Clarion South applications

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

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Robert Hoge—one of the extraordinary team of organizers (and a World Fantasy Award judge this year, poor guy!)—reminds us that the deadline for applications to the Clarion South Writers Workshop is June 30 (Monday!). This is the 2009 tutor line up:

Can’t wait to go back to Brisbane! Maybe see you there?

LCRW Subscriber #2970067

Fri 27 Jun 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Hey, you’re a winner! We put little red tickets in to all the subscriber copies of LCRW #22 that just went out (and John Klima lost his so we added a new one to the stack for him) and randomly picked a winner who will receive galleys of Ben Rosenbaum’s The Ant King and Other Stories and Kelly Link’s Pretty Monsters. So if you received ticket 2970067, send us an email with your address and these will be off to you!

We’ll give the winner a week to contact us. If this doesn’t work, maybe next time we will tape the labels to the zine. Picking out a random ticket was fun. Maybe we will pick some more.

Photo 34.jpg

If we don’t answer your email today

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

it is because we are fat old executives who are soon going to be filled with team spirit (and covered in paint) so we may be at home recovering after this:

pics and comments

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

Kessel, Baum Plan

Thanks to Ben P. we now have a new thing (functionality!) on this page. (But nowhere else on the site. Ha!) During our gremlins’ tea break we installed a “Subscribe to Comments” plugin so that you, the commenter can choose to receive an email when someone else comments on your comment. It’s not just a Facebook wall for graffiti, people are reading! Cough.

Another thing: a little while ago Michael* took some pics of some of our books and now they are online. At some later point there may be more. In the meantime:

Crowley, Endless Things

Hand, Generation Loss

Ellen Kushner, The Privilege of the Sword

Magic for Beginners

* Michael’s got a solstice gardening story here — with a picture linked in the comments that is just right for you, Mr. Rowe.

LCRW subscribers:

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

This little ticket went out to LCRW subscribers and in recent orders. Keep!

Ad word suggestions please

Tue 24 Jun 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 10 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Google and Vistaprint (cheap postcards!) sent us $100 credit for Google Adwords so we’re looking for suggesting for which words* we should use. The words should apparently be enticing, or, er, seductive (perhaps filthy-as-all-get-out would be the way to go?), and something which will encourage people not at all like you (ie they have no idea who either you or us are) buy books.**

Suggestions in the comments, please. Best suggestion(s) within the next couple of days will receive an uncorrected proof of Ben Rosenbaum’s The Ant King and Other Stories.

*or: keywords!, so much more important and sexy than regular words.
** The Small Beer HQ was rocked by laughter at this point as thousands of editors, designers, typesetters, etc., chuckled heartily at the thought of people buying books. Who does that anymore? Ha ha ha.

Like being at at reading

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

without having to think up a question (“Um, someone or other says science fiction is pap for the weak-minded masses who can’t deal with the present, um, what’s your favorite color?”).

Ed Park—whose first novel Personal Days is not only dark and funny but is a must for writers to see someone pull off some incredible virtuoso writing—gets search-engined:

Parking is easy.

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

This is my favorite picture from the tiny car page:


Things that have happened recently

Mon 23 Jun 2008 - Filed under: Uncategorized, | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

More on this later

Blog Like Me 9: What’s Opera, Doc?

Wed 18 Jun 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Howard Waldrop

Skeptical HowardI’m reading a book called Opera Offstage by Milton Brener (Walker & Co NY 1996) which is about the stories behind, around and among the great operas: love affairs and other things which led to their composition; extraordinary stories about premieres, the shadowy and sometimes shady characters who moved through the 18th and 19th C. opera worlds.

For instance: the Paris premier of Tannhauser (1861) by Wagner; the biggest fiasco in Paris music history until Le Sacre du Printemps by Stravinsky (1913), was all because Wagner wouldn’t put an act-opening ballet in the second act.

Why, you ask?

Well, when being told he had to have one, Wagner said logically, that it made no sense dramatically, especially after the bacchanal in Venusberg in Act I. It doesn’t matter, said everyone, there must be a second act opening ballet. “No,” said Wagner. “Well, the Jockey Club won’t like that!” they said.

The Jockey Club was a bunch of aristos and upper-middle-class ne’er-do-wells who slept all day, lolled around, dined late and showed up at the opera in time for the second-act opening ballet, danced by, usually, their and their buddies’ girlfriends and mistresses. Anyway, they showed up to see lots of leg, the one place they could do that in a semi-cultured setting in 1861.

Well, Wagner didn’t put in a ballet. Opening night, the Jockey Club poured itself in after the first act with their police whistles and cowbells. The second act opened up on some guy center-stage singing. Out come the whistles, cowbells and catcalls. You couldn’t hear jack shit out there onstage but them.

The rest of the audience tried to yell them down. That added to the problem. The Jockey Club would quiet, the music would start again, the singer stepped forward and Clanga-danga-danga-wheet! they’d be off again. So it went.

Not only opening night, but for the next three performances. Fists flew around like cake at an Irish wedding.

Wagner withdrew the opera and left (as usual) in a cloud of debt.

Similarly with Puccini and the opening night of Madame Butterfly—not, this time, noise and scandal, but silence. I mean dead.

It was from a one-act play by David Belasco. Puccini and his co-librettists turned this into a (against convention) two-act opera (the second act being more than 90 minutes long). Before, Puccini had always had opening-night jitters; he knew Madame Butterfly was his best, so he wasn’t worried at all. He expected another triumph. He brought his whole family, which he’d never done before. The cast, orchestra and technical people were the best. (The stagehands had cried during rehearsals, so moved were they by the singing and the story.)

Here’s what happened to Puccini: hubris. And the sound of hubris, like in a Daffy Duck cartoon, is the sound of crickets chirping in the back of a packed theater . . .

The book’s full of stories, not just about disasters, but about snookered librettists, plagiarism suits, blackmail, censorship (for reasons you’d not guess in a million years, in some cases . . .) and sharp practices.

It’s a neat book, whether you know anything about opera or not.

But all this is prologue. I want to tell you about the time I performed with the New York Met in 1996.

But, Howard, you cry. The only thing you can play is the radio. You only know two tunes, like General Grant said; one’s the drum solo from “Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida” and the other’s not. What are you doing with the Met?

Well, one of my minors was in Drama at UT-Arlington (I’d been Nick Burns in A Thousand Clowns that semester, the Barry Gordon kid’s part). I was the only one who could do the Peter Lorre voice called for in Act I. I was a pretty normal-sized sophomore playing a supposedly 12-year-old kid. In one of the most surrealistically-performed plays in American college theater history, they used the simple expedient of casting giants in the grown-up roles. I was (and am) 5′ 6″. The Jason Robards Jr role was by a 6′ 7″er. The other 3 guy roles were between 6′ 1″ and 6′ 3″. The leading lady (the Barbara Harris role) was 6′ even.

Somehow it worked.

Anyway, the drama teacher told us The Met was coming to Dallas and they needed people. They were doing 3 operas in two nights and a matinee. The deal: you worked in one; you got a little pay and tickets for the other two. The call was going out to all the drama departments in all the colleges in the DFW area.

The three operas were, I think, Turandot, Otello, and Falstaff.

A bunch of us decided to do the Sunday matinee, Turandot.

We drove over to Dallas (@ 20 miles) in a couple cars on a blazing hot May afternoon. Where we were going was to the Texas State Fairgrounds, next to the Cotton Bowl, which had all been built for the 1936 Texas Centennial, 30 years before. The operas were in the Texas State Music Hall, a great Pennsylvania Dutch-looking 6-story barn, the kind with two balconies which actually had seats with pillars in front of them (you could hear but you couldn’t see). It had the acoustics of a 6 story kazoo.

Anyway, it’s an hour till showtime. They call about 30 of us out back. “In a minute, you’ll go in and get costumed,” said an assistant stage manager, who had on a suit, in a heat wave, in May, in Dallas.

“After that, we’ll give you some spears and flags and stuff. You’ll march in from each side, turn, go through the gate, and go up the two stairs and line up on top of the wall. There’ll be a guy already there in the middle—try not to bump into him when you line up. He’ll sing a lot of crap for a long time, then he’ll yell something that sounds like “HiYA!” when he runs out of wind. Turn to your left and march off the wall.”

It was the most succinct stage directions I ever got in my career.

Well, by the time they got us dressed and slapped some Oriental #3 makeup on us, it was time for us to go on.

What I’m dressed as is a Mongol @ 1300 A.D. I am in a goatskin vest and tunic. I have on a helmet, 1/2 authentic Mongol and 1/2 picklehaube, like the Hun wore in the Great War. We line up on both sides of the stage, march in, meet, turn toward the upstage gate, go through it, and climb the stairs in back of the wall. There’s a guy up there in the middle and we don’t bump into him much when we line up. Then he sings a lot of crap for a really long time.

I told you it was a heatwave in May. Out in the audience of the Music Hall it’s about 95°F. On stage, on the wall, under the Fresnels and Leicos, it’s like 147°F. I’m dressed in goatskins. I can feel the heat rash coming up all over me like Jiffy-Pop® on a stove.

I manage not to fall off the wall in a dead swoon.

The guy in the middle runs down after awhile and says “HiYa!” We turn to our lefts and march off down the stairs.

Intermission: the assistant stage manager meets us.

“Next part’s easy,” he said. “You march from stage left to stage right across downstage, run around quietly behind the set, and march across again. If you had a spear the first time across, trade out with someone with a flag. Do it till the guy with the fancy costume climbs the steps and the music changes. If you’re onstage when that happens, try to act interested in what he’s singing. Also try not to scratch your butts. When he’s through, march off stage right. Meet me out back after you get out of costume and make-up.”

Well, we do that. It’s hotter onstage than a recently-fornicated waterfowl. As soon as we march off the last time and take off for the dressing rooms, I grab my helmet by the earpiece and whip it off, forgetting about the spike.

“Yowwwch!” yells someone behind me, a real Met person, “careful with that thing, hombré.”

“Sorry,” I said. “Sonofabitch was cooking my brains.”

They ran us into the dressing room; they pulled off our goatskins and slapped cold cream over the Oriental #3 on our faces and arms and toweled it off and we dressed and they pushed us out, and we went out back.

We met the assistant stage manager out there, where it was at least 10° cooler.

He handed us $5 cash each and tickets to the two other shows and thanked us.

I think we gave him a round of applause.

So, that was my day with the Met on tour.

In a May heatwave, in Dallas TX, in a goatskin and boiling helmet, carrying a spear or a limp flag.

Heldentendors, Beware!: I take Large Steps.

Howard Waldrop

Sending you away

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

Strange Horizonsover here where they have neat stuff. Yes, it’s Strange Horizons and their yearly fund drive. We were late to the party sending them prizes but they should be added this week. Looks like this year there are even more ways to get prizes: bonus prizes as certain totals are reached, prizes for blogs who link to it (come on LA Times, you know you want the 5 CD Escape Pod set too!), and, you know, for sending money.

If you’d like an advance reading copy of Ben Rosenbaum’s debut collection, The Ant King and Other Stories, or Kelly’s new collection, Pretty Monsters, or would like the chocolate-bar LCRW subscription, go donate and maybe these prizes will become yourn.

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 22

Sun 1 Jun 2008 - Filed under: LCRW | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

There are 60 pages in this zine. It was put together on a couple of MacBooks and an iMac using InDesign. No CEOs were fired during the production of this zine. At least, not here. One copy was printed on gold leaves and buried in a blatant attempt to copy The King’s Last Song. This web page was written using an Old copy of DreamWeaver. One of these days we’ll update the software and the website. One of these days. In the meantime we keep producing high-quality low-cost paper zine in part because 1) we’ll keep doing this until the subscribers stop subscribing and the writers stop sending us good weird shit and 2) if we can do it, so can you.

Made in the May of 2008 by:
Gavin J. Grant · Kelly Link
Jedediah Berry · Michael Deluca · Katharine Duckett · Margaret Kinney · Sara Majka · Julia Botero

William Alexander, “Away”
Charlie Anders, “Love Might Be Too Strong a Word”
Becca De La Rosa, “Vinegar and Brown Paper”
Kristine Dikeman, “Dearest Cecily”
Carol Emshwiller, “Self Story”
Alex Dally MacFarlane, “Snowdrops”
Maureen F. McHugh, “Going to France”
Jeremie McKnight, “The Camera & the Octopus”
Mark Rigney, “Portfolio”
David J. Schwartz, “Mike’s Place”
Jodi Lynn Villers, “The Honeymoon Suite”
Caleb Wilson, “American Dreamers”
Cara Spindler, “Escape”
Miriam Allred, “To a Child Who Is Still a FAQ”

Eileen Gunn, “To the Moon Alice”

Gwenda Bond, Dear Aunt Gwenda

Abby Denson, “Snake Slayer”
Michael DeLuca, “The Freddie Mercury Challenge”

Derek Ford, Cover Art

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, No.22 June 2008. ISSN 1544-7782 Text in Bodoni Book. Titles in Imprint MT Shadow. Since 1996 LCRW has usually appeared in June and November from Small Beer Press, 150 Pleasant St., #306, Easthampton, MA 01027 · [email protected] | $5 per single issue or $20/4. Contents © the authors. All rights reserved. Submissions, requests for guidelines, & all good things should be sent to the address above. No SASE: no reply. Thanks for reading. This zine is printed by Paradise Copies, 21 Conz St., Northampton, MA 01060 413-585-0414

Who Was That Masked Writer?

William Alexander lives in Minneapolis with spouse and cat. His stories have appeared in Zahir, Weird Tales, and Postscripts, and one will be reprinted in Fantasy: The Best of the Year 2008. He contributes to Rain Taxi Review of Books. In the summer of ’06 he attended the Clarion Workshop. It was fun.

Miriam Allred has a BA in Comparative Literature and French from Brigham Young University and an MA in English from Cleveland State University. She lives in Salt Lake City, near many supportive friends and family members, where she earns a living writing about routers and wireless networks. She also writes stories.

Charlie Jane Anders blogs about science fiction and futurism for She’s the author of Choir Boy and the co-editor of She’s Such A Geek: Women Write About Science, Technology & Other Nerdy Stuff. Her writing has appeared in Mother Jones, Salon, Sex For America, Paraspheres, and MonkeyBicycle. She’s the co-founder of other magazine and the host of a reading series, Writers With Drinks, in San Francisco.

Gwenda Bond is writing young adult novels on a tin machine that has no internet access.

Becca De La Rosa has recently had fiction published in Strange Horizons and the Fantasy Magazine anthology, among other places. She is currently studying English at an art college in Ireland.

Michael J. DeLuca has published fiction in Interfictions and Clockwork Phoenix. He makes beer and other libations in Massachusetts.

Abby Denson is a cartoonist and rock’n’roller in NYC. She is the creator of Tough Love: High School Confidential, Dolltopia, and Night Club, among others. She has scripted Powerpuff Girls and comics for Nickelodeon. She has webcomics on and a dessert comic column, “The City Sweet Tooth” ( in The L Magazine.
Kristine Dikeman lives in NYC. Her work has appeared in The Many Faces of Van Helsing, The Book of Final Flesh, Sybil’s Garage, and All Hallows. She is working on a novel, Eating Manhattan, a lighthearted romp through New York, with zombies.

Carol Emshwiller‘s most recent books are a novel, The Secret City, a young adult novel, Mr. Boots, and a collection, I Live with You. Small Beer published her novel The Mount and her collection, Report to the Men’s Club as well as reprinting her first novel, Carmen Dog.Recent awards include a couple of Nebulas for short stories, the Philip K. Dick Award, and the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement. She lives in New York City.

Eileen Gunn is the author of a collection, Stable Strategies and Others, and co-editor of The WisCon Chronicles Two. She is the publisher of the Infinite Matrix, and in the dead of night can hear it stomping around in the attic. For nearly 20 years, she has been on the board of the Clarion West Writers Workshop and she thinks it’s time for someone else to take over.

Alex Dally MacFarlane has been writing ever since the discovery of computer games made her think that if stories could be found on a 32-bit cartridge, why not in the mind of an 11-year-old girl? Her short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Electric Velocipede, Shimmer, Sybil’s Garage, Farrago’s Wainscot, and a few other places. Her longer fiction is still being kick-polished.

Maureen F. McHugh‘s most recent book is a collection of short stories, Mothers & Other Monsters. She writes novels and Alternate Reality Games. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Jeremie McKnight was born under the restless skies of Ohio farm-country where he began his storytelling at an early age. By high school he was a published and award-winning author. And then he stopped. He now lives in Pittsburgh PA., and this is his first story in over a decade. It has made him very happy.

Mark Rigney is the author of Deaf Side Story: Deaf Sharks, Hearing Jets and a Classic American Musical. His short fiction has appeared in Shadow Regions, Talebones, The Bellevue Literary Review, Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine, &c. His plays for the stage have won national contests and been performed in six states. Having worked as a zookeeper, he is now proud to be a stay-at-home father.

David J. Schwartz is all around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship. His first novel, Superpowers, is in stores as you are reading this. He is allergic to midichlorians.

Cara Spindler likes apples, broccoli, and eel, but hates ham and cantaloupe. She likes strolling, running, swimming—but hates to sit. And she still has five continents to visit before she dies.

Jodi Lynn Villers has her MFA from North Carolina State University. She lives in downtown Raleigh with a beagle named Turtle and has written a novella about a rehabilitation camp for girls who have killed their parents. Her short-shorts have also appeared in Staccato and Quick Fiction.

Caleb Wilson‘s fiction has appeared in places like Diagram, Weird Tales, and The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror. He and his wife life in Illinois. His alter-ego works in a bookstore.