The Serial Garden, pics

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

The Serial Garden by andi watsonWe just got copies of Joan Aiken’s The Serial Garden: The Complete Armitage Family Stories—which should have been called The Complete Treasury of Armitage Family Stories because it’s so darn pretty! Each story has a title page illustration by Andi Watson—here’s one, with 24 stories plus a few extras there have to be, um, 20+ in the book.

What else is in the book? A mistake in the author bio that John Clute spotted. very enjoyable and fascinating introductions by Garth Nix and Joan’s daughter, Lizza. The Prelude to the series that Joan wrote. An afternoon up a tree* reading. Four new stories that are published here for the first time. The Big Mouth House name in glittery gold on the spine and the web site inside (still to do in the 2 weeks before the pub date of Oct. 28).

Pre-orders will be shipping this week and the book will be it in stores in a couple of weeks. This is a book we designed to be something we’d love to receive as kids—so if you know a smart kid who needs a good book, you know what to do.

The first review comes from Kirkus:

The Armitages’ wacky magic (usually a Monday occurrence) and that of their fantastical town, a place filled with witches and magical beings, rises from the pages when matters go slightly awry, in the manner of Edward Eager and E. Nesbit.

If Michael is in on Friday (he was in Denver at a beer fest, so who knows if we will get him back!) we’ll ask him to take some of those great book pics he takes and post them. In the meantime, here’s the unboxing and a floored reader modelling our latest non-t-shirt:

Unboxing the Garden Aiken shirt

* In the attic, on the couch, in the library, on the bus, you know how it goes, yes?



You were born immortal

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

It’s drop day for the new Winterpills CD, Central Chambers so one more video. This is the last song on the CD and it is just gorgeous. “You were born immortal and you’ll die immortal” is one of the most beautiful, wise, and sad lines, and Flora’s singing matches it perfectly.

The band will be playing two local shows coming up: a pre-debate fundraiser tomorrow night at the Apollo Grill in Easthampton (7-9 PM, see you there) and then at the Iron Horse in Northampton on Oct. 25. Yes, they might be out there closer to you sometime, too.



an exuberant knockout

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

Ed Champion gets on board the Rosenbaum train at the Washington Post:

“The title story is an exuberant knockout: a dot-com parable featuring life-altering role-playing games, gumballs that provide existential succor, and rumination over whether or not “Wile E. Coyote is the only figure of any integrity in twentieth-century literature.” ‘Start the Clock,’ which depicts a world segregated by age, recalls the geriatric insanity of Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Harrison Bergeron.'”

Great to see a roundup includes books from Tachyon and Wordcraft as well as Tor. Go Ed!



Last night we went to see Andrew Bird

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

and didn’t bring any kind of recording device, still or motion. Woe. (Well, a phone, but that doesn’t count, right?) This was after we’d gone up to the Bookmill for a short set by the Winterpills, whose new CD comes out on Tuesday. But we got a copy, yay! (It is fabby. More TK on that—they play the Iron Horse on Oct. 25th if you’re in the area, see you there.)

Bird is (previously unbeknownst to us) a star. People went nuts when he whistled(!), played the glockenspiel, violin, and occasionally, a(n often tuned) guitar. Those big triffid things behind him are the speakers (“spinny,” “stripey,” and the two large unnamed ones). He’d pluck out a loop on the violin then another then another then add in some whistling, and sometimes singing to get a one-man wall of sound. It was music, Bob, but not as we know it. There were a couple of new songs (see below), and, he gave a shout out to the cave episode of Blue Planet.

Fortunately for us someone else up there in the balcony was recording:

You can see spinny at work in “Sectionate City” (Section 8 City?), Kelly’s new favorite Andrew Bird song:



Some of our books not crossing into Borders

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

Cover ImageA note to our readers who might be out there in the wilds of the world (or at least the USA) hoping to snag their copies of our books at Borders: well, some of those books just won’t be there.

As ever, the best choice is your local bookshop—they can order it fast from Consortium or Ingram—but if you’re looking for Geoff Ryman’s The King’s Last Song or Joan Aiken’s Complete Armitage Stories or to get your copy of Ben Parzybok’s Couch (one couch to rule them all!) from Borders: at the moment you are out of luck.

Borders has sold a ton of copies of some of our books, Stranger Things Happen and Perfect Circle, for example, but while the indies, A*azon, and Barnes & Noble have ordered a nice chunk of our new books’ print runs, so far Borders, as Greg Frost also found, is sitting tight, not ordering books, trying not to go bust. So, best of luck on the not going bust, might be a bit hard if they’re not actually carrying the books people are expecting to find.



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

And now a tiny car for the Future as seen in France—where all good things, like Nobel Prize winnerz (why is that funny with a ‘z’?), come from today—which also, and you won’t be surprised to find this, being a futurehead yourself, involves llamas. Source:



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

And now a tiny car for the Future as seen in France—where all good things, like Nobel Prize winnerz (why is that funny with a ‘z’?), come from today—which also, and you won’t be surprised to find this, being a futurehead yourself, involves llamas. Source:



Central Chambers

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

Pretending we are part of the hype machine. Tiny track from the new Winterpills CD:



Slushee Platform

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

Ben Parzybok says:

My opponent has voted for reduced ice cream subsidies 94 times. Listen to my plan. I call for Slushees. I call for a slushee in every pot. Not once has my opponent even mentioned the word ‘Slushee’. But you and I know that it’s tough out there. That every day mothers are getting up early, working hard to feed their kids slushees. Grandfathers who are diabetic and have never even tasted ice cream are sacrificing their retirement so that their grand children can have slushees at school. When I’m president I will reach across the aisle, I will grasp hands with those who favor ice cream, and we will reach bipartisan agreements. We will have a Slushee plan and sign slushees into law. We are the greatest eaters of Slushees on the planet, and we must join hands and work together to solve our Slushee problems. And this is what I will do what I’m president.



Listening while driving

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

Went to Brooklyn to the Community Bookstore for Kelly’s reading, met lots of good people there and found that the store is as good as ever: they have a huge and tempting NYRB section, comfy seats, piles of interesting books not seen on other bookstore tables, and these people know books. Wish it were our local bookshop. But we have good ones here, so la. Also found there is a huge ad for Pretty Monsters in The Believer and one in The New Yorker (wow!).

Got to listen to the debate on the radio on the way back up to Northampton: Obama seemed to be debating the Penguin (“Eh? eh?”). These debates are completely misnamed. They should be renamed Presidential Candidates’ Talking Points as there’s so little actual debate. What about just letting the two of them have at each other and see if a discussion ensues? Sure, they must find each other tiresome, but Mr. V. Putin isn’t going to accept ” Two-minute answers, followed by one-minute discussion for each question.”

At some point as President one of these guys is going to have to actually get off the script and it would be nice to see them doing so. Obama at least tried to have a conversation a couple of times but apparently that’s not allowed to happen.

As for there only being 3 debates for the Presidency and 1 for the VP slot, there’s more debate at the average 7-11 over who should have slushees and who should have ice cream. Bah.

It was fascinating to listen to the debates and then to the various call-in shows as we avoided road works somewhere in the depths of Connecticut. No one seemed persuaded by the other guy and Obama seems to be taking the high road, so got to love that. One more debate to go, then 2 weeks of these two guys playing nice to each other and Palin doing all the mud-slinging, then it will all be over. Can’t wait.



BTW

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

Kelly says Julie of the wolves would not vote for Sarah Palin.



Chevy gets some bail out action

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

When for some reason the bail out failed, Autobloggreen posts a note from the Detroit News on their hometown industry getting a nice little backend governmental funding. Funding for electric vehicles: yay! $10-15K for trucks? Sure, electrify those Fedex trucks, school buses, all those large conveyances. 3-ton pick-up trucks? Not so much.

One particular $1 billion chunk of that extra money has been earmarked to provide cash back to American drivers who opt to buy plug-in vehicles. Tax credits starting at $4,168 (there’s a nice round number for you) will go to people to buy a vehicle with a battery pack that has at least 4 kWh of capacity. From there the credits ramp up to $7,500 for vehicles with a 16 kWh pack. For those that haven’t been paying attention, that just happens to be the size of the pack in the Chevy Volt. Medium and heavy duty trucks with plug-in capability are also eligible for credits of $10-15,000.



Waldrop in the Times

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

In the LA Times, Ed Parks has a look at Old Earth’s new collection of Howard Waldrop’s longer stories, Other Worlds, Better Lives, and Howard Who? receives a name check:

Waldrop knows the virtue of leaving the reader wanting more. (Last year, Old Earth brought out “Things Will Never Be the Same,” an anthology of his shorter work, and in 2006 Small Beer Press reprinted “Howard Who?,” a charming collection from two decades earlier.

Hope they are reading Ed in Hollywood!



Kelly in Boston, an interview

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

Kelly Link reads tonight at the Harvard Book Store (which has a new owner, yay for them!) in Cambridge. One of the very amusing things about the store is that they own the url harvard.com but have nothing to do with the educational institution also named after a certain English man who left them some books.

Trap Doors, Ping Pong, and Pretty Monsters: An Interview with Kelly Link

Friday Oct 3, 7 PM, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 7 PM, Community Bookstore, Brooklyn

Sunday, Oct. 24, 4 PM, Flights of Fantasy, Colonie, NY



a big day here: Sale. Free Download.

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

Here’s another reason we were up late last night:

1) We’re having a Sale—and 20% of the proceeds will go to Barack Obama’s campaign.

  • Celebrate, come on! We are celebrating many things by having a sale.
  • 20% of the proceeds of this sale will be donated to Barack Obama‘s campaign for President of the United States of America.
  • Obama in 2008Next month in the USA we get to show the world that the mistakes of the last eight long years will not be repeated. If you really want to buy these books but don’t want to donate to Obama, we won’t insist. But: we hope you will donate! And vote.
  • Everything on this page is at least 25% off. Some of it is 60% off. Reason enough to celebrate!
  • You can get every book we’ve published for $249—including those still to be published in 2008.
  • We are publishing our first book for readers of all ages: Joan Aiken’s The Serial Garden and we want to make sure that the kid in your life (or you) gets it for the holidays.
  • Kelly Link’s new collection, Pretty Monsters, is published today by Viking.
  • Magic for Beginners - UKWith the gracious and kind permission of her US and UK publishers, most of Kelly’s previous collection, Magic for Beginners, is being released free online for the period of a year as a Creative Commons download. (More free books.)
  • We just got our tax bill and apparently we have to bail the government out all by ourselves.
  • Hallowe’en is coming and we need to move some books out of the haunted warehouse.
  • Suggestions welcome!
  • Get some books!

Magic for Beginners - US hardcover2) To celebrate the publication of Kelly’s new collection, Pretty Monsters, most of Kelly’s previous collection Magic for Beginners is now available as a free download in various completely open formats with no Digital Rights Management (DRM) strings attached. It 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 noncommercial manner. The book is provided below in these formats: Text file, HTML, rtf, and lo-res PDF.

Kelly Link and Small Beer Press would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (USA) and HarperPerennial (UK) for their willingness to particpate in making these stories available online. Due to contractual obligations, “The Faery Handbag” and “Magic for Beginners” are not included in this download.

Small Beer Press CC-licensed downloads.

Order the book
US hardcover: Signed | Powells | local bookshop
US paperback: Signed | Powells | Amazon | local bookshop
UK edition: Amazon | John Smith | Waterstones
More editions: Japan | Germany | Romania | Poland | . . .



big day: 1

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

Pretty MonstersKelly’ new collection, Pretty Monsters, hits the stands* today and two great organization, The Black Arts and Skytemple, have been hard at work on a new super groovy site for the book (and Kelly). More stuff will be telemported up to the online world (Shaun Tan illustrations!) as the days go by, but there are already a a couple of stories to read, a FAQ from Kelly, book recs, and more.

There’s a huge great story on Kelly in the Boston Phoenix today:

While Link is not an author who shies away from referencing pop- and commercial-culture, nor is she some glib chronicler of the right-now. Her work — realm-straddling blends of fantasy, science fiction, fairy tale, and capital-L literature — possesses a mythic quality.

Which is well-timed, as Kelly will be reading on Friday in Boston (ok, Cambridge):

Friday Oct 3, 7 PM, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 7 PM, Community Bookstore, Brooklyn

Sunday, Oct. 24, 4 PM, Flights of Fantasy, Colonie, NY (with Holly Black)

Kelly will also be signing books from the office (when they arrive!). Order a signed copy and receive tattoos, stickers, and similar items of interest.

* newsboys all over the country are yelling semi-incomprehensively to the commuter crowds, “Come n git yurr Monstahs, Pretty Pretty Monstahs!”



Pretty Monsters

Thu 2 Oct 2008 - Filed under: Books | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Now available: paperback edition with additional story: “The Cinderella Game.”

Table of Contents

The Wrong Grave
The Faery Handbag
Monster
The Wizards of Perfil
The Constable of Abal
The Specialist’s Hat
The Surfer
Magic for Beginners
Pretty Monsters
The Cinderella Game (added to the paperback edition)

“Link is one of today’s most original and talented short story writers. Pretty Monsters, her first collection for young adults, combines both old and new material — all of which is magical and entrancing.”—Recommended by Rachael W., Powell’s City of Books

Kelly Link has lit up adult literary publishing — and Viking is honored to publish her first YA story collection. Through the lens of Link’s vivid imagination, nothing is what it seems, and everything deserves a second look.

From the multiple award-winning “The Faery Handbag,” in which a teenager’s grandmother carries an entire village (or is it a man-eating dog?) in her handbag, to the near-future of “The Surfer,” whose narrator (a soccer-playing skeptic) waits with a planeload of refugees for the aliens to arrive, Link’s stories are funny and full of unexpected insights and skewed perspectives on the world. Her fans range from Michael Chabon to Peter Buck of R.E.M. to Holly Black of The Spiderwick Chronicles fame. Now teens can have their world rocked, too!

“Readers as yet unfamiliar with Link (Magic for Beginners) will be excited to discover her singular voice in this collection of nine short stories, her first book for young adults. The first entry, ‘The Wrong Grave,’ immediately demonstrates her rare talents: a deadpan narration that conceals the author’s metafictional sleight-of-hand (‘Miles had always been impulsive. I think you should know that right up front’); subjects that range from absurd to mundane, all observed with equidistant irony. Miles, hoping to recover the poems he’s buried with his dead girlfriend, digs up what appears to be the wrong corpse (‘It’s a mistake anyone could make,’ interjects the narrator), who regains life and visits her mother, a lapsed Buddhist (‘Mrs. Baldwin had taken her Buddhism very seriously, once, before substitute teaching had knocked it out of her’). Other stories have more overtly magical or intertextual themes; in each, Link’s peppering of her prose with random associations dislocates readers from the ordinary. With a quirky, fairytale style evocative of Neil Gaiman, the author mingles the grotesque and the ethereal to make magic on the page. Ages 12 — up. (Oct.)” —Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) 

“This compilation of intricate, transfixing selections succeeds in making the weird wonderful and the grotesque absolutely gorgeous.” —School Library Journal

“Link defies expectations with such terrific turnarounds that you are left precipitously wondering not only What’s going to happen now? but also Wait, what just happened?“—Booklist (Starred Review)

“Weirdly wonderful and a touch macabre….The humor is dry and the characters are easy to relate to, even in alien (literally and figuratively) settings.”— Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Kelly Link (www.kellylink.net) lives with her family in Northampton, Massachusetts. She and her husband, Gavin J. Grant, run Small Beer Press and publish the zine Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.

Shaun Tan is the creator of the New York Times bestseller The Arrival. He lives in Australia.



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