Saturday, 4 December 2010

bite me: the week in bite-sized chunks


Dear teenage self,

If only Atom’s The Atomics, a new blogosphere of reviewers aged twelve to eighteen who will be given the opportunity to see Atom’s latest titles before they go to print, had existed back when you were morosely putting pen to paper. You could have stopped writing about the love that never could be (he’s gay, by the way), and instead wrote reviews and been published in the Atomics section of the Atom website. I wrote about this last month as Atom are great for interacting with their blogging fans (and feeding them buns). They are also keen to let readers know they aren’t just publishing ‘girly’ paranormal romances, they’re currently expanding their list to cater to a breadth of teenage topics, including mystery and adventure. Perhaps this signals a move away from what could be known as their Twilight Era, their ‘tween’ stage on the way to being a fully established imprint no longer under Orbit’s considerable shadow. Atom is all grown up and ready to split (sorry).

Angry Robot Books: these guys have, rather excitingly, just launched their digital short story store and from the 1st December readers will be able to buy and download their authors’ short stories (AKA ‘Nano Editions’). Also, at 59p each or 10 for £3.49, they’re not pricey. Eager to embrace the new opportunities digital technology is presenting publishers with, Editor Lee Harris calls this venture an ‘excellent way for readers to sample unfamiliar authors, without breaking the bank.’ In addition, I realise I’ve said this before but I really do intend to review a title by this publisher if only to justify my place in their Angry Robot Army, where I am currently registering as so low in the ranks I’m only classed as Miffed. Also, great interview with Harris in SFX here.

2010 Urban Fantasy Cover Art Awards: voting is now open for these annual awards by All Things Urban Fantasy and closes on 29th December. Featuring titles published between the 1st January and the 31st December 2010, the 15 categories include Best Male Cover, Most Unique Cover, Cover of the Year 2010 and, my personal favourite, Best Female w/ Animal Cover. Voting also means you’re eligible to win some of the shortlisted titles. I love covers, being a hardcopy romantic, and naturally there are many beautiful pieces of art to choose from, such as artist Chris McGrath’s cover designs for Clay and Susan Griffith’s The Greyfriar, a Steampunk title published by Prometheus Books (and surely based on Mitchell, the vampire from the excellent BBC supernatural drama Being Human?). My favourite cover out of all those in the running has to be The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff, published by Razorbill and by cover artist Jonathan Barkat, for its uniqueness amongst the usual Urban Fantasy tokes and because it features that which terrifies me the most: a baby in a pram.


  1. You read my mind about THE REPLACEMENT. It might be my #1 favorite cover of the year.

  2. It took me much longer to write this roundup than usual because I was so distracted by the awards and cover-browsing! I was torn because I do love Chris McGrath's art but this cover was just something else.