Angry Robot Sold

Angry Robot has been sold.  The publisher reports on its website that American entrepreneur Etan Ilfeld bought Angry Robot along with two other publishers, Watkins Publishing and Nourish, from “administration”.  I think that’s British for bankruptcy, but I could be wrong.

Regardless, I find this to be concerning.  Earlier this year, Angry Robot canceled their YA line (Strange Chemistry) and their mystery/crime line (Exhibit A) with little warning.  When that happened I was afraid something like this would follow.  Angry Robot has been one of the top publishers in the field IMO.  They’ve certainly published some new and innovative voices and brought a number of authors from outside the US and England to the attention of a wider readership. Their titles show much more variety than those of some of the bigger publishers.

According to Mike Underwood, Angry Robot will resume publishing in March.  I hope so, but I’m skeptical.  Things can happen.  The new owner plans to form a new media company.  I hope it works out for him.  And I especially hope it works out for the Angry Robot authors.

3 thoughts on “Angry Robot Sold

  1. Paul McNamee

    A writer (I forget who) mentioned that they thought this was generally a good thing, considering the alternative. (as with Night Shade Books.)

    I don’t know if there are gag orders in place or not, but I’d be curious to hear if Jim (James A. Moore) can continue his series and if he’s comfortable with the new arrangement. He might not even know enough yet to know.

    1. Keith West Post author

      Good point about Night Shade, and I agree. It’s better than the alternative, at least on the surface. Although the rights to a book (at least in the US) are considered assets in the bankruptcy proceedings. I don’t know to what extent the new owner of a publishing company is required to honor the contracts. I thought of Night Shade when I read this. They’re back up and running, which is a good thing. I recall there was some controversy over the Company that bought Night Shade changing the terms of the contracts to reduce royalty rates.

      Reading between the lines of the Angry Robot press release a little, it appears the plan is to push everything that’s scheduled back about six months, then resume publishing. The new owner claims to be an sf/f fan, which is a very positive thing. I’m hoping no authors will find themselves abandoned by this or lose rights to their creations. I asked a different author if he would self-pub another novel in a series he had done for Angry Robot that I really liked, and his reply was that he couldn’t because the characters were property of Angry Robot. I especially would like to see Jim finish his series as it’s become a favorite; hopefully he will land on his feet.

      I did notice in the comments that an editor there who asked an author for a complete manuscript is no longer with the company. The author was rightfully concerned about this.


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