As you will be aware, Angry Robot Books has a history of innovation and we continue to go from strength to strength. We’re constantly trying out new concepts and new ideas, and we continue to publish popular and award-winning books. Our YA imprint Strange Chemistry and our crime/mystery imprint Exhibit A have – due mainly to market saturation – unfortunately been unable to carve out their own niches with as much success.
We have therefore made the difficult decision to discontinue Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A, effective immediately, and no further titles will be published from these two imprints.
The core Angry Robot imprint is robust, however, and we plan to increase our output from 2 books a month, to 3. We have no plans to cancel any titles other than those of Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A.
UPDATE: To read more from Laura, here’s “The Snake Charm”, a prequel story set before the events of Pantomime: http://staticsplit.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/the-first-vestigial-tale-the-snake-charm-is-now-live/
I read Pantomime in a very different form for the first time in the summer of 2011. Laura had submitted to the original Open Door for Angry Robot, and I was (then) one of the readers to assist the editors of Angry Robot in making decisions. I put forward Pantomime because I thought that it was clever, brave and incredibly beautiful, even in what was a rougher form.
Laura eventually submitted a revised and even more stunning version of Pantomime to Strange Chemistry and we had the great honour of publishing it and seeing it garner rave reviews from people who were delighted to see such delicate treatment of what is an incredibly complex subject. On a personal level I learnt much from Laura’s novel. I no longer refer to hermaphrodites. I feel that I have a much more open mind about gender fluidity. And I’m proud that I have started to stand up in defence of a world where everyone is accepted. Laura Lam helped me to do that.
The reason for this blog post is to celebrate the fact that Pantomime has won the Bisexual Book Award for Speculative Fiction. We’ve seen Pantomime nominated for a number of awards now, but this is the first outright win and we are delighted for Laura.
Here is a snippet from her acceptance speech:
“When I wrote the book, I worried it wouldn’t find a home. I remember reading Malinda Lo’s number crunching of GLBT characters in YA, and how small a slice of the overall publishing pie GLBT characters had already, and how bisexual and transgender characters were an even smaller percentage of that tiny slice. There were no entries for intersex characters at all. But, wonderfully, the book was picked up. And, wonderfully, I have received messages from all around the world from people who connected with Micah and his story. It has been a privilege to hear from bisexual, genderfluid, and intersex readers who have identified with Micah. It has been a privilege to hear that others have said that they learned a little more about gender diversity and sexuality. Micah Grey has found a home in readers’ hearts and minds, and there’s no place I’d rather him be.”
We’d also like to celebrate with Laura the fact that, today, she has released the first of at least four stories/novellas that help to build the world and characters that you can find in Pantomime and its sequel, Shadowplay. Here is a link to everything you need to know about The Snake Charm. So go buy!
Its our favourite time of the month, a new book birthday! This month’s new title is the fantastic Essence by the lovely Lisa Ann O’Kane!
You can order your ebook now, so check out the sample chapter below and then shoot on over to the Robot Trading Company site to get your copy!
Essence by Lisa Ann O’Kane
Autumn escaped a cult, but now she realizes she’s fallen into another.
Growing up in San Francisco’s Centrist Movement, sixteen year-old Autumn Grace has always believed emotions—adrenaline, endorphins, even happiness—drain your Essence and lead to an early death. But her younger brother’s passing and a run-in with a group of Outsiders casts her faith into question.
Ryder Stone, the sexy, rebellious leader of the Outsiders, claims Essence drain is nothing more than a Centrist scare tactic — and he can prove it.
Autumn follows Ryder to his Community of adrenaline junkies and free spirits in Yosemite National Park, and they introduce her to a life of adventure, romance, sex, drugs and freedom. But as she discovers dark secrets beneath the Community’s perfect exterior, she realizes the more she risks in search of the perfect rush, the further she has to fall.
All this week stills from the trailer of Sarah J.Schmitt‘sIt’s A Wonderful Death have been revealed, on YA Yeah Yeah on Monday, on Ja Citam A Ti on Tuesday, right here on Strange Chem on Wednesday, and on Books, Bones & Buffy yesterday! But the moment of truth has arrived, and – drum roll, please – here is the full trailer:
When RJ’s soul is accidentally collected by a distracted Grim Reaper, somebody in the afterlife better figure out a way to send her back from the dead or heads will roll.
Eventually RJ is presented with two options: she can remain in the Lobby, where souls wait to be processed, until her original lifeline expires; or replay three moments in her life in an effort to make choices that will produce a future deemed worthy of being saved. It sounds like a no brainer. She’ll take the walk down memory lane. How hard can changing her future be?
But with each moment, RJ’s life begins to unravel. Will she ever find redemption and walk amongst the living again?
STOLEN SONGBIRD’S Launch Party: A Case of Epic Nerves
STOLEN SONGBIRD has been on shelves for almost two months, and only now has my life settled down enough for me to breathe and reflect a bit about the experience. Overall, it has been absolutely amazing, but there have been some stressful moments, the biggest being my book launch party at the wonderful Owl’s Nest Books in Calgary. Caroline, Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot’s amazing publicity guru, asked me to talk about that night, and her request was motivated by this particular tweet.
I am not such a huge of speaking in front of a group of people. Going to business school trained me to do it passably well, but I still get really nervous. So leading up to the big day, when people asked me if I was excited about the party, they got a big fat NO in response. And it wasn’t because I wasn’t keen to see all the people I know, or because I didn’t think anyone would show up, or because I didn’t think I could answer their questions, or because I was nervous about spelling someone’s name incorrectly while signing (although I was nervous about all these things).
It was because of the reading.
It isn’t that I can’t read aloud. No one is going to line up to have me narrate their audiobook, but once you get past my monotone, I’m not bad. That wasn’t the issue. What set me to sweating like the troll king on a treadmill was the idea of watching people react to my work as I was reading it. It’s not like explaining a marketing analysis to a classroom full of students or even reading a passage from someone else’s work – it’s quite a bit more personal than that. Reading a piece of one’s fiction is a bit like baring one’s soul to an audience, and anyone who knows me can tell you that’s so not my thing. Which is why I ended up choosing to read from my prequel short story, THE SONGBIRD’S OVERTURE, rather than from STOLEN SONGBIRD itself. It seemed a little less close to my heart.
But when the moment came, and I stood in front of my family, friends, and friends of friends, in an outfit carefully chosen so it would not betray me when my antiperspirant failed, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Because when I glanced up over my slightly shaking sheets of computer paper, I didn’t see the boredom or judgement I’d been afraid of, but rather the smiles of people who wanted me to succeed. It occurred to me then that the party wasn’t just a celebration of MY accomplishment, it was a celebration of all the people who helped me get to this point. So what started as the most dreaded part of my book coming into the world turned into one of the best nights of my life.
We here at Strange Chemistry are always excited about our forthcoming titles: from reading manuscripts at acquisitions to eventual publication, it’s a genuine labour of love! We believe fervently in all our books, and continue to publish exciting and imaginative books — in part by experimenting with new and innovative ways of publishing as we react to the changing market. In that spirit, we’ve decided to launch Lisa Ann O’Kane‘s fantastic debut Essence (June 2014) as ebook only. We’re proud to be publishing it in ebook format, and will also be supporting Lisa as she offers the print edition through CreateSpace. Stay tuned for further details and links of the paperback’s availability, and don’t forget to visit Lisa’s website tomorrow, Friday, for the full details of her blog tour starting on Monday! For now, relax and read this wonderful excerpt from Essence:
When Deanna’s missing friend Hyde turns up at his father’s funeral to claim his corporate empire and inheritance, she is swept into his glittering world of paparazzi and wealth.
But re-kindling her friendship and the dizzying new emotions along for the ride are the least of her concerns. Because Deanna has a secret – and somebody knows. Someone who is out to get Hyde. And if she doesn’t play along, and help the enemy destroy him…she will be sold to the highest bidder in the black market for human swans.
Now Deanna is struggling to break free from the gilded cage that would trap her forever…
Feather Bound is a dark debut reminiscent of Gabriel García Márquez’s A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings, and the twisted truth behind the fairy tale of Cinderella.
All Hanna Euli wants is to become a proper witch – but unfortunately, she’s stuck as an apprentice to a grumpy fisherman. When their boat gets caught up in a mysterious storm and blown wildly off course, Hanna finds herself further away from home than she’s ever been before.
As she tries to get back, she learns there may be more to her apprentice master than she realized, especially when a mysterious, beautiful, and very non-human boy begins following her through the ocean, claiming that he needs Hanna’s help.
And even though Alex Wayfare’s first adventure only hit the shelves a couple of months ago, it’s already proven a firm favourite with our fans, certifying its place in the history of Strange Chemistry.
Now some might argue this an opporunity to put our feet up for a bit, have a cup of tea and bask in the glory of another great book. But not us, no instead we’re bringing you some big, exciting news. We’re officially revealing the title to the next Alex Wayfare novel!
Before we do though, just in case this isn’t enough Alex goodness for you, make sure to jump straight over to Young Adult Book Central who are also taking part in our reveal. They’re running a giveaway competition so make sure to get yourselves entered quickly!
But back to the reason why you’re here! Without further ado, the new Alex Wayfare story will be called:
The Untimely Deaths of Alex Wayfare
I think you’ll agree with us that it is a fantastic title! One that I’m sure has already got you guys hooked!
Until the sequel comes out make sure to keep your eyes glued to the Strange Chemistry site for plot information, cover reveals release dates and much much more!