Archive for Robot Round-Up
Hello, hello and welcome to this week’s Robot Round-Up of all the Angry Robot flavoured activity that we’ve spotted out there in the big, wide Internets since this time last week. Lots to tell you about, so without further ado or kerfuffle:
Cassandra Rose Clarke‘s newly published tale of loss, love and robots, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter continues to win fans and break hearts in roughly equal measure. This week we’ve seen a cascade of new reviews, including these, from:
• Angie at Pinkindle was deeply affected: “I was madly in love with this book from the very beginning. It reminded me a lot of Bicentennial Man, which happens to be one of my favorite movies. Both have seriously heartbreaking plots that I just can’t help but be drawn to.”
• Jessica at Sweet Green Tangerine (who is also running a giveaway, closing date Feb 3rd) was enchanted: “Watching these two characters fall in love and struggle with what it means to be human, I found the whole topic to be truly beautiful. I love this story”.
• Caroline at Big Book, Little Book felt the need to warn the faint-hearted: “If you are looking for hearts, flowers and candle lit dinners you won’t find it here but if you are in the mood for a tear inducing, head shaking, heartbreaking, but ultimately uplifting love story, within an unusual setting and with a unique love interest, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is for you.”
• Livvy at Nerdy Book Reviews reached for her hankie: “The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a novel that moved me to tears. I truly did not expect to feel so emotional about a robot.”
• Strangely Literary admired Cat’s fighting spirit: “Cat is an engaging character struggling against a society that she doesn’t quite fit within. She will keep you turning the pages to see where she goes next.”
• Tienh at Tien’s Blurb found our heroine uncomfortably compelling: “Even though I didn’t like Cat, I found myself sympathising with her throughout and it’s rare that I’d sympathise with a character I don’t like. That’s what I found most amazing about this book.”
• Maja at The Nocturnal Library felt the angst: “The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is by no means a light-hearted, fun book, and it’s certainly not young adult. Had I known how complicated and angst-filled it was, I doubt I would have picked it up, but now I’m glad I did.”
• Richard at Richard’s SF Ramblings was moved to poetry (and must have had a Friday night curry on his mind): “Reading the last page | I am rendered | I am clarified | I am ghee”
• Upcoming4Me named it their Book of the Week. Cheers, guys!
Cassandra has also been out and about in the genre blogosphere. She guest-posted at Mary Robinette Kowall’s blog for the My Favourite Bit column, and was interviewed by The Qwillery and My Bookish Ways.
Also newly published this month, we have She Returns From War, Lee Collins‘s sequel to his weird western debut, The Dead of Winter, which we published last November. The second Cora Oglesby adventure was reviewed this week by Mel at Mel’s Random Reviews, who said: “This really is a fresh air in the world of supernatural hunters … Recommended for fans of Kate Griffin and Chris Holm. 9 out of 10.” Shelley Romano at Gizmo’s Reviews called it: “a well paced and intriguing story that left me satisfied with my overall experience. I would HIGHLY recommend that if you are thinking about reading this series, go out and borrow or buy The Dead of Winter first! You won’t be sorry that you did.” And Mike at Untitled*United said: “She Returns from War is a fun continuation of the world Collins has been building, and he sets the stage for further expanding this world in future books. I look forward to seeing where he goes next.”
Ramez Naam‘s debut science fiction thriller Nexus continues to go from strength to strength, winning new fans and admirers along the way, including:
• Annalee Newitz at the mighty IO9.com, who declared it to be “a fast, fun read which is both emotionally engaging and thought-provoking. You’ll be mulling over the implications of Nexus — the book and the drug — long after you put the book down.”
• M Todd Gallowglass was effusively fulsome in his praise: “Nexus is fantastic. It’s brilliant. Feel free to tack on as many positive adjectives as you can come up with. It’s not just a well-written and thought-provoking book, it’s also highly entertaining … Do yourself a favor and get on the Ramez Naam band wagon now, so you can say, ‘I was there when.’”
• Erik at I Will Read Books: “Nexus is a terrific read, covering a highly interesting topic in a entertaining way. It’s a book brimming with action and gun fights, which also has a lot of technical content made accessible by Ramez Naam’s skilful penmanship.”
• Literary Escapism: “Nexus engages the reader to think about scientific advancements and the ethical questions we all may face. With a backdrop that would be worthy of any spy novel, Nexus looks at human evolution in a way that is unique.”
• John at Terror Tree: “it is a hard-hitting romp of a novel that fulfils expectations. A good debut.”
• Richard’s back, with more SF Ramblings and more poetry: “Get your radar out | Acquire Ramez Naam | Lock On, And Read”
Emma Newman‘s Angry Robot debut, Between Two Thorns, is still just over a month away from publication, but we’ve started seeing a few reviews, including Aoife at Footnotes, who enjoyed the ride: “I was very quickly captivated by the brilliant characters and fast pace of the story.” and Tiffany at A_TiffyFit’s Quiet Corner who didn’t want it to stop: “With 20 pages or so left to go, I felt that booklover’s panic start. ‘What? NO! I can’t be coming to the end!’” And John DeNardo, in a genre recommendations round-up Kirkus Reviews, called it “a modern fantasy that playfully mixes magic and interesting characters into an intriguing mystery.”
Emma also guested on a writing workshop episode of the Round Table Podcast, taking a look at a story by guest writer Sara Sambrook.
Also out in just over a month is Hell to Pay, the third volume in Matthew Hughes‘s To Hell and Back series and Annie at Summer Reading Project, who enjoyed the plot development in the new instalment: “I love it when an author reveals that there’s been a bigger story behind the individual books’ plots. Hughes never hid this, but each new book shows new layers and tie them all together. I’m very curious to see what Hughes reveals in the next book.”
We’ve also seen the Official First Review of Joseph D’Lacey‘s forthcoming (April 2013) post-apocalyptic saga Black Feathers, which was posted by Julie-Anne at Thoughts of a Scot, who declared: “I highly recommend this to any fans of horror, post-apocalyptic type books. Loved it, loved it – I want the next one already.”
Chuck Wendig‘s Mockingbird was reviewed recently by OzNoir at Just a Guy Who Likes to Read: “Short, quick fire chapters keep the novel moving along while the limited cast allows for greater character depth and meaningful story. Wendig is on to a real winner with Miriam Black.” And by Renee for New York Journal of Books: “Chuck Wendig’s second offering is fast-paced and raw, filled with gutter-like prose that never minces words and is expressed with the all the subtlety of a punch in the face.”
What’s that? You want more poetry from Richard? Happy to oblige. Here’s his SF Ramblings take on Trent Jamieson‘s first Nightbound Land book, Roil: “Loaded with action on several fronts | Science to ponder throughout | People to love and loath | Ideas to grab and gasp”
World Fantasy Award Winner and The Bookman Histories author Lavie Tidhar is the co-administrator of the World SF Travel Fund. They’re seeking to raise $3,000 to continue the Fund’s annual mission of enabling one or two international persons involved in science fiction, fantasy or horror to travel to a major genre event. We’re backing the fund drive with a pledge of ebook packages for supporters who pledge via peerbackers.com. Check the sidebar on that page to see what’s available at various levels of pledging.
Paul S. Kemp was interviewed by SF Signal about his writing in the Star Wars and Forgotten Realms universes and, of course, his Egil and Nix books, The Hammer and the Blade and A Discourse in Steel (coming in June, folks!)
Over at her blog, Anne Lyle has posted details of her 2013 events schedule, so if you want to say hello and get your copies of The Alchemist of Souls and The Merchant of Dreams signed by their author, them’s your chances.
And finally, last, but most definitely not least, we’re delighted to have been named the Horror Publisher of the Year for 2012 in the This is Horror Awards poll. “Woot!” and indeed, “Yay!” and a big thank you to all who voted for us. We shall endeavour to remain suitably horrible to all and sundry throughout 2013…
That’s all for this week. More at the same time, in approximately the same place, a week from now.
Hello and welcome to another Robot Round-Up. Off we go:
Cassandra Rose Clarke‘s rather wonderful tale of love, loss and robots, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is so very nearly almost, almost with us – Feb 7th in the UK, Jan 29th in the US and Ebook – and we’ve seen a flood of great new reviews this week, like these:
• Mk at Popcorn Reads: “I had planned to say that you could just read the surface of this multi-dimensional story and walk away but that isn’t true. Once it grabs you, you’re going to have to dive into the deep end. You’ll look at what it means to be human with new eyes.”
• Rebekah at The Reflections of a Bookworm “Recommended to Sci-Fi fans and those of us who are incredibly nosy about what the future could hold! I would give it 4 Stars – This book was really good, a definite re-reader!”
• Janice at The Demon Librarian: “At its core, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a love story. An unusual one, perhaps, but powerful and thought-provoking, and a book I won’t soon forget.”
• Nafiza at Bipliophilic Monologues: “[The novel] It asks some very difficult questions and while it doesn’t expect any clear answers, it does expect that you, the reader, will think about the questions it raises.”
• Soma at Insomnia of Books: “I absolutely adored this novel. it made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me think about the true meaning of love. True love, not something cutout of cardboard and taped together with lies.”
• Katrina at On Fiction Writing: “Cat is one of the most complicated and wonderfully written female leads I’ve read this year … The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is the ideal blend of story for story’s sake and a story that leaves you thinking after the final page is turned.”
• Ellie at Curiosity Killed the Bookworm: “This book is just stunning; a beautiful story about the nature of love and the sentience of artificial intelligence.”
• Julie at New Adult Addication: “I was blown away – BLOWN away by this story. I loved it.”
• Low Country Books Lover: “The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a book that has continued to stay with me even weeks after finishing … this was one of my favorite reads this year. 5/5 stars and highly recommended.”
• AH at Badass Book Reviews: “The writing is beautiful. Ms. Clarke has a wonderful way with words. I was enthralled and I really could not put this book down.”
• Sassyreads: “this is more a love story than anything else. But under that there’s a tale of a girl/woman who grows over time, stumbles, and makes mistakes, proves herself selfish… but redeems herself in the end.”
• Karissa at Karissa’s Book Reviews: “I just absolutely loved this book. The characters are spot on, the writing is beautiful, the pacing is deliberate but still absolutely engaging.”
You still need to be convinced? Here, read a few sample chapters, that should help.
We’ve spotted a bunch of fresh reviews of Ramez Naam‘s kick-ass debut Nexus this week as well:
• Matthew S. Dent in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Interzone magazine: “a very readable book … deals with real world ramifications of next-generation technology in a believable, if somewhat scary, fashion. It’s accurate without being boring, and action-packed without being trite or vapid.”
• Char at Apocalypse Mama: “Basically, it’s made of awesome … I LOVED this book and highly recommend it to fans of near-future science fiction, action/adventure, explosions, spies, and adrenaline rushes.”
• Sarah at And The I Read a Book: “The story is tense and exciting, with that ‘just one more chapter’ addictive quality to it.”
• C. Michael Miller: “Wow. I mean seriously, wow. This book is seriously science fiction, but like most good sci-fi reads, it is also a fantastic story outside of the science.”
Speaking of loveable Aussie curmudgeon Lee Battersby, he’s launched a new feature on his blog: Room 102, in which a series of guest grumpy bastards write about their pet peeves and peccadilloes. A direct rip-off of hit TV concept ‘Room 101?’ you susepect? Why, yes. Yes, it is.
A collection of Chuck Wendig‘s writing advice – multiple volumes of which can be purchased as ebooks from Chuck’s website and the usual online ebook retailer-types – is going to be published in print form by Writer’s Digest, under the title The Kick-Ass Writer: 1001 Ways to Write Great Fiction, Get Published, and Earn Your Audience.
Paste Magazine’s Illustrated Timeline of Robots seems to be missing Angstrom, for some reason… we’ll have to drop them a line, see if we can get that updated, eh? ;)
And that, it would seem, is that. For this week at least. Have a great weekend and we’ll see you again next week.
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 ;)