Angry Robot Books announced on November 17th that they have signed Wesley Chu, author of The Lives of Tao, to a three book, six-figure deal for a follow-up sequel to his critically acclaimed science fiction series. The first volume of The Rise of Io will be released in August, 2016.
“Although The Rise of Io is set in the same warring Genjix and Prophus universe as the Lives of Tao books, this brand new series will open the Quasing world to new readers as well as fans of the hugely successful Lives of Tao books,” Angry Robot Books revealed about the series in their announcement. This is sure to appeal to Chu’s current fans, and newcomers looking to check out his work.
“Wesley Chu’s Tao series has been a runaway success for Angry Robot,” said Marc Gascoigne, Managing Director and Publisher at Angry Robot Books, “and we’re delighted that he has re-signed for us for this brand new trilogy of novels. He manages to combine lofty science fiction themes with pure Hollywood pacing, and quite frankly his novels just rock.”
He manages to combine lofty science fiction themes with pure Hollywood pacing, and quite frankly his novels just rock.
More details on the trilogy are light, but Chu pulled back the curtain slightly when I asked him if he was ready to reveal anything to tantalize readers. “The Rise of Io follows a street-smart con-woman named Ella who is inhabited by a low-ranking insecure Quasing who has made all the wrong decisions in history,” he revealed. “She finds herself in a heap of trouble as she’s hunted by the Genjix, some gangsters she conned, the authorities, and of all people, her parents who are tired of her antics. The two distrust each other but must figure out how to work together to complete an important mission.”
Angry Robot Books has had a very tumultuous (and very public) year in which its Senior Editor, Lee Harris, left for Tor.com, and it was eventually purchased from Osprey Group by a relative unknown in the SFF publishing industry, Etan Ilfeld and Watkins Media.
“Like most other Angry Robot authors, I’ve been very concerned about the state of the publisher for the past six months,” Chu revealed to me. “I was one of their first authors affected by the production freeze as the different parts of Osprey Group were put up for sale.” The Lives of Tao was due for its seventh reprint all the way back in May, but nothing was happening.
Of course I was pretty unhappy about the whole thing. After talking to the folks at Angry Robot, I understood that those decisions came from Osprey’s owners, not Angry Robot. It didn’t make the situation any better but it wasn’t their fault.”
Unlike Night Shade Books, which has had trouble regaining momentum after its own similar issues, the new Angry Robot Books is making a determined effort to rekindle its relationship with its authors. After some initial hesitation, Chu decided to return to the publisher that helped to launch his career.
“I hadn’t considered signing on for more books until my agent, Russell Galen, spoke with the new owner, Etan Ilfeld, and came back saying he liked the guy and would work with him,” Chu said. “That’s when I warmed up to the idea. Russ is very savvy and I trust him implicitly with my career.”
The efforts made by Ilfeld and the Angry Robot/Watkins Media team were immediately noticeable, Chu said. “Royalty statements were sent out quickly, payments started flowing and there seemed to be a new energy coming from the people who work here.
“[Ilfeld] is honestly very enthusiastic about really creating a high level of success around Angry Robot and its authors.”