Wed 30 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We just handed in our final section of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2008: 21st Annual Collection (Yay!).

First (after we send some initial contributor names and our bios for the St. Martin’s Press catalog) we send Jim Frenkel the story and poem selections (Jim does all the contract parts, puts the book together, manages it, herds cats and sphinxes, etc.), then we send the story introductions (brief, easy!), and then the honorable mentions. Which are neither brief nor easy.

Lastly we send the Summation. This year it came in at 12,000 or so (dense, worked over) words. This is the fifth year we’ve edited this book (and the 6th year is already 1/3 over!). The Summation has ranged from 12-17,000 words as we’ve looked at different parts of the field and changed it up a little each year. The most fun part is arguing (no!) over what books go into the Favorite Books of the Year section. Researching what’s been coming out from where, who’s doing what, and so on doesn’t seem to stop. We are curious about which parts people enjoy most or whether they find anything missing (or think anything should be cut!).

That doesn’t come out until October so in the meantime, have you read The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2007?



Wed 30 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We just handed in our final section of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2008: 21st Annual Collection (Yay!).

First (after we send some initial contributor names and our bios for the St. Martin’s Press catalog) we send Jim Frenkel the story and poem selections (Jim does all the contract parts, puts the book together, manages it, herds cats and sphinxes, etc.), then we send the story introductions (brief, easy!), and then the honorable mentions. Which are neither brief nor easy.

Lastly we send the Summation. This year it came in at 12,000 or so (dense, worked over) words. This is the fifth year we’ve edited this book (and the 6th year is already 1/3 over!). The Summation has ranged from 12-17,000 words as we’ve looked at different parts of the field and changed it up a little each year. The most fun part is arguing (no!) over what books go into the Favorite Books of the Year section. Researching what’s been coming out from where, who’s doing what, and so on doesn’t seem to stop. We are curious about which parts people enjoy most or whether they find anything missing (or think anything should be cut!).

That doesn’t come out until October so in the meantime, have you read The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2007?



not this week

Wed 30 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

No free books this week! Making more books, LCRW (hey, we still put out a zine!), a catalog, und, yes, so weiter, is getting in the way. Also: we are planning a fun thing for BookExpo, hee hee. Cough. (Sounds look weird in WordPress. May need to add sound.)

ARCs of Ben Rosenbaum’s collection are on their way to the secret masters of the universe who will declare it a bestseller. Yes, they are in touch with the public’s unending appetite for short story collections.

Kelly is reading next week at the South Street Seaport in NYC as part of the NYRSF reading series with Jennifer Stevenson whose sexy new novel The Brass Bed is about to about to about to arrive.

Hey, in February we sold a couple of books on the Kindle. Who knew! Asked Amazon if they would send us a Kindle to see what the reading experience was like. They demurred. People should always feel free to send us expensive gifts. We are not public servants. (Neither are we savants.) We do not fear the gifting. We are just very bad at the return part.



Baum Plan hardcover / LA

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

Jed_in_LA.jpgJust a note that our distributor is running out of the hardcover of John Kessel’s collection. We have some in stock for conventions and so on but if you want one from a store, sooner is better than later.

If you’d like a signed copy, John’s got some more signings coming up.

And: here’s a pic of Jed in LA just before the book festival madness began!



LSsss

Fri 25 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Eric Marin is hanging out his shingle and has announced his first book project, The Lone Star Stories Reader.

Table of Contents? After the cut.

Read more



LA Times Book Fest

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

Jedediah Berry will be manning the Small Beer booth at the LA Times Book Fest this weekend so if you’re in the area go say hello (and congratulate the man!) at Booth # 1023 in Zone: J – Moore Hall Grass, UCLA campus.

Small Beer are splitting a table with the wonderful Coffee House Press. Drop by and say hi to some of their authors, and meet other local stars such as Cecil Castellucci and more authors than a forest could shake sticks at. Admission to the Festival of Books is free. Parking is $8.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, that forest will not be shaking sticks at Kelly Link who will not be there after all. Maybe next year.



Want want

Thu 24 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Uncategorized, | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

lovely food from Terre à Terre in Brighton.

Do they deliver to Massachusetts? How about to Edinburgh, since we’re there in August?

If you are after mung beans and carrot sticks, look away now. Amanda Powley, Terre à Terre’s creative force, does not believe vegetarianism has to mean abstinence. “For me our food is all about indulgence”, she tells me. “It’s not about sacrificing anything, it’s about gaining something.”



Loki

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

This has nothing to do with Trickster gods (excepting The Coyote Road, which has lots to so with it). Instead it is just a tricky headline to make you wonder what we’re on about now. It’s Locus finalist celebration day—thanks to John K. for the heads-up!

Chocolate bars for all!

YBF&H 20It is excellent—and we are very grateful to each and every one of you who made your butler go vote—to see John Crowley’s unendingly brilliant Endless Things on there, along with The Best of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror 2007: Twentieth Annual Collection, and, and this is a lovely surprise, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. Holy Xerox Printed Zine Batman! What’s that doing there? (Um, basking?) Guess we’ll keep it going after all.

The finalist list is a reminder that 2007 was a strong year, especially for men writing in this genre. That’s not snarky, look back at the list. Congratulations to Elizabeth Bear (“Tideline,” Asimov’s Apr/May 2007) and Connie Willis (“All Seated on the Ground,” Asimov’s Dec 2007; The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories, Subterranean), the only women in short fiction. SF novels are all men, then Fantasy, YA, and Debuts are all pretty mixed—and all are very strong categories (below the cut). Too much work to look at more except perhaps there should be a PR campaign by any women artists in the genre?

It will be fun to see who wins but the real winners, said without cheesiness—especially after serving on award juries—are readers who use this as a reading list to see what’s good out there at the moment.

Read more


Galley arrival

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

Here comes the lunch truck? Nope. The boat? Nope. Benjamin Rosenbaum’s collection? Ping! We have a winner!

Ben doesn’t know this yet (because we are evil, or, maybe because we’ve been busy giving away free books?) but we just received the advance reading copies of his debut collection, The Ant King and Other Stories. So today (besides cursing the errors—they’ll be gone by August) we’ll be sending it out to reviewers and maybe sending a few to Ben over there in Switzerland.

How does it look? Who cares? Does it go well with beer? You decide.



Episode 7: Maple Beer

Wed 23 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Michael

Western MA being the land of maple syrup, and spring being the maple sap season, I thought I’d run a couple of experiments brewing beer with maple syrup. This is just the kind of decadent weirdness that homebrewing is perfect for. You’d be hard put to find a maple beer available from even the tiniest and most daring of commercial brewers, but for a homebrewer, all it takes is the will and a bit of thinking.

Read more



Free Mothers, Other Monsters

Tue 22 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Mothers & Other Monsters CoverHot on the heels of last week’s Creative Commons release of John Kessel’s collection The Baum Plan for Financial Independence (5,000 downloads and counting—and Entertainment Weekly gave it an A-, yay!) Small Beer Press is proud to announce their third Creative Commons release, Maureen F. McHugh’s collection Mothers & other Monsters.

When we asked Maureen if she was interested in releasing her collection this way she took a moment out from working on Top Secret Gaming Things to say go for it. It is awesome to work with authors like Maureen and John who are so enthusiastic about this.

Come back next week for another CC-release!

The thirteen stories in McHugh’s “gorgeously crafted” (Nancy Pearl, NPR, Morning Edition) collection include her her Hugo Award winner “The Lincoln Train” as well as a reading group guide. Mothers & Other Monsters was a Story Prize finalist and a Book Sense Notable Book.

Although we think our paper editions are of course prettier than these downloads, please pass the word along. The further out these CC-licensed books go (especially from our site where we can count them) the higher chance there is of persuading other authors of doing the same with their books.

Mothers & Other Monsters is licensed under a Creative Commons (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license allowing readers to share the stories with friends and generally have at them. The collection is provided in these formats: low-res PDF, HTML, RTF, and text file. We encourage any and all conversions into other formats.

The paper edition is much nicer, although not free:

Buy the paper edition| Reviews | Maureen F. McHugh’s site
paperback | hardcover | limited edition | ebook



Hey hey

Tue 22 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

How excited are we? Very! Congratulations Jed!

As far as we know he’ll be back in the office later this week. Or, could it be true that he is right this moment partaking of a well-earned vacation on a sunny island in Indonesia? Who can say, without consulting The Manual of Detection



reading

Fri 18 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Update: approaching 5,000 downloads of John Kessel’s collection. More good news on the Creative Commons front here next Tuesday. Ladies, Fish, and Gentlemen, could this be a regular thing?! Publishers Weekly notes John’s book here. There are a couple of new download options to add (you people are Awesome!).

John did his first reading for The Baum Plan at Quail Ridge in Raleigh and about 100 people turned out: Yay!

We are just sending off LCRW-with-green-eyeshadow, the most inventive subscription request we’ve received yet.

Will has a great post on findings at a recent library sale (and also a call to action for New Yorkers). Will’s blog is a must-read.
Alan DeNiro’s review of The New Space Opera at Rain Taxi is the basis for a conversation on SF Signal. Then it got picked up by io9. Then a huge spaceship appeared over the Twin Cities and uploaded Alan, Kristin, and Rain Taxi. Good luck out there!

Somehow completely missed that there was an online discussion of Sean Stewart’s Perfect Circle which included Sean. Sean’s new book, Cathy’s Key: If Found, Call (650) 266-8202, is hitting stores right about Now.



Tiptree

Fri 18 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Marks, Water LogicCongratulations to Sarah Hall for the Tiptree Award for The Carhullan Army. (published in the US as Daughters of the North.) It’s an excellent book and Gavin hopes there will be something that good this year as he is one of the judges!

We mentioned the other day that Interfictions was on the Honor List and we are incredibly proud and happy to note that Laurie J. Marks‘s novel Water Logic was also on the Honor List: pick up the book from us, by mail order, or Powells, BookSense.com, or on Fictionwise.

It’s been fun to see the reaction to the question “are awards worthwhile?” over the last week. How about: it depends? (The answer to everything!) It depends on: whether you trust the jury for some awards; if you follow the will of the populace (online or otherwise); whether you think a self-limited interest group of some sort will produce an interesting list of books. The Tiptree Award seems worthwhile in that the jury redefines the definition every year and produces some great reading lists—as well as the occasional head scratcher.

Laurie’s book—and the rest of the Honor List—is a book which, besides being a dark, thoughtful , entertaining pageturner, makes people think. It’s a noisy world and anything that encourages people to stop and think is excellent.

Here’s the full Honor List (via Gwenda):

  • “Dangerous Space” by Kelley Eskridge, in the author’s collection Dangerous Space (Aqueduct Press, 2007)
  • Water Logic by Laurie Marks (Small Beer Press, 2007)
  • Empress of Mijak and The Riven Kingdom by Karen Miller (HarperCollins, Australia, 2007)
  • The Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu (Hyperion, 2007)
  • Interfictions, edited by Delia Sherman and Theodora Goss (Interstitial Arts Foundation/Small Beer Press, 2007)
  • Glasshouse by Charles Stross (Ace, 2006)
  • The Margarets by Sheri S. Tepper (Harper Collins 2007)
  • Y: The Last Man, written by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Pia Guerra (available in 60 issues or 10 volumes from DC/Vertigo Comics, 2002-2008)
  • Flora Segunda by Ysabeau Wilce (Harcourt, 2007)


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

InterfictionsIt’s been almost a year since the Publication Day of the Interstitial Arts Foundation’s first anthology Interfictions: how about an update?

Yesterday it was announced that the book was one of 9 on the Tiptree Award Honor List, which is great news and retrospectively seems very fitting that an anthology intent on ignoring all kinds of borders would be recognized by an award that seeks to expand our understanding of gender. (Read “expand our understanding” as “blow your mind.”)

And then on Friday Christopher Barzak announced that he and Delia Sherman will be editing the second Interfictions. The editors will be reading this October and November and the book will be published some time in 2009. Get ye to your thinking chair or get out your pencils and papers (or whatever your tools of interstitial fiction production are) and get to it.



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

InterfictionsIt’s been almost a year since the Publication Day of the Interstitial Arts Foundation’s first anthology Interfictions: how about an update?

Yesterday it was announced that the book was one of 9 on the Tiptree Award Honor List, which is great news and retrospectively seems very fitting that an anthology intent on ignoring all kinds of borders would be recognized by an award that seeks to expand our understanding of gender. (Read “expand our understanding” as “blow your mind.”)

And then on Friday Christopher Barzak announced that he and Delia Sherman will be editing the second Interfictions. The editors will be reading this October and November and the book will be published some time in 2009. Get ye to your thinking chair or get out your pencils and papers (or whatever your tools of interstitial fiction production are) and get to it.



Free Kessel Free

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

Kessel, Baum PlanIt’s Tax Day here in the USA and in between the wailing, gnashing of teeth, and renting of garments and DVDs, we are celebrating the Publication Day of John Kessel‘s new collection, The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories.

How are we celebrating?

With John’s blessing we’re setting his book free into the world:

Today, April 15, 2008, is tax day in the USA and we all need cheering up. We’re celebrating at Small Beer Press by publishing John Kessel‘s first collection of short stories in ten years, The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories, as well as releasing it as a free download in a number of completely open formats—with, of course, no Digital Rights Management (DRM).

The Baum Plan includes Kessel’s Tiptree Award winning “Stories for Men” (gender inequality meet Fight Club . . . on the moon), “Pride and Prometheus,” a mashup of Frankenstein and Jane Austen, and “Powerless,” an amazing mix of pulp fictions, paranoia, and academia.

The Baum Plan is licensed under a Creative Commons (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license allowing readers to share the stories with friends and generally have at them in any remixing/interpretation/Web 2.0 huddly-cuddly noncommercial manner.

The collection is provided in these formats: low-res PDF, HTML, RTF, and text file. We encourage any and all conversions into other formats. Read more, download, and or order the collection here.

Creative Commons: Some Rights Reserved

Read more



The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories

Tue 15 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Books | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

A BookSense Pick.

John Kessel, ever at the forefront of fiction, mashes up Pride and Prejudice and Frankenstein and comes up with a huge win: “Pride and Prometheus,” which received the Nebula and Shirley Jackson awards and was nominated for many others. The fourteen stories in this astonishing, long-awaited collection intersect imaginatively with literary classics (The Wizard of Oz, Flannery O’Connor) and history. The Baum Plan also includes Kessel’s modern classic “Lunar Quartet” sequence about life on the moon, one of which, “Stories for Men,” won the Tiptree Award.

By turns satirical, horrific, funny, and generous, these stories showcase the manifold gifts of the modern-day master of the screwball science fiction novel Corrupting Dr. Nice, a writer Publishers Weekly has called “capable of the most artful and rigorous literary composition, but with a mischievous genius that inclines him toward speculative fiction . . . he writes with great subtlety and wit . . . and his craftsmanship is frequently absolutely brilliant. Plus, his sense of comedy is remarkable.”

An ex-con finds himself falling, once more, under the spell of a seductive, amoral woman. A hidden door in the closet of a summer house leads to a land of plenty. The life of an inventor converges with the pulp fiction he reads in “Powerless.” In “Pride and Prometheus,” the Bennett sisters encounter Victor Frankenstein and his monster. And, in his acclaimed and award-winning Lunar Quartet, John Kessel explores the gender dynamics, politics, and long-term sustainability of a matriarchal lunar colony.

“A sustained exploration of the ways gender dynamics can both empower and enslave us. Kessel’s wit sparkles throughout, peaking with the most uproariously weird phone-sex conversation you’ll ever read (“The Red Phone”).” A-
Entertainment Weekly


Table of Contents

The Baum Plan for Financial Independence [audio]
Every Angel is Terrifying [audio]
Downtown
The Last American
The Invisible Empire
A Lunar Quartet
– The Juniper Tree
Stories for Men
– Under the Lunchbox Tree
– Sunlight or Rock
The Snake Girl
It’s All True
The Red Phone
Powerless
Pride and Prometheus [part 1 | part 2]

The Baum Plan ... B!Hardcover dustjacket easter egg:

Reviews
Metro Arts
Foreword

Dependable Erection(!)
Podcasts

Book Sense“One of the best collections of the year.” — Locus

“These well-crafted stories, full of elegantly drawn characters, deliver a powerful emotional punch.”
Publishers Weekly

“Kessel is a deft stylist and a master of all his tools, whose range is nearly limitless.”
SciFi.com

“John Kessel’s writing exists at the edge of things, in the dark corner where the fiction section abuts the science-fiction shelves, in the hyphen where magic meets realism. Reading Kessel’s wonderful fabulations is like staying out too late partying and seeing strange angels while stumbling home in the dawn’s first light. This is one of those too rare short story collections that you can recommend with confidence to both the literary snob and the hard-core computer geek.”
— Rich Rennicks, Malaprop’s Bookstore, Asheville, NC

“Critics were all excited to see another anthology from Kessel … not only did Kessel pull off these stories with gusto but he did so in such a way that readers can enjoy his tales even if they have not read the original authors.”
Bookmarks Magazine

On the web:

About the Author

Born in Buffalo, New York, John Kessel is the author of the novels Good News from Outer Space, Dr. Nice, and The Moon and the Other, and, in collaboration with James Patrick Kelly, Freedom Beach. His short story collections are Meeting in Infinity (a New York Times Notable Book), The Pure Product, and The Baum Plan for Financial Independence. Kessel’s stories have received the Nebula, Sturgeon, Locus, Shirley Jackson, and James Tiptree Jr. awards.

His story “A Clean Escape””was adapted as an episode of the ABC TV series Masters of Science Fiction. With Jim Kelly, he has edited five anthologies of stories re-visioning contemporary short sf, most recently Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology. Kessel holds a B.A. in Physics and English and a Ph.D. in American Literature. He helped found and served as the first director of the MFA program in creative writing at North Carolina State University, where he has taught since 1982. He lives and works in Raleigh, NC.

Credits



Interrogate them

Fri 11 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Confirming what everyone knew all along but the government were too lily-livered to admit:

Cheney, Others OK’d Harsh Interrogations
By LARA JAKES JORDAN and PAMELA HESS
Associated Press WriterWASHINGTON (AP) — Bush administration officials from Vice President Dick Cheney on down signed off on using harsh interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists after asking the Justice Department to endorse their legality, The Associated Press has learned.

Cheney et al knew it was right for the USA to use torture but they also knew it was right that no one should know it was  them who ok’d it. Double standard? Sure. But who cares about that. What we care about is that torture-porn like 24 aside, if they wanted porn they should´ve watched some Gay Furry Porn. These methods are inefficient, morally questionable, and has probably helped throw the USA into recession because the whole world looks at the USA differently now. And not different-is-good.

Hope Cheney (et al) gets prison time before his robo-heart gives out.



Sluttery

Fri 11 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

BookslutI’ll be posting some over at Bookslut for the next week and a bit so send me your hot tips, bitchy stories (all names redacted, mais oui), and so on.

Otherwise you know it will be all Alisdair Gray and Ursula K. Le Guin all the time.

Which sounds quite good, actually.



Podcast: Kessel 3!

Thu 10 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Two things! A thoughtful and wide-ranging review/interview in Metro Magazine in Raleigh, NC (Kessel’s hometown—unless you count his football homeland, Buffalo):

Kessel proves himself again a master not just of science fiction, but also of the modern short story, crafting compelling characters and following them through plots that never fail to please — or to defy prediction.

Second Thing:

In preparation for the actual publication day (April 15) next week, we’ve got more free audio fiction from John Kessel: this week it’s his fantastic 19th century mash-up, “Pride and Prometheus,” first published in the January 2008 issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction:

Miss Mary Bennet, the bookish younger sister of Elizabeth Darcy, meets a mysterous and handsome scientist from the continent come to Regency England on a matter of life-and-death.

Pride and Prometheus, Part 1 (1:02.25)

Pride and Prometheus, Part 2 (27:52)

——————

Previously:

The Baum Plan for Financial Independence

Every Angel is Terrifying
(read by Gregory Frost, author of Shadowbridge)



LA to NY in 4 minutes

Wed 9 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Old fun YouTubery:



New Fowler

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

Wit's End Signed CoverKaren Joy Fowler’s new novel Wit’s End is out this week—you can read the first chapter here and an interview here. There’s also a video of that interview if you have a WSJ log-in.

You can also pre-order a signed copy from Powell’s (and pick up a signed copy of Ursula K. Le Guin’s new novel, Lavinia, at the same time!).

Wit’s End is great.

That’s all.

More? Ok. Great fun, hilarious in parts, heartbreaking, and filled with Fowlerian grace notes. It’s one of the first novels to really look at the author’s place in this overheated Web 2.doh atmosphere. There’s more politics in it than The Jane Austen Book Club, which is a good fit as Fowler is one of the most acute and informed political observers we know. And now we can play the Casting the Movie game.

Also, here’s her new web site and upcoming events (via Gwenda).



John and Kate Beckinsale

Thu 3 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

From a short interview with Kessel on Foreword this Week. Spot the odd one out:

If you could have any five people over for dinner, who would they be?

Herman Melville, Jane Austen, Orson Welles, Richard Feynman, and Kate Beckinsale.



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