Archive for Angry Robot


The Open Door is… open

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It’s time. Yes, the Open Door period is now here, and we want you to submit your novel proposal to us. Yay!

To re-read the guidelines one last time, go here:

Open Door guidelines

And then, once you are ready, submit your book here:

A reminder: Closing date for submissions is 31 January 2016.

If you have any questions or concerns, post them in the Comments on this page and the Robots will answer here or privately.

By the way, the Robots will be on Reddit doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) tomorrow (Wednesday 2nd), taking your questions about the Open Door and anything else you feel like asking us about, as long as it’s Robot business.

Wishing you the very best of luck!

Peter Tieryas offers a fresh novel set in an alternative post-war world…with robots. The United States of Japan won’t hit bookstores until March 2016, but maybe the cover, designed by the wonderful John Liberto, will help fill the gap. It’s a perfect match for the book and we’re absolutely delighted with it. Here it is!


United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas

Decades ago, Japan won the Second World War. Americans worship their infallible Emperor, and nobody believes that Japan’s conduct in the war was anything but exemplary. Nobody, that is, except the George Washingtons — a group of rebels fighting for freedom. Their latest terrorist tactic is to distribute an illegal video game that asks players to imagine what the world might be like if the United States had won the war instead.

Captain Beniko Ishimura’s job is to censor video games, and he’s tasked with getting to the bottom of this disturbing new development. But Ishimura’s hiding something…kind of. He’s slowly been discovering that the case of the George Washingtons is more complicated than it seems, and the subversive videogame’s origins are even more controversial and dangerous than the censors originally suspected.

Released: 1st March (US) and 3rd March 2016 (UK)

Here’s what Richard Thomas, author of Breaker and Disintegration, had to say about the novel:
United States of Japan is a powerful book, unsettling at times – surreal and hypnotic. There’s a bit of Philip K. Dick in here, and Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, but Peter Tieryas is his own voice, a talented author, somebody to keep an eye on for sure. I loved his last book, bald New World, and I loved this one, too.”

The cover was initially released at the Barnes & Noble Science Fiction and Fantasy blog here, and Peter is just as thrilled at the cover as we are; he talks a bit more about his book and the cover in a guest post here.

Peter’s first novel, Bald New World, was selected by Publisher’s Weekly as one of the Best Science Fiction Books of 2014.

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Time Salvager by Wesley ChuTime Siegethe second in Wesley Chu‘s Time Salvager series, is set to hit all good bookstores in July 2016. However in an exciting turn of events, we’re able to share the UK cover with you today! First, though, a look at the synopsis:

Having been haunted by the past and enslaved by the present, James Griffin-Mars is taking control of the future.

Earth is a toxic, sparsely inhabited wasteland – the perfect hiding place for a fugitive ex-chronman to hide from the authorities.

James has allies, scientists he rescued from previous centuries: Elise Kim, who believes she can renew Earth, given time; Grace Priestly, the venerated inventor of time travel herself; Levin, James’s mentor and former pursuer, now disgraced; and the Elfreth, a population of downtrodden humans who want desperately to believe that James and his friends will heal their ailing home world.

James also has enemies. They include the full military might of benighted solar system ruled by corporate greed and a desperate fear of what James will do next. At the forefront of their efforts to stop him is Kuo, the ruthless security head, who wants James’s head on a pike and will stop at nothing to obtain it.

The amazing illustration was created by Richard Anderson who also did a wonderful job with the artwork for Time Salvager (as you can see above, right). As we’re sure you’ll agree, the cover is just as impressive for this next instalment. We can’t wait to hear your thoughts. So, without further ado, here it is!

Time Siege 144dpi

Here’s what the critics have to say about Time Salvager, the first novel in the series:

“Time twisting action-adventure as only Wesley Chu could imagine it. I enjoyed it a lot. Read this book!”
Ann Leckie, Author of the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Ancillary Justice

Chu creates a fascinating world, strange and familiar, infused with humor, sorrow, courage, greed, and sacrifice. This page-turner is a riveting, gratifying read.”
– Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

“From its early pages, Time Salvager establishes itself as an utterly captivating time-travel adventure. To put it simply, Chu’s worldbuilding is extraordinary. There’s a grim believability in his vision of a decaying Earth, and the comm/atmos/exo bands make for vivid, easy-to-imagine tech. Plus, Chu neatly (and humorously) avoids getting bogged down in explanations of the physics of time travel. But even beyond all this, Chu explores the emotional truth of the pain and regret that haunts James as he gives the past — and its people — up for lost.”
– Regina Small of RT Book Reviews

“A powerful and compelling search of the past for redemption in the present, by turns thrilling and sweet and gut-wrenching.”
– Kevin Hearne, New York Times best selling author of Iron Druid

Both Time Salvager and Time Siege are available from us in the UK, and Macmillan if you’re in the US.

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You might remember a book we released back in September, by the master of gory epic fantasy, Andy Remic. We loved the cover for The Dragon Engine, created by Lee Gibbons, so much so that we asked him to work his magic on the second book in the Blood Dragon Empire series. And work magic, he has.

Take a look at this absolutely stunning cover:

Click to enlarge

Twilight of the Dragons will be released 2 August (US/Can) and 4 August (UK/R.o.W).

Here’s the synopsis:

During a recent dwarf civil-war deep under the Karamakkos Mountains, the magick-enslaved dragonlords have broken free from centuries of imprisonment and slaughtered tens of thousands throughout the Five Havens before exploding from the mountain and heading in fire and vengeance for the lands of Vagandrak.

Two once-noble war heroes of Vagandrak – Dakeroth and his wife Jonti Tal, an archer and scholar, the Axeman, the White Witch and a Kaalesh combat expert find themselves in a unique position: for they have discovered the ancient dragon city of Wyrmblood, and a thousand unhatched dragon eggs.

Dakeroth and his companions must work with their enemies, Skalg and the Church of Hate, in order to bring down the dragonlords and save the world of men and dwarves. But there is no bartering with these ancient dragons; for they seek to hatch their eggs and rebuild the cruel Wyrmblood Empire of legend.

Here’s what the critics had to say about The Dragon Engine, the first in the series:

“The author brings his A-grade storytelling skills to bear and unveils a pacy, action driven plot that is easy to get completely engrossed in. I could wax lyrical about Andy Remic’s writing all day. It’s not difficult to waffle appreciatively about an author whose work you really enjoy. If you’ve never experienced Mr Remic’s work before, and you aren’t adverse to the odd beheading or two twelve, then I urge you to give this book a try. Hell, let’s be honest here, I’d say that for any book he’s written.”
The Eloquent Page

“The story is wonderfully vibrant and detailed, even to the point that during some battle scenes I felt compelled to wince and look away.”
Two Nerds Talking

“This book dug its claws into me on so many levels it is hard to isolate what exactly made it a 4 star novel. Perhaps it was the complex but flawed heroes. Maybe the familiar Hobbit-esque quest morphing into a grimdark nightmare did it. The wonderfully paced story and realistic action definitely entertained. No matter the ingredients though, Remic casted a spell with this one, and if you haven’t experienced his take on grimdark, you really should give this one a try.”

“Remic is clearly a writer right at the top of his game.”

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Kindle Daily Deal: Nexus and Crux

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Heads up, USA!

Ramez Naam‘s Nexus and Crux are on offer for just$1.99 today, thanks to Amazon’s Kindle Daily Deal.

Make sure you head on over and pick them both up. If you need any reason to justify the (very cheap) purchase, then just take a look at some of the praise for the first two books in the Nexus trilogy, below.

NNexus by Ramez Naam (May 2015 re-issue)exus

In the near future, the experimental nano-drug Nexus can link human together, mind to mind. There are some who want to improve it. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it.

When a young scientist is caught improving Nexus, he’s thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage – for there is far more at stake than anyone realizes.

“Ramez Naam’s debut novel Nexus is a superbly plotted high-tension technothriller about a War-on-Drugs-style crackdown on brain/computer interfaces … full of delicious, thoughtful moral ambiguity”
– Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing

“It’s good. Scary good. Take a chance and stop reading now and have a great time reading a bleeding edge technical thriller that is full of surprises.”
– James Floyd Kelly,’s GeekDad blog

“A fast, fun read which is both emotionally engaging and thought-provoking. You’ll be mulling over the implications of Nexus — the book and the drug — long after you put the book down.”
– Annalee Newitz,

Crux by Ramez Naam (May 2015 re-issue)Crux

Six months have passed since the release of Nexus 5. The world is a different, more dangerous place.

In the USA, the freedom fighters of the Post-Human Liberation Front use Nexus to turn men and women into human time bombs aimed at the President and his allies.

The first blows in the war between human and posthuman have been struck

Sublime. This book is speculative fiction at its finest. Mr Naam masterfully mobilizes the zeitgeist of contemporary political and tech culture … Tempts readers with equal parts dread and optimism. This is not a book to be missed.”
Page of Reviews

Highly recommended for preparation of the future revolution.”
– Harper Reed, former CTO of Obama for America

Crux is an outstanding speculative fiction adventure … in the same league as Michael Crichton and Daniel Suarez. Put it at the top of your summer reading list!”
– Scientific American

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Ark Attack Competition!

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What do you do once you’ve finished reading a much loved novel? Keep it in a bookshelf and gaze at it each day? Store it by your bed so you can re-read it each night before you disappear into dreamland? Or do you bury it in the garden?

The last one sounds a little odd, doesn’t it? Well, if you’re readers of Patrick S Tomlinson‘s The Ark it might not be so strange. In the spirit of Pat’s other job – as a stand up comedian – his friends have taken to social media to express their love for his novel by placing their copies of The Ark in a variety of weird settings.

Here are a couple of examples:


At first we felt terribly bad for Pat but then…well it’s kind of funny…so we thought we’d invite you all to jump on the bandwagon and share your Ark Attack photos.

Just tweet us your photos using the hashtag #ArtAttack and in one week’s time (Thursday 19 November) we’ll pick the best photo. The winner will receive a big old box of books from yours truly.

So get snapping, the meaner the better. And don’t worry, Patrick can take it (we think)!


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That’s right, folks! Apex, the third and final instalment of the Nexus series by Ramex Naam, has been nominated for the semifinal round of the GoodReads Choice Awards Apex by Ramez Naam (May 2015)for Best Science Fiction. He’s keeping company with the likes of Margaret Atwood, John Scalzi, Chuck Wendig, Ernest Cline and Pierce Brown, which shows you just how impressive he is.

What are the Awards, you may ask? Since 2009, GoodReads have been asking readers to vote for their best books of the year, covering a whole range of categories – everything from picture books to non-fiction to sci-fi. Here’s how they select their nominees:

We analyze statistics from the millions of books added, rated, and reviewed on Goodreads to nominate 15 books in each category. Opening round official nominees must have an average rating of 3.50 or higher.’

Of course we here at Angry Robot love Apex, but here’s what other readers had to say:

“As with the first two volumes, Apex is a fat book that reads like a skinny one, racing through its well-turned plot to a conclusion that ties together every loose thread of every one of the trilogy’s cast of thousands. From next-generation protest techniques to warfare in the age of autonomous weaponry to the nature of human rights in a world of transhumanism, Apex has ideas, eyeball kicks, and rollercoaster thrills to spare.”
Cory DoctorowBoingBoing

“The best books are often the hardest to review, because it’s at those times that I just want to throw my usual attempts at objectivity out the window and reduce my review to, “Holy crap, you guys, you all need to be reading this series right now!” That’s Nexus, Crux, and Apex in a nutshell. It’s wonderfully intelligent, it speculates on amazing advances in technology that we’re already seeing the early stages of in the real world, and it’s all written by a master of the craft. It’s a phenomenal exploration of humanity, one that could pave the way for a new future in sci-fi. 5/5”

“An excellent trans-humanist novel, raising questions of humanity and morality, and maybe the next evolution of humankind.”
Libromancer’s Apprentice

“I think the Nexus trilogy will become a classic in much the same way the Dune series and other great science fiction series have before it. It’s the kind of series you carry with you after you’ve read the last page and find you have to discuss with other readers because its implications are too profound to keep to yourself. Do I recommend it – if you’re a sci-fi fan, or want an edge-of-your-seat smart-as-hell ride, definitely!”
Popcorn Reads

We’re thrilled that Apex has reached the semifinals, but of course it’s not yet the end. So, robot supporters, we’d love if you could get behind this fantastic book by voting here. (You don’t have to, of course.*)

And if you haven’t yet started the series, what are you waiting for? You can find out more about Nexus here.

*But we will be watching…

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Nook $2.99 ebook Promotions

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 Do you own a Nook? Then you, dear readers are in for a treat!


From now until 30 November, not one, not two but THREE of our ebooks are discounted over at Barnes & Noble, at the low, low price of $2.99. Take a look at the books available below and simply click on the title to be taken through to the offer.


Hidden Huntress by Danielle L Jensen
Hidden Huntress, by Danielle L. Jensen

Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.

Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.

Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.

To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…

“I loved this book so much. There were so many different elements at play that came together to make an excited, riveting, infuriating and suspenseful tale that kept me mesmerized from cover to cover. Danielle did a wonderful job of making sure all of the pieces to this story had a purpose and that they all came together seamlessly in the end. The mystery, danger, suspense, political intrigue, family ties, friendship, treachery, betrayal, power and love. It all was just so good!”

Morningside Fall by Jay PoseyMorningside Fall, by Jay Posey

The lone gunman Three is gone, and Wren is the new governor of the devastated settlement of Morningside, but there is turmoil in the city. When his life is put in danger, Wren is forced to flee Morningside until he and his retinue can determine who can be trusted.

They arrive at the border outpost, Ninestory, only to find it has been infested with Weir in greater numbers than anyone has ever seen. These lost, dangerous creatures are harbouring a terrible secret – one that will have consequences not just for Wren and his comrades, but for the future of what remains of the world.

 The overall atmosphere of Morningside Fall was one of tense, edge-of-your-seat terror. Posey knows how to convey suspense, and he put his characters in danger over and over again, which left my pulse pounding and my heart racing. This is science fiction, but like the best SF, it’s also horror.
Books, Bones & Buffy

The Waterborne Blade by Susan MurrayThe Waterborne Blade, by Susan Murray

The citadel has long been the stronghold of Highkell. All that is about to change because the traitor, Vasic, is marching on the capital. Against her better judgement, Queen Alwenna allows herself to be spirited away by one of the Crown’s most trusted servants, safe from the clutches of the throne’s would-be usurper.

Fleeing across country, she quickly comes to learn that her pampered existence has ill-equipped her for survival away from the comforts of the court. Alwenna must toughen up, and fast, if she is even to make it to a place of safety. But she has an even loftier aim – for after dreaming of her husband’s impending death, Alwenna knows she must turn around and head back to Highkell to save the land she loves, and the husband who adores her, or die in the attempt.

But Vasic the traitor is waiting. And this was all just as he planned.

“This is a wonderful thing, a sweeping fantasy which somehow manages to pull off the trick of being intimate and very human at the same time. It begins with a realm in peril, and then puts its shoulders back and strides confidently towards a horizon packed with magic and love and abandoned palaces and a huge and very real evil. Susan Murray has written a debut novel of great skill and depth, and I loved it.”
–  Dave Hutchinson, author of Europe in Autumn
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Angry Robot Author Peter McLeanIn January Peter McLean‘s debut novel, Drake is set to hit all good bookstores. Think Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London, but with a healthy dose of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and the devil himself thrown in for good measure.

Here’s the synopsis:

Hitman Don Drake owes a gambling debt to a demon. Forced to carry out one more assassination to clear his debt, Don unwittingly kills an innocent child and brings the Furies of Greek myth down upon himself.

Rescued by an almost-fallen angel called Trixie, Don and his magical accomplice The Burned Man, an imprisoned archdemon, are forced to deal with Lucifer himself whilst battling a powerful evil magician.

Now Don must foil Lucifer’s plan to complete Trixie’s fall and save her soul whilst preventing the Burned Man from breaking free from captivity and wreaking havoc on the entire world.

The words might sound good but as we all know it’s important to judge a book by its cover, and luckily for us Raid71 was happy to do wondrous things for the cover of Drake. The full image can be seen over at Fantasy Faction, just click on the teaser below.

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 15.13.30

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New Signing: Paige Orwin

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Paige-Orwin-websiteGood news! We’ve signed another fabulous new author!

Paige Orwin blew us away with her debut novel, The Interminables, a buddy-buddy urban fantasy based on the online role-playing game City of Heroes. We couldn’t very well let such a great novel get away, so our Phil brokered a deal (world: English, including translation rights) with Sara Megibow of KT Literary for Paige’s soul.

Paige: “All I did was write was a buddy-cop story featuring a time-stealing wizard and a ghostly avatar of war set just after a magical apocalypse-by-kaiju. I wasn’t expecting the legions of Angry Robot to blast a hole in my door, much less inform me that I was going with them under my power or theirs, but I do pride myself on being sensible. I also like keeping both my kneecaps intact. They did let me choose one treasured item to take with me (as long as it was my writing laptop) and I’m even told that the gradual erosion of humanity incurred by the productivity chip won’t bother me too much. In fact, I am ecstatic to work with them–as my new programming certainly does not mandate – and look forward to seeing The Interminables take its place in their formidable arsenal, which is only deployed for peaceful purposes and never intended to aid in their inevitable and impending take-over of the world.”

Phil: “Welcome, Paige, to our evil mechanical army! Your excellent debut is my favorite take on the classic tale of an immortal mystery man teaming up with the ghost of a First World War surgeon to save what’s left of the world after the end of the world. Great stuff!”

Here’s a little bit about Paige:

Paige Orwin was born in Utah, to her great surprise. At the age of nine she arranged to rectify the situation.  She now lives in Washington state, next to a public ferry terminal and a great deal of road construction, and has never regretted the decision. Paige is the proud owner of a BA in English and Spanish from the University of Idaho, which thus far has not proven terrifically useful for job prospects but she knew the risks of a humanities degree going in. She also survived the 8.8 Chilean earthquake in 2010, which occurred two days after her arrival in the country (being stubborn, she stayed an entire year anyway). She began writing The Interminables when City of Heroes was shut down in late 2012.

You can find Paige on Twitter here.

Paige’s website, with tonnes of cool illustrations, is here.

There’s an Interminables Facebook page here.

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Angry Robot Author signings

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Our Robot Authors are out and about in force over the next couple of weeks, with signings across the US. It might be getting cold outside but hey, what could be a better reason for leaving your house than seeing your favourite author and munching on some nibbles? Nothing. That’s what.

Check below for signings, readings and Q&A spots for James A Moore, Carrie Patel and Patrick S Tomlinson. Various authors will also be attending World Fantasy Con this weekend but that’s a story for another post.

James A Moore. He rocks!James A Moore:

November 3
Andover Bookstore, Andover MA
7pm onwards

Join James A Moore, author of the Seven Forges series, and Christopher Golden, author of Dead Ringers, for an evening of signings, readings and merriment to celebrate the launch of both City of Wonders – the third in the Seven Forges series – and Dead Ringers. Rumour has it snacks, quizzes and prizes will be abound.

James and Christopher are two of the three hosts of podcast Three Guys with Beards. Tune in here to listen to their opinions on books, movies and pop culture, from their unique perspective as writers of speculative fiction.

Event page

November 15
Pandemonium Books & Games, Cambridge MA
7 pm – 10pm

James A Moore and Christopher Golden are back! This time at Pandemonium Books & Games in Cambridge. Both authors will be reading from their forthcoming novels and answering questions from curious minds. Books will be available to purchase/have signed on the night.

Event page

The Author, Carrie PatelCarrie Patel:
November 14
Borderlands Books, San Francisco CA
7.30 – 9.30pm (doors open from 6.30pm)

Join io9’s Charlie Jane Anders, as she hosts the ever-popular Writers with Drinks. This time around Carrie Patel, author of The Buried Life and Cities & Thrones will be joining in with the fun. There will be copies of both novels for signing purposes.

NB: Carrie will also be doing an informal drop-by at the store between 12 noon and 2pm.

Event page


The Author, Patrick S. TomlinsonPatrick S Tomlinson:
5 November
A Room of One’s Own, Madison WI

Patrick will be launching The Ark over at A Room of One’s Own. Make sure to pop along for a reading, followed by Q&A session and have your brand new copy of The Ark signed.

Event page

6 November
Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee WI
7pm onwards 

Patrick will be appearing at Boswell Book Company to do a reading and then talk all things The Ark. If you’re lucky you might even get some of Patrick’s stellar stand-up comedy on the side!

NB: There will be an after party at 42 Lounge.

7 November
The Book Cellar, Chicago IL
7pm onwards

Come down to The Book Cellar to chat with Patrick about The Ark, as he rounds off his mini book tour in Chicago. There will be a reading and Q&A session, with books available for signing.

Event page

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Our Favourite Halloween Scares

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Hallowe’en is almost upon us, which means it’s time to snuggle up on the sofa with a hot beverage and pull out that book or film you love to be frightened by (keeping a cushion close by to hide behind, of course). We’re gearing up to do the same, so we thought we’d share some of the Angry Robot team and author’s favourites.

Tales of a Dread Dreamer/Grimscribe by Thomas Ligotti, now in one volume from Penguin Classics. Wherever you think he’s going to take a story, Ligotti always takes two steps to the left.
Nosferatu by Werner Herzog. Not so much for the film, which is a perfectly fine remake of the Murnau original with Klaus Kinski and all, but for the soundtrack by Krautrock legends Popol Vuh. The mix of pastoral calmness, eerie electronics and distinctly monkish chanting opened a lot of doors after I found it in a cheap bin for a quid at 16.


Danielle L. Jensen (author of the Malediction Trilogy):
My favourite scary book is Stephen King’s collection of stories in Night Shift, specifically Graveyard Shift. I do not like rats, and the idea of being caught in a creepy basement with massive mutant rats is a thing of nightmares.
My favourite scary movie is 28 Days Later directed by Danny Boyle. The idea of fast zombies absolutely terrifies me, and every time I watch it, I have dreams of being chased for weeks!


Matt Hill (author of Graft):
I’m going for a non-fiction title for my scary book, even though I’m utterly haunted by it (and ‘favourite’ isn’t quite the right way to describe it). Gordon Burn’s Happy Like Murderers is an account, almost an oral history, of Fred and Rose West’s crimes, based on weighty research. It feels odd to call the prose amazing (it is), but the book confronts, without sensationalism or tabloid glee, the power and depravation of the Wests, and in turn the worst of us – the real monsters. It’s an incredible document: distressing, powerful and all the more frightening because these things happened. It’s also totally unrecommendable.

My favourite scary film is Neil Marshall’s The Descent, which I first saw in a near-empty cinema with no foreknowledge other than ‘a group of women go caving’. The first half – full of mounting dread and panicked claustrophobia – is tense enough, and that’s before the cave-mutants show up and things go bonkers. And then for pure terror and ingenuity, the night-vision monster-reveal scene is basically my favourite horror movie moment. It also has a fantastically bleak ending, which I imagine Mr Marshall still laughs his head off about.

Apart from that old classic, I was totally freaked out by Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box a couple of years back. Even worse, when I’d finished I read the acknowledgements which mention the people of Nottingham (where I live). I was pretty worried that Hill was reading my mind/sending ghosts to come for me after that. I also love Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, as it’s so atmospheric and dark, despite its seemingly naive protagonist.
There are so many excellent films out there it’s hard to choose just one. I’m going to go with The Blair Witch ProjectI know, I know, you’re judging. And you’d be right to, it’s not the best film. However that one, incredibly low budget film spawned what has become the most used style of horror film since, the ‘found footage’. Quite right, too. In 1999 it was found footage was so fresh and new and frankly, terrifying. After watching it for the first time and not knowing if this shaky videocam footage was real, I hotfooted it to my old PC, searching for any information I could find about Elly Kedward and Burkittsville (was it real, was it a prank? I needed to know!). Later when I had my own camcorder, my friends and I spent hours running around the graveyard at the bottom of my yard, recording frankly terrible movies in homage to Blair Witch. I totally bought into the story, and had a big influence what is now my passion for horror and weirdana. So, thanks Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez.


I recently discovered Through the Woods by Emily Carroll, thanks to my wife, who is a big horror fan. This is a sequential art collection of creepy stories, conveyed with a consistent and evocative style and understated writing. It’s gut-punch after gut-punch, with body horror, social horror, and plenty of suspense.
I love my horror with a dash (more a healthy splash, honestly) of comedy. And one of my favorite comedic horror movies is Evil Dead 2 – it takes most of the elements from the first film, and realizes it can be intentionally scary and funny at the same time. Ash is an incredibly memorable character, and the film’s practical effects succeed at being creepy and in underscoring the comedic elements. Plus, chainsaw-hand.

Susan Murray (author of the Waterborne series):
A book needs at least a dash of the supernatural to be scary. Recent contenders include Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls with an edge-of-the-seat finale as the killer is confronted. Or there’s Kelley Armstrong’s YA novel The Summoning which features a superbly creepy scene as the inexperienced necromancer is trapped next to several unmarked graves. But it takes time to make a favourite and Stephen King’s Carrie still holds up after all these years, as the socially-awkward outsider is shunned. Who needs monsters when you have a community of such people?
As for a film, Tremors is much beloved in our household but perhaps no longer truly scary – the first time we watched it we were living in a static caravan and Nestor’s demise pushed all the right buttons. The Omen hasn’t aged well, but Alien remains as shockworthy as ever. John Hurt’s death signals there are no holds barred, while Ripley is as awesome now as she was in 1979.

James A Moore (author of the Seven Forges series):
My favorite scary book is definitely Stephen King’s IT. There’s a little bit of everything in there, and the recollections of adults recalling their childhoods is beautifully handled. Absolutely delightful and dark and filled with hidden gems of horror throughout.
My favorite movie? That’s tougher. For pure fun, I’d say Pumpkinhead, which is a perfect example of a proper Appalachian demon and the witch that summoned it. There are curses, there’s revenge, a great monster, amazing cinematography. I’m going to throw in a bonus for the black and white crowd: Robert Wise’s The Haunting (1963). A very nearly perfect ghost story based on The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Sublime.


Patrick S Tomlinson (author of The Ark):
I’m not a fan of the horror genre per se, so my pics may seem tame or unconventional.
I’d have to say The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett. It blended high-fantasy and horror elements in a way I’d not seen before, and churned out some genuinely unsettling scenes and nail-biting fights.
As scary films go, it’s got to be Gravity. I know this probably seems like an odd pick, but the suspense and psychological terror of this movie was really intense. Mostly because it wasn’t about ghosts or monsters. It was about a real situation that a person could actually face. My immersion and suspension of disbelief was total. I had a palpable feeling of dread and anxiety through the entire film. It felt too real.

Like I said, for horror aficionados, these picks must certainly seem vanilla, but they did a number on me.

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If Then by Matthew de Abaitua*Klaxon alert*

This month’s io9 book club pick is one of ours! If Then by Matthew De Abaitua (author of The Red Men) is up for discussion on Tuesday, November 3rd.

Hosted by editor-in-chief Charlie Jane Anders, the book club is held online at io9 each month. Each book club post’s comments section is open for users to add their comments and discussion topics relating to the book. If you’re a little behind on your reading, fret not, the book discussion comments are left open for a few days, meaning you can still pitch even if you’re a bit late. Following the book club, there is a chat with the author so any burning questions can be answered, or at least partly explained.

Here’s the synopsis for If Then:

In the near future, after the collapse of society as we know it, one English town survives under the protection of the computer algorithms of the Process, which governs every aspect of their lives. The Process gives and it takes. It allocates jobs and resources, giving each person exactly what it has calculated they will need. But it also decides who stays under its protection, and who must be banished to the wilderness beyond. Human life has become totally algorithm-driven, and James, the town bailiff, is charged with making sure the Process’s suggestions are implemented.

But now the Process is making soldiers. It is readying for war — the First World War. Mysteriously, the Process is slowly recreating events that took place over a hundred years ago, and is recruiting the town’s men to fight in an artificial reconstruction of the Dardanelles campaign. James, too, must go fight. And he will discover that the Process has become vastly more sophisticated and terrifying than anyone had believed possible.

If Then is definitely a book that begs its readers to ask questions – so many questions – on human nature, the future and the nature of war – so we’re sure that there’ll be a grand old discussion happening.

You can find a link to the book club here. For a look at some previous novel choices check out the book club’s GoodReads page.

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Angry Robot at FantasyCon 2015

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This weekend the now sold out FantasyCon2015 comes to Nottingham, and as it’s on Angry Robot’s home turf we don’t even have to fire up our teleportation devices to attend!

We have a vast array of UK-based Angry Robot authors coming along to the convention all cleaned, oiled and ready to mingle – we’ve ordered them to be on their best behaviour. If you’d like to say hi then make sure to pop along to one of the below panels or catch us in the bar afterwards for a chat and a pint. Our Overlord Marc is even running the disco on Friday night, so if you have any specific music requests let us know.

As always with these things schedules are subject to change, so do check your programme prior to any panel you wish to attend.

David Tallerman:
Saturday, 11am: Is It Legit?: Crime in Fantasy, Horror and SF – Conference Theatre
Saturday 7.40pm: Reading – The Reading Room

Anne Lyle:
Friday, 5pm: Stealing from the Past: Fantasy in History – Suite 2

Foz Meadows:
Friday, 8pm: Doing ‘It’ Right: Love, Romance & Sexy Times – Conference Theatre
Saturday, 9pm: Reading – The Reading Room
Sunday, 11am: The Future of the Future – Suite 1

Gav Thorpe:
Friday, 8.20pm: Reading – The Reading Room
Saturday, 2pm: War: What Is It Good For? Martial Conflict in SFF – Conference Theatre

Peter McLean:
Friday, 4pm: The World As We Know It: Modern-Day Fantastic – Conference Theatre
Saturday, 6.20pm: Reading – The Reading Room

Jen Williams:
Saturday, 4pm: Here Be Dragons: How Can Epic Fantasy Reinvent Itself? – Conference Theatre
Saturday, 7pm: Super Relaxed Fantasy Club – Suite 2

Emma Newman:
Friday, 4pm: Fear & Writing Workshop – Suite 2
Friday 6pm: Fae-Fi, Folk-Fum: Faerie & Folktale – Suite 1
Friday, 9pm: The Atrocity Exhibition – Conference Theatre
Saturday, 6pm: Tea & Jeopardy – Conference Theatre
Sunday, 10am: Sounds Like a Great Story: The Science and Psychology of Audio Fiction – Suite 2

Guy Adams:
Friday, 7pm: Wanted, Dead or Alive: The Weird Western – Suite 2
Saturday, 9pm: Performed Reading: One For The Road – Suite 1
Saturday, 10pm: FantasyCon 2015 DISCO – Conference Theatre

Marc Gascoigne:
Saturday, 5pm: Genre Publishing in the C21st – Conference Theatre
Saturday, 9pm: FantasyCon 2015 DISCO – Conference Theatre

Susan Murray:
Sunday, 10am: By the Gods! Religion & Beliefs in Fantasy – Suite 1

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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!


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