5 years of this

Tue 26 Feb 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

(which would be this) will no doubt bring us millions of hits, readers, and dollars. Our plan for wasting all our time on frivolous pursuits is going verrrry well.

Can’t find us? Look up, to the right near Old Radio Fun—who have a nice, easy to read 100% comprehensible message, and lots of fun old shows.

They may not have any feelings

Tue 26 Feb 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

as Mr. Cobain was wont to moan, but it looks like that piece of sushi (or, maybe that fried thing getting in the way of the mushy peas and chips) could count:

Their numerical ability is on a par with that of monkeys, dolphins and children aged between six months and 12 months. “We have provided the first evidence that fish exhibit rudimentary mathematical abilities,” said experimental psychologist Christian Agrillo, of the University of Padova in Italy.

From the whole story on the BBC’s Love Earth(!) site:

… as Agrillo points out: ‘The most interesting thing is that fish performance is very similar to what is observed in adult humans who possess a very limited vocabulary for numbers.’ For example, speakers of the Amazonian language Mundurukú lack words for numbers beyond five. ‘Their limits in quantity tasks closely resemble what we found in pre-verbal organisms such as fish!’ says Agrillo.

Monstrously Bad Sex

Sat 23 Feb 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The Award.


Wed 20 Feb 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Inferno CoverKGB reading tonight features many mighty fine writers from Ellen Datlow’s Inferno: P.D. Cacek, John Grant, Jeff Ford, Elizabeth Bear, and Nathan Ballingrud.

Karen Joy Fowler’s new novel is just a fantastic read. More on it when the pub date comes round. There’s a small piece on her worth reading at the NBCC blog.

Border’s have mashed-up (says Ed Nawotka) the real and virtual worlds in their new Ann Arbor store. Looks like fun. Burn a Neko Case CD, download something or other, have a cup of tea, then go buy some books (and maybe LCRW) at Shaman Drum—Mary Doria Russell is on their front page. Now that’s a good bookshop.

Taos, Romania

Tue 19 Feb 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Kelly is off on Wednesday to a publishing conference somewhere in Atlanta, then she’ll do a side trip to Athens for something at the uni there.

Here’s an update on teaching from her website — most of these programs are still accepting applications so send them on in if you fancy a couple of weeks in Taos or 6 weeks in San Diego or Brisbane!

  • This semester Kelly is teaching a class at Columbia University, NYC, and one at Smith College, Northampton, MA
  • She is on the pop fiction faculty at the Stonecoast low-residency MFA program at the U. of Southern Maine

Romania: sadly, not a teaching gig. But you can now go read “The Faery Handbag” in Romanian!

Manana we go to Boskone

Fri 15 Feb 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Tomorrow we go to the only con named after Bruce Springsteen’s ice cream. We have not been to this Westin Waterfront hotel convention echoing hall of death place (although we have found many such places in the metropolis of Boston, Massachusetts). We will be there 10AM – 6PM and then we shall ride our unicorns into the sunset. Between 10 and 6 we shall Huck, Huck, Huckster! Our table will be filled with goodies beyond either description or compare. (Although some of them will resemble these.)
We will also contribute to the hive-mind’s peregrinations through the following topics:

Kelly Link:

11am Bar: Literary Beer
Walter H. Hunt, Kelly Link

1pm Otis: Do Sweat the Small Stuff: Writing Short Fiction
Versus novels, do short forms let you spend more lapidary time and effort on each detail? Or do you write in a headlong burst? Is it carpentry or sculpture? Do you feel constrained, or cozy? Do you add context or cut fat? If you stop writing before the end, could the fizz leak out? Examples, please.
James Patrick Kelly (m), Kelly Link, Jennifer Pelland

2pm Grand Prefunction: Autographing
John Langan, Kelly Link, Michael Swanwick, George Zebrowski

3pm Commonwealth A: Good Things Come in Small Packages: The Craft of Short Fiction
The craft of writing a short story is different from writing a novella or novel. Having fewer words means each word has to be there for a reason. How do pace and characterization differ in a short story? Is a writer forced to decide if the idea is more important than the description? How are those decisions made, and so made, create an effective story, which lingers with the reader?
Beth Bernobich, James Patrick Kelly (m), Kelly Link, Michael Swanwick

Gavin J. Grant:

10am Kaffeeklatsch

2pm The Great Book Covers
Ellen Asher, Gavin Grant, Elaine Isaak, Omar Rayyan, Joe Siclari (M)
Let’s talk about the truly outstanding art that has adorned science fiction, fantasy, and horror books. (By all means, bring and show examples.) How is a cover different from other artworks? Does a great cover always make a great book? Must it always both tell and sell? Do the best covers share any specific elements of content or style? Can a once-great cover go out of fashion?

Happy Spiderwick Day

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

Today most people in the western world are celebrating the 42nd* anniversary of the decimalization of the Australian currency.

Besides reading Garth Nix and Margo Lanagan, drinking some decent wine, and wishing it were summer, we’re also celebrating the release of the Spiderwick movie from the ton of fun books by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black.

* Pre-decimalization it would have been the 4 pun, twa shillin an sixpence anniversary.


Wed 13 Feb 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

  1. kessel-hc-lg.gifShouldn’t that be Sekrit? Isn’t that the OED-approved spelling for the web?
  2. Also, is it true that “Two can keep a secret if one of us is dead?

Next: Two actual secrets!

We just sent John Kessel’s collection to the printer so that it will (fingers crossed!) hit its publication date of April 15th (and, cough, the reading the next night at Quail Ridge).

  1. We can’t tell you this yet but it is very nice news for this book!
  2. The hardcover edition has a secret. The front cover (with amazing art by Nathan Huang) looks like this ->
    (very similar to the paperback—although the backside of both are different).
    But. And this is the secret part (if all goes well at the printing plant) the reverse side of the dustjacket will look like this one below. No kidding! Get yours before they run out.



Wed 13 Feb 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The weather has done us in and we will not be at the lovely NYC reading tonight: bah!

Library Thing

Mon 4 Feb 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

has some copies of John Kessel’s Baum Plan going free—if you wants to gets your hands on a copy before April this is maybe (unless you are a reviewer or movie maker or something) your best chance.

Lazy update without links

Mon 4 Feb 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We are behind! Not you, you paranoiac fool. More along the lines of behind and with you. Or something. Especially if you have sent us something to read. Because there is an awful lot of stuff waiting to be read for

  1. LCRW — we are behind! Will we catch up by the end of the month? Only time will tell!
  2. Small Beer submissions: we are buying a book that came in on a quer, which we think may be the first time we’ve done this. Which means that for now we will keep reading queries. (Unsolicited advice to writers: target those queries!)
  3. The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror: we have decided (as we are the deciders) that we will reprint the 2008 speeches of George W. Bus. No, wait, that’s the horror half. Will check with Ellen and see if she will go for it. Really: we are nearly done reading. Just the damn honorable mentions, introductions, and summary to do. Cough.
  4. Review: Jo Graham’s Black Ships is fun.

Stuff for Bostonians:

  1. Boskone will be going on soon and we will have books for sale. Whoopee, you say, as do we. Maybe we will surprise you and have John Kessel’s book for sale. Just kidding, because we won’t.
  2. Here is something more interesting: go see the Massachusetts Book Awards this Thursday at 1.30 PM on the Grand Staircase at the State House. An event on a staircase has all kinds of possibilities for sweeping entrances, banister hijinks, slips, falls, chandelier swinging, etc.
  3. Vericon: hey, that was a fun convention!

Stuff for New Yorkers:

  1. New York is Book Country has moved their book festival to Sept. 21—the week after the Brooklyn Book Fair (see you there on Sept. 14th). They have booths, not tables so it doesn’t look like we’ll be there.
  2. We will be at Think Cup Cafe on Feb 13 with Carol Emshwiller (who you can also hear tomorrow night with John Langan at the NYRSF reading) with Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, and Veronica Schanoes.
  3. Ok, so we will be at KGB Bar on Feb 20th with everyone in the world, even the seen-it-all Mr. Richard Bowes.
  4. And we might be at The New School on Feb 27th for the Story Prize night: Tessa Hadley, Vincent Lam, and Jim Shepard are up this year.

That, as Mr. Hodgman is wont to say, is all.