Hello, hello and welcome to this week’s Robot Round-Up. Lots to tell you about this week, so on with the link-show:

vN by Madeline Ashby, cover Martin Bland/SpyroteknikWe’ve seen lots more review-love for Madeline Ashby‘s rather wonderful debut novel vN:
• Tsana at Tsana’s Reads & Reviews “I definitely recommend this read for science fiction fans. I would also recommend it to most fantasy fans as it’s fairly low on technobabble and it’s character-driven as well as idea-driven.”
• Steven at Foes of Reality said vN was: “an engaging, entertaining book, that touches on some complex, relevant themes and draws interesting parallels between its vision of artificial and human life.”
Falcata Times said: “It’s wonderfully written, there’s just the right amount of action to increase pace … Add to this solid prose, a great concept within and an overall arc that allows the reader to see the world though [Amy’s] eyes and all in this is a great release for a first time author.”
• Caitlin at In Case of Survival discovered that vN is much more that just a robot adventure story: “It’s powerful. It really is. vN discusses slavery, the future of robotics, the nature of humanity and sentience and does so without preaching or lecturing.”
• And here’s one we missed when it was first posted back in July: Christophe of The Geek Syndicate said: “This is an excellent book, carefully thought out, in a world that could be our future with only a few technological breakthroughs. The plot is believable and gripping, with a surprising ending. It was impossible to put down.”

Madeline has been interviewed by Jessica at Sci-Fi Fan Letter on the subjects of writing and, of course, vN. Also by the good folks at Falcata Times, who asked things like whether she has any similarities she has to her protagonist and what sort of music she listens to while writing.

Mockingbird, by Chuck WendigChuck Wendig‘s second Miriam Black novel, Mockingbird, is almost ready to be unleashed on the world and this week we’ve spotted a few hardy souls braving the harrowing psychodrama within:
• Johann at Fantasy Opinion said: “The writing and pacing is done well and really sucks you in. I destroyed this book in two days, and wished that the next one was out as well … The story is bleak, dark and gory. Despair and death seems to be everywhere. It’s amazing.”
• Jenny at Reading Envy summarised succinctly: “Horrifying, dark, and disturbing. It is Chuck Wendig doing what he does best.”
• Heidi of the Open Book Society said: “This was an amazing book that literally had me on edge until the end. I loved every minute”.

The second book in Chris F. Holm‘s Collector series, The Wrong Goodbye, is out in October and Paul at SciFi Bulletin has posted what we think might be the first review, calling it: “A strong urban fantasy that will cement Holm’s reputation in the field.” We like to think so, too.

Jo Anderton‘s recently-released Veiled Worlds novel, Suited, was reviewed by Lorraine for Australian Speculative Fiction in Focus, who said: “Suited is a very good book. It packs in a lot of plot, but doesn’t leave the reader behind. There are well written action scenes as well as subtly inserted exposition … Characterisation is strong and generally involving.”

Meanwhile, Jo has been taking to Rowena Cory Daniells about the darkness within us all. And Jo is also running a giveaway on her blog – suggest interview questions for her characters to win a copy of Debris and Suited.

The Hammer and the Blade, by Paul S KempPaul S. Kemp‘s sword and sorcery heist-movie waiting to happen, The Hammer and the Blade, was reviewed by the Phantom Book Blog this week: “The Hammer and the Blade is a fun, fast-paced read perfect for anybody who just wants to read about two bad ass dudes doing magic and smashing people up. It also happens to have my favourite ending in a fantasy novel to date”. And Johann at Fantasy Opinion, said: “This book came as a real surprise to me, and I’d recommend it to any fantasy fan. If you like sword and sorcery, you’ll love this. If you enjoy a well crafted story and a good book, you’ll like it just at much. That makes it special.”

Paul has also been interviewed by 42 Webs and Roleplayers Chronicle, as well as answering 20 Questions at Geek Life.

Mike Shevdon‘s Strangeness and Charm has been reviewed by Christophe of The Geek Syndicate: “Descriptive, well thought out and historically accurate, I found this a great read. The mechanisms for using magic by the Fey made sense and I highly recommend this book.”

Justin Gustianis‘s Evil Dark was reviewed by Glenn Dallas for the Sacramento & San Francisco Book Review: “A supernatural procedural that owes more to Dragnet and Raymond Chandler than The X-Files … a dark noir-tinged treat for mystery and fantasy fans.” And Cathy at Greyt Thoughts? said: “I liked this book and I definitely recommend it and the first book in the series, Hard Spell, if you like somewhat darker urban fantasy.”

Adam Christopher‘s Empire State was reviewed by Mat at Brah-Cast, who said: “It’s seriously such an awesome book. Publishers Angry Robot have struck gold with Christopher and with another title, Seven Wonders (out next month) looking to be an even stronger super hero romp it’s an exciting time to be a Sci Fi geek.” Adam was also the guest of honour of the 115th Episode of the Functional Nerds Podcast this week.

And finally: we like the sound of Angry Robot Sluts Attack!, we really do. If anyone out there has any YouTube footage they could point us in the direction of, our Lee would really like to see it. Purely for research purposes, of course…