Archive for Books
Hello and welcome to this week’s whizz round all the online Angry Robot Action that’s fit to link to. Without further ado:
Emma Newman‘s Between Two Thorns was reviewed by Kathy at Kindle-aholic’s Book Pile, who said: “This is a book that contains MANY THINGS. This can be tricky sometimes … [but] Newman managed to corral the different worlds, characters and machinations to deliver an engaging read that left me wanting more.”
And you can enter a giveaway at The Founding Fields for your chance to win one of two copies of the book, before the closing date of April 1st.
Matthew Hughes‘s third To Hell and Back novel, Hell to Pay, was reviewed by David Brzeski for the British Fantasy Society and he said: “The first book in the series was very good, the second was better. The events of those books were leading up to this final volume in the trilogy and it’s the best yet.”
Lee Collins‘s second Cora Oglesby novel, She Returns From War was also reviewed by Kathy at Kindle-aholic’s Book Pile, who found the change in POV-focus from book one a bit of a wrench, but came to appreciate the twist: “I was reminded a few times of the movie Unforgiven, with the younger generation getting a look at the real life of a legend, and also learning about the costs of living such a life.”
Joseph D’Lacey‘s Black Feathers, the first part of the Black Dawn duology, which will be with you next week in US/CAN print and global ebook, received a 4.5/5 star review from Rebecca at Book Chick City, who said: “I really did love this book, as it had everything I was looking for and more, and really redefined the genres of fantasy and dystopian fiction. I know the two genres have been merged before, but this book just had that special un-put-down-able spark I couldn’t resist.”
Wesley Chu‘s The Lives of Tao is out in May and Wesley was the guest of Abhinav Jain’s latest Names: A New Perspective guest post series this week, talking about the importance of appropriately-named villains. You can also read an exclusive excerpt at Tor.com. And if you’re a US-based Goodreads user, you can put your name in the hat to win a signed ARC copy of The Lives of Tao by visiting Goodreads.com and clicking the ‘Enter to Win’ button. Easy as.
Cara Fielder, writing for the Waterstones Blog, has taken a look at the future of SF and declared that a good-sized chunk of it is Adam Christopher shaped. Adam has also been releasing a series of teaser excerpts from The Age Atomic, the soon-to-be-released sequel to Empire State. The latest snippet went live today at Em’s Place.
Cassandra Rose Clarke‘s The Mad Scientist’s Daughter was treated to an extremely thorough, in-depth reading by Michael Ann Dobbs for IO9.com, with the following conclusion: “It’s not a story of future heroism. It’s not even, really, a story about robots. It’s a story of live and failure and expectations. It is, perhaps, in its relentless examination of one woman’s life, one of the most realistic science fiction stories ever told.” And Adam-Troy Castro, writing for the (print only) Sci Fi Magazine enjoyed the novel’s characterisation: “Cat is a finely etched character, difficult, distant, and living in denial of her true feelings for years … Cassandra Rose Clarke does a fine job of staying inside her protagonist’s head, and capturing what it’s like to drift through life without the will or the opportunity to make the best decisions.” The book was also on was on the receiving end of a glowing review from Leah at Uncorked Thoughts, who said: “I found this novel absolutely fascinating … It has so many themes and issues running through it and it’s absolutely brilliant. If you’re a science-fiction lover, a robot lover, or even a lover of books which delve into romance, tragedies and the issues of real life then this book is definitely for you!”
Anne Lyle‘s The Alchemist of Souls and Lee Collins‘s The Dead of Winter have been entered into the BookSpotCentral 7th Annual Book Tournament. Voting will commence on March 21st and will involve all sorts of emailing and Facebook liking… check out the link for full details and vote, vote, vote!
Aaaand that’s everything we’ve spotted in the past seven days or so. We’ve got a double bank holiday coming up in the UK next weekend, so depending on how things go there’ll either be a shorter Round-Up next Thursday or a bumper double-dose the Friday afterwards. See you then!
We are delighted – nay, ecstatic – to announce that we have bought the worldwide rights to a fantasy duology by Freya Robertson, beginning with Heartwood.
Freya is a lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy, as well as a dedicated gamer. She has a deep and abiding fascination for the history and archaeology of the middle ages and spent many hours as a teenager writing out notecards detailing the battles of the Wars of the Roses, or moping around museums looking at ancient skeletons, bits of rusted iron and broken pots. She also has an impressive track record, having published over twenty romance novels under her pseudonym, Serenity Woods.
She lives in the glorious country of New Zealand Aotearoa, where the countryside was made to inspire fantasy writers and filmmakers, and where they brew the best coffee in the world.
The rights to the series were agreed between Robertson and Angry Robot’s Senior Bot, Lee Harris.
Heartwood tells the story of a dying land, a desperate quest and a love story of sorts, and the seven knights who travel the wilderness in a battle to save the land and its people. Oh, and the Darkwater Lords? Did we mention the Darkwater Lords? They’re awesome!
Lee had this to say: “Heartwood is one of those books that screams ‘Read me now!’ and I knew we had to publish it within the first few pages. It’s fantasy at its most epic, and at nearly 400,000 words across both volumes, it’s a truly epic read, too!”
Freya said, “I’m thrilled to be welcomed onto Angry Robot’s superb team and, as a New Zealand writer, pleased to bring a little bit of Middle Earth to the table :-)”
Heartwood will be published in early 2014, with the sequel to follow later in the year.
Hello and welcome to our regular round-up of all the Angry Robot flavoured online activity and coverage that we’ve spotted since the last round-up. Getting things under-way this week, he have:
More reviews of the first part of Emma Newman‘s fabulous The Split Worlds urban fantasy series Between Two Thorns:
• Paul Weimer, writing for the mighty SF Signal said it was: “An enchanting novel from Emma Newman, an urban fantasy that has no sign of tattooed women in leather pants. A headstrong scion and an investigator discover dark doings in the outwardly genteel world of Bath’s secret mirror city.”
• Shadowhawk of Founding Fields fame added: “Between Two Thorns is a book that is packed with a ton of things to entice the reader … I can definitely recommend this to readers of urban fantasy if you are looking for something different”.
• Rebecca at Book Chick City said: “This was a well-crafted fantasy novel which makes a great start to a new series … I can’t wait to see what happens next.”
• Tsana at Tsana’s Reads said: “Between Two Thorns is an excellent read and I highly recommend it to fantasy fans looking for something a bit different, particularly in the form of merging modern day settings with fantasy worlds.”
The first part of Joseph D’Lacey‘s post-eco-apocalyptic Black Dawn duology, Black Feathers, is almost upon us (late March / early April, folks!) and the always-Epic Dave-Brendon de Burgh had this to say about it: “As can be expected from Joseph’s work, there are moments of horror, moments of wide-eyed disbelief, moments of laughter and tears and silence pregnant with either peace or rage. He managed to handle everything beautifully and with respect, making both his characters and the world they inhabit come alive.” And Theresa at Terror Tree said: “The images of a bleak and savage world are genuinely horrific … Gripping stuff and I look forward to the conclusion of this tale.” Theresa has also posted an interview with Joseph about his writing and plans for future work, at the same link.
Likewise, it’s not long now until we unleash Adam Christopher‘s The Age Atomic, sequel to his terrific debut Empire State. Over at Daily Steampunk, Traveler had the following high praise to hand out: “The Age Atomic is another masterful tale by Adam Christopher. An action-packed noir Atompunk tale with more layers, facettes and twists than one would expect and which keeps the reader enthralled from the first to the last page. Highly recommended reading!” And Brandon at Every Read Thing had this to say: “While the ideas behind this series show that Adam is imaginative and bright, it’s the writing that keeps you enthralled. I couldn’t tell you the amount of evenings where I lost track of time reading this book – it’s that good.”
Brandon has posted his interview with Adam Christopher as well; plenty there on Adam’s background as a writer, Empire State and The Age Atomic.
Wesley Chu‘s action-packed debut The Lives of Tao is a little further away (late April / early May) but we’re already starting to see a review or two surfacing here and there, including one at Being a Big Sandwich, in which blogger Scott declares: “I would highly recommend this book to fans who like their espionage tinged with sci-fi, or vice-versa.”
Eric Brown, in his latest science fiction column for The Guardian has this to say about Cassandra Rose Clarke‘s The Mad Scientist’s Daughter: “the twist is that the cool, rational Finn is a robot, and Cat’s love for him is unrequited because she ages while he does not, and he is not programmed to respond to her emotions. It’s a neat premise and Clark examines the ramifications with the precision of a poet”.
Peter at My Bookish Ways said of Ramez Naam‘s freshly movie-optioned Nexus: “reads like a high energy thriller and you’ll find his reluctant hero, Kade, worth rooting for … Nexus is a strong, and exciting, debut from an author to watch!”
The first of Lee Collins‘s Cora Oglesby novels, She Returns From War was reviewed by Shadowhawk at The Founding Fields and Shadowhawk said: “She Returns From War is a most excellent novel, and lives up to the promise of The Dead of Winter.” Word.
Madeline Ashby‘s vN was reviewed by Steve Jones for Terror Tree, who said: “vN is a thrilling adventure story with a well-developed cast of both humans and vNs, which challenges the meaning of being a person without ever being preachy about it.”
Josh at In Order of Importance took a look at Chris F. Holm‘s first Collector novel, Dead Harvest and called it a “classic mix of deduction, ultra-violence, narrow escapes, shocking revelations, and sudden turns of fortune that make noir such a satisfying genre. Also, possessions, demons, seraphs, and lucky cat statues. Just fantastic enough to be entertaining, but not so unrealistic that it stretches the bounds of credulity.”
And finally: the closing date for applications to be the Angry Robot Fiction Publicity Manager isn’t until March 25th, so you still have plenty of time to polish your c.v. and hone your covering letter. Go on, you know you want to. We promise the implant procedures won’t hurt too much…
Hello and welcome to this week’s Robot Round-Up, our regular look at all the last week or so’s Angry Robot action that’s fit to link to. Starting with…
• Pablo Cheesecake at The Eloquent Page, who said: “Treading similar thematic ground to the likes of Clive Barker’s Weaveworld and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, Emma Newman’s first Split Worlds novel still manages to be a wonderfully iconoclastic affair. I feel like I’ve only been given a tantalising glimpse through a fantastical doorway.”
• Sarah at And Then I Read a Book summed things up rather neatly: “Missing people, kidnap, three wishes, charms, deception and Grand Tours collide in a story that’s part fairytale, part fantasy, part Jane Austen, with a sprinkling of bonkers brilliance.”
• Steven M. Long enjoyed the world-building: “What I want from an alternate, magical reality is a mix of the expected and the surprising, and Between Two Thorns does a good job of delivering that, primarily through the use of some off-beat points of view and the addition of some unique flourishes.”
Meanwhile, Emma has been interviewed over at My Bookish Ways – and don’t miss the feature interview in the latest issue of SFX Magazine – as well as talking to Abhinav Jain about how she picked great names for the great families in The Split Worlds. Plus, the fifty-second and final instalment of Emma’s truly epic Split Worlds short story writing project has gone live on Paul Cornell‘s blog. Read! Read them all!
The first review we’ve seen of Lee Battersby‘s The Marching Dead is a cracker from Bob at Beauty in Ruins, who said: “Battersby absolutely nails the narrative style, balancing humour and horror, fantasy and felony. It’s another quick-moving, well-written story that amuses, excites, and concludes with some rather deep, and remarkably heavy musings on the subjects of life, death, and the afterlife – or the lack thereof.”
Joseph D’Lacey‘s soon-to-be-unleashed Black Feathers has received another red-hot review, this time from Bane of Kings at The Founding Fields, who declared it to be: “A brilliant take on the post apocalyptic genre. Creepy, unnerving and page-turning, D’Lacey creates a compelling story with some fasnicating characters.”
There’s an interview with Joseph at Thirteen O’Clock with some searching questions from Alan Baxter on the subject of Black Feathers, writing and horror in general. And Joseph has been talking to Abhinav Jain about the character of names.
Lee Collins‘s The Dead of Winter was reviewed by firebreathingmonsters: “Collins really nails the balance between western and horror in the novel, with the plot moving at a slow boil punctuated by periods of intense action”.
Richard at Elf Machines From Hyperspace said Anne Lyle‘s first Night’s Masque instalment, The Alchemist of Souls is “a gem of a first novel” and went on to explain why: “I felt as if I walked those smelly Tudor streets as strongly as I’ve felt it reading writers like Mantel or Peter Ackroyd … Anne Lyle has given us the Elizabethan London we know from reading history and Shakespeare; but she’’s also created a London that has just enough strangeness in its shadows to keep us anticipating wonder.”
And finally… scared yet? No? Give it time…
Hello and welcome to our regular Robot Round-Up of links out to Stuff About Angry Robot and our Awesome Authors that we’ve spotted out on the intertubes in the past week or so. Heck, you know the drill. Let’s just get on with the linkage action, shall we?
Out Now and flying off the shelves (we should really stop greasing our book covers), Emma Newman‘s Between Two Thorns has been reviewed this week by a number of fine, discerning lovers of top-notch fantasy fiction, including:
• MK at Popcorn Reads said: “I enjoyed every minute of these split worlds. The fairy-tale mythology, fantasy, sci-fi-mystery, police procedural, romance and all the other genre-bending elements worked together seamlessly.” MK is also giving away an Advanced Reading Copy of the book – click the link for details, closing date March 7th.
• Usagi at Birth of a New Witch who loved the prose: “The sensory language was fantastic – especially when we were in the Nether or in Exilium. That’s where Newman really shines the most – showing us entirely new worlds that are only connected by a thin string, and that are absolutely gorgeous to behold.”
• Deniz at Closet Geeks and Slow Mo loved the atmosphere: “Good fantasy is the ability to not only tell a good story set in a different world – but to create that world with beautiful worlds. Evoke it in the reader’s mind. Where it comes alive and leave the impression as if one visited there. Newman definitely has a gift for that.”
• Elloise Hopkins, called it: “a solid start to a great new fantasy trilogy that will be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys urban fantasy, stories about the Fae and detective stories.”
Also: Emma was a guest at John Scalzi’s legendary Whatever blog, where she explained the Big Idea behind Between Two Thorns. She was a guest on the 182nd episode of the mighty SF Signal Podcast as well, in response to which Timothy C. Ward had some very nice things to say. And if you’ve been stirred into a frenzy of anticipation and just can’t wait to get your hands on the book, there’s a chance you could do so for free – as long as you’re based in the US of A – via the Tor.com Sweepstake that’s running until noon on Sunday March 2nd.
Lee Collins‘s recently-released second Cora Oglesby novel, She Returns From War was reviewed by Keith at Adventures Fantastic: “This is a different book from the first one [The Dead of Winter]. That’s a good thing, because it means the author isn’t locking himself into a formula, in essence refusing to become a one trick pony … I recommend them both highly.” And Larry at 42 Webs enjoyed the story’s true-to-genre authenticity: “One of my major pluses for Collins work is that he writes a western that stays a western … He doesn’t try to build a computer for a cowboy or give him a ‘fancy flying machine’ to soar with. Cora uses six shooters, silver bullets, a blessed knife, and that’s about it. Thank you Collins.”
Another review of Cassandra Rose Clarke‘s The Mad Scientist’s Daughter has crossed our sensor screens, this time from Andrea at Cozy Up With A Good Read, who said: “Everything that Cat goes through is so heartbreaking and I loved seeing her and Finn have scenes together because there was so much tension.”
Anne Lyle‘s The Alchemist of Souls was reviewed by Alisa at The Book Bundle, who said: “An intricate story of political intrigue in an alternate Tudor London, Anne Lyle’s The Alchemist Of Souls is an engaging fantasy novel. I give it 8 stars.”
Anne is giving away two copies of the sequel The Merchant of Dreams over on Goodreads (you’ll need a Goodreads account to enter, but it’s completely free-to-join and you can log in with your Facebook account to speed the process).
Joseph D’Lacey‘s Black Feathers will be with us next month and was reviewed this week by Alan at Thirteen O’Clock, who suggested: “You need to go into this book knowing that its message is central to its existence. If you accept that, you will enjoy a superbly written dark fantasy with some truly original ideas and a very clever culture-crossing hero’s journey.” And Tiara at The BiblioSanctum said: “I really enjoyed this book … The ending made my heart drop and almost frantic for more … This is a story I will be thinking about for a very long time.” And Jason at The Mad Ravings of an Entertainment Junkie felt the empathy: “D’Lacey is not only a thought-provoking author who has the gift to make you think, he has the gift to make you feel what his characters are feeling as well (their fear, their pain, their emotion).”
Joseph has also written a guest post on the fine art of editing, over at fellow writer Wayne Simmons‘s blog.
Chris F. Holm‘s second Collector novel, The Wrong Goodbye was reviewed by Marion at Fantasy Literature, who said: “Another fine example of supernatural noir … Holm is working this sub-genre (sub-sub-genre?) really well.”
Madeline Ashby‘s debut vN was reviewed at Fictavia: “Ashby does a good job of immersing the reader in her vision of the future, through strong images and well-written prose. Overall, it’s a gripping read – check it out, even if (and maybe especially) if you’re not a sci-fi reader.”
There’s a feature interview with Madeline on the Globe and Mail website, as well as a video feature in which she discusses her creative process. No embedding options, alas, so you’ll have to click through to watch it.
The 2013 Ditmar Awards are open for nomination and the eligibility list has been posted. We wouldn’t want you to think we were attempting to coerce you or anything, but nominating our three highly eligible authors – Trent Jamieson, Jo Anderton and Lee Battersby – might get you into our good books ahead of the coming Robopocalypse. Which means you might survive until the second wave. Or even the third. Just sayin’…
And Finally (speaking of the Robopocalypse…)
Ha! If this the best you meat-suits can do by way of defence strategies, it’s going to be a cake-walk for our lot:
(“Aim for the leg joints”? As if we haven’t triple-reinforced those already…)
That’s all for this week. See you again at the back end of the next.
Today is one of our favourite days of the month: it’s US/Canada and ebook publication day for Angry Robot’s March 2013 releases (which will be available in UK print edition from bookstores and online retailers from Thursday March 7th).
This month we’re delighted to be unleashing Between Two Thorns, part one of Emma Newman‘s delightful new urban fantasy series, The Split Worlds. It’s out now and will be swiftly followed by volumes two and three: Any Other Name in June and All is Fair in September.
Plus: if you’re intrigued by the Split Worlds concept, you should definitely head on over to www.splitworlds.com where you can read a whole series of short stories set in the same milieu, or listen to the audio versions, narrated by Emma herself. Hows that for try-before-you-buy?
Also out now in ebook and set to fly off North American bookstore shelves, we have Hell to Pay, the third book in Matthew Hughes‘s To Hell and Back series, which began with The Damned Busters and continued with Costume Not Included.
Plus: we’ve released an ebook-only omnibus edition of Ian Whates‘s City of a Hundred Rows urban fantasy series. Containing all three books in the trilogy – City of Dreams and Nightmare, City of Hope and Despair and City of Light and Shadow – this volume isn’t available in a print edition, but can be yours for just £9.99 / $11.99 (or the equivalent in your local currency) from your favourite ebook retailer, including our very own Robot Trading Company, of course.
See below for more info and then run, don’t walk, to your nearest bricks-and-mortar bookstore, or click over to your online retailer of choice and get your hands on some top-notch fantasy action.
by Emma Newman
Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath’s secret mirror city.
The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.
There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains only the enemy can break. A rebellious woman trying to escape her family may prove to be the ally Max needs.
But can she be trusted? And why does she want to give up eternal youth and the life of privilege she’s been born into?
File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Gargoyle Sidekick | Finder's Keepers | A Rose By Any Other Name | Manners ]
by Matthew Hughes
Meet Chesney Arnstruther. Once a mild-mannered insurance actuary, now a full-time crime-fighting superhero, it’s all he can do to kick bad-guy ass while at the same time holding down a steady relationship with the gorgeous Melda. Something is going on.
Meet Xaphan, wise-cracking demon and the source of (almost) all of Chesney’s powers. He’s been asked by his infernal master to give Chesney whatever he needs… but surely stopping bad guys is not in Hell’s plan? Something is definitely going on.
Meet Arthur Wrigley, a modest yet charming older gentleman whose nasty little hobby is fleecing innocent widows. Meet Simon Magus, ancient mystic and magician from Biblical times now very much enamoured of Vegas, baby. And pray you never meet the Chikkichikk, a proud and ancient race of, well, warrior dinosaurs, from the universe that God made then rejected before He started monkeying around with this one.
Whatever the hell is going on, this is definitely the third book in the wondrous To Hell & Back series.
File Under: Fantasy [ The Better Book | Talk the Dinosaur | Scam Busters | Bring Me Barabbas! ]
Hello and welcome to the latest Robot Round-Up, bringing you all the very best in Angry Robot themed link action from around the Interwebs.
We’re going to kick things off this week with a fresh selection of reviews of Emma Newman‘s Between Two Thorns – the first volume of her Split Worlds series, which we’re publishing next Tuesday in US/CAN print and Ebook, with the UK print edition to follow on Thursday March 7th. Reviews we’ve spotted this week include:
• Sarah at SF Crowsnest: “This novel draws you in from the very first, tempting you with magical creatures set against present day Bath. I tried only reading one chapter just to test the writing style, etc but found myself, a few hours later, having read a vast amount of the book … It sits beautifully within my favourite type of fantasy novel, fairy tale within the present day.”
• Christal at Badass Book Reviews: “The world-building in this novel was very strong and was what transformed this novel into something distinctive.”
• Momo the Mome Rath at Where the Mome Raths Outgrabe: “Between Two Thorns had good prose, great characters, and was a well done mystery. I recommend it to anyone who loves faeries, high society related books, and/or a good mystery.”
Cassandra Rose Clarke‘s The Mad Scientist’s Daughter was reviewed by Lisa at Starmetal Oak Reviews: “I was impressed with the quality of writing and the flow of the story. I was absorbed for the entirety of the book and found myself emotionally involved with all the characters.” And by Tahlia Newland: “The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is the most extreme story of unrequited love that I have ever read.”
Joseph D’Lacey‘s Black Feathers won’t be with us until early April, but early reviews continue to come in. Shadowhawk at The Founding Fields said: “Spectacular is the word I’d use to describe [Black Feathers]. Nothing else can capture the reading experience.” And Vicky at Vicky Thinks thought aloud: “With memorable settings, vivid writing and important themes, Black Feathers is an extremely atmospheric and thought-provoking read.”
Ramez Naam‘s Nexus was reviewed this week by Ed at Starburst Magazine, who said: “Nexus is a strong debut novel; its central premise is interesting and Naam draws us into a highly detailed and technologically literate world. Fans of The Matrix, Strange Days or Wild Palms will find this an interesting read which will make you want to learn more about the issues raised.” And Paul at SF Signal: “Ramez Naam presents an interesting world and characters 30 years hence strongly grounded in the real life research and speculation he was hitherto best known for … An interesting and intriguing fiction debut from a non fiction pioneer in bio-technological issues.”
Chuck Wendig‘s second Miriam Black book, Mockingbird was reviewed in the latest issue Geek Syndicate Quarterly (link to a big ol’ pdf file there, folks, or you can read it on issuu.com), wherein it was said: “This is an earthy book, descriptive and dark, with black comedy at the oddest places. Miriam is a hardboiled heroine, who doesn’t pull her punches or her speech. For fans of horror and paranormal, this is well worth the read.”
Stories by Chuck Wendig and Matt Forbeck are included in the current Bundle of Holding, a package of fiction ebooks written by games writers, on a pay-what-you-want basis (bearing in mind that the more you pay, the more bonus material you get…)
We’ve donated some ARCs to the current Con or Bust drive to raise funds to help fans of colour attend SF conventions. Between now and Sunday you can bid on rare print ARCs of either Black Feathers or The Mad Scientist’s Daughter and help the Con or Bust folks reach their target.
Our Robot Overlord Marc has been talking to Publishing Perspectives about what it takes to build a publishing house from scratch.
And finally: Want to write a novel? Chuck Wendig Tells You How. (Warning: just a tad sweary…)
That’s your lot for this week, folks. Have a good weekend. See you next time.
Hello and welcome to this week’s Robot Round-Up. Having put our email woes behind us, our compiler-bot has been able to gather up another bountiful harvest of Angrily Robotic links.
• Kristin at My Bookish Ways: “Think you can’t get invested in a romance between a human and a robot? Think again. Cat’s longing and desire for Finn is a force of nature, and the tragedy, and joy, of Cat and Finn’s romance will stay with you long after reading the last page.”
• Sophia at Page Plucker: “The writing is beautiful; highly atmospheric and rich in melancholy. I was convinced it was bound to have a tragic ending as it all seemed so very sad, but you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out if I was right”.
• Shweta at Literary Grand Rounds: “Cat and Finn and every other minor detail in this story makes for a very very absorbing and totally addictive reading. Highly recommended!”
• Jared at The Oracular Beard: “The style and substance of Clarke’s world-building catapults this story above and beyond my hopes for it. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a deep, dark tale of passion that fills the emptiness with the same lies and rationalities we tell ourselves to make us feel better about the choices we make.”
• Chris at A Writer’s Sidequest: “While it is a story of love, that story actually serves as a framing device for a larger narrative about the nature of programming vs emotions, and whether sentient machines deserve the same rights as people.”
• Kristin at OwlCat Mountain: “hits all the right notes and delivers a tale that is often heartbreaking but always has that element of hope that love will conquer all. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a lovely and moving story, and I highly recommend it.”
Lee Collins‘s second Cora Oglesby novel, She Returns From War was reviewed by Paul at Sci-Fi Bulletin, who enjoyed its lack of predictability: “Lee Collins’ follow-up to The Dead of Winter isn’t what you might expect – and that’s a very good thing … Like his characters, Collins hasn’t been afraid to take a risk, and it pays off.”
• Lisa at Wilder’s Book Reviews: “full of powerful and beautiful passages that while written for this fictional Earth, are also very strongly advocating for us as a people to take better care of the Earth we live on.”
• Karl at Kodex Karlthulu: “I really, really enjoyed this book. I thought the elements of horror were woven into fantasy of the novel with real expertise … The mythology of The Crowman is well designed and feels very real.”
• Alisha at Dear Constant Reader: “There’s so much to be had in this book. The prose is stunning. D’Lacey’s imagery is complete without being overwhelming. The unique plot is well-paced, and populated with believable characters.”
• Richard at (careful, this one’s a bit spoilery…) Pan-Dimensional Elf Machines From Hyperspace: “D’Lacey has served up his most delectable treat yet with this novel.”
Anne Lyle‘s The Alchemist of Souls was reviewed by Nina at Death, Books and Tea: “Anne’s writing style is beautifully descriptive … I’ll definitely read on in the series!” And The Merchant of Dreams was reviewed by Theresa at Terror-Tree: “If you’ve read the first book, this escalates the world and mythology. If you are new to this world, you can read this independently, but if were you, I would buy both books. They are simply brilliant, and I can’t wait for the next installment.” That would be Prince of Lies, which we’re publishing in November.
We think it’s fair to say that Mieneke at A Fantastical Librarian absolutely loved Emma Newman‘s forthcoming Split Worlds series-opener Between Two Thorns: “Between Two Thorns really was an unalloyed pleasure to read and it’s hard to write a review for it that isn’t just gushing … Newman has created a unique blend of urban, historical, and crime fantasy clothed in a Regency veneer. Between Two Thorns is delicious, engrossing, and enchanting and, so far, my debut of the year.”
And if you just can’t wait for the first novel in the series to be posted, check out www.splitworlds.com, where for over a year now Emma has been writing and narrating short stories set in the Split Worlds, the latest of which can be found at Fantasy Faction, along with a guest post on the evolution of the series.
Adam Christopher‘s debut, Empire State, was reviewed by Weirdmage, deep in the forests of Norway: “Whether your preference lies in parallel universes, crime, or superheroes, this is a novel that should find its way into your hands at the earliest opportunity. The world, the characters, and the story are all excellent and together they will give you a great reading experience.”
Meanwhile, Adam has been talking to SFSignal.com for a SFFWRTCHT session, answering questions on his love of all things genre-y, his interest in superheroes, and of course Empire State, Seven Wonders and the forthcoming The Age Atomic (April 2013!)
Two from the archives now, as DaveBrendon de Burgh has reviewed both Harbinger of the Storm by Aliette de Bodard: “Action- and magic-wise, this book really kept me on the edge of my seat … deities enter the fray, and Aliette did a great job in layering them with incredible menace and danger; definitely not deities who sit back and move pieces on a board.” and Death’s Disciples by J. Robert King: “a thrill-a-second ride, supremely plotted, exciting, hard-hitting, and definitely falls into the Twisted Blockbuster category – one hell of an awesome ride!”
Ramez Naam is on the Hugo and Campbell campaign trail: he’s offering to buy and send a free ebook copy of Nexus to attendees of Worldcon 2012, or anyone who’s registered for Worldcon 2013, in the hope that they’ll read the book and consider nominating the book for the Hugo or Campbell Awards. See rameznaam.com for details.
David Tallerman has posted details of his 2013 convention schedule, so you’ll know where to turn up with your needing-to-be-signed copies of Giant Thief, Crown Thief, and if you’re aiming for Worldcon, Prince Thief as well.
That’s everything for this week, folks. Enjoy your weekend and we’ll see you back here in seven days. Last one in buys the first round.
Today is the day (oh, happy day!) that all you UK-based readers get the chance to dash down to their favourite bricks-and-mortar bookstore and pick up their copies of our February 2013 releases. That’s if you’re not spending the day waiting eagerly by your letterbox for the arrival of a parcel from your favourite online retailer, of course. Whichever! Both are equally good as far as we’re concerned. Or why not skip the physical and grab the ebook instead? What’s that? You did that last week? Excellent! (And we mean that in a very Mister Burns way indeed…)
Anyhow, here’s what you lucky people now have the chance to spend your hard-earned pennies on: Cassandra Rose Clarke‘s heart-wrenching science fictional tale of love, loss and robots that is The Mad Scientist’s Daughter and Lee Collins‘s dark fantasy weird western She Returns From War, the action-packed, blood-soaked sequel to The Dead of Winter, which we published in November.
Do it! Do it now!
by Cassandra Rose Clarke
“Cat, this is Finn. He’s going to be your tutor.”
He looks and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task now is to tutor Cat. As she grows into a beautiful young woman, Finn is her guardian, her constant companion… and more.
But when the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world.
Following her acclaimed Young Adult debut for our sister imprint Strange Chemistry, The Assassin’s Curse, the very talented Cassandra Rose Clarke moves on to more adult themes, in a heartbreaking story of love, loss … and robots.
File Under: Science Fiction [ Constant Companion | Finn X | Sentient Rights | Hot Tin Roof ]
by Lee Collins
The second Cora Oglesby novel, sequel to The Dead of Winter.
Four years after the horrific events in Leadville, a young woman from England, Victoria Dawes, sets into motion a series of events that will lead Cora and herself out into the New Mexico desert in pursuit of Anaba, a Navajo witch bent on taking revenge for the atrocities committed against her people.
File Under: Dark Fantasy [ The Wilder West | Unseen Forces | A Conspiracy | Fight For Life ]
Hello, hello and welcome to this week’s Robot Round-Up of all the Angry Robot flavoured activity that we’ve spotted out there in the big, wide Internets since this time last week. Lots to tell you about, so without further ado or kerfuffle:
Cassandra Rose Clarke‘s newly published tale of loss, love and robots, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter continues to win fans and break hearts in roughly equal measure. This week we’ve seen a cascade of new reviews, including these, from:
• Angie at Pinkindle was deeply affected: “I was madly in love with this book from the very beginning. It reminded me a lot of Bicentennial Man, which happens to be one of my favorite movies. Both have seriously heartbreaking plots that I just can’t help but be drawn to.”
• Jessica at Sweet Green Tangerine (who is also running a giveaway, closing date Feb 3rd) was enchanted: “Watching these two characters fall in love and struggle with what it means to be human, I found the whole topic to be truly beautiful. I love this story”.
• Caroline at Big Book, Little Book felt the need to warn the faint-hearted: “If you are looking for hearts, flowers and candle lit dinners you won’t find it here but if you are in the mood for a tear inducing, head shaking, heartbreaking, but ultimately uplifting love story, within an unusual setting and with a unique love interest, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is for you.”
• Livvy at Nerdy Book Reviews reached for her hankie: “The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a novel that moved me to tears. I truly did not expect to feel so emotional about a robot.”
• Strangely Literary admired Cat’s fighting spirit: “Cat is an engaging character struggling against a society that she doesn’t quite fit within. She will keep you turning the pages to see where she goes next.”
• Tienh at Tien’s Blurb found our heroine uncomfortably compelling: “Even though I didn’t like Cat, I found myself sympathising with her throughout and it’s rare that I’d sympathise with a character I don’t like. That’s what I found most amazing about this book.”
• Maja at The Nocturnal Library felt the angst: “The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is by no means a light-hearted, fun book, and it’s certainly not young adult. Had I known how complicated and angst-filled it was, I doubt I would have picked it up, but now I’m glad I did.”
• Richard at Richard’s SF Ramblings was moved to poetry (and must have had a Friday night curry on his mind): “Reading the last page | I am rendered | I am clarified | I am ghee”
• Upcoming4Me named it their Book of the Week. Cheers, guys!
Cassandra has also been out and about in the genre blogosphere. She guest-posted at Mary Robinette Kowall’s blog for the My Favourite Bit column, and was interviewed by The Qwillery and My Bookish Ways.
Also newly published this month, we have She Returns From War, Lee Collins‘s sequel to his weird western debut, The Dead of Winter, which we published last November. The second Cora Oglesby adventure was reviewed this week by Mel at Mel’s Random Reviews, who said: “This really is a fresh air in the world of supernatural hunters … Recommended for fans of Kate Griffin and Chris Holm. 9 out of 10.” Shelley Romano at Gizmo’s Reviews called it: “a well paced and intriguing story that left me satisfied with my overall experience. I would HIGHLY recommend that if you are thinking about reading this series, go out and borrow or buy The Dead of Winter first! You won’t be sorry that you did.” And Mike at Untitled*United said: “She Returns from War is a fun continuation of the world Collins has been building, and he sets the stage for further expanding this world in future books. I look forward to seeing where he goes next.”
Ramez Naam‘s debut science fiction thriller Nexus continues to go from strength to strength, winning new fans and admirers along the way, including:
• Annalee Newitz at the mighty IO9.com, who declared it to be “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.”
• M Todd Gallowglass was effusively fulsome in his praise: “Nexus is fantastic. It’s brilliant. Feel free to tack on as many positive adjectives as you can come up with. It’s not just a well-written and thought-provoking book, it’s also highly entertaining … Do yourself a favor and get on the Ramez Naam band wagon now, so you can say, ‘I was there when.’”
• Erik at I Will Read Books: “Nexus is a terrific read, covering a highly interesting topic in a entertaining way. It’s a book brimming with action and gun fights, which also has a lot of technical content made accessible by Ramez Naam’s skilful penmanship.”
• Literary Escapism: “Nexus engages the reader to think about scientific advancements and the ethical questions we all may face. With a backdrop that would be worthy of any spy novel, Nexus looks at human evolution in a way that is unique.”
• John at Terror Tree: “it is a hard-hitting romp of a novel that fulfils expectations. A good debut.”
• Richard’s back, with more SF Ramblings and more poetry: “Get your radar out | Acquire Ramez Naam | Lock On, And Read”
Emma Newman‘s Angry Robot debut, Between Two Thorns, is still just over a month away from publication, but we’ve started seeing a few reviews, including Aoife at Footnotes, who enjoyed the ride: “I was very quickly captivated by the brilliant characters and fast pace of the story.” and Tiffany at A_TiffyFit’s Quiet Corner who didn’t want it to stop: “With 20 pages or so left to go, I felt that booklover’s panic start. ‘What? NO! I can’t be coming to the end!’” And John DeNardo, in a genre recommendations round-up Kirkus Reviews, called it “a modern fantasy that playfully mixes magic and interesting characters into an intriguing mystery.”
Emma also guested on a writing workshop episode of the Round Table Podcast, taking a look at a story by guest writer Sara Sambrook.
Also out in just over a month is Hell to Pay, the third volume in Matthew Hughes‘s To Hell and Back series and Annie at Summer Reading Project, who enjoyed the plot development in the new instalment: “I love it when an author reveals that there’s been a bigger story behind the individual books’ plots. Hughes never hid this, but each new book shows new layers and tie them all together. I’m very curious to see what Hughes reveals in the next book.”
We’ve also seen the Official First Review of Joseph D’Lacey‘s forthcoming (April 2013) post-apocalyptic saga Black Feathers, which was posted by Julie-Anne at Thoughts of a Scot, who declared: “I highly recommend this to any fans of horror, post-apocalyptic type books. Loved it, loved it – I want the next one already.”
Chuck Wendig‘s Mockingbird was reviewed recently by OzNoir at Just a Guy Who Likes to Read: “Short, quick fire chapters keep the novel moving along while the limited cast allows for greater character depth and meaningful story. Wendig is on to a real winner with Miriam Black.” And by Renee for New York Journal of Books: “Chuck Wendig’s second offering is fast-paced and raw, filled with gutter-like prose that never minces words and is expressed with the all the subtlety of a punch in the face.”
What’s that? You want more poetry from Richard? Happy to oblige. Here’s his SF Ramblings take on Trent Jamieson‘s first Nightbound Land book, Roil: “Loaded with action on several fronts | Science to ponder throughout | People to love and loath | Ideas to grab and gasp”
World Fantasy Award Winner and The Bookman Histories author Lavie Tidhar is the co-administrator of the World SF Travel Fund. They’re seeking to raise $3,000 to continue the Fund’s annual mission of enabling one or two international persons involved in science fiction, fantasy or horror to travel to a major genre event. We’re backing the fund drive with a pledge of ebook packages for supporters who pledge via peerbackers.com. Check the sidebar on that page to see what’s available at various levels of pledging.
Paul S. Kemp was interviewed by SF Signal about his writing in the Star Wars and Forgotten Realms universes and, of course, his Egil and Nix books, The Hammer and the Blade and A Discourse in Steel (coming in June, folks!)
Over at her blog, Anne Lyle has posted details of her 2013 events schedule, so if you want to say hello and get your copies of The Alchemist of Souls and The Merchant of Dreams signed by their author, them’s your chances.
And finally, last, but most definitely not least, we’re delighted to have been named the Horror Publisher of the Year for 2012 in the This is Horror Awards poll. “Woot!” and indeed, “Yay!” and a big thank you to all who voted for us. We shall endeavour to remain suitably horrible to all and sundry throughout 2013…
That’s all for this week. More at the same time, in approximately the same place, a week from now.