Wotcha. Robot Round-Up time. Bit shorter than last week’s epic, but still plenty of good stuff to tell you about, starting with:

The Merchant of Dreams, by Anne LyleThe Merchant of Dreams, the second book in Anne Lyle‘s Night’s Masque series, was reviewed by Tammy at Books, Bones & Buffy, who enjoyed the “beautifully written story” but felt she missed out on a lot of back-story through not having read The Alchemist of Souls first… “With the back story of Book One firmly in place, The Merchant of Dreams will most likely enthrall any reader who loves history.” And by Ros at WarpcoreSF: “One of the things I enjoyed most in this novel was its complexity. Just when you think you know who the bad guy is, it turns out to be someone else. There’s very little good and evil, but almost everyone is wearing a mask of one sort or another and there’s much fun to be had figuring out what’s behind all of them.”

Both The Alchemist of Souls and The Merchant of Dreams were mentioned by Aoife in her Holiday Reading round-up: “It’s a heady world of politics, intrigue, and xenophobia, and Lyle makes creating a vivid and grimy Elizabethan background look easy … I love any book that can combine my loves of both historical and fantasy fiction.”

We’ve spotted another batch of reviews of Ramez Naam‘s Nexus this week, including a few earlier ones that somehow slipped through the net last week:
• Tyson at Speculative Book Review: “Nexus was a great debut and I can not wait to see what Ramez Naam comes up with next. Highly recommended.”
• R. A. Bardy for the British Fantasy Society: “I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this for anyone looking for a good action yarn — it’s fast-paced, feels very hip and happening (even a bit “modern cyberpunk”-ish), and the author’s voice is genuinely refreshing.”
• Merikay at Popcorn Reads: “Michael Crichton has nothing on Ramez Naam when it comes to writing fast-paced scientific thrillers that ooze with authenticity. I could not put Nexus down and literally read until my eyes were crossed.”
• Mel at SF Revu: “readers will enjoy the excitement as Kade does his best to keep his friends safe and yet remain true to his own belief. Naam provides plenty of action and high body counts.”
• Steven at Foes of Reality: “I’d categorize Nexus as a novel whose uniqueness is in its ideas”.
• Think at Think Books: “Nexus was definitely a thriller! This book made me think and I love books like that.”

Ramez was a guest on the Singularity 1 On 1 Podcast as well.

The Mad Scientist's Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke - Feb 2013Cassandra Rose Clarke‘s forthcoming tale of love, loss and robots, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, was reviewed by Catherine at The Functional Nerds: “Fantastic character building and a truly classic love story make The Mad Scientist’s Daughter a literary classic for lovers of both genre fiction and classic romance.” And Aoife read and enjoyed this one over the holidays as well: “It’s wonderfully moving, and I’ll be thoroughly recommending this one to both science fiction and drama/romance fans.”

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter and iD by Madeline Ashby – the follow-up to vN – were both highlighted in Charlie Jane Anders’ round-up of All the Essential Science Fiction and Fantasy Books That Are Coming in 2013 on IO9.com.

Lee Collins‘s The Dead of Winter was reviewed by Jenn at Tynga’s Reviews: “If you’re a fan of westerns and dark fantasy, this may just be the book for you. The Dead of Winter is well written and chock full of great characters and twists and Lee Collins has earned himself a place on my must-read list with his first novel.” And The Dead of Winter gets a mention in Mihir’s Top Ten Debuts of 2012 at Fantasy Book Critic.

Phil Ambler reviewed Adam Christopher‘s superhero extravaganza Seven Wonders for The British Fantasy Society and concluded: “As a non-comic book reader, this was an enjoyable read and one I would definitely recommend you go out and buy.”

Chris F. Holm‘s second Collector series novel, The Wrong Goodbye was reviewed by Renee for New York Journal of Books and Book Fetish: “Riding on an intricately woven plot filled with witty, flawlessly executed dialogue, Mr. Holm’s sophomore effort proves that he’s no one-hit wonder, but rather a true contender. The author’s amazing talent for writing and limitless genius for storytelling guarantees readers a wild ride”. And Dead Harvest was named as one of the Readers Choice Top 5 novels (US) by The House of Crime and Mystery.

The truly epic omnibus edition of Lavie Tidhar‘s The Bookman Histories was named Book of the Week at UpComing4.me.

Emma Newman has released another Split Worlds short shory, ‘The Lesson’, which has been posted on Ren Warom’s blog.

Paul S. Kemp has been talking to Audrey Zuvick for The Examiner.

David Tallerman has been reflecting on 2012, his Damasco year.

Guy Haley has been talking about storytelling in video games with the SF Signal Mind Meld crew.

Anne Lyle has been to see the Globe Theatre’s Richard III and has declared it “a wondrous experience”.

And finally:

Taking over the planet, one cover version at a time…

Until next week…