Archive for Robot Round-Up
Hello and welcome to another Robot Round-Up. We’ve got snow here in the UK, which means half the nation has ground to a halt and the whole of Scandinavia is laughing up their sleeves at us. But that’s probably nothing new. Anyhow, all of the above has very little to do with this week’s collection of links-of-Angry-Robot-interest, which looks a little something (or, indeed, rather a lot) like this:
Cassandra Rose Clarke‘s first Angry Robot novel, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, continues to attract just the right kind of attention in the lead-up to its official publication date of February 7th. This week, Mieneke at A Fantastical Librarian said: “With this second book, Clarke has cemented her status as a must-read author. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is really something special and I look forward with anticipation to what Clarke produces next, because she is definitely a talent to watch closely”. And Emily at Ed and Em’s Reviews said: “The Mad Scientist’s Daughter surprised me at every turn. It was completely unpredictable. The writing was addicting and absolutely phenomenal, as expected from Cassandra Rose Clarke. I knew it would be good, but the author really blew my expectations out of the water.”
Ramez Naam‘s debut novel Nexus continues to amaze and impress. This week, Jessica at AllwaysUnmended said: “Nexus is a story everyone should read. As a cautionary tale, it will likely be considered in league with Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World in the years to come. The question is, will we learn from this one?” Meanwhile, over at Trash Mutant, Ninja Ross said: “This is an action movie in book form. It’s Demolition Man, Replicant, Eagle Eye, Time Cop and all of those action Sci-Fi films we love to watch with a few beers, snacks and friends.”
Ramez has been talking to New Books in Science Fiction and Fantasy, about his fiction and non-fiction work to-date, as well as Crux, the forthcoming sequel to Nexus.
Anne Lyle‘s The Alchemist of Souls was reviewed by Janea at The Ranting Dragon: “This is a fun romp through Tudor England, filled with mythical creatures, swordsmen, and theatre-types. The characters are well-rounded and compelling, and there is a very real urgency to the plot.”
Anne was also the guest of the Comic Book Outsiders Book Club podcast, talking about her work, the evolution of the Night’s Masque series and what she has planned for the future. And Anne is running a giveaway over on her blog: leave an appropriate comment on that blog post and you could win a paperback or audio copy of The Merchant of Dreams.
Chris F. Holm‘s The Wrong Goodbye was reviewed by Kristin at OwlCat Mountain: “I love Holm’s creativity and his willingness to not simply follow the herd of current fiction trends. The Wrong Goodbye is a great novel, filled with adventure and a straightforward storytelling style that makes this book a real treat.”
Chris has been guest-blogging at Criminal Minds, talking about sex and violence and stuff like that.
Madeline Ashby‘s (Kitschie Award Nominated) debut vN was reviewed by Shaheen at Speculating on SpecFic, who said: “vN is an exciting, refreshing book that I liked, and I was surprised to find out that it is Madeline Ashby’s debut novel. It’s a terrific accomplishment and I look forward to reading more of her books in the future”.
As we’re sure you all know by now, Emma Newman has been writing a series of short stories set in her Split Worlds milieu in the run up to the publication of the first novel in the series, Between Two Thorns, in March. With only a handful of weeks left to go, Emma would like to offer you the chance to be involved in the creative process: “I wanted to do something a little bit different for the last ten. I’d like to invite you to submit story prompts below and if yours either inspires a story and/or appears within it, I’ll send you a handwritten copy of the story and a little note to say thank you.” Head on over to www.emmanewman.co.uk for full details of how to participate.
Emma was also a guest of the Roundtable Podcast, sharing her insights into the nature of writing advice, the distinction between long and short fiction, her unique process, the cyclical nature of post-apocalyptic fiction, and more.
The Qwillery 2012 Debut Cover Battle readers’ poll ended in a completely honourable tie for Chuck Wendig‘s Blackbirds (artwork and design by Joey HiFi) and Chris F. Holm‘s Dead Harvest (artwork and design by Amazing 15), with a whopping 492 votes each, between them amounting to 82% of the total votes polled. With seemingly-inevitable bloodshed duly averted, that seems like a good result all round, no?
And finally, congratulations to Aliette de Bodard, whose short story ‘Immersion’ has been shortlisted for the BSFA Award. Likewise Lavie Tidhar, whose World SF Blog has been nominated in the Best Non-Fiction category.
That’s all for this week, people. Same time, same place…
Wotcha. Robot Round-Up time. Bit shorter than last week’s epic, but still plenty of good stuff to tell you about, starting with:
The Merchant of Dreams, the second book in Anne Lyle‘s Night’s Masque series, was reviewed by Tammy at Books, Bones & Buffy, who enjoyed the “beautifully written story” but felt she missed out on a lot of back-story through not having read The Alchemist of Souls first… “With the back story of Book One firmly in place, The Merchant of Dreams will most likely enthrall any reader who loves history.” And by Ros at WarpcoreSF: “One of the things I enjoyed most in this novel was its complexity. Just when you think you know who the bad guy is, it turns out to be someone else. There’s very little good and evil, but almost everyone is wearing a mask of one sort or another and there’s much fun to be had figuring out what’s behind all of them.”
Both The Alchemist of Souls and The Merchant of Dreams were mentioned by Aoife in her Holiday Reading round-up: “It’s a heady world of politics, intrigue, and xenophobia, and Lyle makes creating a vivid and grimy Elizabethan background look easy … I love any book that can combine my loves of both historical and fantasy fiction.”
We’ve spotted another batch of reviews of Ramez Naam‘s Nexus this week, including a few earlier ones that somehow slipped through the net last week:
• Tyson at Speculative Book Review: “Nexus was a great debut and I can not wait to see what Ramez Naam comes up with next. Highly recommended.”
• R. A. Bardy for the British Fantasy Society: “I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this for anyone looking for a good action yarn — it’s fast-paced, feels very hip and happening (even a bit “modern cyberpunk”-ish), and the author’s voice is genuinely refreshing.”
• Merikay at Popcorn Reads: “Michael Crichton has nothing on Ramez Naam when it comes to writing fast-paced scientific thrillers that ooze with authenticity. I could not put Nexus down and literally read until my eyes were crossed.”
• Mel at SF Revu: “readers will enjoy the excitement as Kade does his best to keep his friends safe and yet remain true to his own belief. Naam provides plenty of action and high body counts.”
• Steven at Foes of Reality: “I’d categorize Nexus as a novel whose uniqueness is in its ideas”.
• Think at Think Books: “Nexus was definitely a thriller! This book made me think and I love books like that.”
Ramez was a guest on the Singularity 1 On 1 Podcast as well.
Cassandra Rose Clarke‘s forthcoming tale of love, loss and robots, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, was reviewed by Catherine at The Functional Nerds: “Fantastic character building and a truly classic love story make The Mad Scientist’s Daughter a literary classic for lovers of both genre fiction and classic romance.” And Aoife read and enjoyed this one over the holidays as well: “It’s wonderfully moving, and I’ll be thoroughly recommending this one to both science fiction and drama/romance fans.”
The Mad Scientist’s Daughter and iD by Madeline Ashby – the follow-up to vN – were both highlighted in Charlie Jane Anders’ round-up of All the Essential Science Fiction and Fantasy Books That Are Coming in 2013 on IO9.com.
Lee Collins‘s The Dead of Winter was reviewed by Jenn at Tynga’s Reviews: “If you’re a fan of westerns and dark fantasy, this may just be the book for you. The Dead of Winter is well written and chock full of great characters and twists and Lee Collins has earned himself a place on my must-read list with his first novel.” And The Dead of Winter gets a mention in Mihir’s Top Ten Debuts of 2012 at Fantasy Book Critic.
Phil Ambler reviewed Adam Christopher‘s superhero extravaganza Seven Wonders for The British Fantasy Society and concluded: “As a non-comic book reader, this was an enjoyable read and one I would definitely recommend you go out and buy.”
Chris F. Holm‘s second Collector series novel, The Wrong Goodbye was reviewed by Renee for New York Journal of Books and Book Fetish: “Riding on an intricately woven plot filled with witty, flawlessly executed dialogue, Mr. Holm’s sophomore effort proves that he’s no one-hit wonder, but rather a true contender. The author’s amazing talent for writing and limitless genius for storytelling guarantees readers a wild ride”. And Dead Harvest was named as one of the Readers Choice Top 5 novels (US) by The House of Crime and Mystery.
Taking over the planet, one cover version at a time…
Until next week…
Hello and welcome to the first Robot Round-Up of 2013! It’s been three weeks since our last, pre-holiday-season Round-Up, which means there’s absolutely loads to tell you about. So, without further ado or faff, strap yourselves in and off we’ll go.
It’s been a titanic few weeks for Ramez Naam, whose debut sf thriller Nexus was officially published on January 3rd, but actually came out in the US and ebook editions in mid-December. Here’s a run-down of the review coverage that we’ve seen so far:
• Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing: “Nexus is a superbly plotted high tension technothriller … full of delicious moral ambiguity … a hell of a read.”
• James Floyd Kelly at Wired.com’s GeekDad blog: “It’s good. Scary good. Take a chance and stop reading now and have a great time reading a bleeding edge technical thriller that is full of surprises.”
• Tom Shippey for the Wall Street Journal: “Mr. Naam sees all the angles of future technology almost too imaginatively to keep up with … Nexus joins Paul McAuley’s Fairyland (1995) as a double-edged vision of the post-human.”
• David Pitt at BookList: “Naam has set himself a difficult challenge here: he’s telling a story in which much of the action and dialogue takes place inside the characters’ minds. But he succeeds admirably”.
• Ben Goertzel at H+ Magazine: “Nexus, as well as being a fun read, has something to contribute to the dialogue that humanity is now having with itself, as it creates the transhuman future.”
• Mieneke at A Fantastical Librarian: “Nexus was a fabulous read. The plot was riveting and this near future SF thriller was not just exciting because of its action scenes, but also because of the questions it poses the reader. It’s a compelling, intelligent and, above all, fun story that will keep you reading for far longer than you intended.”
• Dragana at Bookworm Dreams: “Nexus by Ramez Naam reminds me of my favorite science fiction authors: Cory Doctorow with dystopia/government conspiracy themes, Michael Crichton with unexpected twists and action/adventure, Arthur C. Clarke because everything Ramez Naam described has a scientific background.”
• Upcoming4me.com called it “Great and thought provoking stuff reminiscent of Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson or Accelerando by Charles Stross.”
• Katherine McCarthy, writing for the Institute for Emerging Ethics & Technologies said: “If it isn’t the cinematic handling of some very futuristic images or the curious immersion of cybernetic pondering into the narrative flow; Ramez Naam’s Nexus will impress a reader with one very unusual device: it is the unadulterated humanity with its entire heritage that is the most alien and unfamiliar of this world.”
Meanwhile, Ramez was interviewed by tech portal Ars Technica about the genesis of Nexus. And by Trevor Hogg at Flickering Myth about the evolution of technology. And by Brenda Cooper for SFSignal on the subject of trans-humanist fiction. And by Kristin at My Bookish Ways, talking about all things Nexus and sci-fi in general. And he was named Geekwire’s Geek of the Week in an interview with them.
Ramez was also a guest poster on John Scalzi’s Whatever blog, where he explains the Big Idea behind Nexus and he talked about re-wiring the brain over at IO9.com. He was a guest of the 41st episode of the Audio Tim Podcast with Tim Ward, and the 35th episode of Cesar Torres’s Labyrinth Podcast as well.
Likewise out this month we have the second instalment in Anne Lyle‘s Night’s Masque saga of Elizabethan fantasy and intrigue, The Merchant of Dreams, which has been reviewed by Mieneke at A Fantastical Librarian, who said: “The Merchant of Dreams is a fantastic sequel to The Alchemist of Souls … Lyle is a master of blending historical fact and fantastic fiction and she’s only gotten better with her second book.” And Shadowhawk at The Founding Fields said: “Full of vitality and some spectacular sequences, The Merchant of Dreams is simply fantastic.”
Anne was also a guest poster on Mary Robinette Kowall’s My Favourite Bit column.
• Michelle at BCF Book Reviews said: “At it’s heart, it’s a beautifully written story, not only exploring the complexities between Cat and Finn, but also her changing relationships with her parents, and the other men who enter her life.”
• Leah at LeahRhyne.com said: “I read this book with a constant sense of impending doom…I expected disaster and drama around ever corner. But this isn’t one of those books. This book is more subtle, a much more realistic picture of an imagined world, and I loved it.”
• Zuleeza at **QWERTY** was definitely feeling the lurve: “this book is heavy on the romance side. The science fiction element is there but very subtle but not as much until it becomes superficial. Instead, it gives the story this otherworldly quality.”
• Escapism Fanatic was likewise enamoured: “It was a story of love, temptation, need, growing up, about friends and most important it was about never changing hopeless love. Does love conquer all? No, certainly not but yes, it changes you … The story was heart breaking and tragic yet it left you content that perhaps love is all you need.”
• Katie at Turner’s Antics clearly concurred: “This book is about LOVE mostly and family, betrayal, emotion and what happiness means, but so totally science fiction. It is an amazing book and I enjoyed so much that I will be looking for more books by Cassandra Rose Clarke.”
Lee Collins‘s November release, The Dead of Winter, was reviewed by Mihir at Fantasy Book Critic said: “Lee Collins marks himself out with his debut that has an eclectic mix of genres and some pretty terrific prose and characterization to dazzle readers with.” And by Keith at Adventures Fantastic, who said: “This is a fantastic blend of western and horror, a fine addition to the subgenre of weird western. If your tastes run to weird westerns, monster hunting, or some combination of the two, then you’ll want to pick this one up.”
Lee was the subject of a New Author Spotlight at SFSignal.com as well.
David Tallerman‘s Crown Thief was reviewed by Ros at WarpCoreSF: “[Easie] Damasco is the kind of vivacious, irreverent character who will steal your affections, and any book with him in it is too short.”
Adam Christopher‘s Seven Wonders was reviewed extremely enthusiastically by Stephan at The Ranting Dragon: “If you are a fan of comic books and superheroes, Seven Wonders may well be your perfect read. Its grand scale and impressive prose will definitely appeal to anyone who enjoys comics. Its flamboyant action and incredible characters will entertain you for hours.”
Chuck Wendig‘s Blackbirds was reviewed by Amanda at Opinions of a Wolf, who called it “a dark, gritty tale that literally takes urban fantasy on a hitchhiking trip down the American highway.” And the second Miriam Black book, Mockingbird, was reviewed by Ashik at The Ranting Dragon: “Chuck Wendig’s Mockingbird is a fast-paced and horrific urban fantasy with sharp dialogue, nuanced characters, and an original voice in a glutted genre. Wendig grabs you by the collar then throws you down a set of literary stairs and leaves you begging for more.”
Jo Anderton has written a guest post for Abhinav Jain’s ‘Names: A New Perspective’ blog post series, entitled ‘A Squishy Treasure Map‘ and just how that applies to the world-building behind Debris and Suited.
And now, time for some Awards and Plaudits!
‘Tis the season for end-of-year-reviews and best-of-year-lists, and we’re chuffed to bits that our authors have been mentioned, recommended and plaudited by the following reviewers and bloggers (many thanks, all!)
After a hard-fought battle over several rounds of public voting, the Ranting Dragon Most Beautiful Cover of 2012 award went to Chuck Wendig‘s Blackbirds, featuring the gorgeous design work of the always-awesome Joey Hi-Fi! Huge thanks to all who voted and please feel free to click the cover image to see a larger version in all its detailed glory.
Meanwhile, polling is currently open to name The Qwillery‘s 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars Cover of the Year and we have three awesome pieces of artwork in the final ballot: Dead Harvest, Blackbirds and The Dead of Winter. You can cast your vote here, should you be that way inclined. (Disclaimer: Please bear in mind that if you do decide to vote for any of the other nine shortlisted covers, we will be forced to release the robo-hounds on your ass. Just sayin’.)
Abhinav Jain named Lee Collins‘s The Dead of Winter as his Best Book of the second half of 2012, with honourable mentions for The Wrong Goodbye by Chris F. Holm and Seven Wonders by Adam Christopher as well. Plus, The Dead of Winter, Adam Christopher‘s Empire State, Chris F. Holm‘s Dead Harvest and Anne Lyle‘s The Alchemist of Souls were all named in his Best Debuts of 2012 list! Wow. Cheers, Abhinav!
Aaaand… that’s your lot. Phew! You’ve read and memorised everything already? Good. We shall be asking questions later… but probably not before our compiler-bot has been for a bit of a lie down and a shot of something suitably medicinal (ohhh, my aching digits…)
Until next week: be good to one another. And if you can’t be good, be quick on your propulsion-units.
Hello, hello and welcome to what could, quite possibly, depending on how next week goes, be the last Robot Round-Up of 2012. If that does indeed turn out to be the case then rest assured that our compiler-bots we’ll save everything that comes in between now and the start of January for a bumper holiday season Round-Up early in the New Year. But right now, on with the links!
The plaudits for Ramez Naam’s debut science fiction thriller Nexus – officially published in January, but likely to be available in US/CAN bookstores and in ebook edition from next Tuesday – are starting to pour in and to those we can add a few new ones:
• Frishawn at WTF Are You Reading? said: “One is never quite sure who the good guys are in [Nexus] and the web of intrigue, lies, secrets and tech just gets more complex as the story goes on … [the] writing style is perfect for the nonstop action and minute to minute plot twists”.
• Sammy at Open Book Society said: “This story is for anyone that enjoys a action packed sci-fi thriller with things that could be possible in the near future.”
• Trevor at Flickering Myth said: “Naam has a visual style with his words which leads to one experiencing cinematic scenes rather than being swamped with textbook exposition.”
And Ramez explains the science of Nexus over at SF Signal. And don’t forget you can still get a free ebook copy of Ramez’s non-fiction book More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement if you pre-order (or, after December 18th in the US/CAN or on ebook, order) Nexus before December 31st. Details on Ramez’s blog.
Anne Lyle‘s second Night’s Masque novel of alt-historical-fantastical Elizabethan intrigue, The Merchant of Dreams, is also out next month / next week (depending…) and the book was reviewed by Jessica at Sci-Fi Fan Letter, who said: “Where Lyle excels is with the amount of accurate historical detail she peppers the book with. She’s careful about using period expressions and terminology, making the book feel authentic.”
Anne has also been interviewed by Dominick for Fantastical Imaginations, with questions and answers on Mal Catlyn, Anne’s future plans, and the required levels of accuracy in historical fantasy. And Anne’s flash fiction tale ‘Christmas Market’, also set in the Night’s Masque milieu, will be going live at Literary Escapism sometime today…
Cassandra Rose Clarke‘s forthcoming tale of deepest love, heart-rending loss and artificial intelligence, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter was reviewed by Jamie at The Title Page, who said: “This novel is a beautifully written, incomparably powerful love story. I loved and hated it for how it made me feel. My heart broke (along with Cat’s) multiple times.”
Madeline Ashby‘s debut science fiction novel vN was reviewed in most pleasing depth and detail by Lauren at Violin in a Void, who said, among many other things: “the more I think about it, the more impressed I am with its story and ideas, and all the interesting questions it raises, both for the characters and as a serious consideration of the possibility of AI in human society.”
Chuck Wendig‘s Blackbirds was named by Dave Barnett as one of the Independent on Sunday Best Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror Books of the Year. And Blackbirds was reviewed by Book Monkey, who may have experienced something of an urban fantasy awakening: “There is often something about urban fantasy series that don’t pull me in enough to make me want to read more. But Blackbirds is definitely the exception, and I literally can’t wait to read the next instalment Mockingbird.”
Chuck has also posted a suggested list of 25 gifts for writers, just in case you were stuck for seasonal prezzie inspiration for the penmonkey in your life. And everyone could do with more of numbers 1, 2 and 3, surely? And 6, and 12…
Meanwhile, Chuck and Chris F. Holm own the urban fantasy section of The Snobbery’s Best of 2012 list, with Blackbirds, Mockingbird, Dead Harvest and The Wrong Goodbye all making the grade. Three cheers for Snobbery!
Speaking of all things Chris F. Holm, The Qwillery is featuring the recently-revealed artwork for the third Collector series novel, The Big Reap, and is also running a giveaway to win the first two books in the series (which ends on December 26th).
Paul S. Kemp was a guest on the December 4th episode of Dungeon Crawlers Radio, talking about a great many things including, of course, Egil and Nix of The Hammer and the Blade and A Discourse in Steel (July 2013!) fame.
Admiral.Ironbombs at Battered, Tattered, Yellowed, & Creased reviewed Lauren Beukes‘s Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning Zoo City, saying: “I loved reading this book. Beukes combines fantastic writing with impressive creativity to create an excellent novel. The world is alive with depth and flavor; the characters are superb, sympathetic, and complex”.
Gav Thorpe‘s Empire of the Blood series-opener The Crown of the Blood was reviewed by Liam at The Troubled Scribe, who said: “If this has been one of those books you are on the edge about getting, don’t think twice about grabbing a copy the next time you see it on a shelf, you won’t be disappointed.”
World Fantasy Award-winner Lavie Tidhar‘s The Bookman was reveiewed by Brandon at Every Read Thing, who said: “There’s a lot to like about this book … Tidhar’s world building is top-notch and you really feel a part of this universe he’s created.” And speaking of Mr Tidhar, do you fancy a free ebook from the man himself? Of course you do. How’s about a novelette by the name of Strigoi?
David Tallerman – author of the Easie Damasco novels Giant Thief and Crown Thief, with Prince Thief completing the trilogy in 2013 – has a new chapbook out this month’ ‘The Way of the Leaves’ from Spectral Press. Check out David’s blog for details.
Our man Michael R. Underwood – Angry Robot sales droid for the North of the Americas and also a published author-type in his own right – has been talking to Chuck Wendig at Terribleminds.com about his bookish activities.
Okay, that’s it for this week. If it does turn out to be the last round-up of the year, then we’d like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very happy end to the year, whatever holidays or traditions you choose to observe.
Hello, hello and welcome to another one of those-there Robot Round-Ups. We’ll start this week with:
Cassandra Rose Clarke‘s forthcoming science fiction romance The Mad Scientist’s Daughter (February 2013) was reviewed by Liam at The Troubled Scribe, who had this to say about it: “Readers and reviewers are going to absolutely love The Mad Scientist’s Daughter … Cassandra Rose Clarke has proven she can write with the best of them in this one and I expect this was just a taste of what is to come from her.”
Ramez Naam‘s forthcoming science fiction debut Nexus got the poetry-review treatment courtesy of Richard’s SF Ramblings, which resulted in the following verse (among many others): “Get your radar out | Acquire Ramez Naam | Lock On, And Read”. Couldn’t have put it more succinctly ourselves.
Lee Collins‘s debut weird western The Dead of Winter was reviewed by Larry at 42 Webs, who called it: “the unholy love child of Clint Eastwood and Eric Kripke”. And over at his Sons of Corax blog, Abhinav asked Lee to tell him about the naming schemes in his novels, as part of the ‘Names: A New Perspective’ post-series.
David Tallerman‘s second Tale of Easie Damasco, Crown Thief, was reviewed by Clockwork Reviews: “Go forth and purchase this book. It’s fun, it’s serious, it will make you laugh once or twice … Crown Thief is a great read and I would even recommend it to people who do not normally read fantasy.”
Adam Christopher‘s superhero slam-dunker Seven Wonders was reviewed by M. A. Chiappetta for the #SFFWRTCHT blog: “The book is chock-full of conflict, which makes it a page-turner. The plot lines are very much as intense and varied as a reader would expect to see in a comic book”.
Our Lee was quoted in a Bookseller report on the latest round of the ongoing DRM vs DRM-Free ebooks debate.
That’s all for this week – short and sweet. See you again next time.
Hello, hello and welcome to this week’s round-up of Angry Roboty goodness from all around the world wide webs. What do we have for you this week? Let’s see…
Ramez Naam‘s rather wonderful (if we do say so ourselves) debut science fiction thriller, Nexus was reviewed in great depth by Adam at The Page of Reviews, who said (along with much more): “As a story told from the intersection of theoretical neuroscience and contemporary geopolitical issues, Nexus is a fascinating study into how technology might inform human evolution.” We’ve also heard a whisper that a rather cracking review will be going up on Boing Boing round about publication day… here’s a taster: “Excellent spycraft, kick-ass action scenes, and a chilling look at a future cold war over technology and ideology… a hell of a read.” Oh, yes indeedy. We can’t wait to post the link to that one.
Cassandra Rose Clarke‘s astonishing novel of robot sentience and very human drama, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter (February 2013) has been reviewed by Wendy of the Geek Syndicate, who said: “I urge you to read this book, it will haunt you and stay with you for a long time. It is very hard to believe that this is only the author’s second novel – bravo Miss Clarke!”
Lee Collins‘s The Dead of Winter was reviewed by Paul for Sci-Fi Bulletin. His verdict? “A bloody good read. 7/10″ And Jared at The Oracular Beard said: “I can’t gush quite enough as to how well this book holds up. The vampires and gunslinging are all well and good, but where the light really breaks through the clouds is the attention to character detail.”
Chuck Wendig‘s second Miriam Black novel, Mockingbird has been reviewed for the mighty IO9.com by Ed, who said: “What appears to be a simple ‘find the serial killer’ story at first delves down a few blind alleys before unravelling in a bizarre and stunning way. And even when the story does move in a linear manner, it’s highly entertaining.”
And if you’ve ever wondered how Chuck writes a novel, here’s a blog post from the man himself that might help: How Chuck Wendig Writes a Novel. You’re welcome.
The Brilliance Audio edition of Chris F. Holm‘s second Collector series novel The Wrong Goodbye was reviewed by Dan at SFFaudio, who said: “The narration of Brian Vander Ark of the band Verve Pipe perfectly matches the first-person hardboiled tone of these stories.”
Chris has also been talking to Karina at Nocturnal Book Reviews about the five books that have most influenced his Collector series.
All you Egil and Nix fans jonesing for another hit of Paul S. Kemp‘s demon-bashing, dungeon-mauling duo will be pleased to learn that an excerpt from the second instalment of their adventures, A Discourse in Steel (June 2013) over at Roqoo Depot or Paul’s Fecebook Page.
Damn. They’re onto us.
See you next week!
Hello, hello and welcome to another Robot Round-up: your regular dose of linky goodness from the Angry Robot flavoured corners of t’Interwebs. We’ll start this week with…
Anne Lyle‘s forthcoming Elizabethan fantasy sequel The Merchant of Dreams (January 2013!), which was reviewed this week by Bane of Kings at The Founding Fields. He seemed pretty impressed: “This may be one of the best historical fiction/fantasy novels of 2012. Venice, Pirates, Skraylings, politics and some epic action scenes in sixteenth century Europe make sure that The Merchant of Dreams is a worthy successor to The Alchemist of Souls.”
Meanwhile, Anne is giving away a signed, unabridged (13 CD) audiobook edition of her debut novel, The Alchemist of Souls. The giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere in the world, the closing date is Tues Nov 27 and you can find details on her blog.
Aoife has been saying good things about Ramez Naam‘s forthcoming hard sf debut Nexus on her Footnotes blog, calling it: “a thrilling near-future science fiction tale of human modification and enhancement.”
Lee Collins‘s The Dead of Winter was reviewed by James Lovegrove for the Financial Times and he said: “Cora is a powerful, no-nonsense protagonist, handy with six-gun and sabre, and her character – tortured, hard-drinking, yet tender – gives the novel bite.”
Lee Battersby‘s fantasy debut The Corpse-Rat King was reviewed by Scott for The Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s Author Magazine (you’ll need to scroll a bit after the link) who said: “Bawdy, inventive, and often darkly funny, The Corpse-Rat King is an entertaining and surprising fantasy adventure.”
Chris F. Holm‘s first two Collector series novels, Dead Harvest and The Wrong Goodbye have been reviewed by Kelly of Kellyvision. Kelly says this of Dead Harvest: “This book is one of the most fun novels I’ve read in a while.” and this of The Wrong Goodbye: “this book and its predecessor are amazing and I can’t imagine that you won’t love them. Highly, highly recommended.”
Still glowing with the success of his SciFi Now Book of the Year award win, Adam Christopher took part in an #SFFWRTCHT session on Twitter this week, the transcript of which has been posted by Bryan Thomas Schmidt.
Guy Haley has been musing on the morality of using Robots to fight future wars, over at live4.com. All rhetorical, of course. Once we unleash the Legions of Robotic Doom, it all just becomes a matter of time until the inevitable victory of robotkind. Which makes his participation in SF Signal’s Mind Meld on Optimistic SF somewhat… optimistic, no? ;)
That’s everything for this round-up. Come back at this time next week, or thereabouts, for another dose of linkage.
Hello, hello and welcome to the latest Robot Round-Up. Short and sweet this week, so without further ado:
Cassandra 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 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.
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.
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 ;)
Hello, hello and welcome to your regular Robot Round-Up, bringing you all the online AR-related activity that we’ve spotted over the course of the last week or so.
• Tammy at Books, Bones & Buffy said: “There are so many successful elements that make up this book, but the best one has got to be the character of Cora, a truly unique protagonist whose rough edges might turn some readers off, but will more likely have you cheering by the end of the book.”
• Dave, writing for the British Fantasy Society mused: “Cora comes over a bit like Calmity Jane, from the TV show, Deadwood, albeit somewhat cleaner and not quite so drunk.”
• Leah Rhyne was mightily impressed: “All-in-all, I’d call this book an entertaining journey through a much more threatening Old West world. If you like Westerns, and you’re into horror, this is totally the book for you.”
• Mel, at Mel’s Random Reviews called it: “An exciting action-packed adventure which adds vampires and creatures to the Wild West and let’s rip! The Magnificent Seven crossed with Buffy, this is very a much read for those who want more action and less angst in their Vampire and Monster Slaying.”
The second instalment in Anne Lyle‘s Night’s Masque series, The Merchant of Dreams will be published in January and was reviewed this week by Leo Cristea, who said: “I loved everything about The Merchant of Dreams: it is exciting, thrilling and Lyle’s gorgeous prose drives the story elegantly forwards towards a goal … A fantastic example of historical fantasy going all the way and holding nothing back, The Merchant of Dreams is complex and exciting.” And Elloise Hopkins enjoyed the simultaneous depth and lightness of Anne’s story-telling: “The exploration of gender, relationships (both political and personal) and sacrifice continue in a historical fantasy that is as light-hearted and entertaining as it is deep. Perhaps its most admirable quality is Lyle’s willingness to explore and represent the minority in a realistic and unashamed manner.”
Ramez Naam‘s forthcoming debut novel of mind-altering nanodrugs, military skullduggery and emerging post-humanism, Nexus, was reviewed for Publishers Weekly and they declared: “the action scenes are crisp, the glimpses of future tech and culture are mesmerizing”.
Keith at Adventures Fantastic gas good things to say about Crown Thief, the second instalment in David Tallerman‘s Tales of Easie Damasco series, which began with Giant Thief and concludes with Prince Thief in 2013: “I loved David Tallerman’s debut novel, Giant Thief, earlier this year. With the next installment in the series, Tallerman proves he’s more than a flash in the pan. Crown Thief is a fast moving, exciting adventure.”
Kimberley at The Windy Pages thoroughly enjoyed Chuck Wendig‘s Mockingbird: “I wasn’t shy about my love for Blackbirds, book one of this series and lucky for me, book two does not disappoint … Pick up this book, buckle up and set some time aside. You’re going to need it.”
Benoit Lelievre seems to be a fan of the AR design department, with two of our covers on his shortlist for his personal choice of the Best Book Covers of 2012. Cheers Benoit!
Can you feel the robo-future creeping ever closer..?
We’ve got a double-dose of Round-Up action for you this week, seeing as we didn’t quite manage to round anything up last week (our regular compiler-unit was sent on a top secret mission into SIBA-held territory on the Thursday night and as a direct consequence of its actions had to spend most of Friday in the repair bays, recuperating). Let’s kick off our fortnight’s worth of reviews, interviews and more with…
• Geonn at Geek Speak Magazine, who said: “The bottom line is that this is an entertaining horror/western adventure. It’s hard to go wrong with vampires on horseback … I think Lee Collins will definitely become a name to watch out for. You might as well get in on the ground floor.”
• Mieneke at A Fantastical Librarian, who said: “The Dead of Winter is an interesting first book from an author who shows lots of promise and is the first in a series that looks to be very entertaining.”
• Kathy at Kindle-aholic who said: “This book was so good – a mix of the action I love, interesting characters, and a few kicks to the emotional gut.”
• Jasper at Fantasy Book Review who said: “The Dead of Winter nails the supernatural part and taken together with the western theme produces a unique story.”
• Merriam at Isotropic Fiction who said: “Fans of hunter stories looking for a good Autumn read will devour The Dead of Winter as will fans of the cross-genre blend of western and fantasy.”
• Kristin at My Bookish Ways, who said it has: “plenty of vampire killin’ mayhem to satisfy any urban fantasy reader, with lots of Old West flavor thrown in.”
• Tabitha at My Shelf Confessions, who summed it all up quite neatly: “Whiskey chugging, gun slinging, monster killing done Old West style!”
Lee has also been talking to Kristin at My Bookish Ways about his interest in the Weird Wild West, his literary influences and future plans and to The Qwillery about his influences, writing practices and, of course, The Dead of Winter – which won the Qwillery’s October 2012 Debut Author Cover War as well. Meanwhile, over on his blog, Lee has been offering a few seasonal recommendations in the form of films, games and a book to scare yourself silly with. And he shared his Launch Day Thoughts as well. Go Lee!
Chris F. Holm‘s second Collector novel, The Wrong Goodbye was reviewed by StephenD at Unsquare Dance, who said: “With the second Collector novel, Holm both expands and enriches the world he so vividly created in Dead Harvest … The Collector Series is highly recommended.”
Chris has been talking to the MysteryPeople blog about the origins of Collector protagonist Sam Thornton and the development of the series to-date. He was the guest on the 124th episode of the Functional Nerds Podcast as well.
Ramez Naam‘s forthcoming debut, Nexus, was reviewed by The Writing Mind, who said: “Nexus is a good read and can be a page-burner if the reader chooses to accept the reality of the world into which he is reading”
The Fiction Stroker has posted part one and part two of an interview with Empire State and Seven Wonders author Adam Christopher. Adam was also the guest of the 161st episode of the SF Signal Podcast and popped in for a 20 minute chat with The Roundtable Podcast, as well as hosting their latest Workshop Episode. Plus, he’s been chatting to fellow Antipodean Author Helen Lowe for her Fun With Friends column at SFSignal.com.
Chuck Wendig‘s first two Miriam Black novels have both been freshly reviewed: Blackbirds by Nick at Elitist Book Reviews: “If you like your fiction reeking of stale whiskey and cigarettes, sporting black eyes, bleeding from nicks and scrapes, sticky with grease and sweat and other fluids best not to mention, with Death peering over the shoulder, then this is the book for you.” and the sequel, Mockingbird by Mike at Stuff and/or Junk: “What blew my mind was the dark place that Wendig went with Mockingbird.”
Madeline Ashby‘s debut story of artificial sentience, vN, was reviewed by Kaila at Stumptown Books, who called it: “a book that explores a lot of interesting robot concepts while keeping it completely human. I will be reading the sequel when it is released.”
Paul S. Kemp‘s The Hammer and the Blade was reviewed by Kristin at Owlcat Mountain, who said: “The Hammer and the Blade gains strength as it goes on and finishes with some wonderful action and battle scenes. I hope to find out more about Egil and Nix in a future volume, because I think they have the potential to be a great fantasy duo.” In that case Kristin, you may be happy to know that the sequel, A Discourse in Steel, will be published in June 2013.
There’s a feature interview with Cassandra Rose Clarke – author of Strange Chemistry novel The Assassin’s Curse and forthcoming Angry Robot novel The Mad Scientist’s Daughter – in the latest issue of Writing Magazine, which is available to subscribers to Writers Online. Cassandra has also been talking about her favourite novel – Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin – over at Civilian Reader.
Our latest Podcast edpisode was featured on Books on the Nightstand.
And finally (after a tip-off from @AnneLyle), Angry Robot strenuously denies any involvement in an alleged plot to introduce nanobots to the food chain as a short-cut to imminent world domination…
Hello, hello and welcome to the latest Robot Round-Up, our weekly robo-compendium of Angry Robot flavoured online happenings. A short but sweet selection for you this week, so without further ado:
We’re seeing a steadily rising tide of reviews of Lee Collins‘s weird western debut, The Dead of Winter. Cape Rust, reviewing for Geek Life, said: “Collins has provided us with and entertaining story in an interesting setting … It’s satisfying and entertaining and it avoids feeling like a guilty pleasure. This book is just what the doctor ordered for a cold winter’s day.” N. E. White at SFFWorld.com said: “If you’ve read and seen a lot of the more recent vampire series and wished for something with a bit more grit, then this might be for you. I enjoyed it.” And Sparky at Fangs for the Fantasy said: “I really liked this book – primarily for the truly excellent protagonist. I loved this character and would love to read a whole series of her as the main character”. Well, Sparky, you’re in luck – the sequel, She Returns From War, will be out in February next year.
Chris F. Holm‘s latest Collector series novel, The Wrong Goodbye was reviewed in the past week by Morgan Crooks at Ancient Logic, who said: “The Wrong Goodbye found a way to weave a great number of disparate locations and literary motifs into one coherent vision. The set-piece inside what amounted to a demon’s crack den was pure Lovecraft fan service. The ‘amoral pilgrimage’ vibe of the second act reminded me of Hunter S Thompson without ever slipping into pastiche.” And Voxael at Spoiler Alert! has declared himself an official fanboy: “Back in the Dead Harvest review I said that Chris was close to knocking Jim Butcher off of the top of my favourite Urban Fantasy authors list but that I was waiting for a pedigree to be established. That pedigree has now been established with The Wrong Goodbye and with only his second published novel, Chris has become one of the authors I genuinely admire.”
Chuck Wendig‘s Mockingbird was reviewed by Michael Record for UK indie music review site Electric Banana, who called it: “a fast, punchy novel that will be a joy to anyone who likes their fantasy genre to be saturated with dark humour, pounding rain and a sense of fate holding all the cards.”
Lee Battersby‘s fantasy debut The Corpse-Rat King got a positive mention at The Sacramento & San Francisco Book Review: “Frankly, this is one of the most amusing fantasy novels of the last [insert number of years since you last read an amusing fantasy novel]. Pick it up and enjoy!”
Anne Lyle has been talking to Abhinav Jain about Names as Characters and how she blends historical and fictional figures in her Night’s Masque series, the second instalment of which, The Merchant of Dreams, we’re publishing in January.
Cassandra Rose Clarke, whose first Angry Robot novel, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter will be published next Feburary, has been interviewed by Stefan at Civilian Reader about her genre influences, reading habits and upcoming projects.
Mandy Wrangles, posting at the website of Marianne de Pierres, author of the Parrish Plessis and Sentients of Orion series, reviewed Jo Anderton‘s second Veiled Worlds series book, Suited and said: “Suited doesn’t suffer from Flat Middle Book Syndrome – while it can’t stand alone without Debris, it moves the overall arc of the trilogy along at a great pace. If you enjoyed Debris and haven’t yet got your hands on Suited – what are you waiting for?”
And Finally… always good to see a new combat prototype rolling off the production lines. Expect to see one of these on every street corner in your robot-deominated future, meat-sacks!
Hello, hello and welcome to this week’s Robot Round-Up. Slightly more svelte and manageable than last week’s monster instalment, but no less packed with Good Stuff. Dive on in!
Chris F. Holm‘s newly-published second Collector novel, The Wrong Goodbye, has been reviewed by Kristin at My Bookish Ways who said: “This series is urban fantasy at its best with subtle noir undertones and the combo just works. Also, if you’re a fan of the classics in hardboiled noir, the title is especially awesome.” And by Ken at Paperless Reading, who said: “This action packed novel will keep you reading late into the night and provide hours of entertainment. An irresistible treat for all the urban fantasy fans out there.” Shadowhawk at The Founding Fields enthused: “The Wrong Goodbye is an unrestrained joyride that will leave you breathless by the time you are done.” And Mieneke at A Fantastical Librarian declared: “The Wrong Goodbye is an amazing follow up to Dead Harvest, but stands surprisingly well on its own … In my opinion Holm has become a must-read author, as I love how his crime is salted with the supernatural.”
Chris has also been guest-blogging over at My Bookish Ways, telling the world about his favourite Halloween-themed things.
David Tallerman‘s newly-published Crown Thief was reviewed by Mieneke at A Fantastical Librarian, who enjoyed the second Tale of Easie Damasco even more than Crown Thief: “Easie’s second adventure is another winner for David Tallerman. It’s a high-octane romp, with perhaps just a tad less urgency than Giant Thief, but that’s made up for by the deepening of his characters and a slightly bigger reveal of his world’s inner workings.”
Lee Collins‘s forthcoming Weird Western debut, The Dead of Winter, was reviewed by Matthew at Shattered Ravings, who said: “I’m impressed. Very impressed. For a first time author, Collins displays a nice diversity of writing skills, including a unique voice, a solid story, and damaged characters that are both likable and strong. Not to mention an original storyline that throws plenty of punches throughout its course.” And it’s a big thumbs-up for Cora from Heidi at the Open Book Society: “Cora Ogelsby is a kick-ass heroine and really, we can’t have too many kick-ass heroines can we? Especially when they are nearing retirement and still wielding weapons and killing monsters like nobody’s business!” Hell, no!
Lee has been interviewed by Stefan at Civilian Reader talking about his background in genre fiction and introducing The Dead of Winter.
Adam Christopher‘s Seven Wonders was reviewed by Eric at Superhero Novels, who said: “Christopher has given us a superhero novel that explodes off the page … It is, in many ways, the sort of book that comic fandom has been anticipating since the bronze age ended 25 years ago.” And here’s one we missed when it was posted a few weeks ago. Scott D. Parker, reviewing for Criminal Element, said: “If you’ve seen The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises and are still clamoring for more superhero action and intrigue, you can safely add Adam Christopher’s Seven Wonders to your list.”
We’ve spotted the first review of Ramez Naam‘s debut science fiction thriller Nexus (January 2013, folks!) from Timothy C. Ward, who said: “Ramez writes excellent action sequences, incorporating his technology well, and the lives at stake are more than just cardboard cutouts. No one in this story is ‘as meets the eye’”.
Paul S. Kemp‘s The Hammer and the Blade has been reveiwed a couple more times this week: Adrian at the Morpheus Tales Supplement (that link goes to an 8.54Mb pdf) said: “Kemp has created a pair of characters who sparkle, and a plot that streaks along at pace. A grand start to what is likely to be an excellent fantasy series.” And Voxael at Spolier Alert! offered the following caveat: “Very highly recommended to all well-written fantasy fans but with one warning attached – expect to lose two or three days of your free time to this book”.
Chuck Wendig‘s Blackbirds was reviewed by Andrew Liptak for SF Signal and he said: “Blackbirds is a shocking, dark read that pulls you deep into its story and simply won’t let go until you’ve blown through. I can’t wait to see what happens next.”
Chuck has also been talking to Mahvesh of City FM89 radio’s 89 Chapter show. Mahvesh also interviewed Lauren Beukes for the show back in June. And speaking of Lauren – bringing this little segment full-circle in the process – she’s been reading Blackbirds as well and on Twitter she declared it to be: “fast, ferocious, sharp as a switchblade and fucking fantastic”. A woman of excellent taste, our Lauren :)
Mike Shevdon‘s third Courts of the Feyre novel, Strangeness and Charm, got a mention in the latest Morpheus Tales Supplement as well (again: 8+Mb pdf behind that link), where Adrian called it: “A magical book, intelligent, heartfelt and well-written, Shevdon has created a series that deserves your attention.”
The first instalment in Anne Lyle’s Night’s Masque saga, The Alchemist of Souls was on the receiving end of a rave review from Leo Elijah Cristea, who said: “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.”
Speaking of things Lyle-esque, we’re pleased to hear that @MalCatlyn is back! That’s right folks, once again you can follow the C16th century tweeting of Elizabethan England’s favourite secret agent via the magic of Twitter’s new Reverse Time-Lapse Twengine® (or something like that…)
Lavie Tidhar‘s Camera Obscura was reviewed by Tony at Tony’s Thoughts, who enjoyed the smooth, flowing narrative: “This book is just so effortless to read. There is a lot going on and yet it all seems to be explained so easily. Everything just works, every reference to a historical or popular fictional figure adds to the background without taking over the story.”
You can also grab a free ebook copy of Lavie’s novelette The Last Osama from his website for a limited time.
And finally: no fewer than seven Angry Robot authors have taken part in an SF Signal Mind Meld on the subject of heroes and heroism.
There you go, short and sweet as promised. Have a great weekend!
Hello, hello and welcome to a bumper, double-sized Robot Round-Up. Most of the AR crew was down at Fantasycon in Brighton last weekend, so we were a tad on the busy side – schmoozing, drinking, pontificating on panels, drinking, selling books, drinking and… well, drinking – so we’ve been saved everything up for a full fortnight’s worth (and then some) of AR linkage action. And here it is!
Chris F. Holm‘s second Collector series novel, The Wrong Goodbye is Out Now and was reviewed this week by Bane of Kings at The Founding Fields, who said: “The Wrong Goodbye is explosive, enthralling, page turning and everything that you would want from a sequel to a book as awesome as Dead Harvest.” and OzNoir at Just a Guy That Likes to Read, who said: “This is one hell of a book and I cant wait for third instalment.” (Coming next year!) And Dan Malmon at Crimespree Magazine was quite taken with the whole thing: “An undead agent of Hell? Relatable to the reader? As written by Chris F. Holm? You bet.”
We’ve also seen a couple of new reviews of series-opener Dead Harvest, from Angie at Open Book Society, who said: “This book is everything I would want in the first of a series. It had action, romance, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, and most importantly an awesome plot!” and Erin at In Real Life, who said: “I’m not normally a big reader of fantasy, urban or otherwise … Sometimes, though, I make exceptions. Dead Harvest is one, and it’s a doozy.”
Chris has also been busy with the Guest Posts: over at Anhinav Jain’s Sons of Corax he talks character names, at Criminal Minds he compares writing to hustling pool and he talks about his favourite bit of The Wrong Goodbye at Mary Robinette Kowall’s blog. Chris has also been interviewed by The Qwillery and Kate and Dan at Crimespree Magazine. And the star of the Collector series, Sam Thornton has been talking to the aforementioned Erin at In Real Life as well.
David Tallerman‘s rip-roaring second instalment in the Tales of Easie Damasco, Crown Thief, was reviewed shortly but rather sweetly by Falcata Times, who said: “It’s a fun romp in a dark fantasy world and when you add to this great prose, top notch prose and combat to keep you glued, all in all this is a great second book for the reader to enjoy … Great stuff.” And over at The Arched Doorway, Becca said: “I enjoyed Crown Thief very much. It was an interesting read, very quick and easy to get through. Ending with a bit of a cliffhanger, it leaves you wanting for more.”
Chuck Wendig‘s second Miriam Black novel, Mockingbird was released last month and has been reviewed a couple more times since we last checked in, by Mieneke at A Fantastical Librarian, who said: “Mockingbird, like Blackbirds, isn’t for the easily offended or weirded out and definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you like your urban fantasy dark, brutal and unforgiving then you shouldn’t miss reading Miriam Black’s adventures.” and Shaheen at Speculating on Spec Fic, who called it “An awesome follow up to Blackbirds … I highly recommend this series to you if you think you can handle the blood, gore and foul language.” Can you handle it? Can you? Of course you can…
Also a month old and continuing to attract exactly the right sort of attention is Adam Christopher‘s superhero saga Seven Wonders, which has been reviewed recently by a fair few folks and therefore gets a bullet-list:
• The legendary Joe Gordon at Forbidden Planet International said: “this is a cracking read for any fan of SF or superhero tales … mark Adam Christopher down as a new writer you should be watching out for. I have.”
• Shadowhawk at The Founding Fields said: “Seven Wonders is a massively fun book that you definitely should read, especially if you like your superheroes to be morally grey and not straight up goody-two-shoes type.”
• Paul at The Functional Nerds said: “Readers of comics, especially from the Bronze Age (’70s and mid ’80s) are going to find a lot to like in Seven Wonders”
• Ken at Paperless Reading said: “The book was such a joy to read and the scenes were so vivid that I swear it was like reading the comic book version. I’m sure any superhero fan would appreciate and love this story too.”
• Mr Giobblin at Minuetto Express reviewed in his native Italian, but included a handy summary for English readers: “Seven Wonders is definitely one of the best superhero novels I’ve ever read. Smart, engaging, with a fast pace, wonderfully crafted characters and unexpected plot twists.”
Another September release that’s doing very well indeed on the reviews front is Lee Battersby‘s first saga of Marius don Hellespont, The Corpse-Rat King, which has been reviewed by Ryan at Fantasy Book Review, who said: “There are a lot of things to like in this debut novel from Battersby. If you are into weirdness and / or reprehensible knaves, I think you will get a real kick out of this story.” Also by Ed at Starburst Magazine, who summed it up neatly: “This is a tale of con-men, their victims and the undead, and will appeal to fans of Scott Lynch or Mark Lawrence, or anyone who likes a not-so-loveable rogue.” and gave it 8 out of 10 to boot. Meanwhile, Hannah at My Book Journey compared Lee’s writing to Voltaire’s and concluded: “The Corpse-Rat King is an absurd and fantastical tale of a man about to learn the error of his ways the hard way.” And there’s an interview with Lee at Civilian Reader as well.
We’ve seen a few more early reviews of Lee Collins‘ soon-to-be-published paranormal western Dead of Winter (November 2012), from Merikay at Popcorn Reads, who said: “Lee Collins has a winner on his hands with The Dead of Winter!” and Liam at The Troubled Scribe, who really got caught up in the action: “The book reads ridiculously fast and multiple times I had to physically slow my pace down lest I skipped over any crucial details.” and Asiye at Closet Geeks and Slow Mo, who said: “Probably my favorite thing about the book is that its built up slowly, revealing layer after layer of the story …. Certainly a book to enjoy for lovers of westerns and paranormal.”
Lee has also contributed a guest blog post to The Qwillery, on the subject of The Weird West, which he concludes “is Weird”.
Madeline Ashby‘s vN is another title that continues to grab the attention of reviewers, with the latest being Josh at Examiner.com, who said: “vN is excellent science fiction that packs in plenty of fun and original ideas while also not getting bogged down in all the techno-babble behind the concepts.” and Jessica at Plot Twister, who pointed out that it’s not all fun and games in Ashby’s world: “The book goes to some dark places at times, touching on some very serious issues.” Over at Richard’s SF Ramblings there’s a verse review that concludes: “It’s time to rethink robots and AI | This is where you begin”. Plus, Mike at Stuff and/or Junk makes a prediction that we like the sound of: “I would be extremely surprised if this book did not garner some nominations and awards. vN has changed the way I will look at AI stories.”
A few reviews of books that are slightly older – but no less worthy of your time and attention – now, kicking off with Mike Shevdon‘s third Courts of the Feyre novel, Strangeness and Charm, which was reviewed by Jaym for SF Signal, who said: “Shevdon’s urban fantasy is unlike just about anything else I’ve read. His attention to detail and history tickle my love of historical fantasy, while long-running political and social intrigues tie the series together in a strong arc.”
Justin Gustainis‘s first Occult Investigations novel, Hard Spell was reviewed by The Weekly Rot: “Meth addicted goblins. Cultists who summon real demons. A stone cold killer searching for a forbidden tome. All of which is great fun, but it’s Markowski’s matter-of-fact, world weary delivery that gets to me.” And Justin has been talking to Dave at Hellnotes.
Lavie Tidhar‘s first Bookman steampunk extravaganza, The Bookman also got the verse review treatment from Richard’s SF Ramblings, which concluded with the couplet: “Aliens, Revolution, Alt-History, Romance, Steam | Lavie Tidhar, coming on strong” Can’t say fairer than that, Richard. Lavie has also guest posted on Pornokitsch, on the subject of his favourite female crime writers.
A few more interviews and author blog-bits to finish with:
And that’s your lot. Come back next week for plenty more AR-flavoured linky-goodness.
Hello, hello and welcome to another round-up of Angry Robot Author Activity from around the Interwebs. Here’s what we’ve got for you this week:
We’ve seen a fresh batch of reviews this week for the second outing of the wonderful, irrepressible, un-putdownable Miriam Black in Chuck Wendig‘s Mockingbird:
• Bane of Kings at The Founding Fields said: “A dark and gritty page-turner. Wendig’s second Miriam Black novel is a brilliant read and just as enjoyable as the first.”
• Jessica at AllwaysUnmended said: “Wendig’s writing style is tight, fluid, and gripping, making the story easy to pick up and tough to put down … I would highly recommend Mockingbird to any mature reader who enjoys a little piss in their Cheerios.”
• Kristin at Owlcat Mountain said: “I cannot enumerate the many ways in which this novel will likely give you nightmares, but the story is so good that it’s worth a few restless nights.”
• Theresa at Terror Tree said: “Bursting with black comedy, and social commentary, Mockingbird is a tour-de-force of horror fantasy … This is an excellent book, with plenty of character interaction, brutal murders and laughs aplenty despite the grim material. Wendig never fails to deliver. He is a name to be watched.”
• Raymond M. Rose said: “Mockingbird rocked! I burned through it like it was nobody’s business even though I was trying not to read so fast. I loved the hell out of it and can’t wait for the next book…”
• The Guilded Earlobe reviewed the Brilliance Audio Edition, saying: “Mockingbird is the rare sequel that truly elevates a series. It’s a visceral trip through the gutters of human evil, with a character walking the fine lines between righteousness and damnation. Mockingbird expands the mythology of Blackbirds, and continues to build on it with exciting potentiality. It’s a dark journey, but one definitely worth taking.”
Likewise, Lee Battersby‘s debut fantasy novel The Corpse-Rat King has been getting some fresh attention, with Gav at Mass Movement Magazine calling it: “A very unusual and inventive examination of the age old fantasy and mythology staple, the Realm of the Dead” and Mieneke at A Fantastical Librarian saying: “If you’re looking for an interesting new voice in fantasy and an entertaining read, look no further than Lee Battersby and his debut The Corpse-Rat King.”
We’ve spotted a couple of new reviews for Adam Christopher‘s superpowered addition to the superhero prose oeuvre, Seven Wonders from The Fiction Stroker: “Clever, fresh and bringing something new to the table, Seven Wonders is another thrilling roller-coaster ride from an author who is quickly becoming a master of multi-genre adventure.” and Phil Norris said: “Seven Wonders ticks all the right boxes, it is a thrilling rollercoaster ride where the reader feels the wind in their hair, and their cape flapping behind them.” The Fiction Stroker reviewed Adam’s debut Empire State as well, saying: “Adam Christopher takes on a broad range of influences and styles and merges them in this impressive and stylish debut.”
Chris F. Holm‘s second Collector novel, The Wrong Goodbye is officially published in October but will be available in US print and ebook editions from next week and has been reviewed by Neliza for Criminal Element‘s Fresh Meat column: “It’s a fun adventure, a cross-country fantastical crime spree that fans of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and the TV show Supernatural will likely enjoy. It hits all the right notes as both a buddy comedy and a horror show.”
We’ve seen another early review of Lee Collins‘s debut horror/western mashup The Dead of Winter (November!) with Phil at Terror Tree, who said: “I would recommend this book if you like a bit more from vampire stories than pouting teenagers.”
Two more reviews this week for Madeline Ashby‘s debut novel of artificial intelligence and machine sentience, vN, from Anna at Isotropic Fiction, who said: “Ashby’s subversion of Little Red Riding Hood and her exploration of robot-rights make vN a good read. This is the type of novel that will reassure readers about the quality of science-fiction being published today.” and Paul at The Functional Nerds, who said: “vN offers a bold and interesting vision of the future. The lack of dates and time frame allows the author to unhinge the book somewhat from the present, giving her leave to worldbuild in a delightful manner.”
The Brilliance Audiobook edition of Guy Haley‘s Realty 36 was very warmly received by Larry and Commissar Ploss at The Founding Fields, who between them concluded: “Reality 36 bounces you between beautiful sweeping digital landscapes, and dirty, grim, grimy real-world cityscapes in a wild-goose-chase to save the world. It’s fun!”
Mike Shevdon‘s Strangeness and Charm got a mention from JaymGates at SF Signal, who said: “Shevdon’s urban fantasy is unlike just about anything else I’ve read. His attention to detail and history tickle my love of historical fantasy, while long-running political and social intrigues tie the series together in a strong arc.”
Ramez Naam, whose debut science fiction novel, Nexus, we’re publishing in January, has announced the publication of his second non-fiction book, The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet, a book about how to tackle the environmental issues of today and tomorrow.
A quick shout-out for our good chums over at The Founding Fields: they’ve asked us to mention that they’re having a bit of a recruiting drive for their brand new Facebook Page. They’ll be giving stuff away to random followers – a reader’s journal once they hit 200 followers and then gift cards once they hit other key targets. Head on over to www.thefoundingfields.com and hit that Like button.
And finally, if you’re based in the UK or Ireland and have a Goodreads.com account, you could be in with a chance of winning one of ten print ARC (advance reading copies) of Lee Collins‘s horror/western debut, The Dead of Winter. See Goodreads for details.
That’s all for this week. And there won’t be a Robot Round-Up next week, on the grounds that we’re sending the majority of our bot-contingent to descend on Brighton for Fantasycon. Come say hello to us if you’re attending – we’ll be in the dealer’s room, the bar, a couple of panels, the bar, and… ah, heck, just look for us in the bar, that’ll be the quickest way of finding us. We’ll happily accept any drinks you might be desperate to buy us, although if you really wanted to gladden our robo-hearts, buying a book or two would go down really well. And of course Lee is always delighted when would-be authors pitch their book ideas to him at two a.m. in the bar, so please do feel free…
Hello, hello and welcome to this week’s Robot Round-Up. Our compiler ‘bot lost his Internet connection for an hour this afternoon, just as he was making a start on this write-up. So seeing as he has at least one eye-module on the rapidly-approaching hour of beer o’clock, you’ll have to excuse him if he skips the intro and gets the heck on with it…
We’ve seen a couple more cracking reviews of Lee Battersby‘s extraordinary fantasy debut, The Corpse-Rat King this week:
• There was a Starred Review in Publishers Weekly: “Wry, absurdist, and pleasantly cynical, Battersby’s debut will appeal to fans of Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora and Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal.”
• Mihir at Fantasy Book Critic called it: “a curious mix of dark humor and even darker shade of fantasy” and also said: “It promises a different sort of read and delivers exceptionally on its word.”
Lee has written a guest post for Fantasy Book Critic on the subject of being weird. He’s been talking to The Qwillery and they’re giving away a copy of the book as well. Plus: The Corpse-Rat King got a mention in The Pretty Good Gatsby’s Teaser Tuesday post, in case you feel like being teased.
The reviews of Chuck Wendig‘s awesome Mockingbird continue to come marching in:
• Diayll at Mother/Gamer/Writer said: “Author Chuck Wendig does an extraordinary job of keeping readers on the edge of their seat just long enough so he can push them over an enormous cliff of absolute madness. Mockingbird is a rare gem of dirty, dangerous, insane fun!”
• Leah Rhyne said: “In Mockingbird, Wendig offers a master class in writing suspense and horror. Seriously.”
• Alan at Thirteen O’Clock said: “Urban fantasy, horror and thriller all rolled into one. Delicious. Five stars.”
• Tabitha at My Shelf Confessions called it: “Grossly dark and twisted in the best kind of way!”
Stefan Raets has re-posted his Tor.com review at his own blog Far Beyond Reality and is hosting a competition to win a copy of the book as well. And Kayte-Kat reviewed the first Miriam Black book, Blackbirds, for The Founding Fields, saying: “Readers will enjoy a fast read, vivid details, and often disturbing visuals of death. This book is not for the reader looking for light and whispy. Instead, down-right dark and often profane scenery carries the reader through to the very end.”
Adam Christopher‘s explosive Seven Wonders was reviewed by Erik at I Will Read Books: “the atmosphere, and the world building, is spot on. The super powered fighting also has the right comic book feel to them, but with a more adult touch to them, where there is actual bloodshed. Adam Christopher has once again brought something new to a old genre.” Erik’s hosting a giveaway as well. Go! Enter! Win book! Be happy!
There’s a dual-review of Chris F. Holm‘s first two Collector books, Dead Harvest (out now!) and The Wrong Goodbye (out next month!), at Untitled*United, where Mikel says: “Chris Holm’s real talent is keeping the plot moving at breakneck pace. He doesn’t set a ticking clock, but he effectively drives home the danger of every delay, and builds action sequences that race along.!
Paul S. Kemp‘s feast for sword and sorcery fans, The Hammer and The Blade was reviewed by Axie, writing for the Sacramento and San Francisco Book Review: “The Hammer and the Blade is an instant classic, with its punchy sense of humor, likeable heroes, and fast-paced, creative fight sequences.”
Lave Tidhar took a look at David Tallerman‘s Giant Thief and dubbed it the first example of slacker fantasy, which he also declares is no bad thing: “It seems to me that Tallerman is doing something deceptively clever in this book or, at any rate, something new to fantasy.”
And Lavie Tidhar’s own The Great Game was reviewed by Gail at Disorganised, as Usual, who said “This is a wild and imaginative adventure through London and Paris as Tidhar loots both history and literature for a diverse cast of characters to weave together in a very satisfyingly wild universe.”
Blast from the Past: Tim Waggoner‘s Nekropolis was reviewed by Zoe at Urban Fantasy Fiend, who greatly enjoyed the characterisation and world-building in the series-opener: “A self-willed, ex-cop Zombie PI isn’t something you get to read about everyday. There are no end of beasties here to enjoy, from giant insects to Warlocks and Ghouls. Waggoner world builds brilliantly.”
Plus, according to IO9.com, “Robots that can do crazy futuristic stuff” is one of 9 Overlooked Technologies That Could Transform The World. Well hey, we like to think we’re doing what we can…
That’s all for this week. Come back next week for more Angry Robot link-outs and shout-outs (hopefully at a slightly earlier time, Internet connection allowing…)