Sweet Georgia

Tue 27 Feb 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

is where we are headed — to Atlanta* for the AWP conference. We have our fingers crossed that the first copies of Delia Sherman and Theodora Goss’s Interstitial Arts Foundation anthology Interfictions will arrive and be available for reviewers.
We’ll have a table at the Bookfair (split with jubilat) and Kelly will be on a couple of panels:

Friday, 10.30 AM, North Court East, 2nd Floor

F129. Fairy Tales and Contemporary Fiction.
(Judy Budnitz, Kathryn Davis, Rikki Ducornet, Kelly Link, Kate Bernheimer, Stacey Levine) Distinguished writers discuss the influence of fairy tales in their work, and read from selected writings. This gathering seeks to reveal how the traditional form of fairy tales inspires innovative contemporary writing.

Saturday, 9 AM, Ballroom A, 2nd Floor

S103. From the MFA to the Editor’s Desk: MFA graduates talk about careers in publishing and editing.
(Jim Clark, Kelly Link, Leigh Anne Couch, Matt O’Donnell, Renee Soto, Allison Seay) In this panel, editors from five different publishing arenas will talk about the editorial opportunities and challenges available to creative writers. The panelists will also consider how being an editor has added to and taken away from their lives as writers and how their lives as writers influence their decisions as editors. Introductions by Allison Seay.

Another conference note: WisCon says that they are nearing their 1,000 membership cap so if you are tempted to go, now is the time. Kelly Link and Laurie J. Marks (whose flabbergastingly good novel Water Logic we will publish in June) are the Guests of Honor and Madison is a great place to spend a sunny weekend with 999 other smart, feminist science fictioneers.

* In the future, after the seas rise, Atlanta will be known (once again) as Atlantis.



Odd links

Tue 27 Feb 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Forgot to post these:

Ozzy is giving it away and making the man pay! That’s got to be a go Johnny, go Johnny, go go go! Ozzfest retitled Freefest.

Steve Jobs says things out to be DRM-free and no one really argues. Until EMI say Pay for Play! And people keep not buying their CDs until they realise they are hearing the sound of no cash register ringing.
Latest issue of Words Without Borders is all comics and includes “A Bomb in the Family” by David B.

Bay Area Reporter review of Brothers of the Head, coming soon on DVD.

A piece on Howard Waldrop on the Internet Review of SF (log in required).

Spooky and fantastic Pet Shop Boys video.

Maureen McHugh is part of a group blog, Eat Our Brains. (When you’re asked to comment, just say they asked for it.)

Added our April to August catalog to this page.



The Girl Detective in New York

Fri 23 Feb 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 3 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

The Girl DetectiveVery exciting — the Ateh Theater Group production of Kelly Link’s “The Girl Detective” opens tonight at the Connelly Theater (220 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10009, btw. avenues A & B).

The show will play through March 17th on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 8PM with an additional performance Monday, February 26 at 8PM.

Go!

The Girl Detective is a master of disguise. She finds missing things, chases tap dancing back robbers and eats our dreams. But in her life of intrigue and adventure one mystery remains: the whereabouts of her long lost mother. Join her on a wild journey to the underworld in this surreal, darkly funny story of loss and reunion.

Link’s dark humor leads the reader through a dreamy underworld of tap-dancing bank robbers and missing mothers to explore everyday emotional mysteries of personal loss and identity. Her writing has been compared to the likes of James Joyce, Philip K Dick and her title character to Nancy Drew.

Tickets may be purchased online or by calling 212-352-3101 or 1-866-811-4111. Tickets may also be purchased at the door 1 hour prior to the show.



The plural of Clarion is

Thu 22 Feb 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Opportunity, baby. If writing werkshops are your thing.

Clarion Diego is open for applications so if you have the urge to write like a dog, surf, and spend 6 weeks by the sea with lovely writers such as Greg Frost, Jeff VanderMeer, Karen Joy Fowler, Cory Doctorow, Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman, you have until April 1 to get your app in.

A quick check shows Clarion West in Seattle is also taking applications, or, you could wait two years until the next Clarion South in Brisbane…



Carmen Dog at last

Wed 21 Feb 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

http://lcrw.net/images/fries-carmen-dog.jpgThis was a picture we didn’t even realize we were waiting for until it arrived. Carol Emshwiller just forwarded us this pic that her brother, Bob Fries, took of his Newfoundland “puppy”. The puppy (surely named Carmen?) is only six months old but already huge . . . but it’s ok, the Met will feed her well when she gets that part in Carmen.



Flip a coin

Wed 21 Feb 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Why don’t we enter books in competitions such as the Foreword Book of the Year? The books that win are usually pretty worthy, but here’s a line from the press release. It’s the word “narrowed” that kills me:

Nearly 1,400 books were entered in 59 categories. These were narrowed to 698 finalists, from 419 publishers. The winners will be determined by a panel of librarians and booksellers…



Jedediah Berry

Mon 19 Feb 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

A post delayed by travel &c. from earlier in the year.

We have an announcement concerning Jedediah Berry. We are proud and happy to announce that Mr. Berry, who has long labored deeply down there in the vineyards of Small Beer Press, has been hired on as our first Assistant Editor. The excitement around our 42-story HQ has been and is still palpable. We encourage artists to send us their impressions of the scene wherein Mr. Berry received his first paycheck.

Mr. Berry has labored in the employ of Conjunctions, jubilat, and the PEN Journal. He is the star of at least one YouTube sensation. A number of his stories can be perused online: “Selections from The Book of Beasts” on La Petite Zine; “Thumb War” on Pindeldyboz. He can be seen on the cover of Danielle Pafunda’s poetry collection, Pretty Young Thing. These are only a few of his accomplishments.

Mr. Berry now has a website, The Third Archive, the actuality of which provided the impetus for this post.



Generation Loss excerpt

Sun 18 Feb 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Generation Loss Added a page for Generation Loss (reviews | Elizabeth Hand bio) and posted the first chapter:

There’s always a moment where everything changes. A great photographer — someone like Diane Arbus, or me during that fraction of a second when I was great — she sees that moment coming, and presses the shutter release an instant before the change hits. If you don’t see it coming, if you blink or you’re drunk or just looking the other way — well, everything changes anyway, it’s not like things would have been different.

But for the rest of your life you’re fucked, because you blew it. Maybe no one else knows it, but you do. In my case, it was no secret. Everyone knew I’d blown it. Some people can make do in a situation like that. Me, I’ve never been good at making do. My life, who could pretend there wasn’t a big fucking hole in it?

More.




Shelving excitement

Fri 16 Feb 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Nope, not the excitement of shelving books, the excitement of the shelves coming down at us. We’re all looking at the starred Publishers Weekly review of Generation Loss (which seemed like enough excitement for the day!) when Creak! Boom! The shelf beside Gavin’s computer decides to take a nosedive. Photos from Flickr:

Ok, it’s a bit of a mess. It was tidier before a favorite glass was broken and spilled water all over a couple of books and the ’06 tax box. Luckily nothing was very damaged or wet. Besides the small shelf which is now kindling.

So we call the local place where it came from and they send out a couple of guys who take it in their stride, go bring a new piece to fix it, fix it, and then call us in to show that it should be able to take the weight from now on. Now it’s all as good as new and ready to be refilled. If we are brave enough! Meh. Leave it for the weekend.




Silly films

Thu 15 Feb 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Could someone please write something hilarious about Ghost Rider? (Wait, having a giggle fit. Ok. Ready to go on.) What a preview! What a hairstyle! Of course we will be in line the way we were for Batman and
all those other Excellent comic+accessories vehicles. Once known as films.

Next: can someone else do The Number 23? This may kill us if we ever see the preview again. 23! It’s 3×7 (plus a little bit). It’s just one less than 24, which is 6x2x2, which is 4 More than will see this film. It’s Jim Carrey with a dark side (or a 23rd side?). It’s a scary February thing? Nope. That’s the 29th and doesn’t happen this year. Phew. 23. Look at it with half-closed (or drunken) eyes and it’s . . . 23! The age you turned after 22? The number of empty bottles in a case of beer? 23! (Some doofus broke one.) The number of times 23 will be used in this paragraph: 23! Add up the letters of your first and last names. Take that number away from 23. Add the result to the total number of letters in your first and last names. The Answer Is 23! Oh. My. God.



Thu 15 Feb 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Google says this isn’t a new word, oh well, it was a fun moment anyway. What is the name of your action when you nibble the munchies left out for the gods? Snackreligious. Go back to your serious surfing.



Thu 15 Feb 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Google says this isn’t a new word, oh well, it was a fun moment anyway. What is the name of your action when you nibble the munchies left out for the gods? Snackreligious. Go back to your serious surfing.



Wed 14 Feb 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Finn Harbor, a writer currently working at a university in South Korea, has been posting a series of Q+A’s with a bunch of agents, editors, and publishers — they’re interviews, rather than conversations but they make for interesting reading. Recently he interviewed Gavin and recently posted the results — excerpt below:

1. Literature is in trouble — that is, more trouble than usual. Why do you think this is? The increasing prevalence of TV? The distractions of increasingly narcotic subcultures such as video games? Sept. 11? Or is talk of the “death of literature” simple exaggeration?

Don’t agree with the premise so I’ll go with the exaggeration. We’re all going to have TV and the net wired into our brains as in innumerable science fiction novels (and M.T. Anderson’s excellent Feed) so why would anyone need to read? Putting that aside, until the cable company comes to (ahem) jack me in there are so many advocates for reading, for books, books in translation, magazines in print and online, that I am somewhat sanguine about at least the near future. Some of the publishers I respect will fail (maybe including us!), some of the authors I love will stop writing or selling books. But new publishers will appear, new authors, new ways for the authors I love, to get their work out.

2. And what is literature, anyway? Should the traditional novel be considered the prime example of it?

Literature is the printed version of the ever-popular narrative dream state induced by such primary sources as storytellers, poets, Hyde Park orators, (some) TV, film, and video game writers, the Interblognet, the couple fighting quietly behind you on the bus, and so forth.

4. Literary publishing has always been a marriage of art and commerce. But in recent years, the Cult of the Deal has become more influential, with agents demanding larger advances and marketing people paying especially close attention to sales figures. Is the “art” side of the business being pushed out?

The really big deals for new authors dropped off after the 1990s. Sales figures are harder and harder to get around — the ubiquitous peek at Bookscan is part of the consideration of any ms now.

Publishers can afford to take some chances, but it’s harder with the accountants looking over your shoulder. If a book costs ~$25,000 to do decently then it had better sell more than 1,000 copies. Finding a way to make it sell more:  that’s the challenge!

Art and commerce are intertwined and nowhere does it say that art is something anyone should be paid for. The writer should ask themselves what they want to do: amuse a reader? Puzzle them? Confuse? Inspire? Having answered that question they can then consider who will be willing to pay them what amount for the job of sending that work out into the world.



Wed 14 Feb 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Finn Harbor, a writer currently working at a university in South Korea, has been posting a series of Q+A’s with a bunch of agents, editors, and publishers — they’re interviews, rather than conversations but they make for interesting reading. Recently he interviewed Gavin and recently posted the results — excerpt below:

1. Literature is in trouble — that is, more trouble than usual. Why do you think this is? The increasing prevalence of TV? The distractions of increasingly narcotic subcultures such as video games? Sept. 11? Or is talk of the “death of literature” simple exaggeration?

Don’t agree with the premise so I’ll go with the exaggeration. We’re all going to have TV and the net wired into our brains as in innumerable science fiction novels (and M.T. Anderson’s excellent Feed) so why would anyone need to read? Putting that aside, until the cable company comes to (ahem) jack me in there are so many advocates for reading, for books, books in translation, magazines in print and online, that I am somewhat sanguine about at least the near future. Some of the publishers I respect will fail (maybe including us!), some of the authors I love will stop writing or selling books. But new publishers will appear, new authors, new ways for the authors I love, to get their work out.

2. And what is literature, anyway? Should the traditional novel be considered the prime example of it?

Literature is the printed version of the ever-popular narrative dream state induced by such primary sources as storytellers, poets, Hyde Park orators, (some) TV, film, and video game writers, the Interblognet, the couple fighting quietly behind you on the bus, and so forth.

4. Literary publishing has always been a marriage of art and commerce. But in recent years, the Cult of the Deal has become more influential, with agents demanding larger advances and marketing people paying especially close attention to sales figures. Is the “art” side of the business being pushed out?

The really big deals for new authors dropped off after the 1990s. Sales figures are harder and harder to get around — the ubiquitous peek at Bookscan is part of the consideration of any ms now.

Publishers can afford to take some chances, but it’s harder with the accountants looking over your shoulder. If a book costs ~$25,000 to do decently then it had better sell more than 1,000 copies. Finding a way to make it sell more:  that’s the challenge!

Art and commerce are intertwined and nowhere does it say that art is something anyone should be paid for. The writer should ask themselves what they want to do: amuse a reader? Puzzle them? Confuse? Inspire? Having answered that question they can then consider who will be willing to pay them what amount for the job of sending that work out into the world.



Alan & the LBC

Tue 13 Feb 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the DeadForced to post yet again despite the comfy couch, big old book, and cup of crabby green tea (too lazy to go see what the proper name is) by Pinky‘s rather exciting news from the Lit Blog Coop announcing that Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead is one of three Read This! picks for Spring ’07:

The Cottagers by Marshall Klimasewiski (W.W. Norton)

Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die! by Mark Binelli (Dalkey Archive Press)

Skinng Dipping in the Lake of the Dead by Alan DeNiro (Small Beer Press)

So at some point this spring all the lit bloggers who take part in the LBC will be talking about these books on their own blogs and at LBC central. There will also be podcasts, interviews, free donuts (ask at your local coffee shop, say the LBC sent you), and so on.

This is fantastic news — thanks to the bloggers who nominated Alan’s book and everyone else who has anything to do with this. Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead is a fantastic book on many levels and an incredibly strong debut collection. Alan’s writing moves carefully and easily across and through familiar genres creating a unique and unmistakably individual voice. We very much look forward to following the conversations about the book.

Recent Read This! selections (yanked right from the LBC homeship) have included:

———-

Update: But will any of the conversations be as deep (and wacky) as Chris Nakashima-Brown‘s?



UK!

Tue 13 Feb 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Showing that they certainly know how to do things right over there in the UK, when we arrived back at Small Beer HQ (after 400 hours or so of travel from Sydney (why did we leave??)) there on the table was a bright* and beautiful bunch of flowers from Kelly’s UK publisher HarperPerennial to celebrate the UK publication of Magic for Beginners. Yay!
One of our fave writers, Jon Courtenay Grimwood reviewed it for SFX, and described it thusly: “A frighteningly original collection of stories from a frighteningly original voice.”

Will Kelly be hopping a Virgin 747 to London, Manchester, Birmingham? Only time will tell. Calling Richard Branson?

(It really depends on the inflight movies: managed to skip Man of the Year on 3 flights … however, Mistress of Spices (“Spices…”) may, er, be worth a laugh look.)

Updates on some of Kelly’s stories &c. (sorry if any of these are repeats, trying to catch up):

* Bright is important as it’s Dark here in Massachusetts.