Founded by HarperCollins in 2009, Angry Robot is a science-fiction/fantasy imprint dedicated to the best in modern adult science fiction, fantasy, and everything in between. Although based in Britain, Angry Robot's manifesto from the start has been to focus on the 'post-YA' and 'crossover' science-fiction, fantasy, and beyond market, especially the new generations excited by the Harry Potter series and Twilight Saga, computer games and graphic novels, and Doctor Who (Tan 2009). The imprint also indicated from the start that it would publish across a variety of formats, including physical books, online versions, e-books, and audio.
The idea for Angry Robot came about in 2008. HarperCollins then employed former Games Workshop author/editor Marc Gascoigne to develop the concept and provided him with funding to undertake the venture. The imprint's initial 'crew' comprised Gascoigne (as Publishing Director), Amanda Ridout (HarperCollins Fiction Managing Director), Chris Michaels (HarperCollins Brand Manager), and Lee Harris (as Assistant Editor).
A significant part of the Angry Robot strategy was to set up the Angry Robot Army, a global network of helpers and enthusiasts who serve as an inner sanctum of reviewers and opinion shapers. In return for blogging about Angry Robot, its books, and authors and reviewing its titles, selected individuals receive from the imprint free copies of books (in physical, audio, or electronic format), interviews, and features. Angry Robot also privileges its army by sending out news for their sites before it is distributed it to the general media.
Among the first titles to be published were Slights (Kaaron Warren), Moxyland (Lauren Beukes), Nekropolis (Tim Waggoner), Book of Secrets (Chris Roberson), and Kell's Legend (Andy Remic). Australian author Kaaron Warren has since gone on to have at least two more novels published by Angry Robot.
A year after its launch, Angry Robot parted company with HarperCollins and became an independent publishing imprint in association with Osprey Publishing. According to Chris Michaels, then HarperCollins Digital Publisher (Fiction/Non-Fiction), the split was amicable, with both parties realising that the imprint's need to focus on its niche market required the sort of specialist sales and marketing expertise offered by Osprey. The new venture was officially launched in September 2010, with a publishing program that was largely unchanged from the one devised in collaboration with HarperCollins. In a press release published to coincide with the launch, Osprey's Marketing Director, Richard Sullivan, commented that 'We have a great deal of experience of serving specialist niches with a very tight product focus. Angry Robot is a great fit with our existing businesses. We are very excited about the opportunity to enter into a new market and we are looking forward to helping Angry Robot, its authors and its readers go to some exciting places' (Gascoigne, n. pag.).
Gascoigne, Marc. 'Angry Robot Books to Join Osprey Publishing: Leading Non-Fiction Publisher
Acquires Specialist Sci-Fi Fiction & Fantasy Imprint'. Online. (Sighted: 24/06/2011)