Archive for Robot Army
With the US and ebook release dates for our September titles – The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley and The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter by Rod Duncan – fast approaching, what better time to recap the wonderful and exciting things that are being said about these two fantastic books.
The Mirror Empire‘s release follows hot on the heels of Kameron‘s TWO Hugo awards at LonCon, and is certainly making waves in the fantasy circles. We are very excited for it be unleashed on the general public, and look forward to seeing and hearing reader reactions. For the full list of Kameron’s blog tour, check out her blog post here. For now, here are just some of the rave reviews The Mirror Empire has received, thus far:
STARRED REVIEW: “This is a hugely ambitious work, bloody and violent, with interestingly gender-flipped politics and a host of factions to keep straight, as points of view switch often. Although it is a challenging read, the strong narrative thread in this new series from Hurley (God’s War) pulls readers through the imaginative tangle of multiple worlds and histories colliding.”
– Library Journal
STARRED REVIEW: “Hurley (Rapture) reuses old tropes to excellent effect, interweaving them with original elements to create a world that will fascinate and delight her established fans and appeal to newcomers. Readers will blaze through this opening installment and eagerly await the promised sequel.”
– Publishers Weekly
“Hurley intelligently tackles issues of culture and gender, while also throwing in plenty of bloodthirsty action and well-rounded characters. This is a fresh, exciting fantasy epic that’s looking to the future and asking important questions. 4****/5″
– SFX magazine
“The Mirror Empire is a fresh, vigorous, and gripping entrant into the epic fantasy genre, able to stand toe-to-toe with any of the heavyweight series out there. I cannot recommend this novel highly enough.”
– SF Revu
“The Mirror Empire is epic in every sense of the word. Hurley has built a world – no, worlds – in which cosmology and magic, history and religion, politics and prejudice all play crucial roles. Prepare yourself for sentient plants, rifts in the fabric of reality, and remarkable powers that wax and wane with the stars themselves. Forget all about tentative, conventional fantasy; there’s so much great material in here that Hurley needs more than one universe in order to fit it all in.”
– Brian Staveley, author of The Emperor’s Blades
“Taking epic fantasy down challenging and original paths. Thoughtful and thought-provoking with every twist and turn.”
– Juliet E. McKenna
“For me [The Mirror Empire] did all the things a fantasy should do — holding our own societies up to the light by reflecting off worlds that are very different. Add in a magic system where the users are only powerful some of the time, and semi sentient vegetation that is possibly more of a threat than the magic users, and I happily sank into this book with a satisfied sigh.”
– Francis Knight
– Courtney Schafer, author of The Whitefire Crossing
“The Mirror Empire is the most original fantasy I’ve read in a long time, set in a world full of new ideas, expanding the horizons of the genre. A complex and intricate book full of elegant ideas and finely-drawn characters.”
– Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of The Shadows of the Apt series and finalist for the 2014 Gemmel Legend Award
“There’s a powerful yet elegant brutality in The Mirror Empire that serves notice to traditional epic fantasy: move over, make way, an intoxicating new blend of storytelling has arrived. These are pages that will command your attention.”
– Bradley Beaulieu, author of The Lays of Anuskaya trilogy
“With vividly inventive world building and a fast-paced plot, The Mirror Empire opens a smart, brutal, and ambitious epic fantasy series. Book two is already on my must-read list.”
– Kate Elliott , author of the Spiritwalker Trilogy
“The Mirror Empire takes look at epic fantasy patriarchy & gives it a firm kick in the balls…[it] will be the most important book you read this year.”
– Alex Ristea, Ristea’s Reads
“In the two worlds of The Mirror Empire, we get Deadly Plants, Blood Magic, and yes, Brutal Women. The Mirror Empire is both a chance for fantasy fans to get to know Hurley’s writing, and for previous fans of her work to see what she can do in a new vein. And for readers new to her work, this is in many ways the best place to start. 4.5****/5.”
– Paul Weimer, SF Signal
“One of the most stunning epic fantasies I’ve read this year. The setting is unique and plays a major role in the story. A spectacular novel.”
– Books Without Any Pictures
“I can’t even tell you how much I liked this book. It was long, yes, but I didn’t mind it because there was just so much awesome happening. I classify it as a fantasy, but it could also be considered science fiction, what with the parallel universes and binary star system and all.”
– In Case of Survival
“At its best this novel is as good as anything I have read this year. Expect to hear ‘ambitious’ a lot; I couldn’t imagine the mental and physical mapping it would take to hold all these pieces together but hold together they do. The world is alive, the world is unique, and the world is actually built rather than borrowed.”
– Fantasy Review Barn
Not content with releasing The Mirror Empire in September, we also have the award-winning author Rod Duncan with The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter, a riotous novel of alternate history, set in a divided England. The cover is the first thing to catch everyone’s attention, and rightly so. This beautiful creation is by the fantastically talented Will Staehle, and visit Tor.com for Will’s exclusive post on his design process. The first book in the Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire has certainly struck a cord with readers, and here’s some of the reasons why reviewers are loving Elizabeth Barnabus and her story:
“Steeped in illusion and grounded in an alternative history of the Luddite Rebellion, Duncan’s strong supernatural mystery serves ably as both a standalone adventure and the start to a series…Strategically placed steampunk tropes inform but do not overwhelm Elizabeth’s headlong quest to find a missing aristocrat sought by the Patent Office, which is fixated on both achieving perfection and eliminating “unseemly science.” A hazardous border crossing into the permissively corrupt Kingdom of England and Southern Wales provides ample excitement, and a glossary at the novel’s conclusion hints enticingly at a much more involved story to come.”
– Publishers Weekly
A “detective story with a difference…Chapters begin with quotes from the legendary Bullet-Catcher’s Handbook, phrases that introduce not only the idea of illusion that pervades the novel, but also the author’s sly humour. [Duncan’s misdirection is] subtly and well done, all the way through the book, right to a neat little twist at the end, a play on the title that had me nodding in approval. Each [character] is vividly portrayed, lively enough to feel like the heroes of their own stories, all with distinctive voices; it’s always a good sign when you find yourself reading dialogue out loud, rolling your lips and tongue around the words.
Rod Duncan’s talent has combined inventive plot and characterisation to create a smart, amusing and fascinating tale that had me reading long into the night.”
– Fantasy Faction
“It’s all steampunk and circus wonder as we follow the adventures of Elizabeth Barnabas.The double crosses along the way keep the plot tight and fun, and the conclusion sets us up nicely for book two.”
– The Washington Post, Best New Science Fiction and Steampunk
“If I had a bowler hat, I’d take it off to the author of this beautifully crafted steampunk novel.”
– Chris D’Lacey, author of The Last Dragon Chronicles
“Rod Duncan’s The Bullet Catcher’s Daughter is a magic box pulsating with energy. Compulsive reading from the get-go, the blend of steampunk alternate history wrapped in the enigma of a chase makes for first-rate entertainment in this finely crafted novel.”
– Graham Joyce, author of Year of the Ladybird
“The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter is off to a solid start. Rod Duncan has created a wonderful setting in The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter taking in account the big as well as the small things that are needed to make a world go round. He has struck a perfect balance between both highlighting the characters, from our main protagonist Elizabeth Barnabus down to the secondary characters, and the world itself, using bits and pieces of exisiting history spinning it in his own way by adding enough fantasy influences to make it one-of-a-kind. It is with these kind of books that make sure the fantasy genre is kept fresh. If you are looking for something new and refreshing make sure you read The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter, it’s is everything you want and much more!”
– The Book Plank
“Looking for a good book? Mystery, duplicity, secret societies, alchemy, romance, action … The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter by Rod Duncan has it all and promises to be the talked-about/must-read book for sci-fi/fantasy enthusiasts this year!”
– Looking For A Good Read
“Really, a fine and well crafted novel. As per the glossary, Elizabeth plays a key role in the fall of the Gas-lit empire. Cheers to that as she is a captivating character. Angry Robot has picked a winner.”
– Koeur’s Book Reviews
“Steampunk at its best. Engaging characters, spectacular settings and snappy dialogue.”
– Cayocosta72 Book Reviews
“I was immediately hooked by the world Duncan created. What would the world look like if the Industrial Revolution had been halted, even reverse? What really made this book for me was Elizabeth Barnabas. Her unusual upbringing in a traveling circus and her five years of forced independence have made her clever and strong. She’s a wonderful character and it was a treat to watch her work through the challenges the cropped up as she find out why everyone wants to get their hands on the Duchess’s missing brother.
“The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter is the opening book in a series and I will be eagerly waiting for the next installment of Elizabeth’s adventures.”
– Summer Reading Project
“The Bullet Catcher’s Daughter is an entertaining book that has some genuine, original touches combined with a clever story and even cleverer characters.”
– SF Book Reviews
“Rod Duncan has successfully written an absorbing tale from the perspective of a woman in the early nineteenth century. This is science-fiction with the sub genre of Steampunk, so technology is unorthodox and fascinating. A cracking read.”
– Fancy Pans Cafe
“Duncan has crafted a credible and intriguing world where the twists of a society founded on very different ideals are perhaps even more important than the technology. That makes this novel, while solidly a steampunk offering, feel very fresh and engaging. The backdrop of the circus and the surprising way Elizabeth manages to make a living give the whole story real depth. This is the first in a planned series of novels entitled The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire: I’m certainly looking forward to the next installments. Fabulous.”
– Geek in Sydney
Have you pre-ordered your copy yet? Both books are released in the US and on ebook next Tuesday, 26 August with UK and ROW releasing Thursday, 4 September. Happy reading!
Hey folks, today’s Robot Round-Up is a celebration of January 2014’s coming titles, and we have two exciting books to share with you! First up, the much anticipated The Cormorant, the third in Chuck Wendig’s fantastic Miriam Black series. Readers of the first two books loved the dark, punchy style (“fast, ferocious, sharp as a switchblade and fucking fantastic” – Lauren Beukes, author of Zoo City and The Shining Girls) and I can’t wait to see what you all think of the third book. Read More→
First off, thanks to everyone who has commented, tweeted, shared and participated in this conversation; it’s been very encouraging to see how much we all want to make NetGalley even better! I just saw this NG Tumbler post and think it’s worthwhile sharing as well: http://netgalley.tumblr.com/wellness. They’re running a Wellness Pledge programme to help users improve their profiles and usability of the site, with the aim being to get a badge posted to your profile showing publishers that you’re committed to being “NetGalley Healthy”! Here’s the page for the pledge: https://www.smartsheet.com/b/publish?EQBCT=4ca06851f92c4ded943c5816b387caa4
I hope that further helps!
So first off, I want to say how much I utterly love NetGalley; it’s an amazing tool for everyone involved and strikes up conversations about books prior to publication in a, largely, hassle-free manner.
But after working with it for the last month, I thought I’d put together a few, hopefully, handy tips and some advice. The aim is that this will help reviewers, bloggers, librarians, booksellers and everyone else who uses NG, understand what we, as publishers, would love to see in requests. If this helps us approve more requests, and gives you an insight into what we’re looking for, then I’ll be very happy! Thusly:
When I was first applying for my publishing internship way back when I was still in college, my cover letter was all about how much I loved books, and thus this naturally meant I was made for the world of publishing. That is, until it was pointed out to me by my lovely publishing mentor that it’s a given to all involved with books that we’re voracious readers who absolutely love everything bookish. It doesn’t mean it’s not important that you love reading, but to us, what’s more important is what you’re going to do after you read our books. Ideally I’d love to see the following in your profile:
- • Links to your blog/website/online forums where you talk books
- • Your bio as a reviewer/bookseller/librarian (from here on, NG user as I don’t want to leave anyone out!) is really important:
- • how long have you been active whether reviewing, book club recommending, or as a bookseller, librarian etc;
- • where have you reviewed in the past
- • where do you think you’ll be sending this review
- • who will you be talking to about the book ie fellow students/bloggers/librarians/booksellers/customers
- • If possible, include direct links to some sample reviews or blogs/school library sites
- • If you’re a librarian, and registered with the American Library Association, please try and register your membership number with the NG site so you have the official ALA logo beside your name. That makes a big difference! I’m not sure how you do this, and am happy to be guided, and can include a how-to here if needed.
- • For bloggers/reviewers, we absolute love to see your stats: the most useful and helpful basic site statistics are:
- • dated eg as of 17 May 2013 I have xyz followers…
- • if you have a newsletter subscription, tell us how many subscribers you have
- • Page views per day (average)
- • Unique visitors per month
- • But don’t just tell us about your site, especially if you don’t have one! If you use Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads etc and will be talking about the requested book on these sites, you can still tell us how many followers, friends, interactions you have.
- • Whenever we put a title on NG, we send out the respective group email: to the Robot Army, the Chemistry Set or the Witness Protection Programme. We always urge NG users to get requests in early, and I can’t stress that enough: there are often hundreds of requests and we cannot match that amount for each book so do get your request in as soon as possible
- • With that, please make sure you do have time to read the books you’re requesting, and that more importantly you download them as soon as possible: our books are generally only available for 4 weeks on NetGalley so if you’ve been approved, please do download the title
When you’re sending in your review, there are a few things that would really make my job easier… and also make me love you even more!
- • Please include the date the review was published especially if it’s a forthcoming review
- • If you run your own blog, or contribute to one, send us the link which the review will appear on, but also don’t forget to include the link for your Goodreads account, your Amazon reviews, twitter or basically anywhere else the review will appear. This not only makes it easier for me to remember how amazing you are, but also to help promote you and your work: if we’re not already connected on Twitter, I’ll tweet your review and link to you. We want you to get as much out of your work as we can.
Possible Reasons for Declining
First off, none of us like declining people… it makes us sad, really. We love our books, and so look forward to people reading them and sending back informed reviews, whatever way they may go. It’s the nature of the game that not all books are going to satisfy all readers, and we’re never going to decline you because you didn’t like our last book or anything silly. But it is a business, and we do need to make sure we don’t potentially undermine any book’s worth by sending out copies to everyone without seeing a value in it. So, to avoid you and I both feeling terrible, please bear in mind:
- • If your profile has no link to a blog, or any discernible outlet, but you maintain you’re a reviewer, it definitely lowers your approval chances
- • A profile with little info at all will also lower approval rates
- • If you provide a link to a website but there haven’t been any recent posts, or it doesn’t have any book reviews, that will look odd. If there’s a reason for this (you’ve been caught up in something else and are looking to get back to bloggging, for example, let us know that – add it to your bio)
- • No bio at all: unless you’re an extremely high-profile person or known to us personally, this is always worrying
I think that covers everything; if you think of anything you’d like clarification on or want to run past me/us, please comment below. I’d really love to hear from NG users as well, especially on what we could be doing to help you: this is a site that we’ll all get as much out of as we put in, so let’s start talking about how we could all do better and help each other out!
Happy Friday, everyone!
Hello! Well, another week seems to have flashed by without so much as stopping to say hello. But the good news is: that means it’s time for another Robot Round-Up! Crack open a container of your favourite beverage, put your feet up and get your finger-like link-activator ready as we take you by the hand-analogue and guide through another seven days’ worth of Angry Robot Author Activity…
Firstly: Huge Congrats to Jo Anderton who has been shortlisted for the 2011 Aurealis Award (recognising the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers) for best novel, with Debris. See here (that’s a pdf link, btw) for full 2011 shortlist details.
Chris F Holm discussed his ‘Maine Muse’ in a guest-blog post at Maine Crime Writers. In another act of blatant guest-blogerry he confessed to a love of writing rules at The Qwillery, and then popped up at Jungle Red Writers to muse upon genres and subgenres.
Still with Chris, Dead Harvest was reviewed by Bitesize Books who said: “this page turner will rivet fans of the thriller/crime genre as well as those whose normal staple is fantasy/horror” and by Bane of Kings at The Founding Fields, who called it: “A fantastic, page-turning and awesome début that certainly makes an impression. Highly recommended, and a must for any Urban Fantasy fans.” And by Peter Morrison at Lightsaber Rattling, who concluded: “Dead Harvest gets Lightsaber Rattling’s full-hearted endorsement”. And by Dan Malmon at Crimespree Magazine, who said: “The tension runs high in Dead Harvest, and I was exhausted when I was done reading it. But that really good kind of exhausted. The kind that leaves you with a grin on your face.” And over at Amazon’s Omnivoracious blog, Jeff VanderMeer named Dead Harvest among his recommended crossover genre novels to watch our for, saying: “From the clever packaging to the devilishly clever cross-pollination of urban fantasy and noir crime, this first novel bodes well for a long career.” Hear, hear!
Guy Haley‘s Omega Point, sequel to last year’s Reality 36 is out very, very soon and has been very well-received indeed by Erik at I Will Read Books, who said: “Omega Point is a great sequel, ticking all the right boxes. Guy Haley delivers the same mix of adrenalin pumping action and humor as he did in Reality 36.” And over on his blog, Guy has re-posted an interview he conducted with the great Alan Garner in 2008.
Anne Lyle has posted a discussion piece on Homosexuality in Elizabethan England, apropos of some of the themes and relationships that feature in The Alchemist of Souls (April 2012, folks, nearly here!) and by way of response to points raised in a few of the early reviews. Anne has also been interviewed over at Manga Maniac Cafe, where she chats about her historical influences and bookish inspirations.
“Matt Forbeck is bloody brilliant” exclaimed The Founding Fields in their rave review of Carpathia. Sentiments which were roundly echoed by Paperless Reading: “if you’re a fan of classic horror films and looking for a bit of fun, do make sure to pick up a copy of Carpathia.” Go on. We’ll wait until you get back.
Mike Shevdon‘s The Road to Bedlam was reviewed by The Atheist’s Quill, where reviewer N.E. White said: “I’m definitely hooked on the series, and I think you will be, too. Give ’em a try.” We heartily concur.
Kaaron Warren put in a guest appearance over at the Schuler Books blog, talking about some of her favourite books and authors. And Kaaron will be Skype-ing in to join Schuler Books Lansing’s ‘Fanged Fiction’ reading club meet this coming Monday (March 26th).
Lastly (but by no means Leastly): Adam Christopher is giving away a signed copy of Empire State to one lucky blog-reader (his blog, not ours…) which is jolly nice of him. See Adam’s blog for how-to-win details.
That’s your lot for this week. Crack open another beverage and settle into the weekend, why don’t you? We’ll see you back here next week. Same time, slightly different URL…
So look, we were talking in the office, and as a joke, purely as a joke, I said – or maybe Lee said – words to the effect of: why don’t we turn Angstrom, the Angry Robot logo droid, into a mask and give it away for Halloween? We chuckled for a few moments, shook our heads, and went back to rejecting seventy more urban fantasies in which the Celtic Wild Hunt somehow rampage around Chicago, putting the willies up several characterless cardboard-cutout students.
Only… the other evening over too many beers I mentioned it to the nice people at our design agency, Argh! Nottingham. They laughed the sort of laugh that says, “You gotta be kidding.” and their eyes went all panicky. I reassured them that despite the earliness of the hour, I was deadly serious. They went away, they came back again, and thus…
Either print it onto as thick a piece of card as your printer can handle or glue a flimsier printout onto thicker card. (Note to self: Insert something here about A3 paper for people with scarily big heads, but don’t make any reference to one particular Angry Robot author, oh no.) Then cut around all the dotted lines without severing your fingers, do something clever with some thin elastic cord or glue it directly to your forehead, then go scare the bejeezus out of the neighbourhood. Slightly less comprehensive instructions are on the mask too.
And yes, we are serious. “Best” photos of you or unsuspecting child-units in full AR mufti will win prizes. Who’s up for an Angry Robot flash mob in the bar at World Fantasy? Now that’s terrifying!
Send your pics to: incoming [AT] angryrobotbooks.com
As well as all the attention that Dan Abnett’s Triumff: Her Majesty’s Hero is (deservedly) getting as it hits the shelves across the UK and Australia, there’s another great Angry Robot book out there this month. Winter Song by Colin Harvey takes a familiar hard science fiction theme – a sophisticated space traveller crashes on an apparently backward planet – and brings it to vibrant, affecting life … through the cunning trick of portraying all of its characters as properly rounded individuals.
And the reviewers seem to agree. Here’s Walker of Worlds for starters:
“An entertaining read in an unforgiving environment. Following Karl Allman as he crash lands on a forgotten and primitive colony world where the terraforming looks like it’s going backwards, Winter Song is a novel that has more than a few surprises up its sleeve. I was expecting to walk into this with a more typical human vs. alien world theme where there were many strange and wonderful creatures. What I got was a story focused on human characters who developed and grew with each situation they face. If you enjoy a character-driven, intelligent and thoughtful novel then Winter Song is one you should be picking up. Highly recommended. 8/10”
One of the things we did at WorldCon a couple of weeks ago was to sponsor a prize in the masquerade. It was a fun event, and we offered a prize for the best Angry Robot.
Look left – I’m sure you’ll agree this one looks particularly angry. Well, I wouldn’t want to cross him!
The winner was Devin Harrigan and his magnificent creation, “Atomic Robot and the Thing From Beyond WorldCon”.
Devin wins a copy of every one of our books in our first year of publishing, an Angry Robot trophy and our undying admiration!
For those of you who have been following us at our previous site, and to every new reader, welcome!
We’ve been beavering away behind the scenes for many months (well, I have for two, but Marco and Chris have a significant head start on me), and you can now read copious details of our first books and our authors.
Tomorrow we receive our first ARCs, and they’ll be sent out over the next week or so to UK-based reviewers – we launch in the UK in July (actually, our July books are out on June 25th) and in the US and the rest of the world in September. Ebooks of each title will debut worldwide alongside our British editions.
That’s not to say that overseas reviewers will be left in the lurch for the first few months – far from it! We’ll still be sending out electronic review copies, and news about forthcoming titles, and building our Robot Army – a taskforce of bloggers, genre site owners and others. There’s plenty still to do!
There will be plenty of things happening here at AngryRobotBooks.com, too, so remember to set your RSS feed, or join the Robot Army.