Last night was our fourth Angry Robot Live! We talked about Scope and Scale in Fantasy.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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, 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 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:
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, 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:
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.
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.
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
At the start of the month, Senior Editor Lee Harris and Exhibit A editor Bryon Quertermous and I all climbed into our Angry Robotic jets and hurtled through the sky to Phoenix, Arizona, where we promptly melted.
End of story.
Not quite. The heat was intense, and it put our cooling systems into over-drive, but we managed to make our way to the convention center for Phoenix Comic-Con.
We had a booth in author’s alley, proud neighbors to many of the members of the illustrious Taco Chuch. We were excited to be supporting three Angry Robot authors (Wesley Chu, Jay Posey, Chuck Wendig) and one Strange Chemistry author (Danielle Jensen) at the convention, and to spread the good word of SF/F/WTF? to new readers.
Our authors had panels here and there all weekend, taking breaks by hanging out at the booth and selling books by their sheer radiant presence.
Lee Harris and I lead an Angry Robot preview panel, which has been summarized in great style here. (Highlights – interpretive dance, competitive comps, and manstresses).
Phoenix Comic-Con had a very well-designed and well-run literary track, and the staff overall did a great job, especially considering how rapidly the convention has been growing (It had 55,000 attendees last year, and 77,000 this year). Despite the brutal heat, all robot units returned home operational and ready to continue operation.
Our topic was 21st Century Science Fiction, with discussions of literature and film, the social/sociological use of science fiction, and a substantive analysis of Spike Jonze’s film Her, as dissected by science fiction writers and futurists.
There was also discussion about jetpacks. Expletives were used. As with many things Angry Robot, mature language applies.
You can find the video below and on YouTube.
Thank you to all who tuned in and joined us. The response has been very strong, so please stay tuned for news of Angry Robot Live #2!
Dear Robot Readers,
Mike Underwood, Sales & Marketing-o-Tron here with some cool news.
I love conventions – they’re a chance to bring together authors to discuss interesting, important, and/or irreverent topics in writing and cross-pollinate ideas and experiences. Not to mention the amazing, off-the-wall conversations that happen in the hallways, restaurants, and the bars. Especially the bars.
I’m also a podcaster, and a while back, I wanted to apply the fun of podcasting to my marketing work with Angry Robot and see if there was a way to bring some of the amazing convention-style conversations to readers around the world without having to shell out for a convention pass or a plane ticket. Which leads directly to…
Angry Robot Live.
Monday, April 28th, at 8:30PM EDT, I’m going to moderate a live Google+ discussion with four critically-acclaimed Angry Robot authors about 21st Century Science Fiction. Our panelists will be:
Madeline Ashby, John W. Campbell-nominated author of the Kitschie and Locus-nominated vN
Cassandra Rose Clarke, author of PKD-nominated The Mad Scientist’s Daughter
Ramez Naam, John W. Campbell-nominated author of the Promethus, Kitschie, and Arthur C. Clarke-nominated Nexus, and the Prometheus-nominated Crux
Wesley Chu, John W. Campbell-nominated author of the Alex Award-winning The Lives of Tao.
If you have questions about Science Fiction or any of these authors works that you’d like me to ask at the panel, please comment below. And be on the lookout for the link to join the discussion live on Monday the 28th!
For those who won’t be able to attend live, we’ll record the panel to be uploaded to YouTube, as well as archiving it on Google+ for viewing long into the 21st Century.
A friend shared this rant by Ben Babcock, and I have to say that if we got hate mail like this every week, our digital morale would never waver, even amidst minefields of super-magnets and EMP grenades.
I despise Angry Robot. Because of them, I have a massive backlog of DRM-free ebooks in my Dropbox, which I can read anywhere from my phone or tablet. Because of their stupid subscription model, where I can pay in advance and download their new titles every month, I have reliable, consistent exposure to new voices in SF/fantasy and fascinating new novels. Because of their terrible habit of actually responding me to me as a person, not just a consumer, their customer support has always been responsive and satisfactory—they always seem to reply to me on Twitter, and in emails they are courteous and helpful. I seldom have this experience with any other company, and so, naturally, this made me angry.
Also, they lie. Never once have I interacted with a robot instead of a real person, and even if I did, it certainly wasn’t very angry. This is false advertising in the worst possible way.
That’s why when they started their Strange Chemistry imprint, I immediately bought a subscription for that as well. I hate them that much, that I needed to use my wallet to make sure they heard my vocal displeasure with their business model.
In short, Angry Robot is doing an awful job emulating the bigger publishing houses. They have ruined my life by making available more books than I can possibly read in any reasonable amount of time. I’m sure that my eyesight will eventually go from staring at my tablet screen for so long, and when it does, I will blame them.
Don’t make the same mistake I did, people. Don’t fall into the Angry Robot’s trap. If you buy from them, you will soon drown in books, go blind, and be immensely satisfied.
So thank you, Ben. Your hate makes us strong. We hope to enrage you with our business practices for many years to come.
Mike here, your intrepid North American Sales & Marketing Manager. I’m very excited to reveal the cover to SUNSTONE, the second book in the Elemental Wars series (following HEARTWOOD) by Freya Robertson.
Brought to us by the marvelous Alejandro Colucci (who gave us the cover to SEVEN FORGES and HEARTWOOD), here’s SUNSTONE:
About SUNSTONE (warning: spoilers for HEARTWOOD)
The Incendi elementals that dwell beneath the mountains have found a way to tap into the Arbor’s roots, which stretch not only across the land but also through time, and King Pyra is determined to crush the ancient tree.
Twenty-two years after the defeat of the Darkwater Lords, Chonrad’s widow Procella and their three children are drawn back to Heartwood to investigate the rumour of strange fires springing up across the land. Across three separate timelines, the heroes must battle to join together their ancient sunstones, to overcome the Incendi threat, and to protect the Arbor and make earth victorious once more.
File Under: Fantasy
Excited yet? Here’s the cover to SUNSTONE next to the cover for HEARTWOOD:
Today is my one-year anniversary of joining the Angry Robot team as the North American Sales & Marketing Manager. I came to Angry Robot from a job as a field sales representative, and while the surgical scars from the upgrades have faded, the amazing feeling of being directly in the action, championing authors, and supporting our incredible Random House sales team is fresh every day.
Some highlights from the year:
- Attending my first WorldCon in Chicago all of three weeks into the job, learning the list on my feet, meeting fans and smart readers, editors Lee Harris and Amanda Rutter, as well as a huge swath of our authors. There was pizza, bowling, and much fun with book-wrangling.
With Senior Editor Lee Harris, practicing my Blue Steel.
- My first trip to the United Kingdom, meeting the rest of the Angry Robot and Osprey team, learning the joys of British rail (US trains cannot hold a candle to the Midlands line), and wandering around in a Waterstones getting a crash course in UK cover culture from Managing Director Marc Gascoigne.
- Slinging charcuterie at the launch event for Chuck Wendig’s The Blue Blazes at Singularity & Company.
Charcuterie, in honor of Mookie Pearl, star of The Blue Blazes, while the Man, The Myth, The Beard, Chuck Wendig chats with a reader.
- Rolling a critical hit in title presentation, applying my experience in order to present Angry Robot titles to sales reps the way I’d want to hear about them as a rep.
- Seeing incredible sales numbers roll in for several authors, working closely with the Random House reps to move quickly to maximize the success of breakout books like Ramez Naam’s Nexus, Cassandra Rose Clarke”s The Assassin’s Curse, Wesley Chu’s The Lives of Tao, and Sean Lynch’s Wounded Prey. As a writer myself, helping fellow authors succeed is one of the most satisfying parts of the job.
Huge thanks to the whole team for welcoming me with open arms, being generous with their knowledge and their passion, especially to Marc Gascoigne, the best Robot Overlord a guy could ask for.
It’s been a marvelous year, and this next year promises to be even bigger. I’m about to unleash a Massive Scheme on the North American marketplace, one that’s been in the works the whole first year. And after that, who knows?
Last week, the Angry Robot army descended upon an unsuspecting Brooklyn, bringing marvelous mayhem in the form of authors Chuck Wendig and TL Costa to WORD Bookstore in Greenpoint.
The heat was scorching, but fortunately, our authors are all-temperature models, and were not dissuaded. Chuck Wendig read from upcoming Miriam Black book The Cormorant, and TL Costa read from Playing Tyler.
Literature lovers packed the event space, braving the heat. They were rewarded by an evening of reading, discussion, and camaraderie.
I had the fortune of MCing the event, kicking off the discussion and moderating the Q&A section.
Once the Q&A was done, the authors assumed the position to sign stock and chat with readers individually.
Big thanks to Jenn and C.J., our gracious hosts at WORD Bookstore!