Alan on the secrets of the Twin Cities

Tue 29 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Not all of them, not at once. Not once, not twice. Some secrets, no twins. Some city, some paper.
Alan DeNiro‘s story “The Fourth” can be read at The Rake‘s site. By chance he is reading tonight at Haven of Dreams Books in the Thin Cities. Twin Cities. Those cities. Your cities? One city split by a river? No. Twin cities.

Go see him read, see him fulminate, see him change the world as he reads.

Harlan Ellison: eejit

Mon 28 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

This can’t go on.

Gwenda points to

the chatter that Harlan Ellison groped Connie Willis (scroll to 3) — sans permission, natch, as the verb groping more or less implies — on stage during the Hugos.

Why was there no groping in Glasgow? Kim Newman and Paul McAuley would have been far less disturbing (and funnier), I’m sure.

But seriously, I think this news is going to remind a lot of us of a certain ICFA banquet gone terribly wrong. It must stop.

Worldcon: sorry, the eejit has put you on the spot and a public statement is needed.
What’s up with these dirty old men? They’re taking all the fun out of being in the genre and not inspiring anyone with anything but horror and the urge to vomit and throw out their books.
No matter how Connie Willis feels (bemused? horrified?), Ellison needs to be censured. And/or, of course, never again invited to any public event where there are women.

Best Cousin

Sun 27 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

StorytellerCongratulations to all last night’s Hugo Award winners (win your own French writer!) especially Kate Wilhelm, whose book Storyteller: Writing Lessons and More from 27 Years of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop won the Hugo for Best Related Book. Storyteller also won the Locus Award a couple of months ago. That’s pretty amazing. The little book that could and all that.

Kate was one of the co-founders of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop — of which there are now three: Clarion East (Michigan), Clarion West (Seattle), and Clarion South (Australia) — and taught there for 27 years (hence the book title!). She is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Clarion Foundation, a nonprofit organization she helped establish in 2005 to ensure that the Clarion Workshop will continue. It’s a lovely book, formal where it needs to be (while writing about writing) and informal where it can be — the fun parts.

There were a couple of fun parts about publishing the book — the first was reading it over and over (as well as the usual editing and so forth the book had to be retyped!) and thinking about the book and the lessons within; and the second was hearing from readers who took different things from the book. “Yes — it was like that!” “Ah, that’s the secret.” “Huh.” “Six weeks sounds like a long time.” “Bum on the seat every morning….” “Wonder if I could go.” “What a laugh.” Kate’s been writing for a long time and has readers all over the map so it’s not just Clarion alumni and haters (hello!) who’ve been reading it.

Anyway, if you want a taste there are three excerpts available online:

  1. Can Writing Be Taught?
  2. Trivia Vs. Writing Real Stories now available at the Online Writing Workshop.
  3. My Silent Partner at SF Site.

Again with the congratulations to all and sundry winners and as ever those who didn’t get a rocket know it’s an honor to be nominated. Those who weren’t nominated: eh, what you gonna do? (Go see the lumberjack competition at a local fair or brave the cold rain(!) at the tomato fest.)

The Friday Rock Show

Fri 25 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Google leads to 87.9 somewhere a couple of months ago where a guy named Alex put together a show of live tracks and included the Sisters of Mercy playing Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” (starts at about 37.5 minutes [99MB file]).

Long ago there was a break-in at Small Beer central and someone removed our UniVac Central Computational System which included a copy of this song. (Hope they enjoyed it.) Since then there have been occasional looks for it on the web but nothing serious. Now it is Ours, Ours again. Before that? Someone else had it in a shared flat sometime in the late eighties. Someone, somewhere.
El DJ man also plays The Stranglers, Joy Division, OMD, The Smiths, Gang of Four, Toyah, Dead Kennedys, Nirvana, and ends it with Depeche Mode’s last song from their sold out show at the Pasadena Rose Bowl! (he says) in 1988.

Title? Radio 1 show on, yes, Friday night.

Year’s Best arriving at platform 19

Fri 25 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Arrived today (or so), the latest YB 19edition of the editing gig that eats years as appetizers, The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror: 2006. This one has stories from Isabel Allende, Robert Coover, etc. Full table of contents here, but you’ll have to tramp to the bookshop (or make the bookshop come to you) if you want to look at the Honorable Mentions or read the short and flighty Summation of the year in fantasy.
Other new books have been arriving around here, so there should be more pix of them at some point.

We’ve been running around (Hello Nantucket, yay!) and we’re going to add some more dates to Kelly’s calendar soon (hello Iowa City).

Congrats to Gwenda, who is right now out looking for a new schoolbag.

Also: The LA Times is the latest to run Hillel Italie’s AP story on Kelly. Wow. (Thanks Andrew, Google, etc!)

See, this thing ain’t no blog. It ain’t no journal. It’s a Site History. Or, A Spectacular Compendium of Companionable Pieces. (Links?)

Alan, Ellen, Condor

Fri 18 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Worried about stagflation? Glaciation? Decapitation? Save your head and the global economy (can’t do much about global warming*) by getting multiple copies of Alan DeNiro‘s Book Sense Pick, Harvard Book Shop Select Seventy Pick, etc., etc:

SKINNY DIPPING IN THE LAKE OF THE DEAD: Stories, by Alan DeNiro “This is a great debut collection of loopy, off-the-wall, and still-somehow-packing-emotional-weight stories; DeNiro can weld words into some mighty strange configurations.”
–Caleb Wilson, Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Nashville, TN

Quick interview with Julie Phillips (have some rougher stuff that might post later — this was meant to be a longer interview, but ran out of time after the simple stuff).

Keep up with Ellen Kushner’s schedule (the hardcover is at the printer — more news when we have it). Good review of The Privilege of the Sword over at Green Man Review. If you’re in NYC, don’t miss Ellen et al at Shriek: the Movie Event.

Green Man Review also provides one of the first reviews of the Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror: 2006. More on this, too, when we see it!

Kelly is reading this Sunday on Nantucket. Doesn’t look like she will be at Worldcon next weekend — hope it’s a blast and that Anaheim gets to show off its hidden depths.
* A lie. Brought to you by G.W.Bush & Co. Ask Joe Turner from Three Days of the Condor what it’s all about.


Thu 17 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Home-ish. Sort of. Back in the office after a trip to Minneapolis and NYC. Photos may appear if the downloading thingy can be worked. (Unlikely anytime soon. If you would like to hold your breath until this happens, feel free. If you would like to come over and download the things: Away! To speak to a human customer service agent, please press Control-Alt(or Apple)-Delete on your keyboard.)

It had been a while since we’d been to DreamHaven Books — wow. And woe-is-me because it is so far away. Happily they send is their monthly catalog but being there is an inspiring experience. So many good books to read! (And they have copies of zines like Say… and JPPN.) Kelly read there (with Bryan, see next) on Thursday night to a standing room only crowd. We also managed to get to Wild Rumpus (a bookshop with chickens), the Wedge (a huuuge coop: local, baby, local!), and some good eateries, as well as visit the Diane Arbus exhibit at the Walker and meet the Rain Taxiers….
Diversicon is a lovely convention — readers and writers (in the Midwest especially) should go if possible. It’s sort of in the same headspace as WisCon, smaller, but smart people talking about interesting things. Bryan Thao Worra, the Special Guest, is a suave, smart poet (download a pdf chapbook, Monstro) and activist whose writing is as funny as he is. He gave a great presentation on mysterious places in Laos (so says Alan — we saw the preview). Books were sold (yay!), the Mall of America was avoided (uh huh!), and a couple of trips into the Twin Cities were made. The hotel, a Holiday Inn Select (selected for oddness?) was just weird — hear that hoteliers? we will seek revenge! Petty revenge, at that. Reservation? Nope. Uh. Help? Maybe. Buggers. Fortunately the con folks had all the info at their fingertips (even when woken after midnight (sorry Rick!) — it really did take the hotel a while to get us in a room). Who cares?

Elizabeth Bear and Bill Shunn read at KGB, fantastic fiction was read, fantastic food at Grand Sichaun was had, and loud music was sung along to on the way home.

Let’s see: Beginning. yes, did that. Middle? Sort of. End? Uh, no. Maybe next time.

Off to Diversicon

Tue 8 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Doesn’t Diversicon have a nice musical tone to it? Di-versy-chorus-versy-con. Say hi if you’re there (that would be in Minneapolis). Kelly will be reading at DreamHaven early Thursday evening, then off to the convention the next day with Goblinmercantileexchange and 32degrees. Or Kristin and Alan.

World Fantasy Noms

Sun 6 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Nominations for the World Fantasy Award are out. Congrats to all the nominees, including Kelly Link whose collection, Magic for Beginners and her novella of the same name are up.

It’s a refreshing list with tons of good stuff on it. Wonder if H. Murakami will make it to the convention?

Speaking of Murakami (poor segues, the first sign of blogarrhea?), just read the Cloverfield Press edition of his story “Tony Takitani” (trans by Jay Rubin). Ordered it at AWP in March and even though it came a little while ago it somehow never managed to crawl near the top of the unending reading pile until now. First the book: it’s a beautifully made and designed objets d’fetish (no page numbers!).  The story, originally published in The New Yorker, is one of Murakami’s restrained wonders. It’s a soft, lonely story of art, marriage, and a Fitgeraldian quantity of dresses all in a lovely little edition.

Another beautiful thing that came to hand while tidying is The Monkeynauts, a nonfiction zine (as typed by bombo the monkey) about some of the monkeys who went (were sent) to space. It’s a series of incredible, thought-provoking stories — one monkey who, upon being rescued from his landing capsule, ran around ecstatically shaking everyone’s hands…! And again with the beautifully made thing. Got this one in a small stack from the catastrophe shop, a great resource for minicomics. (Because Quimby’s Atomic, Million Year Picnic, etc. aren’t enough??)

Moved in. Made a flick. Huge stars now.

Fri 4 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Made a move that was meant to happen ages ago thanks to Michael here and Brianna and Josh at Utopian.

Lazy Sunday, it’s not, but Friday afternoons are a no-go area for work in publishing (try calling your editor, they’re at the beach). We’re not at the beach, but now it’s getting cooler (right?) we are outside in the sun. Jolly weekending chums.

Flickity film: Watch out for heatstroke.


Thu 3 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We have a bunch of signed books in stock. And some pressures prices have dropped. Just saying.

Happy Birthday Douglas!

Thu 3 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Happy Birthday Douglas!

– John Scalzi (who earlier interviewed Alan) puts Ellen Kushner to the sword in a very good interview.

Locus picked Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead for their Notable Books: “Deeply weird, sometimes challenging, but always smart and affecting.” Yes indeedy.

Also: “Endlessly imaginative,” says Venus magazine.

– Local pop stars The Fawns have a new CD out, A Nice Place to Be. They had a launch gig the other night at The Elevens in Northampton (they’re playing next on Saturday, August 26, for free at The Basement). Delightful, funny, smart, what’s not to like? Poptastic. Makes a good break in between the Tilly and the Wall CDs. Pop for it! While that is in the mail to you, why not listen to their firstlCD, Smiling. Wonder if they’d go over well at Wiscon?

Alchemy 3 (Rest of the World 0)

Tue 1 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Added the third and final issue of the rather wonderful Alchemy magazine to the other shopping page.

Alchemy 3Alchemy, from Edgewood Press, is a well designed and edited perfect bound magazine that paid top dollar for stories, cover art, and printing. The contributors to the third issue are: Frances Hardinge, Tara Kolden, Hannah Wolf Bowen, Theodora Goss, Sonya Taafe, Sarah Monette, Beth Adele Long (2 stories!), and Timothy Williams. The stories come from across the whole range of fantasy with the high quality of the writing being the only common factor. Sarah Monette’s comfortable stretch, “The Seance at Chisholm End”, to one of Sonya Taafe’s most accessible pieces, “Like the Stars and the Sand.” Beth Adele Long provides a little experimentation with voice, Hannah Bowen gets bloody-handed, and Frances Hardinge takes readers on a really fantastic ride. Timothy Williams provides the spookiest story with a Kentucky exploration of “The Hollows”, although Theodora Goss’s “Letter from Budapest” is almost right up there with a story of an inescapable artist. Damn shame this magazine never saw better distribution. You can pick it up for $7 an issue (including shipping) or there are mini-deals for more copies.

– Also deleted Urban Pantheist 3, sorry about that Michael. Now only the 4th issue left.

Howard Who?

Tue 1 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Books, Peapod Classics | 1 Comment| Posted by: intern

2006 · trade paper / ebook

— Signed copies available —

“Italo Calvino once said that he was ‘known as an author who changes greatly from one book to the next. And in these very changes you recognize him as himself.’ Much the same could be said of Howard Waldrop. You never know what he’ll come up with next, but somehow it’s always a Waldrop story. Read the work of this wonderful writer, a man who has devoted his life to his art—and to fishing.”
—Michael Dirda, Washington Post

Introduction by George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire): “If this is your first taste of Howard, I envy you. Bet you can’t read just one.”

The third entry in our Peapod Classics reprint line is a twentieth-anniversary celebration edition of Howard Waldrop’s erudite, gonzo, wistful, funny, and beautifully written debut collection of short stories.

Waldrop has a capacious, encyclopedic knowledge of superheroes, baseball players, Mexican wrestlers, world wars, long-dead film stars, oddball television shows, pulp serials, radio plays, fairy tales, scientific expeditions, extinct species, and knock-knock jokes.

  • What if the dodo wasn’t extinct after all?
  • What if sumo wrestlers could defeat their opponents with the power of the mind?
  • What if Izaak Walton and John Bunyan went fishing for Leviathan in the Slough of Despond?

Acclaimed cult author Waldrop’s stories are sophisticated, magical recombinations of the stuff our pop-culture dreams are made of. Open this book and encounter jazz singers, robotic cartoon ducks, nosferatu, angry gorillas, and, of course, the dodo.

Never published in paperback, long out of print, and extremely collectible, Howard Who? was Waldrop’s amazing debut collection. If you haven’t read Waldrop before, you’re in for a treat.

Table of Contents
Introduction by George R. R. Martin.
The Ugly Chickens
Der Untergang des Abendlandesmenschen
Ike at the Mike
Dr. Hudson’s Secret Gorilla
. . . the World, as we Know’t
Green Brother
Mary Margaret Road-Grader
Save A Place in the Lifeboat for Me
Horror, We Got
Man-Mountain Gentian
God’s Hooks
Heirs of the Perisphere

“Back in print after so many years, Howard Who? remains a terrific collection of short stories. There is nobody else alive writing stories as magnificently strange, deliriously inventive, and utterly wonderful as Howard Waldrop.”


Praise for Howard Waldrop:
“Clever, humorous, idiosyncratic, oddball, personal, wild, and crazy.”
— Library Journal

Wise and funny.”
— Publishers Weekly

“An authentic master of gonzo sf and fantasy.”
— Booklist

“Erudite and gonzo.”
— Science Fiction Weekly

“Waldrop subtly mutates the past, extrapolating the changes into some of the most insightful, and frequently amusing, stories being written today, in or out of the science fiction genre.”
— The Houston Post/Sun

” The man’s a national treasure!”
— Locus

“The resident Weird Mind of his generation, he writes like a honkytonk angel.”
— Washington Post Book World

About the Author:

Howard Waldrop, born in Mississippi and now living in Austin, Texas, is an American iconoclast. His highly original books include Them Bones and A Dozen Tough Jobs, and the collections All About Strange Monsters of the Recent Past, Night of the Cooters, and Going Home Again. He won the Nebula and World Fantasy Awards for his novelette “The Ugly Chickens.”

George R.R. Martin is the author of the bestselling Song of Ice and Fire series of novels. His fiction has won the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy Award, Stoker, and Locus Awards. He worked on the TV shows The Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Publication history

First published as Howard Who? Twelve Outstanding Stories of Speculative Fiction by Doubleday in 1986.

Also by Howard Waldrop:


The Texas-Israeli War: 1999 with Jake Saunders (1974)
Them Bones (1984)


Howard Who? (1986, 2006)
All About Strange Monsters of the Recent Past: Neat Stories (1987)
Night of the Cooters: More Neat Stories (1990)
Going Home Again (1997)
Custer’s Last Jump and Other Collaborations (2003)
Heart of Whitenesse (2005)
Things Will Never Be the Same: A Howard Waldrop Reader: Selected Short Fiction 1980-2005 (2007)
Other Worlds, Better Lives: Selected Long Fiction, 1989-2003 (2008)
Horse of a Different Color (2013)


A Dozen Tough Jobs (1989)
A Better World’s in Birth (2003)


Dream Factories and Radio Pictures (2003)


I, John Mandeville
The Moon World
Moving Waters