by Madeline Ashby
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
A more formal review will go up on SF Signal soon, but for now, here are my thoughts.
I’m very impressed with this debut novel from Madeline Ashby. She excels at making her A.I. robot perspective feel real, sometimes in humorous ways, sometimes in scary ways and most enjoyably through their struggle to experience love, freedom and responsibility over loved ones. The layout for how the robots iterate (make copies) appeals to the love of technology upgrades and creating superpowers, reminding me of an adventure through a video game and leveling up my characters, but in a story that also touches the heart.
Another way the author impressed me was in how she layers unexpecting conflict after unexpecting conflict, like getting beatup by the Terminator, then Bruce Lee shows up to snap a few roundhouses across your face, and then when you think you can’t take anymore, Chuck Norris walks in and says, “Madeline’s not even halfway done with you.” Sometimes, as a reader, you think an author is going to wait until later in the story to make survival impossible, but this author found new ways to surprise and doom her characters, seemingly, on a page by page basis. Continue reading
Podcast: Play in new window
It’s good to be back. Two qualifications for guests in Season Two of audioTim: I enjoy their book and am excited about the conversation. Both were true of Ramez Naam and his debut fiction novel, Nexus, to be released December 18th from Angry Robot Books. I’m editing my Science Fiction novel, and loved Ramez’s book because of how much he showed me about the future of nanotechnology, mindmapping, scientific telepathy and other sciences I had no idea could exist. Not only does his book have that, but the story is very compelling as well. Continue reading
I believe it was in AudioTim 33, that Robin Sullivan of Ridan Publishing talked with me and Hugh Howey about why publishers don’t just create their own online distribution. She mentioned Pyr books as a good example. It seems like Robot Trading Company may be another, though theirs is more of a collaborative effort among multiple publishing companies. I’ve invited Darren Turpin, Marketing, Publicity and Digital Manager at Angry Robot Books, to help shed light on this new ebook marketplace, both for suppliers and buyers.
Hey, Darren. So I got an email last week from my handy Angry Robot Newsletter that says the Robot Trading Company is expanding. The Robot Trading Company… sounds like an organization of robot pirates out to corner the market on spices. Am I close?
Darren: That’s absolutely right, Tim. If by ‘spices’ you mean ‘DRM-Free, Epub format, genre fiction (and non-fiction) ebooks’. And if by ‘corner the market’ you mean ‘bring as wide a selection of top-notch, professionally published ebooks from small and independent genre publishers to the attention of as wide an audience as we possibly can’. But robot pirates..? Definitely (and we have the heavily weaponised robot parrots and HUD targeting eye-patches to prove it.) Although we are completely legitimate online retailers, not ‘pirates’ in the Pirate Bay kinda sense. But those minor details aside, you’ve hit the nail on the head, exactly. Continue reading
Podcast: Play in new window
Matt Forbeck, my second consecutive Angry Robot Books author on AudioTim, has been a freelance author and game designer since he graduated college, over 20 years ago. Since having quadruplets ten years ago, he is unfazed by anything life throws at him (save for the zombie apocalypse falling through his ceiling). This year he is doing a 12 for 12 campaign, a Kickstarter funded goal to write 12 short novels (50k) in 12 months. You can help support his current project “Dangerous Games” here.
Matt writes Fantasy, Science Fiction, Alternate History, Crime, Thrillers, Tie-ins and most geeky places in between (ehmm, Magic: The Gathering #4). We talk about his Alternate History, B Horror book, Carpathia about vampires aboard the Carpathia (the ship that rescued Titanic survivors). We also talk about his SF Thriller, Amortals, and his current kickstarter book, Dangerous Games. It was a lot of fun chatting about the creation of these stories and what kind of adventures readers should expect from them. Continue reading
Strangeness and Charm by Mike Shevdon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
AudioTim 36: Mike Shevdon interview
One perk to being part of the Angry Robot Army is I get access to eARC’s of their newest releases. After reading the first two books in Mike’s Courts of the Feyre series (Sixty-One Nails and The Road to Bedlam), I was jonsin’ for this book to come out. Strangeness and Charm is set to release May 29th. I have an ARC signed by Mike to give away as part of my podcast with him, but today (May 28th) is the last day to enter.
Mike had me up late last night finishing Strangeness and Charm–a sign of a great book, for sure. I love a book with a strong ending, one that shows the author stepped up his game to create a spectacular finish. Mike pulled out all the stops on this one, creating one of the most memorable climaxes I’ve read across any genre. Continue reading
Podcast: Play in new window
Welcome to my interview with Mike Shevdon, author of Strangeness and Charm: Courts of the Feyre #3, due out May 29th through Angry Robot Books. Because this is the third book in an awesome Urban Fantasy series, I wanted to make sure that those who haven’t read the first two books could enjoy a good chunk of the interview. We don’t introduce spoilers until 52 minutes into the show, and even then, it’s only to discuss how the first two books set the stage for book three. Actually, we have a couple minor spoilers regarding the setup of the first book, Sixty-One Nails, but you might get those in a backcover summary anyway. If you don’t want any information about story events, I posted a 4 minute snippet of our interview about Mike and his style of Urban Fantasy. The spoilers are over by the 65 minute mark, and I ask Mike about writing tips he learned going into book three. We chat about some marketing ideas for his book launch and his schedule for book four.
My aim for this show was to discuss elements of this series and Urban Fantasy from Mike’s British perspective that would give readers a good taste without ruining the experience. I think we accomplished that. Mike has some good writing advice and was a blast to chat with. On top of all that, Mike is offering a book giveaway: a signed ARC of Strangeness and Charm will be given away as part of the show.
Book Giveaway Details
I like to give multiple ways for people to enter: Continue reading