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Not With A Bang But A Whimper

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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

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I reviewed The Heritage by Will Ashon for Strange Horizons so I was sent a copy by the publisher. I wouldn’t have bought it otherwise because it was published by Faber & Faber in the bastardised trade paperback format, a hideous half-way house between hardback and paperback. However, since I liked Clear Water I probably would have bought the real paperback when it was released this month. Except, as Ashon reports, I wouldn’t have had that opportunity:

So, the good burghers of Faber & Faber have decided against publishing a mass-market paperback edition of “The Heritage”. I would’ve been pissed off, anyway, I guess, but I think would have understood this hard-headed business decision. After all, if you wanna kiss the ring of the Leather Pope then corporate capitalism’s where it’s at and fuck any of the considerations (art, literature, quality) you may pay lip service to. But I think my sense of fair play was piqued by being told less than two weeks before said paperback edition was supposed to be out. I mean, really, how shit is that?

This has happened so rapidly that Amazon still have the paperback edition listed, albeit as “currently unavailable”. It is an extremely cruel blow for Ashon which he has tried to soften by making the novel available to download for free. I would recommend that you do.

Written by Martin

11 February 2009 at 11:03

Posted in books, publishing, sf

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