller, Amortals is a non-stop roller-coaster ride.” Matt was also the guest of honour of the 37th episode of the Audio Tim podcast. Well worth a listen.

Harbinger of the Storm by Aliette de Bodard was reviewed by Hannah at My Book Journey: “The fast pace and intrigue pull you into a captivating world, where the fury and vengeance of the gods can change everything and no one can be trusted.” There’s also a short and slightly odd one-question interview with Aliette at The Science of Fiction. Plus: Aliette’s short story ‘Immersion’ has been published at Clarkesworlds Magazine, and Aliette has posted her Author’s Notes on her own blog.

Lauren Beukes‘ Arthur C. Clarke Award-Winning Zoo City was reviewed by Bane of Kings for The Founding Fields: “A wonderful ride, entertaining and unputdownable. You won’t want to miss this.”

Lavie Tidhar‘s short story ‘A Brief History of the Great Pubs of London’ is now available in audio form via Dark Fiction Magazine, narrated by our very own Emma Newman, no less!

Chris F. Holm has been guest blogging at Criminal Minds on the subject of pets – specifically, why Sam Thornton, protagonist and star of Dead Harvest doesn’t have one.

Guy Haley has posted his latest Monday Short Story: ‘The Great Tide‘.

Gary McMahon shares his Top 5 Horror Films.

Trent Jamieson has posted another Book Corner Vidblog, offering some deeply sage advice on the subject of ‘How to Win Awards’. Watch and learn, people. Watch and learn…

Chuck Wendig reveals… [drum-roll, please!] The Secret to Writing! Seriously. And not as complicated as you might think.

GalleyCat gave us a mention in an article on DRM-Free eBooks. Cheers, Galleycat!

And our Amanda has been talking Buffy at Stella Matutina.

Phew! That’ll do for this week. Is it beer o’clock yet? No? Well somebody show some initiative and move the clocks an hour forward, dammit!

See you again, same time, same blog, next week.