Lord Stink & Other Stories

Fri 1 Nov 2002 - Filed under: Chapbooks | Leave a Comment| Posted by: intern

Now with T-shirts (and mini bears)

No.4 in the Small Beer Chapbook Series. “Election Day” is new to this collection. “Lord Stink” and “The Window” were published in Asimov’s and “Dream of Rain” was originally published in Interzone. “The Window” was a runner-up for the 1999 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award and one of Locus‘s Top Ten Stories of 1999.
Cover art by Shelley Jackson.

Interviews:

 

Reviews
“On the basis of Lord Stink and Other Stories (Small Beer Press, chapbook, $5.00, 76 pages, ISBN unavailable), Judith Berman is a skillful, passionate writer who proceeds at her own measured pace to produce quality craftsmanship from her workshop. Two stories here, the title piece and “Dream of Rain” are mythic, fairytale-like fantasies that evoke the best of Ursula Le Guin. The heretofore unpublished “Election Day,” by contrast, is a madcap Tim-Powersish romp involving talking mirrors, reanimated corpses and a touchingly awkward, nascent love affair. Finally, “The Window” moves into Carol Emshwiller territory with its tale of an Earth overrun by the Grubs, and how humanity fares as pets. Berman exhibits a sure hand and a sharp imagination. Seeing more of her work will be a pleasure, especially at possibly longer lengths.”
–Paul Di Filippo, Asimov’s

“…should whet readers’ appetites for the author’s upcoming novel from Ace, The Bear’s Daughter
Tangent Online

“Judith Berman hasn’t been very prolific. These stories represent most of her output to date, to my knowledge, but they are intriguing works, displaying considerable range and a fine new voice.”
Locus Online (far down the page)

Contents
Lord Stink
Election Day
Dream of Rain
The Window


Who is Judith Berman?

Lord StinkHere’s her website, which may tell you some more about her. Raised in the wilds of Idaho, Berman is an anthropologist and now lives with her family in Philadelphia, PA. Her first novel, Bear Daughter, follows on from her story, “Lord Stink” (see above).

Her essay, “Science Fiction Without the Future,” published in May 2001 in the New York Review of Science Fiction, won the 2002 Pioneer Award for Best Critical Essay. Bruce Sterling said it was “[P]robably the most important piece of science fiction criticism in the last ten years.” Berman published another essay “Models of Time: Imagining the Future,” in the New York Review of Science Fiction (September 2002).

Berman read at KGB Bar in August of 2002 (pictures).



Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 11

Fri 1 Nov 2002 - Filed under: LCRW | Leave a Comment| Posted by: intern

Notes (& Letters)

In our last issue,no.10, we once again attempted to bring the magnificent fictions of Barbara Gilly to the public. Instead, our run of bad luck continued, and the expensive glossy insert (pages 23-26) painstakingly put together last winter apparently appeared in only a few copies. Disappointed as we are, however, we have been energized by the reaction of those readers who received the full magazine. However, we are not afraid to admit to our mistakes, and a selection of letters from those who did not receive the full issue follow.

We extend our apologies to all our readers.

On consideration, we have developed a plan that is sure to be a winner: our next issue, no.12, hitting the stands and subscribers hands in June 2003, will be an all-Barbara Gilly issue!

To ensure quality and timeliness, we have had our interns working on it since September — thanks guys! (We’ll miss them when we move to Northampton — more on that later — but we’ll make sure none of these young men and women lack for glowing recommendations when they leave.)

The interns have had a great response from some very well-known writers who have promised us appreciations, reviews, critical looks, and, unexpectedly and a little puzzling, more.

Issue 12 — our first special issue devoted to a single writer — will be produced concurrently with issue 13 to satisfy the regular readers of this periodical.

Please note the change of address. Our thumb was stuck out and we were given a lift. They took us as far as Northampton, MA, so that’s where we will be for the foreseeable future. It is current as of November 2002, our new address, thank you. Also, please keep us up to date with your moves.

A note on the cover: a ticket from a film, a day together, what happened later.

A note on the type: Bodoni Book, with creamy highlights that, in a certain light, are reminiscent of the morning sun over the mountains of the moon.

A note on the printing:
By Design Ink
2208 Frankfort Ave.
Louisville, KY 40206
(502) 899-3551

A note on these notes: where is the copyeditor?

A ticket from a show

Contents

Fiction
Theodora Goss — The Rapid Advance of Sorrow
Neil Williamson — Messianic Con Brio
Sarah Monette — Three Letters from the Queen of Elfland*
John Rubins — Ewe and Eye
Christine Klingbiel — Enemies and Neighbors
Minsoo Kang —
Three Stories: Lady Faraway, The Well of Dreams, The Dilemma of the King and the Beggar
Benjamin Rosenbaum — Fig
Molly Gloss — Eating Ashes

*A picture of Sarah wearing the Elise Matthesen necklace that inspired the story.

Nonfiction
L. Timmel Duchamp — What’s the Story? Viewing Carr, O’Keeffe, Kahlo: Places of Their Own
Leslie Burmeister — Newly Important Information
Zines
Oil and Greece
William Smith — The Film Column: Donnie Darko
Notes & Letters
Jimmy Carter — The Nobel Peace Prize — Long Deserved

Poetics
Nan Fry
— The Wolf’s Story
— Names for Bear
David Moles — Tacoma-Fuji
Kathryn Cramer
— The Mourners
— What Stopped Jack

Interior and back cover art — Mark Rich

One of the illustrations from this issue by Mark Rich

Contributors

Leslie Burmeister was raised in California and now lives on the east coast. Although an accomplished surfer and possessed of a flair for mixing martinis, she presently works in publishing.

Kathryn Cramer grew up in Seattle. She is married and by the time this is published, should be the proud mother of a new daughter. She has won a World Fantasy Award for best anthology.

Despite an early disappointment when her soccer career was scotched by a low-flying egg, L. Timmel Duchamp has had some success raising stories and essays in the wilds of Washington State.

Nan Fry is the author of two collections of poetry:Say What I Am Called, a chapbook of riddles translated from Anglo-Saxon (Sibyl-Child Press) andRelearning the Dark (from Washington Writers Publishing House). The Poetry Society of America has installed one of her poems on posters in the transit systems of Washington, D.C., and Baltimore as part of its Poetry in Motion Program. Another poem is being carved into a bench that will be placed at a trolley stop in Bethesda, MD. She is chair of the Academic Studies Department of the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C., where she teaches courses on children’s literature, the environment, and wolves.

Molly Gloss, a fourth-generation Oregonian, lives in Portland, OR. She is the author of four novels:Outside The Gates, The Jump-Off CreekThe Dazzle of Day, and Wild Life, and more than two dozen short stories, essays, and book reviews. Awards include the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, a Whiting Writers Award, the PEN Center West Fiction Prize, and the James Tiptree, Jr. AwardWild Life was the Seattle Public Library/Washington Center for the Book 2002 selection for “If All of Seattle Read the Same Book.” This story is also available on her website.
— an interview with Molly Gloss
— an excerpt from Wild Life

Theodora Goss dreams about the University. She wonders why corridors keep leading to staircases, staircases to corridors. She thinks she may be late for class, and what is she supposed to be teaching anyway? Find her, if you can, at theodoragoss.com.

Minsoo Kang has lived in Korea, Austria, New Zealand, Iran, Brunei, Germany, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in European History at UCLA, writing his dissertation on the symbolic significance of the automaton in the Western imagination. His historical works and reviews have appeared in American Historical Review, Times Literary Supplement, Manoa, AZ, Rethinking History, Comitatus, and two essay collections.

Christine Klingbiel teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, assists in magic shows, and models for a fantasy artist. She is currently working on a collection of magic related stories. Secrets may be revealed! Someone call FOX! This piece was first created for a flash fiction reading where the second to last line was assigned.

David Moles has lived in six time zones on three continents and hopes some day to collect the whole set. In addition to LCRW, his work will also appear inPolyphony. His favorite color is blue and his favorite ape is the siamang (Hylobates syndactylus). He currently lives in Seattle.

Sarah Monette is working on her doctoral thesis, watching “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and bracing herself for winter. Another of her short stories is in press with All Hallows: The Journal of the Ghost Story Society.

Mark Rich is responsible for many pieces of art within this issue. Small Beer Press will publish his new chapbook, Foreigners and Other Faces, in 2003.

Usually Benjamin Rosenbaum goes with his daughter to buy figs at the Migros Supermarkt down Gorenmattstrasse on Friday mornings. Aviva can ride on the back of the bicycle now and she is soooooexcited about that. But today, when he came to work in Zurich, there were figs for free in the cafeteria. He took two. Ben’s stories can be found in F&SF, Strange Horizons, Vestal Review, and Harper’s.

John Rubins was once given an invisible dog on a leash as a birthday present by his fellow office workers. He thanked them. Other heroic acts of his have appeared in Surgery of Modern Warfare, The Southeast Review, American Journal of Print, andelimae where they present the better plastic surgery centers  where they produce Elite Plastic Surgery in places like Reflect Clinic. He lives in Vermont with two women and edits the online fiction monthly tatlinstower.com.

William Smith is chasing a certain green fairy even as you read this. When you stop reading, he will stop chasing it. He likes that you are still reading. Smith lives in a 42-room mansion in northern Pennsylvania, where films are watched, made, and dissected. He has no website.

Neil Williamson lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland. His short fiction has appeared in magazines such asInterzone and The Third Alternative, and a short, factual treatise on the subject of dental health will appear in the 2003 edition of that perennial medical favourite, The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases.

 

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, No.11 November 2002. LCRW appears twice a year from Small Beer Press, 176 Prospect Ave., Northampton, MA 01060 Wow! Another new address![email protected] www.lcrw.net/lcrw $4 per single issue or $16/4. Contents the authors. All rights reserved. Submissions, requests for guidelines, &c. should be sent to the address above. No SASE: no reply. We lie awake at night wondering where they are. Sometimes we get up and watching the night sky for a bit. There isn’t much to see, from the city. We never hear from Joe and his pal, that astronaut fellow, anymore. We wonder what happened.

###



The Mount: Chapter One

Thu 1 Aug 2002 - Filed under: Free Stuff to Read, Novel Excerpts | Leave a Comment| Posted by: intern

Carol Emshwiller

The Mount

The MountWe’re not against you, we’re for. In fact we’re built for you and you for us — we, so our weak little legs will dangle on your chest and our tail down the back. Exactly as you so often transport your own young when they are weak and small. It’s a joy. Just like a mother-walk.

You’ll be free. You’ll have a pillow. You’ll have a water faucet and a bookcase. We’ll pat you if you do things fast enough and don’t play hard to catch. We’ll rub your legs and soak your feet. Sams and Sues, and you Sams had better behave yourselves.

You still call us aliens in spite of the fact that we’ve been on your world for generations. And why call aliens exactly those who’ve brought health and happiness to you? And look how well we fit, you and us. As if born for each other even though we come from different worlds.

Read more



James Tiptree Letter to Carol Emshwiller

Thu 1 Aug 2002 - Filed under: Authors | Leave a Comment| Posted by: intern

A letter to Carol Emshwiller from James Tiptree, Jr. (aka Alice Sheldon), with spelling and puctuation left intact. See a jpg of the original.
24 May 75

Dear Carol Emshwiller:

May a stranger make known how much your book, JOY IN OUR CAUSE has been enjoyed? Weak word, meant to include admired, goggled at, occasionally genuflected to, been rivetted in entrancement by, and, not least, suffered suicidal inferiority-convictions from.

But before I go on, please—do not, I beg of you, feel that this letter must be acknowledged, etc. etc.—I should hate to think that I had robbed your time. I’m also a writer of minor sorts and I know what a curse unsolicited communications can be. So just pop this in the round file and know that the pleasure of expressing pleasure completes the act. (It does, you know; strange thing this impulse to say, how good, how good.)

I’ve come across your stories before, of course, but in the awful manner of avid readers half the time I hadn’t connected the memory with the author’s name. Having them all together is precious. You would have been amused to watch me rationing them like treats at one a day.

I suppose that in a letter like this one should make some gesture towards evaluation, at least to the extent of demonstrating that your reader and fan is minimally conscious. Has anyway their buttons buttoned. But it’s hard. They are so much of a piece. If I were forced at gunpoint, I guess I could mutter something about a slight preference for those that build —the ANIMAL, of course, and perhaps most MR. MORRISON—Oh god. But then, Oh, I couldn’t do without THE ASSOCIATION. And the deliciously hideous Dr. Alexander Ostrander. And Mr. Perlou on the stairs…No, no, we will not choose.

Lord what a thankless thing it must be to produce such exquisiteness. How many aficionados of the unexpected are there? Multitudes, I hope. But I doubt. By the way, I think that is the culminating aspect of your work. The sheer damned total implacable unexpectedness. Causing reader who also writes to tear out the remaining hair.

Again by the way, I found your address in our old SFWA directory. It’s nice you see fit to belong to us. That really is nice.

With every good wish,

James (Tip) Tiptree Jr.

PS. That was meant, about not replying.

Published with the permission of the Estate of Alice B. Sheldon.


Mrs. Jones

Thu 1 Aug 2002 - Filed under: Free Stuff to Read, Short Stories | 2 Comments| Posted by: intern

Carol Emshwiller | from Report to the Men’s Club and Other Stories

ReportCora is a morning person. Her sister, Janice, hardly feels conscious till late afternoon. Janice nibbles fruit and berries and complains of her stomach. Cora eats potatoes with butter and sour cream. She likes being fat. It makes her feel powerful and hides her wrinkles. Janice thinks being thin and willowy makes her look young, though she would admit that — and even though Cora spends more time outside doing the yard and farm work — Cora’s skin does look smoother. Janice has a slight stutter. Normally she speaks rapidly and in a kind of shorthand so as not to take up anyone’s precious time, but with her stutter, she can hold peoples’ attention for a moment longer than she would otherwise dare. Cora, on the other hand, speaks slowly, and if she had ever stuttered, would have seen to it she learned not to.

Read more



Carol Emshwiller Reviews

Thu 1 Aug 2002 - Filed under: Authors, Carol Emshwiller | Leave a Comment| Posted by: intern

Reviews: The Mount : Report to the Men’s ClubJoint Reviews

The MountThe Mount

Best of the Year:

* Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Brilliantly conceived and painfully acute in its delineation of the complex relationships between masters and slaves, pets and owners, the served and the serving, this poetic, funny and above all humane novel deserves to be read and cherished as a fundamental fable for our material-minded times.”

School Library Journal
“Adult/High School – This veteran science-fiction writer is known for original plots and characters, and her latest novel does not disappoint, offering an extraordinary, utterly alien, and thoroughly convincing culture set in the not-too-distant future. Emshwiller brings readers immediately into the action, gradually revealing the takeover of Earth by the Hoots, otherworldly beings with superior intelligence and technology. Humans have become the Hoots’ “mounts,” and, in the case of the superior Seattle bloodline, valuable racing stock. Most mounts are well off, as the Hoots constantly remind them, and treated kindly by affectionate owners who use punishment poles as rarely as possible. No one agrees more than principal narrator Charley, a privileged young Seattle whose rider-in-training will someday rule the world. The adolescent mount’s dream is of bringing honor to his beloved Little Master by becoming a great champion like Beauty, his sire, whose portrait decorates many Hoot walls. When Charley learns that his father now leads the renegade bands called Wilds, he and Little Master flee. This complex and compelling blend of tantalizing themes offers numerous possibilities for speculation and discussion, whether among friends or in the classroom.”

Laura Miller, Salon
“Emshwiller’s prose is beautiful”

The Women’s Review of Books
The Mount is a brilliant book. But be warned: It takes root in the mind and unleashes aftershocks at inopportune moments.”

Review of Contemporary Fiction
“Carol Emshwiller has been writing fantasy, speculative and science fiction for many years; she has a dedicated cult following and has been an influence on a number of today’s top writers…. it is very easy to fall into the rhythm of Emshwiller’s poetic and smooth sentences”

F&SF Magazine
[A]s Carmen Dog and “Mrs. Jones” – Emshwiller balances delicately on the beam, carrying the tale straight-faced with a combination of precise language, gentle humor, a near-perfectly pitched voice, and a tenderness toward her characters that draws us in and beguiles us…. As Kim Stanley Robinson observes in his blurb forThe Mount, we are all mounts — we’re all caught up in one way or another in systems like Hoot servitude, kept in our places by fear, or a love of ease, or inertia, or sheer laziness. Emshwiller reminds us of this, shows us how it happens, and how very difficult it can be to escape.

The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Emshwiller’s themes — the allure of submission, the temptations of complicity, the perverse nature of compassion — are not usual fare in novels of resistance and revolt, and her strikingly imaginative novel continues to surpass our expectations to the very last page.”

The Village Voice
“Carol Emshwiller’s elegant new novel, The Mount, is both fantastical and unnerving in its familiarity. And like her work in romance and westerns, its genre-twisting plot resists easy classification.”

Locus
“[Carol Emshwiller] may be the most brilliantly perverse dreamer of them all…. What is it like to spend a few days alone with Carol Emshwiller? Startling, a process of immersion very different from encountering the occasionally piece in an anthology, and a revelation for anyone unfamiliar with her history….”

San Francisco Chronicle
“Emshwiller uses a deceptively simple narrative voice that gives The Mount the style of a young-adult novel. But there’s much going on beneath the surface of this narrative, including oblique flashes of humor and artfully articulated moments of psychological insight. The Mount emerges as one of the season’s unexpected small pleasures.”

Booklist
“A memorable alien-invasion scenario, a wild adventure, and a reflection on the dynamics of freedom and slavery.”

Asimovs
“…a profound novel of amazing depth and intimacy.”

Bookslut
It’s a brilliant piece of work…

Rambles
“In a recent interview with Science Fiction Weekly, Ursula Le Guin called Emshwiller “the most unappreciated great writer we’ve got.” The Mount proves Le Guin right…. If Emshwiller is not already on your top bookshelf,The Mount will put her there.”

BookPage
“…a beautifully written allegorical tale full of hope that even the most unenlightened souls can shrug off the bonds of internalized oppression and finally see the light.”

Fearless Reviews
“While whimsical and entertaining at times, The Mount raises some potent questions. It will make you laugh, but it will also make you think. This would be a wonderful book for classroom or book club discussions. Buy it, read it, recommend it to your friends.”

Challenging Destiny


ReportReport to the Men’s Club and Other Stories

The Women’s Review of Books
“Emshwiller sentences are are transparent and elegant at the same time. Her vocabulary, though rich and flexible, is never arcane.”

Jane magazine, October, 2002:

Jane Review

Locus
“The Mount combines elements of E.T., Black Beauty, Huckleberry Finn, and some very twisted fairy tales in a way that’s uniquely Emshwiller. It’s crazy, horrific, absurd, moving — and it works, as account of both individual maturation and a conquered planet’s coming of age.”

Publishers Weekly
“Carol Emshwiller (Carmen Dog, etc.) lends her elegant wit to Report to the Men’s Club, a collection of 19 fantastic short fictions treating the war between the sexes. Such tales as “Grandma,” “Foster Mother” and “Prejudice and Pride” are brim-full of wry insights into male-female relationships. Testimonials from Samuel R. Delaney, Maureen McHugh, Terry Bisson and Connie Willis, among other big names, should send this one into extra printings. Emshwiller is also the author of a new novel, The Mount.

Kirkus Reviews
“A daring, eccentric, and welcome observer of darkly human ways emerges from these 19 motley tales. Often writing in an ironical first-person voice, storywriter and novelist Emshwiller (Leaping Man Hill, 1999, etc.) assumes the persona of the outsider or renegade who flees the community as if to test boundaries and possibilities. In “After All,” the narrator is a grandmother who decides to set out on a “makeshift journey” in her bathrobe and slippers simply because it is time. The setting is vague: she flaps through the town and then into the hills, pursued, she is sure, by her children, and, in the end, she is merely happy not “to miss all the funny things that might have happened later had the world lasted beyond me.” Both in “Foster Mother” and “Creature,” the mature, quirky narrators take on the care of an abandoned, otherworldly foundling and attempt to test their survival together in the wilds. In other stories, a character’s affection for a scarred pariah forces her out of her home and through a stormy transformation-as in the sensationally creepy “Mrs. Jones.” Of the two middle-aged spinster sisters, Cora and Janice, Janice is the fattish conspicuous one who decides to tame and civilize at her own peril the large batlike creature she finds wounded in the sisters’ apple orchard. Janice does get her husband, and through skillful details and use of irony, the story becomes a chilling, tender portrait of the sisters’ dependence and fragility. At her best, Emshwiller writes with a kind of sneaky precision by drawing in the reader with her sympathetic first person, then pulling out all recognizable indicators; elsewhere, as the long-winded “Venus Rising” (based on work by Elaine Morgan),the pieces read like way-far-out allegories. A startling, strong fourth collection by this author-look for her upcoming The Mount.

Booklist
“This strange collection of stories is populated by creatures of all sorts, human and alien. The collection-closing title piece takes the form of a speech given to a men’s club by someone who has just been initiated into membership, despite the accident of birth that made her biologically female. The other stories range topically from the faith of a scribe in “Modillion” to love at first sight in “Nose.” What makes them satisfying is the personalities of their characters. Even the shortest pieces present characters who possess all the force of real persons who might be standing beside us. For the most part, Emshwiller keeps the stories simple, engaging us with their characterization rather than fast, copious action. We stay engaged because they render enough emotion to sustain our creaturely interest.”

Asimovs
“…the news that she has a new collection out, and that the collection includes seven hitherto-unpublished pieces, is joyous…”

NYRSF
“her long-awaited fourth collection of short fiction is…a real joy to read. This is a collection to delight and intrigue readers and writers of all persuasions. Go out and buy it now.”


Joint Reviews

The Boston Globe

Time Out New York
Carol Emshwiller is often referred to as a “writer’s writer,” an ostensibly laudatory term that usually refers to artists who aren’t getting the attention they deserve. An eminence at 81, Emshwiller is also almost exclusively categorized as a science-fiction writer or fantasy writer when the truth is that she uses genre elements in ways that usually subvert the genres she’s supposedly writing in. A sad formula: writer’s writer + genre = obscurity. Thank God, then, for Small Beer, a Brooklyn-based press dedicated to publishing short-story writers, has released Emshwiller’s two new books: Report to the Men’s Club, a short-story collection, and The Mount, a novel.

Let’s start with the stories. Elliptical, funny and stylish, they are for the most part profoundly unsettling. In “Mrs. Jones,” a spinster tries to one-up her sister in an ongoing codependent battle by trapping and seducing the angel (demon? alien?) that is living in their orchard. In “Creature,” a man cohabitates with a massive female monster — one of a race that has been engineered to kill him. In “One Part of the Self Is Always Tall and Dark,” a woman, happily convinced that she is going crazy, dreams of long sentences composed of nothing but three-letter words: “She was far out and tip top too.”

As wonderful as the stories are, the real treat here is The Mount, a fable/fantasy/cautionary tale along the lines of, say, Animal Farm. It’s the story of Charlie, a preadolescent human who’s being used as a horse by shoulder-riding alien invaders known as Hoots. Charlie wants nothing more than to become a great Mount, a loyal slave and servant, until his father, a renegade Mount who has fled from the Hoots and now lives in the mountains, comes to take him away. Like so much of Emshwiller’s work, The Mount asks difficult questions — in this case, What is freedom? The issue is particularly appropriate at a time when “freedom” in America is increasingly defined as “security”– freedom from uncertainty, freedom from fear, freedom from want. All of which is, in the end, not really freedom at all.

SF Weekly

SF Site
This is a wonderful collection of short fiction, marked by tremendous variety, a wonderful, funny, knowing, and sympathetic voice, and a truly off-center imagination…. Carol Emshwiller is a real treasure. She seems underappreciated to me, but this late burst of productivity may help remedy that situation. Both The Mountand Report to the Men’s Club are first rate books.


On to:

Carol Emshwiller

The Mount

Report to the Men’s Club




The Mount

Thu 1 Aug 2002 - Filed under: Books | Leave a Comment| Posted by: intern

Philip K. Dick Award Winner
Best of the Year: Locus, Village Voice, Book Magazine
Nominated for the Impac Award
The Carol Emshwiller project.

New: io9: 10 Ultra-Weird Science Fiction Novels that Became Required Reading

Start reading now:
Chapter One
“We’re not against you, we’re for. In fact we’re built for you and you for us — we, so our weak little legs will dangle on your chest and our tail down the back. Exactly as you so often transport your own young when they are weak and small. It’s a joy. Just like a mother-walk.” Read on
Chapter Two

Charley is an athlete. He wants to grow up to be the fastest runner in the world, like his father. He wants to be painted crossing the finishing line, in his racing silks, with a medal around his neck. Charley lives in a stable. He isn’t a runner, he’s a mount. He belongs to a Hoot: The Hoots are alien invaders. Charley hasn’t seen his mother for years, and his father is hiding out in the mountains somewhere, with the other Free Humans. The Hoots own the world, but the humans want it back. Charley knows how to be a good mount, but now he’s going to have to learn how to be a human being.

Carol Emshwiller is the World Fantasy Life Achievement award winning author of Carmen Dog and Ledoyt.


Reviews and reaction to The Mount:

“Brilliantly conceived and painfully acute in its delineation of the complex relationships between masters and slaves, pets and owners, the served and the serving, this poetic, funny and above all humane novel deserves to be read and cherished as a fundamental fable for our material-minded times.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This veteran science-fiction writer is known for original plots and characters, and her latest novel does not disappoint, offering an extraordinary, utterly alien, and thoroughly convincing culture set in the not-too-distant future. Emshwiller brings readers immediately into the action, gradually revealing the takeover of Earth by the Hoots, otherworldly beings with superior intelligence and technology. Humans have become the Hoots’ “mounts,” and, in the case of the superior Seattle bloodline, valuable racing stock. Most mounts are well off, as the Hoots constantly remind them, and treated kindly by affectionate owners who use punishment poles as rarely as possible. No one agrees more than principal narrator Charley, a privileged young Seattle whose rider-in-training will someday rule the world. The adolescent mount’s dream is of bringing honor to his beloved Little Master by becoming a great champion like Beauty, his sire, whose portrait decorates many Hoot walls. When Charley learns that his father now leads the renegade bands called Wilds, he and Little Master flee. This complex and compelling blend of tantalizing themes offers numerous possibilities for speculation and discussion, whether among friends or in the classroom.”
School Library Journal

“Most definitely a strange novel. . . . Emshwiller’s prose is beautiful.”
—Laura Miller, Salon

“Emshwiller’s themes—the allure of submission, the temptations of complicity, the perverse nature of compassion—are not usual fare in novels of resistance and revolt, and her strikingly imaginative novel continues to surpass our expectations to the very last page.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Mount, particularly, is a marvel; originally published by a tiny Massachusetts art-house publisher, this novel—about a distant future wherein humans are content to be the transport animals (complete with bits and saddles) for tiny aliens who have enslaved us—is so refreshingly weird and allegorical that it evokes some of the earliest masters of the genre, like Orwell and Verne.”
The Stranger

The Mount is a brilliant book. But be warned: It takes root in the mind and unleashes aftershocks at inopportune moments.”
The Women’s Review of Books

“Carol Emshwiller’s elegant new novel, The Mount, is both fantastical and unnerving in its familiarity. And like her work in romance and westerns, its genre-twisting plot resists easy classification.”
The Village Voice

“Emshwiller uses a deceptively simple narrative voice that gives The Mount the style of a young-adult novel. But there’s much going on beneath the surface of this narrative, including oblique flashes of humor and artfully articulated moments of psychological insight. The Mount emerges as one of the season’s unexpected small pleasures.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“A memorable alien-invasion scenario, a wild adventure, and a reflection on the dynamics of freedom and slavery.”
Booklist

“A profound novel of amazing depth and intimacy.”
Asimovs

“A brilliant piece of work.”
Bookslut

“A beautifully written allegorical tale full of hope that even the most unenlightened souls can shrug off the bonds of internalized oppression and finally see the light.”
BookPage

“She writes such hard good sentences.”
—John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats

The Mount is so extraordinary as to be unpraiseable by a mortal such as I. I had to keep putting it down because it was so disturbing then picking it up because it was so amazing. A postmodernist would call it The Eros of Hegemony, but I’m no postmodernist. Nearly every sentence is simultaneously hilarious, prophetic, and disturbing. This person needs to be really, really famous.”
— Paul Ingram, Prairie Lights Bookstore

“We are all Mounts and so should read this book like an instruction manual that could help save our lives. That it is also a beautiful funny novel is the usual bonus you get by reading Carol Emshwiller. She always writes them that way.”
— Kim Stanley Robinson, author of The Years of Rice and Salt

“I’ve been a fan of Carol Emshwiller’s since the wonderful Carmen Dog. The Mount is a terrific novel, at once an adventure story and a meditation on the psychology of freedom and slavery. It’s literally haunting (days after finishing it, I still think about all the terrible poetry of the Hoot/Sam relationship) and hypnotic. I’m honored to have gotten an early look at it.”
— Glen David Gold, author of Carter Beats the Devil

“This novel is like a tesseract, I started it and thought, ah, I see what she’s doing. But then the dimensions unfolded and somehow it ended up being about so much more.”
— Maureen McHugh, author of After the Apocalypse

“Carol Emshwiller’s The Mount is a wicked book. Like Harlan Ellison’s darkest visions, Emshwiller writes in a voice that reminds us of the golden season when speculative fiction was daring and unsettling. Dystopian, weird, comedic as if the Marquis de Sade had joined Monty Python, and ultimately scary, The Mount takes us deep into another reality. Our world suddenly seems wrought with terrible ironies and a severe kind of beauty. When we are the mounts, who — or what — is riding us?”
— Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Six Kinds of Sky


About the Author

Carol Emshwiller is the author of six novels including Carmen DogLedoyt, Mister Boots, The Secret City, and Leaping Man Hill, as well as collections of short fiction: Joy in Our Cause, Verging on the Pertinent, The Start of the End of It All, Report to the Men’s Club, I Live with You, Master of the Road to Nowhere, and two volumes of Collected Stories. She grew up in Michigan and France. She lives in New York City.

Praise for Carol Emshwiller’s previous books:

“[Ledoyt is] a fierce and tender portrait of a girl growing up fierce and tender; a sorrowful, loving portrait of a man whose talent is for love and sorrow; a western, an unsentimental love story, an unidealized picture of the American past, a tough, sweet, painful, truthful novel.
—Ursula K. Le Guin, author of Tales of Earthsea

Ms. Emshwiller is so gifted. . . . She describes the ragged, sunswept Western countryside with a vividness and clarity that let us see it as her characters do—and understand why they love it as they do. There are moments of [Ledoyt] that are remarkably moving; there are scenes of great power.
New York Times Book Review

[Ledoyt is] as haunting as the song of a canyon wren at twilight.—Atlanta Journal

Leaping Man Hill is a satisfying novel, with complexities not susceptible to easy summary, as well as those quirky characters and some playful language. Finally, though, it is dominated by Emshwiller’s sure development of Mary Catherine. Readers who grow with that young woman may remember this book a long time.
San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

[Leaping Man Hill is] another strong, satisfying western . . . a headstrong young heroine succeeds in finding her niche in the ranch country of post-WWI California. . . . An exuberant yet exquisite portrait of a woman coming into her own.
Kirkus Reviews

Emshwiller has produced a first novel that combines the cruel humor of Candide with the allegorical panache of Animal Farm. In the hyper-Kafkaesque world of Carmen Dog, women have begun devolving into animals and animals ascending the evolutionary ladder to become women. . . . there has not been such a singy combination of imaginative energy, feminist outrage, and sheer literary muscle since Joanna Russ’ classic The Female Man.
Entertainment Weekly

Emshwiller knows well the marvelous inexplicability of love, jealousy, and heroism.
Library Journal

First and foremost, Emshwiller is a poet—with a poet’s sensibility, precision, and magic. She revels in the sheer taste and sound of words, she infuses them with an extraordinary vitality and sense of life.
Newsday

Emshwiller’s characters embrace the unexpected and extraordinary; their lives leap from the mundane to the wondrous in a surreal instant, and the reader feels transported too.
Publisher’s Weekly



Report to the Men’s Club and Other Stories

Thu 1 Aug 2002 - Filed under: Books | 2 Comments| Posted by: intern

“Creature” won the 2002 Nebula.
Nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award
Locus 2002 Recommended Reading List

What if the world ended on your birthday — and no one came? What if your grandmother was a superhero? What if the orphan you were raising was a top-secret weapon, looked like Godzilla, and loved singing nursery rhymes? What if poet laureates fought to the death, in stadiums?

Emshwiller’s previous books (Joy in Our Cause, Carmen Dog, Ledoyt, and others) have won her a devoted cult following. Her short fiction is about women and men, monsters, obsessions, art, and falling in love. She writes witty, humane, endearingly odd stories that play with all the genres and conventions you can put a name to — science fiction, Western, romance, postmodern, tabloid, literary — and some that haven’t even been invented yet.

Suspect that life is much stranger than anyone ever admits? Buy this book. Unhappy in love? Buy this book. About to visit the dentist or embark on a long voyage? Buy this book. Troubled by dreams you can never quite remember in the morning? Buy this book. Love good short fiction? Buy this book.

Grandma
The Paganini of Jacob’s Gully
Modillion
Mrs. Jones
Acceptance Speech
One Part of the Self is Always Tall and Dark
Foster Mother
Creature
The Project
It Comes from Deep Inside
Prejudice and Pride
Report to the Men’s Club
Overlooking
Water Master
Abominable
Desert Child
Venus Rising
Nose
After All


Praise for Report to the Men’s Club and Other Stories:

“These short stories have a mysterious glow.” — JANE

“Emshwiller proves over and over again why she should be venerated as the treasure she is: relationships, superheroes, sentient reptiles — it’s all in there, and she makes it all work.”
— Peggy Hailey, Book People

“Carol Emshwiller’s stories are wonder-filled, necessary, and beautifully crafted. It’s a high pleasure indeed to see this new collection.”
— Samuel R. Delany, author of Dhalgren

I am disappointed by these stories. Disappointed that they have not (yet) won Emshwiller the Pulitzer she deserves as our premier magic realist. Disappointed that their sly and scary intimacy has not (yet) altered the tone of all science fiction for the better. Disappointed that she wrote them, not I.
— Terry Bisson, author of The Pickup Artist

Carol Emshwiller makes fiction out of the stuff of our everyday lives; about moms and memory and monsters that end up as familiar as Border Collies. She’s deceptively deft, full of strange things that end up feeling as familiar as your own kitchen.
Maureen F. McHugh, author of After the Apocalypse

“I read one of the stories in Carol Emshwiller’s new collection, Report to the Men’s Club, in progress several years ago and have thought about it ever since. I could even quote you lines! And now, having read the rest of the elegant, complex, insightful stories, I know she’s done the same thing to me again eighteen times over! Emshwiller knows more about men and mortality and love and loss and writing and life than anybody on the planet! Dazzling, dangerous, devastating writer! Unforgettable (and I mean that literally!) collection! Wow! Wow! Wow!”
— Connie Willis, author of Passage

Cover art by Erica Harris.



Rosetti Song

Mon 1 Jul 2002 - Filed under: Free Stuff to Read | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Some people have always wanted to be president, or a baseball player, or a movie star or business tycoon. Me, I’ve always wanted to own a bar. Not some flaky franchised chicken-finger paradise for post-fraternity muscleboys and their bimbos; a real shot-and-a-beer kind of neighborhood joint. Pool table or two in the back, an old Wurlitzer by the bathroom doors, a long mirror behind the bar suitable for the sort of what’s-he-got-that-I-ain’t-got scrutiny that melancholy drunks love to subject themselves to. Tables with a topography of cigarette burns, water rings, dents of uncertain origin, all preserved under a quarter-inch layer of varnish. Beer signs on the walls, no bikinis or volleyballs allowed, just painted mirrors and classic flickering neon like the sign out front that says FRANK’S PLACE. Cab company numbers taped to the side of the phone. A blackboard leaning against the mirror advertising the day’s special and a permanent addendum: HANGOVERS FREE OF CHARGE.

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Rossetti Song: Four Stories

Mon 1 Jul 2002 - Filed under: Books, Chapbooks | Leave a Comment| Posted by: intern

Out of Stock.

No.3 in the Small Beer Press chapbook series, Rossetti Song, is by up-and-coming writer Alex Irvine. Alex has recently had stories in Scifiction, F&SF, Strange Horizons, Electric Velocipede, LCRW, and many other wonderful places. Rossetti Song contains four stories: two were previously published in F&SF, “The Sea Wind Offers Little Relief” was original to Starlight 3, and “The Sands of Iwo Jima” is new for this collection. Designed by Thom Davidsohn.

Contents
Rossetti Song – read it now
The Sands of Iwo Jima
Akhenaten
The Sea Wind Offers Little Relief

  • “The Sands of Iwo Jima” received an Honorable Mention in The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror
  • F&SF review
  • Locus Online review
  • Tangent Online review

Who is Alex Irvine?

Alex IrvineHe’s the winner of the Crawford and Locus Awards. Here’s hiswebsite. He had a story in LCRW No.8*, and was a John W. Campbell Best New Writer Award finalist (website), which, handily, lists many of his publications.

Here’s another picture.

Alex is also responsible (with designer Thom Davidsohn) for The Journal of Pulse-Pounding Narratives, an amazing pulp-style colllection (which is for sale here).

Review

JPPNJPPN Back

Read a review on Locus Online

And look what’s being said about his first novel, A Scattering of Jades:

“The characterization is nearly as accomplished as the historiography, and the two together make the book an exceedingly solid achievement, with a great deal of promise for the author’s future.”
Publishers Weekly

“Smartly written, uncliched…. [A]n intelligent and strongly written debut historical-fantasy by a descendant of P. T. Barnum’s. Excellently researched, this fantasia about New York City, Kentucky, and the Midwest in the 1840s mixes US history and Aztec mythology.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Irvine’s prose is rich and evocative, his plot tightly structured and beautifully paced. The denouement, when it arrives, offers no easy answers; each of the principals leaves the scene damaged. Most impressive is Irvine’s interweaving of two seemingly unrelated histories and myth structures without straining the credibility of either.”
Washington Post Book World

* This is what we said about him then:

In Florida the iguanas are hanging around.Alex Irvine is far too sporty to stay indoors and write, and yet he does. Look at that author photo. He has a story in the anthology Starlight 3, and probably has one in the next F&SF. His novel, A Scattering of Jades, will be published by Tor in 2002. In 2001 he was one of the writers on the A.I. webgame and has co-written a novelization (A.I.:The Death of Evan Chan) with Sean Stewart.

Author pic (with friend) by Beth Gwinn.



Carol Emshwiller Bio

Wed 19 Jun 2002 - Filed under: Authors, Carol Emshwiller | Leave a Comment| Posted by: intern

Carol EmshwillerCarol Emshwiller was awarded a Lifetime Achievement World Fantasy Award.

Read the Letter of Intrigue: James Tiptree to Carol Emshwiller.

Notes Toward an Article on Carol Emshwiller.

Read her story in Trampoline.

Carol’s webpage.

Besides her novel, The Mount, and collection of short fiction, Report to the Men’s Club and Other Stories, who is this writer? It’s not just the vast staff at Small Beer Press who think she’s an incredible writer, check out what happy readers and writers are saying about her new books on those pages above, and have a look below too see that this is one writer who has been making readers very happy for a good amount of time!

Carol Emshwiller’s stories have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Century, Scifiction, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, TriQuarterly, Transatlantic Review, New Directions, Orbit, Epoch, The Voice Literary Supplement, Omni, Crank!, Confrontation, and many other anthologies and magazines.

Carol is a MacDowell Colony Fellow and has been awarded an NEA grant, a New York State Creative Artists Public Service grant, a New York State Foundation for the Arts grant, the ACCENT/ASCENT fiction prize, and the World Fantasy, Nebula, Philip K. Dick, Gallun, and Icon awards.

Carol was Guest of Honor at Wiscon 27, May 23-6, 2003 (bio).

Recently, her stories have appeared in Trampoline, McSweeney’s Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales, Leviathan 3, and Polyphony.

Carol Emshwiller is the author of three previous collections of short fiction: The Start of the End of it All (Winner of the 1991 World Fantasy Award), Verging on the Pertinent, and Joy in Our Cause, and three novels Carmen Dog, Ledoyt, and Leaping Man Hill. So, how have her previous books been received? Or her books released by us?

Verging on the PertinentCarmen DogLedoytLeaping Man Hill
(Click on the images to order the books from your local bookshop)

Strange Horizons devoted a special issue to Carol Emshwiller in which they posted an interview, a story (“The Circular Library of Stones“), and a review of Ledoyt by Ursula K. Le Guin.

She lives in New York City in the winter where she teaches at New York University School of Continuing Education. She spends the summers in a shack in the Sierras in California.

Interviews

Bookslut

Fantastic Metropolis

Strange Horizons

Stories

Boys

Mrs. Jones

Josephine

Water Master

The Circular Library of Stones

Films

Pilobolus and Joan (based on Carol Emshwiller’s story “Metamorphosed”)

Family Focus (voiceover)

Skin Matrix

Skin Matrix S (short version)

Links

Carol Emshwiller’s website

Fantastic Metropolis: Three essays by Carol Emshwiller:

How My Husband’s Death Changed My Writing

Resonance

Writing Rules I Like to Break

Biography on Scifiction

Carol Emshwiller page on Alpha Ralpha Blvd.

Tom Christensen — Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief from 1990-2000 of Mercury House

Carol Emshwiller is represented by:

Wendy Weil
The Wendy Weil Agency, Inc.
232 Madison Avenue, Suite 1300
New York, NY 10016
(212) 685-0030
(212) 685-0765
[email protected]

Download photo for print.

Author photo by Susan Emshwiller.




Leaked White House Memo

Sat 1 Jun 2002 - Filed under: Chuntering On, Free Stuff to Read | Leave a Comment| Posted by: intern

Memo

From our mole in The Pentagon, June 2002:

Date: Last year? (That would be 1972, right?)

Subject: Who we gonna call?

To: xxxxxxxxxxxx (for security purposes)

From: xxxxxxxxxxxxx (as above)

Ok, look. What the hell are we going to do? Army — and let’s not talk about Navy or Airforce, or the damn “special” forces — recruitment is down to god-awful percentages. What the f*&%? I mean, if not now, as T. Chapman, asked, thenWhen? We ran some numbers on one of those supercool computer Steve Jobs is playing with for us, and it said that we are up the midwest creek without a paddle, a gunnel, or an armored convoy. We need Mom. Not Mobile Operative Missiles, neither Manually Operated Mopeds, but she-who-makes-the PB&Js! It’s time to sort out who the real force in American (ahem, U.S.) politics is today, and we know, if they get their act together, it’s the moms.

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Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 10

Sat 1 Jun 2002 - Filed under: LCRW | Leave a Comment| Posted by: intern

Editophonial

Apologies to readers — and especially to Ms. Gilly — for the missing excerpt from Barbara Gilly’s novel in our previous issue. A mixup between our production department (fifth floor) and our printshop (ground floor) meant that the issue went without the final couple of pages. Therefore in this issue we will provide the excerpt from Ms. Gilly’s work as a special four-page glossy pull-out.

We are happy to note that Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristletreaches double digits with this issue. In monthly magazine terms, this is October. We intend to keep to our regular twice a year schedule for the foreseeable future — although we reserve the right to insert a third issue if and when inspired.

We will continue to publish the best fiction we can as long as we can juggle the dayjobs — and we don’t lose as much money as AOLTW: $52 Billion in the first quarter of 2002! — and all those other wonderful distractions that make up life.

There may be more art next time.

Thank you, kind readers. Without you, these pages are empty, this conversation echoes in empty halls.

Type: Bodoni Book, Trebuchet, Birch. Fixed margins courtesy of long hard nights shifting text letter by letter. Right ragged by choice.

Your turn!

Contents

Fiction
MushroomsBrian Conn — The Mushroom
Steven Bratman — The Fat Suit
Barbara Krasnoff — Lost Connections
Greg van Eekhout — People Stuff
Jeffrey Ford — What’s Sure to Come
Barbara Gilly — An Excerpt from her first novel
Geoffrey H. Goodwin — Stoddy Awchaw
Amber van Dyk — Sleeping, Waking, Nightfall
Christopher Barzak — Born on the Edge of an Adjective

Poetries
Charles Coleman Finlay
— the billboards
— (love poem)
— beyond the peregrine lights

Nonfictions
L. Timmel Duchamp — What’s the Story?
Zines, Baby, Zines!
William Smith — The Film Column

Writers
Who did what. (See below.)


Notes on Writers Whose Work has been Featured on the Preceding Pages

Christopher Barzak has moved from Ohio to California to Michigan, and back to Ohio. His fiction has appeared in Nerve, Strange Horizons, The Icon, The Penguin Review, The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror, as well as in LCRW. He is happy when he’s dancing.

NOTICE: Lecture, tonight only, at the intersection of the two tall guys crossing the street and the strangely happy Asian woman waiting for the light to change, a lecture by ex-mathematician, ex-Sufi organic farmer, ex-alternative medicine MD, ex-married person, ex-non-fiction book writer, Steven Bratman, on “the unwavering determination to creatively waver.”

Brian Conn lives in Seattle. The rest — besides having eaten a ram’s eye — is sort of a blur.

L. Timmel Duchamp ties her shoelaces with two loops. She adores grazing on parsley hearts and guerrilla gardens every chance she gets. Currently she is contemplating the fact that she enjoyed only 13 years between the last time she was carded (for alcohol consumption) and the first time she was asked if she was a senior citizen (eligible for a discount). She lives in Seattle.

Charles Coleman Finlay‘s poetry and fiction has especially frequently of late. Mention has been made of this in reference to the rather unusual weather experienced of recent months. No one really thinks the multi-talented Mr. Finlay is to blame. Not really.

Jeffrey Ford is the author of the novels The Physiognomy, Memoranda, The Beyond and The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque, and a collection of short fiction, The Fantasy Writer’s Assistant & Other Stories. Ford’s stories have appeared or will appear in: The Journal of Pulse-Pounding Narratives, …is this a cat?, Leviathan 3, F&SF, The Green Man & Other Tales of the Mythic Forest, and The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror.

Geoffrey H. Goodwin thinks his life has been (in strange cycles of alternation and repetition): blessed, cursed, and somewhere in-between. He is hard at work on a novel, The Gray House on 747 Comstock, and currently teaches writing and composition at Hartwick College in upstate NY — but feels a beautiful hazelnut-scented wind blowing in a Bostonly direction.

Gavin J. Grant is.

Barbara Krasnoff lives in Brooklyn and knows more about computers than your IT department. She may in fact be your IT department. She has written a few stories, she has published a few stories. We expect this ratio will continue.

Kelly Link is very surprised, very flattered, and very far away.

William Smith is divesting himself of hundreds of 8-tracks to make space for more films. His film column will appear regularly here and on the LCRW website.

Amber van Dyk resides on the second floor of an old converted hospital with a 39 gram wonder birdie, surrounded by stacks of unread books she hopes won’t end up as nesting. Her stories have appeared both online and in print, and she is currently wishing very good things for her first urban fantasy novel, As With Cages.

Greg van Eekhout once wrecked his car and was stung by a scorpion on the same night. A graduate of the Viable Paradise Writers’ Workshop, his short fiction has appeared or will soon appear in F&SF, Starlight 3, Strange Horizons, and Fantasy: Best of 2001. He is a Los Angeles native and currently lives in Tempe, Arizona.


Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, No.10 June 2002. LCRW appears twice-yearly from Small Beer Press. [email protected] www.lcrw.net/lcrw $4 per single issue or $16/4. Contents the authors. All rights reserved. Ingredients: paper, ink, fingerprints, ideation, may contain traces of art or peanuts. Submissions, checks, books, zines, music, chocolate (thank you RayJuliet), stationery supplies, requests for guidelines, &c. should be sent to the address above. No SASE: no reply. Fiction best approached with care. We’re flying free now, eh Joe, eh? Gravity ain’t got no hold on us! Huh. I think I’m gonna be sick, Joe. Got my eggs and potatoes coming back, they don’t want to be up here, Joe. Can we go back? Huh? Joe?

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