Cut the meat

Tue 29 Jan 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

In the NY Times Mark Bittman (who writes the Minimalist column in the Dining sections, is the author of “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” and is not a vegetarian) stumbles over his place in time and refers to “growing meat” instead of raising animals.

That cook book is great—picked it up in Oberlin at (maybe?) Mindfair Books—and it has already seen some use. (Not bad around here where cookbooks can lie around uncracked for centuries.)

However Mr. Bittman must be thinking of the near future when “meat” is grown in vats or tubes or whatever and its production doesn’t involve a slaughterhouse. At the moment when someone eats meat, it’s likely they’re eating one of 10 billion animals (this year) that will cross the definitional line from animal meat on the killing floor.

Hopefully this is thought-provoking stuff:

Americans eat about the same amount of meat as we have for some time, about eight ounces a day, roughly twice the global average. At about 5 percent of the world’s population, we “process” (that is, grow and kill) nearly 10 billion animals a year, more than 15 percent of the world’s total….

…. an estimated 30 percent of the earth’s ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, which also estimates that livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases — more than transportation.

…. Animal welfare may not yet be a major concern, but as the horrors of raising meat in confinement become known, more animal lovers may start to react. And would the world not be a better place were some of the grain we use to grow meat directed instead to feed our fellow human beings?

Real prices of beef, pork and poultry have held steady, perhaps even decreased, for 40 years or more (in part because of grain subsidies)….



AWP in NYC this weekend

Mon 28 Jan 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We’ll be at the Associated Writing Programs Conference and Bookfair this coming Thursday to Saturday (Hilton New York & Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on 6th Ave. and 53rd St.).

Here are a few items of interest and so on (some of this info is also on our calendar). The conference is sold out but the book fair is open to the public Saturday 8.30 – 5.30. If you’re in NYC (or nearby) we highly recommend you drop by—not to see us (but sure, come by and say hi to Jed and Gavin and Kelly), but because this will be the biggest small press fair this year this side of the Mississippi. While you might see some of the same people at the Brooklyn Book Fair, there will be a ton of people and presses you’d never normally see. (And just because the bookfair opens at the cruel and unusual time of 8.30 AM doesn’t mean you have to be there then, wait until at least 10 or 11 for the maximum literary crowd experience.)

First thing: we are taking down boxes of returns (most like-new condition) and selling them at 1/2 price. That is 50% off the price agreed upon by the oligopoly of Small Beer Press and Small Beer World Domination, Inc.

There are about a million events going on, a hundred thousand interesting panels, a few bars, and not enough time. See you there—

Thu., Jan 31, 7 PM
Ira Glass Discussion & Signing
Borders
10 Columbus Circle
From the witty first-person fiction radio shows to the acclaimed program on DVD, Ira Glass celebrates the series at Borders.
(This has nothing to do with us, it’s just kind of cool.)

Fri., Feb 1, 10:30 AM — “Reeling Beyond Realism: But to Reel in What?”
Kate Bernheimer, Rikki Ducornet, Brian Evenson, Theodora Goss, Kelly Link, Ken Keegan (moderator)
Sheraton, Lower Level, Executive Conference Center, Rm D

Fri., Feb 1, 2:30 PM — Kelly Link signing at the Best American Fantasy table.

Sat, Feb 2, 11 AM — Delia Sherman & Theodora Goss sign copies of Interfictions,
Small Beer Press
Americas Hall 1, Exhibit Hall, 3rd floor, Hilton

Sat, Feb 2, 2.30 PM — Kelly Link signing
Small Beer Press
Americas Hall 1, Exhibit Hall, 3rd floor, Hilton



Lovely books to be read

Thu 24 Jan 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

So we are working away away on this that and the next thing (can only dominate one galaxy at a time due to slower than lightspeed travel. This is an ongoing annoyance. Someone get us the FTL drive, ok?) and in the meantime Good Books Have Appeared! So, hence with the pix (except for the fabulous Matter by Iain M. Banks which has teleported itself somewhere else right now):

P1050863.JPGFirst up is Jeff Ford’s novel The Shadow Year. This is the novel where Jeff’s short story writing skills fully infuse (or liquor up and have fun with) his novel skills. Based on his long story “Botch Town”, it’s an exploration of the unsolved mysteries of childhood. Ford expertly captures the lack-of-knowing that kids spend so much of their time in. Kelly said it better in her blurb:

“Put Jeffrey Ford’s latest novel, a Long Island bildungsroman replete with marvels and monsters, on the shelf with Harper Lee, Lynda Barry, Ray Bradbury, Tobias Wolff. THE SHADOW YEAR is the kind of magic trick writers dream of being able to pull off — Ford evokes the mysteries, the inhabitants, the landscape of childhood briskly, unsentimentally, and with such power that you come away feeling as if someone has opened up a door to another world.”—Kelly Link, author of Stranger Things Happen and Magic for Beginners

P1050868.JPGNext up is a book that promises a ton of fun, Jennifer Stevenson‘s The Brass Bed This is the first book in a three book series which will slipping seductively into bookshops in April, May (The Velvet Chair), and June (The Bearskin Rug). The covers of these—as you can see from this one as it is carefully held up to the light by our intern Meg (thanks Meg!)—are great pieces of retro-sexy design, click through on the titles to see the next two. Lots of people will be reading these come spring.

P1050867.JPGThe third book that just came in is Karen Joy Fowler’s—how can we say this, em, much anticipated?, yes, that would about cover it—novel Wit’s End. Look at that little eye looking in at you. What’s it about? Not telling. Anyway, you don’t care. You’re going to run out and buy it no matter what it is because it’s a new novel by Karen. Whisper along with us: yay.

[Walks away from computer. Wonders whether should add a stage direction such as “Exit Stage Left, Dancing” or “Laptop screen darkens slowly” but refrains.]



A New Logo

Mon 21 Jan 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

http://lcrw.net/images/logo/black-smallbeer3a.jpgWe just received another potential new logo from artist, illustrator, and webguy extraordinaire Theodor Black.

Ok, now we need some beer to go with this label:



The Girl Detective: movies and song

Thu 17 Jan 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The Girl Detective’s mother is missing.

On Ninth Letter there is an amazing video interpretation of Kelly Link’s story “The Girl Detective” put together by videographers Samuel Copeland, Kelly Cree, Fabiola Elias, Mark Hauge, Andrew Nguyen and Brett Tabolt and narrated by Hannah Gottlieb-Graham. (Parts of it can be seen on youtube: 4, 7, 11, 13.)

And, Uglinessman sent in this mellow and somewhat startling techno/trance song where he samples part of Alex Wilson’s reading of “The Girl Detective”.

You can download the story for free as part of Kelly’s first collection, Stranger Things Happen.



Carol Emshwiller reading and Albany-Schnctady-Troy, NY

Wed 16 Jan 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The MountCan someone in the Albany-Schnctady-Troy region of New York explain to us what’s up with the (very nice!) bump in sales of Carol Emshwiller’s The Mount?

We’re very happy and are wondering if a local bookshop has it as a staff pick,or if the whole city is reading it, or it has been assigned to a class or it’s some kind of cruel trick or . . . something?

Also: Carol will be reading in New York City next month:

Wed., Feb 13, 8-10 PM
Carol Emshwiller, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, Veronica Schanoes
Think Coffee, Cup & Pen Presents Small Beer Press
248 Mercer Street
(between 3rd and 4th streets)
New York, NY
(212) 228-6226

Here’s the most recent sales figures for the Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY region:

This week: 21
Last week: 14
2 weeks ago: 15
3 weeks ago: 0
4 weeks ago: 15
5 weeks ago: 9
6 weeks ago: 9
8 weeks ago: 6
9 weeks ago: 7
10 weeks ago: 4
11 weeks ago: 0
12 weeks ago: 7



Books Out Loud

Mon 14 Jan 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

BOOKS OUT LOUD DANCE PARTY!Essentials, a local store of just that, has put together an evening of entertainment which will feature readings, bands, dancing, and a bar. Oh yes, we are so up for that. Discount tickets ($7 instead of $10) can be gotten here.

Books Out Loud Dance Party.

Join essentials, wünderarts, and many more as we celebrate the written word with music, readings, and a whole lot of dancing!

Featuring John Hodgman of The Daily Show and The Areas of My Expertise, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, Kelly Link, Rachel Sherman, Ed Skoog, Who Shot Hollywood, and More…

Farm-fresh Food provided by Tabella Restaurant.

When and Where:
From 7:00 pm until 11:00 pm, January 26, 2008 at the American Legion Hall in Hadley, MA. Only a limited number of tickets available so get yours NOW!

Please note: All tickets can be purchased here online, at either essentials locations, and at wünderarts. All tickets are Will-Call and will not be shipped. Please contact us with questions or comments regarding this all-ages literary event.



Episode 6: Mead

Mon 14 Jan 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Michael

A record of my first experiments in brewing that most literary of all beer (though not technically a beer), ambrosia to the Greeks, bal-che to the Mayas, the gold of Midas, the honey-wine of gods and heroes—mead.

Let me just get the obligatory reference to a certain great English epic out of the way, and we’ll get down to business.

Then for Geatish tribesmen, close together all,
Was a bench made ready in the wassail-hall
There the stout-in-spirit went to take their seat
Proud of this their prowess. A henchman did as meet,
Mindful he to bear round the figured ale-tankard,
And pour to each the clear mead. Whiles would sing a bard,
Clear of voice in Heorot. Reveled there the thanes,
A host of happy heroes, Wederfolk and Danes.

For the adventurous: try it in the original.

Read more



Kelly, reading

Mon 14 Jan 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

This is stolen whole cloth from the Diagram site (so the links, etc., may work, maybe better going to their page):

$5 Innovative Fiction Contest

deadline: 03.15.08 Good news! The $5 Innovative Fiction Contest is open for submissions. Our 2008 judge is fabulous (fabulist) fiction writer Kelly Link, author of Magic for Beginners and Stranger Things Happen. The prize is $1000 + publication. 10+ finalists will have their stories published in the DIAGRAM Summer Fiction issue. The information on last year’s contest finalists and winners is online [here]. The 2007 summer fiction issue is [here].

We don’t make money on this contest (obviously). This contest also has no frills: we can’t send out snail mail contest announcements or email announcements of the finalists or winner (though if you submit electronically, you’ll get a response). All submissions are read anonymously by an anonymous panel of judges and screeners (different group than last year). This is an ethical contest, so please, close friends or former students of the judge, you’re not welcome to enter this time (sorry). All submissions are considered for publication by DIAGRAM. All stories submitted must be unpublished (personal website and blogs excepted).

The entry fee per story is $5, paid via paypal or check or cash.

This year we will accept submissions via two methods:

1> snail mail (not preferred, but okay if you want to do it): mail the story (w/a removable cover sheet with your contact info & the story title) and a check or cash to DIAGRAM $5IFC, 648 Crescent NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503). Sorry, but we can’t notify via SASE. If you want a notification, go for #2.

2> the DIAGRAM submissions manager system: much preferred; this way you will definitely get a response—create an account and submit your story, and this is important, you must choose the genre as “$5 IFC” for your story to be considered; you must also pay the entry fee ($5) through paypal with a CC by clicking here:


or via post. Note that you will receive an automated submission acknowledgment via email (it’s the boilerplate one we send for regular DIAGRAM submissions, so ignore that part of the email).



Adobe joys, or, the overcomplicated silliness of software ownership

Tue 8 Jan 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Sometime in the last year or so we received an influx of cash (the sound of books selling well, cha-ching!) and we upgraded our Adobe software so now we have (the thus far hugely-underused) Design Suite—InDesign, Illustrator, Acrobat, Photoshop. So it was installed on two laptops and everything in the land of book design was thought to be both hunky and dory. (We are so far behind on web design that upgrading the Dreamweaver seemed like a huge learning-curve time sink.)

Recently a new iMac (with a screen big enough to, er, be very big and shiny) was winched down to us from a passing airship. Onto this new toy was cloned a laptop (which mostly worked fine except for making the stupid and complicated “permissions” even more stupid and complicated). Everything went smoothly enough for the nonce until we, foolishly, try and open InDesign on the iMac.

Does not work. A screen opens and says something along the lines of “You must reactivate this product.”

Not the only thing that needs reactivating around here. It’s winter and we’re hibernating. So, after a week or so of dilly-dallying, a call is placed to the activation line.

—Sorry, we are told, you have to de-activate one of the previous installs.

—But wait, we reply. We still only have 2 people using the software, it’s just that it’s in 3 places now. Look, it’s right there (well, almost) on the shiny big screen for the office and over there on the tiny travelling screens for, well, travel.

Nope, replies the calm and polite woman no doubt used to this flawless and yet useless argument. What you have is a license limiting the number of machines on which you can install the software you (perhaps now you are thinking you over)paid for. 

—Dur! Grr!

I’m sorry. You aren’t speaking to a machine you know. You’re calling the help line in India where all Apple and Adobe help has been outsourced. I barely understand what you’re saying. Is that English or just the sound of your teeth grinding?

Teeth ground down to stubs we admit defeat and instead of writing about the joys of our neighbors art files we wanted to look at or some other such wunnerful thing we post defensively and defeatedly (and perhaps repetitively, at least about that defeated bit) about the lack of flexibility in software ownership. Where’s Cory when you need him? Dur. Grr.

Ok, off to deactivate a laptop. Now, to do that do we cut the red wire or the blue wire?



Tue 8 Jan 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

A while ago we posted a link to a Hipsway video which has since been removed for a violating some kind of terms of service. Perhaps fashion? Skinny trousers and knees bending in ways they shouldn’t? Unabashed quiffs? Use of American imagery and a blatant attempt to sell some records over here from a Glasgow-based band?

So instead of being depressed by excellent Neko Case songs (or at least the videos) I thought to look up this getting-ready-to-go-dancing song, “The Honey Thief”. My what fun.

Another: “The Broken Years” — again with the fashion, hair, and dancing. Are you broke are you broke? (If only someone would upload “Tinder”!



Tue 8 Jan 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

A while ago we posted a link to a Hipsway video which has since been removed for a violating some kind of terms of service. Perhaps fashion? Skinny trousers and knees bending in ways they shouldn’t? Unabashed quiffs? Use of American imagery and a blatant attempt to sell some records over here from a Glasgow-based band?

So instead of being depressed by excellent Neko Case songs (or at least the videos) I thought to look up this getting-ready-to-go-dancing song, “The Honey Thief”. My what fun.

Another: “The Broken Years” — again with the fashion, hair, and dancing. Are you broke are you broke? (If only someone would upload “Tinder”!



Small Beer plans

Mon 7 Jan 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

lcrw21pb2.jpgNot what you think. This is just in case you read our newsletter and were tempted by the one-of-a-kind freebie planner we offered—it’s been nabbed by a happy reader, Richard N.

Here’s some pics of the perfect(bound) LCRW and a review in The Fix.



Happy New Year

Wed 2 Jan 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

to you and yours. Holidays: no work. Yay! We’ll be back at it, oh, sometime soonish. Maybe even this month. In the meantime, imagine (as we are imagining) that we are all lying around on chaises in Paris (not at all Boring). This is where we aren’t (our garden statuary is a little on the more subtle side) but it sure looks like a blast:

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/01/01/world/01_france.jpg