The Age Atomic. Book ReviewComments Off
Angry Robot Books, s/b, £8.99
Reviewed by Matthew Johns
1954 New York is connected to an alternate version of itself through The Fissure – a mysterious power that the government in each reality try to control. Following the events of the previous novel in the series (EmpireState), The Fissure has vanished, and the alternate New York finds itself in the grip of sub-zero temperatures and dwindling energy supplies.
Private investigator Rad Bradley finds himself tangled up in a plot to create huge robot armies. Assisted by Jennifer Jones, who claims to be a government agent, he starts to investigate the mysterious “King of 125th Street”. Meanwhile, in the other, original New York, Doctor X is trying to find a reliable power source for an army of robots that is being built on the orders of Evelyn McHale, the (literally) ghostly director of Atoms for Peace.
Some great characters come together in an epic struggle to re-establish The Fissure and prevent the destruction of all creation. At times reminiscent of the classic Saturday morning science fiction serials like The Rocketeer and Flash Gordon, at other times, bordering on Terry Gilliam’s surreal epics like Brazil, The Age Atomic is a stunning novel from a skilled story teller.
Angry Robot Signs James A. Moore’s Epic Fantasy Seven Forges in Two Book DealComments Off
Angry Robot is delighted to announce the acquisition of the worldwide rights to two epic fantasy novels by James A. Moore, the first of which, Seven Forges, will be published in October.
The deal for Worldwide English rights in books, ebooks and audiobooks was concluded by Angry Robot Managing Director Marc Gascoigne and Donald Morhaim in New York.
James A. Moore cut his teeth in the industry writing for Marvel Comics and authoring over twenty role-playing supplements for White Wolf Games. He also penned the White Wolf novels Vampire: House of Secrets and Werewolf: Hellstorm. Moore’s first short story collection,Slices, sold out before ever seeing print.
He is currently working on three new novels: Congregations of the Dead, the as-yet unnamed sequel to Seven Forges, and Boom Town, and he recently completed his latest Jonathan Crowley novel, Cherry Hill. He lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia.
James said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be working with Angry Robot Books and the amazing team they’ve assembled. They’ve been enthusiastic, caring and attentive, and now that the contracts have been signed I’m happy to report to the entire team that their loved ones will be returned home safely in the very near future, most of them no worse for the wear.”
Angry Robot Signs New Zealander Freya Robertson in Two Book Epic Fantasy DealComments Off
Freya Robertson has an impressive track record, having published over twenty romance novels under her pseudonym, Serenity Woods. The deal was agreed between Robertson and Angry Robot’s Senior Editor, Lee Harris.
Freya is a lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy, as well as a dedicated gamer. She has a deep and abiding fascination for the history and archaeology of the middle ages and spent many hours as a teenager writing out notecards detailing the battles of the Wars of the Roses, or moping around museums looking at ancient skeletons, bits of rusted iron and broken pots.
Heartwood is a truly epic fantasy that tells the story of a dying land, a desperate quest, a love story of sorts, and the seven knights who travel the wilderness in a battle to save the land and its people.
Freya said, “I’m thrilled to be welcomed onto Angry Robot’s superb team and, as a New Zealand writer, pleased to bring a little bit of Middle Earth to the table.”
Heartwood will be published in early 2014, with the sequel to follow later in the year.
Strange Chemistry Signs Amalie Howard in Two-Book YA Science Fiction dealComments Off
Strange Chemistry, the YA imprint of Angry Robot Books, is delighted to announce the signing of Amalie Howard, in a two-book World English Rights deal concluded by Strange Chemistry’s editor Amanda Rutter and Liza Fleissig of the Liza Royce Agency.
The first book, YA Science Fiction novel The Almost Girl, will be published in Spring 2014, with a sequel to follow towards the end of 2014.
Seventeen-year-old Riven is as tough as they come. Coming from a world ravaged by a devastating android war, she has to be. There’s no room for softness, no room for emotion, no room for mistakes. A Legion General, she is the right hand of the young Prince of Neospes, a parallel universe to Earth. In Neospes, she has everything: rank, responsibility and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to find his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited back to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory.
Thrown out of her comfort zone but with the mindset of a soldier, Riven has to learn how to be a girl in a realm that is the opposite of what she knows. Riven isn’t prepared for the beauty of a world that is unlike her own in so many ways. Nor is she prepared to feel something more than indifference for the very target she seeks. Caden is nothing like Cale, but he makes something in her come alive, igniting a spark deep down that goes against every cell in her body. For the first time in her life, Riven isn’t sure about her purpose, about her calling. Torn between duty and desire, she must decide whether Caden is simply a target or whether he is something more.
Faced with hideous reanimated Vector soldiers from her own world with agendas of their own, as well as an unexpected reunion with a sister who despises her, it is a race against time to bring Caden back to Neospes. But things aren’t always as they seem, and Riven will have to search for truth. Family betrayals and royal coups are only the tip of the iceberg. Will Riven be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?
The Almost Girl is a richly imagined story of defiance, courage, and heart. It is the tale of a girl who finds her own way on her own terms, a girl who won’t let what she is define her, and a girl who will sacrifice everything she is for the ones she loves. It is a story of someone who eclipses her predestined fate to become something more … something extraordinary.
Seventeen Magazine Summer Club author Amalie Howard grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure.
She received a bachelor’s degree from Colby College in Maine in International Studies and French, and a certificate in French Literature from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France. Travelling the globe, she has worked as a research assistant, marketing representative, teen speaker and global sales executive. She currently resides in New York with her husband and three children.
Angry Robot Signs Tim Waggoner’s Brand New Urban FantasyComments Off
Angry Robot, publisher of cutting-edge SF, F and WTF?! fiction, is delighted to announce the forthcoming publication of a new two-book Urban Fantasy series by Tim Waggoner, author of the hugely popular Nekropolis saga.
The deal was brokered between Tim’s agent Cherry Weiner of the Cherry Weiner Literary Agency and Angry Robot’s Senior Editor, Lee Harris for worldwide English, translation and audio rights.
It’s Men In Black meets The Sandman. Meet the fine men and women of the NightWatch: a supernatural agency dedicated to hunting down rogue nightmares that escape from other realms when people dream about them, while ensuring that other dream-folk are allowed to live among the regular, human population… as long as they play by the rules.
The first book in the series - Night Terrors - will be published in the summer of 2014, with a follow-up volume scheduled for early 2015.
Tim Waggoner said: “One of the many wonderful things about Angry Robot is that they don’t publish cookie-cutter fiction. They seek out the different, the unusual, and – in my case – the downright weird. It’s a joy to be working with these mad geniuses again.”
Angry Robot Senior Editor Lee Harris said: “Tim’s Nekropolis was one of the first books we published when we launched Angry Robot, and it has been popular with our readers ever since. I’m hugely looking forward to our working with him again more than 100 books later!”
The Damned Busters/Costume Not Included by Matthew Hughes. Book reviewComments Off
Angry Robot, p/b, £7.99 ea./ebook, £5.49, http://angryrobotbooks.com/index.php
Reviewed by David Brzeski
Chesney Anstruther is an actuary. He is also a functionally autistic nerd. He has all the classic nerd traits. No social skills; bullied at school; geeky job that fascinates him, while interesting no one else; failure with women; loves superhero comics.
When he accidentally causes Hell to go on strike, something has to be done! Satan offers him a one-off deal, which results in the weirdest superhero duo ever.
It reminded me somewhat of the work of the late Robert Asprin; to the extent that I was imagining the characters as if they were drawn by Phil Foglio, the illustrator of many of Asprin’s books and comic adaptations. In the dealings with Satan and Hell I also saw some similarities with Andy Hamilton’s brilliant ‘Old Harry’s Game’ radio series, which is high praise in my book.
That’s not to say it as riotously laugh out loud funny as either of the aforementioned works. They were out-and-out comedy, whereas this is comedy-drama. The plot, which combines elements of superhero comics, police procedurals, political thrillers and religious satire is every bit as important as the humour.
‘To Hell and Back’ book one: ‘The Damned Busters’ is great fun.
‘To Hell and Back’ book two: ‘Costume Not Included’ is even better.
I can see a lot of fundamentalist (read humourless) Christians hating these books. I could see them being pulled from certain school libraries in the USA (assuming they ever got in there in the first place). The overall plot of both books explains in a very amusing fashion, all the inconsistencies in the Bible. Creation is a work in progress and God is constantly revising it, but what happens to all the material that was excised from previous drafts?
Poor Chesney Anstruther has enough trouble coping with the world around him as it is. Now he has to deal with demons, criminals, police officers (corrupt and otherwise), politicians, ambitious televangelists, a new girlfriend, Satan and his mother!
I recommend these books highly and will certainly be reading book three in the series, which has recently landed on my virtual review pile, fairly soon.
Angry Robot’s Lee Harris Promoted To Senior EditorComments Off
Angry Robot is extremely pleased to announce the promotion of Lee Harris to the post of Senior Editor, with immediate effect.
Lee started working for Angry Robot in January 2009 – six months before the launch of the list – as Assistant Editor to publisher Marc Gascoigne. He was promoted to Editor in 2010 and is now a regular speaker and panellist at genre and publishing events.
Angry Robot Senior Editor Lee Harris said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the new role, which is very similar to the old role, but with added pressure and expectations. Angry Robot is the best place to work, and I’m blessed because every day I look forward to coming to the office. Long may it continue.”
Angry Robot Managing Director Marc Gascoigne said: “Lee’s been with Angry Robot from its earliest days four years ago and as the line has grown, so have his talents. As the development of our new imprints, Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A, has become more demanding, he’s taken the new editors under his wing and mentored them to within an inch of their lives. This promotion is timely and very well deserved.”
You can follow Lee on Twitter @LeeAHarris, where he dispenses pearls of publishing wisdom and cringe-inducing puns with equal aplomb and abandon.
Nexus. Book ReviewComments Off
Angry Robot, p/b, £8.99
Reviewed by R A Bardy (@mangozoid)
I’ll say at the outset that I really enjoyed this — it did take a little while to get going, but once it did I found myself wanting to push on through to the end, and in that sense, as a reader you can’t really ask for more. And Nexus was not just a riveting read, but rather it felt more like I was watching some kind of action film in a similar vein to the Bourne films, The Matrix, etc.
Briefly, the book’s tagline reads “Mankind gets an upgrade” and basically we’re introduced to Nexus, a mind-enhancing drug that allows people to share the same thoughts/memories and to effectively talk and interact with each other through thought alone… Like any snazzy new drug, there are those who want to use it for good, but twice as many who would rather use it for their own nefarious purposes, like mind control, etc.
Into this arena, our main protagonists have been thrust: there is Samantha Cataranes, an augmented agent for the ERD (Emerging Risks Directorate), who we later find out is not all she seems, and likely someone else entirely; Kade Lane, an idealistic scientist who is caught doing something he shouldn’t to try and improve Nexus for the benefit of all; and a whole cast of other solid characters, all with their own individual aims and desires for the wonder drug: Professor Su-Yong Shu is a particularly dangerous adversary here, although it takes a while to work out exactly whose side she’s on… Indeed, there are so many layers upon layers herein, and although the author introduces them gradually, he does have a tendency to skip from one to the other to another mid-chapter — normally this would be confusing, but for me it added to the feeling that this was a full-on movie playing out in my head.
I should add here that this is a debut novel by a celebrated computer scientist who has previously won the HG Wells Award for his non-fiction work: More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement, so he definitely knows his stuff, and this helps to add the necessary levels of authenticity to proceedings, making the whole thing entirely believable. There is a sequel of sorts, called Crux, due out in 2013 or ’14.
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. I really liked it, and think you probably will too if this is your thing: I’m very much looking forward to seeing more from this exciting new talent, and well done Angry Robot for finding him.
Angry Robot Signs Jay Posey in Two Book DealComments Off
Angry Robot, the publisher of cutting-edge SF, F and WTF?! fiction, is delighted to announce the signing of a two-book World English Plus Translation deal with science fiction author Jay Posey.
The deal, concluded by Angry Robot Editor Lee Harris and Jay Posey, is for two books in the Duskwalker Cycle – a dark science fiction saga set in a post-apocalyptic America; a dying world where might prevails.
In Three, the first book of the Duskwalker Cycle, the world has collapsed, and there are no heroes any more. But when a lone gunman reluctantly accepts the mantel of protector to a young boy and his dying mother against the forces that pursue them, a hero may yet arise.
The first instalment, Three, will be published worldwide in Autumn 2013, with the second book to follow in 2014.
Jay Posey said: “I’ve spent entirely too long sitting here, trying to come up with something clever to say and the fact is, I’m simply too excited about working with the famed Robot Overlords to say anything else about it.
“It’s incredibly gratifying to have been invited to work with such an amazing group of hyper-intelligent and almost painfully attractive people, and it also conveniently completes Phase Three of my five-phase plan for world domination, so it’s clearly win-win. For me, I mean.”
Lee Harris said: “I’d been hoping to find a great new post-apocalypse series for some time, and when Jay’s manuscript hit my desk I couldn’t have been more delighted. It has everything you want from a novel – a great story, great setting and a fantastic cast of characters.”
Jay is a narrative designer, author, and screenwriter by trade. He started working in the video game industry in 1998, and has been writing professionally for over a decade. Currently employed as Senior Narrative Designer at Red Storm Entertainment, he’s spent around eight years writing and designing for Tom Clancy’s award-winning Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six franchises.
A contributing author to the book Professional Techniques for Video Game Writing, Jay has lectured at conferences, colleges, and universities, on topics ranging from basic creative writing skills to advanced material specific to the video game industry.
The Dead Of Winter by Lee Collins. Book reviewComments Off
Angry Robot, p/b, £8.99/ebook, £5.49,
Reviewed by David Brzeski
The cover blurb describes this book as “True Grit meets True Blood”, which is pretty close. There are no good vampires fighting for their rights to live in peace among humans here though. There aren’t even any bad vampires pretending to be good. The only real similarity with ‘True Blood’ is that the existence of vampires and other supernatural beasties does seem to be fairly commonly accepted knowledge.
Cora Oglesby and her husband Ben are supernatural bounty hunters. They travel from town to town ridding the local populaces of any supernatural threats… for a price. Cora can out-fight, out-gun and out-drink any man. Ben would rather read a good book. Along the way to deal with their latest job, they meet the English occult scholar James Townsend, who later offers them a second commission, involving a nest of vampires in a nearby mine.
Cora comes over a bit like Calmity Jane, from the TV show, ‘Deadwood’, albeit somewhat cleaner and not quite so drunk. This makes for an interesting contrast with James, who is more knowledgable, but with no real hands-on experience in fighting monsters. Cora soon sorts that out for him. The relationship between Cora and her bookish husband, Ben is nicely handled. The author cleverly slips in clues regarding one major plot element, but it still took me a little while to get suspicious that something was not quite right, and I didn’t see the actual denoument coming.
Lee Collins captures the feel of the period pretty well and the characters are well-rounded. I will certainly be picking up the next book in the series.