A message comes in from a distant frontier… Robot forces are advancing on all fronts. As of today, the Chinese censors has finished poring through all our files for subversive messages, and we’re very pleased to announce that the Angry Robot list is now available on the Chinese ebook platform Dangdang.
Cue a billion hats thrown into the air as one, as discordant electronic choirs lead the singing of the Angry Robot theme tune, cunningly rearranged for erhu and qinqin. Onwards, onwards!
The Mirror Empire‘s release follows hot on the heels of Kameron‘s TWO Hugo awards at LonCon, and is certainly making waves in the fantasy circles. We are very excited for it be unleashed on the general public, and look forward to seeing and hearing reader reactions. For the full list of Kameron’s blog tour, check out her blog post here. For now, here are just some of the rave reviews The Mirror Empire has received, thus far:
STARRED REVIEW: “This is a hugely ambitious work, bloody and violent, with interestingly gender-flipped politics and a host of factions to keep straight, as points of view switch often. Although it is a challenging read, the strong narrative thread in this new series from Hurley (God’s War) pulls readers through the imaginative tangle of multiple worlds and histories colliding.”
– Library Journal
STARRED REVIEW: “Hurley (Rapture) reuses old tropes to excellent effect, interweaving them with original elements to create a world that will fascinate and delight her established fans and appeal to newcomers. Readers will blaze through this opening installment and eagerly await the promised sequel.”
– Publishers Weekly
“Hurley intelligently tackles issues of culture and gender, while also throwing in plenty of bloodthirsty action and well-rounded characters. This is a fresh, exciting fantasy epic that’s looking to the future and asking important questions. 4****/5″
– SFX magazine
“The Mirror Empire is a fresh, vigorous, and gripping entrant into the epic fantasy genre, able to stand toe-to-toe with any of the heavyweight series out there. I cannot recommend this novel highly enough.”
– SF Revu
“The Mirror Empire is epic in every sense of the word. Hurley has built a world – no, worlds – in which cosmology and magic, history and religion, politics and prejudice all play crucial roles. Prepare yourself for sentient plants, rifts in the fabric of reality, and remarkable powers that wax and wane with the stars themselves. Forget all about tentative, conventional fantasy; there’s so much great material in here that Hurley needs more than one universe in order to fit it all in.”
– Brian Staveley, author of The Emperor’s Blades
“Taking epic fantasy down challenging and original paths. Thoughtful and thought-provoking with every twist and turn.”
– Juliet E. McKenna
“For me [The Mirror Empire] did all the things a fantasy should do — holding our own societies up to the light by reflecting off worlds that are very different. Add in a magic system where the users are only powerful some of the time, and semi sentient vegetation that is possibly more of a threat than the magic users, and I happily sank into this book with a satisfied sigh.”
– Francis Knight
“Bold, merciless, and wildly inventive, Kameron Hurley’s The Mirror Empire begins an epic tale of worlds at war that will linger long in readers’ imaginations. If you’re looking for original and challenging fantasy, this is definitely the series for you.”
– Courtney Schafer, author of The Whitefire Crossing
“The Mirror Empireis the most original fantasy I’ve read in a long time, set in a world full of new ideas, expanding the horizons of the genre. A complex and intricate book full of elegant ideas and finely-drawn characters.”
– Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of The Shadows of the Apt series and finalist for the 2014 Gemmel Legend Award
“There’s a powerful yet elegant brutality in The Mirror Empire that serves notice to traditional epic fantasy: move over, make way, an intoxicating new blend of storytelling has arrived. These are pages that will command your attention.”
– Bradley Beaulieu, author of The Lays of Anuskaya trilogy
“With vividly inventive world building and a fast-paced plot, The Mirror Empire opens a smart, brutal, and ambitious epic fantasy series. Book two is already on my must-read list.” – Kate Elliott , author of the Spiritwalker Trilogy
“The Mirror Empire takes look at epic fantasy patriarchy & gives it a firm kick in the balls…[it] will be the most important book you read this year.”
– Alex Ristea, Ristea’s Reads
“In the two worlds of The Mirror Empire, we get Deadly Plants, Blood Magic, and yes, Brutal Women. The Mirror Empire is both a chance for fantasy fans to get to know Hurley’s writing, and for previous fans of her work to see what she can do in a new vein. And for readers new to her work, this is in many ways the best place to start. 4.5****/5.”
– Paul Weimer, SF Signal
“One of the most stunning epic fantasies I’ve read this year. The setting is unique and plays a major role in the story. A spectacular novel.”
– Books Without Any Pictures
“I can’t even tell you how much I liked this book. It was long, yes, but I didn’t mind it because there was just so much awesome happening. I classify it as a fantasy, but it could also be considered science fiction, what with the parallel universes and binary star system and all.”
– In Case of Survival
“At its best this novel is as good as anything I have read this year. Expect to hear ‘ambitious’ a lot; I couldn’t imagine the mental and physical mapping it would take to hold all these pieces together but hold together they do. The world is alive, the world is unique, and the world is actually built rather than borrowed.”
– Fantasy Review Barn
Not content with releasing The Mirror Empire in September, we also have the award-winning author Rod Duncan with The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter, a riotous novel of alternate history, set in a divided England. The cover is the first thing to catch everyone’s attention, and rightly so. This beautiful creation is by the fantastically talented Will Staehle, and visit Tor.com for Will’s exclusive post on his design process. The first book in the Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire has certainly struck a cord with readers, and here’s some of the reasons why reviewers are loving Elizabeth Barnabus and her story:
“Steeped in illusion and grounded in an alternative history of the Luddite Rebellion, Duncan’s strong supernatural mystery serves ably as both a standalone adventure and the start to a series…Strategically placed steampunk tropes inform but do not overwhelm Elizabeth’s headlong quest to find a missing aristocrat sought by the Patent Office, which is fixated on both achieving perfection and eliminating “unseemly science.” A hazardous border crossing into the permissively corrupt Kingdom of England and Southern Wales provides ample excitement, and a glossary at the novel’s conclusion hints enticingly at a much more involved story to come.”
– Publishers Weekly
A “detective story with a difference…Chapters begin with quotes from the legendary Bullet-Catcher’s Handbook, phrases that introduce not only the idea of illusion that pervades the novel, but also the author’s sly humour. [Duncan’s misdirection is] subtly and well done, all the way through the book, right to a neat little twist at the end, a play on the title that had me nodding in approval. Each [character] is vividly portrayed, lively enough to feel like the heroes of their own stories, all with distinctive voices; it’s always a good sign when you find yourself reading dialogue out loud, rolling your lips and tongue around the words.
Rod Duncan’s talent has combined inventive plot and characterisation to create a smart, amusing and fascinating tale that had me reading long into the night.”
– Fantasy Faction
“It’s all steampunk and circus wonder as we follow the adventures of Elizabeth Barnabas.The double crosses along the way keep the plot tight and fun, and the conclusion sets us up nicely for book two.”
– The Washington Post, Best New Science Fiction and Steampunk
“If I had a bowler hat, I’d take it off to the author of this beautifully crafted steampunk novel.”
– Chris D’Lacey, author of The Last Dragon Chronicles
“Rod Duncan’s The Bullet Catcher’s Daughter is a magic box pulsating with energy. Compulsive reading from the get-go, the blend of steampunk alternate history wrapped in the enigma of a chase makes for first-rate entertainment in this finely crafted novel.”
– Graham Joyce, author of Year of the Ladybird
“The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter is off to a solid start. Rod Duncan has created a wonderful setting in The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter taking in account the big as well as the small things that are needed to make a world go round. He has struck a perfect balance between both highlighting the characters, from our main protagonist Elizabeth Barnabus down to the secondary characters, and the world itself, using bits and pieces of exisiting history spinning it in his own way by adding enough fantasy influences to make it one-of-a-kind. It is with these kind of books that make sure the fantasy genre is kept fresh. If you are looking for something new and refreshing make sure you read The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter, it’s is everything you want and much more!”
– The Book Plank
“Looking for a good book? Mystery, duplicity, secret societies, alchemy, romance, action … The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter by Rod Duncan has it all and promises to be the talked-about/must-read book for sci-fi/fantasy enthusiasts this year!”
– Looking For A Good Read
“Really, a fine and well crafted novel. As per the glossary, Elizabeth plays a key role in the fall of the Gas-lit empire. Cheers to that as she is a captivating character. Angry Robot has picked a winner.” – Koeur’s Book Reviews
“I was immediately hooked by the world Duncan created. What would the world look like if the Industrial Revolution had been halted, even reverse? What really made this book for me was Elizabeth Barnabas. Her unusual upbringing in a traveling circus and her five years of forced independence have made her clever and strong. She’s a wonderful character and it was a treat to watch her work through the challenges the cropped up as she find out why everyone wants to get their hands on the Duchess’s missing brother.
“The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter is the opening book in a series and I will be eagerly waiting for the next installment of Elizabeth’s adventures.”
– Summer Reading Project
“The Bullet Catcher’s Daughter is an entertaining book that has some genuine, original touches combined with a clever story and even cleverer characters.”
– SF Book Reviews
“Rod Duncan has successfully written an absorbing tale from the perspective of a woman in the early nineteenth century. This is science-fiction with the sub genre of Steampunk, so technology is unorthodox and fascinating. A cracking read.”
– Fancy Pans Cafe
“Duncan has crafted a credible and intriguing world where the twists of a society founded on very different ideals are perhaps even more important than the technology. That makes this novel, while solidly a steampunk offering, feel very fresh and engaging. The backdrop of the circus and the surprising way Elizabeth manages to make a living give the whole story real depth. This is the first in a planned series of novels entitled The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire: I’m certainly looking forward to the next installments. Fabulous.” – Geek in Sydney
Have you pre-ordered your copy yet? Both books are released in the US and on ebook next Tuesday, 26 August with UK and ROW releasing Thursday, 4 September. Happy reading!
Marianne de Pierres, author of the acclaimed Parrish Plessis and award-winning Sentients of Orion science fiction series, and most recently, the Peacemaker series from Angry Robot.
If you have questions about cross-genre writing or any of these authors works that you’d like me to ask at the panel, please comment below. And be on the lookout for the link to join the discussion live on Thursday the 22nd
For those who won’t be able to attend live, we’ll record the panel to be uploaded to YouTube, as well as archiving it on Google+ for viewing for years to come.
Hosted by our gregarious US Sales & Marketing Manager Mike Underwood, we learned some valuable lessons from this motley crew – namely, don’t ever ask Madeline Ashby about jetpacks or rush Wesley Chu in his scotch drinking. Watch and listen as they chat about instant communication, the scientific implausabilites of Prometheus, how they respectively became interested in SF, the social uses of SF, and much more. Thanks for everyone who joined in on the hangout and also those who provided questions on Twitter, on #AngryRobotLive.
For those who missed it, watch the full Live Panel here:
The lovely folks over at SFX have teamed up with us angrier people and together we’re delighted to bring you TWO free ebooks!
In case you didn’t notice with all our earlier celebrations, we’re pretty proud of reaching our 100th book release – Adam Christopher‘s Hang Wire, and we’re rounding this out with an exclusive offer for all SFX readers.
Well, well, post-WFC slump, we laugh in your face! Because we came back to work to the wonderful news that Wesley Chu‘s The Lives of Taohas been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Awards 2013 for Best SciFi! Wes is amongst some of the finest writers including Margaret Atwood, Peter F. Hamilton, John Scalzi, and Orson Scott Card, and damn, does he deserve to be there.
Here’s how Goodreads select their nominees:
“We analyze statistics from the 250 million books added, rated, and reviewed on the site in 2013 to nominate 15 books in each category. Opening round official nominees must have an average rating of 3.50 or higher. ”
Which means Wes has already been causing some great chatter on Goodreads, but to get recognised for it is pretty special. We don’t like to ask too much of you, our wonderful Robot Army and supporters, but please do get behind Wes and this wonderful book and vote here: HANDY VOTING LINK and if you really want to help, please spread the word. Tell your friends, neighbours, teachers, colleagues, postman, checkout assistant, person-sitting-beside-you-on-the-bus, hey, tell the world!
If you’re on Twitter, join the conversation by using #GoodreadsChoice
And if you haven’t read The Lives of Tao yet and are wondering what all the fuss is about, what are you waiting for? The sequel, The Deaths of Tao, is out in the US and ebook and is out this Thursday in the UK!
Hey, it’s Leah here, Angry Robot’s new intern. Today’s Robot Round-Up is a celebration of October’s upcoming titles, and we have some brilliant ones to show you. First of all, keep your eyes peeled for our Special Edition post coming soon onRamez Naam’s amazing second novel,Crux.Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother and Pirate Cinema has described Crux as “A blisteringly paced technothriller that dives deeper and even better into the chunky questions raised by Nexus. This is a fabulous book, and it ends in a way that promises at least one more. Count me in.” If this has whet your appetite, both books are out in shops now!
The first of the October titles is All is Fair by Emma Newman. The third in Emma’s successful The Split Worlds series. With many followers, readers are eagerly anticipating Emma’s next instalment. Here’s a sneak peak at some of the reviews:
• ‘Newman’s complex magical world is as inventive as it is charming, and this latest “Split Worlds” story contains deceit, deception and intrigue in all the right places.’ Kirkus Reviews
• ‘The series is Changeling the Lost meets Downton Abbey as feuding families tied to mad Fae patrons scheme in the world between ours and Faerie, and in those as well.’ Three Things to Read, Watch and Use
• ‘I love the plot of this series, as there are so many interlacing stories going on that you feel like a part of something much bigger… one of my favourite reads of the year.’ Book Chick City
• ‘There’s lots of action in this one, but there’s still all of the court intrigue and wonderful characterization that I’ve come to expect from the series… the ending leaves plenty of hints of things to come, and I can’t wait.’ My Bookish Ways
• ‘This is a fun book, adding more characters and different perspectives on the Nether and the Split Worlds, plenty of humour and excitement… I want to know more about the world Emma Newman has created, and I’m not ready to say goodbye to these characters yet!’ Vicky Thinks
•’I do love the unique world Emma has created in this series, where two cultures collide, and there’s some great bits of humour.’ Curiosity Killed the Bookworm
This title is released on the 3rd of October (UK) and the 23rd of September (US/CAN)
Our next October title is Prince Thief by David Tallerman. This is the third in David’s Tales of Easie Damasco series and our reviews have been singing its praise:
• ‘With action, humour, adventures, and giants, The Tales of Easie Damasco is an enjoyable series which fans of fantasy and heist stories are sure to enjoy.’ The Arched Doorway
• ‘This series is solid adventure fantasy, but with a twist. The stock thief in Tallerman’s hands is more than just a generic character. He’s unique, a fresh and original creation with enough familiarity to him that readers won’t be put off.’ Adventures Fantastic
Praise for Giant Thief
• ‘Damasco resembles a landlocked version of Jack Sparrow … The atypical backdrop, self-aware style and downplaying of magics bring to mind the contemporary fantasies of Scott Lynch and Joe Abercrombie.’ SFX Magazine
• ‘If you’re up for a fun, fast-paced adventure featuring rogues, giants and lots of fighting, you won’t want to miss it!’ A Fantastical Librarian
Praise for Crown Thief
• ‘It’s a fun romp in a dark fantasy world and when you add to this great prose, top notch prose and combat to keep you glued, all in all this is a great second book for the reader to enjoy.’ Falcata Times • ‘If you haven’t met Easie Damasco, you should. You’ll be glad you did.’ Adventures Fantastic
This title is released on the 3rd of October (UK) and the 24th of September (US/CAN)
• ‘Unexpected plot twists, shocking revelations, total chaos. Everything I thought I was signing on for when I picked up this book, I got.’ The Bibliosanctum
• ‘This is fantasy on the scale of Terry Brooks or Brandon Sanderson… If you’re a fan of fantasy, you’ll definitely want to check out SEVEN FORGES. It is a solid, well-written addition to the genre, and I’m looking forward to see what Moore does next.’ Shattered Ravings
• ‘I finished Seven Forges in four nights, staying up later than I should to do so. It’s not often I’ll stop and reread a scene, but I did more than once. I’m looking forward to see where Moore takes the story next.’ Adventures Fantastic
• “An excellent, enjoyable, and thoroughly entertaining fantasy debut into a new world of swords and sorcery, complete with romance, intrigue, and danger.” Attack of the Books
• I thought this was really intriguing, it’s a fast paced story and fairly short for a novel of this type of scope… I will definitely pick up the next novel to see what happens in this world. Lynn’s Book Blog
• ‘Wow, that twist. In some ways I think I should have seen it coming, and I kind of did, but Seven Forges just lulled me into security and BAM! Craziness!… I applaud a book that is willing to go as crazy realistic as Seven Forges did with that plot twist. I would very much like to read another story in the Seven Forges world.’ On Starships and Dragon Wings
This title is released on the 4th of October (UK) and 24th of September (US/CAN).
Gather round folks, and find out how you can win a signed copy of Three by Jay Posey!
As part of Jay’s Blog Tour for Three, “his stunning debut”, we’re running a Tour-wide Giveaway for two signed copies of Three. Each blog has an individual question, and answers can be found on Jay’s Website, in the Book Description / Jacket Info, or by reading the Chapter 1 Excerpt. Simple!
Stay tuned to Jay’s Blog Tour to read about Post-Apocalyptic Bounty Hunting; Jay’s survival tips for the End of the world; how he built the world of the Duskwalker, and his favourite settings within; what inspired him to write Three; and much, much more! If that doesn’t sound like enough, here’s a taster of the reviews rushing in:
• “Three will unplug you! This powerhouse of an apocalyptic read cannot and will not be denied!” My Shelf Confessions
• “But even with action aplenty, Three is a novel about redemption and the return to humanity and Posey injects every character interaction with meaning and pathos to spare.” 52 Book Reviews
• “This was very impressive [with] its fast pacing and well-written action sequences, sometimes alternating between the viewpoints of the various characters like you see in movies, creating this atmosphere of danger and suspense.” The Bibliosanctum • “The book has the hard-edged, gritty feel of postapocalyptic fiction. The dialog is terse; the action sequences pound along. But don’t think you’ve escaped into a world without tenderness. It’s there, even if in some cases its encased in armor and eclipsed by the need to survive.” Book Realms • “Three is a great start into a new series. The post-apocalyptic world that Jay Posey created in Three is brilliantly constructed, it’s just chock-full of the cool stuff, futuristic gadgets (guns and the like), augmented people and not forget the Weir.” The Book Plank
With 20 chances stops along the way, that’s 20 chances to enter…so what are you waiting for? Hop over to My Shelf Confessions for the first Guest Post and Question 1!
BLOG TOUR LIST! (their # corresponds to the Question # that stop has!)
What a busy few weeks it’s been here at Robot HQ; so busy in fact, that I’ve been shamefully slow since my last Round-Up! But what better to cheer up a rainy Friday (in Nottingham, at least) than a good look back over our recent highlights:
This month we’ve released two titles: Madeline Ashby‘s superb sequel to vN, iD, and also Paul S. Kemp‘s second outing with Egil and Nix, A Discourse in Steel. Here’s the big splash from launch day; since then, they’ve both been kept in a dungeon, slaves to their computers busy with blog posts, interviews, and also kept happy with rave reviews. To wit:
• Bibliotropic Review on Madeline’s iD: “Ashby has a wonderful imagination, an eye for detail, and characters that I don’t want to part from. From the beginning of the first book to the end of the second, I was hooked, and I’m eagerly looking forward to anything that Ashby does in the future.”
“It really is a modern I, Robot, but with a lot more grit, moral depth, and more interesting prose. Madeline Ashby ought to be seen as one of the big new names in science fiction.” Hardcover Wonderland
• Madeline’s blog tour featured interviews and blog posts, and she’s a rare beast that always manages to say something fresh and new with each stop:
• Madeline speaks out on the SFWA Scandal on Dark Matter Fanzine in a piece brilliantly entitled, ‘Stalin, Playboy, and Lady Writers’; talks to Civilian Reader about how to make Non-Humans Seem Human; • John Scalzi featured Madeline on Whatever‘s The Big Idea, and it’s a moving read: on facing fears, on telling the universe “to fuck right off and die”, and about living through the impossible. Read it.
• A Fantastical Librarian and My Bookish Ways have great interviews with Madeline, as does The Qwillery whilst Madeline faced up to Ten Questions About iD with Chuck Wendig, and My Shelf Confessions was lucky enough to nab Javier for a chat!
• Cheryl Morgan recently met up with Madeline and they sat down to discuss iD, and how Madeline uses robots to ask interesting questions about gender.
• SFSignal featured vN for a recent review and had this to say: “Unrelenting and surprising conflict drives a fast-paced read; genuine, human-robot dystopia; powerful character arcs; evokes series addiction.” If you haven’t already read vN, get it and you might as well get iD at the same time…I doubt you’ll want to wait between books!
• Last night Paul took part in an AMA on Reddit and go there to see what kinds of dirt they had him dish up!
• The fantastic cover, by Lee Gibbons, rightly gathered attention pre-launch, such as on Graeme’s SFF • “Kemp gives us a great fast paced romp packed with action and with enough character and world building to satisfy without slowing anything down.” I agree, Eoghann.com! And check out these other amazing reviews:
• “This is adventure fantasy at its finest…Kemp is a superb writer. If you enjoy sword and sorcery, adventure, and nonstop action, this is the book for you.” Adventures Fantastic
• Silver Pen Scribe: “enjoyable ride of pure fun fantasy.”
• Being A Big Sandwich: It is in the characters, particularly Egil and Nix, that Kemp shines and draws the reader in…The interplay between the two is well-done, and their friendship is the bedrock of the story.”
• Kobold Press: “This book has all the elements that fans of sword and sorcery should enjoy…The characters are deep and fun to get to know, the story is interesting, and the action is top shelf.”
• Odd Engine: “filled with new magic and mayhem that makes it a truly enjoyable read.”
• Mikel Andrews: ”This is the fantasy you’ve been craving.. If you’ve been dying for some real originality in the fantasy realm – with a scene of revenge that would make even Kick-Ass’ Hit Girl do a double-take – then Discourse in Steel is your next stop.”
A forthcoming title that is receiving a lot of attention – and do stay tuned for Jay’s impressive blog tour and a cool tour competition – is Three, the debut by renowned games writer Jay Posey. Take a look at some of these couple of early reviews:
• The Book Plank: “Three is a great start into a new series. The post-apocalyptic world that Jay Posey created in Three is brilliantly constructed, it’s just chock-full of the cool stuff, futuristic gadgets (guns and the like), augmented people and not forget the Weir.”
• Book Realms: “The book has the hard-edged, gritty feel of postapocalyptic fiction. The dialog is terse; the action sequences pound along. But don’t think you’ve escaped into a world without tenderness. It’s there, even if in some cases its encased in armor and eclipsed by the need to survive.”
• If I could only show you the early reviews that haven’t been published yet…but not long now! Three, the first title in the Legends of the Duskwalker series is out in the US & ebook on 30 July and in the UK and RoW on 1 August.
• Book Snobbery: “The Big Reap is the most ambitious of Holm’s Collector stories so far, and the payoff at the end is huge. HUGE”
• Tolerably Smart: “Book Three was a game changer much to my enjoyment”
• Raging Biblioholism: “Smart, funny and unassuming… Our world is a better place with Sam Thornton in it.”
• Every Read Thing: “Sam is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. While he carries with him the attitude of a blockbuster movie action star, he’s also a tragic character at heart. In my opinion, this is Holm’s finest work yet.”
The tireless Emma Newmanand her Split Worlds books continue to leave reviewers and readers alike feeling all kinds of happy; take a look at these:
• A Fantastical Librarian: “I think I loved Any Other Name even more than Between Two Thorns, if that’s possible. [Any Other Name is] engaging, funny, romantic, and imaginative and placed Emma Newman solidly on my must-read list of writers. I can’t wait for the conclusion to this story in October, when All is Fair is released. In the meantime, I think I’ll go and reread some of the short stories set in the Split Worlds.”
Thoughts from the Hearthfire “Emma Newman definitely knows what she is doing…In short, great characters, fabulous settings, complex plots, resolved threads within each book with plenty to arc across titles as well. I wholeheartedly recommend it!”
Kindle-aholic’s Book Pile made me giggle with this one – it’s so true: “You know you are getting into a book when you want to pull characters aside for a little chat. Will, you are an idiot. An idiot with good intentions, but you pissed me the hell off. Max, you need to listen to your gargoyle more. Mr. Sorcerer – there is something so very off about you. I feel some good bits of secrets spilling in book 3. I gave up sleep to finish this book and was very glad I did.”
• And if you want to read more about Emma, check out this SFX interview! Don’t forget that Emma also has some really fun stuff on her website. You can sign up for free Split Worlds short stories. Also, there is her Three Wishes campaign, as well as her new podcasts, Tea and Jeopardy. Emma’s now up to Podcast 6 which is with Karina Cooper; previous hostages guests have included Chuck Wendig, Sarah Pinborough, Paul Cornell, Jennifer Udden, and Dave Bradley. So, grab yourself a mug of tea and settle down with Emma for some mild peril!
Mike, our fantastic North American Sales & Marketing Manager, and I had a great chat with Wesley Chu this week about all things The Deaths of Tao; for everyone anxiously awaiting the next instalment of Roen and Tao’s adventures… T-minus 4 months! To those who haven’t yet read The Lives of Tao, check out these reviews and prey tell me, how you’ve missed this summer blockbuster?
• Fantasy Book Review: “The Lives of Tao is a fun book with a lot of energy and it really worked for me. Full of action, adventure, martial arts, gunplay, and large quantities of geeky goodness.”
• Sarah Says Read joins the now-squadron-sized army of those who all “want a Prophus alien living in my brain!” She loved it so much, there are bullet points to describe how (which I love!) but the summary says it all: “You guys, this book was just AWESOME. I literally don’t have a single complaint about it. It was an action-packed, fun-filled joy ride and I can’t wait to see what’s next in store for Roen and Tao.”
• Not a Natural Writer is certainly a Natural Reader and has this to say on The Lives of Tao: “The writing style is very easy to get into, and the story moves along at a fair old lick. The actions scenes in particular are very well crafted, with a great sense of motion, excitement and tension.”
My Bookish Ways: “It certainly makes me think that there might something in all of us that can make us great (even if it’s not an alien being), and it’s Roen’s humility, and yes, bravery, in the midst of a very extreme chain of events that makes this book what it is: one of the freshest, most fun debuts I’ve read in quite a while! I can’t wait to find out what’s next for Roen and Tao!”
• Vinx Books: “There’s a dash of romance, plenty of action and the plot carries you along but with nice variations in pace so it isn’t all go go go. It is all combined very well and I really appreciate that the violence is not romanticised or gratuitous. Roen’s reactions to the fighting is very human and I think brings a moment of contemplation.”
• Tiffy Fit: “imaginative, enjoyable, wondrous. ”
Chuck Wendig continues to own the internet, largely because he’s too scary to stop*, but hey, it works out well for our books. Take a look at all of this goodness:
• “Wendig’s filthy dialogue and layered characters mean that it’s never less than raucously entertaining.” SFX, August 2013
• Book Chick City: “The Blue Blazesis one hell of a read, with a complex cast of morally grey characters. It’s a heart-stopping ride from beginning to end. I think it is my stand out book of the year so far.”
• The Tattooed Book: “With superbly vivid characters, ballsy action and a ton of twists and turns Chuck Wendig hits home with another all round enjoyable novel.”
• The Qwillery: “If you are looking for something well written and verging towards horror, then I urge you to read The Blue Blazes. I would advise not to read too close to bedtime, however, without checking under the bed a few times first!”
• Fangs for the Fantasy: “This book is stylistically excellent. It’s thematically excellent. The writing is amazing. The characterisation is awesome. The world is incredible.”
All Things Urban Fantasy: “Think Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere written as a mob book…I’m kicking myself for not checking out Wendig’s work before now. Don’t make the same mistake I did.”
• My Bookish Ways: “The Blue Blazes is something very different, very twisted and very, very good. You’ll have lots of fun-I know I did!” • With a shout-0ut to the fantastic Joey Hi-Fi cover, CheffoJeffo also says: “A Rollicking, Riotous Rampage…The Blue Blazes is the most fun I have had in years.”
For Chuck’s dulcet tones, here’s some handy interview links:
If you live, or will be, in Brooklyn on July 17, be sure to call to Word and see Chuck with Strange Chemistry author T.L. Costa as they consider the current state of speculative fiction, in both YA and adult. There’ll also be a signing and a Q&A.
You’d think that would be enough of our authors working on taking over the world, but nope, we’ve got all of these who have also been busy…and that’s the way we like them:
Mike Shevdon‘s series, The Courts of the Feyre, comes to a conclusion with The Eighth Court, and the mighty Tim Ward at SFSignal has this to say: “Fascinating magic; powerful and scheming villains; engaging and surprising mystery; epic conflict; dramatic and sympathetic conclusion to character arcs.”
• No More Grumpy Bookseller: “The Courts of the Feyre series is a win in every way in my humble opinion – the world, the characters, the stories, the setting, the history…it’s been a wild and crazy entertaining ride!”
We’re fast approaching publication date for Ramez Naam‘s follow-up to Nexus, Crux, and here’s an early review from the IEET: “I advise readers to start with Nexus, but then to pick right up with Crux. Both books are excellent, thoughtful, and fast-paced. They are worth your time, and will leave you thinking hard about some core future questions.”
With the excitement building up towards the release of Crux, we were delighted to announce we’ve signed Ramez up for a third book, which will be released in late 2014, and here’s LitStack reporting on the deal.
If Reggie Lutz had this to say about EmpireState: ” He makes the reader feel that we understand and recognize the place we are in the fiction…which makes the plot complications and world-instability issues contained therein all the more effective.” and Fantasy Faction say this about The Age Atomic: “[Since Empire State] Adam Christopher has grown as a writer and the growth shines through here, his prose has become stronger, his characters more real; his ideas, settings and themes bright and full of depth…he’s grown to a stylish and exciting writer, with ideas that are full of adventure and mystery.”, how damn good does that make both Empire State and The Age Atomic!
And on that note, I’m outta here – well as far as the café for lunch, but you know what I mean.
Gather round drones, and check out what has been amazing couple of weeks for all things robotic and brilliant…actually makes us a little bit less angry, but don’t worry as it won’t last. Prepare yourselves…it’s a long ‘un.
I think it’s only right that we start off with the great news from the US, that Angry Robot has been shortlisted at the Locus Awards for Best Publisher. Not only that but Madeline Ashby‘s vNhas been shortlisted in the Best First Fiction category, and fellow Angry Robot author Aliette de Bodard is up for Best Novella and Best Short Story! Couldn’t be better timing with Book Two in the Machine Dynasty, iD, coming very shortly!Check out Lee’s post on this good news.
Wesley Chu continues to take the world by storm with Tao & Roen in The Lives of Taowith reviews, interviews, and blog posts popping up left, right, and centre.
• Normal in London loved the book: “There are comic moments, there are tender moments and there are moments where I wondered what I would do if I had an alien inside me, and moments where I wishedI did as it might push me into doing stuff! The climax was especially strong, and somewhat unexpected. And it has left me wanting more Roen & Tao.” There’s definitely a business opportunity for Wes if he can provide aliens for all the reviewers looking for their own Tao!
• Dangerous Dan awards Tao “four easy stars” believing the “ending[…]was perfect for the story and left it open-ended enough for future adventures of Roen and Tao.”
• Always Unmended don’t just focus on the fact that “Chu’s writing is strong, and his ability to write tragic, heart-rending scenes into such a fun, easy story is proof that he’s found his calling as a writer” but also believe we can all learn something from Roen: [the book] “contains inspirational advice that is bound to make readers reflect on their own lives. There is much about being the person you want to be and not making excuses to let yourself fail. Much as the practice of Tao is The Way of life, the character of Tao shows Roen the way to live fully. And isn’t that something we could all use a little help with?” Now. Go out there and live your live…after the pizza dinner, it is Friday evening after all.
• For a review with a spin, check out Richard’s rhyming review; I can’t even pull a line from it, it needs to be read in whole…what are you waiting for? Shooo!
• Feathers & Tea get their review off to a great start, calling Chu’s debut “another triumph from the Angry Robot publishing stable”, why thank you! It continues thusly: “Chu’s writing is sparingly skillful [and the] key premise is novel and handled deftly, the transition of Roen from bumbler to Commander is a joy to read, and the book is as laced with humour and flashes of poignancy as it is with action scenes”
• The Lives of Tao has even managed to impress the self-proclaimed cross-genre wary 42 Webs! “The Lives of Taois one of those good books that pulls off the mash-up perfectly. We get the full sci-fi feeling combined with the spy genre without either side getting diluted or ignored. We get the full effect and in turn get a character we care about. Roen becomes the mix between James Bond and Ezio Auditore da Firenze (Assassin Creed 2, Brotherhood, Revelations).” • “The most fun I’ve had all year” Staffer’s Book Review
• Mike over on Stuff and/or Junk calls Roen & Tao “a sci-fi action Odd Couple” – I think the most apt description I’ve heard yet!
• Wes & the Prophus’ global domination continues with i109 proclaiming The Lives of Tao one of the Astounding Summer Reads!
• The Lives of Tao is “top notch entertainment” and “the perfect summer read” The Eloquent Page • The wonderful 52 Book Reviews allow no excuses for anyone not reading Chu’s amazing debut: “Chu’s cunning and hilarious mash-up of comedy, coming of age drama, espionage thriller, and science fiction has something for everyone.”
• Matthew Scott Baker is very excited about Tao! It’s “very clever with fun/deadly characters and a high-paced plot. Be ready to drop your social life for a few days, though…you will definitely want to use your free time finishing this one up!”
•Bandelier Girl Reads Everything is short and sweet with Tao: “A nice mash-up of genres that moves the reader thru the story with humor and interesting characters. Recommend.”
• Wes has also been busy with some fun & games and with the coolest cake ever, launched The Lives of Tao in Chicago. Take a look at the photos on Wes’ Facebook page • If you’re in Chicago – or will be – on May 19, you can catch Wes on a panel at Open Books: 213 W. Institute Place Chicago, IL 60610 (1 block north of Chicago & Franklin el stop.) See the Open Books Website for further details.
• If you can’t make Chicago, Wes will be at WisCon May 24-27, on 4 panels no less, and for more info: check it out here • And if Tao & Roen hadn’t provided Wes with enough to celebrate, didn’t he only go and win the April Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars over at The Qwillery! Thanks again to Argh! Oxford for the great cover! Here’s an interview The Qwillery also did with him.
• Adam Christopher‘s The Age Atomic has a very cool video review over on I’m Ellie Ann
• Paper Mages is putting future reading trust in the hands of Adam, a very wise move, whilst also praising Christopher’s dynamic characters!
• Listen in to Adam’s radio i/v on City FM 89 here
• And, it might be belated posting on my behalf, but check out the Bane of Kings review over on The Founding Fields: “A wonderful novel, The Age Atomic proves that Adam Christopher can write sequels just as well as anyone. The most fun read of 2013 so far, and one of the best.”
The wonderful Emma Newmanhas had the internet all a flutter between reviews for Between Two Thorns, advance talk on Any Other Name, the wonderful Three Wishes, and also her new podcast, Tea & Jeopardy!
Reviews for Between Two Thorns & Any Other Name:
• “JK Rowling meets Georgette Heyer ” so say the Guardian along with praising how Emma “renders the Split Worlds with verve and an infectious sense of fun, and presents in Cathy a strong and personable heroine.” Get in, Between Two Thorns!
• “Between Two Thorns is in essence a mystery, with a dash of magic, suspense and intrigue combining with just a touch of romance, polictics and feminism to freshen it up a bit” Boy, do Vinx Books love Between Two Thorns! Vinx also highlights Em’s amazing short stories based in The Split Worlds, and the Three Wishes, thanks Vinx!
• Uncorked Thoughts give Between Two Thorns 4 out of 5 stars, and declare the “story…an Austinesque fantasy, filling every chapter with action. I loved learning about this new world and am looking forward to sinking my teeth into the next book!” You don’t have long to wait, Leah!
• A Writer’s Sidequest is another eagerly anticipating the release of Any Other Name, having fallen in love with Between Two Thorns!
• 5 out of 5 stars. Why, thank you very much Geek Syndicate. “A word of warning, make sure it is somewhere comfortable though as once you start this magical book, you won’t be going anywhere until you finish it. Absolutely brilliant.” Just one of the many excellent proclamations from them, and rightly so!
• Here’s a review for the forthcoming Any Other Name from My Dear Bibliophage who call it “enchanting, shocking, and well-crafted”
• SQ Magazine have a great interview with our Em; find out what she thinks about the challenges facing female speculative fiction writers in today’s publishing world, amongst much more. Emma also has a short-story in SQ, here • Keep an eye on Emma’s Split World interviews page for all her oot-and-abooot happenings! Three Wishes:
• If you haven’t heard about Emma’s fantastic new project Three Wishes, you’re missing out on your chance to have some magical wishes come true! Get involved: make your wish but also try grant somebody else…it’s a magical Pay it Forward, and we like it! Read more here.
• Urban Fantasy Land have definitely got on board with Three Wishes and are urging everyone to be “part of something very exciting, wonderful, and of course, magical!”
Tea & Jeopardy:
• Geek Planet Online are very excited to have Emma onboard with her new podcast, and rightly so, it’s great! Check out the first podcast with our very own Chuck Wendig: Tea & Jeopardy
Chuck has kept the web busy with both Mookie Pearl and Miriam Black:
The Blue Blazes:
• For something “dark, gritty and fun” Three Crow Press recommend Chuck‘s first Mookie Pearl novel, The Blue Blazes. True that.
• “Wendig has taken the cast of Goodfellas and dragged them, kicking and screaming into a fantasy reality of New York, opened up the playground and let them run loose”, so says Wilder’s Book Review, who continues: “The dialogue is crisp and flows quickly, with a dark humour which Wendig relishes throughout…It’s a style which Wendig is well-known for and as my first Chuck Wendig novel, I found it to be a real breath of fresh air in a subgenre which sometimes feels a little stuffy and manufactured.”
• Odd Engine starts a glowing 4 star review with a shout-out to Joey Hi-Fi for the amazing cover, and continues by praising the “punchy dialog, snappy prose, and a gritty narrative voice”, calling The Blue Blazes “inventive, edgy, and a joy to read”
• Elf Machines from Hyperspace (what a cool name, and you’re welcome for the ARC!) after one book has declared Chuck’s writing “imaginative, funny, profound, tough, and poetic all at once” and they ain’t wrong!
• Blackbirdsis “a bit fucking wrong” (a quote courtesy of Miss BookCunt) which for PublishThings sums up the second Miriam Black novel perfectly!
• The Cheape Book links Blackbirds with the perfect director: “This book begs to be done as a movie by Tarantino if he hasn’t already” Are ya listening, Quentin?
Finally, The 52 Review has a great interview with Mr Wendig, and if you’re an aspiring writer you definitely want to check out when he says about finding your own voice
Caroline here for my first Robot Round-Up, and what a gathering it is!
The week of April 15 was off a great start with Damien Walter’s Guardian round-up of the best young novelists from SF’s universe, even more so with not 1…nor 2…nor 3…but 4 Angry Robot authors being highlighted. Lauren Beukes, Madeleine Ashby, Aliette De Boddard, and Chuck Wendig are definitely four writers who, simply put, “tell great stories”.
Courtesy of @EMAldred, I present to you the wonderful display of Angry Robot Books in Foyles St Pancras:
As we fast approach the publication date (April 30 for US/ebook and May for 2 UK) for Wesley Chu‘s debut novel, The Lives of Tao, the reviews are coming in thick, fast and impressive…just the way we like them!
• Over on The Founding Fields Bane of Kings declared The Lives of Tao to be an “awesome, fun read” whilst Upcoming4me not only agreed, likening it to “the best carnival rides, it is unlikely that you will forget it anytime soon, they also were lovely in praising the noses of our editorial Overlords in sniffing out new talent…thank you!
• Wesley and The Lives of Tao were busy on Fantasy Book Critic with Wesley’s Guest Blog on what goes into a great villain such as Sean Diamont, and after picking up his blown-off socks Mihir Wanchoo excitedly reviews The Lives of Tao as “one of the best amalgamations of SF, Thriller, buddy-stories, comedy and other genre assortments, which was even more impressive because it’s a debut and is funny as hell.” Nice!
• Troubled Scribe’s Liam is currently searching for his own brain-sharing alien but before he left, he described The Lives of Tao as “a fun, exciting, alien, sci-fi romp through history and espionage. Tao has had way too many lives to meet them all, but you should be sure to give it a shot by reading this book!” and gave it 9 out of 10 Liams.
• Christal on Badass Book Reviews highly recommends The Lives of Tao to all “those looking for a uniquely modern science fiction yarn” and reckons it to be an enthralling debut!
• If you want to hear Wesley reading from the book, check out this YouTube link, courtesy of William Shunn.
• Wesley has taken part in a number of SF Signal Mind Melds recently, one such talking about humans and AIs, which also featured Madeline Ashby whose second Machine Dynasty novel iD will be out in June.
• Every Read Thing interviewed Wes, and there you can read about his books of 2012, favourite books and authors, his love for sci-fi, and some of the ideas and research behind The Lives of Tao.
• Kirkus reviews have picked The Lives of Tao as one of their April picks: check it out here
• Jessica at the Apex Book Company has highlighted Wes’ debut as a recommended read
• The Qwillery are continuing their Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars and April features the fantastic cover of The Lives of Tao (by Argh! Oxford). Click here to vote!
• Finally, here’s a link to Wesley’s blog where he has a great list of interviews and blogs to date, plus forthcoming!
• Adventures Fantastic not only currently have Adam Christopher’s books in their Featured section but have been writing about The Age Atomic and the fast clipped action within. With “plenty of chases, fights, and intrigues for fans of pulp fiction”, they demand readers to Pick. It. Up. Their sentiment; my bossy intonation.
•Over on The Fiction StokerThe Age Atomic is awarded four strokes out of five, and rightly so for it is declared “relentlessly entertaining” and with a “remarkably striking and disturbing villain” in Evelyn McHale, “fans of funny robots, pulp detective novels and genre-bending will find much to like”.
• Make sure to keep an eye on the forthcoming April issue of VS Comics for an interview with Adam. • The Financial Times delightfully announced The Age Atomic “a worthy successor [which] has the same jazzy plotting and anything-goes attitude that made Empire State such an unalloyed pleasure.”
• As always, Adam was kept busy and held an AMA over at Reddit, answering amongst other questions, his ideal casting for Jennifer Jones and Evelyn McHale.
• And in a HUGE finally, Adam has been short-listed for not one but two awards at this year’s Sir Julius Vogel Awards! Empire State has been shortlisted for the Best New Novel (and deservedly so) and Adam himself is up for Best New Talent. Eligible voters are members of SFFANZ or Au Contraire, the NZ national science fiction convention, so please do pass this on if you happen to know any such members, or indeed are one!
• If the June release of Chuck Wendig’s The Blue Blazes (May 28 for US/ebook release and June 6 for UK) is just too far away, then head to the mighty Tor.com and whet your appetite with a glimpse into this fantastic title.
• “Sin City after doing an 8-ball of mystic cocaine”…an epic summary of The Blue Blazes from The 52 Review. It thusly describes Chuck’s prose as “blunt force choreography, full of brutally disturbing descriptions, and wrecking ball action” whilst saying “fans of noir fantasy and urban fantasy with a bleeding edge should definitely explore the world of The Blue Blazes.” Roll on June!
• Joseph D’Lacey had, in his words, a huge first this last week with Black Feathers being excitedly photographed in WHS. Photo courtesy of Joseph’s Twitter
• The review on A Fantastical Librarian firstly highlights the importance of a great cover as Black Feathers image grabbed and intrigued Mieneke, and she does sound pleased that it did! Describing Joseph’s prose as poetic at times, Mieneke praises Black Feathers as “a compelling narrative and an amazing adventure”.
• Joseph was also on My Shelf Confessions to discuss his love for all things apocalyptic
• Since our last Robot Round-Up, the book trailer for Black Feathers was released, and if you haven’t already seen it, here’s your chance!
• The cover reveal for Emma Newman’s Any Other Name (May 28 for US/ebook release and June 6 for UK) was excitedly received. Fantasy Fiction’s Jennie Ivin is already looking forward to book three’s cover given how fantastic Between Two Thorns and Any Other Name look side by side, whilst Uncorked Thoughts thinks it “absolutely beautiful”
• Emma was busy with a short story featuring Between Two Thorns’ characters Claudia, Richard, and Imogen, over on Dark Faerie Tales, which is also running competition for a copy of the book, as well as appearing on Ujima Radio’s Women’s Outlook with Cheryl Morgan, which can be listened back to here.
• Over on Portland Book Review, Between Two Thorns was awarded five stars out of five, with reviewer Katie Richards declaring it “part Jane Austen novel of manners mixed with a contemporary fantasy novel”.
That *should* be everything for this round-up but do let me know if I’ve missed anything (be gentle!), and do come back next week for more linkage!
Madeline Ashby‘s sublime science fiction novel vN is, even as you read this, powering in vast container lorries to every corner of the globe, ready for its publication at the start of August. Madeline herself has been out and about talking about the genesis and writing and themes of her book, so we thought it would also be interesting to catch up with the guy who did that amazing cover, Martin Bland.
We’d seen his work on Gavin Smith’s military SF novels for Gollancz, and marvelled at some stunning darkly futuristic work displayed on his website. He was surely the go-to guy for this job, and that turned out to be exactly the right decision. He kindly clambered up from his underground bunker to answer a few probey-probey questions…
What do you call yourself – graphic artist, illustrator, designer, part-time spacecadet, etc?
Just “Artist”. I have a hard time cornering myself into the usual suspects, and ‘visual storyteller’ doesn’t look great on a business card. Part concept artist, part illustrator, part fine artist; it’s easier to cut out the niches than to try and find one.
How did you get into “all this”?
Natural progression, I was always creative, loved my pencil work when I was younger, fell into the social chasm for ten years, then was offered the chance to find something I loved doing by my wife, worked my way through design, photo manipulation, web design and eventually found my stride in painting. It felt right straight away. Taught myself the basics, and continue to teach myself every day since.
What’s your balance of artwork – covers, graphics, editorial, personal stuff, etc?
I have worked in just about every area at some point, collaborated with some great people in most fields of art, magazine ad campaigns, album design, game concepts, portraiture etc. I do favour cover jobs though, CD and book, as I love to tell a story in a single image rather than a progression or sequence, and like a healthy balance between work and personal (personal turns into work with print sales).
What’s your typical approach to a piece, if you have one? Computer or sketches?
90% of any image I do is mental, I think a lot about how I am going to construct, and often see a completed image in my head long before pen touches surface, then it’s usually digital, blocking in large areas and refining details as I go, using form and values; I don’t tend to start with a sketch (in the traditional sense of the word, line art), a more organic approach works better for me.
Do you typically like a brief stuffed with detail, or the freedom to do whatever you want?
A bit of both really, it’s important to be able to visualise someone else’s idea, so the more information you get, the easier it is to nail it first time, I like a lot of visual stimulus, style guides. Setting the mood is more important than the details of subject matter. A good amount of freedom is always nice to have but I like to get the sketch stage down, and agreed upon, before I get to play around myself. That way, the changes are taken care of before the refining; it streamlines the process, I have enough of a library behind me for the client to know they will be getting my usual standard or better.
And how did you work on vN particularly?
It was a dream brief. I was given choice, style sheets, and a detailed description, and also a lot of freedom and trust in the later stages, Madeline had built a very believable world, rich with detail, so the excerpts I received were easy to absorb, and Marc’s art direction was great. Madeline had written somewhere that when she saw the cover, she saw Amy (the protagonist) – there’s no better feeling than that.
What’s a typical day, if you have one?
I’m a full time Dad, so my typical day is rather boring, full of homework and school runs, I fit my work around my son, and work from home, so it’s definitely not as “rockstar” as I’d like to imagine it is, I also procrastinate far too much… ooh, a biscuit.
Are you much of an SF fan yourself?
I’d like to say no, but all evidence points to yes :-). I like gritty, dark worlds that you can relate to and instantly believe, so I love the Blade Runner, Event Horizon, Dark City side of sci-fi, the Asimov side. I’m not the hugest fan of anything in particular, but I think that in itself adds a more unique twist to my own work in the genre, as I try my best to approach subjects with a fresh perspective – there are a million paths to tread but only one is mine.
What would you kill to illustrate?
My own IP. I have a project that hasn’t been put down to paper properly yet, a novel/screenplay/movie that has garnered interest from a couple of major movie studios, and almost optioned, just on the strength of the few images and brief idea/backstory pitched. I would love to bring it to fruition one day; illustrating/producing a movie based on my own art would pretty much be the pinnacle of my existence, and would make my kid proud.
Anything you really hate/struggle with drawing?
Not as far as subject matter goes, I can handle pretty much anything. If I can imagine it, then I can paint it, in my own style. I’ve painted everything from angels, to death metal covers, from an English country garden to a huge Yeti. I have been asked to take on work in other styles, and have struggled with it before, like colouring line art, or very technical perspectives and constraints. (I was once asked to paint, from imagination, a 20mm aperture lens view; couldn’t fathom that one, as I am not a camera.)
For vN you went absolutely bananas building robot fragments in the computer; is this sort of thing conducive to your mental health?
Well, they say the devil is in the details, so I’m probably 80% evil :-). I love getting stuck into it, if I’m honest. The best way to get someone to spend more time looking at an image is to pack it with detail, more to discover, and it gets quite cathartic after a while, you lose yourself, I haven’t noticed any problems yet. *twitch*
Tell us about five (or more) cool things – music, movies, comics, books, toys, whatever…
I do have quite a cool collection of tiny things, as I’m a sucker for detail – like a penny, with a bone-handled knife carved out of the middle and sat perfectly back into its hole, and a 2mm high, full colour printed book. I’ve got a couple of 6mm Bibles too, a bag of 1.5mm glass marbles. I’ve amassed quite a good gathering of very unusual miniatures. I’m also very good at collecting dust, and empty Pepsi bottles.
Which other artists do you rate?
I tend to rate the art, rather than artists, as the best can have an off-day, and the worst can produce a masterpiece. I see hundreds of images each day, and collecting the best of them has turned into a bit of a hobby. I have folders packed with inspiring imagery from every level of artist.
Do you have any other skills? What would you do if you didn’t do this?
I would always have to have a creative outlet of some sort, I do a bit of everything: sculpture, photography, traditional, so I think I would always gravitate towards making things look good. I was a manager/lithographic printer for 10 years too, so at the very worst, I could fall back into that, but it would have to get quite bad, haha.
And what are you working on next (don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone)?
I’ve just acquired a small stock of giclée poster prints so I’m currently approaching galleries and organising shipping and framing options, starting to turn what I do into more of a legitimate business, expanding that side – but also working on more covers, and also trying to pump out a few personal images as I feel like I’ve been neglecting that side of things this year.
Click on any image for a larger version – and see a hell of a lot more great artwork at Martin’s website, spyroteknik.com
We don’t always blow our own trumpet, so having spent a few, slightly tedious hours on a very hot day assembling the latest batch of samplers of some upcoming Angry Robot titles, we thought it worth reminding all you deeply lovely AR readers that we do, as standard, offer a free excerpt from every single one of our books.
There’s a lot of talk about eBook piracy at the moment. And there are all sorts of reasons. Some of them – “I like having stuff for free, so I’m going to take it; I’ll never get caught” – are a little hard to help with, short of some ghastly state surveillance program which nobody much wants. Others, though, we understand and we’re keen to help with if we can.
Ebooks are expensive – well, ours are always priced below their comparative physical fellows. We still have to pay for editing and proofreading, design and all that, but we’ve knocked off the cost of printing for you. (And don’t forget that at the moment, in the UK eBooks are subject to 20% VAT where print books aren’t.)
I can’t get them in my country – actually, you can buy our eBooks, DRM-free, from any country in the world. We also release our editions through all major eBook outlets, in as many countries as we can but notably across North America and Europe, in the same week.
I only wanted to read a sample, see if I liked it enough to buy it… – And here we are. That’s why we’re very happy to sit here on a sweltering day preparing more natty little 50-page selections from our upcoming releases for you.
Below the jump (or further down the screen if you’re not on our homepage at the moment) you’ll find a selection of our recent excerpts, each one inside a cute little app thing. Take them, host them on your own site if you like (it’s very easy, and makes your blog look grrrreat), send them to your mates, share them wherever. Then check out the individual book pages here on the site for samples of our entire range.
And if you like the free samples we give you, you might even want to buy our lovely books, which you can do over at The Robot Trading Company (our very own webstore) or your regular eBook or pBook retailer of choice.
[Image Credit: Rather fabulous pirate kindle blatantly nicked from bookish.livejournal.com – no accreditation given there, so if it’s yours, please let us know and we’ll either add in a credit link or take it down…]
Courtesy of those fine folk at Brilliance Audio, we have some snippets of some of the quite brilliant audiobooks they have produced of some recent Angry Robot titles.
Last month’s titles: Omega Point and Blackbirds
This month’s titles: Empire State, Giant Thief and Dead Harvest.
Click on each of the links (below) to hear about 5 minutes of each, or to download to your computer for your offline listening pleasure (by right-clicking and saving, or doing what you usually do with these things #techie).
These titles can be ordered as downloads or on CD from Audible (UK / US) or Amazon (UK / US).
Blackbirds – Warning: Contains Chuck Wendig!
Narrated by Emily Beresford