Archive for Angry Robot

Aug
19

Backlist Boost

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ATTENTION: Bloggers, Podcasters, Interviewers:

Is there a burning question that you wish you’d asked an author when their book first came out?

Did you read an interview or blog post – after your post – which brought more questions or ideas to you?

Or did you simply not have time to chat with a certain author and would now like to?

Too often those wonderful books which precede new title releases are relegated to ‘backlist’ and get less attention than they deserve. So today I want to bring your attention to our many fantastic authors that we’ve published, PRE-2014!

I want to know which of our authors you would like to interview, or have a blog post from, but they must have published pre-2014. This doesn’t exclude authors, that have published with us pre-2014 and throughout this year, but have a think and let me know who you’d like to get in touch with.

Our full list of authors can be found at this link and I’m looking forward to hearing from you with your author selections! Feel free to pick more than one, and I’m sure I can arrange some special giveaways for this Backlist Boost.

Simply get in touch with me, caroline.lambe@angryrobotbooks.com, and I’ll set up any interviews etc. Please note that not all authors will be available but do let me know your ideal author to talk to, and I’ll do my best!

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Aug
18

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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Aug
13

Angry Robot at LonCon

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Wondering where our Angry Robot authors are going to be over the next few days? Here’s a handy Angry Robot Guide to LonCon!

Madeline Ashby:

Wednesday 13 August

Forbidden Planet, 6 – 7pm

Thursday 14 August

The Anime Canon: From the Classics to the Defining Works of Today
Capital Suite 3 (Level 3), 4:30pm – 6pm

Friday 15 August

Reading
London Suite 5 (Level 0), 5:30pm – 6pm

Saturday 16 August

The Philosophical Mecha
London Suite 3 (Level 0), 3pm – 4:30pm

50 Years After: Asimov Predicts 2014 World’s Fair
Capital Suite 15 (Level 3), 4:30pm – 6pm

Sunday 17 August

I Can’t Do That, Dave: Artificial Intelligence, Imagination, and Fear
Capital Suite 10 (Level 3), 1:30pm – 3pm

Adam Christopher:

Wednesday 13 August

Forbidden Planet, 6 – 7pm

Thursday 14 August

Signing
Exhibits Hall Signing Space (Level 1), 3pm – 4:30pm

Reading
London Suite 1 (Level 0), 6pm – 6:30pm

Friday 15 August

Welcome Party
Fan Activity Tent (Level 0), 9pm – 11pm

Kaffeeklatsch
London Suite 5 (Level 0), 12pm – 1pm

Sunday 17 August

Authors Accept, Encourage, and Create Fan Works Too
Capital Suite 7+12 (Level 3), 11am – 12pm

Detectives in SF
Capital Suite 10 (Level 3), 4:30pm – 6pm

Wesley Chu:

Wednesday 13 August

Forbidden Planet, 6 – 7pm

Friday 15 August

Social Media and New Authors
Capital Suite 10 (Level 3), 11am – 12pm

Reading
London Suite 1 (Level 0), 5pm – 5.30pm

Saturday 16 August

The Road Goes Ever On and On: the Wheel of Time
Capital Suite 14 (Level 3), 12pm – 1:30pm

Agent Hunting
South Gallery 33, 2pm – 3pm

Reading the Other
Capital Suite 13 (Level 3), 6pm – 7pm

Sunday 17 August

Signing
Exhibits Hall Signing Space (Level 1), 12pm – 1:30pm

Kaffeeklatsch
London Suite 5 (Level 0), 2pm – 3pm

Matthew Hughes:

Saturday 16 August

Signing
Exhibits Hall Signing Space (Level 1), 11am – 12pm

Anne Lyle:

Wednesday 13 August

Forbidden Planet, 6 – 7pm

Thursday 14 August

Reading
Capital Suite 10 (Level 3), 4pm – 4:30pm

Friday 15 August

Fantasy vs. SF: Is the Universe Looking Out for You?
Capital Suite 11 (Level 3), 8pm – 9pm

Saturday 16 August

Signing
Exhibits Hall Signing Space (Level 1), 11am – 12pm

Kaffeeklatsch
London Suite 5 (Level 0), 4pm – 5pm

Sunday 17 August

Imagining London: History and Fantasy
Capital Suite 13 (Level 3), 3pm – 4:30pm

Ramez Naam:

Wednesday 13 August

Forbidden Planet, 6 – 7pm

Thursday 14 August

Internet Privacy 101
Capital Suit 13 (Level 3), 11am – 12pm

Friday 15 August

Kaffeeklatsch
London Suite 5 (Level 0), 11am – 12pm

Signing
Exhibits Hall Signing Space (Level 1), 4:30pm – 6pm

SF: What It Is, What It Could Be
Capital Suite 13 (Level 3), 7pm – 8pm

Sunday 17 August

Reading
London Suite 1 (Level 0), 1pm – 1:30pm

The Wrong Apocalypse
Capital Suite 5 (Level 3), 1:30pm – 3pm

Emma Newman:

Thursday 14 August

Kaffeeklatsch
London Suite 5 (Level 0), 12pm – 1pm

I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue
Capital Suite 7+12 (Level 3), 10pm – 11pm

Friday 15 August

Social Media and New Authors
Capital Suite 10 (Level 3), 11am – 12pm

Medieval Languages and Distant Vistas: Using The Past in Games
Capital Suite 16 (Level 3), 8pm – 9pm

Welcome Party
Fan Activity Tent (Level 0), 9pm – 11pm

Saturday 16 August

Fear and Writing
South Gallery 33, 11am – 12pm

Signing
Exhibits Hall Signing Space (Level 1), 1:30pm – 3pm

So You Want To Be A Podcaster
Capital Suite 8+11 (Level 3), 4:30pm – 6pm

Sunday 17 August

Signing
London Suite 1 (Level 0), 11am – 11:30am

Writing Roleplaying Games
Capital Suite 10 (Level 3), 12pm – 1:30pm

Mike Shevdon:

Wednesday 13 August

Forbidden Planet, 6 – 7pm

Thursday 14 August

Liechester Square: Getting London Wrong
Capital Suite 9 (Level 3), 7pm – 8pm

Friday 15 August

Signing
Exhibits Hall Signing Space (Level 1), 10am – 11am

The Art and Science of Armour
Capital Suite 14 (Level 3), 12pm – 1:30pm

Kaffeeklatsch
London Suite 4 (Level 0), 7pm – 8pm

And not forgetting, our own Michael R. Underwood:

Thursday 14 August

Tolkien Society Presents: The Unpayable Debt?
Capital Suite 13 (Level 3), 6pm – 7pm

Friday 15 August

Diversity in Comic Books: The Good, The Bad, and the Missing
Capital Suite 8 (Level 3), 12pm – 1:30pm

Cities: Where, Who, Why?
Capital Suite 10 (Level 3), 6pm – 7pm

Saturday 16 August

Literary Beer
The Bar (Level 0), 11am – 12pm

Signing
Exhibits Hall Signing Space (Level 1), 3pm – 4:30pm

Sunday 17 August

The Fantastic Now
Capital Suite 16 (Level 3), 1:30pm – 3pm

Categories : Angry Robot
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Looking for the best way to kickstart your LonCon experience? Get yourself to Forbidden Planet tonight at 6pm to meet a host of wonderful authors!

Joining us in the London Megastore tonight from 6 – 7pm, are:

• Chris Achilleos
• Madeline Ashby
• Gregory Benford
• Adam Christopher
• Wesley Chu
• Cory Doctorow
• Phil & Kaja Foglio
• Anne Lyle
• Ramez Naam
• Kim Newman
• V. E. Schwab
• Charles Stross
• Mike Shevdon
• Danie Ware

Come along, grab yourself a signed book or two and enjoy the evening – this won’t be formal event, just a chance to find some fabulous fiction!

Categories : Angry Robot
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Aug
08

All alone in the mooooonliiiiiiight…

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At the time of writing this opening sentence, it has been 5 years 7 months, 5 days and 6 hours since I started work for Angry Robot. When I joined, I knew about genre, and I knew a bit about books, and I knew about putting together a weekly short fiction ezine, and (as a very early adopter) I knew about ebooks, but I knew very little about the business of publishing.

I’ve learned a huge amount in my time at Angry Robot, and it is only because of the mentorship of my friend and publisher Marc Gascoigne, that I have progressed as far as I have. Five years ago I would not have dreamed that I would not only be heading up the team of a new imprint for Tor.com, but find myself nominated for a Hugo award. And I couldn’t have done it without Marc’s leadership, and the support of the various fine folk who I have been proud to call my colleagues at Angry Robot.

I’m on the train, now, heading home from Angry Robot Towers for the last time, so I thought it worth mentioning a few of my highlights of the last five years and change.

Day 1
Heading into the office on January 3, 2009 for my first proper job in publishing. Treated with more professional courtesy than my newbie status probably warranted.

July 1, 2009
Our first books hit the shelves – Lauren Beukes’s Moxyland and Kaaron Warren’s Slights. Two books that even now feature highly on my Favourite Angry Robot Books list.

YALC
Amanda Rutter, the editor of our erstwhile YA imprint, said one day, “You know – there really should be a YA convention in the UK.” Marc and I both said, “Well, why don’t you go make one, then?” so Amanda contacted lots of fine folk at lots of other fine publishers, and YALC was born. Though Strange Chemistry stopped publishing before YALC happened, it happened because of Amanda, and I’m proud that Angry Robot had a part in its conception. Amanda does not get enough credit for her part in this.

The Hugo Nomination
Not only was I stunned to find myself shortlisted for Best Editor (Long Form) this year, but I was more stunned when I discovered that no British editor has ever been nominated in the past. There are plenty of other fine folk in the UK who deserve this, and I will probably blog about them at some point over the next few weeks.

Discovering New Talent
I mentioned this in the recent 5-year Celebration blog post, but it has been an absolute delight and privilege to help some of the genre’s best new authors publish their first books.

New Friends and New Family
Despite a few dirty uncles sitting in the corner, loudly drooling into their bowls, our genre has provided me with the sort of family and friendship I never experienced in any previous occupation. The quantity of alcohol consumed at conventions might have something to do with this, but that’s only part of it.

So, thank-you Marc, Mike, John, Mike 2, Amanda, Emlyn, Caroline, Bryon, Abi, Steve, Chris and all the support staff at Osprey HQ. I’m not going to say “goodbye” to Angry Robot. I was there from the start, and it will always be my baby. I will continue to follow AR with keen interest, and cheer it on from the sidelines.

As should you – it really is the best independent publisher in the world, you know!

Over and Out,

Lee

Categories : Angry Robot
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We’re delighted to announce that Titan Books are joining us for our Forbidden Planet evening! Not only can you meet some of our authors, but also a host of greats from Titan.

Taking place in the London Megastore on Wednesday 13 August from 6 – 7pm, join us to meet the following authors:

• Chris Achilleos
• Madeline Ashby
• Gregory Benford
• Adam Christopher
• Wesley Chu
• Cory Doctorow
• Phil & Kaja Foglio
• Anne Lyle
• Ramez Naam
• Kim Newman
• V. E. Schwab
• Charles Stross
• Mike Shevdon
• Danie Ware

Come along, grab yourself a signed book or two and enjoy the evening – this won’t be formal event, just a chance to find some fabulous fiction!

Categories : Angry Robot
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Aug
01

Robot Round-Up 01.08.14

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We’re welcoming in the month of August with a round-up of some of the latest reviews and activity from our authors.

The Mirror EmpireFirst up, the much-anticipated Kameron Hurley‘s The Mirror Empire, September 2014.

• Publishers Weekly rewarded Kameron’s epic fantasy novel with a starred review: “Hurley reuses old tropes to excellent effect, interweaving them with original elements to create a world that will fascinate and delight her established fans and appeal to newcomers. Readers will blaze through this opening installment and eagerly await the promised sequel.”

• It’s hard to choose just one or two great lines from Alex Ristea‘s review but here’s a taster of why he loved it so much:  “This is world-building at its finest—an imaginative and fantastical world that is unrelenting in its immersiveness…The Mirror Empire takes a look at the epic fantasy patriarchy and gives it a firm kick in the balls.” Alex ends his rave review by saying, The Mirror Empire “will be the most important book you read this year.”

• When the most a reviewer dislikes about a book is the wait for its sequel, it’s safe to say we’re pretty happy. Thus was the case when In Case of Survival read The Mirror Empire: “I can’t even tell you how much I liked this book…I cannot wait to come back to the Worldbreaker universe and find out what the characters are up to.”

• Fantasy Review Barn awards with 4 stars: “The Mirror Empire will make your head hurt in a very good way. I couldn’t imagine the mental and physical mapping it would take to hold all these pieces together but hold together they do. This book deals with gendered expectations on every page yet could be read for the story alone; different conventions and expectations are ingrained into the societies portrayed so naturally that they shouldn’t even raise a brow. The world is alive, the world is unique, and the world is actually built rather than borrowed.”

• Can’t wait for The Mirror Empire‘s release? Check out Tor.com‘s excerpt, and lastly, here’s a hat tip to Amanda Rutter, former Strange Chemistry editor, who worked on The Mirror Empire and has been blogging about it on Floor to Ceiling Books.

The Bullet Catcher's Daughter by Rod DuncanRod Duncan‘s The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter, September 2014, charmed Publishers Weekly early on, “Duncan’s strong supernatural mystery serves ably as both a standalone adventure and the start to a series.”

• Alister at Fantasy Faction is blaming TBCD for some late nights and tired mornings: “It’s fair to say I was smitten by The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter. Rod Duncan’s talent has combined inventive plot and characterisation to create a smart, amusing and fascinating tale that had me reading long into the night.”

• Annie over on the Summer Reading Project “was immediately hooked by the world Duncan created.” Eagerly awaiting the next instalment, what made this book for Annie “was Elizabeth Barnabas. Her unusual upbringing in a traveling circus and her five years of forced independence have made her clever and strong. She’s a wonderful character and it was a treat to watch her work through the challenges the cropped up as she find out why everyone wants to get their hands on the Duchess’s missing brother.”

• I’m glad to see Looking For A Good Book trusted us with an unknown author: “There wasn’t a single moment that I felt bored or wanted to skip ahead a little.  I was mesmerized early and the story and characters blossomed before me with precision…Looking for a good book?  Mystery, duplicity, secret societies, alchemy, romance, action … The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter by Rod Duncan has it all and promises to be the talked-about/must-read book for sci-fi/fantasy enthusiasts this year!”

SF Book: “The Bullet Catcher’s Daughter is an entertaining book that has some genuine, original touches combined with a clever story and even cleverer characters.”

The Shadow Master by Craig CormickThe Shadow Master by Craig Cormick, July 2014, has been instigating a lot of online chat and Craig himself has been busy with interviews on the Qwillery and Donna Maree Hanson, amongst many others.

• While Avid Fantasy Reviews thinks The Shadow Master is one of the strangest books we here at Angry Robot Books have published, it seems that works as it’s rated 8.5 / 10 and one of the best books she’s read all year!

• Upcoming4.me have Craig’s Story Behind his Story, and for more details on Craig’s inspiration for The Shadow Master, click here

• Craig has also been on Tor.com for his Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe.

 

The Guild Of Assassins by Anna KashinaAnna Kashina is celebrating the release of her second novel, The Guild of Assassins, August 2014, the sequel to Blades of the Old Empire and is enjoying dual promotion!

• The Blogger Girls “loved, loved, loved the world and the characters” of Blades of the Old Empire, and I’m sure are looking forward to The Guild of Assasins!

• Anna is on Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog talking about her Favourite Bit of The Guild of Assassins

• On August 4 Anna starts a Blog Tour with full details here, with a chance to win both Blades of the Old Empire and The Guild of Assassins as well this banner, courtesy of Tasty Book Tours:

The-Guild-of-Assassins-Anna-Kashina

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Jul
29

Robot Squadron Leaders Never Give Up

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It’s been very busy at Angry Robot HQ lately, and not just because of the fantastic titles we’ve been publishing! I know some of you have noticed I’ve been quieter, and out of the office a few days, but I’m back…and just about in one piece.

10441372_10152241483255642_8836419488324112199_nI play Gaelic Football for Roger Casements GAA Club and just last week we had a very exciting game…the Warwickshire Championship Final. This is one of three competitions we play in throughout the year and, as the county final, it was a big day for the players and the club. These big games require everyone to put their all in, and as I’m captain of the team I expect myself to give even more. However, breaking my foot 10 minutes into a 60 minute game – and continuing to play for the rest of the game – is maybe a bit more than I would usually expect. In my defence, I did think I’d ‘only’ broken my toe or something smaller than my fifth metatarsal!

As our Robot Leader, Marc, declared, we’re tough cookies here at Angry Robot Books!

Unfortunately this fancy shoe I’m wearing does mean I can’t drive and thus won’t be in the office until it’s off, so it’s best to reach me via email for the time being. If you need to have a chat, email me for my mobile number.

Let this be a lesson: don’t mess with the Robot Team…we don’t ever give up!

For anyone interested, here’s a YouTube video* that’ll give you the gist of the national sport of Ireland!

*This video displays the general rules of playing Gaelic Football but not all apply to Ladies Football e.g. we can carry for 5 steps – not 4, and we’re not allowed shoulder-to-shoulder tackles.
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Jul
24

More Award News for Ramez Naam’s NEXUS

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Nexus by Ramez NaamRamez Naam is unstoppable!

Not only is Nexus Angry Robot’s top-selling book of all time, it’s been translated into more languages than any other, and has garnered more award nominations than any other, too.

And they just keep coming!

We are absolutely delighted to announce that Nexus has just been shortlisted for the prestigious Endeavour Award!

So, that makes its award record:

  • ~ 2014 Prometheus Award – WINNER (tied with Homeland by Cory Doctorow)
  • Arthur C Clarke Award – SHORTLISTED
  • Kitschies Golden Tentacle Award – SHORTLISTED
  • Endeavour Award – SHORTLISTED
  • ~ An NPR Best Book of the Year

Author headshot Ramez NaamAnd Mez himself is, of course, currently SHORTLISTED for the John W Campbell (Not a Hugo) Award for Best New Writer!

Come on, Mez – let some other writers have a chance! :-)

Categories : Angry Robot
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Jul
14

Nexus Wins the Prometheus Award!

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We are delighted to announce that Ramez Naam‘s Nexus has won the 2014 Prometheus Award from the Libertarian Futurist Society, tying with Cory Doctorow‘s brilliant Homeland!

Ramez was short-listed for both Nexus and its sequel Crux with Nexus described thusly in the awards announcement:

Nexus offers a gripping exploration of politics and new extremes of both freedom and tyranny in a near future where emerging technology opens up unprecedented possibilities for mind control or personal liberation and interpersonal connection.

Ramez Naam: “I’m absolutely honored and thrilled to be receiving the Prometheus Award for Best Novel, and even moreso to be sharing it with Cory Doctorow, a writer who exemplifies what it means to use the written word to fight to expand human freedoms. I wrote Nexus and Crux to explore the potential of neuroscience to link together and improve upon human minds. But I also wrote them to explore the roles of censorship, surveillance, prohibition, and extra-legal state use of force in a future not far from our own. Science and technology can be used to lift people up or to trod them underfoot. Making those abstract future possibilities real in the present is a core goal in my novels. I’m glad the selection committee saw that, and I’m very grateful to them for this award!”

Lee Harris:With his three Nexus books (NexusCrux, and the forthcoming Apex), Ramez Naam has proved to be not only a master storyteller, but also a free thinker, whose writing encourages us – his readers – to think more critically about the world around us. I can’t think of a more fitting award for one of the finest new writers of our generation.”

Ramez will be at Worldcon in London next month to happily receive his award, and if you’d like to see him before this, come along to our Angry Robot Summer Invasion of Forbidden Planet on Wednesday 13 August!

Join us in congratulating Ramez on Twitter!

Nexus by Ramez Naam

Nexus

About the awards

The Prometheus Award, sponsored by the Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS), was established in 1979, making it one of the most enduring awards after the Nebula and Hugo awards, and one of the oldest fan-based awards currently in sf. Presented annually since 1982 at the World Science Fiction Convention, the Prometheus Awards include a gold coin and plaque for the winners.

For more than three decades, the Prometheus Awards have recognized outstanding works of science fiction and fantasy that stress the importance of liberty as the foundation for civilization, peace, prosperity, progress and justice.

For a full list of past Prometheus Award winners in all categories, visit www.lfs.org. Membership in the Libertarian Futurist Society is open to any science fiction fan interested in how fiction can promote an appreciation of the value of liberty.

More information is available at http://lfs.org.

Anne Zanoni, friend of Angry Robot, needs you: she wants to make the journey from the States to London for WorldCon this August, and in her own words is “seeking help from fellow book lovers and fans everywhere to meet my best friend – and edit more books. No, really.”

For more on Anne’s crowdfunding campaign, click here and for more on Anne’s Activate London Plan click here.

If you can’t donate, please help spread the word!

Categories : Angry Robot
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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 cover

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

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:

The Blue Blazes cover

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 cover

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:

The Mirror Empire

 

*drool*

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.

Mike’s Giveaway

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.

Entry Details

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

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Yesterday, 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 on Twitter’s #AngryRobot5 for new posts.

If you’ve missed the earlier posts, here’s links to Lee Harris with his Top 5 Reasons Angry Robot Rules and Marc Gascoigne with 5 lessons learned. Next up is Caroline Lambe, Publicity Manager, as always hating writing about herself in the third person. Caroline’s choice of giveaway is a special bumper pack; details are at the end of this post.

To pick 5 favourite characters from a range of books like Angry Robot’s is very hard; I was tempted to write a whistleblowing post on the 5 characters that are my colleagues, but I’m sure the Robot Overlords would send me to the scrapheap if I tried. However, I’ve tried to narrow it down so allow me share with you my Top 5 Characters from our books.

The Mad Scientist's Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke - Feb 2013The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is one of my favourite Angry Robot books, and is responsible for one of my Top 5 Characters: Finn. In Finn, Cassandra Rose Clarke created a character that, although is an android, shows more emotion than most of the human characters. The book explores humanity, consciousness, and love, of which Finn is the embodiment. When I first started this book, I treated Finn warily – he was the outsider who appeared like a ghost to Cat and scared her. But their relationship, of which I was so sceptical, blossoms tenderly, unexpectedly and believably, and all because of Finn. He is a character of impressive emotional range, and is so much more than a tangle of wires and circuits.

“There is nothing else like me in the entire world, said Finn. “That’s what you wrote. I’m the only one. I can’t tell you what it means to be the only one of my kind,” he said. “I can’t…There is a lack in myself. But your thesis almost filled it in. It was…a start.” Finn

The Lives of Tao by Wesley ChuWesley Chu’s debut novel, The Lives of Tao, has received rave reviews and awards, and for me – like many others – Roen is a huge part of the reason. He doesn’t want to be a hero; why can’t he sit at home every evening after work, eating pizza, and being miserable? Roen is that person we fear we will be: stuck in a job we hate, in a rut with our life, and unable to do anything about it. Whilst Tao comes along for Roen and forces a change, The Lives of Tao shows us that we don’t need our own Tao to live inside our heads – and I’m certainly OK without being chased by the Genjix – but we can all change and become the people we want to be.

Plus, Roen has some of the best lines and action scenes: when he confronts the mugger and the bottles don’t break and then asks the mugger for his money? I love Roen!

“I can’t quit. I have rent, and a cat to support.” Roen

 

Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman, March 2013Between Two Thorns presents a harder choice: Catherine Rhoeas-Papaver or Gargoyle? The gargoyle is hilarious and a great sidekick but plays a far more important role as he articulates Max’s feelings. Cathy is resourceful, brave, and strong but also stubborn, and rebellious with a wicked temper, and pips the gargoyle to the post as my favourite Split Worlds character. 

Cathy is against everything her family believes, the restrictive life of the society in which she was raised, and her struggles against this world feel authentic. She doesn’t lose sight of what she wants, It’s tricky to say too much about Cathy without giving away the events across the trilogy, but if you have yet to visit The Split Worlds, I highly recommend you do.

Plus, if ever you’re in Bath, I dare you to try not look for access to the Nether!

Blackbirds, by Chuck WendigMiriam Black has her first outing in Chuck Wendig’s
Blackbirds, and I unashamedly love her. She might gross and creep me out sometimes, but wouldn’t you be deranged if death following your every move? By simply having skin on skin contact – a fingertip graze, a bump – Miriam can tell where, when, and how you will die. Does she thus try to prevent deaths? HELL, NO. Miriam uses this power to track people about to die, robs their still-warm bodies, and spends the money on her favourite things: alcohol and cigarettes. Blackbirds is morbid and terrifying, and brilliant. It’s utterly refreshing to read a character like Miriam: a foul-mouthed, vile anti-heroine who is laugh-out-loud sarcastic. Beware: if you’re used to reading lighter books, or aren’t OK with some super-gross descriptions, gore, etc, Miriam may not be for you!

“A lady should be respectful,” is all he manages through gritted teeth. He pitches the towel in the corner.
Miriam snorts. “That’s me. My fair fuckin’ lady.” Miriam

The Bullet Catcher's Daughter by Rod DuncanExcuse me, but I think I’m going to cheat a little with my fifth choice! So far, I’ve brought you characters you may have already read and liked – or loathed – but for my final character, I’m picking an upcoming: Elizabeth Barnabus from The Bullet Catcher’s Daughter, publishing Sept, 2014. Rod Duncan is an award-winning crime novelist and it shows as he creates a clever story, in a novel exploring many boundaries. Elizabeth is a courageous cross-dressing private detective, who takes on the persona of her imagined twin brother, Edwin, to solve the mystery of a missing aristocrat and a hoard of arcane machines. She is cunning, an accomplished liar, and an adept reader of people.

She is driven, intriguing, and her dialogue is snappy and brings her to life. I can’t wait for you all to meet Elizabeth Barnabas!

“I’m no more than a shadow, and can have only such friendships and feelings as a shadow might.” Elizabeth

So, what do you think? Did I leave out your favourite character or do you totally agree / disagree with who I’ve picked? Who would your Top 5 Angry Robot characters be? Tweet us @angryrobotbooks to join the conversation and don’t forget to use our #AngryRobot5.

Caroline’s Giveaway

For my giveaway, instead of 5 copies of 1 book, I’m going to go with a bumper prize pack of these 5 books! If it’s my choice, I might as well give you 5 of my favourite books to enjoy. So, one winner will receive The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, The Lives of Tao, Between Two ThornsBlackbirds, and The Bullet Catcher’s Daughter.

Entry Details

To enter, comment below and tell us your most memorable book character. It doesn’t have to be from Angry Robot, but any character you loved – or indeed love to hate – in a book. Winner will be picked at random, no geographical restrictions. Entries will close tomorrow, Thursday, at 12.01pm BST, when we will have Mike’s post with another giveaway!

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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.

what-year-is-it
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.

Clapping
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.

Passion!
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.

Space
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 Tor.com 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.

Freeeee
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

Categories : Angry Robot
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Jun
30

Angry Robot 5: Lee’s Top 5

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Tuesday 1 July marks 5 years from Angry Robot’s first books – Lauren Beukes‘ Moxyland and Kaaron Warren‘s Slights – and we are celebrating this anniversary, over the next 5 days, 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.

First up is our Senior Editor, Lee Harris, with his Top 5 Reasons Angry Robot Rules, and his choice of giveaway is The Knights of Breton Court (omnibus edition x 5) by Maurice Broaddus. Details of this giveaway, and why Lee chose The Knights of Breton Court are at the end of this post.

Top 5 Reasons Angry Robot Rules

5. A Home for New Talent

In the 5 years since Angry Robot first started publishing, we’ve published the debut novels of TWENTY-ONE authors:

Lauren Beukes – Moxyland
Kaaron Warren – Slights
Mike Shevdon – Sixty-One Nails
Aliette de Bodard – Servant of the Underworld
Lavie Tidhar – The Bookman
Ian Whates – City of Dreams and Nightmare
Maurice Broaddus – King Maker
Guy Haley – Reality 36
Jo Anderton – Debris
Adam Christopher – Empire State
David Tallerman – Giant Thief
Chris F Holm – Dead Harvest
Anne Lyle – The Alchemist of Souls
Madeline Ashby – vN
Lee Battersby – The Corpse-Rat King
Lee Collins – The Dead of Winter
Ramez Naam – Nexus
Emma Newman – Between Two Thorns
Wesley Chu – The Lives of Tao
Jay Posey – Three
Craig Cormick – The Shadow Master

With plenty more to come, including:

Carrie Patel – The Buried Life
Susan Murray – The Waterborne Blade
Ferrett Steinmetz – Flex
Ishbelle Bee – The Singula and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath
Alyc Helms – The Dragons of Heaven

4. Marc Gascoigne Wins the 2011 World Fantasy Award

Angry Robot founder and head honcho Marc Gascoigne won the World Fantasy Special Award (Professional) for his work in setting up and running Angry Robot. And bloody well deserved it was, too!

3. DRM-free ebooks

We’re big fans of the ebook format, and we know that many of you are, too. We’re also big fans of not crippling the format with unnecessary and impractical restrictions. This is why we’ve always been DRM-free, and always will be.

2.  Clonefiles – Ebook /Paperback Bundling

We believe if you’ve paid for a paperback you should get the ebook included. In 2012 we ran a limited pilot in the UK to offer this service through independent bookshops. In 2013 we announced we would be opening this pilot up to indie stores in the US, and this has started to happen. It was such a great idea that Amazon announced their version of the programme shortly after us (though many of the ebooks in their Matchbook scheme have to be paid for, albeit at discount).

1. Those Covers!

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. I say bollocks. But whatever your thoughts on the matter, you certainly can judge a publisher on its covers. And look at some of the gorgeousness we’ve brought you over the last five years, under Marc Gascoigne’s Art Directorshipness. Take your time. Appreciate the different styles, and the love that has gone into each and every one.

Empire State by Adam ChristopherThe Marching Dead by Lee Battersby, April 2013

Zoo City by Lauren BeukesThe Lives of Tao by Wesley ChuThe Mad Scientist's Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke - Feb 2013Dead Harvest, by Chris F. HolmThe Damned Busters by Matthew HughesThe Alchemist of Souls by Anne LyleThree, by Jay Posey, artwork by Stephen Mayer-RassowHeartwood by Freya RobertsonSixty-One Nails by Mike Shevdon, new cover artThe Great Game by Lavie Tidhar - you know you want itNightTerrors-300dpiSlights - in UK stores 1 July 09Blackbirds, by Chuck Wendig

 

Lee’s Giveaway

CThe Knights of Breton Court cover (Joey HiFI) - October 2012aroline has asked me to choose a book for today’s giveaway.

Maurice Broaddus’s King Maker (first of the Knights of Breton Court trilogy) was the first book I actively championed when I joined Angry Robot. It’s a fantastic retelling of the Arthurian myth, set on the mean streets of Indianapolis. So, my giveaway is going to be the entire trilogy: The Knights of Breton Court x 5!

Entry Details

To enter, simply comment on this post with your Top 5 TV shows. Winner will be picked at random. Entries will close tomorrow, Tuesday at 12.01pm BST, when we will have Marc’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