Making Orphans

I became acquainted with Angry Robot Books when I discovered Chris F. Holm’s very fine Collector series a couple of years back. After that, I found Matt Hughes’s “To Hell and Back” series from that imprint as well. The publisher seemed to show a real talent for finding exciting writers who were blurring the edges of fantastic fiction and producing entertaining work. I’ve shared both series with friends and colleagues. THe company has put out good, well designed work.

More recently, Angry Robot had created other imprints for crime and YA fiction, and had agreed to publish work from a number of writers I’ve come to know (in a virtual sense) since my entry into crime fiction. Unfortunately, Angry Robot has decided to close those imprints, leaving those writers and their works hanging without a publisher (who sometimes still controls the rights, although I don’t know if that is the case here.) Books like these are sometimes called “orphan books,” and because the editors and publishers who would have championed them have been dejobbed, they sometimes never see the light of day.

In Pilgrim’s Progress, Bunyan mentions an unfortunate pilgrim who makes the entire pilgrimage, but is barred from entry into the Celestial City, and Bunyan tells us, “Then I saw that there was a way to hell, even from the gate of heaven[.]” I can’t help but think that must be what it feels like for those authors, on the verge of publication, to have the way closed for their work in this manner. I hope a new path to publication opens for them all.

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About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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