Last night was our fourth Angry Robot Live! We talked about Scope and Scale in Fantasy.

Our panelists were Kameron Hurley and Anna Kashina.

 

If you missed the live show, you can watch the whole thing here. Please note that you’ll want to turn up the volume for the first 23 or so minutes, as Kameron’s audio was soft until she switched over to a different mic.

Much fun was had by all!

 

During the panel, Kameron mentioned Universe Sandbox.

And this is me waving goodbye to dozens of writers reading this as they disappear for two weeks.

 

Gatsby wave goodbye

 

Paul S. Kemp wasn’t able to make the panel, but he wrote at length via twitter on his thoughts about Scope and Scale. You can read them in a Storify here.

 

And last, but not least, I’ve included a couple of questions below that we weren’t able to answer during the panel.

From Paul Weimer:

How does individual character creation and development change (or not) in working in different scale sizes in Fantasy?

Do you find maps, glossaries, concordances a necessary evil or a joy to create (and have readers read) in secondary world fantasy?

Do you start or approach a novel idea differently depending on whether its S&S or Epic in its scales/stakes?

 

Please feel free to continue the conversation here in the comments. Until next time, Stay Angry.

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We’ve been spoiling you lately with great Kindle US Daily Deals, and we are back today with another one: both vN and iD by Madeline Ashby are available at only $1.99 each! Get your grandma-eating characters at bargain prices, for one day only.

iD by Madeline AshbyvN by Madeline Ashby, cover Martin Bland/Spyroteknik

 

 

 

Categories : Daily Deal
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It’s been very busy at Angry Robot HQ lately, and not just because of the fantastic titles we’ve been publishing! I know some of you have noticed I’ve been quieter, and out of the office a few days, but I’m back…and just about in one piece.

10441372_10152241483255642_8836419488324112199_nI play Gaelic Football for Roger Casements GAA Club and just last week we had a very exciting game…the Warwickshire Championship Final. This is one of three competitions we play in throughout the year and, as the county final, it was a big day for the players and the club. These big games require everyone to put their all in, and as I’m captain of the team I expect myself to give even more. However, breaking my foot 10 minutes into a 60 minute game – and continuing to play for the rest of the game – is maybe a bit more than I would usually expect. In my defence, I did think I’d ‘only’ broken my toe or something smaller than my fifth metatarsal!

As our Robot Leader, Marc, declared, we’re tough cookies here at Angry Robot Books!

Unfortunately this fancy shoe I’m wearing does mean I can’t drive and thus won’t be in the office until it’s off, so it’s best to reach me via email for the time being. If you need to have a chat, email me for my mobile number.

Let this be a lesson: don’t mess with the Robot Team…we don’t ever give up!

For anyone interested, here’s a YouTube video* that’ll give you the gist of the national sport of Ireland!

*This video displays the general rules of playing Gaelic Football but not all apply to Ladies Football e.g. we can carry for 5 steps – not 4, and we’re not allowed shoulder-to-shoulder tackles.
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It’s that time again, folks – time for Angry Robot Live!

This month, we’re bringing you a discussion of Scope and Scale in Fantasy – from the intense back-alley tales of sword & sorcery to the world-breaking sagas of epic fantasy, the genre spans a huge range in terms of scope. Our panel will discuss the benefits and tradeoffs of operating at different scales, and we’ll dig into what makes tales at the different levels of scope powerful in their own ways.

The panel includes:

Kameron Hurley, Kitsschie and Sydney J. Bounds Award-winner and nominee for the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. Her The Mirror Empire drops on August 26th in the US/CAN.
Anna Kashina, author of the Majat Code (Blades of the Old Empire, and The Guild of Assassins, which releases on August 5th in the US and CAN).
Paul S. Kemp, New York Times-bestselling author of Star Wars and Dungeons & Dragons novels, and the author of the Tales of Egil and Nix (The Hammer and the Blade, A Discourse in Steel).
James A Moore, author of over twenty novels, nominee for the Bram Stoker Award, and author of Seven Forges and The Blasted Lands.

 

Kameron Hurley

Anna Kashina headshot

 

 

 

Paul-300x232James A Moore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The panel will be Tuesday, July 29th, at 8:30 PM EDT (5:30 PM PDT), and should run about an hour.

If you have any questions for our panelists, please feel free to post them here in the comments, tweet them with #ARLive, or join us to ask them yourself!

RSVP for the event here.

Nexus by Ramez NaamRamez Naam is unstoppable!

Not only is Nexus Angry Robot’s top-selling book of all time, it’s been translated into more languages than any other, and has garnered more award nominations than any other, too.

And they just keep coming!

We are absolutely delighted to announce that Nexus has just been shortlisted for the prestigious Endeavour Award!

So, that makes its award record:

  • ~ 2014 Prometheus Award – WINNER (tied with Homeland by Cory Doctorow)
  • Arthur C Clarke Award – SHORTLISTED
  • Kitschies Golden Tentacle Award – SHORTLISTED
  • Endeavour Award – SHORTLISTED
  • ~ An NPR Best Book of the Year

Author headshot Ramez NaamAnd Mez himself is, of course, currently SHORTLISTED for the John W Campbell (Not a Hugo) Award for Best New Writer!

Come on, Mez – let some other writers have a chance! :-)

Categories : Angry Robot
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On the Kindle US Daily Deals site today you can purchase all three of Justin GustainisOccult Crimes Unit Investigation Series books for only $1.99 each! Missing one from your collection, or have yet to start reading these urban fantasy greats? Get your hands on Hard SpellEvil Dark, and Known Devil, at these bargain prices, today!

Categories : Daily Deal
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Congratulations to everyone who was voted onto the recent Best Of lists from Locus, but a special celebration belongs to our very own Emma Newman as Between Two Thorns was included in the Best Fantasy Novel category! The first book in the Split WorldsBetween Two Thorns, has received widespread attention – including a shout-out from The Guardian as “JK Rowling meets Georgette Heyer” – and it certainly belongs in the Top 25 of Best Fantasy Novels. If you have yet to read Between Two Thorns, get yourself to this book page for all the info and read an excerpt.

Well done, Emma!

Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman, March 2013

Categories : AR Authors, Awards
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Jul
16

Word Crimes

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“Weird Al” Yankovic gives us the best song about grammar, ever written!

Categories : Songs about Grammar
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We are delighted to announce that Ramez Naam‘s Nexus has won the 2014 Prometheus Award from the Libertarian Futurist Society, tying with Cory Doctorow‘s brilliant Homeland!

Ramez was short-listed for both Nexus and its sequel Crux with Nexus described thusly in the awards announcement:

Nexus offers a gripping exploration of politics and new extremes of both freedom and tyranny in a near future where emerging technology opens up unprecedented possibilities for mind control or personal liberation and interpersonal connection.

Ramez Naam: “I’m absolutely honored and thrilled to be receiving the Prometheus Award for Best Novel, and even moreso to be sharing it with Cory Doctorow, a writer who exemplifies what it means to use the written word to fight to expand human freedoms. I wrote Nexus and Crux to explore the potential of neuroscience to link together and improve upon human minds. But I also wrote them to explore the roles of censorship, surveillance, prohibition, and extra-legal state use of force in a future not far from our own. Science and technology can be used to lift people up or to trod them underfoot. Making those abstract future possibilities real in the present is a core goal in my novels. I’m glad the selection committee saw that, and I’m very grateful to them for this award!”

Lee Harris:With his three Nexus books (NexusCrux, and the forthcoming Apex), Ramez Naam has proved to be not only a master storyteller, but also a free thinker, whose writing encourages us – his readers – to think more critically about the world around us. I can’t think of a more fitting award for one of the finest new writers of our generation.”

Ramez will be at Worldcon in London next month to happily receive his award, and if you’d like to see him before this, come along to our Angry Robot Summer Invasion of Forbidden Planet on Wednesday 13 August!

Join us in congratulating Ramez on Twitter!

Nexus by Ramez Naam

Nexus

About the awards

The Prometheus Award, sponsored by the Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS), was established in 1979, making it one of the most enduring awards after the Nebula and Hugo awards, and one of the oldest fan-based awards currently in sf. Presented annually since 1982 at the World Science Fiction Convention, the Prometheus Awards include a gold coin and plaque for the winners.

For more than three decades, the Prometheus Awards have recognized outstanding works of science fiction and fantasy that stress the importance of liberty as the foundation for civilization, peace, prosperity, progress and justice.

For a full list of past Prometheus Award winners in all categories, visit www.lfs.org. Membership in the Libertarian Futurist Society is open to any science fiction fan interested in how fiction can promote an appreciation of the value of liberty.

More information is available at http://lfs.org.

Author headshot Ramez NaamWe’re already set for a bumper evening with Anne LyleMike ShevdonAdam ChristopherWesley Chu and Madeline Ashby at Forbidden Planet on Wednesday 13 August at 6pm, but we’re delighted to announce that Ramez Naam will also be joining us!

Join us for an evening of readings, signing, and robotic dance moves. Enjoy an informal evening of meeting some of your favourite authors and listening to some fantastic fiction!

RSVP

Forbidden Planet have an event page on their Facebook page on which you can RSVP, and I do encourage you to do so. Surprise, surprise, here’s a handy link to said Facebook page! You can also tweet us, @angryrobotbooks, or @forbiddenplanet. Please feel free to share with your friends, colleagues, enemies – hey, we don’t discriminate, and we look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, 13 August!

Categories : AR Authors
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If you head over to the Kindle US Daily Deals site today you can not only get The Damned Busters, Book 1 in the To Hell and Back series, by Matthew Hughes for $1.99, but also Books 2 and 3! Costume Not Included and Hell to Pay are also on today’s Kindle Daily Deal at only $1.99. Get going!

 

Categories : Daily Deal
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Anne Zanoni, friend of Angry Robot, needs you: she wants to make the journey from the States to London for WorldCon this August, and in her own words is “seeking help from fellow book lovers and fans everywhere to meet my best friend – and edit more books. No, really.”

For more on Anne’s crowdfunding campaign, click here and for more on Anne’s Activate London Plan click here.

If you can’t donate, please help spread the word!

Categories : Angry Robot
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If you head over to the Kindle US Daily Deals site today you can get Seven Forges by James A. Moore for $1.99 and with the sequel, The Blasted Lands just released this month, it’s perfect timing to get caught up with Book 1.

Seven Forges by James A. Moore, artwork by Alejandro Colucci

Categories : Daily Deal
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Tuesday 1 July marked 5 years from Angry Robot’s first books - Lauren Beukes‘ Moxyland and Kaaron Warren‘s Slights - and throughout this week we have celebrated with daily staff blog posts and giveaways! Author guest posts and other cool giveaways have popped up on various sites – and continue to  - so do keep an eye out for our #AngryRobot5 on Twitter for new posts.

On the blog this week we’ve had Senior Editor Lee Harris with his Top 5 Reasons Angry Robot Rules; MD Marc Gascoigne with his 5 lessons learned; Publicity Manager Caroline Lambe with her 5 Favourite Angry Robot Characters; and Mike Underwood, US Sales & Marketing Manager, with his 5 Favourite Angry Robot Covers.

The final slot belongs to our very own Amanda Rutter who, on her last day at Angry Robot / Strange Chemistry, is giving away her 5 Favourite Angry Robot Books, and writing about her 5 Things Wot I Learned From Publishing.

It’s an emotional day for me: my last day working for Angry Robot and being the editor for Strange Chemistry. I wondered about what my blog post should be for a little while (you almost got Lee’s 5 Worst Puns – but I decided I just couldn’t inflict that level of pain on you all!) Finally, I decided to do a little farewell in the form of the 5 things that I have learnt while working in publishing.

1. Patience!

My God, you have to be patient! I came from an accounting background, where things were required yesterday, where the monthly accounts would be closed in five days, where emails were replied to instantly. Everything was snap, snap, snap. And then I walked into publishing… In my first month, everyone got sick of the refrain “When can we…?” When can we release this gorgeous cover art that we’ve received for a book, when can we announce an author, when can we put books up on Netgalley, when can we, when can we, when can we… It has taken me pretty much the whole of this two years and seven months with Strange Chemistry to settle down and realise that publishing moves at its own special pace. Authors, you think you can’t handle the wait times? Well, I haven’t been finding it easy either!

2. You just know.

People say that you always just know when you meet the person who you are going to marry. That women just know when they put on the wedding dress that is perfect for them. That you just know when you walk into the house that is going to become your home. The same is true for books you end up taking to acquisitions. Every single one of those books that went out through Strange Chemistry, I adored. I got shivers when I started reading the first few pages. I stayed up late to finish them. I could already see how I might advise the author to tighten this section, or maybe move that chapter. I was entirely invested in those books before they went to acquisitions. I just knew.

3. You can do everything right, but…

You can acquire the most brilliant book in the world, you can put a stunning cover on it, you can see positive reviews flooding it, but… it doesn’t sell. For whatever reason, it doesn’t appeal to readers. I have taken books to acquisition that I am so passionate about. I have watched the whole team get excited and think that this book, this could be the one that really sets the world alight. I have watched the reviews come in and been so joyful that people share my opinion of the book, and delighted that I have been able to put this story out into the world. But something just doesn’t click. Perhaps the timing of the release. Perhaps the marketplace. Perhaps there was a sporting event on and people weren’t reading as much that month. We’d all love to know how to bottle the success of certain books, but you just can’t anticipate how a novel will be received. Of course, it does make it all the more precious when a book fires the imagination of the reading public.

4. How many publishing people does it take to change a lightbulb?

 Probably just one, we’re quite capable in many ways! What I’m really talking about here is the sheer number of people involved in bringing a novel to a bookstore. I had this lovely naïve view of an editor reading a book and then putting a nice cover on it and ta da, it was done. Maybe not *that* naïve, but I had absolutely no idea of who is involved.

First you have the author, then the agent, then the acquisitions editor, then the publishing team who help agree the acquisitions, then the art director, then the cover artist, then the marketing person, then the publicity person, then the copy editor, then the proofreader, then the designer who lays out the book, then the production team who send the book to print, then the sales reps who get out there to sell in the book… There are so many different layers to publishing a novel that editors are, in fact, project managers. And I was doing this for, at one stage, two books a month, twenty two books a year (none in December, smartarse, before you start counting on your fingers!) It’s no wonder that your regular editor is often working til late in the office, then going home to read manuscripts in the evening, so that all of these tasks can be fulfilled!

5. Publishing people are the best!

I have had the best two years and seven months, and that is without a doubt down to the people I have met through this job. My fabulous colleagues (who I am going to miss beyond words); my incredible authors (who I wish all the very best in the future); the agents (who have been professional, caring and somehow managed to balance author and editor with aplomb); the freelancers (who have done such a sterling job behind the scenes to make the books as tight as they can possibly be); and the book bloggers/reviewers (who have shown such passion for all the Strange Chemistry books). I salute you all. You have made my job easy. You have made my job fun. You have made me enjoy every single day that I walked into this office and sat down at my desk and realised that I was bringing stories to the world. Thank you!

photo (29)Amanda’s Giveaway

And now, before I go away and weep a little – it IS an emotional day, after all – I bring you my prize pack for this blog post. I am offering one person my five favourite Angry Robot books. These would be: Zoo City by Lauren Beukes, Sixty-One Nails by Mike Shevdon, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke, The Corpse-Rat King by Lee Battersby and The Alchemist of Souls by Anne Lyle.

Entry Details

To win, just let me know, in the comments, your five favourite books of all time. The winner will be picked at random and entries close on Monday 7 July at 12.01pm BST.

Categories : 5th Birthday
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Tuesday 1 July marked 5 years from Angry Robot’s first books - Lauren Beukes‘ Moxyland and Kaaron Warren‘s Slights - and throughout this week we are celebrating with daily staff blog posts and giveaways! Author guest posts and other cool giveaways will be popping up on various sites so keep an eye out for our #AngryRobot5 on Twitter for new posts.

We’ve already had our Senior Editor, Lee Harris, with his Top 5 Reasons Angry Robot Rules, MD Marc Gascoigne with 5 lessons learned, and Publicity Manager Caroline Lambe with her 5 Favourite Angry Robot Characters. Next up is Mike Underwood, US Sales & Marketing Manager and his choice of giveaway is Empire State by Adam Christopher. Details of this giveaway, and why Mike chose Empire State are at the end of this post.

Hi Robot Army, Mike here.

It may not seem like it, but I wasn’t always an Angry Robot. I first discovered AR back in 2010, when my dad (a Random House sales rep), gave me a first run set of Angry Robot books as the list was launching in the US. And what I noticed, from the very beginning, were the covers and packaging. I grew up in a publishing household, and have been a SF/F reader for nearly my entire life, so I pay attention to these things.

One cover in particular stood out to me:

Moxyland cover

Moxyland, by Lauren Beukes, cover by Joey HiFi. The cover had a Cyberpunk sensibility, and the subtle but very smart design of the broken image files for the faces of the characters. It grabbed me right off and sent me to the back cover copy to find out more.

A few years later, I’d followed Angry Robot here and there, read a few books, and then I came across Empire State, by Adam Christopher (cover by Will Stahle):

Empire State

Empire State was the novel I read on the plane out to interview for the job, and talked with Marc about the book, how it lent itself to the WorldBuilder program, and used that as a springboard to talk about possible future plans for Angry Robot.

Months later, when all of the surgical scars from my cybernetic sales & marketing implants were healed, we revealed this wild beauty of a cover for Chuck Wendig’s The Blue Blazes, by Joey HiFi:

The Blue Blazes cover

Like so much of Joey HiFi’s work, the cover for The Blue Blazes is nearly fractal in its detail. Scenes are piled on top of scenes, individual scenes building to a designed cohesive whole.

Also, meat cleaver.

Just last Autumn, we put out a Big Fat Fantasy by the name of:

Heartwood cover

Heartwood, which went on to win author Freya Robertson the Sir Julius Vogel award. The cover, by Alejandro Colucci, is a big, double-decker cheeseburger of FANTASY ART. You know what you’re getting here – knights, combat, and a grand sense of scale.

And last, but certainly not least, comes a cover that has already served me very well in my efforts to spread the word of Angry Robot across North America and beyond. It hung right above my head all through Book Expo America, allowing me to answer people’s question of “what do you have coming this fall” by pointing at this piece of amazing work by Richard Anderson for The Mirror Empire:

The Mirror Empire

 

*drool*

Five years into Angry Robot-ing, I’m so very happy that a look at the cover to Moxyland put me on the path to be here, working inside Angry Robot orbital headquarters, helping new authors, emerging stars, and genre veterans get their work out into the world.

Mike’s Giveaway

For my giveaway, I’m picking Empire State (x 5 copies), which continues to be, in my mind, one of the most Angry Robot-y Angry Robot books we’ve done.

Entry Details

Comment below and tell us your favorite Angry Robot cover to enter. Winners will be picked at random. Entries will close tomorrow, Friday, at 12.01pm BST, when we will have Amanda’s post with another giveaway!

For brownie points, join in our #AngryRobot5 conversation on Twitter and tell us about your favourite Angry Robot book, or if you haven’t read one yet, which you would like to pick first! Don’t forget to include us: @angryrobotbooks

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