Monday, April 30, 2012

Superheroes Unite!

My summer is going to be very superheroic!
This is going to be a great summer for super hero, action packed adventure what with The Avengers coming out May 4th, Adam Christopher's Seven Wonders being released by Angry Robot on August 28 and Christopher Nolan's final installment of his Batman saga, The Dark Knight Rises opening July 20.  Superheroes unite!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Angry Robot presents EXHIBIT A

Early this morning, the publishing geniuses at Angry Robot finally announced the news they'd been teasing us with, a new sister imprint called Exhibit A, which will publish genre crime fiction.  Here's the press release:

Angry Robot, the award-winning publisher of what it calls SF, F and WTF?!, is pleased to announce its newest venture – a sister imprint, Exhibit A, which will publish crime genre fiction.
The imprint will launch in late Spring 2013, with two titles appearing in each of the first two months, before settling down to one book each month. Exhibit A will follow AR’s strategy of co-publishing its books simultaneously in both the UK and US, in both paperback and eBook formats, backed up by strong online marketing and community activity.
Exhibit A’s ambition is to become an addictive new home for addictive crime fiction. It will be looking for authors with original, gripping voices. Exhibit A books – whether they’re procedurals, mysteries, thrillers, or something entirely new – will aim to divert readers from their everyday lives into an exhilarating world of drama, fear and suspense.
Joining the company to run the imprint is Emlyn Rees. He published his first crime novel aged twenty-five, his second a year later, and then co-wrote seven comedies with Josie Lloyd, including the Sunday Times bestseller Come Together. In his time, Emlyn has also worked for the Curtis Brown literary agency and run a manuscript editing service.
Angry Robot’s managing director, Marc Gascoigne, said: “Passion, a flair for innovation and a keen sense of what readers want – that’s what has driven Angry Robot’s success so far, and it’s what Emlyn Rees will bring to our new imprint too. We’re overjoyed to have him on board.  With our YA imprint Strange Chemistry launching this September, and now Exhibit A due next spring, our growth plans are shaping up very nicely indeed.”
Emlyn Rees commented, “Angry Robot is an exciting and innovative new publisher, with a terrific track record for breaking out fresh talent and bringing great authors and readers closer together. I’m delighted to be joining the team and can’t wait to set about building a list of talented crime writers we can be proud of and passionate about. I want Exhibit A to become an eye-catching new focal point for compelling crime fiction and the crime fiction community.”
The launch of Exhibit A is the latest in a wave of expansion by parent company, Osprey Group, following investment by Alcuin Capital Partners in 2011. Osprey recently won the IPG Award for Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year 2012.
So, with Strange Chemistry launching in September to bring Amazing Things to YA readers everywhere and now Exhibit A set to Rock the World of crime fiction next Spring, you surely have to be asking yourseles... whatever will those crazy Robots think of next?
To which we say... stand by for further announcements.
Slowly but surely, the Robot Overlords are expanding their dominion!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Review: EMPIRE STATE by Adam Christopher (Angry Robot)

About the book

The stunning superhero-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.

I have long been a fan of "alternate histories" and "multiverses" in comics and fiction.  Harry Turtledove's Worldwar, Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept and, of course, Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion books all helped to kick off my affection for parallel realities, people with doppelgangers in other dimensions and the like.  The DC "Elseworlds" comics and Amalgam crossover line with Marvel Comics were incredible, as well.

I enjoyed the way they put familiar characters in other worlds, or other histories, sometimes changing that character significantly but still being faithful to the original.  There has always been a soft spot in my heart for something that takes the familiar and reinterprets it to make something new and unique.

More recently, I've become a fan of Adam Christopher, comic book fanatic and tea drinker.  I came across his entertaining and informative timeline on Twitter and have been hooked ever since.  Not only is he a font of knowledge on comics and superheroes but he is a great writer as well.  I was able to read some of his shorter pieces on his website and thoroughly enjoyed them, always hoping he would put out longer work.

Well, Angry Robot must've caught wind of his genius, too, because they signed him to a two book deal that includes the superhero adventure Seven Wonders, to be published in August of this year, and his debut novel, Empire State.

When both Adam and Angry Robot both broke the news of the deal, plus the details of the first novel, I was immediately intrigued.  The blurb sounded amazing and brought to mind some of the adventures I remembered from the old "Elsewhere" comics.  I just knew this was going to be something new and fresh and exciting to read.  And I was not disappointed!

As I opened the first page of Empire State I was caught up in a speeding car chase, careening through the fog shrouded streets of New York along with small time bootleggers Rex and Jerome, trying to get away from racketeer McCabe and his henchmen.  And then all hell broke loose, an epic battle between New York's two superheroes, the Science Pirate and the Skyguard, high above the Empire State Building!  And this all in the first few pages!

What Adam Christopher has done from here is to take a pinch of gritty noir, a bit of retro sci fi and blended it all together to churn out a science fiction novel so original and so daring as to leave you breathless.  And I mean that literally.  There are plot twists after plot twists and mysteries and murders and a cast of characters that grab you by your collar and won't let you off this rocket powered ride of a book until you're left panting from exhilaration at the end of it!

And he makes it all seem so effortless.  Expertly weaving together all the many plot threads into a complex yet compelling read, Adam Christopher keep the pace moving right along, never letting the reader's experience get too bogged down.

The Empire State itself is a rich, fully realized world that I fervently hope Christopher visits again and again.  There are so many ideas packed into this first trip there, I just know any subsequent adventures will be equally awesome.

Empire State is so engrossing and so action packed a read, it is hard to believe this is Adam Christopher's debut. This is a novel that will surely be talked about for years to come as a science fiction classic.  Yet I would recommend this to fans of mystery and pulp fiction as well.  PICK THIS BOOK UP...NOW!  You will be captivated, entertained, and before you know it,  left for wanting more of Adam Christopher's Empire State.