Archive for Other people’s business


Authors Anonymous

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Looks like an interesting Indie film (released in March). Do you recognise any of the characters…?


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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 was one such company.Boosh

Evanidus are in the process of launching a new service called Boosh – it stands for Booshare, 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.

TheAlchemistOfSoulsFirst our of the gate is Anne Lyle, with the first in her Night’s Masque trilogy, The Alchemist of Souls.

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 ( and hit the LIKE button, grab the Boosh app from the Google Play store, and settle down for a great read!

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Diverse Worlds Grant Fundraiser

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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!

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The Author - Emma NewmanThat 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 1 features the mighty beardmeister himself, Mr Chuck Wendig.

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 or subscribe via iTunes.

Buy Emma Newman’s Between Two Thorns:

UK Print & Ebook | Book Depository | Waterstones | WHSmith

US Print & Ebook | |

DRM-Free Epub Ebook
On-sale Feb 26, 2013 from the Robot Trading Company

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Robot Round-Up, 16.11.12

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Hello, hello and welcome to the latest Robot Round-Up. Short and sweet this week, so without further ado:

The Mad Scientist's Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke - Feb 2013Cassandra Rose Clarke‘s The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is still a couple of months away from publication (February 2013) but is already starting to strike a powerful chord with the reviewers who’ve read it so far.

Katherine at Shades of Sentience said: “The characters are what drives this story, whether it’s Cat struggling through life, her mad yet grounded and caring father, the friends and lovers Cat meets throughout her life, or Finn, the android who doesn’t want to be human yet seems like the most perfect creation.” And Vicki at Open Book Society called it: “one of the most heart-clenching and gut-wrenching love stories I have ever read” and “an instant favorite with fantastic re-readability.”

Meanwhile, back in monster-infested Colorado, Lee Collins‘s weird western debut The Dead of Winter was thoroughly reviewed by Bane of Kings at The Founding Fields, who said: “How do you make vampires more original? You put them in the Western genre. Collins has created a stunning debut here that is sure to entertain.”

Madeline Ashby has been interviewed by Brenda Cooper for the mighty on the subject of “her fresh take on the future (with robots)”.

Madeline has also being weighing in on the subject of sex appeal, with reference to the recent Tony Harris cosplay rant. Short version: “Confidence is sexy. Whining isn’t.” (And just in case you were wondering: yes, all Angry Robots do have a factory-default setting of ‘supremely confident’…) And Chuck Wendig offered these words of wisdom on the same subject: “Go forth, be geeky with the love of the thing in your hearts. Don’t let anybody put you down. And don’t put anybody down in return.” Well said, both.

Chris F. Holm has been talking to Angie at the Open Book Society, going in-depth on the background and development of his ongoing Collector series: Dead Harvest and The Wrong Goodbye (so far…)

Anne Lyle has announced the launch of her new blog project,, where she’ll be talking about the “technology and other toys” that she uses in her writing.

Gary McMahon has revealed that he will be in Newcastle on November 24th for for Horror Saturday at the Newcastle Winter Book Festival, if you’d like to meet him and get him to sign stuff for you.

Maurice Broaddus has announced that Mo*Con 8 will take place from May 3rd – 5th next year, in association with the Indiana Horror Writers and with special guests including Jim C. Hines, Saladin Ahmed, Gary Braunbeck and Stephen Zimmer of Seventh Star Press.

And finally:

Awwwww! Isn’t it cute?!? (That’s right, you all fixate on the robo-infusing unit – little suspecting that it contains a payload of mind-altering nanobots – while behind the scenes we bring about the economic downfall of the meat-suits!

10: Print “Mwahahahaha!”
20: Goto 10

That’s your lot. More next week. Have a good one in the meantime and be confidently geeky to one another 😉

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Grab Yourself a Humble eBook Bundle!

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Angry Robot is proud to be participating in the latest charity bundling offer from the good people at Humble Bundle, the Humble eBbook Bundle.

The Humble eBook Bundle

Here’s the promo video:

And here are the details of the deal:

Head on over to and you can purchase and download a bundle of six top-notch ebooks, for whatever price you choose to pay:

Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow – an intense story of youthful techno-defiance.
Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi – a hard-hitting collection of 11 impactful stories.
Zoo City by our very own Lauren Beukes – suspect you may know about this (Arthur C Clarke Award-winning) cracker.
Invasion: The Secret World Chronicle by Mercedes Lackey, Steve Libby, Dennis Lee, and Cody Martin – a modern military superhero saga packed with bonus content.
Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link – a delightful fantasy collection of 11 stories.
Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link – the cross-genre follow-up to Stranger Things Happen [MG ~ Along with Zoo City, two of my favourite books, like, ever.]

What’s more, if you choose to pay more than the average price for the bundle – which, at time of editing is a mere $13.15 – you will also receive two bonus ebooks:

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi – a science fiction war epic.
Signal to Noise by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean – an ethereal graphic novel of a man’s last days.

EDIT 17.10.12 Five top-notch webcomic collections have been added to the Humble Ebook Bundle. So now you get 13 ebooks if you pay the average price or more.

Come on, that lot’s got to be worth more than $13.15 surely? Talk about a bargain!

The Humble eBook Bundle also comes with the added bonus of that warm, glowy feeling you get from knowing you’ve Done Good in the process of nabbing yourself a bargain, because as part of the purchase process, you can optionally allocate a part (or all) of their purchase to three fantastic charities:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (Internet freedom non-profit)
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (writers advocacy non-profit)
Child’s Play Charity (providing for kids in hospitals in the form of technology and games)

The Humble Bundle folks tell us: “All of the books are available completely DRM-free for a wide range of eBook readers, mobile devices, and desktop computers. We’ve also been working hard to make sure all the books are available in PDF, ePub (open ebook standard), and MOBI (Amazon Kindle) formats.”

It’s a fantastic opportunity to grab yourself eight great ebooks and support the important work of the three charities mentioned above as well. What are you waiting for?

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Robot Round-Up, 10.08.12

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Hello, hello and welcome to your regular dose of rounded-up Angry Robot online goodness. With a scorching weekend in prospect here at AR’s UK HQ we’re all eager to be off out into the sunshine (or, more likely, down the pub for a cold one) so without further faff, here’s this week’s panoply of links to peruse.

vN by Madeline Ashby, cover Martin Bland/SpyroteknikThe reviews of vN (Out Now!), Madeline Ashby‘s astonishing debut novel of robot sentience, techo-evolution and family drama are really starting to flow:

• In a piece for the Guardian blog on Women Authors in Hard SF, Damien G. Walter said: “In Ashby’s expert hands vN cuts a painful incision into the emotional complexity of oppression in our society, and the way love can feed the worst kinds of hate. vN is a powerful novel and a fine exemplar of exactly the perspectives chauvinist SF so often stifles.”
• Adrienne Martini, writing for Locus Magazine said: “The world that Ashby has created is an interesting one, as is her construction of this tightly plotted story. Her real skill is in capturing those ineffable, emotional moments when Amy juggles her longing for her parents and her newfound freedoms.”
• Tabitha at My Shelf Confessions mused: “The ideas presented in vN are fascinating. Could this be where we are headed?” Guess we’ll all have to wait and see…
• Matt at The Fiction Stroker enjoyed the character development in the novel: “Amy is a very complex character. Tuned in to detail rather than emotion, she grows throughout the story. Pairing her with the unsympathetic Javier is an interesting move as the duo bring out different qualities within each other.”

There’s an interview with Madeline by Tabitha at My Shelf Confessions as well, and a book giveaway too. Go, check them out!

If you fancy reading a chunk of Adam Christopher‘s forthcoming superhero extravaganza Seven Wonders – which is out at the end of this month (US/CAN) and early next month (UK/EU) – head on over to Adam has been interviewed by Zoe at Fantasy Bytes. He’s also written a tourist’s guide to San Ventura, the setting for Seven Wonders for All Things Urban Fantasy’s Deadly Destinations series and you can enter their giveaway to win a copy of the book there as well.

Chuck Wendig has started posting snippets from his soon-to-be-released second Miriam Black novel, Mockingbird, over on his This is How You Die Tumblr site. And there’s a hugely enthusiastic review of Mockingbird over at Graeme’s Fantasy Book Reviews, where Graeme gives it a Nine and a Half out of 10 score and says Mockingbird is: “…nothing short of compelling reading, a book that eclipses Blackbirds in its determination to head to new depths for the sake of a good story. Wendig knows that his readers deserve nothing less. If you’re waiting for MockingbirdMockingbird, well… you should be.” Over at Seeking the New Earth, Jon has taken a look as well and concluded: “I greatly appreciated the deepening of the supernatural aspects of the setting. Miriam is getting in touch with her abilities, and this opens up a whole can of worms – including new threats that are not of this world.”

Jo Anderton‘s Debris, the first part of the Veiled Worlds series, has been reviewed by Shadowhawk at The Founding Fields, who called it: “Fun and original … one of the most refreshing sci-fi novels I’ve read this year.” And the second Veiled Worlds book, Suited, was reviewed by Ros at Warpcore SF, who greatly enjoyed Jo’s characterisation skills and said: “It’s a fantasy that talks the language of science, with programmers and awful experiments and portals that seem to be full of something like antimatter, but the reason I really like this series is that it’s rooted in the psychological truth of how people with physical and mental difficulties experience life.”

Aliette de Bodard‘s Obsidian and Blood omnibus has been reviewed by Theresa at Terror Tree: “This is top notch fantasy with moments of horror and lots of action. A must have for fantasy fans, and a bargain to boot!”

Chris F. Holm‘s Dead Harvest was reviewed by Trent at Pulp 300, who said: “[W]hat I enjoyed most were not the slam-bang escapist thrills but Sam’s flashbacks that leaked his history throughout the novel, teasing the reader along, whetting your appetite for the ending’s big reveal.”

More giveaway action! Gav Thorpe is running a competition over on his blog, to win a set of all three Crown of the Blood books by naming a hypothetical fourth in the series. You’ve got until August 17th to add your suggestion in the comments on that post.

Another giveaway! US-based readers can win a copy of Anne Lyle‘s fantastic debut The Alchemist of Souls over at Anne’s blog, personalised and signed, too.

And another! Stefan Raets, who reviewed Madeline Ahsby‘s debut vN last week for, is giving away two copies of the book via his own blog, Far Beyond Reality.

Anne Lyle and Adam Christopher took part in a Mind Meld at talking about the important of Point of View; Anne’s in Part 1 and Adam’s in Part Two.

Matt Forbeck and Maurice Broaddus will both be attending Gencon this year and have posted their busy schedules: here’s Matt’s and here’s Maurice’s.

Tabitha's Robot PlushiesAnd finally: robot plushies! Okay, they’re not particularly angry robots, but you could probably play croquet or bash someone over the head with their feet, and apparently their heads spin round. Which is nice. Tabitha at My Shelf Confessions made these for her imminently-arriving sproglet in an effort to make his life as surreal as possible from day one.

That’s an Etsy career waiting to happen, surely? Also: very best of luck with the whole motherhood thing Tabitha! 🙂

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Robot Round-Up, 29.06.12

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Hello, hello and welcome to another Robot Round-Up from your Robot Overlord chums. Can’t think of anything preambly this week, so without further ado, on with the links!

The Hammer and the Blade, by Paul S KempPaul S. Kemp‘s The Hammer and the Blade (out now in the US/CAN and ebook, next Thurs in UK/EU) was reviewed by a number of clearly discerning bloggers of obviously excellent taste this week:

• Alex Brown, writing for the mighty, said: “Did I mention how much fun Egil and Nix are? So. Much. Damn. Fun. … I loved it. No, seriously, I really did. The Hammer and the Blade is about as sword and sorcery as it gets.”
• Keith at Adventures Fantastic said: “This is a sword and sorcery novel that reminds you why sword and sorcery is fun in the first place … It’s fast paced, smart, funny, and at times extremely dark.”
• Skuldren at Roqoo Depot said: “If you like sword and sorcery books, The Hammer and the Blade presents an entertaining duo that blows Gotrek and Felix out of the water … It’s witty, fun, entertaining, and explores some interesting themes about the portrayal of women in sword and sorcery tales. I give it a five out of five metal bikinis.”
• Mieneke at A Fantastical Librarian said: “The book is a great romp of a story that will leave you grinning at its characters and humour and leave you cheering when they save the day. Hopefully this is the first of many Egil and Nix tales; I know I’m curious to see what trouble they’ll land themselves in next!”

Paul was also interviewed by fine folks at Roqoo Depot and you can listen to his dulcet tones on the 109th Functional Nerds Podcast.

Obsidian & Blood by Aliette de Bodard, omnibus editionAliette de Bodard‘s Aztec fantasy saga Obsidian & Blood received a fantastic review from Shadowhawk at The Founding Fields, who really made an effort to explore the themes, setting and atmosphere of the three novels, as well as the more obvious character and plot elements, and concluded by saying: “If you are tired of all the medieval Europe fantasy settings and are looking for something different, or you just want to experiment for the fun of it, then this is the collection you should be reading. Obsidian and Blood is a visceral and thrilling ride through the Aztec culture” He gave it 9.5 / 10 as well. Can’t get much better than that.

Also, in a guest post for The Founding Fields, Aliette explores one of her own favourite blog-themes: Writing Convincing Non-Western Fantasy. Well worth a read. Meanwhile, Val’s Random Comments takes a second look at Aliette’s Xuya Universe short fiction.

Jo Anderton’s Debris – the opening volume in the Veiled Worlds series, which continues with our July release Suited – was reviewed by Mieneke at A Fantastical Librarian: “what remains after finishing [Debris] is both a sense of unfinished business and the enjoyment of a fun read … I look forward to starting Suited“.

Congrats to Jo on winning the Australian Horror Writer’s Association short story competition as well!

Night's Engines by Trent JamiesonTrent Jamieson, author of the steampunk-esque apocalyptic duology The Nightbound LandRoil and recently released Night’s Engines – was interviewed by his local radio station for their 4ZZZFM Podcast.

Justin Gustainis‘ second Occult Crimes Investigation, Evil Dark, was reviewed by Sheryl at I Wish I Was a Book: “If you like supernatural detective stories with 3D characters and inventive plots, you’ll have a great time.” And there’s a succinct review at CSI: Librarian, which concluded with: “I can’t wait for the next book in this series, and I wish more Urban Fantasy was written in a similar fashion.”

Justin has also been guest blogging again – and there are giveaways, too – at Dark Faerie Tales (‘Genre Writers Deal With Darkness – Literally’) and Supernatural Snark (‘The Top 15 Things People Say when I tell them I Write Urban Fantasy’).

Madeline Ashby‘s forthcoming vN (August 2012) was reviewed by Odo at Sense of Wonder (also in Spanish): “vN is a fresh and original novel and an extremely interesting debut. I highly recommend it if you want to read a book which is not tour typical humans-vs-robots story.” Madeline has also penned a guest post for The Qwillery entitled ‘Gynoid Trouble’, which covers everything from android psychology to the positioning of artificial females within genre literature and popular culture. A fascinating read, check it out. As well as her lastest blog post: “Are you concerned with where science fiction is going?”.

Chuck Wendig‘s Blackbirds continues to be discovered and win new fans, including Kristin at Owlcat Mountain, who said: “Blackbirds is tough and gritty, and it isn’t afraid to get in your face with a curse and a puff of cigarette smoke. It’s not for sensitive readers, but this dark fantasy is a stand-out among the novels that equate ‘bloody’ with ‘edgy’.” And Battyward at Notes From the Belfry, who got on really well with Miriam Black: “[Miriam] may not be a role model, but like Arya Stark, Lisbeth Salander, or any number of Whedon’s warrior women before her, she’s one girl that doesn’t take any shit.”

Anne Lyle has followed up last week’s appearance as a guest on the Roundtable Podcast by hosting the latest in their writing workshop series.

David Tallerman (author of Giant Thief and its forthcoming sequel, Crown Thief) has posted a series of articles on ‘Ten Things the Small Press Can Do As Well (or Better) Than the Professional Press’ and has provided a handy index to the series.

Lauren BeukesMoxyland has been reviewed at “What struck me most was how Beukes reminded me of something that William Gibson once was, a true visionary with an intuition for expanding the current technology trends.”

Lavie Tidhar‘s The Great Game was reviewed by Theresa at Terror Tree: “Tidhar’s world is energetic and a tad confusing as he switches from points of view and narrative styles, but nevertheless it is a thoroughly fun book and a lively adventure.” And series-opener The Bookman was reviewed by The Broken Bullhorn: “Tidhar is a skilled writer telling a solidly constructed tale. The book finishes with an ending, not a cliffhanger, so it can be read as a stand-alone, though I’ll be moving right along to the second book, Camera Obscura.”

And finally, our soon-to-be-launched YA imprint Strange Chemistry has unleashed another book trailer on the world, with this short teaser for Shift:

That’s all for this week, people. Our regular Robot Round-Up Compilobot is on annual leave for the next couple of Fridays, but we’ll do our best to keep things ticking over in its absence. Failing that, there’ll be the RoboMother of All Round-Ups for you once it’s back at its desk (with electro-ankle-shackles firmly re-affixed, of course…)

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Robot Round-Up, 22.06.12

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Hello, hello and welcome to the latest Robot Round-Up from your friendly, neighbourhood, Planet Conquering Robot Overlords. We’ve been enjoying the full glory of the British Summer Experience this week: three days of mixed sunshine and cloud, followed by what appears to be the onset of the monsoon season, with more scheduled for the weekend. But we care not! Our shiny, angrytonium carapaces are entirely rust-proof and particularly well-lacquered (especially round about 5.00p.m. on a Friday, eh? eh?) and so we laugh our great, booming laughs at the pathetic attempts of the weather godlings to dampen our mood. Besides, you don’t need to venture outside to enjoy the latest batch of Angry Robot Author links, do you? Speaking of which…

The Hammer and the Blade, by Paul S KempPaul S. Kemp‘s scintillating sword and sorcery saga The Hammer and the Blade (published early next month, folks!) was reviewed for the Library Journal this week: “Kemp delivers sword and sorcery at its rollicking best, after the fashion of Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.” Also by Carli at Strangely Literary, who said: “fans of fantasy will find plenty to like about Nix, Egil and the cast of secondary characters that populate Kemp’s fictional world. Readers looking for a new sword and sorcery series will want to check this book out.” And apologies to Lexie at Posioned Rationality, who we fear may have lost her lunch: “The sections devoted to Rakon and his machinations made me more than faintly queasy; when the full scope of the horror the Norristru men visited upon their own is made clear, I felt even worse.” But she recovered in time to post an interview with Paul, with an attached giveaway as well. So all’s well that ends well.

Meanwhile, our Mr Kemp was a guest on the SFSignal Podcast. If you fancy trying to win a copy of the book, Stefan is giving away two of ’em via email sweepstake at his Stefan’s Bookself blog – you have until Tuesday 26th to get your entry in. And Roqoo Depot have been asking their readers to nominate their favourite: Egil or Nix. Click that link to see who won the popularity contest.

Jo Anderton‘s Suited (also out in a couple of weeks) was reviewed by Elloise Hopkins, who said: “With a surprisingly realistic heroine, flawed to the hilt as we are in real life, this is an intriguing story with a protagonist that is as compelling as she is frustrating, and a world that is as rife with danger as it is with misunderstanding.” Plus: Jo talked to Dark Matter fanzine during Natcon in Melbourne and the audio interview has now been posted.

Obsidian & Blood by Aliette de Bodard, omnibus editionThe omnibus edition of Aliette de Bodard‘s Obsidian and Blood (July again) is the Featured Book of the Week at and The Saint posted a review at Halos and Anvils: “The [Aztec] setting of these books is wonderful, and de Bodard creates a really immersive sense of place that draws you in and encourages you to find out more for yourself.”

We’ve seen a terrific review of Trent Jamieson‘s Nightbound Land duology-closer Night’s Engines from J. M. Blackman, who concluded a litany of entirely justified praise with: “I couldn’t have asked for more. [Night’s Engines] very easily placed itself amongst my favorite books ever. It’s that damn good. And I’m sad that it’s over. This is definitely going to be the case of a series to re-read.” Cheers, J. M.!

Shelia at Dark Faerie Tales has really gone to town on Justin Gustainis‘ Occult Investigations series this week, with reviews of both Hard Spell, posted here: “A perfect blend of criminal justice and paranormal mayhem. This is a gem found among the multitude of similarly themed books.” and Evil Dark, posted here: “I thoroughly enjoyed Evil Dark and would recommend it to those readers that enjoy paranormal crime novels. Justin Gustainis has made it onto my must-read-author list and I look forward to what he has in store for us next.” And there’s more! (Oops! Linked to the wrong article previously… we’ll get you the link to Justin’s new guest post when it’s live…)

vN by Madeline Ashby, cover Martin Bland/SpyroteknikMadeline Ashby‘s forthcoming debut novel of artificial humanity, vN (August) has been reviewed this week by Ed Fortune for Starburst Magazine: “vN is a strong debut novel; its central premise is interesting and Ashby draws us into a highly detailed and technologically literate world. Fans of Bladerunner, the Portal games and Raising Cain will find this an interesting read with more than a little bit of food for thought.” Bit of advance notice of an author event for you as well: Madeline will be taking part in a ‘How to Get Published’ panel event at the World’s Biggest Bookstore in Toronto on Saturday October 13th.

We’ve seen the first review of Lee Battersby’s rather fabulous forthcoming fantasy debut The Corpse-Rat King (October) from Katy O’Dowd at the British Fantasy Society and it’s a cracker. “Bloody Brilliant!” says Katy, and then goes on to say some more: “If you had a wish list every time you read a book – great characters, story, pace, writing – that you ticked off every time you came across one of them, you’d soon wear out your pencil while reading The Corpse-Rat King. Or stylus if you have a newfangled eReader.” Cheers Katy, very glad you enjoyed that one!

Chuck Wendig‘s Blackbirds was reviewed by Kari at Imperfect Clarity who said things like: “I LOVE Wendig’s writing style in this book. He grabbed me by the throat on the first page and never let me down. It’s engrossing, it’s gritty, it’s funny, it’s sick, it’s everything that I would expect from Chuck Wendig.” Also by Peter at Onlooker Slowdown, who mused: “The punches come so quickly that, when redemption comes, you almost miss it. Funny how life is like that.”

Matt Forbeck’s Carpathia – a vampiregeddon movie waiting-to-happen if ever there was one – has been reviewed by Billzilla at Flames Rising: “Carpathia is a fantastically fun read. Its vampires are definitely not the sparkly, angst-ridden types, but rather ruthless predators who defend themselves viciously and do what they must to survive without remorse. In this, they are true inheritors of the legacy of Dracula himself.”

The Alchemist of Souls by Anne LyleThere’s a cracking review of Anne Lyle‘s The Alchemist of Souls from Sarah at And the Pilcrow; so many potential pull-quotes there, we’ll go with Sarah’s summary: “I recommend Alchemist of Souls wholeheartedly, and I will definitely be picking up the sequel.” Lovely. Anne is a guest of the Round Table Podcast this week as well.

Chris F. Holm‘s Dead Harvest was reviewed by Axie for the Sacramento & San Francisco Book Review, who said: “Sam is a flawed and tragic hero who is utterly compelling and strangely sympathetic. The cast of demons and angels surrounding, and often chasing, him are equally intriguing. This is a solid debut for a thrilling new novelist.”

And finally… Angry Robot crime imprint Exhibit A‘s Editor Emlyn has been guest-blogging at, debunking the age-old adage that you should only ‘write what you know’…

That’s everything for this Round-Up. See you same time, same place next week. In the meantime, have a great one – however wet you end up getting in the process – and remember to read lots – scientific research suggests your brain could dissolve dribble out of your ears if you don’t. (Yah. Srsly!)

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Robot Round-Up, 15.06.12

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Hello, hello and welcome to another Robot Round-Up. We’ve got plenty of links to share this week, so let’s get to it:

The Hammer and the Blade, by Paul S KempPaul S. Kemp‘s blast of pure sword and sorcery goodness, The Hammer and the Blade is nearly upon us (next month!) and was reviewed this week by Paul (a different Paul…) at SciFi Bulletin, who said: “Kemp has a cinematic eye for detail; the final chase sequence in particular leaps from the page into the imagination.”

Meanwhile Paul (author Paul) has been telling Ryan at Battle Hymns all about The Hammer and the Blade, his writing inspirations and challenges, and lots more. And he was the guest of honour on the 35th episode of The Once and Future Podcast this week as well.

There’s a truly epic interview with Mike Shevdon by Gillian Pollack over at BiblioBuffet as part of their regular Bookish Dreaming column. Plus, there’s a quick look at Strangeness and Charm at bookbitch (you may have to scroll a bit…) and Mike has posted further background research notes on his blog.

Matthew HughesTo Hell and Back series-opener The Damned Busters was reviewed by Gemma at Book Chick City: “An enjoyable book with some very thought provoking themes, with an endearing lead. I’d recommend this book to anyone who liked the film, Kick-Ass, as both deal with the same theme but in very different ways.” And Heather has reviewed volume two, Costume Not Required for the Sacramento / San Francisco Book Review, saying: “Part mystery, part comic book, part religious treatise, and part crime drama, Hughes manages to work in entertaining twists and character confrontations on a regular basis without overloading his story.”

Evil Dark, by Justin GustainisJustin Gustianis, author of the Occult Crimes Investigations books – Hard Spell and recently-released Evil Dark so far – has been guest-blogging again, with appearances at the Sci-Fi Guys Book Review blog, with ‘Welcome to “Haunted Scranton”‘ and at Larissa’s Bookish Life, where he explains Scranton’s Lockup Procedure for Supes (and Larissa’s running a giveaway to win a copy of Evil Dark as well).

It must have been Angry Robot Week at The Guilded Earlobe this week, because Bob has reviewed the Brilliance Audio editions of Adam Christopher‘s Empire State: “No description I have yet read truly captures the content and feel of this novel. Christopher has a truly original idea, yet uses classic alternate history and scifi elements to bring it to life.” (full review here) and Chris F. Holm‘s Dead Harvest: “Chris F. Holm manages to bring a believable noir feel to his urban fantasy, by creating a truly compelling character whose struggles with his very nature only adds to the tension.” (full review here) and David Tallerman‘s Giant Thief: “The Giant Thief was a light, fun Fantasy novel, with a likeable, yet roguish lead. Easie Damasco has enough of a journey, both physically and morally to keep you interested, yet there is still plenty of room for future tales showing his transformation from villain to hero.” (full review here). Wow. Cheers, Bob! (Also, funny you should mention transformation, because Easie Damasco is back in Crown Thief this October and rumour has it he might have developed a nascent conscience, maybe even a burgeoning sense of decency… if the rumours are true, of course.)

Chuck Wendig‘s pretty damn awesome debut Blackbirds was reviewed by Jessica at AllwaysUnmended, who said: “If you like stories with coarse, gritty realism, you need to read this book. If you like tough female protagonists with no-holds-barred attitudes, you need to read this book. You know what? You just need to read this book.” and by Hannah at My Book Journey, whose conclusion was: “Blackbirds is a high energy, whisky-fuelled ride, that will pull you along for the journey and have you questioning whether we can change destiny. A must-read book by an author that is worth watching.” We couldn’t agree more.

Also: Chuck reviewed Prometheus – warning: spoilers!) and dispensed a short, sharp dose of writing advice at Advice to Writers.

Our very own Ditmar ‘Best New Talent Award Winner, Jo Anderton – whose second novel, Suited, is out in just a couple of weeks’ time – was the subject of a 2012 Snapshot interview at The Book Nut.

Chris F. Holm‘s Dead Harvest was warmly received by Matt, The Fiction Stroker, who said: “A thumping pace and a carefully constructed and taut plot keeps the reader hooked up until the end. An impressive debut by Holm, the upcoming second instalment, The Wrong Goodbye, is a must-read.”

Death, Books and Tea took a look back at Tim Waggoner‘s Dark War (now available in The Nekropolis Archives three-in-one omnibus edition) and said: “The darkly funny, slightly sarcastic writing style from the earlier books acre carried over into this one. I love Tim’s writing style and there’s always something to make me laugh.”

Theresa takes a look at recently-signed AR author Emma Newman‘s dark fiction collection From Dark Places over at her Terror Tree blog.

Benito has reviewed the first batch of Worldbuilder contributor stories at Beetwixt Book Reviews, where he’s also posted a review of Chris F. Holm‘s crime / horror short story collection 8 Pounds.

Our Darren has been chatting to Tim Ward of Audio Tim Podcast fame, about the newly-expanded Robot Trading Company.

We were all chuffed to bits with the book trailer, by cover artist Lee Gibbons, for Katya’s World by Jonathan L. Howard, coming this Autumn from our YA imprint Strange Chemistry:

And finally, why not do some good today: read this and then use the links provided to buy a copy of Wheel Mouse and All the Crazy Robots, the profits from which will go to the Children’s Hospice Charity for Terminally Ill and Life-Limited Children.

That is all.

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Robot Round-Up, 08.06.12

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Hello, hello and welcome to another of our regular Robot Round-Up link-a-thons. It’s been a short week here in the Angry Robot UK HQ, thanks to QEII’s diamond jubilee and the associated double bank-holiday. But that hasn’t stopped our authors from doing their thing, nor the massed ranks of reviewers who have been taking a look at an impressive selection of Angry Robot books this week. So, without further ado or digression:

Strangeness and Charm by Mike ShevdonMike Shevdon‘s recently-released Strangeness and Charm – volume III in the Courts of the Feyre series – was reviewed this week by Pablocheesecake The Eloquent Page, who loved it: “The Courts of the Feyre is swiftly becoming one of my favourite series. There is a fantastic quality to Mike Shevdon’s work that I’ve yet to discover anywhere else. Strangeness and Charm is a great example of modern urban fantasy executed perfectly.” Paul Simpson at SciFi Bulletin enjoyed Mike’s attention to historical detail: “Shevdon incorporates a lot of real history into his stories (although having lived there for a long time, I don’t recall there being a museum in Burgess Hill that has useful artefacts that can be used for nefarious purposes – maybe there’s a glamour on it?” Mike could tell you the answer to that one, but then he’d have to magically mind-wipe you. (Or maybe he already did..?)

Paul S. Kemp‘s The Hammer and the Blade is out next month and the reviews are continuing to flood in (bullet-point time…)

• Bane of Kings at The Founding Fields: “An awesome fantasy novel shows that Kemp can work his magic in almost any setting, be it in a galaxy far far away, the Warhammer World or in his own creation. A rollercoaster ride that is not to be missed.”
• Matthew at Silver Pen Scribe: “I wouldn’t hesitate in picking up on future novels featuring Egil and Nix … I’d gladly take part in any adventure those two set out on, and treasure every blessed moment.”
• Ryan at Battle Hymns: “If you like your fantasy to have stakes that are more personal than epic, and if you like heroes who are short on morals, then The Hammer and the Blade is for you. You’ll get a heavy dose of action and adventure, and a plot that will make it hard to put this book down.”
• Rebekah, for the British Fantasy Society: “To all intents and purposes this is a buddy movie waiting to happen, and I’m looking forward to reading the next installment. It kept my attention and interest throughout and has obvious potential to continue and develop.”
• A succinct summary from Gillian Pollack: “enough humour and enough cliff-hangeriness to make every page worth turning”. (We’re with Gillian: if ‘cliff-hangeriness’ isn’t a word then it bloody well should be.)

The Hammer and the Blade, by Paul S KempPaul has been talking to The Founding Fields, about The Hammer and the Blade and the differences in writing shared-universe and original creation fiction and to Big Shiny Robot about lots more Egil & Nix related stuff. There’s another interview with Paul at Civilian Reader, with lots of discussion of The Hammer and the Blade as well as Paul’s writing influences and practices, plus his advice for would-be tie-in / shared-universe writers out there. And over on his blog Paul presents Ten Reasons to Buy The Hammer and the Blade, none of which we could argue with (especially number 6 – who wants pet pee in their shoe, eh? – and number 4, which goes without saying…)

Madeline Ashby‘s vN (August 2012) was reviewed by Carl Barker for the British Fantasy Society, who had this to say: “With an excellent grasp of her subject matter and much to say within the genre, Ashby looks set to become one of the most important new voices in this particular branch of SF, and I for one shall be awaiting her next book with great interest. Download to your system at the earliest opportunity.”

Lee Battersby, author of The Corpse-Rat King (September 2012) has been profiled and interviewed for an Aussie Snapshot at Ebon Shores. Lee has begun posting on-request excerpts from The Corpse-Rat King via his Facebook Page and, come publication day, two lucky participants will win ebook copies of the book… full details on Lee’s blog.

Leo Elijah Cristea was suitably impressed with Anne Lyle‘s The Alchemist of Souls and said so in his review: “Anne Lyle’s writing is beautiful, elegant and gripping; be prepared to be swept away to a rich and colourful depiction of a different Elizabethan England, where treachery and danger abound.”

Adam Christopher‘s debut Empire State was reviewed by Vinca for SF Crows Nest: “With enough twists and turns to keep you engaged throughout this was an entertaining novel and a highly promising debut from Adam Christopher.” And Empire State has also been spotted in the wild, in the Empire State Building Gift Shop, no less. Now that’s what we call product placement!

We think this is a first for one of our books: a drunken video review of Chuck Wendig‘s Blackbirds by LeAnna the Literary Lush:

Not that we condone the excessive consumption of alcohol per se but… ah, hell, who are we kidding? We work in publishing for crying out loud! Hugely entertaining drunken reviews? More, please! (Chuck was impressed, too.)

Amortals by Matt Forbeck was reviewed by Shadowhawk at The Founding Fields, who said: “Incredibly gripping and a downright science-fiction thriller, Amortals is a non-stop roller-coaster ride.” Matt was also the guest of honour of the 37th episode of the Audio Tim podcast. Well worth a listen.

Harbinger of the Storm by Aliette de Bodard was reviewed by Hannah at My Book Journey: “The fast pace and intrigue pull you into a captivating world, where the fury and vengeance of the gods can change everything and no one can be trusted.” There’s also a short and slightly odd one-question interview with Aliette at The Science of Fiction. Plus: Aliette’s short story ‘Immersion’ has been published at Clarkesworlds Magazine, and Aliette has posted her Author’s Notes on her own blog.

Lauren Beukes‘ Arthur C. Clarke Award-Winning Zoo City was reviewed by Bane of Kings for The Founding Fields: “A wonderful ride, entertaining and unputdownable. You won’t want to miss this.”

Lavie Tidhar‘s short story ‘A Brief History of the Great Pubs of London’ is now available in audio form via Dark Fiction Magazine, narrated by our very own Emma Newman, no less!

Chris F. Holm has been guest blogging at Criminal Minds on the subject of pets – specifically, why Sam Thornton, protagonist and star of Dead Harvest doesn’t have one.

Guy Haley has posted his latest Monday Short Story: ‘The Great Tide‘.

Gary McMahon shares his Top 5 Horror Films.

Trent Jamieson has posted another Book Corner Vidblog, offering some deeply sage advice on the subject of ‘How to Win Awards’. Watch and learn, people. Watch and learn…

Chuck Wendig reveals… [drum-roll, please!] The Secret to Writing! Seriously. And not as complicated as you might think.

GalleyCat gave us a mention in an article on DRM-Free eBooks. Cheers, Galleycat!

And our Amanda has been talking Buffy at Stella Matutina.

Phew! That’ll do for this week. Is it beer o’clock yet? No? Well somebody show some initiative and move the clocks an hour forward, dammit!

See you again, same time, same blog, next week.

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Robot Round-Up, 01.06.12

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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:

Night's Engines by Trent JamiesonTrent 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.”

vN by Madeline Ashby, cover Martin Bland/SpyroteknikMadeline 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.)

Chuck also fulfilled a lifetime ambition when he got to interview one of his all-time favourite authors, Robert McCammon, for Amazon’s Omnivoracious blog.

Dead Harvest, by Chris F. HolmChris 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 HughesThe 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”.

Matt Forbeck has been talking about Carpathia, Amortals and much more with Bryan Thomas Schmidt for an [SFFWRTCHT] session on Grasping For the Wind.

We were all quite delighted when Damien G Walter highlighted the work of our chaps Adam Christopher (Empire State) and Chuck Wendig (Blackbirds) in a Guardian blog post on the New Pulp Fictioneers.

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… Tin Angry Men! Robot junk-sculptures by Michigan artist Cre Fuller. File under: Want One! (via, who also posted a gallery of Tin Angry Men Pics).

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.

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Robot Round-Up, 18.05.12

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Hello, hello and welcome to the latest Robot Round-Up from your friendly, neighbourhood Robot Overlords at Angry Robot HQ. On with the links!

Blackbirds, by Chuck WendigIt’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.

Evil Dark, by Justin GustainisThere 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.

The Hammer and the Blade, by Paul S KempPaul 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.

Adam Christopher‘s Empire State was reviewed by Memory for her Stella Matutina Livejournal blog and she said: “I liked it very much, both as an allusive text and as a cracking story.”

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.”

Kaaron Warren‘s Mistification has been reviewed (in Latvian) by Lasitaja at Lasītājas piezīmes who draws comparisons with James Joyce, no less.

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.

Matthew Hughes summarises his writing career so far: “No Surrender“.

Guy Haley talks about his Top 5 British TV SF Catastrophes and has posted a new short story: ‘She Said‘.

That’s your lot for this week. Have a good weekend, or we’ll be sending the robo-inquisitors round to find out why.

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Osama, by Lavie Tidhar, PS Publishing editionWe’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.

The novel was originally published by PS Publishing in signed hardcover, hardcover and ebook editions, and will be published in paperback by Solaris in October.

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.

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Robot Round-Up, 11.05.12

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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 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?”

Blackbirds, by Chuck WendigBlackbirds by Chuck Wendig has been on the receiving end of another round of glowing reviews in the past few days:

• 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:

Guy Haley has been exploring the Mythology of Star Wars and has re-posted a 2010 interview with fellow AR author Dan Abnett as well.

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.”

Chuck Wendig was both surprised and delighted to realise that he has fans. We weren’t. Surprised, that is. Delighted, definitely. But not surprised in the slightest.

Anne Lyle is giving away three copies of her swashbuckling, Elizabethan alt-history debut novel The Alchemist of Souls to readers from the UK/EU. Head on over to for entry details.

And finally…

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..?)

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