Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

Not With A Bang But A Whimper

with 4 comments

Angry Robot, the new HarperCollins imprint designed to attract new readers to SF, has announced its launch line up. Excitingly it consists of three reprints and one debut novel with the frankly appalling tagline of “a Wasp Factory for the misery memoir generation.”

I am being slightly excessively snarky because Moxyland by Lauren Beukes, orginally published in her native South Africa, does looks quite interesting. However, was anyone really crying out for a new edition of Chris Roberson’s “The Da Vinci Code rewritten by the Coen Brothers” self-published novel? Or a re-issue of a five year old “urban fantasy” (it pains me to type those words) about a zombie PI by a hack writer? I suppose they did at least re-title it Nekropolis rather than Necropolis. That’ll make it more relevant for the kids.

Written by Martin

12 March 2009 at 14:18

Posted in books, publishing, sf

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4 Responses

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  1. Hi Martin,

    Thanks for the link. I’d disagree with a couple of your observations, though (of course I would – I work for AR).

    Moxyland *is* an interesting book – it’s an extremely effective book about technology, and the unholy mix of government and business. I’d be happy to send you an eVersion for you to see, if you’re interested.

    Despite your dislike of the Slights tagline, again I think this is a great book – one of the best debut novels I have read in a long time. Kaaron has been getting excellent reviews for her short fiction for some time, and her longer works are equally as impressive. Leaving aside your impression of Tim as a writer, Nekropolis isn’t a reprint – it’s a reworking of a book he originally had published in novella form. the book has been significantly expanded, and forms the beginning of a series which is shaping up to be great fun!

    And yes, it’s true we’ll present a reprint every now and then, where we feel that the book is good enough to be seen by a wider audience. If a book has been available as a small press publication, but has the capacity to break through into the mass market, and where the author is showing particular promise and excellence at his or her craft, I don’t see republication as a bad thing, do you? After all, no-one complained when Joe Hill’s 20th Century Ghosts was republished by Gollancz after its initial run with PS.

    Sometimes we find great talent in our slush pile – sometimes the indie publishers get there first. Either way, it’s the quality of the writing, and the potential for the title – and the author – to do great things which counts.


    12 March 2009 at 16:56

  2. Hey Martin,

    Thanks for the spark of interest. I hope you get the chance to read Moxyland and that it delivers to your expectations (or if it doesn’t, that you write a scathingly witty critique cos nothing is more tedious than a badly written evisceration). If you’re keen to know more, you should check out the website, http://www.moxyland.com

    – Lauren

    Lauren Beukes

    12 March 2009 at 18:29

  3. I have heard approving comments about Warren’s short fiction and I know it is unfair to hold her marketing against her but that is a bloody awful pitch. It manages to be both implausible and unpalatable. I’m sure the book is better than its publicity though.

    I don’t read eBooks but I think I will be getting hold of a real copy of Moxyland.

    Lauren: I checked out your website the other day. I like the Moxy toy!


    12 March 2009 at 21:50

  4. Thanks Martin, they’re all hand-made by a women’s empowerment collective we set up especially, which ties in with the ideals of the activist character, Tendeka. All the tie-ins, well, tie in to the novel. The soundtrack is exactly the kind of thing that misfit blogger DJ kid Toby would have got into. It’s been nice to play in the real world. And the Moxys are great; because they’re hand-made, they’re like mutant clones of the original, all slightly different, as if the gene-splicing didn’t quite work

    Lauren Beukes

    13 March 2009 at 10:22

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