Today marks the launch of Wesley Chu‘s brilliant The Lives of Tao in paperback in the US and Canada, and in ebook worldwide. Somewhat unusually for Angry Robot, Tao is our only book this month – but fear not, we published three last month and we have three next month for you, so you won’t be short on your robot fix, but for now it’s all about Roen and his alien passenger, Tao.
The Lives of Tao
When out-of-shape IT technician Roen Tan woke up and started hearing voices in his head, he naturally assumed he was losing it.
He now has a passenger in his brain – an ancient alien life-form called Tao, whose race crash-landed on Earth before the first fish crawled out of the oceans. Now split into two opposing factions – the peace-loving, but under-represented Prophus, and the savage, powerful Genjix – the aliens have been in a state of civil war for centuries. Both sides are searching for a way off-planet, and the Genjix will sacrifice the entire human race, if that’s what it takes.
Meanwhile, Roen is having to train to be the ultimate secret agent. Like that’s going to end up well…
And folk in the UK won’t have to wait long for the paperback – it’s out on Thursday (though some shops already appear to have stock)! One thing is sure, for the next month at Angry Robot, whatever day it is, it’s bound to be Chu’s Day!
“This book is high-octane spy vs spy action with a sly sense of humor. Pure pleasure from beginning to end. Highly recommended!”
- Ann Vandermeer, Hugo winning editor of Weird Tales and British Fantasy Award winning publisher of Buzzcity Press
We’ve had a small reshuffle up here in our terrifyingly gun-bedecked orbital headquarters.
Please welcome our new Publicity Manager, CAROLINE LAMBE. She’s based full-time in the Nottingham office, and will greatly enhance our book promotion and marketing capabilities, from wrangling metadata and TIs for our new sales partners Faber, to arranging reviews and bookstore events. She joins us from Liberties Press in Dublin, and we’re sure you’ll make her welcome around these parts.
In other news, DARREN TURPIN has now completed his move from a full-time to a freelance role as our website manager. He’s still lurking in the background of everything that happens on this site, just… well, over there rather than right here in our midst. ROLAND BRISCOE, UK sales maven, has moved on to pastures new, and we wish him all the very best as he rejoins the world of humans. Right, back to engineering this whole total global domination malarkey…
We’ve got yet another gorgeous new book cover to show off today. Here’s the artwork for Any Other Name, the second book in Emma Newman‘s utterly fabulous urban fantasy series The Split Worlds, with oodles of lovely twiddly bits (technical term, there) by the wonderfully talented Sarah J. Coleman:
Lovely stuff, no? Thanks to Charlotte and the gang at the Central Illustration Agency for sterling help too.
Readers of the mighty IO9.com have already been treated to a first-look at the cover art for Jay Posey‘s first Angry Robot novel – Three, part one of The Duskwalker Cycle – and will have had the opportunity to read an exclusive extract as well.
For anyone who missed out, here’s a second look at Steven Meyer-Rassow‘s brooding, menacing artwork:
Three will be hitting bookstore shelves near you when we publish in August this year.
Book trailers have somewhat improved since their early days, when most of them were made by having the camera repeatedly zoom in and out on the cover, while a SERIOUS VOICE read the back cover copy.
For the full effect, hit the full screen button (between HD and vimeo).
The trailer was created by the astonishingly talented folk at Horrod and Harris.
To share this on your own site, copy and paste the following HTML:
<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/63401644" height="281" width="500" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0"></iframe>
<a href="http://vimeo.com/63401644">BLACK FEATHERS MASTER NEW H264</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/horrodandharris">HORROD AND HARRIS</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a> <br>
Damn, April already? Isn’t this year flying past? But also, that means that it’s British launch week for the wonderful The Age Atomic, the terrifying Black Feathers and the incontinence-inducing hilarity of The Marching Dead.
That man Joseph D’Lacey has been hither and thither promoting his book in the UK, and many thanks to Blackwells and Big Green for letting us hijack your stores. Black Feathers is getting raves everywhere right now:
• The mighty Tor.com said the novel is “an exceptional piece of apocalyptic/horror/fantasy fiction”, which is true.
• Upcoming4Me rather agreed: “a refreshing take on the whole post-apocalyptic genre and a great introduction to the writing of Joseph D’Lacey”.
• SciFi Now magazine gave it a half page and said the novel “artfully weaves a tale of destruction and rebirth”.
• Head to Popcorn Reads for a review and a chance to win an advance proof: “I loved this novel, despite the fact that it gave me chills and some bad dreams.”
• … or Book Bones Buffy, who also has a proof to give away, to celebrate “a story that is irresistibly addicting.”
• Fantasy blog Draumr Kopa recommended Black Feathers “to anyone who wants a more intelligent story, with lots of secrets and mystery, people who don’t mind a little thinking while reading.”
• And Then I Read a Book were blown away by the book: “It terrified me, made me angry, made me sad, transported me somewhere new and yet strangely familiar, and hasn’t left my head yet. It combines mythology, folktale, shamanism, coming of age and apocalyptic themes to create something very special.”
• And Stanley Eriks concluded by saying: “Black Feathers is an original and intelligent apocalypse story. It’s a myth-filled fable of the end of the world on an individual basis. It’s a coming-of-age story set on a cruel and broken Earth.”
The inimitable Lee Battersby has returned, bringing hapless half-dead Marius don Hellespont with him in The Marching Dead, the sequel to The Corpse-Rat King:
• Kate Of Mind blog loved loved loved it, giving it “all the stars” and saying “With this sequel, Battersby kicked up everything I loved about the first novel by a notch or two – world-building, storytelling, hilarity, and most of all, characters who just made me punch the air over and over again, usually while laughing.”
• Don’t forget you can get a taster in the form of an exclusive short story, Lying Like Cards, right here on this very website.
The tireless Adam Christopher was out and about promoting The Age Atomic, the two-fisted follow-up to Empire State. Thanks to Forbidden Planet in London for a fab launch event this Thursday – we rocked the joint, again.
• The book was an April pick for Kirkus Reviews, which was nice.
• A Writer’s Sidequest said it is “a glorious and joyous ode to the pulp science fiction of old. Awesome fun, from start to finish, just straight up, pure entertainment.”
• Adam was interviewed on My Bookish Ways, who also have a copy to give away too, so hurry over there!.
Upcoming debut author Wesley Chu continues to wow folks with the breakneck thrillride that is The Lives of Tao, out in May.
• Wes had a guest post on The Qwillery this week to talk about the first time a novel really spoke to him.
• I Will Read Books had this to say: “By the end of the books I was close to tears, which proves my emotional investment in the characters and their fates. I wish every book made me care about the characters as much as The Lives of Tao.”
• Over at Tome of Geek, Wes managed to overcome their usual aversion of genre mash-up novels: “We get the full sci-fi feeling combined with the spy genre without either side getting diluted or ignored. We get the full effect and in turn get a character we care about.”
Emma Newman, despite losing her wisdom teeth this week (wishing you a speedy recovery, Em), was still full of the joys of Between Two Thorns.
• Her guest post on The Creative Penn talked charmingly about urban fantasy, as a genre, its influences and its many strands.
• And finally, blog heavyweights Fantasy Faction gave the book nine stars out of ten, saying: “If you like a bit of fairy magic, the juxtaposition between ancient and modern, here and there, and you don’t mind being left in suspense for a good few months, you’ll really enjoy it.” (They’re going to be overjoyed when they hear that the sequel, Any Other Name, will be out in June then!)
In the last week we’ve had two major award shortlists announced – the Hugo Awards (announced last Saturday) and the Arthur C Clarke award (announced this morning). Both sets of lists have some excellent titles, and while the Hugo shortlist had more female writers than male this year, the Clarke had none at all (though with a jury made up of 80% women, we know there was no male bias from the judges).
We’d like to help promote some great science fiction by our own female writers, to show the incredible quality of SF that can be enjoyed, whatever your gender.
So, if you buy 2 or more Angry Robot or Strange Chemistry ebooks from the Robot Trading Company, you can get a hefty discount off the usual £5.49 price*. Buy 1 book for the usual price, buy 2 – 4 and get 33% off, or buy 5 or more titles for a whopping 50% off!
Enter the code WSF at the checkout to get your discount!
Offer expires 30th April.
Moxyland by Lauren Beukes
Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
Walking the Tree by Kaaron Warren
Debris by Jo Anderton
Suited by Jo Anderton
vN by Madeline Ashby
The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Broken by A E Rought
Emilie and the Hollow World by Martha Wells
Shift by Kim Curran
Still here? Go – fill your basket!
*includes VAT @ 20%. Customers outside of the European Union do not pay the VAT.
Today is the official UK print publication day for Angry Robot’s April releases. UK-based readers who prefer the feel of something papery beneath their fingertips can now grab themselves a copy of each of the following:
The Marching Dead, the second of Lee Battersby‘s hugely entertaining fantasy quests starring reluctant King-of-the-Dead Marius don Hellespont, plus: The Age Atomic, sequel to Adam Christopher‘s genre-bending, convention-defying debut, Empire State, plus: Black Feathers, the first part of Joseph D’Lacey‘s Black Dawn duology; a post-eco-apocalyptic, darkly fantastical fable for our times.
See below for more info on all three of these brand new genre fiction delights and then hot-foot it to your nearest bricks-and-mortar bookstore and treat yourself to some top-notch genre fiction. Go on, you know you deserve it…
by Lee Battersby
Find the dead a King, save himself, win the love of his life, live happily ever after. No wonder Marius dos Helles is bored. But now something has stopped the dead from, well, dying.
It’s up to Marius, Gerd, and Gerd’s not-dead-enough Granny to journey across the continent and put the dead back in the afterlife where they belong.
File Under: Fantasy [ Dead Reckoning | Strange Problems | By Royal Decree | Still Running ]
And here’s a link to yesterday’s exclusive short story by Lee.
by Adam Christopher
The sequel to Empire State – the superhero-noir fantasy thriller set in the other New York.
The Empire State is dying. The Fissure connecting the pocket universe to New York has vanished, plunging the city into a deep freeze and the populace are demanding a return to Prohibition and rationing as energy supplies dwindle.
Meanwhile, in 1954 New York, the political dynamic has changed and Nimrod finds his department subsumed by a new group, Atoms For Peace, led by the mysterious Evelyn McHale.
As Rad uncovers a new threat to his city, Atoms For Peace prepare their army for a transdimensional invasion. Their goal: total conquest – or destruction – of the Empire State.
File Under: Science Fiction [ Splitting the Atoms | Angry Robots | Crossing | Universal Destruction ]
Meet Adam tonight at Forbidden Planet, London.
by Joseph D’Lacey
It is the Black Dawn, a time of environmental apocalypse, the earth wracked and dying.
It is the Bright Day, a time long generations hence, when a peace has descended across the world.
In each era, a child shall be chosen. Their task is to find a dark messiah known only as the Crowman. But is he our saviour – or the final incarnation of evil?
File Under: Fantasy [ The Crowman | Joined Through Time | The Last Keeper | The Journey Begins ]
Gentle readers, on this, the eve of the official publication date of The Marching Dead – sequel to The Corpse-Rat King and therefore the second novel to recount the misadventures of renowned scoundrel Marius don Hellespont, as told to us by the greatly esteemed and utterly unscoundrely Mr Lee Battersby – Angry Robot is delighted to present this short tale, by way of aperitif before tomorrow’s main event… enjoy!
An hour ago there had been six at the table. Now there were two. Marius don Hellespont, late of His Automancer’s Court of Taslingham, even later of the cells beneath the court, took a moment to glance down at his cards before casually flicking over a stack of riner coins so they splashed across the green paper tablecloth.
“Whatever that adds up to,” he said, deliberately yawning. The fat Tallian across from him pursed his lips.
“That is bad etiquette, sir.”
“In this fine place?” Marius waved a hand at the shabby, peeling wallpaper, the warped floorboards, and the boarded up windows that surrounded them. “Where are my manners?” He nodded at the coins. “Whatever that adds up to. See it or raise, tubby.”
The fat man waited enough that Marius knew he was beaten. The game of Kingdom was a complex one, if you paid attention to the cards, and it became more difficult the fewer players were at the table. Ostensibly, the object was to build the hand most closely resembling the current ruling class: Royal family, if you were in Scorby, Council of Elders in Zerpha, Automancer’s Cabal in Taslingham, and so on. If you were paying attention to the cards. Only the most trusting of beginners did that.
Real players, and Marius was a real player, knew that the object of the game was much simpler: to take your opponent’s money. The cards were immaterial. What counted was keeping your opponent off-balance– learning their tells, their psychological weaknesses, and then exploiting them. Like all truly great sports, Kingdom was won by the one who best played the man. The Tallian hesitated the tiniest smidgeon, and Marius had him.
“Gods damn it.” The fat man blew out his cheeks, aiming to recover lost bravado. “Gods damn.” He made a show of counting the coins, then counting them again. Marius very deliberately did not leer like a greedy baby snatcher. “All right,” his victim said. “All right.” He riffled his stack, came to the decision Marius knew he was coming to all along. “All in.” He moved his pile into the centre of the table.
Marius didn’t count them. He had no need. He knew he had the bet covered. He paused just long enough to make him sweat, then casually smiled and laid his cards face down before him. “Call.”
A queen, a prince, a knight, three nobles, a peasant. Pretty close. Good enough to win most hands. The fat man stared at them for several seconds, then raised his gaze to Marius.
“One peasant.” He snapped the card onto the table. “Three nobles.” Snap. “One knight.” Snap. “One prince.” He held up the last card, turned it so that it faced Marius. “One King.” He laid it down with a grin, slid it into place with the others. “My hand, I think.”
He reached out to draw in Marius’ coins. To their right, a door crashed open.
“What the fuck?” Both players reared back from the table as if stung. A soldier was standing in the doorway.
“The King!” he roared. “The King has been killed!”
“Assassins from the house of Belchester! The King is dead!” He flung himself back out the door. The room erupted in a mad scramble to follow him: off duty guardsmen and civil militiamen hurling themselves towards distant guardhouses, to swords tucked over lintels, to scythes and halberds and sharpening wheels in front yards. As the room emptied, Marius raised a sympathetic eyebrow at his stunned opponent, and began scooping coins into his pockets.
“Tough timing,” he said, and rose before the fat Tallian could recover himself enough to object. “Still, the cards never lie.”
Marius sat in a booth at the back of ‘The Hauled Keel’ and watched his young apprentice Gerd weave through the crowd, two tankards of Krehmlager in his beefy fists, plonking down opposite his master and passing one over. Marius raised it in salute, and took a long swallow.
“You hid the armour?” he asked, once he’d recovered his breath. Gerd took a sip, and choked.
“In a barrel on Pudding Alley.”
“Good. Good.” Marius removed a short stack of coins from a pocket and slid it over. “Your share.” Gerd accepted it without counting. Trusting lad. Stupid boy. Marius felt the weight of all the winnings secreted around his body, and took another swallow to help ignore a sudden pang of conscience. From outside came shouts, and a clattering so loud that even the seasoned drinkers within the pub were silent for a moment.
“What’s that?” Gerd stood, and turned towards the window. Marius tilted his head.
“Soldiers,” he said after a moment. “Forming up in front of Traitor’s Gate.”
“Isn’t that the…”
“Road to Belchester?” Marius nodded. Gerd slowly sat down.
“You don’t think..?”
Marius took a long draught of his lager, shook his head, and signalled a passing girl for another while he recovered the feeling in his face. Krehmlager was traditionally strong. The Hauled Keel’s brewing room deserved its own hospital. “No,” he said, finally, flipping a coin through suddenly-clumsy fingers. “And even if there’s a little skirmish or something, nothing will come out of it but opportunity.”
The new pints arrived. He picked his up and gestured to Gerd to do the same. “Drink up,” he said. “We’ve got to get our stuff and be ready to follow them.” He smiled, thinking of the riches to be had on the battlefield to come. “I’m going to teach you how to be a corpse-rat.”