Upcoming: MARCH’S END by Daniel Polansky (Angry Robot Books)

PolanskyD-MarchsEndNext year, Angry Robot Books are due to published the anticipated new novel by Daniel Polansky: March’s End. I’ve been a fan of Polansky’s work ever since his debut, Straight Razor Cure (Low Town in North America). This new novel is a “multi-generational portal fantasy of strange magics, epic warfare, and deadly intrigue, in which the personality conflicts and toxic struggles of the Harrow family are reflected in the fantasy world they’ve sworn to protect”. Here’s the synopsis:

The Harrows are a typical suburban family who, since time immemorial, have borne a sacred and terrible charge. In the daylight they are teachers, doctors, bartenders and vagrants, but at night they are the rulers and protectors of the March, a fantastical secondary world populated with animate antiquated toys and sentient lichen, a panorama of the impossible where cities are carried on the backs of giant snails, and thunderstorms can be subdued with song.

But beneath this dreamlike exterior lie dark secrets, and for generation after generation the Harrows have defended the March from the perils that wait outside its borders – when they are not consumed in their own bitter internecine quarrels.

In the modern day the Harrow clan are composed of Sophia, the High Queen of the March, a brilliant, calculating matriarch, and her three children – noble Constance, visionary, rebellious Mary Ann, and clever, amoral Will. Moving back and forth between their youth, adolescence, and adulthood, we watch as this family fractures, then reconciles in the face of a conflict endangering not only the existence of the March, but of the ‘real world’ itself.

THE MARCH’S END is a book about growing up, in which the familial struggles of the Harrows are threaded through the mythic history of the fantastical land they protect. It is a story of failure and redemption, in which the power of love is tested against forces that seek to break it, and the necessity of each generation to recreate itself is asserted.

Daniel Polansky’s March’s End is due to be published by Angry Robot Books in North America and in the UK, on May 9th, 2023.

Also on CR: Interview with Daniel Polansky (2011); Reviews of Straight Razor Cure, Tomorrow the Killing, She Who Waits, The Builders, and The Seventh Perfection

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Excerpt: THE HOLLOWS by Daniel Church (Angry Robot Books)

ChurchD-Hollows“Folk horror meets ancient gods in a remote snowbound Peak District town where several murders take place.” Today, we have an excerpt from Daniel Church‘s The Hollows, which was published this week by Angry Robot Books. Here’s the synopsis:

In a lonely village in the Peak District, during the onset of a once-in-a-lifetime snow storm, Constable Ellie Cheetham finds a body. The man, a local ne’er-do-well, appears to have died in a tragic accident: he drank too much and froze to death.

But the facts don’t add up: the dead man is clutching a knife in one hand, and there’s evidence he was hiding from someone. Someone who watched him die. Stranger still, an odd mark has been drawn onto a stone beside his body.

The next victims are two families on the outskirts of town. As the storm rises and the body count grows, Ellie realises she has a terrifying problem on her hands: someone – or some thing – is killing indiscriminately, attacking in the darkness and using the storm for cover.

The killer is circling ever closer to the village. The storm’s getting worse… and the power’s just gone out.

The excerpt is taken from the middle of the novel, when the action really starts to get going…

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Upcoming: THE MALEFICENT SEVEN by Cameron Johnston (Angry Robot)

JohnstonC-TheMaleficentSevenThe new cover for Cameron Johnston‘s upcoming new novel, The Maleficent Seven, was revealed today on Tor.com. I think you’ll agree that it’s pretty awesome. The synopsis gave off a vibe similar to that for Ari Marmell’s The Conqueror’s Shadow (which I really enjoyed). I’m really looking forward to trying this one. Here’s the synopsis:

When you are all out of heroes, all that’s left are the villains.

Black Herran was a dread demonologist, and the most ruthless general in all Essoran. She assembled the six most fearsome warriors to captain her armies: a necromancer, a vampire lord, a demigod, an orcish warleader, a pirate queen, and a twisted alchemist. Together they brought the whole continent to its knees… Until the day she abandoned her army, on the eve of total victory.

40 years later, she must bring her former captains back together for one final stand, in the small town of Tarnbrooke — the last bastion against a fanatical new enemy tearing through the land, intent on finishing the job Black Herran started years before.

Seven bloodthirsty monsters. One town. Their last hope.

Cameron Johnston’s The Maleficent Seven is due to be published by Angry Robot Books in North America and in the UK, on August 10th, 2021.

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Interview with REESE HOGAN

HoganR-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Reese Hogan?

I’m a sci fi writer who loves to write books with a blend of high action and broken relationships. I’m also the mother of two very cool children. I love working out, and I’m obsessed with music, especially alt and punk rock.

Your latest novel, Shrouded Loyalties, is published this month by Angry Robot Books. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

It’s a dieselpunk spy fi about a submarine that can travel vast distances across the planet through an alternate realm inhabited by monsters. When Chief Sea Officer Blackwood receives strange powers during a mission through this realm, she is put in the hands of ruthless scientists to be studied, along with her partner, Holland. But she doesn’t know that Holland is an enemy spy… or that Holland’s partner has seduced her teenage brother Andrew and drawn him into enemy collaboration. Continue reading

Annotated Excerpt: ASH KICKERS by Sean Grigsby (Angry Robot)

GrigsbyS-2-AshKickersToday, we have the annotated first chapter of Sean Grigsby‘s latest novel, Ash Kickers — the sequel to Smoke Eaters. Published this week by Angry Robot Books, the author has added some commentary about the story and his writing. First, though, here’s the synopsis:

With ex-firefighter Cole Brannigan in command of the Smoke Eaters, the dragon menace is under control. Thanks to non-lethal Canadian tech, the beasts are tranquilized and locked up, rather than killed. But for Tamerica Williams, this job filled with action and danger, has become tediously routine.

When a new threat emerges, a legendary bird of fire – the Phoenix – it’s the perfect task for Williams. But killing the Phoenix just brings it back stronger, spreading fire like a plague and whipping dragons into a frenzy. Will it prove to be too much excitement, even for adrenalin-junkie Williams?

And now, on with the excerpt!

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Interview with ADA HOFFMANN

HoffmanA-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Ada Hoffmann?

I’m an autistic computer scientist from Canada and a speculative fiction author. I’ve been publishing short stories since 2010, and I’ve been longlisted for the BSFA and Rhysling awards for my short work. I recently received my PhD from the University of Waterloo and now I’m adjuncting while living with a happy polyamorous family and a very good black cat. When I’m not writing or working, I like music, LARP, and autism self-advocacy.

Your debut novel, The Outside, was published this month by Angry Robot. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

The Outside is a space opera with AI Gods, cyborg angels, cosmic horrors, multiple factions of compelling villains, and an autistic scientist named Yasira who’s caught in the middle of it all. It stands on its own with a complete plot, but I’d love to expand it into a series if the publisher permits. Continue reading

Interview with CAMERON JOHNSTON

JohnstonC-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Cameron Johnston?

Cameron Johnston lives in Glasgow, Scotland, with his wife and an extremely fluffy cat. He is a swordsman, a gamer, an enthusiast of archaeology, history and mythology, a builder of LEGO, and owns far too many books to fit on his shelves. He loves exploring ancient sites and camping out under the stars by a roaring fire.

Your latest novel, God of Broken Things, was published this month by Angry Robot. The second novel in your Age of Tyranny series, how would you introduce it to a potential reader? And what can fans of the first book expect from this follow-up?

The Traitor God is part blood-soaked murder mystery and part swords and sorcery Lovecraftian apocalypse. God of Broken Things expands that universe and we get to see the ramifications of the events in The Traitor God, and also Edrin Walker’s discoveries about himself and who he wants to be, as opposed to who he was told he was for most of his life. Readers will get to leave the confines of Setharis and explore the snowy mountains of the Clanholds, where Walker confronts daemons, ancient spirits, an invading army, and worst of all, the extent of his own powers. Continue reading

Guest Post: “The Challenge of the Middle Books” by D.B. Jackson

JacksonDB-AuthorPicMy newest book, Time’s Demon, comes out on May 28 from Angry Robot Books. This is the second book in The Islevale Cycle, my time travel/epic fantasy trilogy, which began with Time’s Children (October 2018). This was a challenging – and ultimately rewarding – book to write for a number of reasons. Time travel stories are always difficult to construct because of the constant danger of creating paradoxes, anachronisms, and plotting loopholes. Epic fantasies come with their own challenges – the need to balance and keep track of multiple narrative strands and point of view characters.

Finally, and most importantly for our purposes today, Time’s Demon is the second book in a trilogy – the dreaded middle book – and as such it presented a unique set of issues. Now, not everyone is foolish enough to take on time travel in their novels, and hard SF, space opera, urban fantasy, grimdark, steampunk, and other varieties of speculative fiction are not necessarily any easier to approach than epic fantasy. But most if not all of us writing in our genre will eventually confront the dreaded “middle book” problem. So I would like to discuss my approach to second books. Continue reading

Interview with TJ BERRY

BerryTJ-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is TJ Berry?

I write science fiction, fantasy, and horror from Seattle. I’m originally from the New York City area, so I have a lot of opinions on the subject of pizza. I’m a survivor of the 2016 six-week Clarion West Writer’s Workshop — also known as sci-fi summer camp. In a previous life, I owned a bakery, and one of my enduring skills is whipping up a batch of cookie dough from scratch in under three minutes. That comes in handy more often than you’d imagine.

Your next novel, Five Unicorn Flush, will be published by Angry Robot in May. The sequel to Space Unicorn Blues, how would you introduce it to a potential reader?

Five Unicorn Flush picks up after the magical Bala have disappeared from the universe and the authoritarian Reason regime has devolved into chaos. All of the cheap labor and magical faster-than-light fuel that humans exploited to fuel their intergalactic expansion are gone. One angry man, Cowboy Jim Bryant, has decided to take the last remaining faster-than-light warship and hunt down the Bala and return them to captivity. His former partner and current nemesis, Captain Jenny Perata, is hot on his tail, keen on stopping him. Continue reading

Interview with ANNA KASHINA

KashinaA-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Anna Kashina?

I tend to think of myself as a jack of all trades. So, here, naming just a few, I am a fantasy author, a mother, a ballroom dancer, a biomedical scientist, a native Russian speaker, a fan of martial arts, and a niffler – not always in this order. I draw on all these in my writing, every day.

Your latest novel, Shadowblade, will be published by Angry Robot in May. It looks interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

It’s a standalone adventure fantasy with elements of romance, which could potentially be a series. The main character, Naia, starts off as a misfit trainee in the elite order of Jaihar blademasters, and works her way through the ranks, only to be thrown into the most dangerous and high-profile assignment their order has ever seen. It has a lot of action, politics, fancy blade fights, and of course, romance. Continue reading