Andi Watson

Tue 31 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Turns out Andi Watson (of Geisha, Love Fights, etc) has been working on a book (“Glister”) which will go out as “all ages”. This comes into his great review of Travel Light which he posted recently on Newsarama:

I recognise Halla’s feeling of time passing so quickly that it’s like it’s playing tricks on her. I’m looking down the wrong end of my 30s and the right end sure zipped by quickly. Halla’s disgusted by the corruption of the world, yet navigates it the best she can. By not wanting to be a hero she becomes the hero, living life the best way she sees fit. So, it’s a wise book, but not a worthy book, it travels light over the serious aspects and still has plenty of fun along the way. I loved it and when my daughter’s a little bit older I think she’ll enjoy it too. That’s the joy of an all-ages book. It’s one we can share.

We have most of Andi’s books—do yourself a favor and order Skeleton Key, one book won’t be enough—so it was quite a shock to get an order from him a couple of months ago. The kind of shock that leads to emails that read, “Thanks … uh, yeah, thanks.” And not much more. But Andi saved us from ouselves and was incredibly graceful in reply. Phew!



Blog Like Me: 1. Your (Manifest Destinies Diving) Miss You

Tue 31 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 11 Comments| Posted by: Howard Waldrop

Skeptical HowardI hope you’ve noticed the symbolic recapitulation of American history on TV and in print ads lately. I’m talking about the Rozerem and the Alamo commercials. In the first (“your dreams miss you”), there’s Abraham Lincoln (in top hat and beard), an either stop- (or replacement-) motion or CGI to-look-like either process- animated beaver who talks, plus a guy in an old-fashioned diving suit which he needed since he was taking some diving lessons from www.atlantisgozo.com (in the one set in the kitchen, he’s making pancakes) —anyway there’s this guy who’s not sleeping (no sleep = no dreams), Lincoln and the beaver are trying to get him to take Rozerem, a sleep-inducer (no side-effects, unlike the publicized troubles of Ambien CR, where you drive down to Apu’s Kwik-E-Mart while you’re sound asleep, or cook a 7-course meal at home, ditto—Rozerem supposedly has no side effecrs and is not habit-forming).

The Alamo car rental ads are a CGI’d buffalo and a beaver (with its tail doubled up and tucked in its Bermuda shorts) having trouble with the car-rental machines at the airport while trying to, in the old Fifties’ slogan, See American First.

You’ll notice there’s a beaver in both ads, the animal more responsible even than the buffalo for the settlement of the US from sea to shining sea.

You’ll also notice Lincoln is wearing a stovepipe (“beaver”) hat. It’s all surrealistically related.

In the 1820s, the European beaver (Castor fiber) had been hunted almost to extinction, about the time plug and stovepipe hats became popular.

The Louisiana Purchase had pretty much lain there since Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery to find what was out there. Mainly, Native Americans, a couple of trading posts, and the British and Russians out on the Pacific coast; to the South the Spanish (by the 1830s, Mexicans) in between. There were still a few Frenchmen out there, the same kind of malcontents as the Anglos who would later be attracted there.

The beaver changed all that: suddenly there was a rage for the pelts and skins of the (European) beaver that the American beaver (Castor canadensis) could fill. So we quickly got the Anglo mountain men out there on the headwaters of the Missouri and the Arkansas and over on the Columbia. Sterling types like Big Foot Wallace and Liver-Eater Johnson, running their traplines in pursuit of Castor canadensis and anything else with hair on it.

So we had a thin homespun-and-buckskin line stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific for the first time. Westward the course of Empire began to wend its way.

And along with everything else that was wrong with it (slavery, genocide and removal of Native Americans, some of whom lived in brick houses and owned slaves) the USA began to look at those lands being stubbornly claimed by a bunch of greasers . . . and of course, religion got thrown into the mix, and the Mormons pushed their handcarts to Deseret (which even the Native Americans didn’t want) and in 1846 there was the splendid cause of the Texas-Mexico boundary to go to war with Mexico over (the Republic of Texas had dissolved and entered the Union as a state in 1845. Later, Sam Houston was a unionist during the Civil War—“I worked too hard to get this damned state into the Union to see it leave”—and he flew the Union flag over his house til he died in 1862. As someone said, “You go tell Sam Houston,”—the only man to be governor in his lifetime of two states, the President of a sovereign Republic and leader of a Revolution—“to take down that flag.”)

And two years later, in 1848, we owned everything from sea to sea, except the lumpy parts of Arizona and New Mexico that we bought a few years later as the Gadsden Purchase.

Then we got busy killing each other in Kansas and Harper’s Ferry and then Sumter and the Civil War (“The War for Southern Independence” if you’re from the South.)

What about the guy in the diving suit in the Rozerem ad? After the Civil War and the croaking of Lincoln in his beaver hat (it was in his lap when he was fleetingly introduced to Mr. Booth that night), anyway, a couple of years after Lincoln’s death, we bought Alaska (completing our continental Rendezvous with Density, as Back to the Future has it) and we drove the Golden Spike on the Transcontinental Railroad linking the Union and the Pacific and we laid the Transatlantic Cable to Europe, putting us in contact with the rest of the world.

One of the advantages of the railroad was that you could shoot buffalo from the parlor car (since the railroads bisected the migration routes of the Northern and Southern herds of the Plains buffalo) and collect only their tongues to eat, and leave the carcasses to rot, so the Native Americans, instead of starving, would have to move onto the reservations and be given diseased, scrawny beef by the Great White Father in Washington (and his corrupt buddies and brothers). Hence the Alamo ads, with the beaver (alpha) and buffalo (omega) of Westward-immigrant-sucking wildlife resources.

I’m not sure all this occurred to the people behind the ads (I’d like to think it did). I think the Rozerem people were looking for some home-grown Surrealism: Lincoln, beaver, diver. And the Alamo people: two species of Western wildlife (see America first, before we’re gone).

If you think I’m wrong, consider this: the last US President to wear a hat to his inaugural was John F. Kennedy. It was a stovepipe (“beaver”) hat—probably silk in his case, and probably referred to as an “opera” hat. Anyway, it was there that he gave his “New Frontier” speech.

Coincidence or what?

Howard Waldrop



Chinese publication

Mon 30 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

A couple of stories for Chinese readers:

Jedediah Berry’s “Thumb War” (originally in Pindeldyboz). Don’t think they quite got permission for that. Just the rewards of fame.

The Simplified Chinese translation Kelly Link’s “The Specialist’s Hat” on Celestial’s web site (originally on Ellen Datlow’s Event Horizon).

“When you’re Dead,” Samantha says, “you don’t have to brush your teeth.”
“When you’re Dead,” Claire says, “you live in a box, and it’s always dark, but you’re not ever afraid.”

“你成为“亡者”以后,” 萨曼莎说,“就没必要刷牙了。”
“你成为“亡者”以后,” 克莱尔说,“会呆在一个盒子里,那里永远都是黑的,但你再也不会害怕了。”



Blog Like Me: Howard Waldrop

Mon 30 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Howard Waldrop

Skeptical HowardStarting Tuesday we’re going to have a somewhat regular column-y/blog-y thing from that Master of the Typewriter, Howard Waldrop. Howard (author of tons of wonderful short stories, some of which can be found in Howard Who?) will type them out, mail them to us, someone here (or elsewhere, thanks Cindy!) will type them out, and we will try and post them once a week or so. Until one of us drops the ball.

Titled Blog Like Me, Howard will be writing on anything he damn well pleases. The first one, up tomorrow, is “Your (Manifest Destinies) Miss You” and is about recent TV ads, beavers, and the Louisiana Purchase, all tied together in that inimitable Waldropian manner.



Bookslut R US

Mon 30 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

From Monday August 6 to Friday August 10 we will be guestblogging over at Bookslut.

We will be opinionating, pimping, scatterbrained, and at some point during the week travelling to San Fransisco. Suggestions?

&: Booklust Is Also Us.



2 new Kelly stories

Mon 30 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Two new stories from Kelly come out this month:

The first is “The Wrong Grave” in The Restless Dead, edited by Deborah Noyes (Candlewick), an anthology of dark stories from M. T. Anderson, Holly Black, Libba Bray, et al.

The second is “The Constable of Abal” in The Coyote Road, the latest mythic fiction anthology edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling. (Other stories in the anthology include are from Jeff Ford, Holly Black, Katherine Vaz, Delia Sherman, Patricia A. McKillip, Steve Berman, and Carol Emshwiller et impressively al.)

Both of these stories will be in Kelly’s next collection—a book of young adult stories to be published by Viking in the autumn of 2008. In the meantimes, check out the anthologies.



Sun 29 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

New this week in the USA (but months old old in the UK) is the new Manic Street Preachers album* Send Away the Tigers. Which, if you like the big pop rock sound, is great. If you don’t, go away now, we’ll all be happier.

One of the singles—”Your Love Alone is Not Enough”—features (here looking oddly doll-like) Nina Persson from The Cardigans and A Camp on guest vocals and has (at least) two historical nods: one to their own song, “You stole the sun from my heart” from the album This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours and much more head-stretchingly weird a jangly-sing along chorus of “Trade all your heroes in for ghosts” from Da Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”.

Everything is on this thing: Queen, OMD, that stadium geetar sound, a Wyndam (sic) Lewis quote (“When a person is young they are usually a revolutionary of some kind. So here I am speaking of my revolution.”**); Welsh panache***. It has the huge choruses of “A Design for Life” in the single “Your Love…” and “Autumnsong” and the in your face politics of “If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next” in “Rendition” (“Rendition, rendition, blame it on the coalition … Rendition, rendition, never knew the sky was a prison”), a John Lennon cover (more on the ok side than brilliant, but that’s .. ok) and features pics from the self-published art of Valerie Phillips from her book Monika Monster: Future First Woman on Mars (which are cute but aren’t as SF as it might sound).

Video of catchy summer hit:

* At this point we are still asterisking album to point out that the parents-of-the-kids call them CDs and that who the hell knows what the kids call them.
** Regendered by design.
*** You believe it once you’ve seen it.



Sun 29 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

New this week in the USA (but months old old in the UK) is the new Manic Street Preachers album* Send Away the Tigers. Which, if you like the big pop rock sound, is great. If you don’t, go away now, we’ll all be happier.

One of the singles—”Your Love Alone is Not Enough”—features (here looking oddly doll-like) Nina Persson from The Cardigans and A Camp on guest vocals and has (at least) two historical nods: one to their own song, “You stole the sun from my heart” from the album This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours and much more head-stretchingly weird a jangly-sing along chorus of “Trade all your heroes in for ghosts” from Da Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”.

Everything is on this thing: Queen, OMD, that stadium geetar sound, a Wyndam (sic) Lewis quote (“When a person is young they are usually a revolutionary of some kind. So here I am speaking of my revolution.”**); Welsh panache***. It has the huge choruses of “A Design for Life” in the single “Your Love…” and “Autumnsong” and the in your face politics of “If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next” in “Rendition” (“Rendition, rendition, blame it on the coalition … Rendition, rendition, never knew the sky was a prison”), a John Lennon cover (more on the ok side than brilliant, but that’s .. ok) and features pics from the self-published art of Valerie Phillips from her book Monika Monster: Future First Woman on Mars (which are cute but aren’t as SF as it might sound).

Video of catchy summer hit:

* At this point we are still asterisking album to point out that the parents-of-the-kids call them CDs and that who the hell knows what the kids call them.
** Regendered by design.
*** You believe it once you’ve seen it.



Aimee Mann’s nightmare

Thu 26 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Thanks, as it were (and again), to Scalzi, here we find fave songstress Aimee Man* trying to escape Neil, Geddy, and Alex in “Time Stands Still“.

For a first time viewer (ahem.) (Spoiler!) of this video, Aimee eventually (after 5+ minutes of bluescreen glory) gets away from da boys. It’s no”Afterimage”(with that amazing intro—not that the song lives up to it) or “Distant Early Warning” but but but, that video, it does take one baaack.

And here’s another one that the old youtube suggests: Luscious Jackson making the dance happen with their “Ladyfingers“.

* Best moment at Orange Peel, Asheville, show was the girl (born the year the song came out: awesome!) in front of us hollerin out for That Song, you know, the Til Tuesday one she sings as an acoustic breakdown with her band on tour, pulls off, drowns you in. The one with the hilarious hilarious vid.



Strange Horizons

Thu 26 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

is asking for money to pay writers and giving away loot while doing so.

Yeah, you can do it. Yeah, that’s good.

But don’t request this:

 

Sarah Canary Tour T-Shirt

Originally designed in 1991 to celebrate Karen Joy Fowler’s book tour for Sarah Canary, this silkscreened t-shirt announces, rock-concert style, the Sarah Canary World Tour. (Donated by Ted Chiang.)

because we wants it.



Rachel Pollack

Fri 20 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Mythic Passages: the Magazine of Imagination has posted Rachel Pollack’s story “Burning Beard: The Dreams and Visions of Joseph ben Jacob, Lord Viceroy of Egypt” along with an introduction by Delia Sherman.

Recent Interfictions reviews include a conversation starter on PopMatters.



Mon 16 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

On SF Site Margo MacDonald writes:

I have just finished reading the second and third books in Laurie J. Marks’ Elemental Logic series (which began with Fire Logic in 2002) and I am now sitting here asking myself why her books aren’t on everybody’s shelves, holding a place of honour right up there with Robin Hobb and Kage Baker? Despite having written eight novels since the 80s, Marks still remains somewhat on the fringes of the SF world, embraced by a dedicated group of fans but a relative stranger to the SF community at large. True it doesn’t help that some of her best work is out of print (Dancing Jack, for one), but with the publication of Water Logic by Small Beer Press (and the fact that the first two books in the series are still available from Tor), no one now has an excuse to avoid discovering this marvelous author.

And it got me to wondering: who is reading Water Logic?A quick search finds the following: See Light, Coffee & Ink, Heather (tea still TK, Sorry!), Meghan, Plaid Adder, Liz Henry, and a Melissa.

See what’s missing? The guys. But . . . why? These are amazing books, smart, sexy, political fantasy. So here’s a challenge for guys who read fantasy—novels and series—read these books!



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

On SF Site Margo MacDonald writes:

I have just finished reading the second and third books in Laurie J. Marks’ Elemental Logic series (which began with Fire Logic in 2002) and I am now sitting here asking myself why her books aren’t on everybody’s shelves, holding a place of honour right up there with Robin Hobb and Kage Baker? Despite having written eight novels since the 80s, Marks still remains somewhat on the fringes of the SF world, embraced by a dedicated group of fans but a relative stranger to the SF community at large. True it doesn’t help that some of her best work is out of print (Dancing Jack, for one), but with the publication of Water Logic by Small Beer Press (and the fact that the first two books in the series are still available from Tor), no one now has an excuse to avoid discovering this marvelous author.

And it got me to wondering: who is reading Water Logic?A quick search finds the following: See Light, Coffee & Ink, Heather (tea still TK, Sorry!), Meghan, Plaid Adder, Liz Henry, and a Melissa.

See what’s missing? The guys. But . . . why? These are amazing books, smart, sexy, political fantasy. So here’s a challenge for guys who read fantasy—novels and series—read these books!



R2

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

Forgot two Fantastic things at Readercon: two readings from the first volume of Jonathan Strahan’s new anthology series, Eclipse, which Night Shade Books will publish in October. The Table of Contents has tons of fabby (fabby, fabby, fabby!) writers but the two readings I saw were these:

1) “The Lost Boy: A Reporter at Large” by Maureen F. McHugh
Maureen is a great reader. Assured and calm and fully aware of the little bombs she’s dropping into her listeners’ minds. She said this was her take on a New Yorker piece without having to do the research. Makes you wish someone would ask her to write some pieces for them. (But she’s just started a novel, so maybe not right now.) She’s working toward that second story collection.

2) “The Drowned Life” by Jeffrey Ford
This was insanely good. Jeff read as if his life was on the line. The story seems like it shouldn’t work—but it certainly does. Jeff mixes a tiny of politics in and added a new layer to his writing. One I hope he continues to explore.

Just on the strength of these two stories, this anthology should be a cracker—look for it in late October; or just pre-order it now and let it arrive long after you’ve forgotten you ordered it.

Just finished another October book, Making Money by Terry Pratchett. Lots of fun with Lord Vetinari and Moist Von Lipwig, speculation on theories of money, and trying to deal with industrialization without killing thousands of people off working in factories. But: funny! (And: now with chapters.)



Fri 13 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Readercon, Readercon (every three syllable word carries a tint of Washington, Washington). It’s a blast. Unfortunately we are terrible at writing up cons. Oh well.

They added Thursday this year which made it less of a Friday night to Sunday morning (brunch? maybe…) deal. Instead it was a mellow drive into Burlington (where apparently it won’t be next year, yay!—although, that Indian food at the mall next door may be missed) and finding that some peeps were there already.

The Readercon crowd really liked the Interfictions book—enough so that we sold out and pretended to sell chits. Honest, missus, we’ll mail you a copy. Why don’t you give us some of your hard earned Washingtons and we’ll take your name on the back of this chocolate bar wrapper and mail you a copy as soon as we get back to the office. A quick $100 later, we went to the Suffolk Downs and we have funded next spring’s books. Thanks folks!

But what are you really interested in? Karen Joy Fowler is reason enough to travel to a convention. She and Lucius Shepard were the guests of honor. On Friday morning Karen read the first chapter of her newly completed and perhaps-temporarily-titled novel Ice City (sorry chaps: no ISBN or ordering yet but you may have heard it at WisCon) to an enthusiastic crowd which she thought of as a mystery and may not quite be. (Also: ask her sometimes about her strategy for answering those who want her to categorize her books.
Later Karen was on the “Brilliant But Flawed” panel with John Crowley, Kelly, Barry N. Malzberg, and Darrell Schweitzer. Most of the panelists had T.H. White’s The Sword in the Stone in mind but over the hour there were discursions into Crowley’s own books, The Worm Ourobouros, and maybe some newer books.

Adam Golaski’s wife had their first kid during the con so F. Brett Cox sturdily stepped into Adam’s shoes and interviewed Karen on Saturday afternoon. It was an often hilarious hour with Karen’s tales of discovering her idyllic early years in Indiana were actually an exile in hell for her parents; her deal with her husband (she would try writing for one year: she sold her first story another four years later); and just toward the end of the hour her experience of seeing her bestselling novel The Jane Austen Book Club being turned into a movie.

Friday was the easiest day for us to see panels. After that the book room was busier, although we had much help from Jed, Michael, and Emily Cambias (the youngest of the Zygote Games peeps). There was an awful lot that went on that we didn’t see—the mafia made an appearance and so did some people with no pants looking for someone else’s key. Must remember to stay up late at these things, not miss all the fun.

That’s it. Crap, ne?

Next year (July 17-20) they have Jim Kelly and Jonathan Lethem as the guests.  On the website there is an easily accessible list of past guests from 1997 to the present (in other words, the first eight years are probably accessible somewhere, but not without searching . . . 2008 isn’t included because the memorial Guest of Honor wasn’t on the flier):

  • 2007: Lucius Shepard, Karen Joy Fowler; [Angela Carter]
  • 2006: China Miéville, James Morrow; [Jorge Luis Borges]
  • 2005: Joe Haldeman, Kate Wilhelm; [Henry Kuttner, C.L. Moore]
  • 2003: Hal Clement, Rudy Rucker, Howard Waldrop; [R.A. Lafferty]
  • 2002: Octavia E. Butler, Gwyneth Jones; [John Brunner]
  • 2001: David Hartwell, Michael Swanwick; [Clifford D. Simak]
  • 2000: Suzy McKee Charnas, Michael Moorcock; [Mervyn Peake]
  • 1999: Ellen Datlow, Harlan Ellison; [Gerald Kersh]
  • 1998: Lisa Goldstein, Bruce Sterling; [Leigh Brackett]
  • 1997: Algis Budrys, Kim Stanley Robinson; [C.M. Kornbluth]

21 Guests of Honor (14 male, 7 female)
11 Memorial Guests of Honor (8 male, 3 female)
32 total (22 male, 10 female)

Readercon is a great con that’s interested in looking inward at itself as well as outward at the world of literature. There are Readercon favorite authors (John Crowley is definitely one!) and the list only expands by the year. This isn’t an excuse or a call to action or anything. Just noting another asymmetry and wondering if and when and all that.



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

Readercon, Readercon (every three syllable word carries a tint of Washington, Washington). It’s a blast. Unfortunately we are terrible at writing up cons. Oh well.

They added Thursday this year which made it less of a Friday night to Sunday morning (brunch? maybe…) deal. Instead it was a mellow drive into Burlington (where apparently it won’t be next year, yay!—although, that Indian food at the mall next door may be missed) and finding that some peeps were there already.

The Readercon crowd really liked the Interfictions book—enough so that we sold out and pretended to sell chits. Honest, missus, we’ll mail you a copy. Why don’t you give us some of your hard earned Washingtons and we’ll take your name on the back of this chocolate bar wrapper and mail you a copy as soon as we get back to the office. A quick $100 later, we went to the Suffolk Downs and we have funded next spring’s books. Thanks folks!

But what are you really interested in? Karen Joy Fowler is reason enough to travel to a convention. She and Lucius Shepard were the guests of honor. On Friday morning Karen read the first chapter of her newly completed and perhaps-temporarily-titled novel Ice City (sorry chaps: no ISBN or ordering yet but you may have heard it at WisCon) to an enthusiastic crowd which she thought of as a mystery and may not quite be. (Also: ask her sometimes about her strategy for answering those who want her to categorize her books.
Later Karen was on the “Brilliant But Flawed” panel with John Crowley, Kelly, Barry N. Malzberg, and Darrell Schweitzer. Most of the panelists had T.H. White’s The Sword in the Stone in mind but over the hour there were discursions into Crowley’s own books, The Worm Ourobouros, and maybe some newer books.

Adam Golaski’s wife had their first kid during the con so F. Brett Cox sturdily stepped into Adam’s shoes and interviewed Karen on Saturday afternoon. It was an often hilarious hour with Karen’s tales of discovering her idyllic early years in Indiana were actually an exile in hell for her parents; her deal with her husband (she would try writing for one year: she sold her first story another four years later); and just toward the end of the hour her experience of seeing her bestselling novel The Jane Austen Book Club being turned into a movie.

Friday was the easiest day for us to see panels. After that the book room was busier, although we had much help from Jed, Michael, and Emily Cambias (the youngest of the Zygote Games peeps). There was an awful lot that went on that we didn’t see—the mafia made an appearance and so did some people with no pants looking for someone else’s key. Must remember to stay up late at these things, not miss all the fun.

That’s it. Crap, ne?

Next year (July 17-20) they have Jim Kelly and Jonathan Lethem as the guests.  On the website there is an easily accessible list of past guests from 1997 to the present (in other words, the first eight years are probably accessible somewhere, but not without searching . . . 2008 isn’t included because the memorial Guest of Honor wasn’t on the flier):

  • 2007: Lucius Shepard, Karen Joy Fowler; [Angela Carter]
  • 2006: China Miéville, James Morrow; [Jorge Luis Borges]
  • 2005: Joe Haldeman, Kate Wilhelm; [Henry Kuttner, C.L. Moore]
  • 2003: Hal Clement, Rudy Rucker, Howard Waldrop; [R.A. Lafferty]
  • 2002: Octavia E. Butler, Gwyneth Jones; [John Brunner]
  • 2001: David Hartwell, Michael Swanwick; [Clifford D. Simak]
  • 2000: Suzy McKee Charnas, Michael Moorcock; [Mervyn Peake]
  • 1999: Ellen Datlow, Harlan Ellison; [Gerald Kersh]
  • 1998: Lisa Goldstein, Bruce Sterling; [Leigh Brackett]
  • 1997: Algis Budrys, Kim Stanley Robinson; [C.M. Kornbluth]

21 Guests of Honor (14 male, 7 female)
11 Memorial Guests of Honor (8 male, 3 female)
32 total (22 male, 10 female)

Readercon is a great con that’s interested in looking inward at itself as well as outward at the world of literature. There are Readercon favorite authors (John Crowley is definitely one!) and the list only expands by the year. This isn’t an excuse or a call to action or anything. Just noting another asymmetry and wondering if and when and all that.



LCRW map

Wed 11 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

lcrw wrestles with the future Here’s a map of the bookshops that carry LCRW. Not many! Any help appreciated and followed up in an incredibly slow manner. Hello again Google! We’ve been waiting to map this for 15 years—long before we started the zine. Maybe that’s why we started the zine? Who can remember?

Anyway. How can we take over the world with The Best of LCRW if we have fallen to this few bookshops? Remember the days you could buy LCRW at the checkout at Target? Or when Isaac Miyake designed the free zine bag gotten with a Nordstrom Level LCRW subscription?

God those were either good days or good drugs. And of course we are a drug free environment (barring naturally occurring endorphins and alcohol) here at Small Beer, so they must have have been great days.

So many non-LCRW states!

Come on shops d’books: wouldn’t you like a twice-a-year stack of stapled, no spine, b&w zines? This is the best collection of short fiction gathered in the slowest time in a zine named after an American emigrant. It’s the ultimate impulse buy… James Patterson writes for it… It’s all wonderful but ultimately tragic stories about puppies… It has a few Secrets in every issue…

What’s that? No booksellers read these pages. Darn.



Storyteller 2

Wed 11 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

After a couple of months of being hard to find (and just in time for Clarion Diego—nice new site—and Clarion West) the second printing of Kate Wilhelm‘s Storyteller shipped from the printer today.

So this new printing (with a slightly redesigned cover) will be trucking down from trusty employee-owned Thomson-Shore in Dexter, MI (never been there, although a lot of our books have) to the Perseus (they own our distro, Consortium) distribution center in Jackson, TN (another place to visit!) and then off to you fave book shop, Powell’s,—&c.



Cafe Press

Tue 10 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Skinny Dipping: Dark T-ShirtWe have a bunch of “stores” on Cafe Press. If we actually sold much of this stuff we’d quit selling books in the drop of a pink Men’s Raglan Hoodie. But they’re more for fun than anything else.

This came up because Anne Sebba, author of a new biography of Jennie Jerome (aka Lady Randolph Churchill), reminded us we have an LCRW store. The other stores are:

Skinny Dipping: Dog T-ShirtWe haven’t added shops for the ’07 books yet—maybe we will, maybe we won’t. Any requests will be read and (after a quick trip to Maine), perhaps acted upon.

In the meantime the last one of these we added was for Alan DeNiro’s Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead. We really hope these doggy shirts are popular this winter.



Tue 10 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

There may be a Readercon thing later. In the meantime, reviews &c:

  • Quimby’s bookshop in Chicago has an appropriately and hilariously named blog.
  • Get a Spec Lit Foundation travel grant.
  • Nisi Shawl on Endless Things in the Seattle Times:
    “Endless Things” is the long-awaited fourth book in John Crowley’s epic magical realist “Aegypt” sequence. Despite the perpetualness its title might imply, it’s the concluding volume of the series, which first began to charm and intrigue readers 20 years ago.
  • Matt Cheney on Generation Loss in Strange Horizons:
    Just as lives that are only momentarily brilliant deserve celebration and respect, though, so do such novels, because life is dark enough that we need whatever illumination we can get, and there’s plenty to be had in Generation Loss.
  • It may be true that of a recent night there was some drinkage and some talking about Harry Frickin Potter (to quote Brad Neely). Kelly took down a few notes for Salon.
  • Go see the preview for The Jane Austen Book Club movie at Buzz Sugar and leave comments to puzzle regulars.


Tue 10 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

There may be a Readercon thing later. In the meantime, reviews &c:

  • Quimby’s bookshop in Chicago has an appropriately and hilariously named blog.
  • Get a Spec Lit Foundation travel grant.
  • Nisi Shawl on Endless Things in the Seattle Times:
    “Endless Things” is the long-awaited fourth book in John Crowley’s epic magical realist “Aegypt” sequence. Despite the perpetualness its title might imply, it’s the concluding volume of the series, which first began to charm and intrigue readers 20 years ago.
  • Matt Cheney on Generation Loss in Strange Horizons:
    Just as lives that are only momentarily brilliant deserve celebration and respect, though, so do such novels, because life is dark enough that we need whatever illumination we can get, and there’s plenty to be had in Generation Loss.
  • It may be true that of a recent night there was some drinkage and some talking about Harry Frickin Potter (to quote Brad Neely). Kelly took down a few notes for Salon.
  • Go see the preview for The Jane Austen Book Club movie at Buzz Sugar and leave comments to puzzle regulars.


Readercon

Thu 5 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We’re off to Readercon where Karen Joy Fowler and Lucius Shepard are the guests of honor and there are tons of smart people coming to talk about smart things. And then there is us! We will be in the bookshop (stop by and say hello to us and various interns and interested third parties) and on a panel or two. Although Gavin may miss his Future SF Scenarios to see Towards a Promiscuous Theory of Story Structure with John Clute, John Crowley, James Morrow, Sarah Smith, Eric M. Van (L). Because, who wouldn’t?

There are tons of good things about the weekend—not including the hotel restaurant, but there is a mall next door with a food court. Wooee.

Laurie J. Marks is reading and on a couple of interesting panels including Other Points of View with David Louis Edelman, Laurie J. Marks (L), Maureen McHugh, Wen Spencer, Peter Watts.

Theodora Goss will fly the interstitial flag high-ish at The Slipstream / Fabulation / Magic Realism Canon with F. Brett Cox (L), Paul Di Filippo, Ron Drummond, Theodora Goss, John Kessel, Victoria McManus, Graham Sleight, Catherynne M. Valente.

Maureen McHugh (she of the hilarious New Novel Chart) is making the trip up from Austin (where Howard is dog sitting, blogs are weird and wonderful).

Also, all this week John Crowley’s Aegypt series has been getting the full retrospective treatment from the NYTimes, oh, wait, Strange Horizons:

Feature Week: John Crowley’s Ægypt

The fourth book of Ægypt: Endless Things by John Crowley

John Clute:
Endless Things comprises, in part, a release into stillness, an ontological black hole from which other stories of the world cannot escape, or are disinclined to; a spiral which becomes a circle in the end; a holy emptiness vaster than pleroma, where the utter still centre of the world utters all.

The third book of Ægypt: Dæmonomania by John Crowley

Paul Kincaid: Dæmonomania should represent the point in the sequence where the creation has become too big, so that it starts to slip out of the author’s sure grasp. In fact I think it is where Crowley reasserts his grip on the story after the (relative) slippage of Love & Sleep. But it is also where he breaks the pattern of Ægypt.

The second book of Ægypt: Love & Sleep by John Crowley

Graham Sleight: The story of the first three volumes of John Crowley’s Ægypt sequence is, broadly, the story of his protagonists getting what they want and finding they can’t stand it. The first volume, Ægypt, is the story of the main characters wishing; Love & Sleep is the story of them getting.

The first book of Ægypt: The Solitudes by John Crowley

Abigail Nussbaum: The Solitudes presents the reviewer with an unusual challenge. How to review the novel as an independent entity—and thus avoid stepping on my fellow reviewers’ toes—when it is so clearly and overwhelmingly part of a whole? More importantly, how to review Ægypt the novel when the experience of reading Ægypt the series so completely and irrevocably colors and alters one’s reactions to it?



Free?

Mon 2 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Lew Shiner, author of some great fun novels including Say Goodbye and Glimpses, is the latest author to post along with a ton of fiction online—the difference here is that Shiner has also posted a manifesto a. His new site, the Fiction Liberation Front (can we join?) has a stack of free reading — all under Creative Commons licenses.

I’ll also be adding new short fiction, music reviews, and articles from time to time, though I won’t guarantee that I won’t also publish short pieces elsewhere. I’m launching the site with three previously unpublished stories (“Straws,” “Fear Itself,” and “Golfing Vietnam”) plus a major story from 2004 (“Perfidia”) that’s had only limited circulation, and as a special bonus, my previously unpublished “vampire lawyer” screenplay, THE NEXT.

Strange Horizons is consistently one of the best short speculative fiction sites on the web. Every year (until this year) they used to tie a writer to the top of a pole and sell the right to shoot arrows at said writer. After seeing how scarily accurate the average spec fic fan was with a bow and arrow (we’re not even talking compound bows here), the SH crew have decided that a fund drive is more appropriate. The fund drive started July 2nd and they’re hoping to raise $6,000—all of which, since they’re still n all-volunteer operation—goes to the writers (and maybe the web host!). So: Donate what you can and you’ll be entered into a prize drawing.

The drawing includes a bunch of our book, so if you’ve been meaning to order them and like an element of chance in your book purchases, check out the whole prize list and do that thing.