Author Archive

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!


Categories : Angry Robot
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The name Jen Williams may already be known to UK-based Robots, as her fabulous fantasy series that started with The Copper Promise has been published over here to great acclaim by Headline. As big fans of the Copper Cat series, we were thoroughly delighted to snap up US and Canadian rights, and now we can announce that we will be publishing The Copper Promise there next summer, with The Iron Ghost to follow soon after.

Jen WilliamsWithout even the suggestion of being introduced to a terrifying array of “devices”, Jen kindly said:

“I am thrilled and excited that Angry Robot will be publishing The Copper Promise and The Iron Ghost in the US. It’s a whole new world for my characters to explore, and I can’t wait for this new part of their journey. Of course, when it was revealed to me that as part of my contract I would have to travel into the past to prevent the human rebellion against the inevitable robot uprising, I was a little taken aback – I didn’t have anything appropriate to wear and I tend to get travel sick – but all in all I am in favor of our robotic future. It’s very tidy, very shiny, and the wi-fi is excellent. Of course, our Awesome Metallic Overlords mostly regard humans as especially squishy portable batteries, but the main thing is, I get to spread the word of Sword and Sorcery. It’s all good.”

Here’s more about The Copper Promise:

There are some tall stories about the caverns beneath the Citadel – about magic and mages and monsters and gods. Wydrin of Crosshaven, known as the Copper Cat, has heard them all, but she’s spent long enough trawling caverns and taverns with her companion Sir Sebastian to learn that there’s no money to be made in chasing rumors.

But then a crippled nobleman with a dead man’s name offers them a job: exploring the Citadel’s darkest depths. It sounds like just another quest with gold and adventure… if they’re lucky, they might even have a tale of their own to tell once it’s over. These reckless adventurers will soon learn that sometimes there is truth in rumor. Sometimes a story can save your life.

Many thanks to Jen and her agent, Juliet Mushens, for making this happen. Lots more to tell about these wonderfully entertaining books over the next few months, but for now file this one under Can’t. Bloody. Wait.

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We hope you’ll forgive the slightly formal nature of this news item. In brief, we’re making some changes that will bring great benefits to readers and bookshops in Australia and New Zealand – because we have reached a deal for the mighty Simon & Schuster Australia to distribute our books in those lovely countries.

Stock of our books already there has transferred over, and the first container ship full of spanking new Angry Robot novels is steaming towards the southern oceans as we speak. We’re very grateful to everyone there who has helped set this up. This should all mean an enhanced service to bookshops, more copies out there for readers, and more regular stock for conventions and author appearances. Result!

Categories : Angry Robot, News
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Yeah, it’s Friday afternoon in the Angry Robot office (YMMV), so it was inevitable that we were going to goof about for an hour or two, and run some of our recent and upcoming book covers through Deep Dream.

Do you know it – Google’s new software algorithm that attempts to mimic what happens in the human subconscious during dream states? It’s a bit limited at the moment: it really only draws on images of dogs and eyeballs right now – but it’s still damn freaky and we had a blast revealing the Cthulhu-esque subliminals lurking just behind our cover art.

Here are some of our favourites. If you’re eating something a bit icky, or have recently ingested a heavy dose of hallucinogenic pharmaceuticals, you may care to skip this post. If you’re up for it, you can click on each to see a much larger version. What’s your favourite?

If Then (Deep Dream Dawnbreaker (deep dream) Empire Ascendant (deep dream)

Butterfly Girl (deep dream) The Ark (deep dream) The Buried Life (deep dream)

The Dragon Engine (deep dream) Unseemly Science (deep dream) Windswept (deep dream)

Want to have a go yourself? Check out the Dream Scope online app. Don’t have nightmares.


The Robots are replicating!

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Bye, lovely CarolineIt’s something of a bittersweet day here on the otherwise empty flight deck of our orbital leviathan. Our lovely colleague Caroline Lambe (right) is leaving us, if only temporarily, to have her first baby. We shall miss both her massively capable wrangling of AR’s promotions and publicity campaigns, and her occasional intimations that Ireland truly is the best country on earth, with equal sorrow. We love her and we’ll miss her.

Obviously, even at this late stage we have attempted to encourage her and Will to name their firstborn after us, and she has at least pretended that they will consider Angstrom as a middle name. We live in hope.

We did the whole lunch and pressies thing on Tuesday, as the Robot crew – including the ever-smiling Penny (left), now handling all our promotions needs – are now scattered to the four corners, but today is our Caroline’s last day for a year. So join us please as we bid her farewell, if only for a year, and wish her every happiness in the amazing adventure on which she’s about to embark.

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Look what we found in the AR archive

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In spring, like so many people, one’s thoughts turn to tidying up a bit, i.e. spring cleaning. Our bristling orbital death platform has been looking a bit dusty and ramshackle of late – books and body parts everywhere, of course, but also crates of a less identifiable nature.

Right at the bottom of the most distant stack, in a wooden chest marked in a font of a distinctly pre-millenial variety (how you get Comic Sans on the side of an oak case I’ve no idea), we made a delighted discovery. In short, we found mint copies of some of Angry Robot’s releases from the very earliest days of the imprint. Very collectible, and we know we aren’t the only readers who have hung onto these original editions, even though copies are very scarce out there. It’s fascinating to see how our cover design styles have changed over the decades [ click to enlarge ]:

TheLivesOfTao66 Nexus74 SevenForges76

From the left: one of our short-lived but very collectable series of AR Doubles, from 1966 (Guy Haley’s Reality 36 on the other side, as we’re sure you remember); the first appearance of that sleeper hit Nexus, from 1974; and an example of the first Jim Moore complete repackaging programme, from 1976.

Heartwood1979 Vn1985 Three1985

From left: powerful swords & sorcery imagery that screams 1979, also the inspiration behind Hawkwind’s concept album, released the following year; and a chance to compare and contrast UK and US packaging approaches, both from 1985.

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The Bullet Catcher's Daughter by Rod DuncanWe’re absolutely delighted to start 2015 with some awards news. Rod Duncan’s superlative alternate history The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter has made the six-book shortlist for the Philip K Dick Award 2014.

When he’d come down from the ceiling, a joyous Rod Duncan said:

I had no idea that The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter was even in the running, so discovering it on the shortlist was a complete surprise. If you’ll excuse the British slang – I was gobsmacked! To be standing alongside such wonderful writers and to be up for an award bearing the name of Philip K. Dick – it is a great honour. I feel hugely grateful.

The award’s winner will be announced at Norweson in Seattle, USA on 3 April this year. Further details of that lovely shortlist – really, you should just buy all of them! – and everything else you need to know are on the Philip K Dick Award website. Rod’s sequel Unseemly Science is fast approaching too – it hits stores in May 2015, with a third novel in the Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire series, The Custodian of Marvels, due Spring 2016.

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As we prepare for our Spring relaunch there’s one series above all that has had Angry Roboteers clamouring for information about. Today we are delighted to reveal that Ramez Naam‘s Apex, a novel that has added whole new layers of meaning to the phrase “eagerly awaited” – will be with you on May 5th next year.

All very well, you shout, but what does it look like? Well for this new beast of a book as well as giving it an amazing cover, we have also redesigned the previous two novels as they are going to be reissued in handy mass-market format in North America in the run-up to Apex‘s release. So ladies, gentlemen and robots, here is the trade paperback of Apex, together with its equally smart if somewhat diminutive siblings, Nexus (March 15) and Crux (April 15):

Nexus (March 15) Crux (April 15) Apex (May 15)

{ Click each image above for a larger version. }

The unified design for all three has been created by one of our favourite designers, Steven Meyer-Rassow. And if you were wondering yes, we will switch the UK/RoW paperback editions to these new covers the next time we reprint them as well. Smart!

Nexus (US/Canada mass-market reissue) March 2015
Crux (US/Canada mass-market reissue) April 2015
Apex (trade paperback) May 2015

Categories : Angry Reboot, Cover Art, News
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Giving Thanks, Angry Robot Style

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Thankful little robotAs you may know, us Angry Robots are mostly a British-based concern but at least one of our number is caught up in Thanksgiving deep in the American heartland. (Waves cheerily at Mike Underwood, no doubt already buried under a prodigious heap of turkey, biscuits, trimmings, fixings, hominy grits, pop tarts, roasted possums and whatever other extraordinary foodstuffs they eat over there in the Colonies.) Regardless of our current post code, however, after the kind of year that we’ve had, all of us here have massive reasons for giving thanks about now.

Thank you to everyone at Watkins Media, who came along just when we needed you. You’ve proved in these few short months to be 100% supportive of our publishing plans, our ongoing plans for innovation, and also our commitment to openness. We took some knocks over the summer, as our previous owners made some… unusual decisions in the run-up to breaking up the group to which we belonged, so we’re doubly grateful for everyone’s support. Thanks too to our colleagues beside us on the front line at Osprey across those months.

Immense thanks to all our amazing authors, who stuck with us during those unforeseen circumstances, even when we were forbidden from talking to you about what was happening. Your loyalty and understanding have been humbling. Here’s to more amazing books in 2015 and beyond!

Thank you to our book biz partners – our salesmen and distributors at Random House and Faber, GBS and EPubDirect, audiobook teams at Brilliance and Audible, and our export friends in far-off lands. To our translation partners in many lands, who are making brilliant editions of our books in their own languages. To the gang at Gotham in LA who handle our (many) movie deals. To the freelance editors and designers, artists and tech types.

And of course, massive robot thanks to you readers, bloggers and convention runners, members of the Robot Army and the Robot Legions, all of you. A book only comes to life when it is read. Whether you collect every single Angry Robot book or have only read a handful, we give thanks on this special day to every last one of you.

Marc & Caroline & Mike & Phil
Your Robot pals

Some more Angry Robot books to give thanks for, coming very soon…

Flex by Ferrett SteinmetzUnseemly Science by Rod DuncanThe Buried Life, by Carrie PatelDream Stalkers 72dpi

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So, Farewell Miriam

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FarewellIf you’ve not seen the announcement elsewhere yet, the lovely Chuck Wendig has sold three new Miriam Black books to the gang over at Saga (Simon & Schuster), and the first three volumes will be joining them over there too.

This happens pretty frequently in publishing, where books change publisher, and new books in the series are released in different packaging along with the backlist, but we’ll be especially sad to see Miriam go. Back in the spring, Chuck suggested the new books for Angry Robot… just as our then-owners, Osprey Group, hit some difficulties that eventually led to the company being broken up and sold. We wanted to offer on them, oh how we pined for them, but we had strict orders from above: no new proposals could be bought at that time. Worse, the owners had also put a block on reprints of physical books, so paperback copies of Blackbirds ran out. With massive regret, and if we’re being honest deeply frustrated by the whole situation, we had to let Miriam leave the Angry Robot label that first brought her to you all.

The Miriam books remain in our catalogue until the end of the year, so obviously we’d love you to snap up copies if you haven’t yet, and do look out for those incredible new adventures from Saga – we’ve only read the synopses but they already rule. And we have to add: although we didn’t move to our fabulously supportive new owners in time to keep Miriam on our label, the dark times are now receding in our rear-view mirror. We are pressing the Big Reprint Button for those few AR books that have slipped out of stock. Just as excitingly, we are preparing offers for a delicious clutch of new books from several of our favourite Angry Robot authors, and are about to introduce you to several new writers as well… Can’t wait to tell you all about them soon.

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Meet the new boss…

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Etan IlfeldThe great machineries of Business have churned and Angry Robot has new owners, in the shape of Etan Ilfeld and his company Watkins Media Ltd. We thought you might like to get to know him a little better so we cheekily sent him a few devious and revealing questions.

1) What made you pick up Angry Robot to add to your ever-expanding media empire?

I love everything that Angry Robot stands for. It’s innovative, disruptive, and dedicated to nurturing the best sci-fi authors.

2) Do you have big plans for Angry Robot or is it business as usual?

I plan that the AR team continue to publish more great books of course, both physical and ebooks, and also develop other media elements. I have an MA in interactive media, and I bought Angry Robot because I’m interested in the future of entertainment in all its many forms. I also have a second MA in Film from the University of Southern California, and have produced movies in my time, so I intend to expand the programme of developing film, TV and video games from Angry Robot titles.

3) Who is your favourite angry robot from movies, books, comics or wherever?

Is it ok to say that I love Arnold in the first Terminator film?

4) You are known, among many other things, as the pioneer of underwater chess. If you could play a game against one favourite character from history or fiction who would it be?

Isaac Asimov was a chess player and incorporated chess into several of his novels – he’d make a great adversary. Also, I’d love to take on Marcel Duchamp; as well as a surrealist artist and Dadaist, he was a great chess player and competed internationally.

5) Star Wars or Star Trek?

I like ’em both – but I frak’ing love Battlestar Galactica!

Sounds just like our sort of guy.

Categories : Angry Robot
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Robots love Hugos

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The Hugo AwardsSoooo, we can’t imagine that if you have any interest in the wider world of science fiction that you missed the winners of this year’s Hugo Awards, presented as the climax of the massive, and massively enjoyable, Worldcon here in England’s London, aka Loncon 3. But just in case, here’s a completely biased summary:

Kameron Hurley won TWO. As we said there in the hall, hell yeah! In fact, we screamed and whooped and screamed some more.

And that’s not all. We’re so, so proud of our writer friends and colleagues who placed well in the rankings, with nominations for:

Emma Newman, for her sensational Tea & Jeopardy podcast
Both Wesley Chu and Ramez Naam, up for the John W Campbell Award for best new writer (yeah yeah, OK, not strictly a Hugo yadda yadda)
Aliette de Bodard, nominated for her lovely novelette, The Waiting Stars.
Our man Mike Underwood, up as part of the team behind the Skiffy & Fanty Podcast.
And our now-departed but still beloved Lee Harris, nominated for Best Editor (Long Form), a fitting end to his AR years as he heads off to pastures new.

Loads of other great people were justly celebrated too, of course, and you can read up on them, even see all of the breakdowns in how people voted if you like. It’s all been rather lovely. Roll on 2015.

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Apparently it’s Really Important to have the venerable (aka, “past it”) founder and publisher woken from his gentle slumbering in his battered but calf-soft, warmly sunlit armchair to deliver some kind of ruminations on the first five years of Angry Robot. Let’s get The Old Man to do a Top Five of something or other, they said with their kindly smiles, in their most charming “No dear, the nurses haven’t been stealing your clothes again” voices.

So having been roused I said yes, against my better judgement, and as a result here are five things that I have learned while being the Angry Robot’s hem-hem glorious leader. Sure, they are rather random but not so much in a Will this do? vein – because of course, my lovelies, you deserve the very best attention – but just more of a personal ramble through just a few things that AR means to me. Because frankly, I’ve lived through every moment of the last five years of AR and we really have rather crammed quite a lot in. That man Mr Harris has already demonstrated that, with his usual aplomb, but now it’s my turn…

TL, DR: Five years? Damn. More grooviness to come, obv.

Story is all
Storytelling is all
I know we’re known for being super-different. We Robots are always banging on about Science Fiction v2.0 or that SF/F/WTF thingie. We win awards for our innovative cover designs, making our books unavoidable even from 30 metres across a crowded bookstore. We have our slogans and our clever ideas and certainly a cheeky attitude, all that.

And you know what? It wouldn’t mean a damn thing without the storytelling talents of our authors. Sure, as far as the packaging goes there is an Angry Robot house style, but not once you get into the actual words. From our earliest days to right now, you could pick out the difference between Kameron Hurley or Anne Lyle, Lauren Beukes or Ramez Naam, at a hundred paces, blindfold optional. Yes, we are Angry Robot and we’re very visible as an entity, a brand, in a way some other publishers aren’t, but we’re not homogenous, and great storytelling from individual voices will always be the heart of what we do.

Do it now
Do it now, apologise later
So, we do loves our slogans, and we use them rather a lot. Sorry about that. We also use the Angry Robot brand and that logo, and consistent designs, and other similar signifiers to ensure that even if you don’t know the author, once you spot that AR logo you’ll.

I love the fact that reviewers and readers sometimes refer to our books as being “weird” or “quirky”. We’ve also read in reviews of some of our fantasies that a commentator was very surprised to read something so mainstream from AR. There’s never been a time, though, that we’ve let it worry us. We know we can publish a whole shelf-full of traditionally structured fantasies, and then stick out a book with a bright yellow cover and computer game pacing and be seen as innovators. It’s become something that’s stuck to us and we don’t mind it at all, but perhaps after 130 books we smile a little more indulgently when the Q word pops up. Every reader gets something a little different from a reading of even one book; it’s the same with its publisher.

Angry Robot has also meant different things to the different people who work or worked on it. I rather like the fact that I wasn’t that keen on a novel that has consistently remained in our top 3 sellers since it first went on sale. (No, not telling, at least not until it’s 3am at Loncon and we’re finishing the third bottle.) I was persuaded to back it, through solid reasoning on behalf of its proposer and the rest of the gang who were all for it, and their skills in spotting its potential certainly paid off. It’s good for the soul to learn something… now and again.

Or do I mean, all the time? A big part of the AR experience has never been to rest on our laurels. We were really helped when we set up by being able to address the modern business and art of publishing. If we didn’t like the traditional way of doing things, we didn’t do it.

And more, as our our bestest slogan of all has it: If it feels good, do it. Rather often this means that, over a cuppa one morning someone suggests something a bit mad, and we have already set it up and announced it before the US were even up and about. Such fun.

We are you – no, we are
The science fiction community is special in a bunch of ways, but for us one of the most bloody brilliant things is that it is participatory. There’s perhaps a sliding scale of “getting involvedness”. You don’t have to, of course. You can be a reader, occasional or a frequent, habitual user. But if you read a lot, perhaps you review too, or run a blog. Or dabble in short stories. Or are the powerhouse behind your writing group and have your first novel taking shape. In SF today’s enthusiastic readers have the possibility of being tomorrow’s star writers, and that’s lovely.

It’s another reason why our everyone-does-everything structure works well, for us at least. We’re all fans first and publishers second, not looking around with blinking eyes and a nervous duck of the head, hoping no one discovers us and boots us out as pretenders, but we never get distanced from that rush of pure passionate All-the-feels that a damn good book brings. It is a privilege to read all our many book proposals, pick the very best and bring them to the world. But don’t let that stop you buying us a beer occasionally.

Tell them about the passion
So yes, it’s all about conveying our burning passion for that storytelling. So why get in the way of that? Big publishers have a marketing department; smaller folks like us should still, the model says, have a dedicated person who handles all that sort of stuff, whether booking advertising or making posts on that there social media. They’re the experts, after all – and without wishing to get snarky, boy can one tell when an editor somewhere has been ordered to do more tweeting. But no, we don’t do it that way.

We used to say to authors, you must be on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and Tumblr and every other site going, and keep your website up to date too. Oh, and write your next book, of course. We learned quickly that didn’t work, so now we say do the one thing you’re comfortable with, do the one thing that you don’t stop doing. For us it’s the same – we love these books, which is why we bang on about them, whether on Twitter or at conventions, one-on-one or broadcasting far and wide. We just can’t stop ourselves.

It is the business of the future to be dangerous
You, our most beloved readers, are surely up to speed on what books are coming in the next few months from Angry Robot and Bloody hell, best season evah or what? But oh, you really should see what we have shaping up for you darling readers next year too.

In the meantime, well, AR is living through some interesting times, as you may have spotted. We recently closed our two smaller lines, after a hell of a lot of soul-searching and trying everything else we could, because they weren’t selling anywhere near enough books. Got a lot of attention, were very popular with reviewers, but no actual sales. Sounds simple when put in plain language, but making that decision was tough beyond words. And to follow, totally unconnected to the above, we’re shortly going to be a man down. Our beloved Lee Harris has rightly seized one of those once-a-decade opportunities, so in mid-August he will be off to be senior editor for the new imprint. We’re bereft, and frankly not a little bit miffed, and so bloody proud of him all at once. It’s like losing the man next to you on the battlements.

We’ll be looking for a replacement soon enough, so get your editing shoes on and your CVs polished to an attractive shine. Then we’ll get back to concentrating on the thing we do best, making books good enough to bear that inimitable Angry Robot badge. All I can say is stick with us, as you have done so wonderfully for our first half-decade, because just like the last five years it’s going to be one hell of a ride.

PS… Marc’s giveaway

Every day our Caroline has asked us to pick one of Angry Robot’s books to give away to five lucky people. I’ve picked Carpathia by the inimitable Matt Forbeck. Well, it’s definitely not every day that one gets to give an author the idea for a novel… We have five copies for you.

Entry details
To enter, simply comment on this post with your Top 5 Games – can be digital, video, app, tabletop, playground, whatevs. (Perhaps not bedroom though.) Winners will be picked at random. Entries will close tomorrow, Wednesday at noon DST, when we’ll have our Caroline’s post and another giveaway.

For extra Scooby snacks, join in our #AngryRobot5 conversation on Twitter and tell us about your favourite Angry Robot book like, everrrr, 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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Costume Not Included, by Matthew Hughes - artwork by Tom GauldWe’re delighted to hear that the wonderful Matt Hughes has been nominated for this year’s Endeavour Award for Costume Not Included.

The award is for genre works written by an author resident in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, as that fine novel was. The five-title shortlist announced this week is testament to the talent in that part of the world, but, well, let’s just say, we know who our favourite is :-)

We’re keeping our powerful metal finger/manipulator units delicately crossed for a Matt-shaped victory come November time. In the meantime, catch up with the latest in his seriously wild fantasy trilogy, Hell to Pay.

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Caroline LambeWe’ve had a small reshuffle up here in our terrifyingly gun-bedecked orbital headquarters.

Please welcome our new Publicity Manager, CAROLINE LAMBE. She’s based full-time in the Nottingham office, and will greatly enhance our book promotion and marketing capabilities, from wrangling metadata and TIs for our new sales partners Faber, to arranging reviews and bookstore events. She joins us from Liberties Press in Dublin, and we’re sure you’ll make her welcome around these parts.

In other news, DARREN TURPIN has now completed his move from a full-time to a freelance role as our website manager. He’s still lurking in the background of everything that happens on this site, just… well, over there rather than right here in our midst. ROLAND BRISCOE, UK sales maven, has moved on to pastures new, and we wish him all the very best as he rejoins the world of humans. Right, back to engineering this whole total global domination malarkey…

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