While I was out last week, my pals at Angry Robot announced that they’d left the HarperCollins family and joined the growing Osprey flock instead. While this has caused some understandable turbulence in their release schedule, I think this is a fine thing. I was happy to be a HarperCollins author, but with the troubles wracking the publishing industry on a weekly basis HC has been trimming a lot of things, like the experimental and innovative HarperStudio.
A novel (in all senses of the word) imprint like Angry Robot, designed to work like an indie publisher within a massive conglomerate, had to look like easy pickings for any bean counter. It was always going to be a challenge to make it fit, and when you’re looking for things to trim the square pegs go first. Fortunately, Osprey had the perfect square hole ready and waiting to slot Angry Robot in.
I’ve been a fan of Osprey’s books ever since I discovered them in college. They do the best illustrated military history books in the world, bar none. I first spotted them by way of Angus McBride, the legendary artist. Angus had been creating covers for Iron Crown Enterprises‘s Middle-earth Role Playing books for years, including some books I’d worked on. When I spotted his gorgeous artwork on Osprey’s books too, I couldn’t help but be drawn in.
Angry Robot may seem like a strange fit for Osprey, but gamers know that the line between military history and genre fiction is thinner than many would like to admit. Dungeons & Dragons — the original fantasy roleplaying game — grew out of Chainmail, a set of historical miniatures rules. Modern games started with and owe a huge debt to war games, going all the way back to H. G. Wells‘s Little Wars.
To top that off, the fact that Osprey is already a long-established indie publisher means that the Angry Robot sensibilities fit better with it than they ever could have with a giant like HarperCollins. This seems like a great match, and I’m thrilled for Marc Gascoigne and Lee Harris, the soul of Angry Robot, as they join up with their new partners in publishing.