Thursday, August 16, 2012


 - Win a copy of THE KINDLING by Braden Bell (Ends 8/21)
- Win a copy of THE ROCK OF IVANORE on Goodreads (Ends 8/25)
- Win a copy of THE CORPSE RAT KING by Lee Battersby (Ends 8/18)
- Book Review:  THE CABINET OF EARTHS by Anne Nesbet
- Writing For the Reluctant Reader

Adam Christopher
Angry Robots Books
416 pp.
Adult Science Fiction
Release Date:  August 28, 2012

Tony Prosdocimi lives in the bustling Metropolis of San Ventura - a city gripped in fear, a city under siege by the hooded supervillain, The Cowl.

When Tony develops super-powers and acts to take down The Cowl, however, he finds that the local superhero team Seven Wonders aren't as grateful as he assumed they'd be...

"A cool, clever, wickedly twisty superhero story. You can, and will, provide your own pictures..." - Mike Carey, New York Times bestselling writer of The Unwritten and X-Men

I've read very few true science fiction books in my time, but when I saw SEVEN WONDERS on the Angry Robot's website, I had to add this to my TBR. It will be released in trade paperback, but in addition, it will also be released as a limited collector’s edition hardback – only 100 copies are being printed, exclusively for Forbidden Planet book store in the UK. As a bonus, the hardback includes a new short story, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the ComicCon, which will not appear in print anywhere else!

Seven Wonders will be launched at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore on Thursday, 6th September at 6pm, but if you can’t make it in person, you can still order the hardcover directly from the store. But be quick – once the 100 copies are sold, that’s it!

Also, exclusively for my readers, one (1) paperback edition of SEVEN WONDERS is available as a GIVEAWAY!!! The details for how to win are at the end of this post. In the meantime, take a few minutes to read a fun and awesome interview with author Adam Christopher! You'll be glad you did.

1.  Describe Seven Wonders in one sentence.

When Tony wakes up the most powerful superhero in the world, he decides to clean up his city and do the one job the resident superteam the Seven Wonders have never done – take down the Cowl, the last supervillain standing… only the Seven Wonders don’t seem as pleased as Tony thought they would be.

Okay, that’s a long sentence, isn’t it? So, how about…

With great responsibility comes… great power!

2.  What inspired you to write this book?

As a fan of superhero comics, I had this idea for a story kicking around for a couple of years – just a single concept, which I won’t reveal here because it’s a spoiler for the book. After I wrote my first (and thankfully trunked!) novel, having proved to myself that I could actually do it, I decided to take this superhero concept and see if I could build a whole book around it. At this point there had been a few superhero novels out, but not many, and I hadn’t really liked them. It was a typical case of a writer thinking they could do better!

Oddly enough, I never read comics as a child – sometime in the mid-1980s, when comics were still sold at your corner store, my dad got me one issue of Batman, and one issue of Iron Man, and one of those Marvel character encyclopedias. If anything, it was the encyclopedia that caught my interest, rather than the comics themselves!

But for some reason, that initial interest was fleeting. The first comic I bought for myself was an issue of the British weekly SF anthology 2000AD in 2003, having vaguely remembered a friend at high school about ten years before reading them under his desk at the back of the class. It was more just idle curiosity… and I was hooked! And then I remembered those long-lost Batman and Iron Man comics, so I decided to give them a try. And that was really it, shazam! – magical lightning from above. Superhero comics and I were made for each other!

Having become a firm fan of superhero comics, of course I really wanted to write one… but that’s a whole different thing that is difficult and complicated and definitely the long game. But a novel, that was something different, something I could do on my own.

3.  Tell us about your road to publication.

I got a book deal via Twitter!

Well, actually, it’s more complicated than that… I’ve written my whole life, but it wasn’t until 2006 when I really decided it was time to take it seriously – and that’s actually an important step for any writer, that realization that writing has to be the number one priority if you want to succeed. So I sat down, and started typing, and wrote that first trunk novel, and then Seven Wonders, and then Empire State (which actually ended up as my published debut).

In early 2009 I was encouraged by a friend to get on Twitter, which was probably the most important career-related decision of my life. I quickly discovered there was a great online community of writers – people like me, working hard and trying to break in, as well as seasoned professionals, editors, agents, publishers, bloggers, reviewers, the lot. Around this time I decided to blog my own progress as a writer, mostly just as a reminder to myself about what I was doing, and I would tweet now and again about what I was working in.

I met Lee Harris, the editor at Angry Robot, on Twitter, but not because I was trying to sell a book – we gravitated towards each other because we have similar interests in books, TV, film, and comics, and I became a fan of Angry Robot books, who were producing some great stuff. At the time, I was about halfway through Empire State, and the further I got, the more I realised it was the kind of thing that Angry Robot might be interested in.

I met Lee in person at a few conventions, and I just kept tweeting and blogging and writing – Angry Robot certainly knew what I was working on, but we never discussed writing, even in person. I think that’s an important point – I was never trying to sell anything, or push my work online. For me, the most important thing was the writing itself, to get the words down and the books finished and to keep going, keep working on the craft.

Then sometime in mid-2010 I was going to be in Nottingham, where the Angry Robot office is, and I dropped Lee a line to see if he was free for lunch. So I went down, got the tour of the office, and Lee and I, and the publishing director Marc Gascoigne, went down the pub.

That week I’d had a short story published in an online magazine called Hub, which Lee was involved with. It came up in conversation, and we had a little talk about writing, and then Marc asked the magic question: So, have you been working on anything longer?

For the next hour or so, I pitched them Empire State. Although I had thought it would have been neat if they had asked me about it, I didn’t think they actually would, so I wasn’t really prepared. I tried to describe this dimension-hopping 1930s science fiction detective story, and totally mangled it, I’m sure. But when I finished, Marc said that it sounded interesting and I should send it in when it was ready.

At that point I didn’t have an agent – I hadn’t even started looking for one – and I knew that Angry Robot didn’t take unagented submissions… unless they invited them in. So there was my invite!

A couple of months later, Empire State was ready to go, and as standard I sent in the synopsis and first couple of chapters, which they liked and then asked for the full manuscript. And then the waiting game began, until about three months later I got THE phone call.

Angry Robot wanted two books, so asked for summaries and samples from the other books I had written – at the time, it was my trunk novel, Seven Wonders, and a space opera called Ludmila, My Love. I was convinced they’d go for Ludmila, but to my surprise they picked Seven Wonders. However, that wasn’t the end of Ludmila

I signed to Angry Robot without an agent, and as soon as the deal was announced I started getting a lot of interest on various things from different parties, and it was immediately clear I needed representation. So I got an agent, you guessed it, via Twitter!

But again, it’s a little more complicated – I had met and become friends with Chuck Wendig, another writer who later signed to Angry Robot as well. I just asked him if I could have a chat to his agent, Stacia Decker at DMLA, about some general agenty type stuff, nothing more than to get some advice and understand how it all worked a little better. So Chuck introduced us, and Stacia and I got talking by email. She answered my questions, gave me some advice, and then, just out of interest, she asked to see Empire State. I sent it off, not thinking much of it… and then two hours later she replied with a contract offer.

So… this Twitter thing… pretty useful, no?

4.  What books did you enjoy reading when you were younger?

I grew up reading the Target Doctor Who novelisations, which my school had shelves and shelves of. Also things like the Chronicles of Narnia were pretty popular, as were books by Roald Dahl – looking back, I think it was because there were a series of reprints released when I was around 8–10 years old, so everybody was reading them.

After that, I discovered David Eddings, Ray Bradbury, and books like Fighting Fantasy. I can also remember scouring my local library for ghost stories – there’s loads of books I’d like to revisit, I think, but I really can’t remember many specific titles. My interest in Doctor Who continued, and following the Target novelisations of the TV series came the New Adventures, which were original – and more adult – novels, continuing where the TV series left off.

5.  What do you enjoy reading now?

I’m not the fastest reader in the world, just through lack of time these days, sadly. But I think reading is super-important for writers, so I aim to get through a book a month. Compared to some people that’s terribly slow, but hey, I’m pretty busy!

I read a lot of science fiction or stuff which might more or less be called urban fantasy, but I try to mix in crime and police procedural, some thriller-type stuff – I’ve even got a Western or two lined up in my to-be-read pile. Recent reads have included The Professionals by Owen Laukkanen, Alpha by Greg Rucka, The Testimony by James Smythe, Prepare to Die! by Paul Tobin, Hell Ship by Philip Palmer, and I’m also working my way through Stephen King’s back catalogue in publication order (I’ve just done Cujo).

I also – obviously – read a lot of comics. At the moment I’m going through my collection, picking out stuff by favourite writers like Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, Kurt Busiek, and trying to read whole runs in sequence – for example, I’ve just completed all 82 issues of the 2002–2008 Catwoman series, which I think it about the best superhero comic ever. I’m now in the middle of Gotham Central, and I’ve got a pile of Frank Miller’s Daredevil from the late 70s to early 80s lined up after that.

6.  What can we expect from you in the future?

Next year Angry Robot are publishing The Age Atomic, which is a sequel to Empire State. While Empire State had its roots as sort of a pulpy noir/hardboiled detective story, we’ve moved forward a few years with The Age Atomic, so it’s more 50s sci-fi. In the Empire State, our hero Rad finds himself on the trail of robot gangsters and discovers an old friend hiding out with a mystery man calling himself the King of 125th Street, while in New York the enigmatic Evelyn McHale and her organization, Atoms for Peace, are building an army of atomic robots to wage war against another universe. I’ll leave you to guess which universe that may be!

Then in 2014, my fourth Angry Robot title, Hang Wire, is due out. This is an urban fantasy set in San Francisco, where a serial killer, dubbed the Hang Wire Killer, is stalking the night and terrorizing the city, stringing his victims up with steel cable. Newspaper reporter Ted Hall is on his trail, but following an explosion in the city’s famous Chinatown, Ted starts to find strange, personalized fortune cookie messages scattered around his apartment and he begins to lose chunks of time… which coincide with attacks by the serial killer.

Meanwhile, the circus has come to town, but they’re having their own problems: the Celtic dancers are taking their pagan act a little too seriously and the manager of the Olde Worlde Funfair has started talking to his vintage machines, and while the new acrobat is wowing the crowds, his frequent absences are causing tension among the performers.

And out in the city there are other new arrivals, immortals searching for an ancient power which has been unleashed, awakening something awful buried deep beneath the San Andreas fault… a primal evil which, if not stopped, will destroy the entire world!

Hang Wire is pretty epic… but it’s not out for a long time yet!

In between The Age Atomic and Hang Wire, I’ve got another novel coming out from Tor called Shadow’s Call – the novel formerly known as Ludmila, My Love! Shadow’s Call is a dark space opera set on a distant, derelict space station, bathed in toxic radiation from a nearby star, where a washed-up Fleet commander must battle a sentient mechanical spider race and its sinister allies with the help of a long-dead Cosmonaut and a sexy but troubled celebrity asteroid-miner.

I’d describe Shadow’s Call as “MR James writes 2001: A Space Odyssey”. It’s part ghost story, part military science fiction, with a little fantasy and a little godpunk thrown in.

I’m delighted to be working with both Angry Robot and Tor, but boy, the next few years are going to be busy! Of course, what I really want to be doing is mixing prose novels with comic writing… but I can’t say any more about that at the moment! 


One (1) lucky reader will win a trade paperback copy of SEVEN WONDERS! This giveaway is open to residents of the United States AND the United Kingdom (because the publisher & author live in England!!!)  
All you need to do is fill out the rafflecopter form below! 
This giveaway will run through August 31st. 
Best of luck to everyone!


  1. I would be "Callmeifyouneedaride" girl. Guess you can't tell what I spend a lot of time doing?!

  2. I'd be Love-a-lot -- recreating feelings of love in broken couples.

  3. Good question. Bookman - Any book you desire, instantly!

  4. Super Mom and my power would be cleaning up "messes." :)

  5. My name would be Blaster and I'd fly faster than anything.

  6. I would love to be able to rewind time so I could go back and re-do mistakes and my name would be "Rewind Girl". Thanks for this amazing giveaway - I would love to win!