Hello, hello and welcome to another Robot Round-Up. We’ve got plenty of links to share this week, so let’s get to it:

The Hammer and the Blade, by Paul S KempPaul S. Kemp‘s blast of pure sword and sorcery goodness, The Hammer and the Blade is nearly upon us (next month!) and was reviewed this week by Paul (a different Paul…) at SciFi Bulletin, who said: “Kemp has a cinematic eye for detail; the final chase sequence in particular leaps from the page into the imagination.”

Meanwhile Paul (author Paul) has been telling Ryan at Battle Hymns all about The Hammer and the Blade, his writing inspirations and challenges, and lots more. And he was the guest of honour on the 35th episode of The Once and Future Podcast this week as well.

There’s a truly epic interview with Mike Shevdon by Gillian Pollack over at BiblioBuffet as part of their regular Bookish Dreaming column. Plus, there’s a quick look at Strangeness and Charm at bookbitch (you may have to scroll a bit…) and Mike has posted further background research notes on his blog.

Matthew HughesTo Hell and Back series-opener The Damned Busters was reviewed by Gemma at Book Chick City: “An enjoyable book with some very thought provoking themes, with an endearing lead. I’d recommend this book to anyone who liked the film, Kick-Ass, as both deal with the same theme but in very different ways.” And Heather has reviewed volume two, Costume Not Required for the Sacramento / San Francisco Book Review, saying: “Part mystery, part comic book, part religious treatise, and part crime drama, Hughes manages to work in entertaining twists and character confrontations on a regular basis without overloading his story.”

Evil Dark, by Justin GustainisJustin Gustianis, author of the Occult Crimes Investigations books – Hard Spell and recently-released Evil Dark so far – has been guest-blogging again, with appearances at the Sci-Fi Guys Book Review blog, with ‘Welcome to “Haunted Scranton”‘ and at Larissa’s Bookish Life, where he explains Scranton’s Lockup Procedure for Supes (and Larissa’s running a giveaway to win a copy of Evil Dark as well).

It must have been Angry Robot Week at The Guilded Earlobe this week, because Bob has reviewed the Brilliance Audio editions of Adam Christopher‘s Empire State: “No description I have yet read truly captures the content and feel of this novel. Christopher has a truly original idea, yet uses classic alternate history and scifi elements to bring it to life.” (full review here) and Chris F. Holm‘s Dead Harvest: “Chris F. Holm manages to bring a believable noir feel to his urban fantasy, by creating a truly compelling character whose struggles with his very nature only adds to the tension.” (full review here) and David Tallerman‘s Giant Thief: “The Giant Thief was a light, fun Fantasy novel, with a likeable, yet roguish lead. Easie Damasco has enough of a journey, both physically and morally to keep you interested, yet there is still plenty of room for future tales showing his transformation from villain to hero.” (full review here). Wow. Cheers, Bob! (Also, funny you should mention transformation, because Easie Damasco is back in Crown Thief this October and rumour has it he might have developed a nascent conscience, maybe even a burgeoning sense of decency… if the rumours are true, of course.)

Chuck Wendig‘s pretty damn awesome debut Blackbirds was reviewed by Jessica at AllwaysUnmended, who said: “If you like stories with coarse, gritty realism, you need to read this book. If you like tough female protagonists with no-holds-barred attitudes, you need to read this book. You know what? You just need to read this book.” and by Hannah at My Book Journey, whose conclusion was: “Blackbirds is a high energy, whisky-fuelled ride, that will pull you along for the journey and have you questioning whether we can change destiny. A must-read book by an author that is worth watching.” We couldn’t agree more.

Also: Chuck reviewed Prometheus – warning: spoilers!) and dispensed a short, sharp dose of writing advice at Advice to Writers.

Our very own Ditmar ‘Best New Talent Award Winner, Jo Anderton – whose second novel, Suited, is out in just a couple of weeks’ time – was the subject of a 2012 Snapshot interview at The Book Nut.

Chris F. Holm‘s Dead Harvest was warmly received by Matt, The Fiction Stroker, who said: “A thumping pace and a carefully constructed and taut plot keeps the reader hooked up until the end. An impressive debut by Holm, the upcoming second instalment, The Wrong Goodbye, is a must-read.”

Death, Books and Tea took a look back at Tim Waggoner‘s Dark War (now available in The Nekropolis Archives three-in-one omnibus edition) and said: “The darkly funny, slightly sarcastic writing style from the earlier books acre carried over into this one. I love Tim’s writing style and there’s always something to make me laugh.”

Theresa takes a look at recently-signed AR author Emma Newman‘s dark fiction collection From Dark Places over at her Terror Tree blog.

Benito has reviewed the first batch of Empirestate.cc Worldbuilder contributor stories at Beetwixt Book Reviews, where he’s also posted a review of Chris F. Holm‘s crime / horror short story collection 8 Pounds.

Our Darren has been chatting to Tim Ward of Audio Tim Podcast fame, about the newly-expanded Robot Trading Company.

We were all chuffed to bits with the book trailer, by cover artist Lee Gibbons, for Katya’s World by Jonathan L. Howard, coming this Autumn from our YA imprint Strange Chemistry:

And finally, why not do some good today: read this and then use the links provided to buy a copy of Wheel Mouse and All the Crazy Robots, the profits from which will go to the Children’s Hospice Charity for Terminally Ill and Life-Limited Children.

That is all.