Upcoming: THE HEART OF THE CIRCLE by Keren Landsman (Angry Robot)

LandsmanK-TheHeartOfTheCircleSpotted this today on Angry Robot’s website, and the cover caught my eye — I love the way it looks like a poster that’s been slapped up onto a wall (the folds and bubbling between the letters, etc.). Then I read the synopsis, and thought it sounded really interesting.

The Heart of the Circle by Keren Landsman is due to be published by Angry Robot Books in North America and in the UK, on August 13th, 2019. Not sure if it’s the first in a planned series. Here’s what it’s about:

Throughout human history there have always been sorcerers, once idolised and now exploited for their powers. In Israel, the Sons of Simeon, a group of religious extremists, persecute sorcerers while the government turns a blind eye. After a march for equal rights ends in brutal murder, empath, moodifier and reluctant waiter Reed becomes the next target. While his sorcerous and normie friends seek out his future killers, Reed complicates everything by falling hopelessly in love. As the battle for survival grows ever more personal, can Reed protect himself and his friends as the Sons of Simeon close in around them?

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Guest Post: An Annotated Chapter of PURE CHOCOLATE by Amber Royer (Angry Robot Books)

RoyerA-C2-PureChocolateFirst chapters are hard, you guys. First chapters of sequels – doubly so.

And first chapters for a ‘verse where you’ve built in complicated linguistics and alien cultures with questionable morality? Well… you still have to start somewhere.

There’s a balance with sequels. You don’t want to bore the reader who just finished the previous book, and you don’t want to stall getting started telling the story to re-cap what is now backstory. But you don’t want to people to feel like they walked into the “middle of the movie” either.

I’ve been a writing instructor for UT Arlington for the past eleven years, so I’m sure if some of my students read this, they’ll get a kick out of seeing me pick apart my own work instead of theirs.

Some of what I’m about to say will be bordering spoiler territory, but I’ll try to keep it vague.

Continue reading

Guest Post: An Annotated Chapter of THE BAYERN AGENDA by Dan Moren (Angry Robot Books)

MorenD-GCW1-BayernAgendaAll right, people: this is not a drill. I’m here to give away all of the precious secrets.

And by “secrets” I mean “hard work and lots and lots of editing.” Because that’s what goes into making a book.

I spent a lot of time working on both my first book, The Caledonian Gambit, and my second, The Bayern Agenda — years, in fact — and as you might imagine, they underwent numerous changes over that period.

The chapter you’ll read below, the opening of The Bayern Agenda, is far from where I started out all those years ago. It’s been tweaked in response to reactions from beta readers, my agent, my editor, and, perhaps most importantly, me. When you spend that long working on something, it’s hard not to learn a thing or two along the way.

So, out of the goodness of my heart — well, and because I was asked to — I’ll be sprinkling observations and comments throughout the chapter, letting you in on the thinking that went into constructing it. (Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything that comes later in the story.) Consider it a look behind the scenes, a VIP backstage pass, a look at how the magician pulls off their tricks. Enjoy.

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Upcoming: THE BAYERN AGENDA by Dan Moren (Angry Robot)

MorenD-GCW1-BayernAgendaI must confess that the cover is really what attracted me to this book. Of course, reading the synopsis added to my interest, but I’m pretty sure I first learned of this novel when the cover was unveiled. Nevertheless, I think Dan Moren‘s The Bayern Agenda looks really interesting, and like a rather intriguing mixture of spy and sci-fi fiction (“Traitor, Pilot, Banker, Spy”):

Simon Kovalic, top intelligence operative for the Commonwealth of Independent Systems, is on the frontline of the burgeoning Cold War with the aggressive Illyrican Empire. He barely escapes his latest mission with a broken arm, and vital intel which points to the Empire cozying up to the Bayern Corporation: a planet-sized bank. There’s no time to waste, but with Kovalic out of action, his undercover team is handed over to his ex-wife, Lt Commander Natalie Taylor. When Kovalic’s boss is tipped off that the Imperium are ready and waiting, it’s up to the wounded spy to rescue his team and complete the mission before they’re all caught and executed.

The Bayern Agenda is due to be published by Angry Robot Books in North America and in the UK in March 2019.

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Upcoming: LIGHT BRIGADE by Kameron Hurley (Angry Robot/Saga Press)

HurleyK-LightBrigadeThat just might be the most dazzling cover I’ve seen in a while: it’s bright, attention-grabbing and just a little bit blinding… While I haven’t read as much of Kameron Hurley‘s work as I would like, I have enjoyed everything that’s crossed my path so far (I would especially recommend the Bel Dame series). I think The Light Brigade is a stand-alone novel, and it sounds pretty cool:

The corporate corps transform their soldiers into light to travel between interplanetary battlegrounds. Most grunts make it in one piece, though some don’t, and others come back… different. Fresh infantry recruit, Dietz, is keen to fight and claim her corporate citizenship, but when she’s busted into light it seems like her combat drops are out of sync with everyone else’s. Is Dietz experiencing the war differently, or is it combat stress bending her mind? As she struggles to untangle her timeline, Dietz glimpses a very different war than in the corporate propaganda – one that needs a hero, or maybe a villain – truth is the first casualty of war.

The Light Brigade is due to be published by Saga Press in North America (March 2019) and Angry Robot Books in the UK (April 2019).

Also on CR: Guest Post on “And the World Turned Gray: Gritty vs. Classic Heroes”; Review of God’s War

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Interview with SEAN GRIGSBY

GrigsbyS-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Sean Grigsby?

Now that’s a complex question! Sounds like something I should use as a mantra while meditating. But I’ll give a simple answer.

I’m a professional firefighter in central Arkansas, USA. Father, husband, sometimes DJ. And now, I’m super-stoked to be a professional writer as well.

Your new novel, Smoke Eaters, will be published by Angry Robot in March. It looks rather fun and interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

Firefighters vs. dragons… in the future. The ancient monsters have returned from beneath the ground and wreak havoc. Thankfully, a few people have been born with the ability to breathe dragon smoke and resist immense heat: smoke eaters. Cole Brannigan is a fire captain about to retire, and on his last fire call, he discovers he has these abilities and is recruited into the elite dragon-fighting force. The book has laser swords, ghosts, robots, and an evil plot involving them all. Continue reading

Upcoming: THE TRAITOR GOD by Cameron Johnston(Angry Robot)

JohnstonC-TheTraitorGodI hadn’t heard of this novel until today, but Jan Weßbecher‘s cover artwork caught my attention when I was browsing Angry Robot’s website. Then I read the synopsis (below), and I popped it on my list of debuts to look out for.

The Traitor God is Cameron Johnston‘s fantasy debut.

After ten years on the run, dodging daemons and debt, reviled magus Edrin Walker returns home to avenge the brutal murder of his friend. Lynas had uncovered a terrible secret, something that threatened to devour the entire city. He tried to warn the Arcanum, the mageocracy who rule the city. He failed.

Lynas was skinned alive and Walker felt every cut. Now nothing will stop him from finding the murderer. Magi, mortals, daemons, and even the gods – Walker will burn them all if he has to.

After all, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s killed a god…

The Traitor God is due to be published by Angry Robot Books in June 2018.

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