Archive for Other people’s business
Looks like an interesting Indie film (released in March). Do you recognise any of the characters…?
Due to our history of innovation we’re often contacted by start-up companies in the publishing realm (I love the word “realm”, don’t you? realm, realm, realm…) *ahem* Sometimes these companies bring us pie-in-the-sky ideas, or rehashes of things that exist elsewhere, but sometimes, just sometimes, we hear from someone with a really interesting idea.
Evanidus are in the process of launching a new service called Boosh – it stands for Book share, and it’s a way to spread the love of an ebook you’ve enjoyed by sharing it with your friends through social media networks. The books are shared on mobile phones. And the best bit? The first X number of people to download the app and the books get the books for free!
The pilot of this service will run in the UK and Ireland only, at first. You can download the Android app right now, but the iOS app has been delayed slightly due to the recent launch of iOS7 – expect this within 2-3 weeks or so…
Angry Robot will be the first SF/F publisher involved in the programme, and a whole host of our authors have signed up for it, already. We’ll bring you information about them over the coming weeks.
If you live in the UK and have an Android phone you can test out the system right away and download Anne’s book! And if (“if”! when) you discover how much you love it, you can share it with a friend! Simply head to Anne’s Facebook page (facebook.com/AnneLyle.author) and hit the LIKE button, grab the Boosh app from the Google Play store, and settle down for a great read!
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!
That Emma Newman is a busy bee, what with finishing three wonderful novels in the past year and umpteen short stories, all of which she has also recorded on audio, in addition to helping make folk’s dreams come true. Her next step on her road to World Domination is a special new podcast for the Geek Planet Online.
The Tea and Jeopardy podcast will whisk listeners away to Emma’s tea lair once a week where they can eavesdrop on a polite conversation with a guest and the serious business of tea and cake. Set in a different location every week and featuring topics such as writing, geekery, what beards are for and guilty pleasures, guests will then have to survive a perilous escape from the lair. Tea, conversation and mild peril; what podcasts were made for.
Episode 2 sees the brilliant Sarah Pinborough having to escape Emma’s clutches (after a nice spot of tea, of course, and a conversation about guilty pleasures).
Episode 3‘s guest is novelist/screenwriter/comic writer/audio writer writer Paul Cornell (and features the line: “We can’t squish Paul Cornell, what would fandom say?”
You can listen to Tea and Jeopardy at TeaAndJeopardy.com or subscribe via iTunes.
Buy Emma Newman’s Between Two Thorns:
DRM-Free Epub Ebook
On-sale Feb 26, 2013 from the Robot Trading Company
Hello, hello and welcome to the latest Robot Round-Up from your Robot Overlords. Look, we’ll keep the intro short this week… we’ve got a four-day weekend coming up, the weather’s balmy and it’s nearly pub o’clock, so let’s just all agree to crack on with it, shall we? Good. Starting with:
Trent Jamieson‘s Night’s Engines (out now in the US/CAN and in ebook, available from UK bookstores as of Thursday) has been reviewed by Ros at Warpcore SF who said: “The feisty Margaret and the strange, conflicted David are characters that work well together in this fast-paced, exciting adventure.” And Jason at Vampires in the Sunburnt Country took a look at the prequel, Roil, saying: “Roil is sumptuous … from its prose to its world building, you can sink into Roil in near perfect comfort.” (That’s the complete duology there as well, folks; no waiting for volume three next year).
Mike Shevdon‘s Strangeness and Charm (likewise out on June 7th in the UK, out now in the US/CAN and ebook via The Robot Trading Company and elsewhere) was reviewed by Becky at No More Grumpy Bookseller: “There are many things that make this series a true standout. Shevdon’s worldbuilding is the key, though.” Likewise suitably impressed, Mr Timothy C. Ward stayed up late to finish the book: “I love a book with a strong ending, one that shows the author stepped up his game to create a spectacular finish. Mike pulled out all the stops on this one, creating one of the most memorable climaxes I’ve read across any genre.”
Mike has been talking to The Qwillery (plus: giveaway!) as well. And on his own blog he shares the background inspiration for one of the more mysterious elements of the latest Courts of the Feyre instalment.
Paul S. Kemp‘s The Hammer and the Blade (July 2012) was reviewed by Publishers Weekly: “The structure of the story has the feeling of a classic Dungeons & Dragons campaign as the heroes and supporting cast cross a wasted plateau in search of the tomb; however, the strong characters, setting, and history turn what could be a cookie-cutter adventure into a gripping tale.”
Madeline Ashby has been interviewed this week by the Little Red Reviewer, talking about manga and anime, Madeline’s role as a Strategic Foresight Consultant and of course, her forthcoming (and rather astounding, if we do say so ourselves) debut novel, vN. The same Little Red Reviewer has posted a review of vN as well: “[There] are just so many incredible aspects of this book – the characters and their lives, the surprising way this future came to be, the dark subtexts, and the easy to understand technology, just to mention the ones that quickly come to mind … I guarantee vN is unlike anything you have ever read before, it will blow your mind.” We’ll second that.
Justin Gustainis has been guest-blogging for Amber Katze’s Book Blog; this time he’s playing a round of ‘truth or dare’ with the star of Hard Spell and Evil Dark, Sergeant Stan Markowski of the Scarnton P.D.’s Occuly Crimes Unit. He (Justin that is, not Stan) has also been talking to Sara’s Urban Fantasy Blog about the “Haunted Scrancton” series so far (and to come…) and you could be in with chance to win a copy of Evil Dark, courtesy of Sara, as well.
Chuck Wendig‘s Blackbirds was reviewed by James Lovegrove for the Financial Times this week: “Wendig’s second novel is a splendidly profane slice of urban fantasy – hard, dark and fast. Slick one-liners and laugh-out-loud descriptions pepper the prose, making Blackbirds a black comedy that even the Grim Reaper could smile at.” And Theresa at Terror-Tree said: “[Blackbirds] is macabre, gruesome, enchanting and poetic. Filled with startlingly vivid imagery, Wendig has created a masterpiece of modern urban fantasy weaved with horror. This is a must read book.” See that? Must-read. What are you waiting for..? (What, you’ve read it already? Three times? Okay, we’ll let you off.)
Chris F. Holm‘s Dead Harvest isn’t going away any time soon either and was reviewed this week by Locus Magazine (print only, so no link) wherein it was said: “The Collector series gets off to a strong start with this noir urban fantasy, a very promising first novel.” Also (in English and Russian) at Nocturnal Book Reviews: “Recommended to all fans of UF with male protagonists. An excellent read!” And by Marion for Fantasy Literature: “it was ‘strap in, and keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times,’ as I devoured this fast-paced, convoluted thrill ride.” Plus, Ryan at Fantasy Book Review, said: “This is a fun book full of cool concepts and big action sequences. Mysteries are posed, answers that make sense are found, and characters are fundamentally changed in the process. Holm has created a fantastic world and I can’t wait to see what happens next.”
Chris has also been telling Criminal Minds what’s on his bookshelves. And in advance of his reading and signing event at Flights of Fantasy, Albany NY, on June 10th, the store is running a giveaway for a copy of Dead Harvest: details here.
Anne Lyle‘s alt-hist Elizabethan-era fantasy The Alchemist of Souls was reviewed by Stephen Palmer at SFF Chronicles: “If you like your fantasy with a historical flavour, try this. It’s really good.” We concur.
Matthew Hughes‘ The Damned Busters, prequel to the recently-released Costume Not Included, was reviewed by John deNardo for SFSignal and he summed it up thusly: “A witty superhero story that’s just plain fun”.
Lauren Beukes has been raving (and quite rightly so!) about the work of artist Joey HiFi – who recently won the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire 2012 Prix Wojtek Siudmak du graphisme for the cover art on Zoo City – in a guest post for Pornokitsch.
And finally, finally… Artist David Finley, we like your style! (although we’re not happy that you’ve leaked the design for our new World Mashing Destructobot ahead of schedule, so we’re going to have to knock a couple of billion off your fee this time…)
Right, that’s it. UK people: four-day weekend! Go! Go! Everyone else: awwww, you’ve got to work on Monday and Tuesday? We’ll be thinking of you. Honest.
Hello, hello and welcome to the latest Robot Round-Up from your friendly, neighbourhood Robot Overlords at Angry Robot HQ. On with the links!
It’s been a Big, Big week for Chuck Wendig! A new two-book deal with our own selves here at Angry Robot, another new deal with the mighty Amazon and to ice that particular cake, we’ve caught up with a whole bunch more reviews of his current AR novel, Blackbirds, his week:
• Ed Grabianowski, writing for IO9, said: “In terms of style, Wendig reminds me most of Stephen King. There’s a way of using somewhat fevered, rugose prose to describe both the beauty and horror of the mundane, then switching to a plainer mode when describing the outer limits stuff, that brings to mind King’s 80s and 90s work.”
• Bane of Kings at The Founding Fields said: “Dark, page-turning and awesome, Blackbirds takes urban fantasy to a whole new level. This is one novel that you won’t want to miss.”
• Daniel at The Novel Blog said: “Blackbirds is a riveting and fantastic read that will keep you glued to the pages and longing for more. This is a MUST-HAVE on your summer reading list.”
• Larry at 42Webs said: “This book straddles the ‘psychic’ genera perfectly, embracing those that came before it, like Stephen King, while building something new for itself. This book is a wonderful read and an exciting story.”
• Kah at Not Just Nonsense said: “If you like intense books that ensnare you, leaving you unblinking and attentive until the ride is over, and then stick with you even after you’re done with it, then run and grab yourself a copy of this crazy good tale.” (and also, rather bizarrely, gives away the last line of the book…)
• LilyElement said: “I really loved it, and I highly recommend it if you are okay with books that have profanity, violence, death, etc.”
• Julia at All Things Urban Fantasy said: “As cinematic and violent as a Tarantino movie, Blackbirds and its heroine are just balls-to-the-wall tortured and dark.”
• Mary at EyeWryte said: “I should warn potential readers that the book would be rated for language, violence, and some mild sexual situations. But it should also be rated for intelligence, provoking thought, and just general goodness.”
• Josh at Blue Ink Alchemy said: “Blackbirds is an engrossing read, at times incredibly funny and at others something you won’t be able to get out of your head long after you put it down. It is dirty and morbid and vulgar and wonderful.”
• Damo, at Damo Says, said: “this is a book that puts a very strong arm around your shuddering shoulders, and escorts you down a dark alley without room for argument.”
• Last, but definitely not least, J.M. at Whirling Nerdish said: “God bless you, Wendig, for a rip-roaring good read. I’ll definitely snatch up Mockingbird when it comes out.” (and bonus points as well for the first review we’ve seen with cartoon accompaniments…)
Chuck has also been speaking to Gabrielle at The Contextual Life, where they discuss life, death, writing, Robert McCammon and waffles.
There are new reviews of Evil Dark by Justin Gustianis at Sara’s Urban Fantasy Blog where Sara says: “[Evil Dark is] non-stop Paranormal cop drama/action. From the very first page, I was sucked right back into the author’s gritty world”. There’s another review at Minding Spot – “Evil Dark is a thrill to the very last page – definitely pick this one up!” – and a third at Popcorn Reads as well (although you may get an Anti-Virus warning when you visit that link – something to do with the anti-copying scripts they’ve got running on there?)
Trent Jamieson has been interviewed by The Qwillery and spills the beans on the topic of about his soon-to-be-published Night’s Engines, the second and closing volume in his Nightbound Land duology. They’re running a comments-based giveaway for a copy of either Roil or Night’s Engines as well.
Jo Anderton‘s Debris has been reviewed by Lorraine at Australian Speculative Fiction in Focus – “On the whole, this was an outstanding novel. It was engrossing and original, and left me interested in reading the remaining novels in the trilogy. There was strong character establishment, and a tantalising mystery was dangled before the reader.” Part II of the Veiled Worlds, Suited will be published in July.
Paul S. Kemp‘s The Hammer and the Blade (July 2012) was reviewed by Larry at 42Webs, who declared it to be “wonderful, funny and exciting with a pinch of spine shivering evil added in for flavor.” We’re all about the flavour here at Angry Robot. And there’s a short but sweet review from Upcoming4Me: “next time you feel like reading a good adventure, give latest book from Paul S Kemp a try.”
Chris F. Holm has been talking at length to Mihai at Dark Wolf’s Fantasy Reviews about his writing career to-date (starting at age 6, no less) and the Collector series: Dead Harvest and The Wrong Goodbye.
Anne Lyle‘s The Alchemist of Souls has been reviewed by Paul at The Functional Nerds, who was particularly impressed with Anne’s world-building and story-structuring skills: “The author evokes the world well. The action and adventure, the beats of the story, hit very well in time, and there was more than one or two scenes that reminded me of techniques and tropes as old as The Bard himself.”
Snippets from our Authors’ bloggings
Gary McMahon is one of the authors involved in a new horror chapbook publishing venture from This is Horror. He’s the co-author, with cheeky Mancunian chappie Simon Bestwick, of ‘Thin Men With Yellow Faces’, which will be available when published from the This is Horror shop or as part of their annual subscription package.
That’s your lot for this week. Have a good weekend, or we’ll be sending the robo-inquisitors round to find out why.
We’ve just heard – via the good folks at the Zeno Agency – that the marvellous mister Lavie Tidhar has been shortlisted for the prestigious John W. Campbell Memorial Award for the best science fiction novel of the year, for his novel Osama.
Here at AR we’re justifiably proud to have published his entire Bookman Histories series: The Bookman, Camera Obscura and The Great Game. So there’s plenty more Lavie Tidhar story-telling to get your teeth into once you’ve devoured Osama.
Congratulations again and the very best of luck to Lavie – who’s up against some extremely strong competition on that final list – and we’ll have our fingers firmly crossed for him when the winner is announced on July 8th.
Hello, hello and welcome to the latest Robot Round-Up. We’re kicking off with a couple of pieces of coverage for one of our forthcoming titles, Madeline Ashby‘s debut novel vN, which we have more than a sneaking suspicion you’ll be hearing a lot more about this summer:
Charlie Jane Anders has reviewed vN for the mighty IO9.com and under the headline “The Most Messed Up Book About Robot Consciousness Ever” draws a few comparisons to Philip K. Dick, Amy Thomson and Battlestar Galactica, before concluding “So yeah, if you have been missing the kind of thought-provoking-yet-exciting stories about artificial creatures that only come along once in a while, vN is well worth grabbing … a strikingly fresh work of mind-expanding science fiction.” We’ve also heard from the one and only Cory Doctorow, whose full review will be going live on BoingBoing later in the year, but who has given us permission to post a snippet in the meantime: “Ashby’s debut is a fantastic adventure story that carries a sly philosophical payload about power and privilege, gender and race. It is often profound, and it is never boring.”
You can look forward to seeing vN on a bookshelf near you (virtual or otherwise) from August onwards.
Back to our current crop of top-notch new novels and we’ve seen a bunch of new reviews of Justin Gustainis‘ second Occult Crimes Investigation, Evil Dark, this week (enough for him to get his own bullet-list, no less):
• Ed at Starburst Magazine said: “Fans of TV shows like Supernatural and Grimm will find this worth a read, and it’s a lovely mix of real world nightmare and fantastic horror” and draws comparisons to Mike Mignola and Jim Butcher as well.
• Over at The Bibliophilic Book Blog, they said: “Rich and diverse, this gritty noir thriller will leave you thirsting for more!”
• Julia at All Things Urban Fantasy said: “The dry police banter, methodical exploration of crimes, and a story and world that were easy to jump into make this a great introduction to the series as well as a satisfying stand alone.”
• Mieneke at A Fantastical Librarian said: “Evil Dark was a terrifically entertaining read, which kept me invested in its characters from beginning to end.”
• Laura at Book Chick City reviewed series-opener Hard Spell and said: “Hard Spell was a nice sojourn from my usual urban fantasy style. Gritty, dark, with a mystery that kept you guessing … An enjoyable read for urban fantasy and police drama fans alike.”
Justin has guest-blogged at The Bibliophilic Book Blog as well, on the subject of James Bond… but not as we know him. And at All Things Urban Fantasy he muses on the topic of “What the Hell Is Urban Fantasy, Anyway?”
• Gef at Wag the Fox said: “I want to find fault with the novel somewhere, but nothing springs to mind. The damned thing is about as immaculately gritty and unrelenting, while avoiding nihilistic venom, as a guy like me could ask for. I have a feeling this one will be on a lot of summer reading lists this year.”
• Niall at The Speculative Scotsman said: “Chuck Wendig was one to watch beforehand, but with this twisted little treat he cements an already-estimable reputation. Blackbirds is dirty, filthy, nasty… fantastic. If you can stand the sight of some awfully ugly stuff, you’re exceedingly likely to love it.”
• Ros at Warpcore SF said: “I finished the book wanting to know more about Miriam’s world with all its peeling paintwork, fading bruises, and grotification. It’s the kind of story where no-one is getting out without a fair amount of staining, but the characters are more interesting as a result.”
• Bobby at This Writing Life, drawing a comparison between Chuck and The Beastie Boys c.1984, said: “Look in the dictionary under the word audacious. There’ll be a picture of Chuck Wendig.”
Chris F. Holm is the subject of a New Author Profile at SF Signal. He’s also a guest, along with Stina Leicht, on the 102nd episode of the Functional nerds Podcast. Meanwhile, Dead Harvest has been reviewed by Dan O’Shea, who said: “If you are an urban fantasy fan, than Dead Harvest is sure to be a new favorite. But even if you’re not, I encourage you to give it a shot.”
David Tallerman – author of Giant Thief and the forthcoming sequel Crown Thief (October 2012) – has been interviewed at length by Ryan at Fantasy Book Review, with discussion roaming over David’s writing habits, the background and inspiration for Giant Thief and his plans for the future.
Snippets from our Authors’ Blogs:
Aliette de Bodard has been discussing SFF as metaphor: aliens, vampires, foreigners and immigrants, sparking off a lively debate in the comments thread in the process.
Gary McMahon has been getting to grips with Meme Horror and in the process has discovered the creepy delights of Marble Hornets, which by all accounts isn’t for the faint-hearted: “The whole thing is both epic and intimate, absurd and insightful, messy and often completeley fucking terrifying. I think it’s the first masterpiece of internet-based meme fiction.”
Here’s a short animated film by Kibwe Tavares that was released last year and won a great deal of acclaim, as well as the RIBA Presidents’ Medal, but which we (or I anyway – DT) only saw for the first time this week thanks to a mention from Mark C Newton.
Robots of Brixton… welcome to your robo-future, meat-sacks:
(Hmmm. A tale of dark, dystopian robotics? That’s a meme we like the sound of. Wonder where we can get us some more of that sort of thing..?)