Given up the usual sweet treats for Lent? Perhaps you’re going without social media, cigarettes, or that extra shop-bought coffee. Here’s a Lenten idea: read more books! We’re celebrating the ultimate in divine comedy with a Goodreads Giveaway for Last God Standing by Michael Boatman: 40 copies over 40 days & nights. Here’s the entry details:
Attention all Earthlings (and attentive extra-terrestrials),
We are very excited to share our latest acquisition with you! The deal, for Worldwide Rights, for The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath by Ishbelle Bee was negotiated between our Senior Editor Lee Harris and Bryony Woods of Diamond Kahn Woods. This sumptuous fairytale for adults will be published in November, with a sequel to follow in July 2015.
With a wonderful title – and by the way, the subtitle is The Peculiar Adventures of John Loveheart, ESQ – I think we need to go straight to the blurb:
The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath
The Peculiar Adventures of John Loveheart, ESQ
In the summer of 1887 my grandfather stole a clock.
It was six feet high
and the shape of a coffin.
1888. A little girl called Mirror and her shape-shifting guardian Goliath Honeyflower are washed up on the shores of Victorian England. Something has been wrong with Mirror since the day her grandfather locked her inside a mysterious clock that was painted all over with ladybirds. Mirror does not know what she is, but she knows she is no longer human.
John Loveheart, meanwhile, was not born wicked. But after the sinister death of his parents, he was taken by Mr Fingers, the demon lord of the underworld. Some say he is mad. John would be inclined to agree.
Now Mr Fingers is determined to find the little girl called Mirror, whose flesh he intends to eat, and whose soul is the key to his eternal reign. And John Loveheart has been called by his otherworldly father to help him track Mirror down…
Lee: “Finding Mirror and Goliath in my reading list was a dream come true – it was one of those books that the whole team immediately fell in love with, and I can’t wait to share this one with our readers!”
Bryony: ”I’m thrilled to have found such a perfect home for Mirror and Goliath, and I know that Angry Robot will publish Ishbelle’s wonderful novels with all the passion and enthusiasm that they deserve.”
And now, here’s Ishbelle:
ISHBELLE BEE writes horror and loves fairy-tales, the Victorian period (especially top hats!) and cake tents at village fêtes. (She believes serial killers usually opt for the Victoria Sponge). She currently lives in Edinburgh. She doesn’t own a rescue cat, but if she did his name would be Mr Pickles.
The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath will be published in glorious hardback, and we’re sure will be a hit with everyone who loves fairy stories, old and young alike.
Welcome aboard, Ishbelle!
We know you’ve been awaiting this news, and it gives us great pleasure to announce The Rebirths of Tao will be released in January 2015. The final instalment in the Lives of Tao trilogy, this stunning conclusion will be available in ebook and the UK on 30 December 2014 and in the UK / ROW on 1 January 2015. The deal, for worldwide English rights was negotiated between Lee Harris and Chu’s agent, Russell Galen of Scovil Galen Ghosh.
Wesley Chu: ”I am thrilled to continue the Tao series with Angry Robot Books. Together, over the past two years, the ill-tempered droids and I have gloriously kicked the crap out of Roen and Tao, and laid waste to those human-loving Prophus. Now, it’s death, taxes, and the Genjix. People of Earth, prepare for the final battle. You’re about to get rocked.”
Lee Harris: “Roen and Tao’s story became a firm favourite as soon as we published book 1, The Lives of Tao. Book 2 confirmed Wesley’s talent, and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us in the conclusion!”
Five years have passed since the events in The Deaths of Tao. The world is split into pro-Prophus and pro-Genjix factions, and is poised on the edge of a devastating new World War. A Genjix scientist who defects to the other side holds the key to preventing bloodshed on an almost unimaginable scale.
With the might of the Genjix in active pursuit, Roen is the only person who can help him save the world, and the Quasing race, too.
And you thought you were having a stressful day…
PRESS RELEASE: 30 JANUARY 2014: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Angry Robot Books brings ebook bundling program to the USA
KEY NOTE: In 2012, Angry Robot Books began partnering with Indie bookshops in the UK to offer free ebook bundling via the Clonefiles initiative. Angry Robot has been giving DRM-free ebook editions free as companions to all physical books sold at participating Clonefiles stores. Now, Clonefiles is coming to North America.
DETAILS: With BitLit as a fulfillment partner, Angry Robot has teamed up with leading independent bookstores McLean and Eakin Books and Prairie Lights Books to offer free ebook editions with all physical copies of Angry Robot Books sold at these two stores.
Angry Robot have always been champions of DRM-free eBook publishing and are been eager to experiment with new business and distribution models. A dual-format offering for Indies is a natural extension of Angry Robot’s customer-first ethos and a great way for Angry Robot to show some love for the USA’s fantastic Indie bookshop scene.
Upon purchase of physical book, customers will receive information on how to download the free BitLit app and use it to claim their free ebook edition of Angry Robot Books.
CALLING BOOKSTORES: Angry Robot is looking to expand the program to other independent bookstores across the USA and Canada. Interested bookstores should contact Mike Underwood at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Prairie Lights Books
McLean and Eakin Booksellers
Over the last four-and-a-bit years, we’ve published a range of SF/F/WTF? that we’re immensely proud of; from our very first titles, Moxyland by Lauren Beuekes and Slights by Kaaron Warren to today’s 100th title, Adam Christopher‘s Hang Wire. We’ve had award-winners (Lauren’s Zoo City), great sellers (such as Ramez Naam‘s Nexus, amongst many more) and critically-acclaimed titles, such as Cassandra Rose Clarke‘s The Mad Scientist’s Daughter (also just nominated for the Philip K. Dick award!).
To celebrate this milestone, we’ve put together a range of special events. We’re giving away 10 copies of Hang Wire over on Goodreads, and for the past week have been running an exclusive competition with Tor.com to win a USB with ALL 100 books, as well as lots of other goodies popping up around the web.
Today – the US/ebook launch date of Hang Wire - we are launching a special Robot Trading Company promotion: 100 Books for £100. On a normal day, all 100 titles would sell for £545… a recession busting saving of £445! You can choose between a single 43Mb zipfile containing all 100 ebooks and a bundle version which will allow you to download all 100 titles individually.
This is available for the first 100 purchasers only, so be sure to take advantage of our temporary celebration madness!
We have lots of giveaways and special treats planned to celebrate this Angry Robot milestone, so keep an eye on our site and social media pages for more details, over the next few days!
Angry Robot’s parent company, Osprey Group, employs a friendly team of about 50 staff in their offices in west Oxford, and is now looking for a bright individual to fill the role of Rights Executive.
The primary purpose of this role is to maximise revenue at optimum profit by repurposing and licensing Osprey Group’s intellectual property to third parties whilst extending and protecting the integrity of the group’s brands.
Key responsibilities will include:
• licensing the three fiction lists for translation, dramatization and audio
• managing permissions, in collaboration with AKG Images
• managing the group’s electronic licensing activities, in collaboration with agents
• preventing copyright violations
• pursuing and fulfilling ad hoc co-edition and special sales deals
• assisting the rights director in licensing and co-edition deal fulfilment
• attending book fairs and visiting customers.
The successful candidate will have a keen interest in genre fiction, especially SF and fantasy, crime and YA; will enjoy interaction with authors and customers; will be a confident negotiator, a highly motivated self-starter and a fastidious administrator.
This is a full-time position which we are looking to fill as soon as possible. A full job description is available on request.
To apply, please email a copy of your CV, details of your current salary, and a covering letter explaining why you are perfect for the position to email@example.com.
The closing date for applications is 17th January 2014.
As part of our 12 Days of Christmas, we’re bringing you some of your favourite authors talking about what Christmas is to them… in whatever form they like! We’re also bringing you their backlist at only £1!
Note 1: The Cormorant is excluded from this offer.
Note 2: You can get Blackbirds for free (!) until the end of the year by following this link.
Here’s how to take advantage of our seasonal special offer:1. Visit the Robot Trading Company at www.robottradingcompany.com2. Add the book(s) you’d like to buy to your shopping basket3. Add the magic word ‘tinsel’ to the ‘coupon/voucher’ box4. Click the ‘update basket’ button and the discount will be applied
We set up our Christmas tree the other day, and the way it worked was, my wife would hand me an ornament and me or the wolverine tornado (aka “toddler”) would place it on the tree, and she suddenly handed me an ornament that looked like a ring of antlers. And I said, “Didn’t Dad give this to us?” and she said, “No, we gave it to him the year that he died.” Oh, I thought, right, right.
My father died on December 22nd.
I don’t mean this year. Or even last year. This was six years back, so your condolences, while appreciated, are many moons beyond their required date.
Snow covered the ground. Ice in the trees. Blinky lights on all the houses and shiny bauble-hung trees in the windows.
And my father had prostate cancer. It had gone through him like raisins through a fruitcake and refused to be contained to the one place: the cancer had ambition, enough to kill him earlier than any of us expected, I think, even though we knew his life was suddenly on a short leash. We drove to see him on that day, the 22nd, just three days before Christmas, and while there on our visit his liver failed and his heart stopped and suddenly he was passing on to his happy hunting ground.
He died with my finger on his pulse. I felt it go. That’s a powerful and awful thing to feel—someone’s heartbeat suddenly slow, then stop.
A rum-pa-pum-pum, then—
I don’t bring this up to bring you down, but, you see, I think about death a lot. As a writer, death is part of my arsenal—it saturates my fiction the way the cancer got its claws in my father. I don’t know who said it, but someone far wiser than me said that all stories are about death and dying and I think that’s true, at least at the molecular level.
When Christmas rolls around, my death thoughts increase by at least an arbitrarily-made-up 46%.
This is, in part, because my father died around Christmas.
But that’s not all of it.
No, Christmas, it seems, is positively pendulous with death energy.
My father lost his father during Christmas, too—and so during that season he became more pensive and troubled, and many of the holidays were punctuated with that grim act of visiting my grandfather’s grave (a man I never met, a man who my father didn’t seem to like very much, and I’d watch him there looking at the grave trying to negotiate the repair of a relationship that could no longer be repaired, a feeling I am well-aware of now that my Dad has slipped away).
That’s the personal side, but you look past that, you can start to see death everywhere. Sure, sure, I know, Christmas is about birth, about the life of that guy whose name is right there in the holiday, but shit, that’s a ruse, isn’t it?
Christmas comes just as the seasons are turning. Just as the last leaves of life are falling off trees. Just as the ground goes cold and food becomes scarce and animals starve. Just as the white stuff starts to fall from the sky like ash—
And here I am tempted to make a dramatic overture about how it looks like the ash of my cremated father but the reality is, one’s cremated remains look a great deal more ‘kitty litter’ than ‘mortal ash.’ When the time comes to “spread ones ashes” it feels more like “flinging kitty litter” and you wonder if passersby might ask why you’re tossing aquarium gravel into the lake, you weirdo.
But I digress.
Christmas is death-flavored.
Christmas is the birth of a guy whose ending we know is to die brutally.
Christmas is when we chop down a perfectly good tree and stand its corpse in our living room to decorate like a clown before its needles turn brown and fall.
Christmas is when we kiss underneath the mistletoe, the poison that Loki uses to tip the arrow that he shoots into Balder’s eye to kill him.
Christmas is all the color leeching out of the landscape until the dark earth is peppered in white and gray, the forest like bones, the sky the color of a headstone.
Christmas is a stone’s throw from the shortest day and the longest night.
Christmas is when we lose our fathers. Or our mothers. Or when we remember those who came before and will no longer share in the meal, or the gifts, or the warmth of the fire meant to ward off cold nights.
It’s a bit theatrical, of course, to suggest that Christmas is death. Or that its jolly façade hides grim and sinister trappings.
But again, I’m a writer. It’s how I do.
More to the point, this is a good – if entirely shameless – time to mention that I have a book perfectly well-suited for all these aforementioned grim and sinister trappings. Because my favorite cantankerous psychic, Miriam Black, is back—a character born out of my own frustrations and fears about death, a character who now, in The Cormorant, takes a little vacation away from all the wintry Christmastime doldrums to head down to the Florida Keys where she is drawn into a trap. A trap where she expects to be paid handsomely to tell a man about his death but instead finds a message written to her in the man’s blood, a message from an unknown enemy that reads, Hello, Miriam…
Read the book and you should follow the bouncing Santa Hat.
Because no book starring Miriam Black is complete without her killing Santa Claus, am I right?
I think I am.
Please do enjoy the book.
And Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you find warms your dry thatch of a heart in this dark, lifeless, death-soaked time.