Launched earlier this year by Harper Collins in the UK and Australia, Angry Robot is a new publishing imprint where “[the] mission, quite simply, is to publish the best in brand new genre fiction – SF, F and WTF?!” Essentially, Angry Robot is all about the new wave of SF and Fantasy, whether it be subversive new takes on traditional tropes, crossover fiction, or something entirely, even bizarrely original. What makes me excited about the whole venture is that Harper Collins already has a dedicated SF & Fantasy Imprint in their stable: Voyager is perhaps the biggest specialist SF and Fantasy publisher in the world, home to many of the genres’ most successful authors. For Harper to launch a new dedicated SF & F imprint suggests they are looking to do something new.
Another reason to be optimistic is the publishing team behind Angry Robot: Marc Gascoigne and assistant editor Lee Harris – perhaps two of the biggest SF geeks on the planet. Marc cut his teeth at the Independent SF & F Publisher Solaris and War Hammer specialist The Black Library and Lee is a driving force behind Hub Magazine, a weekly e-Zine that is also worth checking out. The duo have certainly used their connections well to put together a motley crew of authors from around the world, including two from Australia – Kylie Chan and Kaaron Warren. Many of the authors are already hardened professionals, writing film and tv tie-ins, gaming fiction and computer games.
They have nine books scheduled already in 2009 and at least two books a month due for release in 2010. That’s a good output and while hungry SF & Fantasy readers will no doubt be licking their lips at the new injection of stories, it will be interesting to see how consistent the quality of both the writing and editing is as the relentless search for genre titles to fill this ambitious publishing schedule. On top of this they plan to make all their books available in eBook and audio book format.
I have profiled the first nine books due for release in the UK and Australia in 2009 (the rest of the world can expect them from May 2010). As you can see, the range is varied, including epic fantasy, urban fantasy, science fiction and horror. I hope this means there will be there will be something to appeal to everyone so take a look and keep your eye out in the future for the Angry Robot logo. If you’ve read any Angry Robot titles already, please let us all know how they rate.
Check out the Angry Robot website too – it’s got a great indie publisher feel to it and their blog is always entertaining: www.angryrobotbooks.com
SLIGHTS by Kaaron Warren
Stevie is a killer. After a near-death experience she finds herself in a room with everyone she’s ever pissed off. They clutch at her, scratch and tear at her but she finds herself drawn back to this place, again and again which means she has to die, again and again. And she starts to wonder whether other people see the same room when they die.
From the pen of Australian author Kaaron Warren, Slights is a deeply intense, disturbing read that digs at our sordid fascination with misery and abuse.
UPDATE: Slights has just been nominated for the 2009 Aurealis Awards in the Horror category. For a full list of the nominees, click here.
MOXYLAND by Lauren Beukes
Moxyland is a smart thriller about technological progress, and the freedoms it removes. In the near future, four hip young things live in a world where your online identity is at least as important as your physical one. Getting disconnected is a punishment worse than imprisonment, but someone’s got to stand up to government inc., whatever the cost. An interesting first novel for fans of Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross.
NEKROPOLIS by Tim Waggoner
Meet Matt Richter. Private eye. Zombie. His mean streets are the city of the dead, the shadowy realm known as Nekropolis. In this first case, Richter must help a delectable half-vampire named Devona recover a legendary artefact known as the Dawnstone, before it’s used to destroy Nekropolis itself. Pulp and proud, Nekropolis is just the first of a trio of fabulous urban fantasies Angry Robot will be bringing you from the mighty Tim Waggoner.
THE BOOK OF SECRETS by Chris Roberson
Reporter Spencer Finch is embroiled in the hunt for a missing book, encountering along the way cat burglars and mobsters, hackers and monks. At the same time, he’s trying to make sense of the legacy left him by his late grandfather, a chest of what appear to be magazines from the golden age of pulp fiction, and even earlier. This intelligent modern fantasy thriller is like The Da Vinci Code rewritten by the Coen Brothers.
ANGEL OF DEATH by J. Robert King
The angel of death in Chicago oversees all people in the megalopolis, making sure their deaths fit their lives. Though most deaths naturally do, those that result from serial murder do not, so the angel spends much time trailing a serial killer in his patch. On the trail of one such man, he encounters a cop and falls in love with her. When he is assigned to kill her, though, he has to make a choice between divinity and humanity.
KELL’S LEGEND by Andy Remic
The land of Falanor is invaded by an albino army, the Army of Iron — monstrous harvesters who drain blood from their victims to feed their masters, and the twisted offspring of deviant vachine, the cankers. A small group set off to warn the king: Kell, ancient hero; his granddaughter, Nienna and her friend, Katrina; and the ex-Sword Champion of King Leanoric, Saark, disgraced after his affair with the Queen.
TRIUMFF – HER MAJESTY’S HERO by Dan Abnett
Sir Rupert Triumff. Adventurer. Fighter. Drinker. Saviour?
Pratchett goes swashbuckling in this ribald historical fantasy set in a warped clockwork-powered version of our present day — a new Elizabethan age, not of Elizabeth II but in the style of the original Virgin Queen. Throughout its rollicking pages, Sir Rupert Triumff drinks, dines and duels his way into a new Brass Age of Exploration and Adventure.
WINTER SONG by Colin Harvey
When Karl Allman’s spaceship crashed, he had only one question: “HOW DO I GET OUT OF HERE?” Stranded on a forgotten and primitive colony world, Karl Allman’s only hope is in the rumours about an old ship lost somewhere in all the ice. Aided by the outcast Bera, who seeks freedom from the oppressive society that barely holds the failed colony together, Karl’s journey is a personal struggle that will throw up plenty of surprises. A vividly described world and a poignant story. This book comes highly recommended.
SIXTY-ONE NAILS by Mike Shevdon
There is a secret war raging beneath the streets of London. A dark magic will be unleashed by the Untainted unless a new hero can be found. Niall Petersen emerges from a suspected heart attack on the London Underground into the hidden world of the Feyre. The Untainted, the darkest of the Seven Courts, have made their play for power, and unless Niall can recreate the ritual of the Sixty-One Nails, their dark dominion will enslave all of the Feyre, and all of humankind too.