Angry Robot Books: I feel like I’ve been living and breathing Angry Robot for the past few months, as I’ve just carried out a research project on their digital activities for my MA. Just when I thought I was ready to hand it in, they do something new. I could hardly keep up, which is, of course, exactly why I chose them. They’ve just introduced their ‘Ask the Robot’ feature (by my deadline too, thanks guys), which they’ve set up on a site called Formspring that I’ve only just learned about, but which now knows more about me than my closest friends (‘Can Formspring access all your personal details? Formspring LOVES birthdays, when’s yours and don't you think your Diet Coke dependency is getting out of hand?). Basically you can ask Angry Robot anything and they’ll answer it. All answers will also get copied to their Twitter feed, which cunningly means you’ll want to follow them there too. OK, so you get the odd ‘If a woodchuck could (and would) chuck wood, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck?’ question (‘2’, in case you were wondering). But also this offers the chance for readers to get under their robotic exterior and see how they’re wired. I have 4,500 garbled words and a pie chart that say quite, quite well. Incidentally, that's 4,500 words that would have benefited staggeringly from this feature. First post from user Disgruntled MA Student: 'Dear Angry Robot, why wasn't this feature in place a couple of months back when I needed it the most?'
Lauren Beukes: author of the amazing Moxyland and Zoo City, the Angry Robot writer has just been told by the Hugo Awards committee that she’s eligible for the 2011 Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Voting closes on March 26th and you can vote if you’re a Renovation member, or by joining. If you can afford the membership fee, or you’re already a proud card-carrying member, what are you waiting for? The awards will be presented at the Hugo Ceremony, at the annual World Science Fiction Convention (run by the World Science Fiction Society, who also sponsor the Hugos) on 17th – 21st August, in Reno, Nevada. There are 15 categories in total, not including the Campbell. Also, the award is shaped like a delightful rocket.
Orbit: I was quite distressed earlier as I couldn’t access their site. Am I addicted? *Drinks caffeine to calm nerves* Anyway, Orbit UK have just announced their acquisition of three new titles of Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files (mentioned two posts in a row, it must be a record). The series' crazy-amazing mix of Urban Fantasy and crime noir (as Orbit dubs them) make for genuinely unique books, whilst still managing to contain the usual UF tropes. I’m not sure any cover artist’s work excites me quite as much as Chris McGrath’s designs for this series. Maybe it’s his addition of a stylish hat for the character of Harry Dresden (one he notoriously never dons in the text itself), but Orbit UK’s covers have always been a poorer comparison. Until now. As if they’ve noted my anguish, Orbit UK have melded McGrath’s designs for Penguin/Roc USA, with Little, Brown designer Peter Cotton’s and created these absolute beauties. The latest File, Ghost Story is due out July 26th, a whole four months later than normal. Still, the wait is always worth it. Side note: I am absolutely gutted that I missed their competition to win all of the new covers (and the books too, obviously). And I call myself a rabid fan.