Indie Spotlight: Angry Robot Books
By Ella Davies and Charlotte Bonner
Many independent publishing presses have a specific focus to make them stand out from the crowd. Whether that be a focus on classical texts, women’s literature or a specific genre. The indie press we are spotlighting today, Angry Robot Books, has thrived through its focus on science fiction and fantasy books.
Founded in August 2008, they were originally based in Nottingham, however, their headquarters have since moved to London. They market their brand as “SF, F and WTF?!?” books, taking on general science fiction and fantasy, as well as any books which have a flare and original quality to make their readers say “WTF?!?”
They make a lot of capital from their “Robot Army,” a street team of bloggers, reviewers, and influential commentators from the science fiction world. To help their street team, this “army” is able to access exclusive content and advanced reading copies of Angry Robot’s books. Since September 2010, they have also been collaborating with Penguin Random House as a distributing client, allowing them to sell their books worldwide and in all your favourite bookstores and bookish retailers.
All of their books are published simultaneously in physical paperback and eBook, with a vast ever-growing amount also being released as audiobooks as well. There is an entire section of their website dedicated to audiobooks and which platforms each book is available on.
Angry Robot Books also runs a blog on their website, keeping their readers up to date with all the newest releases, upcoming newly acquired books and job opportunities. If podcasts are more your style, don’t fret, they also run their own podcast on Spotify where you can receive updates, listen to interviews from authors and exciting guests, and hear all about the latest topics and focuses within the science fiction and fantasy genre.
Since its founding, Angry Robot Books has worked very hard to increase its social media following across all platforms. They truly love delving into online marketing and interacting with individuals in the publishing and book communities via their social media profiles. This is an indie press that’s passion is deeply rooted in their love for the book community and can be regularly seen interacting and supporting many wonderful people, morals and movements – all of which are very clear across all their social media profiles and website.
The bestselling Fix trilogy was published by Angry Robot Books in 2016. The Barnes and Noble sci-fi blog describes the urban fantasy novels as a “one-of-a-kind series… is what might result if you put Breaking Bad and Reddit in a blender and hit ‘frappe.’” Alongside this, Angry Robot Books has published many successful fantasy novels, including The Lives of Tao (2013) by Wesley Chu and United States of Japan (2017) by Peter Tieryas.
Angry Robot Books has recently published several bestselling sci-fi hits, including Chris Panatier’s Stringers (2022), a thought-provoking fantasy novel. Panatier’s sci-fi adventure features aliens, robots and parallel worlds. Publishers Weekly writes: “Where Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy recommended towels, this slapstick and semisweet space opera sends its Earthlings out among the aliens armed only with a jar of pickles… Readers are in for a treat.” Another exciting recent release is An Accident of Stars (2022) by Foz Meadows, an evocative blend of gritty realism and fantasy. This is the first book in the new Manifold Worlds duology, which has been updated with a stunning new cover designed by Kieryn Tyler.
A hotly anticipated release for Angry Robot Books is Ledge, a sci-fi from the TikTok sensation, Stacy McEwan. The debut novel is a slow-burning romance and a gripping fantasy adventure. The press describes it as an ambitious debut based on incredible world-building. It is expected to make a strong start to the Glacian trilogy. Ledge will be published on 13 September 2022.
Angry Robot Books also anticipates the release of Joshua David Bellin’s Myriad, a mind-bending sci-fi thriller. Bellin’s adult debut incorporates a detective mystery with elements of cyberpunk and time travel. Angry Robot Books looks forward to welcoming Bellin to their roster of authors. Bellin has also expressed his excitement, noting that Angry Robot Books is one of his favourite speculative fiction publishers: “I love time travel stories and I love mysteries, so putting the two of them together and watching all the pieces fall into place was the most fun I’ve ever had as a writer. I hope readers feel the same way!” Myriad will be published on 23 May 2023.
Another upcoming release is Toxxic by Jane Hennigan, an exciting sequel which builds on the world established in Moths (2021). This thrilling duology incorporates gender roles and feminism into a post-apocalyptic world. Hennigan’s characters must navigate a world which was not made for men. This is a sequel to look forward to. Toxxic will be published on 12 March 2024.
With Angry Robot Books continuously publishing distinctive voices within the publishing and book communities, a genuinely lovely team of people, and being incredibly supportive and interactive, they are definitely an indie publisher to watch!