Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A close down: a round-up of the links

SCI’ve been a Strange Chemistry fan from the beginning. Its editor, Amanda Rutter, was one of the first friends I made when I discovered the blogosphere, at the time she was still blogging at Floor to Ceiling Books, and she helped me out a lot when I decided to start blogging myself. So to see her move into publishing herself was exciting and witnessing Strange Chemistry publish some of the most innovative and wonderful books in the field of YA in the past two years has been a pleasure. 

When this morning the news broke that both Strange Chemistry and Angry Robot’s crime imprint Exhibit A Books were the cease operations immediately, followed some time later by the news that Osprey is looking to sell Angry Robot, I was shocked, to say the least. My first thoughts were for the wonderful authors published by both these imprints, some of whom I’ve been fortunate enough to meet in person, and for Amanda, Caroline, Lee, Mike and Marc, who do such excellent work bringing us these books. My second thoughts were that now I’d not find out how the stories I’d been waiting for to continue would end. Well at least not in the near-future.

Of course there are all sorts of ramifications to this news, not in the least what will happen to those titles that were contracted but now won’t be published and for those authors who were in the midst of a series. And as you’d expect reactions have already been starting to appear online. I’ve tried to collect them below and I’ll keep them updated for the next few days. Meanwhile I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that everyone impacted by these closures will quickly and squarely land on their feet and find new publishing homes.

The news

Announcement from Angry Robot Books
News about Osprey’s sale plans

Strange Chemistry authors

Laura Lam
Gwenda Bond
Eliza Crewe
Martha Wells
Kim Curran
Kim Curran: Five Things I Learned when My Publisher Went Under
Rosie Best
Jonathan L Howard
Rachel Neumeier
Danielle L Jensen
Sean Cummings
Lisa Ann O’Kane
Sarah J Schmitt
Christian Schoon

Exhibit A authors

Terry Irving
Rob Hart
Sean Lynch
Tom Vater

Other reactions

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

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  • There is no reason why an author with a series unfinished cannot self publish the rest of the series. She/he already has her audience and followers.

    • But at the moment it’s unclear whether rights are reverting etc. So that’s what might cause a problem. In addition, not every author has the time or the energy for the hard work that goes into promotion and publicity. But you’re right that the option is always there fortunately.

  • By rights, the rights should revert back ASAP (Hey I made a pun). Yeah … self pubbing is the only option methinks.

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  • I read somewhere that Osprey wants to sell Angry Robot but what I can’t see is whether Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A would be part of the package. If they were then the buyer would take on the authors as part of the deal (I think). If not, and Strange Chemistry, has closed down completely, then the rights should revert back to the author. Either way though, sad times for a lot of people :(

    • SC and EA wouldn’t be part of the Angry Robot package as they don’t exist anymore. For unpublished titles the rights would indeed revert back, but I’ve seen one of the SC authors say that AR will still be selling the books already out there (and presumably in storage) until they’ve all sold out before letting the books go out of print. So might be more difficult in those cases, especially where they concern unfinished series?