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Open Letter to Former Strange Chemistry Authors

Angry Robot and Strange ChemistryDear Former Authors of Strange Chemistry,

Many of you would not have heard of me, but my name is Marc Aplin and I run a website named Fantasy-Faction. Fantasy-Faction is a website developed to promote the fantasy genre, its books and its authors. Our community website has grown over the years and we find ourselves in a position where we are receiving around 3000-4000 hits a day from fantasy fans from around the world. Our biggest honour was winning a Reddit Award for best Fantasy website.

As you know, a few days ago something happened that affected you and affected our community, especially our younger readers, greatly: Angry Robot was forced to shut down their Strange Chemistry label. This has resulted in many of you being thrust into the unfortunate position where you are out of contract. I know that a number of you were mid-way through series and were likely excited at the prospect of getting your next title out to the masses.

Firstly, I want to say that the thoughts of myself and our whole community are with you. This is a horrible situation and whilst I am sure many of you will find your place under other labels in the near future, I’m sure that doesn’t comfort you much as it stands.

Secondly, I have seen a number of readers urge you authors to self publish. For those stuck mid-series and who may struggle to pick up a new publisher, I think this could be a viable idea. Especially with the way the publishing industry is heading. Today, many self-published authors have found their place and some of the ‘big names’ in the fantasy genre are even choosing this route over traditional publishing for certain projects. You also have the advantage that you already have readers who know your name and have enjoyed your earlier titles. Certainly, to leave fans – and yourself – without a conclusion to a series is something that I am sure will disappoint you both.

I can’t help you with getting the book written, edited or produced (sorry!), but I do feel that I can help with what is often seen as one of the more difficult aspects of self-publishing: marketing. I know how hard it can be, letting people know your next title is coming; especially when it is a year or two since the last.

So, I know it is a rather small gesture and unlikely to fix all your problems, but for any Strange Chemistry authors writing fantasy who do choose to go the self-published or small press route I’d like to offer Fantasy-Faction to you whenever you need to promote yourself and your work. Just e-mail me any time: Marc@Fantasy-Faction.com . Whether this is to set up Guest Blogs, Reviews, Interviews, announce your latest book is underway – or whatever else you need – I and the community are at your disposal.

In the meantime, my advice would be keep Tweeting, keep blogging and letting your fans know that you are still there, writing. Your fans in the SFF community are eagerly awaiting your next title.

Best Wishes,

Marc Aplin



  1. Avatar Laura Lam says:

    Thank you, Marc. This really means a lot. <3

  2. Hey Mark. Just a quick post to say a sincere thanks from me and, I think I can safely add, from the rest of the Strange Chemistry orphans. Your support is a welcome note amid recent events. Much appreciated.

  3. Avatar Kate Danley says:

    You guys are a class act! Brava!

  4. On behalf of the SC family, thank you so much for reaching out to us!!! Your support is so encouraging in this time of uncertainty!!!

  5. […] Kameron Hurley Fantasy Faction John Scalzi Leah at Uncorked Thoughts Gavin at GavReads Leila Roy at Bookshelves of Doom Frankie Ash Liviania Smith at In Bed with Books Absolute Write The Bibliophibian Michael Patrick Hicks Jaye Robin Brown Erin Mitchell at Hey, There’s a Dead Guy in the Living Room Kaye at Watercolor Moods Michael Ann Dobbs at io9 Fantasy Faction: An Open Letter to Former Strange Chemistry Authors […]

  6. Thanks for the support … just gotta get that book written!

  7. Avatar Danielle L. Jensen says:

    Thanks so much for all your support 🙂

  8. Avatar Gwenda says:

    Thanks so much for this — I know everyone greatly appreciates the offer! <3

  9. I’d like to offer my site to you too. You would be welcome guests anytime.

  10. Avatar Sebseb says:

    Rest in peace, Strange Chemistry. All of the victims of this terrible occurrence: do what you’ve got to do. Do not let this stop you. Each of you try to keep writing strong. Sometimes bad things happen, sometimes situations suck. But don’t let it stop you; let it be a towering rock in your way but let yourself go around it. Or, if you feel the need, jump over it. No matter how big that rock is, anything can happen and that includes jumping over it.

  11. […] readers of Fantasy-Faction will remember that following the closure of Strange Chemistry – an event that saw many writers thrust into the unfortunate position where they were […]

  12. […] readers of Fantasy-Faction will remember that following the closure of Strange Chemistry – an event that saw many writers thrust into the unfortunate position where they were […]

  13. Hi Marc,

    I’ve only just heard about this but your open letter to the orphaned authors is touching. I too would like to extend a similar offer of help.

    I run The Worldbuilding School which is a website dedicated to the art of building fictional worlds. It doesn’t get as much traffic as Fantasy Faction (we currently get 9,000+ hits a month) but if it helps at all then I’d like to help and I’m sure other writing webmasters would too.

    All the best to the writers out there,

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