Archive for News

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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May
06

Peacemaker Makes a Novel Game

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Congratulations to Marianne de Pierres, whose Peacemaker series has been optioned for adaptation as an interactive game by Stirfire Studios! The full PR is below, but please do join us in congratulating Marianne, here or on Twitter!

Peacemaker Makes a Novel Game:
West Australian creative entrepreneurs combine forces

Peacemaker by Marianne de PierresBestselling Australian science fiction author Marianne de Pierres announced today that Stirfire Studios has optioned her PEACEMAKER series for adaptation as an interactive game.  The novels are published by Angry Robot books.

De Pierres’ books include the award-winning Sentients of Orion, Parrish Plessis, and Night Creatures series. ‘I’m thrilled to be working with Stirfire Studios on this project. They combine creative flair with technical excellence and a passion for what they do. Their most recent game, Freedom Fall, has been a spectacular success.’

Stirfire Studios, created in 2010, has elevated the status of indie-game development in Western Australia. The Studio won the first ever Western Australian Screen Award and was shortlisted in the Australian Game Development Awards with their title Freedom Fall. Stirfire creates visually beautiful games with lush gameplay and exciting new twists on familiar elements.

Stirfire Studios director, Garth Pendergrast, says that the company has a strong vision for the Peacemaker game. ‘We want to create an interactive novel focusing on story and character, imagined with our trademark rich artwork but with no trade-off in the game play. While we are inspired by recent games in the genre, we are designing a new engine to help the player tell their own story.’

Publicity enquiries: reception@curtisbrown.com.au and Stirfire Studios

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Apr
22

Hugo Award Nominations

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On Saturday, the Angry Robot staff members were a happy mix of chocolate-face-stuffing, Easter-con-partying, and usual-weekend-shenanigans…and then, the Hugo Award finalists were announced, and our Easter weekends got even better!

This year we have had our best showing ever with eight nominations:

• John W Campbell Award for best new writer – Wesley Chu, Ramez Naam
• Best Fancast/podcast – Emma Newman‘s “Tea & Jeopardy“, and our own Mike Underwood as part of the Skiffy & Fanty Show team
• Best Related Work – Kameron Hurley
• Best Fan Writer – Kameron Hurley
• Best Novelette (short novel/long short story) – Aliette de Bodard
• and last but definitely not least, Best Editor – Lee Harris (the first *ever* Brit to be nominated as Best Editor in the 50+ years that this award has been running) and do check out Lee’s own blog post about his nomination here and the Angry Robot nominations here

 

Congratulations to all, and roll on the London Worldcon in August, when the results will be announced.

 

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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.

AR ClonefilesDETAILS: 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 mike.underwood@angryrobotbooks.com for more information.

 Prairie Lights Books

http://prairielights.com

 McLean and Eakin Booksellers

http://www.mcleanandeakin.com/

 BitLit

www.bitlit.com

Rights Executive

Angry Robot’s parent company, Osprey Group, employs a friendly team of about 50 staff in their offices in west Oxford, and is now looking for a bright individual to fill the role of Rights Executive.

The primary purpose of this role is to maximise revenue at optimum profit by repurposing and licensing Osprey Group’s intellectual property to third parties whilst extending and protecting the integrity of the group’s brands.

Key responsibilities will include:

• licensing the three fiction lists for translation, dramatization and audio
• managing permissions, in collaboration with AKG Images
• managing the group’s electronic licensing activities, in collaboration with agents
• preventing copyright violations
• pursuing and fulfilling ad hoc co-edition and special sales deals
• assisting the rights director in licensing and co-edition deal fulfilment
• attending book fairs and visiting customers.

The successful candidate will have a keen interest in genre fiction, especially SF and fantasy, crime and YA; will enjoy interaction with authors and customers; will be a confident negotiator, a highly motivated self-starter and a fastidious administrator.

This is a full-time position which we are looking to fill as soon as possible. A full job description is available on request.

To apply, please email a copy of your CV, details of your current salary, and a covering letter explaining why you are perfect for the position to joanna.sharland@ospreypublishing.com.

The closing date for applications is 17th January 2014.

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Categories : Jobs, News
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In December, NetGalley looks back over the year’s titles and picks out its Top Ten that it thinks we should all be paying attention to. This year they chose Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman as one of their Top Ten Books of the Year! This is such a fantastic book, and I’m really pleased that NetGalley has chosen to share their love for it. Read More→

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Dec
06

Nexus in NPR’s Great Reads of 2013

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Ramez Naam‘s Nexus has been getting rave reviews since its release at the beginning of this year, as has its sequel Crux, with some of the biggest attention focusing on Paramount Pictures acquiring the screen rights to Nexus. As is traditional at this time of the year, book round-ups are appearing, and we’re delighted to see that Nexus has been included in NPR’s 2013’s Great Reads! Read More→

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Dec
02

Cover Reveal: Morningside Fall

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Tabitha, over at My Shelf Confessions, released the cover for Jay Posey‘s Morningside Fall over the weekend, and I’m excited to show you this, Book Two of the Legends of the Duskwalker series. Tabitha is also running a giveaway so be sure to head over to My Shelf Confessions, short-listed in our recent Team Robot Blogger Awards, and enter! Read More→

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Nov
28

Team Robot Blogger Award: The Winners!

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The Winners

 

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Well done to all our short-listed blogs, and those nominated by the authors. But we can only have one winner for each award, and here they are: Read More→

Nov
28

Team Robot Blogger Award

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As most of you are probably aware, we here at Robot HQ adore our blogs, bloggers, readers of blogs, and all things related. We really appreciate everything they do to help us promote our books, authors, and indeed Angry Robot, Strange Chemistry, and Exhibit A. With today being Thanksgiving, we thought it was the perfect time to announce our Team Robot Blogger Award. We want to give back to those bloggers who work tirelessly, for no financial gain, and in their own free time, to read more books than we can even publish, and spread the word to the reading – and buying – public. Read More→

We are delighted to announce that Madeline Ashby has signed on for, not just one but, two new books with Angry Robot!

Company Town will be published in late 2014 and Rev, the sequel to vN and iD will follow in 2015! The worldwide rights deal was negotiated by Senior Editor Lee Harris and Monica Pacheco of Anne McDermid and Associates.

For rights details, please contact our Rights Executive, Suzannah Brooksbank: sbrooksbank@ospreypublishing.com

The Author, Madeline Ashby

Madeline Ashby:
“I’m happy to be writing this novel for Angry Robot. It’s an idea that’s been kicking around in my head for a while, so it’s obviously delightful when someone else enjoys the idea just as much as you do. More importantly, though, I’m happy to be working with them again because they let me be me. Nothing is too dark, too scary, too witty, too sexy, too hard. They’ve had faith in my voice from the beginning, and I found faith in mine as a result.”

 

Lee Harris:
“After only 2 books, Madeline has proven herself to be one of the most exciting new voices in modern science fiction. I consider it an absolute privilege to be working with her on her next two novels.”

 

Company Town

 

They call it Company Town – a Family-owned city-sized oil rig off the coast of the Canadian Maritimes.

Meet Hwa. One of the few in her community to forego bio-engineered enhancements, she’s the last truly organic person left on the rig. But she’s an expert in the arts of self-defence, and she’s been charged with training the Family’s youngest, who has been receiving death threats – seemingly from another timeline.

Meanwhile, a series of interconnected murders threatens the city’s stability – serial killer? Or something much, much worse…?

 

Madeline Ashby

 

MADELINE ASHBY grew up in a household populated by science fiction fans. After meeting Ursula K. LeGuin in the basement of the Elliott Bay Book Company that year, she decided to start writing science fiction stories. While immigrating to Canada from the United States in 2006 , she joined the Cecil Street Irregulars – a genre writers’ workshop founded by Judith Merril.

Since then she has been published in Tesseracts, Flurb, Nature, Escape Pod and elsewhere. She has a masters degree in Manga and Anime and writes on such matters for iO9, Tor.com and BoingBoing. Currently she works as a strategic foresight consultant in Toronto.

 

madelineashby.com
Twitter@MadelineAshby

 

 

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gca_logo_nominee_smallUse

Well, well, post-WFC slump, we laugh in your face! Because we came back to work to the wonderful news that Wesley Chu‘s The Lives of Tao has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Awards 2013 for Best SciFi! Wes is amongst some of the finest writers including Margaret Atwood, Peter F. Hamilton, John Scalzi, and Orson Scott Card, and damn, does he deserve to be there.

Here’s how Goodreads select their nominees:

“We analyze statistics from the 250 million books added, rated, and reviewed on the site in 2013 to nominate 15 books in each category. Opening round official nominees must have an average rating of 3.50 or higher. ”

Which means Wes has already been causing some great chatter on Goodreads, but to get recognised for it is pretty special. We don’t like to ask too much of you, our wonderful Robot Army and supporters, but please do get behind Wes and this wonderful book and vote here: HANDY VOTING LINK and if you really want to help, please spread the word. Tell your friends, neighbours, teachers, colleagues, postman, checkout assistant, person-sitting-beside-you-on-the-bus, hey, tell the world!

If you’re on Twitter, join the conversation by using #GoodreadsChoice

And if you haven’t read The Lives of Tao yet and are wondering what all the fuss is about, what are you waiting for? The sequel, The Deaths of Tao, is out in the US and ebook and is out this Thursday in the UK!

The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu

 

Oct
04

A bit of reminiscing with NetGalley!

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Hi guys! We’ve decided to do something a little different for this month on NetGalley. We’re going to be celebrating our favourite books that we’ve read from across the imprints and to give you guys a chance to join us in our gushing! We feel so strongly about these books (everyone should read them!) that we just had to give you guys a chance to get to reading them too.

The first book was chosen by Amanda. Here’s a little about the book and why she decided to showcase it:

The Corpse-Rat King by Lee Battersby

TheCorpseRatKing-144dpi

Marius don Hellespont and his apprentice, Gerd, are professional looters of battlefields. When they stumble upon the corpse of the King of Scorby and Gerd is killed, Marius is mistaken for the monarch by one of the dead soldiers and is transported down to the Kingdom of the Dead.

Just like the living citizens, the dead need a King — after all, the King is God’s representative, and someone needs to remind God where they are.

And so it comes to pass that Marius is banished to the surface with one message: if he wants to recover his life he must find the dead a King. Which he fully intends to do.

Just as soon as he stops running away.

Amanda: ‘I wanted to put this book forward because I think it was woefully underread when released. It is wickedly funny with a side of epic fantasy, and a central duo that bring to mind classic buddy movies and capers. I love the style of writing and think it would appeal very much to those people who read Steven Erikson and wish they could have more of such characters as Tehol Beddict and Bugg. Lee writes with great heart and a sense of fun that embues this whole novel.’

Request The Corpse-Rat King on NetGalley here!

The second book was chosen by myself. Here’s a little about the book and why I chose it:

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

MadScientistsDaughter-144dpi

“Cat, this is Finn. He’s going to be your tutor.”

But when the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world.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.

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.

Leah: ‘This was the very first book that I read by Angry Robot and it solidified my love of the company. I was a little weary because I had only bad experiences of Science-Fiction prior to reading this but it blew me away! I chose this to put back up on Net Galley because I definitely think that this book needs to be read by others that haven’t had the chance/ heard of it before. This book took me on a rollercoaster of emotions. One minute I was so happy, but then the next minute I felt like my heart had just broken into bits. I did not expect to feel so much emotion for a robot. It is fast-paced, exciting; a real page turner. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a mesmerizing, original retake on a romance novel and delves into so many real-life issues; it’s such a real book and I recommend it so much.’

Request The Mad Scientist’s Daughter on NetGalley here!

The  third book was chosen by Caroline. Here’s a little about the book and why she chose it:

The Holders by Julianna Scott

The Holders, by Julianna Scott - March 20123

17-year-old Becca has spent her whole life protecting her brother – from their father leaving and from the people who say the voices in his head are unnatural. When two strangers appear with apparent answers to Ryland’s “problem” and details about a school in Ireland where Ryland will not only fit in, but prosper, Becca is up in arms.

She reluctantly agrees to join Ryland on his journey and what they find at St. Brigid’s is a world beyond their imagination. Little by little they piece together information about their family’s heritage and the legend of the Holder race that decrees Ryland is the one they’ve been waiting for—but, they are all, especially Becca, in for a surprise that will change what they thought they knew about themselves and their kind. 

Caroline: ‘When I see a book set in Ireland and written by an American, I’m not going to lie, I panic. I instantly fear a world of begosh and begorra, leprechauns, people greeting each other with “top o’ the mornin”, fiery red heads, and dancing at the crossroads – oh no wait, that one’s true to life, but as for the rest? No, thank you. So it was with trepidation I approached Julianna Scott’s The Holders, but I was soon thankful I had!

There are no gaping Irish stereotypes, and at times I often felt homesick with Julianna’s wonderful descriptions of the countryside, but to her credit I stopped warily reading and found myself utterly immersed in, and enjoying, the story. Becca is a strong, independent, fierce character and I thoroughly enjoyed her growing relationship with Alex. Friendships, relationships, and the teenage spirit, are all fantastically explored in a book that I highly recommend. I can’t wait to see what happens in The Seers!’

Request The Holders on NetGalley here!

The fourth book was chosen by Lee. Here’s a little about the book and why he chose it:

Between  Two Thorns by Emma Newman


BetweenTwoThorns-144dpiSomething 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?

Lee: ‘I’m a big fan of urban fantasy. I also love the pomp and glamour of Downton Abbey. Between Two Thorns (the first book in the Split Worlds trilogy) hits both those notes for me, and more! Beautifully-written, with a great storyline and some brilliantly-realised characters, Emma Newman’s debut urban fantasy series has been delighting readers the world over!’

Request Between Two Thorns on NetGalley here!

The final book was chosen by Suzannah. Here’s a little about the book and why she chose it:

The Cambodian Book of the Dead by Tom Vater

TheCambodianBookOfTheDead-144dpi-197x300

Cool crime in a hot climate…

Private eye and former war reporter, Maier is sent to Cambodia to track down the missing heir to a Hamburg coffee empire.

His search leads him into the darkest corners of the country’s history, through the Killing Fields of the communist revolution, to the White Spider, a Nazi war criminal who reigns over an ancient Khmer temple deep in the jungle.

But the terrifying tale of mass murder that Maier uncovers is far from over. And soon Maier realises that, if he is to prevent more innocent lives from being destroyed, he will have to write the last horrific chapter himself.

The Cambodian Book of the Dead – it’s where Apocalypse Now meets The Beach…

Suzannah: ‘I think this book is great because it so vividly portrays the location and has some brilliantly written action scenes. I also think the cover is excellent!’

Request The Cambodian Book of the Dead from NetGalley here!

Categories : Angry Robot, News
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Angry Robot Signs Marianne de Pierres in Two-Book Deal

Angry Robot is thrilled to announce the acquisition of two genre-busting books from Marianne de Pierres.  The World English and Translation rights deal was negotiated by Senior Editor Lee Harris and Curtis Brown’s Tara Wynne. The first of this two-book series, Peacemaker, will be released in May 2014, and the as-yet-untitled sequel will follow in 2015.

 A true crossover, Peacemaker is a cracking combination scifi, fantasy, western, and crime.

MarianneMarianne de Pierres: “I’m thrilled to be joining the Angry Robot team with the Peacemaker series as I truly admire the kind of books they publish. Not to mention that Trent Jamieson, Kaaron Warren, Lee Battersby and Jo Anderton are some of my favourite Australian speculative fiction authors. It will also be great to work with Lee Harris again, who I first met as editor of Hub Magazine when he published one of my Glitter Rose stories. Angry Robot’s thinking is modern and explorative and a blast of pure oxygen in speculative fiction publishing.”

Peacemaker: In the future, a ranger protects the last remaining piece of parkland in the shadow of a sprawling mega-metropolis.

Lee Harris: “I’ve been a great admirer of Marianne’s work, ever since I started reading her brilliant Sentients of Orion series back in 2007. I’m absolutely thrilled to welcome her to the Angry Robot family and I can’t wait for you all to read Peacemaker.”

Tara Wynne: “Marianne’s Peacemaker series and Angry Robot seem a perfect match. I look forward to nurturing this new relationship and to the books’ success.”

About Marianne: Marianne de Pierres is the author of the acclaimed Parrish Plessis and award-winning Sentients of Orion science fiction series. The Parrish Plessis series has been translated into eight languages and adapted into a roleplaying game. She’s also the author of a bestselling teen dark fantasy series entitled Night Creatures. She lives in Brisbane, Australia. Marianne writes award-winning crime under the pseudonym Marianne Delacourt

 www.mariannedepierres.com             www.tarasharp.com

www.burnbright.com.au                     @mdepierres

About Angry Robot: Angry Robot is a genre publisher that brings readers the best in new SF, F and WTF?! All titles are released as paperbacks and major eBook formats. Distribution is through Random House (North America) and GBS (UK). Angry Robot Ltd is part of Osprey Group.

Contact:

Translation enquiries, contact Rights Executive Suzannah Brooksbank: SBrooksbank@ospreypublishing.com

 Publicity enquiries, contact Publicity Manager Caroline Lambe: caroline.lambe@angryrobotbooks.com

Categories : AR Authors, Books, News
Comments (10)

Hi folks,

The Open Door process was brought in by Angry Robot a few years ago, and whilst we know – and celebrate – our authors that made it through, we realised that you, the lovely reader or busily-searching-for-publishing-deal author, mightn’t be aware which of our wonderful authors came through the process.  So, we’re taking a moment to mark those authors who made it through, and hear their thoughts on it. Strange Chemistry are currently running an Open Door at the minute, so do head over if YA SF/F/WTF is right up your alley! But for now, over to Amanda, and the authors.

C

*** 

As some of you are no doubt aware, at Strange Chemistry we’re very keen to find new writing talent, and, as such, we have opened to unagented submissions for the second year running. The Open Door is something that Angry Robot began a couple of years back and they enjoyed enormous success, signing some immensely talented authors. We caught up with a few of them to ask them what the Open Door has meant for them and how their lives have changed.

Freya Robertson

Freya-Robertson-300x300Hi! I’m Freya Robertson and my first book with Angry Robot—an epic fantasy called Heartwood—comes out on October 29th this year.

My story starts in 2011. I’d finished Heartwood and touted it around a few agents, but had little interest. Then in April 2012 I saw that Angry Robot had an Open Door submission policy for two weeks. Bloggers were full of praise for the publisher, so I decided to take the plunge.

I read the first 10,000 words, polished, and worked hard on the two-sentence summary and synopsis. Then I emailed it off, put it to the back of my mind and carried on writing other things.

In September Amanda sent an email saying she’d enjoyed what she’d read and would like to read more. This is about when my head exploded. I had a request for a full! I read through the whole manuscript in two days, polishing and tweaking, and sent it off.

In October Amanda returned to say she had enjoyed the full and passed it onto Lee Harris. She said “You’ve basically reached the final stage – he’ll either reject or make an offer.”

Any writer will tell you that the hardest part of the submission process (apart from actually pressing Send!) is the waiting. I managed to make it until February before I queried. Lee came back to me to say he liked it and was taking the book to his colleagues, and could I send any plans I had for a follow-up novel please. After picking myself off the floor, I wrote up my ideas for a sequel and emailed it off. A week later Lee emailed back to offer me a two book contract with an option on a third.

Apart from my wedding day and the birth of my son, that was the happiest day of my life. A good friend announced it in the staff meeting of the school where I work, and all day people came in to congratulate me. That night we had a party and it’s possible I may have drunk too much :-)

I’d already had twenty digital romances published. But fantasy and sci-fi are my first love, and I put my heart and soul into Heartwood. To think it is going to be on the shelves soon as a real book is a dream come true.

I thank AR for the opportunity to submit without an agent from the bottom of my heart. The process now of seeing my cover, the map I drew by hand translated by a proper cartographer, and my story tightened and made better by Lee’s careful touch is just wonderful.

AR continues to go from strength to strength gaining spectacular reviews and praise, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the team. So if you’re wondering whether to push that Send button, I urge you to go for it! And may the luck of the ‘Verse be with you :-)

Cassandra Rose Clarke

I hate writing queries. Hate them, hate them, hate them. Moreover, I’m apparently bad at them, as evidenced byCassandra-R-Clarke-400x560 the fact that I sent out almost a hundred of the things and only had two or three agents look at my work. The AR Open Door was a miracle to me.

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter was the second book I wrote and the first that I queried, which got me nowhere. I was about to give up on the whole writing professionally thing (yes, really) when I decided to submit The Mad Scientist’s Daughter to the first Open Door Month. I expected my submission to be rejected as my queries had, and every time it moved up the chain was a pleasant surprise.

I’ve written about and GIF-ified my experience on the day that I learned the novel had been accepted, so I won’t repeat that here. But I will say this: I received that initial Yes, we’ll take it! email in October 2011. In the not-quite-two years since, I’ve published three novels. Two more are on the way. And one of my novels, the first one, was nominated for YALSA’s 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults list.

Not bad for someone who was ready to throw it all to the wayside and expend her creative energy on Harry Potter fanfiction, huh?

I’m still not convinced I’d have an agent, much less a publishing contract, if it weren’t for the Open Door Month. That one little decision to submit, made with the expectation of failure, completely opened up my writing career. Now, the process hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows and starred Kirkus reviews—the increased anxiety in particular hasn’t been what I’d call fun—but at the same time, I’m fulfilling a dream I’ve had since elementary school, when I took a future career test on my school’s computer and got “novelist” as my top result (again, really). I know there aren’t a lot of people out there who get to say that, and I’m incredibly grateful for the team at Angry Robot and Strange Chemistry for giving me that opportunity.

Laura Lam

lauralam1

When I submitted to Angry Robot’s Open Door Month on March 30, 2011, I had no idea how much my life would change. I’d been writing for several years, but I knew nothing about the publishing industry. I was woefully ignorant, but learned from my mistakes (eventually). After subbing a manuscript that needed more editing than I knew how to give it at the time, I settled down for the wait. A few months later, I flew to the East Coast to meet my extended family and had a request for a full manuscript, which made me realise—hey, maybe I don’t suck at this writing thing. After the full manuscript was called in, I started learning more about the publishing industry, making friends via the forum Absolute Write. Then I found out I was going to the editors of AR. It was another AR author, Anne Lyle, who gave me the confidence to go to my first convention, and I angsted with the other people who had their full manuscripts called in (we dubbed ourselves the Anxious Appliances, though now we call ourselves the Inkbots). It was there I became friends with AR author Wesley Chu, who’s now one of my closest friends.

When I sent off that manuscript, I’d daydreamed about getting through the various rounds and getting a book deal, and sometimes I’m still amazed it happened. It wasn’t a bumpless road—that manuscript needed more work and so I had a revision request. They also thought it was more YA, and luckily they were deciding to go that way anyway, and my reader Amanda was promoted to the editor of Strange Chemistry. It was almost a year before I had my final decision about Pantomime, but that gave me time to grow. I learned so much more about writing by gutting Pantomime, re-arranging it, and making it shine. Now I’ve written a sequel, and I’m writing other books, and Pantomime is on the shelf, a real physical book. And that’s awesome.

Wesley Chu

Wesley-ChuOh great Angry Robot Open Submission of 2011, you were a sneaky punk-ass bastard. I shall fondly remember you for the sources of my upset stomachs, mild cases of syphilitic crazed episodes (without the syphilis of course—I swear), and extended struggles with insomnia, but you were so fucking worth it you little sweet, sweet pain in the life-changing ass you.

I know what’s going through your head. If you think syphilis and insomnia sound like a crappy time, you’d be right. I mean, not that I know or anything about syphilis being unpleasant. I’m only assuming it ranks down there somewhere between getting tickled and getting kicked in the gut. Wait, what am I talking about again? Oh yes, back to the great Angry Robot Open Submission of 2011.

Hi, I’m Wesley Chu and I like to write, and through the gentle grace and heavily anodized fist of the mighty robot overlords, I’m the published author of The Lives of Tao and the upcoming The Deaths of Tao (October 29th).
How has the open sub changed my life? There’s something about that first time you make the bookstore pilgrimage to see your little newborn baby sitting on the shelf in its punch-you-in-the-face yellow glory right next to Arthur C. Clarke (because Ch is next to Cl) that you realize that “shit just got real.”

To be honest, I can barely remember what my life was like before the open submission. I was just a squatter who spent countless hours abusing the bottomless cup of coffee policies at cafes chasing a dream. Now…wait, that hasn’t change. What has changed is that now I have a career doing what I love. Someone actually pays me to write! I mean, how ridiculous is that?

So what’s the open door process like? Not gonna lie; it’s going to be long. You’re going to be excited. You’re going to have to wait. You’re going to lose sleep, then you’re going to wait some more. And then maybe, like I did, you’ll seek out others who have also submitted to the open sub as well. You’ll commiserate with them and maybe form an online social group. Maybe they become your writing besties as you all eagerly hit F5 on your inbox every few seconds. Some of you will get rejected, some will be fortunate enough to move on to the next level. The numbers of rejections will eventually begin to pile up and people you grow to care about will drop out one by one.

In the end though, after you’re exhausted from the wait and the many nights of insomnia, when you’re least expecting it, you might get an email from the awesome Ms. Amanda Rutter, telling you how much she enjoys your book and how she wants to share it with the rest of the world.

Then you might suddenly need to sit down as you think to yourself “shit just got real.”

There you go! So, exactly why are you waiting on submitting? You could be the next great novelist on our list!