Megan E O’Keefe‘s brilliant full-length debut, Steal the Sky has been described as The Lies of Locke Lamora on giant sands dunes with exploding airships, and it has us all aquiver. Luckily, you fine folks won’t have to wait too long to grab yourself a copy, as Steal the Sky will hit all good outlets January 2016.
Here’s the synopsis:
Detan Honding, a wanted conman of noble birth and ignoble tongue, has found himself in the oasis city of Aransa. He and his trusted companion Tibs may have pulled off one too many cons against the city’s elite and need to make a quick escape. They set their sights on their biggest heist yet – the gorgeous airship of the exiled commodore Thratia.
But in the middle of his scheme, a face changer known as a doppel starts murdering key members of Aransa’s government. The sudden paranoia makes Detan’s plans of stealing Thratia’s ship that much harder. And with this sudden power vacuum, Thratia can solidify her power and wreak havoc against the Empire. But the doppel isn’t working for Thratia and has her own intentions. Did Detan accidentally walk into a revolution and a crusade? He has to be careful – there’s a reason most people think he’s dead. And if his dangerous secret gets revealed, he has a lot more to worry about than a stolen airship.
We’ve received the gorgeous cover image by artist Kim Sokol and handed it over to our friends over at the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog who were were kind enough to showcase not only the cover artwork but the story of getting the cover from initial draft to the finished product. Make sure to head over to see initial sketches, quotes from Kim, Megan and our American man-on-the-ground Mike, plus see the cover in its entirety.
Just click on the initial sketch teaser image to be taken to the full reveal.
The tides of publishing are changing rapidly and Angry Robot remains right at the forefront, surfing through the storms on an insulated circuit board. Another wave is coming down the pipe, this time of our own creation. That’s right, it’s time for another Open Door period! (Brief pause for cannons, confetti, random cheap fireworks…)
As you may have noticed, we normally only accept submissions for new Angry Robot books from literary agents or people known to us. But for a couple of months every year we are delighted to open our doors wide and encourage proposals from one and all.
In fact, several of our most notable novels over the years have come to us through our Open Door periods. If you know Angry Robot, you surely know Wesley Chu’s award-winning Tao series – The Lives of Tao, The Deaths of Tao, The Rebirths of Tao. Wesley’s debut came to us as an Open Door discovery, as did Philip K Dick Award-nominated Cassandra Rose Clarke, Lee Collins, Lee Battersby, and the upcoming Drake by Peter McLean. Why not join them?
When when when?!?
The Open Door period will last from 1 December 15 to 31 January 2016. Yes, that does coincidentally mean that you could take advantage of this year’s NaNoWriMo to finish that manuscript in time to get it in to us. You clever thing.
Never mind that – take me straight to the full guidelines!!
What are you looking for?
A book that will fit with the Angry Robot range – which as you surely know includes SF, F and a little pinch of WTF. Note that we are looking for full-length novels, not short stories, novellas, epic poems, comic book scripts, etc etc. Angry Robot books are aimed at adults, so no middle grade or young adult themes this time.
Who are you looking for?
Anyone who has written a thoroughly entertaining, full-length science fiction or fantasy novel. Our Open Door is open to all.
We did want to say the following though. We appreciate diversity at Angry Robot. Our track record at AR speaks for itself, but we can do even better. We also know that writers from diverse backgrounds are sometimes hesitant to submit. So we’re saying this in big letters:
We want to explicitly invite writers from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences to submit to this Open Door.
Several of our most commercially and critically-successful books have come from writers speaking from diverse backgrounds and/or about diverse characters.
This genre belongs to everyone, and we at Angry Robot want to be a part of making that maxim true in practice by championing diverse voices and helping them reach a wide audience.
So everyone, send us your best work. Show us worlds real and imagined with all their glorious complexity and diversity, that reflects the reality of today’s culture. We can’t wait to see what stories you all have to share.
Tell us more!
Patience, padawan. More detailed notes are coming soon, before the end of the month. We love you all, but please don’t send us intricate questions until we post those details, as they should answer your queries. For now, the message is simple:
- • The next Angry Robot Open Door opens December 1st 2015
- • It will close on January 31st 2016
- • It will be open to full-length science fiction and fantasy novels
- • We want to buy and publish the best of these books on the Angry Robot list
- • Angry Robot have found a notable clutch of fabulous writers from Open Door in past – this time, it could be you
Will Staehle has done it again! The cover artist for Rod Duncan‘s The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter and Unseemly Science – the first two books in the Fall of The Gas-Lit Empire series – has excelled himself with the cover for the third book, The Custodian of Marvels. And oh, it’s sumptuous.
Continuing from the events in Unseemly Science, The Custodian of Marvels sees Elizabeth persuaded by a circus acquaintance to attempt a heist on the patent office. Hidden in its depths could be the very thing to shake the foundations of the Empire.
All that stands in Elizabeth’s way are the agents of the Patent Office, a Duke’s private army and the mysterious Custodian of Marvels.
You can read an exclusive excerpt of the novel, thoughts on the cover from Rod, plus the cover itself over at Tor.com. In the meantime, here are a few reviews from the other titles in the Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire series:
“Looking for a good book? Mystery, duplicity, secret societies, alchemy, romance, action … The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter by Rod Duncan has it all and promises to be the talked-about/must-read book for sci-fi/fantasy enthusiasts this year!”
– Looking For A Good Read
“Really, a fine and well crafted novel. As per the glossary, Elizabeth plays a key role in the fall of the Gas-lit empire. Cheers to that as she is a captivating character. Angry Robot has picked a winner.”
– Koeur’s Book Reviews
“Let’s just say I haven’t been this impressed by a book in a while… Unseemly Science is a beautifully written steampunk, alternate history style novel that manages to evoke the aesthetic without turning itself into a reflection of the rest of the trope out there. Elizabeth, the main protagonist, is a feminist heroine I can get behind — smart, intelligent, and void of the typical fantasy heroine. It’s a slow burn mystery but so intelligently written and with a well developed world, I barely put it down… If I were to recommend you pick up anything this week, The Bullet Catcher’s Daughter and Unseemly Science are it.”
– Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing
“I got the shivers soon after I began reading and they didn’t go away until after I finished. I thought I was hooked after reading Book #1 – now I am really hooked. If you’re a steampunk fan, I need to let you know that its use is different from some of the in-your-face elements found in other steampunk novels, and I liked that. Bottom line: If you like alternate history, Holmes-style mysteries with nasty villains, sci-fi/fantasy, or just a nail-biting read, I recommend both books in this series. Okay, Rod Duncan, I hope you’re busy writing Book #3 because I’m tapping my foot in anticipation of what Elizabeth is going to get into next!”
– Popcorn Reads
We hope you’ll forgive the slightly formal nature of this news item. In brief, we’re making some changes that will bring great benefits to readers and bookshops in Australia and New Zealand – because we have reached a deal for the mighty Simon & Schuster Australia to distribute our books in those lovely countries.
Stock of our books already there has transferred over, and the first container ship full of spanking new Angry Robot novels is steaming towards the southern oceans as we speak. We’re very grateful to everyone there who has helped set this up. This should all mean an enhanced service to bookshops, more copies out there for readers, and more regular stock for conventions and author appearances. Result!
For those of you not familiar with the acronym, AMA means ‘ask me anything’ and is a chance for people to ask an author, well anything they can think of, really, so long as it’s within reason.
Foz: “I’m excited to be doing my first AMA today! Whether you want to talk novels, blogging, feminism, fanfic or just pepper me with random questions about my weird hat collection, I’m looking forward to hearing from you :).”
The AMA will be live from 6pm GMT (11am CST), however you can post your questions now for Foz to pick up when she arrives online.
Welcome to another Robot Round-Up, bringing you all of the best Angry Robot news of late.
We love book launches, but book launches with free omusubi are the best! And that’s just what Adam Rakunas shared with his fans at the launch of his debut novel Windswept last weekend. A great bunch of people turned up to Sunny Blue in Santa Monica, including Angry Robot author Carrie Patel (pictured here with Adam). Adam is continuing to promote his book with more appearances, you can find out more about that, and how to get yourself some great Windswept swag, here. Oh, and if you want to see Adam in a polyester blend band outfit, then you should definitely check out the letter he wrote to his teen self over at Dear Teen Me.
Marianne de Pierres‘ Mythmaker, the second in the Peacemaker series, will be released Oct 1 (UK/Aus/R.o.W) / 6 Oct (US/Can). Because we’re so excited, we’ve shared the first chapter of the book with the lovely folk over at Carabas. Click here to take a look. Speaking of excerpts, if you head over to Tor.com you can see an exclusive excerpt of Kameron Hurley‘s Empire Ascendant, out in November, PLUS the excellent map of the Kingdoms of Grania by Stephanie MacAlea, too.
Those lovely folks over at Shelfie gave us some good news this week; If Then by Matthew De Abaitua is on its list of Top 10 Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2015. Speaking of Matthew, if you’ve ever wondered where our authors get their inspiration from, Matthew continued his blog tour this week by chatting to Civilian Reader about algorithms, social media and the First World War as his inspiration for If Then. Matthew also spoke with SFF World about his creative processes and how he relaxes after a long day of writing.
Peter Tieryas, author of United States of Japan (out in March 2016), also lifted the lid on his inspirations and took some time to talk with Fantasy Faction about his motives for writing the spiritual sequel to Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle. Peter also wrote this great article on his favourite mechas in gaming and film, featuring Herzog Zwei, Xenogears and a mecha pig. As we’re talking mechas, check out these two kick-ass robots created by John Liberto for a forthcoming United States of Japan short film. Pretty cool, huh?
That’s all we have time for this week, but pop by again soon for more updates!
Over and out.
We know, we know, it’s a long wait for something that you know will be amazing. But don’t worry, we’ve been kind and spoken to those fabulous folk over at Tor.com, who were happy to host an exclusive excerpt of the prologue and first chapter of the book. There’s even an image of the map of The Kingdom’s of Grania by Stephanie MacAlea.
Here’s a quick synopsis of the book in full:
Loyalties are tested when worlds collide…
Every two thousand years, the dark star Oma appears in the sky, bringing with it a tide of death and destruction. And those who survive must contend with friends and enemies newly imbued with violent powers. The kingdom of Saiduan already lies in ruin, decimated by invaders from another world who share the faces of those they seek to destroy.
Now the nation of Dhai is under siege by the same force. Their only hope for survival lies in the hands of an illegitimate ruler and a scullery maid with a powerful – but unpredictable –magic. As the foreign Empire spreads across the world like a disease, one of their former allies takes up her Empress’s sword again to unseat them, and two enslaved scholars begin a treacherous journey home with a long-lost secret that they hope is the key to the Empire’s undoing.
But when the enemy shares your own face, who can be trusted?
So make yourself a brew, settle in and head over to Tor.com for a read.
There are no prizes for guessing one of the best aspects of publishing: all of the books. So you can imagine our excitement on returning to work after the weekend and being confronted with a mass of boxes from our UK distributor. Barely able to contain his excitement, our Robot Overlord Marc dived in and was quickly surrounded by piles of new books Empire Ascendant, Mythmaker and The Flux, plus speedy reprints of The Dragon Engine, Time Salvager and If Then. It’s kept him quiet almost all day, too.
Luckily, we had the cameras on standby to witness one man’s joy unfolding. Here, over a series of 15 photographs, you can witness the transformation from a jaded publisher, coming to work on a Monday morning, to something akin to a kid at Christmas.
Apologies if any photos come across slightly blurred, it’s hard to catch a still of an overexcited Overlord, as you would imagine.
We love Ferrett Steinmetz‘s Flux series, and think everyone should read it, getting lost in the wonderful world of ‘Mancy, bureaucracy and family values.
And it seems that we’re not the only ones. Ken Liu, Hugo, Nebula and and World Fantasy Award winning author feels the same way. After reading the second in the ‘Mancer series, The Flux, Ken decided to put pen to paper and let everyone know how much so.
Here’s what he has to say on the matter:
“The Flux is the best kind of sequel: bigger, deeper, scarier, funner. The emotional journey it takes the reader on is just as thrilling as the jaw-dropping wonders of videogamemancy and bureaucramancy. With the ‘Mancer series, Ferrett Steinmetz has achieved something rare in contemporary fantasy: a world that feels both truer and more magical than our own.”
– Ken Liu, winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards and author of The Grace of Kings and The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories.
This follows on from Ken’s original praise of Flex, the first in the series:
“Featuring one of the most original magic systems ever devised and a pair of likable, layered protagonists, Flex is a fast-paced, imaginative, and emotionally engaging adventure. The developing friendships and rapport among the characters are portrayed with sensitivity and avoids cliches, and the magical battle sequences are rigorous and filled with ingenious touches that will make gamers and tax lawyers alike grin with joy.”
– Ken Liu, winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards
The Flux will be out on Oct 1 (UK/R.o.W)/Oct 6 (US/Can). Here’s what you have to look forward to:
Love something enough, and your obsession will punch holes through the laws of physics. That devotion creates unique magics: videogamemancers. Origamimancers. Culinomancers.
But when ‘mancers battle, cities tremble…
ALIYAH TSABO-DAWSON: The world’s most dangerous eight-year-old girl. Burned by a terrorist’s magic, gifted strange powers beyond measure. She’s furious that she has to hide her abilities from her friends, her teachers, even her mother – and her temper tantrums can kill.
PAUL TSABO: Bureaucromancer. Magical drug-dealer. Desperate father. He’s gone toe-to-toe with the government’s conscription squads of brain-burned Unimancers, and he’ll lie to anyone to keep Aliyah out of their hands – whether Aliyah likes it or not.
THE KING OF NEW YORK: The mysterious power player hell-bent on capturing the two of them. A man packing a private army of illegal ‘mancers.
Paul’s family is the key to keep the King’s crumbling empire afloat. But offering them paradise is the catalyst that inflames Aliyah’s deadly rebellious streak…
It’s been a busy couple of weeks on the orbiting death engine, with September titles being published and blog tours in full flow.
Santa Monica-based Adam Rakunas spoke with the Santa Monica Mirror about his debut novel, Windswept and the length of time he took to write his first novel. He then popped over to chat with the lovely John Scalzi about his Big Idea for Windswept – apparently pineapple juice and a vacation in Hawaii provided the inspiration for Santee Anchorage, where the novel is based. Food and drink are apparently close to Adam’s heart, as he tells Civilian Reader about how food helps with worldbuilding, too. Be warned: don’t read if you’re hungry.
Master of hard fantasy Andy Remic has been chatting with Sci-Fi Bulletin about the genre, and how far one can go before breaking spines and lopping off heads becomes too much. Over at SFF World Andy shared his short film about The Dragon Engine, as well as talking all things fiction, as well as his future plans, which include taking over the world, we’re sure. If you want to win a copy of The Dragon Engine, then head over to Beauty in Ruins where you can read Andy’s thoughts on the move towards an edgier kind of fantasy and enter the competition for one of five copies of the book.
Last night Matthew De Abaitua took over Broadway Bookshop in Hackney, London for the launch of his novel If Then. The place was full to the brim and much wine and Beavertown’s Gamma Ray consumed. A big thanks to the staff at Broadway Bookshop for all of their help. Matthew also took part in a podcast over at Traveler’s Steampunk Blog. If Then has been generating some steam of its own, being featured twice on io9 this past week, once as one of the most thrilling sci-fi books heading your way in September and again as a sci-fi book you just can’t afford to miss. We are inclined to agree.
That’s it for this week, folks. Have a wonderful weekend!
Over and out.
We’re so delighted to share with you the signing of our newest author, Foz Meadows!
A two book deal (World: English) was acquired through Jennie Goloboy of Red Sofa Literary by our consulting editor Phil Jourdan. An Accident of Stars, the first in the series, which is described by Foz as ‘a portal fantasy with the safeties off’, will be published in summer 2016, with a second novel to follow.
You might know of Australian born, Aberdeen-based Foz through her Hugo-nominated blog, Shattersnipe, or from her many articles on The Huffington Post, Strange Horizons, Tor.com or the sadly now closed A Dribble of Ink. Foz has also written two previous books, Solace and Grief and The Key to Starveldt.
Here’s the synopsis for An Accident of Stars:
When Saffron Coulter stumbles through a hole in reality, she finds herself trapped in Kena, a magical realm on the brink of civil war.
There, her fate becomes intertwined with that of three very different women: Zech, the fast-thinking acolyte of a cunning, powerful exile; Viya, the spoiled, runaway consort of the empire-building ruler, Vex Leoden; and Gwen, an Earth-born worldwalker whose greatest regret is putting Leoden on the throne. But Leoden has allies, too, chief among them the Vex’Mara Kadeja, a dangerous ex-priestess who shares his dreams of conquest.
Pursued by Leoden and aided by the Shavaktiin, a secretive order of storytellers and mystics, the rebels flee to Veksh, a neighboring matriarchy ruled by the fearsome Council of Queens. Saffron is out of her world and out of her depth, but the further she travels, the more she finds herself bound to her friends with ties of blood and magic.
Can one girl – an accidental worldwalker – really be the key to saving Kena? Or will she just die trying?
Head over to The Bookseller for the official announcement.
It’s cover reveal time!
Here’s the synopsis:
Missy Masters — aka the legendary superhero Mr Mystic — owes a lot of people favours after the events in The Dragons of Heaven. And these aren’t easy favours to pay back. So when one of the Argent Aces, Abby Trent, asks for her help in retrieving a Shadow Realms artefact, she figures this will help her pay down at least one of her debts.
The problem: Abby is just as good at getting into trouble as Missy, and before they can recover the artefact, it’s stolen by Abby’s arch-nemesis (and half-sister), the djinni Asha.
They follow Asha to the Divan of the Djinn, a twilight court of Shadow Realms exiles and freedom fighters on the border between Pakistan and India… and Missy and Abby are not welcome there. Missy has to navigate the arcane network of enmities and raise her own status among the Shadow hierarchy to gain allies against Asha and her masters.
After all, friends don’t let friends fight their arch-nemesis alone.
We know that all great new novels need a great cover, so we enlisted the help of Amazing 15, who produced a beautiful cover that really captures the spirit of the book.
Click the teaser image below to be taken to the full reveal over at The Qwillery.
Firstly, the swag. To be in with a chance to win tattoos, t-shirts, bookmarks and stainless steel flasks just choose one or more of the easy ways to enter Adam’s competition, as outlined below.
TURN THE OTHER CHEEK: Add a fist, a la Jessica Smith‘s amazing Union logo – created especially for Windswept – to your cheek like the unionists in the book, and send a snapshot over to Adam (link via website, below). Or you can print out a logo and make your own temporary tattoo. Whatever you do, take a picture of your face adorned with a Union fist and send it to Adam.
JUDGE A RUM BY ITS LABEL: Make yourself an Old Windswept rum label and send it in, using the contest form. If you’d like a peek at what Adam envisions for the label, read a quick extract here. Adam’s vision of the logo doesn’t have to be the same as what you draw, so get those creative juices flowing.
LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL: Make some union art. It can be anything from graffiti tags to murals to posters, anything you want. let your imagination run wild!
BUY THE BOOK: When the book is released (that’s 1 September (US/Can) / 3 September (UK/R.o.W)) just send a copy of your receipt to Adam and get swag. As the man himself says, it’s better to purchase multiple books, so you can be in with multiple chances of winning. Like buying Lottery lines.
To enter and possibly win, head over to Adam’s website to complete a short entry form.
If you want to have the chance to win a copy of the book but aren’t very arty, there’s a competition over at GoodReads. Be quick though, there’s only a couple of days left to enter!
Adam will also be giving away more swag on his book tour, as well as chatting with friends new and old and of course, signing books. Just remember, if you see Adam on tour and say the magic phrase ‘Padma Mehta sent me’ you’ll get a free Windswept tattoo.
Here are the locations of the tour (all events are free):
September 13, 5-7pm, Seattle, WA: There will be a reading at local rum bar, Rumba, and Adam promises to get in the first round of empanadas and daiquiris, so make sure to RSVP by September 6 to the event to ensure yours don’t get eaten. Windswept will be on sale, so get your signed copies in.
September 19, 2-3pm, San Diego, CA: Three writers for the price (free) of one! Mysterious Galaxy are holding a signing event with Adam, Greg Van Eekhout and Fran Wilde. There will be Tecate and tacos, and more copies of Windswept.
November 5-8, Saratoga Springs, NY: Although not there to speak, Adam will be at the World Fantasy Convention, and you can probably find him in the bar. There will be snacks and swag. Just don’t forget the magic words.
‘Padma Mehta sent me.’
The book has been described as “a complex and intricate book full of elegant ideas and finely-drawn characters” (Adrian Tchaikovsky), “epic” (Brian Staveley), and “extraordinary” (Alasdair Stuart).
On the eve of a recurring catastrophic event known to extinguish nations and reshape continents, a troubled orphan evades death and slavery to uncover her own bloody past… while a world goes to war with itself.
In the frozen kingdom of Saiduan, invaders from another realm are decimating whole cities, leaving behind nothing but ash and ruin. As the dark star of the cataclysm rises, an illegitimate ruler is tasked with holding together a country fractured by civil war, a precocious young fighter is asked to betray his family and a half-Dhai general must choose between the eradication of her father’s people or loyalty to her alien Empress.
Through tense alliances and devastating betrayal, the Dhai and their allies attempt to hold against a seemingly unstoppable force as enemy nations prepare for a coming together of worlds as old as the universe itself.
In the end, one world will rise – and many will perish.
Head over to BookBub to purchase your $1.99 copy.