Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Angry Robot, Empire State & WorldBuilder

Once again the mad geniuses at Angry Robot are about to blow our minds.  Here is the press release detailng the new way that they are going to foster creative relations with the fan community, WorldBuilder:

"Sometimes, when you’ve read a great book you just don’t want the experience to end. We know that many of you are talented creators in your own right – artists, writers, musicians, puppeteers, and so many other things. This is why we designed WorldBuilder.

WorldBuilder is our way of reaching out to the fan creator communities, to invite you to come play in our yard.

We’re not new to the concept, of course. We once ran a short story competition based in the world of Moxyland by Lauren Beukes, and the best three stories were featured at the back of Lauren’s award-winning Zoo City.

WorldBuilder takes that idea and moves it forward a billion or so steps (note: might not be a billion).

In January, when we publish Adam Christopher’s uber-cool prohibition-superhero-noir novel, Empire State, we’ll be inviting fan creators everywhere to visit the world of Empire State and create their own works of art based in the Empire State universe. These creations can then be uploaded to a dedicated website, and distributed under a Creative Commons license.

The best of these will be featured in a number of “Best of” anthologies (with most of the proceeds going to the creators).

Additionally, we’re commissioning some short stories from some rather well-known writers, as well as other cool things from creators in other fields. WorldBuilder will be managed for us by the mighty Mur Lafferty.

Empire State is the perfect novel to kick off the WorldBuilder project; there are an infinite number of stories to be told within that world – private eye, superhero, gangster, fringe science, alternate realities – and an infinite number of ways these stories can be told.

The website addresses you’ll need:
EmpireState.cc(launches in January,a longside the novel) and WorldBuilderOnline.com(launches in the autumn)."

This is an brilliant idea and I can't wait to see what comes of it!  Imagine what the results will be!  I know I've been super excited since first hearing about Empire State and all the awesomeness that I know Adam Christopher has put into it and now with WorldBuilder, the experience will be even more incredible; what a treat to readers and artists alike!  Thanks, Angry Robot!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Houses of Westeros from A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE

I've never done a post on A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin because a) I'm by no means an authority on the series since I'm probably one of the few people out there who haven't read it all the way through due to the long stretches between books, and b) because so many other bloggers have a multitude of posts on ASOIAF that I felt the subject was more than covered!  But I spied these beautiful posters for the Houses of Westeros on the blog A Dribble of Ink and wanted to share them.  They are by artist Tom Gateley and you have to admit, they are pretty amazing...!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"What kind of a name is 'Rad' anyway?"

So in honor of "Noir Week" over at Tor.com, there is an excerpt of Empire State, a science fiction noir by Adam Christopher, due out December 27th here in the States; check it out!

To pre-order Empire State:

US edition; trade paperback; ISBN: 978-0-85766-193-7



*Barnes & Noble

*The Book Depository


for the UK edition; trade paperback; ISBN: 978-0-85766-192-0



*The Book Depository


*WH Smith

for the ebook; ISBN: 978-0-85766-194-4

*Barnes & Noble Nook 

*Angry Robot 12 month subscription, includes Empire State

...alas, there isn't a link for Kindle yet but it is coming soon!

Keep checking this blog for more Empire State countdown!


Some sad news and interesting tidbits from the interwebs today:

First up, there is an interesting article at LibraryJournal.com called Epic Journeys that details the important differences between setting trends and chasing them...

And Daniel Polansky is definitely all over the web this week with an article of his called "Slums of the Shire" featured on The Eloquent Page , he is interviewed at The Qwillery and reviews of his novel Low Town are featured at Bookworm Blues, My Bookish Ways, Darkeva's Dark Delights and many other places.  All the reviews I've seen are more than positive and the book is on my TBR list!

At Tor.com they are offering an escape from the sweltering dog days of summer into the cool, shadowy underworld of back alleys, jazz joints, hardboiled hooligans and tough talking femme fatales with Noir Week!

And finally the SF world has experienced a great loss with the passing yesterday of Colin Harvey.  Harvey wrote Winter Song and Damage Time for Angry Robot and reviewed regularly at Strange Horizons.  An obituary is up at the Angry Robot  website, where his fellow AR authors and several others have expressed their sadness and shared their memories of this talented writer. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Cover Art from Angry Robot!

The first cover is from Matt Forbeck's upcoming Titanic themed horror novel Carpathia.  This will be out March 2012, just in time for the 100th anniversary of the "unsinkable" ship.  I like how this cover is blood stained, with the Titanic sinking in the background; pretty eerie!  I've never heard of horror being combined with this famous disaster, and since I was such a fan of Vegas Knights, I'm excited to see where Forbeck's take on the story will go...

And also revealed just this week is the brilliant new cover art for Adam Christopher's Empire State.  I've enjoyed following him on Twitter; his view on superhero fiction is awesome!  If you haven't heard already, he practically got his Angry Robot deal via Twitter alone; you can read what I mean and how he came to be an Angry Robot author here.

Here's a brief synopsis and tag line:

" The stunning noir-fantasy thriller set in the other New York!

It was the last great science hero fight, but the energy blast ripped a hole in reality, and birthed the Empire State – a young, twisted parallel prohibition-era New York.

When the rift starts to close, both worlds are threatened, and both must fight for the right to exist..."

Empire State already has its own page at Angry Robot and from the early blurbs, this book just sounds all kinds of awesome, making me count the days til its US release date December 2011!!  It is also featured in the Book Cover Smackdown at SF Signal.

Adam and Empire State will also be featured in The Qwillery for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge.  To take part, you just need to sign up, buy the book when it comes out, read it, and then join the conversation over at The Qwillery; he will also be doing an interview and reader Q&A so check it out!

WOW!  It looks like Angry Robot is starting 2012 off with a BIG bang!  Again guys, I'm counting the days!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Review: Much of Madness, More of Sin by Andrew Wolter (Shadow City Press)

Much of Madness, More of Sin is the first short story collection from Andrew Wolter and what a twisted and erotic journey he takes us on!  In these tales men are driven to desperate acts and gods and devils seduce unsuspecting souls into darkest sin...

...The Feast of Bacchus is weird and erotic and sets the tone for the rest of the collection.  In it, a young man is getting ready to stop hustling on the streets but the city's celebration of the god of wine may be the wrong night for one last trick... 

...Jailed is a story of a desperate man who is given the chance to escape his own personal torture of suspecting his lover of cheating; but in confronting his fears, he may have traded one hell for another...

...If Not For Death reminded me of an old Tales From The Crypt story with its lost souls rising from the dead to extract their vengeance...

...Everlong is a short, sad love story that tells us True Love reaches from even beyond the grave and never lets go...

...Being Human is another type of love story with a dark twist that involves madness, obsession and murder...

...In the Shadow of Hades  is a story about a lonely abused girl trying to fit into the wrong circle of friends; but the girls she befriends are only playing a game with her, a game with terrible consequences...

...The Baths at the End of the Road  is a creepy tale of sex and horror and is definitely one of my favorites in this collection.  In it, the kinky scene of a bath house becomes a nightmare from hell that the protagonist has to escape from or be trapped inside the bath house forever...

...Trick Of Fate is the second story in the collection to feature a serial killer, one with a crazed personal mission that an unsuspecting young street hustler falls victim to; can another young man stop the killing and find redemption at the same time?

...Joseph's Request is an erotic story of possession that I thought perfectly blended sex and horror; another stand out!

...A Cub's Tail is about a youth with daddy issues on a daddy hunt with an ending that is as surprising as it is gruesome!  I actually said "Ooh Andrew, no you didn't!" while I was reading this!

...Much of Madness, More of Sin, the closing story is the longest and most transgressive in the collection and my favorite.  In it madness and sin culminate in a tale that made for both erotic and yet discomfiting reading.

I really enjoyed Much of Madness, More of Sin.  All the supernatural elements are properly otherworldly and seem even more horrific up against the background of the Phoenix, Arizona area that Wolter knows so well; contrasting our own familiar world with the unspeakable nightmares that he visits upon it, Wolter is able to permeate his work with a restless sense of anxiety.  The pacing is quick but I still felt I got to know the characters and cared about what was happening to them.

Much of Madness, More of Sin is a great introduction to Andrew Wolter's work and writing style.  I know he has something special planned with his upcoming New World Mythos that will delve even deeper into madness and sin, so I can't think of a better way to gear up for that tentacled horror then to loose yourself in this collection.  It would be a sin not to!

You can purchase Much of Madness, More of Sin here.