Strange Chemistry: Where are they now?

I thought I would do a follow-up post as it’s been three months since my original post on Strange Chemistry when the publisher Angry Robot decided to discontinue the imprint suddenly.

Where are these books now? Have they found homes? Let’s see!

Some Fine Day by Kat Ross

Has been picked up! Expect a cover change, but now Skyscape is picking up Some Fine Day for a November 2014 release date.

SomeFineDaySixteen-year-old Jansin Nordqvist is on the verge of graduating from the black ops factory known as the Academy. She’s smart and deadly and knows three things with absolute certainty.

She knows that when the world flooded and civilization retreated deep underground, there was no one left on the surface.

She knows that the only species to thrive there are the toads, a primate/amphibian hybrid with a serious mean streak.

Most of all, she knows there’s no place on Earth where you can hide from the hypercanes, continent-sized storms that have raged for decades.

Jansin has been lied to. On all counts. Faced with the truth in the form of a charismatic young survivor named Will, Jansin vows that her former masters will regret making her what she is…

My review can be found here.

 

Delete by Kim Curran (#3 Shift Series)

No news yet, but there is this blog post. It may be self published.

Delete-144dpiThe country is at war. Beset by enemies within and without. And all because of the decisions changed by one boy – Scott Tyler.

In this ravaged alternative world, Scott hardly recognises himself. He’s a war hero, a leader of a unit of Shifters and maybe the only one who can prevent the country’s frail defences from crumbling.

But all Scott wants to do is find a way back to the reality he knew – without losing the girl he loves.

With every Shift he makes, Scott edges closer towards oblivion. With no one to trust – not even himself – how much is he willing to risk to get home?

Book #1: Shift

Book #2: Control

 

Crushed by Eliza Crewe (#2 Soul Eaters Series)

To be self published! Details are here. To be released September 22nd 2014!

Crushed-144dpiMeda Melange has officially hung up her monstrous mantle and planted her feet firmly on the holy and righteous path of a Crusader-in-training. Or, at least, she’s willing to give it a shot. It helps that the Crusaders are the only thing standing between her and the demon hordes who want her dead.

The problem is, the only people less convinced than Meda of her new-found role as Good Girl are the very Crusaders she’s trying to join. So when a devilishly handsome half-demon boy offers escape, how’s a girl supposed to say “no?”

After all, everyone knows a good girl’s greatest weakness is a bad boy.

Book #1: Cracked

 

 

Rabble by Rosie Best (#2 Skulk Series)

No news yet, but there is this blog post.

Rabble-144dpiMeg Banks is the metashifter, the only person in the world who can shapeshift into any one of the five creatures that guard London’s deepest magical secrets: fox, rat, spider, butterfly and raven. But with great power comes… well, you know the rest.

To gain control of the five weard stones, the sorceress Victoria will stop at nothing, including using Meg’s own estranged mother against her.

Will Meg choose to use the stones’ power herself or keep them safely hidden? And can she work for peace, or must she destroy those who stand in her way?

Book #1: Skulk

 

 

~

The following books don’t seem to have received cover art, but were due to come out from September onwards:

A Curse of Ash and Iron by Christine Norris

Has been picked up by Curiosity Quills Press! No news yet for a release date, but follow the author here to be kept updated.

Eleanor Banneker is under a spell, bewitched and enslaved by her evil stepmother. Her long-lost childhood friend, Benjamin Grimm, is the only person immune to the magic that binds her. Even if he doesn’t believe in real magic, he cannot abandon her and must find a way to breach the spell – but time is running short.

If he doesn’t succeed before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, Ellie will be bound forever…

~

It’s a Wonderful Death by Sarah J. Schmitt

No news yet, but there is this blog post.

When RJ’s soul is accidentally collected by a distracted Grim Reaper, somebody in the afterlife better figure out a way to send her back from the dead or heads will roll.

Eventually RJ is presented with two options: she can remain in the Lobby, where souls wait to be processed, until her original lifeline expires; or replay three moments in her life in an effort to make choices that will produce a future deemed worthy of being saved. It sounds like a no brainer. She’ll take the walk down memory lane. How hard can changing her future be?

But with each moment, RJ’s life begins to unravel. Will she ever find redemption and walk amongst the living again?

~

An Angel Torched My Homework and Other Lies by Miche Sipes

No news yet, but there is this small note on her site.

Imagine if vampires, werewolves, angels and zombies were merely humans with a genetic mutation . . . could Norms and Differents ever get along?

Carrie Philips just wants her junior year at Clement Academy to go smoothly. Sure, it’s the first high school in the nation to integrate Norms like her with the Differents. But the Diffs are just typical teenagers with teeny-tiny genetic anomalies. They’re certainly not dangerous or anything. At least that’s what Carrie has always believed.

But when several of her fellow students are mysteriously assaulted, cracks form in Carrie’s worldview. Cracks she tries to ignore while defending her friends from anti-Diff backlash and solving the mystery of who’s really behind the attacks.

Then, Carrie stumbles on a bombshell that could forever change how Norms and Diffs see each other. So much for a quiet school year.

~

The Fallen Prince by Amalie Howard (#2 The Almost Girl)

Can’t seem to find any mention of it on her blog/site. Disappointing. Amalie has other books coming out however.

Now that the rightful ruler of Neospes has been reinstated, Riven is on the hunt for her father in the Otherworld to bring him to justice for his crimes against her people.

When she receives an unwelcome visit from two former allies, she knows that trouble is brewing again in Neospes. The army has been decimated and there are precious few left to fight this mysterious new threat. To muster a first line of defense, her people need help from the one person Riven loathes most – her father. But what he wants in return is her complete surrender to him.

Riven will have to choose: save Neospes or save herself.

Book #1: The Almost Girl

~

The Body Institute by Carol Riggs

No news yet, but there is this small note on her site.

In a future when being overweight means additional taxation, an innovative weight-loss clinic comes up with a ground-breaking system. Trainers have their brain waves downloaded into an overweight clients so that they can lose the weight for them. Seventeen year-old Morgan Dey jumps at the chance to earn credits to help pay off some family bills.

While Reducing for a client, Morgan begins to experience stray memories from her host, causing her to question her own identity and whether she really is the same Morgan now that she’s in someone else’s body, house, and family. And when the clinic begins to face violent protests from an anti-Reducer group that questions the ethics involved in the Reducer program, Morgan realizes she stands to lose much more than the weight she’d originally signed up for.

~

Pure Magic by Rachel Neumeier (#2 Black Dog)

No news yet, but there is this blog post. It may be self published.

Following the defeat of their deadly enemy Malvern Vonhausel, Alejandro and Natividad – and their human brother, Miguel – have begun to feel that, against all odds, they may have succeeded in making a new home for themselves among the black dogs of Dimilioc.

But keeping that home safe involves challenges they never anticipated. It’s bad enough that stray black dogs, taking advantage of Dimilioc’s weakness, are appearing everywhere; much worse are powerful rivals who would tear Dimilioc down entirely and claim Dimilioc’s authority for their own.

Book #1: Black Dog

~

Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen (#2 The Malediction Trilogy)

Going to be published by Angry Robot after all! Read the happy news here. To be published Spring 2015.

Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.

Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.

Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.

To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…

Book 1: The Stolen Songbird

~

Four confirmed so far, two may be self-published!

As for the rest that have not yet found homes? Keep them in mind, champion for them, tell the world you still want a chance to read them. Write down their titles and authors, because it’s possible that when they’re picked up elsewhere or self published, the cover design could change entirely.

Incidentally – how has this event left Angry Robot in your mind? Has it influenced your thoughts on them? If you’ve bought from them in the past, do you still do that now? I’m curious as to how this has gone for them, image-wise.

Strange Chemistry book list

Here are some books that were due to come out from Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A but have now sadly been dropped at Angry Robot’s sudden discontinuation of their imprints.

Keep them in mind, champion for them, tell the world you still want a chance to read them. Write down their titles and authors, because it’s possible that when they’re picked up elsewhere or self published, the cover design could change entirely.

Some Fine Day by Kat Ross

SomeFineDaySixteen-year-old Jansin Nordqvist is on the verge of graduating from the black ops factory known as the Academy. She’s smart and deadly and knows three things with absolute certainty.

She knows that when the world flooded and civilization retreated deep underground, there was no one left on the surface.

She knows that the only species to thrive there are the toads, a primate/amphibian hybrid with a serious mean streak.

Most of all, she knows there’s no place on Earth where you can hide from the hypercanes, continent-sized storms that have raged for decades.

Jansin has been lied to. On all counts. Faced with the truth in the form of a charismatic young survivor named Will, Jansin vows that her former masters will regret making her what she is…

My review can be found here.

 

Delete by Kim Curran (#3 Shift Series)

Delete-144dpiThe country is at war. Beset by enemies within and without. And all because of the decisions changed by one boy – Scott Tyler.

In this ravaged alternative world, Scott hardly recognises himself. He’s a war hero, a leader of a unit of Shifters and maybe the only one who can prevent the country’s frail defences from crumbling.

But all Scott wants to do is find a way back to the reality he knew – without losing the girl he loves.

With every Shift he makes, Scott edges closer towards oblivion. With no one to trust – not even himself – how much is he willing to risk to get home?

Book #1: Shift

Book #2: Control

 

Crushed by Eliza Crewe (#2 Soul Eaters Series)

Crushed-144dpiMeda Melange has officially hung up her monstrous mantle and planted her feet firmly on the holy and righteous path of a Crusader-in-training. Or, at least, she’s willing to give it a shot. It helps that the Crusaders are the only thing standing between her and the demon hordes who want her dead.

The problem is, the only people less convinced than Meda of her new-found role as Good Girl are the very Crusaders she’s trying to join. So when a devilishly handsome half-demon boy offers escape, how’s a girl supposed to say “no?”

After all, everyone knows a good girl’s greatest weakness is a bad boy.

Book #1: Cracked

 

 

Rabble by Rosie Best (#2 Skulk Series)

Rabble-144dpiMeg Banks is the metashifter, the only person in the world who can shapeshift into any one of the five creatures that guard London’s deepest magical secrets: fox, rat, spider, butterfly and raven. But with great power comes… well, you know the rest.

To gain control of the five weard stones, the sorceress Victoria will stop at nothing, including using Meg’s own estranged mother against her.

Will Meg choose to use the stones’ power herself or keep them safely hidden? And can she work for peace, or must she destroy those who stand in her way?

Book #1: Skulk

 

 

The following books don’t seem to have received cover art, but were due to come out from September onwards:

A Curse of Ash and Iron by Christine Norris

Eleanor Banneker is under a spell, bewitched and enslaved by her evil stepmother. Her long-lost childhood friend, Benjamin Grimm, is the only person immune to the magic that binds her. Even if he doesn’t believe in real magic, he cannot abandon her and must find a way to breach the spell – but time is running short.

If he doesn’t succeed before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, Ellie will be bound forever…

~

It’s a Wonderful Death by Sarah J. Schmitt

When RJ’s soul is accidentally collected by a distracted Grim Reaper, somebody in the afterlife better figure out a way to send her back from the dead or heads will roll.

Eventually RJ is presented with two options: she can remain in the Lobby, where souls wait to be processed, until her original lifeline expires; or replay three moments in her life in an effort to make choices that will produce a future deemed worthy of being saved. It sounds like a no brainer. She’ll take the walk down memory lane. How hard can changing her future be?

But with each moment, RJ’s life begins to unravel. Will she ever find redemption and walk amongst the living again?

~

An Angel Torched My Homework and Other Lies by Miche Sipes

Imagine if vampires, werewolves, angels and zombies were merely humans with a genetic mutation . . . could Norms and Differents ever get along?

Carrie Philips just wants her junior year at Clement Academy to go smoothly. Sure, it’s the first high school in the nation to integrate Norms like her with the Differents. But the Diffs are just typical teenagers with teeny-tiny genetic anomalies. They’re certainly not dangerous or anything. At least that’s what Carrie has always believed.

But when several of her fellow students are mysteriously assaulted, cracks form in Carrie’s worldview. Cracks she tries to ignore while defending her friends from anti-Diff backlash and solving the mystery of who’s really behind the attacks.

Then, Carrie stumbles on a bombshell that could forever change how Norms and Diffs see each other. So much for a quiet school year.

~

The Fallen Prince by Amalie Howard (#2 The Almost Girl)

Now that the rightful ruler of Neospes has been reinstated, Riven is on the hunt for her father in the Otherworld to bring him to justice for his crimes against her people.

When she receives an unwelcome visit from two former allies, she knows that trouble is brewing again in Neospes. The army has been decimated and there are precious few left to fight this mysterious new threat. To muster a first line of defense, her people need help from the one person Riven loathes most – her father. But what he wants in return is her complete surrender to him.

Riven will have to choose: save Neospes or save herself.

Book #1: The Almost Girl

~

The Body Institute by Carol Riggs

In a future when being overweight means additional taxation, an innovative weight-loss clinic comes up with a ground-breaking system. Trainers have their brain waves downloaded into an overweight clients so that they can lose the weight for them. Seventeen year-old Morgan Dey jumps at the chance to earn credits to help pay off some family bills.

While Reducing for a client, Morgan begins to experience stray memories from her host, causing her to question her own identity and whether she really is the same Morgan now that she’s in someone else’s body, house, and family. And when the clinic begins to face violent protests from an anti-Reducer group that questions the ethics involved in the Reducer program, Morgan realizes she stands to lose much more than the weight she’d originally signed up for.

~

Pure Magic by Rachel Neumeier (#2 Black Dog)

Following the defeat of their deadly enemy Malvern Vonhausel, Alejandro and Natividad – and their human brother, Miguel – have begun to feel that, against all odds, they may have succeeded in making a new home for themselves among the black dogs of Dimilioc.

But keeping that home safe involves challenges they never anticipated. It’s bad enough that stray black dogs, taking advantage of Dimilioc’s weakness, are appearing everywhere; much worse are powerful rivals who would tear Dimilioc down entirely and claim Dimilioc’s authority for their own.

Book #1: Black Dog

~

Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen (#2 The Malediction Trilogy)

Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.

Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.

Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.

To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…

Book 1: The Stolen Songbird

~

As a reminder, I’m currently running a giveaway for Laura Lam books! Which books above have caught your interest? Personally I’m interested in A Curse of Ash and Iron that was due to come out on my birthday!

Laura Lam Giveaway

Sad publishing news reigns with the announcement that Angry Robot‘s two imprints, Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A, have ceased, effective immediately.

I loved Strange Chemistry especially because without fail – every book I picked up from that imprint, I loved. They had a level of quality I could depend on, where I didn’t have to worry when picking up a book whether or not it was going to resonate with me.

But it goes deeper than this – it’s upsetting because it impacts on one of my favourite authors, Laura Lam. I loved the books she had out so far, and I find her thoughtful and well spoken (as well as simply interesting to follow on social media). She also happened to attend Scott Lynch’s cafe meet-up in Brighton in 2013 during World Fantasy Con, and was really lovely when I kinda shyly slunk up to her to see if it really was her to say how much I loved her books.

So far she has two books out in a trilogy, and now the third book is up in the air. This series needs a third book, so I’m going to do what little I can to help:

pantomime-shadowplay

I’ll be giving away the following:

  • One set of her two books, Pantomime and Shadowplay, in paperback to one lucky person
  • One copy of her first book, Pantomime, in paperback, to one lucky person
  • One copy of her second book Shadowplay, in paperback, to one lucky person

This is to spread her books as far as I can assist at this time. I hope the books go to people who haven’t yet read her, or in the case of the third option, who’ve started to read her but haven’t got their hands on the second yet. I’m also partial to those who have read her, but need physical copies of the books to flail around and share with friends :)

The winners shall have to be willing to share a postal address with me (obviously) and the giveaway is open world-wide.

As there are three prizes, there shall be three winners.

If this goes well, there may be bonuses of her short fiction that’s currently available on kindle – we shall see!

Please click below for the rafflecopter giveaway – unfortunately it doesn’t seem they can be embedded in wordpress sites:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Apologies if the giveaway goes a little shaky – this is my first time using rafflecopter so I hope it runs smoothly! If you have any issues using it, just let me know and we’ll figure out a manual way to include you.

Any questions, leave a comment below!

ETA: My friend Sam is also running a giveaway! Click here to see her post about what you can win from here :)

 

This giveaway is now closed!

The winners have been contacted. Congratulations! 

Review: The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

tmsdPublished by: Angry Robot
ISBN: 0857662651
ISBN 13: 9780857662651
Published: January 2013
Pages: 400
Format reviewed: eVersion
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five
Lists: Favourites 

‘The Mad Scientist’s Daughter’ by Cassandra Rose Clarke (of ‘The Assassin’s Curse’ fame) is a coming of age story set in the unspecified future of America that captured my interested as soon as it spoke of the destruction of Australia and how we were replaced by AI computers until we were able to repopulate once again, along with the rest of the world.

Cat(erina Novak) is the daughter of a scientist and cyberneticist, however numbers only jumble in front of her eyes and science is simply tolerable. What Cat really likes is stories, art and being outside in the woods and garden instead. When her father brings home an android called Finn, she first thinks he must be a ghost, but taking him to the local cemetery doesn’t seem to help him find his way home. Then her parents say he’s going to be their tutor (as the local school isn’t very good) and she accepts it only because he knows many stories and still lets her run wild in the woods in the mornings at least.

Cat’s family live remotely and she doesn’t meet anyone her own age until she reaches high school, so until then she and Finn become close. He talks to her like her parents never do, and is unable to get frustrated with her, and doesn’t despair over the fact she doesn’t know algebra at 10 years old.

Finn looks human and his smile almost seems real – he’s one of a kind. Most androids and robots in the increasingly split world population aren’t as fine-tuned as he is, but they’re still obtaining rights around the world thanks to government rights and activists, but Cat doesn’t care for all that. He’s her friend, and he’s always there when she needs him most – when she’s in trouble – when she can’t call her parents after a bad party or when she needs to company after one drama or another. As she grows up and moves to the city, has this boyfriend or that and so on, he’s still there, looking exactly the same and performing his duties to perfection.

This impossible connection and friendship is the basis for a novel that gives us much to ponder on – whether this will be reality some day (every day seeming more possible thanks to Apple and society in general) and the fact it’s shapes from all sides of the story – showing the business world as well as religion – makes it only that much more believable.

The characters are what drives this story, whether it’s Cat struggling through life, her mad yet grounded and caring father, the friends and lovers Cat meets throughout her life, or Finn, the android who doesn’t want to be human yet seems like the most perfect creation.

‘The Mad Scientist’s Daughter’ follows Cat’s life from when she’s only a few years old until she’s well into her middle-years. It carefully shows what life would be like after a sheltered upbringing, showing Cat’s selfish moments whilst making the reader emphasise with her still despite this. The plot moves along steadily, never boring thanks to the delicate prose with the tension building throughout until the second half, where it then just runs home with a reassuring, realistic and ultimately satisfying end.

One thing that struck me with this novel is that there is no info-dumping despite the large amount of information you know of the world and how everything is in the future, thanks to how it’s slipped in throughout, very descriptive and easy to imagine as at times there are new words we don’t have just yet, and at other times simple still using ‘computers’ and ‘oven’, as of course, not everything would change.

Most important in this novel, even though it’s about Cat, is Finn. He seems so real by the end, and whether you think you would be for or against AIs having the same rights as humans, you can’t help but hope he succeeds in the end, and finds his place in the world. Just where that place is… I’ll simply insist that you read this book and find out – it’s easily one of my favourites for 2012.

Thank you NetGalley and Angry Robot for the advance.

This review was originally posted at SentientOnline on the 10th November 2012.