Hello, hello and welcome to another Robot Round-Up from your Robot Overlord chums. Can’t think of anything preambly this week, so without further ado, on with the links!

The Hammer and the Blade, by Paul S KempPaul S. Kemp‘s The Hammer and the Blade (out now in the US/CAN and ebook, next Thurs in UK/EU) was reviewed by a number of clearly discerning bloggers of obviously excellent taste this week:

• Alex Brown, writing for the mighty Tor.com, said: “Did I mention how much fun Egil and Nix are? So. Much. Damn. Fun. … I loved it. No, seriously, I really did. The Hammer and the Blade is about as sword and sorcery as it gets.”
• Keith at Adventures Fantastic said: “This is a sword and sorcery novel that reminds you why sword and sorcery is fun in the first place … It’s fast paced, smart, funny, and at times extremely dark.”
• Skuldren at Roqoo Depot said: “If you like sword and sorcery books, The Hammer and the Blade presents an entertaining duo that blows Gotrek and Felix out of the water … It’s witty, fun, entertaining, and explores some interesting themes about the portrayal of women in sword and sorcery tales. I give it a five out of five metal bikinis.”
• Mieneke at A Fantastical Librarian said: “The book is a great romp of a story that will leave you grinning at its characters and humour and leave you cheering when they save the day. Hopefully this is the first of many Egil and Nix tales; I know I’m curious to see what trouble they’ll land themselves in next!”

Paul was also interviewed by fine folks at Roqoo Depot and you can listen to his dulcet tones on the 109th Functional Nerds Podcast.

Obsidian & Blood by Aliette de Bodard, omnibus editionAliette de Bodard‘s Aztec fantasy saga Obsidian & Blood received a fantastic review from Shadowhawk at The Founding Fields, who really made an effort to explore the themes, setting and atmosphere of the three novels, as well as the more obvious character and plot elements, and concluded by saying: “If you are tired of all the medieval Europe fantasy settings and are looking for something different, or you just want to experiment for the fun of it, then this is the collection you should be reading. Obsidian and Blood is a visceral and thrilling ride through the Aztec culture” He gave it 9.5 / 10 as well. Can’t get much better than that.

Also, in a guest post for The Founding Fields, Aliette explores one of her own favourite blog-themes: Writing Convincing Non-Western Fantasy. Well worth a read. Meanwhile, Val’s Random Comments takes a second look at Aliette’s Xuya Universe short fiction.

Jo Anderton’s Debris – the opening volume in the Veiled Worlds series, which continues with our July release Suited – was reviewed by Mieneke at A Fantastical Librarian: “what remains after finishing [Debris] is both a sense of unfinished business and the enjoyment of a fun read … I look forward to starting Suited“.

Congrats to Jo on winning the Australian Horror Writer’s Association short story competition as well!

Night's Engines by Trent JamiesonTrent Jamieson, author of the steampunk-esque apocalyptic duology The Nightbound LandRoil and recently released Night’s Engines – was interviewed by his local radio station for their 4ZZZFM Podcast.

Justin Gustainis‘ second Occult Crimes Investigation, Evil Dark, was reviewed by Sheryl at I Wish I Was a Book: “If you like supernatural detective stories with 3D characters and inventive plots, you’ll have a great time.” And there’s a succinct review at CSI: Librarian, which concluded with: “I can’t wait for the next book in this series, and I wish more Urban Fantasy was written in a similar fashion.”

Justin has also been guest blogging again – and there are giveaways, too – at Dark Faerie Tales (‘Genre Writers Deal With Darkness – Literally’) and Supernatural Snark (‘The Top 15 Things People Say when I tell them I Write Urban Fantasy’).

Madeline Ashby‘s forthcoming vN (August 2012) was reviewed by Odo at Sense of Wonder (also in Spanish): “vN is a fresh and original novel and an extremely interesting debut. I highly recommend it if you want to read a book which is not tour typical humans-vs-robots story.” Madeline has also penned a guest post for The Qwillery entitled ‘Gynoid Trouble’, which covers everything from android psychology to the positioning of artificial females within genre literature and popular culture. A fascinating read, check it out. As well as her lastest blog post: “Are you concerned with where science fiction is going?”.

Chuck Wendig‘s Blackbirds continues to be discovered and win new fans, including Kristin at Owlcat Mountain, who said: “Blackbirds is tough and gritty, and it isn’t afraid to get in your face with a curse and a puff of cigarette smoke. It’s not for sensitive readers, but this dark fantasy is a stand-out among the novels that equate ‘bloody’ with ‘edgy’.” And Battyward at Notes From the Belfry, who got on really well with Miriam Black: “[Miriam] may not be a role model, but like Arya Stark, Lisbeth Salander, or any number of Whedon’s warrior women before her, she’s one girl that doesn’t take any shit.”

Anne Lyle has followed up last week’s appearance as a guest on the Roundtable Podcast by hosting the latest in their writing workshop series.

David Tallerman (author of Giant Thief and its forthcoming sequel, Crown Thief) has posted a series of articles on ‘Ten Things the Small Press Can Do As Well (or Better) Than the Professional Press’ and has provided a handy index to the series.

Lauren BeukesMoxyland has been reviewed at Upcoming4.me: “What struck me most was how Beukes reminded me of something that William Gibson once was, a true visionary with an intuition for expanding the current technology trends.”

Lavie Tidhar‘s The Great Game was reviewed by Theresa at Terror Tree: “Tidhar’s world is energetic and a tad confusing as he switches from points of view and narrative styles, but nevertheless it is a thoroughly fun book and a lively adventure.” And series-opener The Bookman was reviewed by The Broken Bullhorn: “Tidhar is a skilled writer telling a solidly constructed tale. The book finishes with an ending, not a cliffhanger, so it can be read as a stand-alone, though I’ll be moving right along to the second book, Camera Obscura.”

And finally, our soon-to-be-launched YA imprint Strange Chemistry has unleashed another book trailer on the world, with this short teaser for Shift:

That’s all for this week, people. Our regular Robot Round-Up Compilobot is on annual leave for the next couple of Fridays, but we’ll do our best to keep things ticking over in its absence. Failing that, there’ll be the RoboMother of All Round-Ups for you once it’s back at its desk (with electro-ankle-shackles firmly re-affixed, of course…)