Archive for Interesting Stuff
Yeah, it’s Friday afternoon in the Angry Robot office (YMMV), so it was inevitable that we were going to goof about for an hour or two, and run some of our recent and upcoming book covers through Deep Dream.
Do you know it – Google’s new software algorithm that attempts to mimic what happens in the human subconscious during dream states? It’s a bit limited at the moment: it really only draws on images of dogs and eyeballs right now – but it’s still damn freaky and we had a blast revealing the Cthulhu-esque subliminals lurking just behind our cover art.
Here are some of our favourites. If you’re eating something a bit icky, or have recently ingested a heavy dose of hallucinogenic pharmaceuticals, you may care to skip this post. If you’re up for it, you can click on each to see a much larger version. What’s your favourite?
Want to have a go yourself? Check out the Dream Scope online app. Don’t have nightmares.
In spring, like so many people, one’s thoughts turn to tidying up a bit, i.e. spring cleaning. Our bristling orbital death platform has been looking a bit dusty and ramshackle of late – books and body parts everywhere, of course, but also crates of a less identifiable nature.
Right at the bottom of the most distant stack, in a wooden chest marked in a font of a distinctly pre-millenial variety (how you get Comic Sans on the side of an oak case I’ve no idea), we made a delighted discovery. In short, we found mint copies of some of Angry Robot’s releases from the very earliest days of the imprint. Very collectible, and we know we aren’t the only readers who have hung onto these original editions, even though copies are very scarce out there. It’s fascinating to see how our cover design styles have changed over the decades [ click to enlarge ]:
From the left: one of our short-lived but very collectable series of AR Doubles, from 1966 (Guy Haley’s Reality 36 on the other side, as we’re sure you remember); the first appearance of that sleeper hit Nexus, from 1974; and an example of the first Jim Moore complete repackaging programme, from 1976.
From left: powerful swords & sorcery imagery that screams 1979, also the inspiration behind Hawkwind’s concept album, released the following year; and a chance to compare and contrast UK and US packaging approaches, both from 1985.
Looks like an interesting Indie film (released in March). Do you recognise any of the characters…?
Last night (10pm-midnight GMT, 5pm-7pm EST) Angry Robot’s North American Sales & Marketing Manager, Mike Underwood, joined forces with Senior Editor Lee Harris to answer questions at r/Fantasy over at Reddit about Angry Robot, publishing in general, and socks*. There were lots of excellent questions, and very few rubbish ones.
Head on over to reddit.com/r/fantasy to read some of the responses…
*That one’s a lie.
PRESS RELEASE: 30 JANUARY 2014: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Angry Robot Books brings ebook bundling program to the USA
KEY NOTE: In 2012, Angry Robot Books began partnering with Indie bookshops in the UK to offer free ebook bundling via the Clonefiles initiative. Angry Robot has been giving DRM-free ebook editions free as companions to all physical books sold at participating Clonefiles stores. Now, Clonefiles is coming to North America.
DETAILS: With BitLit as a fulfillment partner, Angry Robot has teamed up with leading independent bookstores McLean and Eakin Books and Prairie Lights Books to offer free ebook editions with all physical copies of Angry Robot Books sold at these two stores.
Angry Robot have always been champions of DRM-free eBook publishing and are been eager to experiment with new business and distribution models. A dual-format offering for Indies is a natural extension of Angry Robot’s customer-first ethos and a great way for Angry Robot to show some love for the USA’s fantastic Indie bookshop scene.
Upon purchase of physical book, customers will receive information on how to download the free BitLit app and use it to claim their free ebook edition of Angry Robot Books.
CALLING BOOKSTORES: Angry Robot is looking to expand the program to other independent bookstores across the USA and Canada. Interested bookstores should contact Mike Underwood at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Prairie Lights Books
McLean and Eakin Booksellers
I’ve had a quick look at the submissions for our recent Open Door period, and thought I’d share some stats with you. I was primarily interested in the breakdown of genre and gender.
Note: For gender, I merely used the first name given, so a binary (m/f) breakdown is all that is possible – I am unable to state that these figures are correct with regard to how the authors self-identify.
Out of 524 submissions received, these were the results:
|Science Fiction||Urban Fantasy||General Fantasy||
*Either initials were used instead of a first name, the first name is often used by men and women, or the first name was unfamiliar to me.
** Defined in the submissions guidelines as anything other than science fiction, fantasy and urban fantasy
The most popular genre for male authors was science fiction (40.1%).
The most popular genre for female authors was general fantasy (34.6%).
Fantasy as a whole (general + urban) was responsible for 52.9% of submissions by women, but only 38.9% of submissions by men.
The “wtf” category* attracted 21.1% of male authors’ submissions and 17.6% of female authors’ submissions.
Across all genders, science fiction accounted for 36.1% of submissions, urban fantasy 16%, general fantasy 27.3% (so 43.3% for fantasy) and wtf 20.6%.
Interestingly, out of a 2 month submission window, nearly a quarter of all submissions were sent during the last week, with 14% sent in the last 2 days. 3 were sent on Christmas Day.
This is, of course, a small sampling of data, and it would be foolish to try to extrapolate much from it. It doesn’t tell us that more men are writing science fiction than women, it just tells us that during this short window, more men submitted their novels to one publisher, than women. It tells us nothing of the quality of the prose, nor the number of books written by the authors who submitted. It will be interesting to get more data once the books have been read by the editors.
Hey guys, today I’m here to share a wonderful project undertaken by Upcoming4.me. They have put together an ebook of Story Insides including some of Angry Robot authors, with proceeds for the Epilepsy Action Charity. This book is a fascinating collection which features forty non-fiction essays on writing and editing speculative fiction by published authors! It contains essays from our own wonderful authors: Lee Batterby, Freya Robertson, Mike Shevdon and Jo Anderton. This is such a wonderful idea and here is a little information about the book:
Story Behind the Book: Volume 1
“Story Behind the Book : Volume 1” collects nearly 40 non-fiction essays on writing and editing speculative fiction written by some of creative burst, worldbuilding, tackling writer’s block, to the final process of publication. Some of the essays are personal, some rather technical but all of them, without an exception, provide an unique and fascinating insight into the mind of an author.the most exciting authors and editors. Essays cover everything from getting an initial
Contributors include Ian Whates, Michael Logan, Mathieu Blais and Joel Casseus, Mark T. Barnes, Lisa Jensen, Lee Battersby, L. E. Modesitt Jr., Keith Brooke, Joanne Anderton, Jo Walton, F.R. Tallis, Ian R. MacLeod, Guy Haley, Gavin Smith, Francis Knight, Eric Brown, Clifford Beal, Susan Palwick, Rhiannon Held, Ben Jeapes, Nina Allan, Mike Shevdon, Mur Lafferty, Norman Lock, Seth Patrick, Gemma Malley, Freda Warrington, Freya Robertson and more.
Follow the links to purchase your copy – remember all proceeds go to charity!
Two of the publicists at Little, Brown are running a marathon to fund a new grant that will support diversity in science fiction and fantasy literature.
Ellen B Wright and Faye Bi are aiming to raise $5,000 between them, but come on – I think we can help them do much better than that, don’t you? Their total currently stands (at the time of writing this blog) at $1,380.
You can find the full details (and donate) here, but in their own words:
We’ve created this marathon fundraiser on Crowdrise to support the Speculative Literature Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes science fiction and fantasy and encourages new writers of both adult and children’s genre literature. They’ve agreed to use the funds we raise to create a new grant called the Diverse Worlds grant, which will help writers from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the genre to start and continue publishing. As good science fiction and fantasy worlds should, this grant will welcome all kinds of diversity: gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, ability level, religion, etc.
Let’s show everyone what we already know – that SF and F fans are the most supportive fans in the world!
Clonefiles is a programme where you buy the paperback from a participating independent bookstore, and get the ebook absolutely free!
This was trialled in the UK last year, and the success of the pilot has encouraged us to do the same in the USA.
It’s also gratifying to see that the giants still follow where Angry Robot innovates… 😀
More details of the US Clonefiles initiative to follow, very soon…
On our bi-weekly stalk of our authors’ Facebook pages, blogs and Twitter streams, we came across this little gem – a fan-made trailer for Tim Waggoner‘s brilliant urban fantasy Nekropolis. A lot of thought and care went into making this, and we’re duly impressed. It’s quite short, so click on PLAY and have a look.
And for those of you aching for more words from that nice Mr Waggoner, well, we just might have some news for you, soon…
Cassandra Rose Clarke is already setting the imaginations of YA bloggers and reviewers aflame as her Strange Chemistry debut, The Assassin’s Curse starts shipping out to stores for its October launch. Here at Angry Robot we’re readying the second stage of her plans for world domination with a heartbreakingly wonderful novel of love, loss and robots, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter.
Set in a collapsing future America, the novel tells of Cat. When she is a young girl, her father brings an experimental android to their isolated home to serve as her tutor. Finn stays with her, becoming her constant companion and friend as she grows to adulthood. But then they take the relationship much further than anyone intended – which ultimately threatens to force them apart forever.
This unnerving but deeply sensitive mix of science fiction speculation and heartfelt emotion demanded a very different cover approach for us. As you can see, designer Stewart Larking came up with the goods in a lovely understated, almost melancholy style. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter will be published by Angry Robot in February 2013. We cannot wait for you to read it.