Robot Round-Up 01.02.13By Darren
Hello, hello and welcome to this week’s Robot Round-Up of all the Angry Robot flavoured activity that we’ve spotted out there in the big, wide Internets since this time last week. Lots to tell you about, so without further ado or kerfuffle:
Cassandra Rose Clarke‘s newly published tale of loss, love and robots, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter continues to win fans and break hearts in roughly equal measure. This week we’ve seen a cascade of new reviews, including these, from:
• Angie at Pinkindle was deeply affected: “I was madly in love with this book from the very beginning. It reminded me a lot of Bicentennial Man, which happens to be one of my favorite movies. Both have seriously heartbreaking plots that I just can’t help but be drawn to.”
• Jessica at Sweet Green Tangerine (who is also running a giveaway, closing date Feb 3rd) was enchanted: “Watching these two characters fall in love and struggle with what it means to be human, I found the whole topic to be truly beautiful. I love this story”.
• Caroline at Big Book, Little Book felt the need to warn the faint-hearted: “If you are looking for hearts, flowers and candle lit dinners you won’t find it here but if you are in the mood for a tear inducing, head shaking, heartbreaking, but ultimately uplifting love story, within an unusual setting and with a unique love interest, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is for you.”
• Livvy at Nerdy Book Reviews reached for her hankie: “The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a novel that moved me to tears. I truly did not expect to feel so emotional about a robot.”
• Strangely Literary admired Cat’s fighting spirit: “Cat is an engaging character struggling against a society that she doesn’t quite fit within. She will keep you turning the pages to see where she goes next.”
• Tienh at Tien’s Blurb found our heroine uncomfortably compelling: “Even though I didn’t like Cat, I found myself sympathising with her throughout and it’s rare that I’d sympathise with a character I don’t like. That’s what I found most amazing about this book.”
• Maja at The Nocturnal Library felt the angst: “The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is by no means a light-hearted, fun book, and it’s certainly not young adult. Had I known how complicated and angst-filled it was, I doubt I would have picked it up, but now I’m glad I did.”
• Richard at Richard’s SF Ramblings was moved to poetry (and must have had a Friday night curry on his mind): “Reading the last page | I am rendered | I am clarified | I am ghee”
• Upcoming4Me named it their Book of the Week. Cheers, guys!
Cassandra has also been out and about in the genre blogosphere. She guest-posted at Mary Robinette Kowall’s blog for the My Favourite Bit column, and was interviewed by The Qwillery and My Bookish Ways.
Also newly published this month, we have She Returns From War, Lee Collins‘s sequel to his weird western debut, The Dead of Winter, which we published last November. The second Cora Oglesby adventure was reviewed this week by Mel at Mel’s Random Reviews, who said: “This really is a fresh air in the world of supernatural hunters … Recommended for fans of Kate Griffin and Chris Holm. 9 out of 10.” Shelley Romano at Gizmo’s Reviews called it: “a well paced and intriguing story that left me satisfied with my overall experience. I would HIGHLY recommend that if you are thinking about reading this series, go out and borrow or buy The Dead of Winter first! You won’t be sorry that you did.” And Mike at Untitled*United said: “She Returns from War is a fun continuation of the world Collins has been building, and he sets the stage for further expanding this world in future books. I look forward to seeing where he goes next.”
Ramez Naam‘s debut science fiction thriller Nexus continues to go from strength to strength, winning new fans and admirers along the way, including:
• Annalee Newitz at the mighty IO9.com, who declared it to be “a fast, fun read which is both emotionally engaging and thought-provoking. You’ll be mulling over the implications of Nexus — the book and the drug — long after you put the book down.”
• M Todd Gallowglass was effusively fulsome in his praise: “Nexus is fantastic. It’s brilliant. Feel free to tack on as many positive adjectives as you can come up with. It’s not just a well-written and thought-provoking book, it’s also highly entertaining … Do yourself a favor and get on the Ramez Naam band wagon now, so you can say, ‘I was there when.'”
• Erik at I Will Read Books: “Nexus is a terrific read, covering a highly interesting topic in a entertaining way. It’s a book brimming with action and gun fights, which also has a lot of technical content made accessible by Ramez Naam’s skilful penmanship.”
• Literary Escapism: “Nexus engages the reader to think about scientific advancements and the ethical questions we all may face. With a backdrop that would be worthy of any spy novel, Nexus looks at human evolution in a way that is unique.”
• John at Terror Tree: “it is a hard-hitting romp of a novel that fulfils expectations. A good debut.”
• Richard’s back, with more SF Ramblings and more poetry: “Get your radar out | Acquire Ramez Naam | Lock On, And Read”
Emma Newman‘s Angry Robot debut, Between Two Thorns, is still just over a month away from publication, but we’ve started seeing a few reviews, including Aoife at Footnotes, who enjoyed the ride: “I was very quickly captivated by the brilliant characters and fast pace of the story.” and Tiffany at A_TiffyFit’s Quiet Corner who didn’t want it to stop: “With 20 pages or so left to go, I felt that booklover’s panic start. ‘What? NO! I can’t be coming to the end!'” And John DeNardo, in a genre recommendations round-up Kirkus Reviews, called it “a modern fantasy that playfully mixes magic and interesting characters into an intriguing mystery.”
Emma also guested on a writing workshop episode of the Round Table Podcast, taking a look at a story by guest writer Sara Sambrook.
Also out in just over a month is Hell to Pay, the third volume in Matthew Hughes‘s To Hell and Back series and Annie at Summer Reading Project, who enjoyed the plot development in the new instalment: “I love it when an author reveals that there’s been a bigger story behind the individual books’ plots. Hughes never hid this, but each new book shows new layers and tie them all together. I’m very curious to see what Hughes reveals in the next book.”
We’ve also seen the Official First Review of Joseph D’Lacey‘s forthcoming (April 2013) post-apocalyptic saga Black Feathers, which was posted by Julie-Anne at Thoughts of a Scot, who declared: “I highly recommend this to any fans of horror, post-apocalyptic type books. Loved it, loved it – I want the next one already.”
Chuck Wendig‘s Mockingbird was reviewed recently by OzNoir at Just a Guy Who Likes to Read: “Short, quick fire chapters keep the novel moving along while the limited cast allows for greater character depth and meaningful story. Wendig is on to a real winner with Miriam Black.” And by Renee for New York Journal of Books: “Chuck Wendig’s second offering is fast-paced and raw, filled with gutter-like prose that never minces words and is expressed with the all the subtlety of a punch in the face.”
What’s that? You want more poetry from Richard? Happy to oblige. Here’s his SF Ramblings take on Trent Jamieson‘s first Nightbound Land book, Roil: “Loaded with action on several fronts | Science to ponder throughout | People to love and loath | Ideas to grab and gasp”
World Fantasy Award Winner and The Bookman Histories author Lavie Tidhar is the co-administrator of the World SF Travel Fund. They’re seeking to raise $3,000 to continue the Fund’s annual mission of enabling one or two international persons involved in science fiction, fantasy or horror to travel to a major genre event. We’re backing the fund drive with a pledge of ebook packages for supporters who pledge via peerbackers.com. Check the sidebar on that page to see what’s available at various levels of pledging.
Paul S. Kemp was interviewed by SF Signal about his writing in the Star Wars and Forgotten Realms universes and, of course, his Egil and Nix books, The Hammer and the Blade and A Discourse in Steel (coming in June, folks!)
Over at her blog, Anne Lyle has posted details of her 2013 events schedule, so if you want to say hello and get your copies of The Alchemist of Souls and The Merchant of Dreams signed by their author, them’s your chances.
And finally, last, but most definitely not least, we’re delighted to have been named the Horror Publisher of the Year for 2012 in the This is Horror Awards poll. “Woot!” and indeed, “Yay!” and a big thank you to all who voted for us. We shall endeavour to remain suitably horrible to all and sundry throughout 2013…
That’s all for this week. More at the same time, in approximately the same place, a week from now.