Peter Tieryas offers a fresh novel set in an alternative post-war world…with robots. The United States of Japan won’t hit bookstores until March 2016, but maybe the cover, designed by the wonderful John Liberto, will help fill the gap. It’s a perfect match for the book and we’re absolutely delighted with it. Here it is!
Decades ago, Japan won the Second World War. Americans worship their infallible Emperor, and nobody believes that Japan’s conduct in the war was anything but exemplary. Nobody, that is, except the George Washingtons — a group of rebels fighting for freedom. Their latest terrorist tactic is to distribute an illegal video game that asks players to imagine what the world might be like if the United States had won the war instead.
Captain Beniko Ishimura’s job is to censor video games, and he’s tasked with getting to the bottom of this disturbing new development. But Ishimura’s hiding something…kind of. He’s slowly been discovering that the case of the George Washingtons is more complicated than it seems, and the subversive videogame’s origins are even more controversial and dangerous than the censors originally suspected.
Released: 1st March (US) and 3rd March 2016 (UK)
Here’s what Richard Thomas, author of Breaker and Disintegration, had to say about the novel:
“United States of Japan is a powerful book, unsettling at times – surreal and hypnotic. There’s a bit of Philip K. Dick in here, and Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, but Peter Tieryas is his own voice, a talented author, somebody to keep an eye on for sure. I loved his last book, bald New World, and I loved this one, too.”
The cover was initially released at the Barnes & Noble Science Fiction and Fantasy blog here, and Peter is just as thrilled at the cover as we are; he talks a bit more about his book and the cover in a guest post here.
Peter’s first novel, Bald New World, was selected by Publisher’s Weekly as one of the Best Science Fiction Books of 2014.
Time Siege, the second in Wesley Chu‘s Time Salvager series, is set to hit all good bookstores in July 2016. However in an exciting turn of events, we’re able to share the UK cover with you today! First, though, a look at the synopsis:
Having been haunted by the past and enslaved by the present, James Griffin-Mars is taking control of the future.
Earth is a toxic, sparsely inhabited wasteland – the perfect hiding place for a fugitive ex-chronman to hide from the authorities.
James has allies, scientists he rescued from previous centuries: Elise Kim, who believes she can renew Earth, given time; Grace Priestly, the venerated inventor of time travel herself; Levin, James’s mentor and former pursuer, now disgraced; and the Elfreth, a population of downtrodden humans who want desperately to believe that James and his friends will heal their ailing home world.
James also has enemies. They include the full military might of benighted solar system ruled by corporate greed and a desperate fear of what James will do next. At the forefront of their efforts to stop him is Kuo, the ruthless security head, who wants James’s head on a pike and will stop at nothing to obtain it.
The amazing illustration was created by Richard Anderson who also did a wonderful job with the artwork for Time Salvager (as you can see above, right). As we’re sure you’ll agree, the cover is just as impressive for this next instalment. We can’t wait to hear your thoughts. So, without further ado, here it is!
Here’s what the critics have to say about Time Salvager, the first novel in the series:
“Time twisting action-adventure as only Wesley Chu could imagine it. I enjoyed it a lot. Read this book!”
– Ann Leckie, Author of the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Ancillary Justice
“Chu creates a fascinating world, strange and familiar, infused with humor, sorrow, courage, greed, and sacrifice. This page-turner is a riveting, gratifying read.”
– Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
“From its early pages, Time Salvager establishes itself as an utterly captivating time-travel adventure. To put it simply, Chu’s worldbuilding is extraordinary. There’s a grim believability in his vision of a decaying Earth, and the comm/atmos/exo bands make for vivid, easy-to-imagine tech. Plus, Chu neatly (and humorously) avoids getting bogged down in explanations of the physics of time travel. But even beyond all this, Chu explores the emotional truth of the pain and regret that haunts James as he gives the past — and its people — up for lost.”
– Regina Small of RT Book Reviews
“A powerful and compelling search of the past for redemption in the present, by turns thrilling and sweet and gut-wrenching.”
– Kevin Hearne, New York Times best selling author of Iron Druid
Both Time Salvager and Time Siege are available from us in the UK, and Macmillan if you’re in the US.
Heads up, USA!
Ramez Naam‘s Nexus and Crux are on offer for just$1.99 today, thanks to Amazon’s Kindle Daily Deal.
Make sure you head on over and pick them both up. If you need any reason to justify the (very cheap) purchase, then just take a look at some of the praise for the first two books in the Nexus trilogy, below.
In the near future, the experimental nano-drug Nexus can link human together, mind to mind. There are some who want to improve it. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it.
When a young scientist is caught improving Nexus, he’s thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage – for there is far more at stake than anyone realizes.
“Ramez Naam’s debut novel Nexus is a superbly plotted high-tension technothriller about a War-on-Drugs-style crackdown on brain/computer interfaces … full of delicious, thoughtful moral ambiguity”
– Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing
“It’s good. Scary good. Take a chance and stop reading now and have a great time reading a bleeding edge technical thriller that is full of surprises.”
– James Floyd Kelly, Wired.com’s GeekDad blog
“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.”
– Annalee Newitz, IO9.com
Six months have passed since the release of Nexus 5. The world is a different, more dangerous place.
In the USA, the freedom fighters of the Post-Human Liberation Front use Nexus to turn men and women into human time bombs aimed at the President and his allies.
The first blows in the war between human and posthuman have been struck
“Sublime. This book is speculative fiction at its finest. Mr Naam masterfully mobilizes the zeitgeist of contemporary political and tech culture … Tempts readers with equal parts dread and optimism. This is not a book to be missed.”
– Page of Reviews
“Highly recommended for preparation of the future revolution.”
– Harper Reed, former CTO of Obama for America
“Crux is an outstanding speculative fiction adventure … in the same league as Michael Crichton and Daniel Suarez. Put it at the top of your summer reading list!”
– Scientific American
What do you do once you’ve finished reading a much loved novel? Keep it in a bookshelf and gaze at it each day? Store it by your bed so you can re-read it each night before you disappear into dreamland? Or do you bury it in the garden?
The last one sounds a little odd, doesn’t it? Well, if you’re readers of Patrick S Tomlinson‘s The Ark it might not be so strange. In the spirit of Pat’s other job – as a stand up comedian – his friends have taken to social media to express their love for his novel by placing their copies of The Ark in a variety of weird settings.
Here are a couple of examples:
At first we felt terribly bad for Pat but then…well it’s kind of funny…so we thought we’d invite you all to jump on the bandwagon and share your Ark Attack photos.
Just tweet us your photos using the hashtag #ArtAttack and in one week’s time (Thursday 19 November) we’ll pick the best photo. The winner will receive a big old box of books from yours truly.
So get snapping, the meaner the better. And don’t worry, Patrick can take it (we think)!
That’s right, folks! Apex, the third and final instalment of the Nexus series by Ramex Naam, has been nominated for the semifinal round of the GoodReads Choice Awards for Best Science Fiction. He’s keeping company with the likes of Margaret Atwood, John Scalzi, Chuck Wendig, Ernest Cline and Pierce Brown, which shows you just how impressive he is.
What are the Awards, you may ask? Since 2009, GoodReads have been asking readers to vote for their best books of the year, covering a whole range of categories – everything from picture books to non-fiction to sci-fi. Here’s how they select their nominees:
‘We analyze statistics from the millions of books added, rated, and reviewed on Goodreads to nominate 15 books in each category. Opening round official nominees must have an average rating of 3.50 or higher.’
Of course we here at Angry Robot love Apex, but here’s what other readers had to say:
“As with the first two volumes, Apex is a fat book that reads like a skinny one, racing through its well-turned plot to a conclusion that ties together every loose thread of every one of the trilogy’s cast of thousands. From next-generation protest techniques to warfare in the age of autonomous weaponry to the nature of human rights in a world of transhumanism, Apex has ideas, eyeball kicks, and rollercoaster thrills to spare.”
– Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing
“The best books are often the hardest to review, because it’s at those times that I just want to throw my usual attempts at objectivity out the window and reduce my review to, “Holy crap, you guys, you all need to be reading this series right now!” That’s Nexus, Crux, and Apex in a nutshell. It’s wonderfully intelligent, it speculates on amazing advances in technology that we’re already seeing the early stages of in the real world, and it’s all written by a master of the craft. It’s a phenomenal exploration of humanity, one that could pave the way for a new future in sci-fi. 5/5”
“An excellent trans-humanist novel, raising questions of humanity and morality, and maybe the next evolution of humankind.”
– Libromancer’s Apprentice
“I think the Nexus trilogy will become a classic in much the same way the Dune series and other great science fiction series have before it. It’s the kind of series you carry with you after you’ve read the last page and find you have to discuss with other readers because its implications are too profound to keep to yourself. Do I recommend it – if you’re a sci-fi fan, or want an edge-of-your-seat smart-as-hell ride, definitely!”
– Popcorn Reads
We’re thrilled that Apex has reached the semifinals, but of course it’s not yet the end. So, robot supporters, we’d love if you could get behind this fantastic book by voting here. (You don’t have to, of course.*)
And if you haven’t yet started the series, what are you waiting for? You can find out more about Nexus here.
*But we will be watching…
Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.
Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.
Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.
To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…
“I loved this book so much. There were so many different elements at play that came together to make an excited, riveting, infuriating and suspenseful tale that kept me mesmerized from cover to cover. Danielle did a wonderful job of making sure all of the pieces to this story had a purpose and that they all came together seamlessly in the end. The mystery, danger, suspense, political intrigue, family ties, friendship, treachery, betrayal, power and love. It all was just so good!”
The lone gunman Three is gone, and Wren is the new governor of the devastated settlement of Morningside, but there is turmoil in the city. When his life is put in danger, Wren is forced to flee Morningside until he and his retinue can determine who can be trusted.
They arrive at the border outpost, Ninestory, only to find it has been infested with Weir in greater numbers than anyone has ever seen. These lost, dangerous creatures are harbouring a terrible secret – one that will have consequences not just for Wren and his comrades, but for the future of what remains of the world.
– Books, Bones & Buffy
The citadel has long been the stronghold of Highkell. All that is about to change because the traitor, Vasic, is marching on the capital. Against her better judgement, Queen Alwenna allows herself to be spirited away by one of the Crown’s most trusted servants, safe from the clutches of the throne’s would-be usurper.
Fleeing across country, she quickly comes to learn that her pampered existence has ill-equipped her for survival away from the comforts of the court. Alwenna must toughen up, and fast, if she is even to make it to a place of safety. But she has an even loftier aim – for after dreaming of her husband’s impending death, Alwenna knows she must turn around and head back to Highkell to save the land she loves, and the husband who adores her, or die in the attempt.
But Vasic the traitor is waiting. And this was all just as he planned.
– Dave Hutchinson, author of Europe in Autumn
In January Peter McLean‘s debut novel, Drake is set to hit all good bookstores. Think Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London, but with a healthy dose of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and the devil himself thrown in for good measure.
Here’s the synopsis:
Hitman Don Drake owes a gambling debt to a demon. Forced to carry out one more assassination to clear his debt, Don unwittingly kills an innocent child and brings the Furies of Greek myth down upon himself.
Rescued by an almost-fallen angel called Trixie, Don and his magical accomplice The Burned Man, an imprisoned archdemon, are forced to deal with Lucifer himself whilst battling a powerful evil magician.
Now Don must foil Lucifer’s plan to complete Trixie’s fall and save her soul whilst preventing the Burned Man from breaking free from captivity and wreaking havoc on the entire world.
The words might sound good but as we all know it’s important to judge a book by its cover, and luckily for us Raid71 was happy to do wondrous things for the cover of Drake. The full image can be seen over at Fantasy Faction, just click on the teaser below.
Our Robot Authors are out and about in force over the next couple of weeks, with signings across the US. It might be getting cold outside but hey, what could be a better reason for leaving your house than seeing your favourite author and munching on some nibbles? Nothing. That’s what.
Check below for signings, readings and Q&A spots for James A Moore, Carrie Patel and Patrick S Tomlinson. Various authors will also be attending World Fantasy Con this weekend but that’s a story for another post.
Andover Bookstore, Andover MA
Join James A Moore, author of the Seven Forges series, and Christopher Golden, author of Dead Ringers, for an evening of signings, readings and merriment to celebrate the launch of both City of Wonders – the third in the Seven Forges series – and Dead Ringers. Rumour has it snacks, quizzes and prizes will be abound.
James and Christopher are two of the three hosts of podcast Three Guys with Beards. Tune in here to listen to their opinions on books, movies and pop culture, from their unique perspective as writers of speculative fiction.
Pandemonium Books & Games, Cambridge MA
7 pm – 10pm
James A Moore and Christopher Golden are back! This time at Pandemonium Books & Games in Cambridge. Both authors will be reading from their forthcoming novels and answering questions from curious minds. Books will be available to purchase/have signed on the night.
Join io9’s Charlie Jane Anders, as she hosts the ever-popular Writers with Drinks. This time around Carrie Patel, author of The Buried Life and Cities & Thrones will be joining in with the fun. There will be copies of both novels for signing purposes.
NB: Carrie will also be doing an informal drop-by at the store between 12 noon and 2pm.
Patrick will be launching The Ark over at A Room of One’s Own. Make sure to pop along for a reading, followed by Q&A session and have your brand new copy of The Ark signed.
Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee WI
Patrick will be appearing at Boswell Book Company to do a reading and then talk all things The Ark. If you’re lucky you might even get some of Patrick’s stellar stand-up comedy on the side!
NB: There will be an after party at 42 Lounge.
The Book Cellar, Chicago IL
Come down to The Book Cellar to chat with Patrick about The Ark, as he rounds off his mini book tour in Chicago. There will be a reading and Q&A session, with books available for signing.
Hallowe’en is almost upon us, which means it’s time to snuggle up on the sofa with a hot beverage and pull out that book or film you love to be frightened by (keeping a cushion close by to hide behind, of course). We’re gearing up to do the same, so we thought we’d share some of the Angry Robot team and author’s favourites.
Tales of a Dread Dreamer/Grimscribe by Thomas Ligotti, now in one volume from Penguin Classics. Wherever you think he’s going to take a story, Ligotti always takes two steps to the left.
Nosferatu by Werner Herzog. Not so much for the film, which is a perfectly fine remake of the Murnau original with Klaus Kinski and all, but for the soundtrack by Krautrock legends Popol Vuh. The mix of pastoral calmness, eerie electronics and distinctly monkish chanting opened a lot of doors after I found it in a cheap bin for a quid at 16.
My favourite scary book is Stephen King’s collection of stories in Night Shift, specifically Graveyard Shift. I do not like rats, and the idea of being caught in a creepy basement with massive mutant rats is a thing of nightmares.
My favourite scary movie is 28 Days Later directed by Danny Boyle. The idea of fast zombies absolutely terrifies me, and every time I watch it, I have dreams of being chased for weeks!
I’m going for a non-fiction title for my scary book, even though I’m utterly haunted by it (and ‘favourite’ isn’t quite the right way to describe it). Gordon Burn’s Happy Like Murderers is an account, almost an oral history, of Fred and Rose West’s crimes, based on weighty research. It feels odd to call the prose amazing (it is), but the book confronts, without sensationalism or tabloid glee, the power and depravation of the Wests, and in turn the worst of us – the real monsters. It’s an incredible document: distressing, powerful and all the more frightening because these things happened. It’s also totally unrecommendable.
Apart from that old classic, I was totally freaked out by Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box a couple of years back. Even worse, when I’d finished I read the acknowledgements which mention the people of Nottingham (where I live). I was pretty worried that Hill was reading my mind/sending ghosts to come for me after that. I also love Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, as it’s so atmospheric and dark, despite its seemingly naive protagonist.
There are so many excellent films out there it’s hard to choose just one. I’m going to go with The Blair Witch Project. I know, I know, you’re judging. And you’d be right to, it’s not the best film. However that one, incredibly low budget film spawned what has become the most used style of horror film since, the ‘found footage’. Quite right, too. In 1999 it was found footage was so fresh and new and frankly, terrifying. After watching it for the first time and not knowing if this shaky videocam footage was real, I hotfooted it to my old PC, searching for any information I could find about Elly Kedward and Burkittsville (was it real, was it a prank? I needed to know!). Later when I had my own camcorder, my friends and I spent hours running around the graveyard at the bottom of my yard, recording frankly terrible movies in homage to Blair Witch. I totally bought into the story, and had a big influence what is now my passion for horror and weirdana. So, thanks Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez.
I recently discovered Through the Woods by Emily Carroll, thanks to my wife, who is a big horror fan. This is a sequential art collection of creepy stories, conveyed with a consistent and evocative style and understated writing. It’s gut-punch after gut-punch, with body horror, social horror, and plenty of suspense.
I love my horror with a dash (more a healthy splash, honestly) of comedy. And one of my favorite comedic horror movies is Evil Dead 2 – it takes most of the elements from the first film, and realizes it can be intentionally scary and funny at the same time. Ash is an incredibly memorable character, and the film’s practical effects succeed at being creepy and in underscoring the comedic elements. Plus, chainsaw-hand.
Susan Murray (author of the Waterborne series):
A book needs at least a dash of the supernatural to be scary. Recent contenders include Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls with an edge-of-the-seat finale as the killer is confronted. Or there’s Kelley Armstrong’s YA novel The Summoning which features a superbly creepy scene as the inexperienced necromancer is trapped next to several unmarked graves. But it takes time to make a favourite and Stephen King’s Carrie still holds up after all these years, as the socially-awkward outsider is shunned. Who needs monsters when you have a community of such people?
As for a film, Tremors is much beloved in our household but perhaps no longer truly scary – the first time we watched it we were living in a static caravan and Nestor’s demise pushed all the right buttons. The Omen hasn’t aged well, but Alien remains as shockworthy as ever. John Hurt’s death signals there are no holds barred, while Ripley is as awesome now as she was in 1979.
James A Moore (author of the Seven Forges series):
My favorite scary book is definitely Stephen King’s IT. There’s a little bit of everything in there, and the recollections of adults recalling their childhoods is beautifully handled. Absolutely delightful and dark and filled with hidden gems of horror throughout.
My favorite movie? That’s tougher. For pure fun, I’d say Pumpkinhead, which is a perfect example of a proper Appalachian demon and the witch that summoned it. There are curses, there’s revenge, a great monster, amazing cinematography. I’m going to throw in a bonus for the black and white crowd: Robert Wise’s The Haunting (1963). A very nearly perfect ghost story based on The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Sublime.
Patrick S Tomlinson (author of The Ark):
I’m not a fan of the horror genre per se, so my pics may seem tame or unconventional.
I’d have to say The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett. It blended high-fantasy and horror elements in a way I’d not seen before, and churned out some genuinely unsettling scenes and nail-biting fights.
As scary films go, it’s got to be Gravity. I know this probably seems like an odd pick, but the suspense and psychological terror of this movie was really intense. Mostly because it wasn’t about ghosts or monsters. It was about a real situation that a person could actually face. My immersion and suspension of disbelief was total. I had a palpable feeling of dread and anxiety through the entire film. It felt too real.
Like I said, for horror aficionados, these picks must certainly seem vanilla, but they did a number on me.
Hosted by editor-in-chief Charlie Jane Anders, the book club is held online at io9 each month. Each book club post’s comments section is open for users to add their comments and discussion topics relating to the book. If you’re a little behind on your reading, fret not, the book discussion comments are left open for a few days, meaning you can still pitch even if you’re a bit late. Following the book club, there is a chat with the author so any burning questions can be answered, or at least partly explained.
Here’s the synopsis for If Then:
In the near future, after the collapse of society as we know it, one English town survives under the protection of the computer algorithms of the Process, which governs every aspect of their lives. The Process gives and it takes. It allocates jobs and resources, giving each person exactly what it has calculated they will need. But it also decides who stays under its protection, and who must be banished to the wilderness beyond. Human life has become totally algorithm-driven, and James, the town bailiff, is charged with making sure the Process’s suggestions are implemented.
But now the Process is making soldiers. It is readying for war — the First World War. Mysteriously, the Process is slowly recreating events that took place over a hundred years ago, and is recruiting the town’s men to fight in an artificial reconstruction of the Dardanelles campaign. James, too, must go fight. And he will discover that the Process has become vastly more sophisticated and terrifying than anyone had believed possible.
If Then is definitely a book that begs its readers to ask questions – so many questions – on human nature, the future and the nature of war – so we’re sure that there’ll be a grand old discussion happening.
Yes, the announcement was true – we’re opening the doors wide for unagented submissions from 1st December. Ever since the announcement, we’ve had a steady stream of questions about what subjects will or will not be allowed, and so on.
All the details you need are here, on our bespoke Open Door Page.
And if we haven’t answered your question in the FAQ, post it in the comments box here and we’ll address it in an update. Go, go!