Welcome to Smugglivus 2009 – Day 9!
Throughout this month, we will have daily guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2009, and looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2010.
Today’s guest: Lee Harris, Assistant Editor for Angry Robot, the new HarperCollins imprint specializing in Fantasy, SciFi, Horror, and WTF!
Please give it up for Lee with some of the titles we can expect from Angry Robot in 2010:
Well, what a year it’s been for Angry Robot! At the beginning of January this year, the imprint doubled its full-time workforce by employing me, and six months later our first books started to hit the shops. All the books published in 2009 were chosen by Angry Robot’s publishing director, Marc Gascoigne, before I joined, so I can’t claim the credit for any of this year’s title choices (much as I’d like to), but as we move into 2010 I’m looking forward to seeing titles that I’ve chosen, and titles that I’ve had a hand in choosing.
We’ve had a great year – we’ve sold more books than we planned (which is always good), and though we originally intended to launch in the US and Canada in October, our decision to hold it back until April/May 2010 has meant that we can plan even more effectively, and get our authors’ books into even more people’s hands. We start our conquest of the US and Canada with 6 titles a month, as we publish 3 new Angry Robot titles, and 3 from our back catalogue, eventually whittling this number down to an easily-manageable 3 a month in 2011, to match our UK/Australia output.
I’m genuinely looking forward to every book we publish next year (all 33 of them). Some I’ve read, some I’m currently reading, some haven’t been written yet, but they all add something to the Angry Robot list.
It’s difficult to pick out some favourites, but I’m going to, anyway. It feels wrong not to mention each book individually, as there’s something to love about all of them, but that would take all day to read. The dates mentioned below are the UK/Australia launches. For the US/Canada dates, see our schedule at Angry Robot.
January sees debut novels from two very well-known writers of short and novella-length fiction, the always excellent Aliette de Bodard, and the equally superb Lavie Tidhar. Both books are a departure for us (though as a new imprint, so many of our books are!) and I’m very much looking forward to reading the reviews of both Servant of the Underworld and The Bookman.
In February, Kaaron Warren’s second novel Walking the Tree will delight everyone who enjoyed Slights. Same unmistakable style, very, very different book.
In March, as well as the next Nekropolis book (gotta love that zombie PI) and a wonderful Gormenghast-like fantasy from debut novelist Ian Whates, we have King Maker by Maurice Broaddus. This is a very special book, indeed, and one of my favourite books of the year. Honestly – if Maurice doesn’t get a lot of attention for this series, there’s no justice in the world.
In April, we have Kylie Chan’s Dark Heavens trilogy, which has previously been published in Australia. An enormously successful series, it should find a dedicated following here, too, and an awesome future thriller – Amortals by the great Matt Forbeck.
My tip for May is Zoo City. Lauren Beukes’ Moxyland was the first book I read when I joined Angry Robot, and it blew me away. Zoo City is better – much better!
For sheer, unadulterated fun, Vegas Knights by Matt Forbeck in June will be this year’s must-have summer read. It’s Harry Potter meets Oceans 11 as a bunch of young wizards try to take Vegas.
In July, J Robert King brings us his second book – Death’s Disciples – and it sounds wonderful and horrifying and worrisome all at once, and I adored his Angel of Death so this is going to be a highlight for me, I’m sure.
August sees the second in Guy Adams’ World House series. I’ve read the first book (out in February) and it’s huge fun! Mad old bollocks, it’s true, but huge fun! And after reading the end of the first volume, I’m fascinated to see what he’ll put his poor characters through this time (in Restoration).
We’ve not announced the details of September onwards, yet, but there are some more great titles, and don’t get me started on the artwork, yet – some of which is in, some of which is still being commissioned, but wait until you see the covers of King Maker and Walking the Tree and Dead Streets and… oh, just keep checking out our website – we talk on there. A lot! And we occasionally give stuff away, too.
If any of our authors are reading this, and I haven’t mentioned you, don’t worry – I still love you (and your books), but there is a limit to how much I can write on here. I’ll buy you a drink when I see you. Maybe a bag of peanuts, too.
What else am I looking forward to? Well, I’ll be at World Horror Con (Brighton) in March and EasterCon (London) in April, Alt.Fiction in June, and FantasyCon (Nottingham) and WorldCon (Melbourne) in September. It’s always great to meet up with old friends and make news ones at conventions – but that’s the subject of a whole new post…
Have a fantastic Christmas, everyone, and make sure you find some time during the festivities to sit down with a good book, and relax. I know I will.
Next on Smugglivus: Jennifer Echols