Hey gang – You know by now, I am sure, that we at Robot HQ love the superb cover art of our man Joey HiFi, and we certainly adore writer Maurice Broaddus… So when the chance came to package up the latter’s superlative urban fantasies into one vast, all-conquering omnibus edition, it seemed only right to combine the gritty, street magic of the novels with some, well, equally gritty street magic artwork.
The Knights of Breton Court series has long borne the tagline “The Wire meets King Arthur”, or variants thereof, so it seemed sensible to echo the packaging of that landmark TV show. But Joey has taken this to another level, with perfect typography and his trademark detail-within-detail artwork. In short, we love this motherfucking cover.
The Knights of Breton Court by Maurice Broaddus will be in stores this October.
Somedays, well, somedays this cover design lark takes a little time to untangle. Take this novel as a case in point. How, how, how, we had to ask, does one create a cover for a novel about a battlefield looter who accidentally kills the king dead, gets killed dead himself, becomes mistaken for the king of the dead by the hordes of the dead, and then sent on his semi-dead way to find the real king, or be actually properly dead?
Answer, loads and loads and loads of dead things. Obviously.
So thank you, Nick Castle off of Castle Design, for taking my concept and going way beyond where I hoped it would end up. And thanks, of course, to the mighty Lee Battersby, whose wonderfully dark and devilishly funny fantasy novel The Corpse-Rat King will appear from Angry Robot in early September this year.
So yes, we love Joey HiFi. His artwork for Moxyland, the UK Zoo City and Blackbirds has blown us away, and just today we have taken receipt of his latest piece, the cover for Chuck Wendig’s second AR novel Mockingbird. And lo, here it is (click for awesome massiveness):
Is it the weekend already? Phew! So here’s the plan: tomorrow, bright and early, get yourself to a bookstore. Find that great section at the back or up the right side where those extra-lovely books are… and buy some books. Could be ours, could be other peoples’ – but you know you want them, you know you need them. Make them yours, bring them home, job done.
So anyway, you may just have noticed that the damn righteous Dead Harvest is due out any moment. Meet the man behind it as Angry Robot’s Chuck Wendig talks to Angry Robot’s Chris F Holm at Terribleminds.com (we really do get everywhere). Meanwhile, Chris also talked to Elizabeth A. White about how he found his inspiration for the book’s protagonist in Hell and offered some sage advice for would-be Thriller writers over at the ITW’s The Thrill Begins blog.
On SFFWorld.com, Mark Yon took a good, long look at Dead Harvest and declared it highly recommendable: “In a crowded world of Urban Fantasy, it’s difficult to make an impression amongst the many, many tales out there. However, as far as urban fantasy goes, this is one of the most assured debuts I’ve read since first reading Jim Butcher’s first Dresden.”
Dead Harvest was also reviewed over at sheneverslept.com, where it scored a perfect five out of five tentacles: “Dead Harvest grabbed and held me from beginning to end. Chris F. Holm has crafted a nicely dark urban fantasy with a truly unique protagonist”. Likewise, blogger Elizabeth A. White was suitably impressed, saying: “Holm takes a pinch of fantasy, a little supernatural, a dash of hardboiled crime fiction, and blends them into a pitch-perfect adventure in a way that is nothing short of authorial alchemy.”
Plus, Dead Harvest was profiled by Eric Beetner for CriminalElement.com‘s Fresh Meat files and reviewed by blogger Stephen West. And the frankly rather awesome cover art triumphed in the February Cover Wars over at The Qwillery (and we know that Chris wanted that one, badly).
The very friendly David Tallerman was interviewed by Sci-Fi Fan Letter and also talked to SFSignal.com about the not-so-secret ingredient in Giant Thief. And you can have a go at winning a copy of Giant Thief, courtesy of Fantasy Book Review.
Upcoming Titanic/30 Days of Night mash-up sensation Carpathia by the superb Matt Forbeck was reviewed by lovevampires.com, Starburst magazine and Adventures Fantastic. And just as this round-up was going to press… um, screen, the chaps on Lightsaber Ratting were so taken with it they suggested “there is no way that this book doesn’t become a movie”, and the venerable Starburst said “Fans of Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula will find a lot to love here, as will anyone who prefers their horror with a hint of claustrophobia.”
And even fuuuurther out, Mister Mike Shevdon gave his first interview for a while to SFF World, looking at the Courts of the Feyre series so far and previewing this June’s upcoming Strangeness & Charm – together with a review of book one in the series, Sixty-One Nails.
Gav Thorpe talked to The Shell Case about his work in the Warhammer universe, as well as the forthcoming conclusion to his Crown of the Blood saga: The Crown of the Usurperand his plans for the future. He also did valuable service on his own blog, crunching the numbers on classic fantasy tropes: http://mechanicalhamster.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/elf-preservation-part-one/
And finally, over at fellow imprint Strange Chemistry, chatterbox and editor Amanda Rutter revealed some of the science and much of the art of reading submissions. She also talked all things Strange and Chemical over at the Intergalactic Academy.
So much going on! You might as well give away your TV and your Xbox, you know. Books are the past, the present and definitely the future!
You may well have seen the art of The Hammer and the Blade, Paul S Kemp‘s wondrous fantasy of swords, magic and outragous tomb-robbery. Here it is in new Added Lettering-o-vision, with the art by Richard Jones as delightful as ever it was.
Check out, while you are down this way, Paul Young’s art for the third book in the Crown of the Blood series from the redoubtable Gav Thorpe. Looks like Ullsaard has finally flipped out under the evil control of the demonic crown and is about to unload an entire can of whuppass on his priestly minions.
And finally, if you are one of our French-based meat-pals you may have seen the art we’ve adopted for the collected omnibus of all three novels in Aliette de Bodard‘s superb Obsidian & Blood saga, because Larry Rostant’s piece graced the local edition of the first book, Servant of the Underworld. And frankly, it is too good not to reuse for the collected Acatl, Priest of the Dead novels.
Hey, gang. We promised you some more cover goodness imminently, and cover goodness is what you shall have! Click each thumbnail to see heartstopping levels of detail.
The cover to vN by Madeline Ashby is by the remarkable Martin Bland, aka Spyroteknik. You really should click to get a better look at this, because the poor fellow almost sent himself blind working all of the detail in those robotic components that are surrounding poor Amy.
Night’s Engines is the second of Trent Jamieson‘s explorations into the apocalyptically storm-damaged Nightbound Land, and as with Roil the cover is by Angelo Rinaldi. Less in your face than Margaret, the first book’s kick-ass heroine, David as seen here is a feckless wastrel forced into action by destiny. I know, happens to us all. He’s scrubbed up rather well for the climax to this two-volume adventure.
Jo Anderton‘s disgraced pion-controller Tanyana is fully Suited on the cover of Debris‘ sequel. The first book in the defiantly science fantasy Veiled Worlds series has been getting rave reviews everywhere, along with plenty of “Is it SF, is it fantasy?” deliberation from the worthies of the SF/F blogosphere. All we know is that she looks damn mean in that suit. You’ll have someone’s eye out with that!
And ultimately, Steve Stone‘s none-more-noir cover to the collected Matt Richter tales by the redoubtable Tim Waggoner. The Nekropolis Archives has all three wonderfully entertaining novels featuring the undead detective and his half-vampire sweetheart Devona, along with a swathe of short stories. All in a paperback so chunky it really should come with health & safety warnings.
In July we’re publishing the first in Paul S Kemp’s exciting new fantasy series, The Hammer & the Blade. It tells of renowned treasure hunters and adventurers Egil (he’s the burly bastard priest with an uncanny way of getting believers to fall in line) and Nix (no lock unpicked, no treasure unsnaffled, no serving wench unfondled) and lo, here they are.
This stunning art is by the ever-lovely Richard Jones of Artist Partners. We were going to wait until it had some lettering on but frankly, we couldn’t contain ourselves.
You can read a great interview/live chat with Paul about the novel, plus an insight into his many bestselling Star Wars novels (skweeee!) over at Reddit.com.
PS, Lots more upcoming art to wonder over shortly.
Angry Robot Books has a new and potentially very exciting vacancy. We are looking for a COMMISSIONING EDITOR for a new imprint that will publish crime fiction, including suspense, mysteries and thrillers.
We will be hiring someone with experience of the crime fiction field –although not necessarily someone with a specifically publishing background. Duties will be to source new titles for the imprint, buy them, get them edited and ultimately published in digital and book format, using AR’s existing resources and systems.
The imprint will be a standalone line, with its own name and presence, but will employ the same fresh and distinctly modern approach that AR has in the SF/F world. The editor will play a key role in building the personality of the imprint, and telling the world about its brilliant books, especially online. Read More→
Just in case you hadn’t noticed – and to be fair because Angry Robot readers are brighter than the average droid you probably did – there’s a crafting revolution going on. From Etsy to your local knitting shop, people all over the recession-hit western world are rediscovering the pleasures of doing it oneself. This Christmas, always one for an internet trend, we’d like to suggest a “make” for you of our own – with these deeply festive Angry Robot Christmas Snowflakes.
Making one isn’t so very hard, we reckon, our reasoning being that if we can make them without severing any major arteries, so can you. You’ll need a printer and appropriately sized paper (you can resize to suit), a pair of scissors or sharp craft knife… and Your AR Snowflake template (PDF) – don’t forget to right-click or alt-click, as is your wont.
So here’s all you have to do:
1. Download the PDF.
2. Open it up and print it. It’s set to just go onto some UK A4 (letter) but you may want to resize it to fit the paper size your printer can handle. Big is nice, weeny means you’ll probably lose a thumb trying to trim it, but feel free to experiment.
3. Fold it up (NB, you don’t need to cut the circle out first, unless you really want to). You might just cock the folding up first time but don’t worry about it. First, fold in half horizontally, then along one edge of the grey-tined segment. Then fold again so the grey-toned segment is on top. Fold the segment beneath it back the other way so it’s a “Z” in profile not a flattened spiral.
4. Using your preferred hacking implement, trim off all the grey parts, leaving the white. You’re going through 12 layers, so watch it!
5. Unfold. Wow, it’s like Christmas day already. Do a few, using different coloured papers, stick them up somewhere, and marvel at your crafting skills every 20 minutes until Twelfth Night. Then throw them in the recycling bin.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TOP SOUTH AFRICAN PRODUCER WINS COVETED FILM RIGHTS IN INTERNATIONAL “BID FEST” TO MULTIPLE AWARD-WINNING AND BESTELLING NOVEL ZOO CITY BY SOUTH AFRICAN AUTHOR LAUREN BEUKES
“Beukes’ energetic noir phantasmagoria, the winner of this year’s Arthur C. Clarke Award, crackles with original ideas.” (Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times Book Review)
South Africa, November 22nd
Helena Spring, widely regarded as one of South Africa’s most accomplished motion picture producers, has just been awarded the highly sought-after film rights to Zoo City, the Sci-Fi thriller penned by South African author Lauren Beukes – who garnered the 2011 Arthur C. Clarke Award for best Science Fiction novel. In the wake of whopping sales figures, multiple awards and critical acclaim Beukes’ book generated fierce interest from numerous bidders in the entertainment industry, putting Spring alongside major US and UK producers eager to tell Beukes’ unique tale.
Zoo City was published first in South Africa by Jacana Media and thereafter internationally by by Angry Robot.
The urban fantasy is set in a futuristic, gritty and hard-core Johannesburg where the eponymous ghetto has been colonised by society’s outcasts – like criminals, drug-dealers and psychopaths, and their animal companions. Like the other residents of the Zoo City slum, Zinzi, the anti-heroine, is “animalled”, but she is also a shrewd, street-smart girl with the gift (or burden) of finding lost things. Zinzi wears her power animal, a sloth, on her back. When she is hired to find a missing teenybopper star, she hopes that it will be her ticket out of Hell’s waiting room.
“I’m delighted to have secured the film and television rights for Zoo City,” commented Helena Spring. “It is a groundbreaking, magical novel begging for a life on the big screen. Lauren’s storytelling is masterful – edgy and futuristic, unique yet universal. It is high in entertainment value yet emotionally charged, a dream project for any producer.”
Beukes positively acknowledges the choice of the winning producer. “Every novelist dreams of a movie deal – but you actually want more than that. You want to find a producer of great vision and integrity and experience who fundamentally gets the book and understands how to transform it into an entirely different creature based on the same genetic material. I’m thrilled that it’s being produced in South Africa – for an international audience.”
Spring’s career in the entertainment industry spans nearly three decades, during which time she has produced over twenty motion pictures – including the first ever South African film to receive recognition at the Academy Awards®: Darrell Roodt’s Yesterday earned a Best Foreign Picture nomination in 2004.
Spring, who has worked with some of the foremost filmmakers in the world – such as Paul Greengrass who helmed the box office smash hits The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, and Academy Award® winner, Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), will soon be putting the project out to a select party of directors, while Beukes has first look as screenwriter to adapt her novel for the screen. “Lauren is perfectly placed to do this. The characters are alive inside her,” says Spring.
Julian Friedmann of Blake Friedmann (the literary agency that reps Beukes), says that: “Helena outbid all the others in a spirited auction for film rights to this extraordinary book. She had an extremely proactive, writer-friendly approach to working with Lauren and offered an imaginative and creative proposal that was irresistible.”
Lauren Beukes’ meteoric rise seems unstoppable and recently a new megabucks book deal was announced. The working titles of the two novels – due in 2013 and 2014 – are The Shining Girls and Broken Monsters. They were picked up by publishers in the US, the UK, South Africa, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany.
Aaand she made this lovely trailer for this latest Acatl novel too. Studio roll VT:
Aaaaaaaaand she’s running a really cool Aztec-themed competition on her blog. Check it out and win win win, as apparently they say!
Lovely Lauren Beukes, modestly not mentioning much about her massive, massive new book deal (me and her mother, Mrs Harris, are so damn proud), was interviewed by Bruce Sterling. Yes, that Bruce Sterling.
The lovely KW Jeter was Guest of Honor at Steamcon III recently. Check out the pics and a great write up from Steampunk News. We think all our authors should get an official convention photo done with a girl with a boat on her head. No, just because.
And finally, no skateboarding puppies this week, but instead the lovely Lavie Tidhar gave great podcast for the Skiffy & Fanty Show in this discussion of his new novel Osama. It’s not by us, but it’s bloody great so fair dues and all that.
Meet Miriam Black. She knows how you’re going to die. And when. It’s now. Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig. In stores and online in May 2012.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Joey HiFi. You are amazing.
[ Click for larger version. ]
[ Click above to see larger versions of these covers. ]
So, how do you like these babies, Joe?
You see, the new urban fantasy series from the inimitable Chris F. Holm is a touch, shall we say, noir. OK, not so much a touch, more double-dipped, with an extra crunchy topping of NOIRRRRR. Just take a look at those titles for starters. Looks like somebody has been soaking up the Hammett and Chandler, and then twisting them for their own diabolically devious purposes.
So what’s a publisher to do? Well, what we chose to do was dive in with both feet, BLAM! You want noir, with a classic feel? Oh yeah, these new covers from Amazing15, with art direction by yours truly, reference all that’s great in mid-70s crime paperback design. Well sometimes, you know, genius just… steals. And we Robots wouldn’t have it any other way.
The first of these books featuring soul collector Sam Thornton, Dead Harvest, will be in stores in March next year, with The Wrong Goodbye following in November.
New York Times-bestselling Science Fiction author Dan Abnett has sold two more original novels to Angry Robot. Huzzah!
MONSTERCIDE, due next year, is an epic future thriller of city-stomping creatures and the shadowy band of heroes sworn to defeat them. It will be followed the year after by an as-yet untitled sequel to his acclaimed 2011 planetary war novel, Embedded. Frankly, we can’t wait. We want them now.
Dan was kind enough to say: “Angry Robot is going to be publishing my third original novel next year. And my fourth, but that’s a story for the year after. I’m delighted that my relationship with them is continuing, and they’ve made me feel very welcome indeed. Monstercide is a huge and seething idea that’s been in my head for a while now, busting to get out, and I’m very grateful to the Robots of Rage for providing me with a venue for my brain to explode in. Uhm, that didn’t come out quite right…”
Maidstone, Kent-based Abnett made his name in the tie-in SF and Fantasy fiction field, selling more than 2 million copies in English language of his Warhammer 40,000 novels. He’s also made the UK fiction charts with original Doctor Who and Torchwood novels. His comic book scripts, for major publishers such as DC Comics, Marvel and the UK’s 2000 AD, have attracted critical plaudits and strong sales on both sides of the Atlantic.
We have fresh flesh! We are delighted to announce that Little, Brown’s Online Marketing Manager Darren Turpin will be joining SF & fantasy imprint Angry Robot from 7th November, as Marketing & Digital Manager.
Turpin will report to Angry Robot publishing director Marc Gascoigne, and work on promoting the full range of Angry Robot titles, as well as developing some currently unannounced new digital initiatives. (Yay, secret stuff!) Turpin had been at Little, Brown for three and a half years, originally working for the company’s science fiction and fantasy list, Orbit. He was also previously manager of the (legendary!) SF department at Waterstone’s Deansgate, Manchester, editor of their in-house SF magazine The Alien Has Landed, and one of the compilers of The Waterstone’s Guide to SF & Fantasy.
Darren said, without any coercion: “I’m hugely excited by the prospect of working for Angry Robot; they’re a cutting-edge independent publisher with a great reputation, an enthusiastic fan-base and a fantastic author roster… what’s not to love? It will be great to get back to genre publishing as well, it’s where my roots lie and where my heart has always been. I can’t wait to get started.”
Marco added, as you do: “Darren’s made quite a name for himself in both science fiction bookselling and publishing. It’s our tremendous good fortune to find a role for him that truly plays to all of his strengths. Angry Robot is growing in leaps and bounds both in the UK and US, and Darren is just who we need to take our message further than ever before.”
Look out for him popping up here as soon as he’s gone through the implantation procedures.