Going Bovine

Thu 30 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

I know I should be shipping hundreds and hundreds of books out (and yay for that!) but really what I am doing is wishing I were sitting reading Libba Bray’s Going Bovine. Started it last night and it is weird and excellent. Stupid work.

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy!

Award Season: Nebulas

Tue 28 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Voices (Annals of the Western Shore #02) CoverThe Nebula Awards were given out this weekend at the LA Times Book Festival and it’s a great slate of winners, including many Small Beer authors and friends including Kate Wilhelm who received one of the inaugural Solstice Awards, John Kessel, whose story “Pride and Prometheus” is getting nominated for every award there is and which received the award for Novelette, and Ursula K. Le Guin, who received the Best Novel for Powers. (Powers is a really good book, but Voices, the middle of the three Western Shore novels, is fantastic.)

Carrying on from looking at the gender breakdown of the Tiptree list: who are they, where do they come from?

Winners: 1 man; 4 women
Nominees*: 16 women; 14 men

* includes Norton Award but not script.

And here’s the reading list:

Arlen Specter

Tue 28 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

This just popped up on the NY Times:

Specter To Switch Parties

which means that the government will actually get the chance to govern without being blocked for petty party reasons. Which is awesome! Congratulations Mr. Specter, we very much applaud your decision!

Charge me up!

Tue 28 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Ganked wholesale from Autobloggreen—which is usually all about groovy new cars we can’t get here in the old-old USA—and it may be the perfect storm of blogginess for Gavin: electric cars, beer, and solar power, ack! Must move Small Beer Press to Chico, CA!

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Green Daily, USA

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. goes electric with charging stations

A few months back, we heard about Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s plans to begin using waste from its beer brewing process to make ethanol. That’s great, but there’s apparently more greening going on at the company’s brewery in Chico, CA. The first two ChargePoint Networked Charging Stations from Coulomb Technologies have been installed at the plant and will be used by employees and customers that happen to own electric cars.

Anyone that carries a subscription to Coulomb’s ChargePoint Network will be able to use their Smart Card to charge their electric vehicles at any charging station in the world. That’s not the beer maker’s only new commitment to being eco-friendly – this weekend also marked the dedication of Sierra Nevada’s new 1.5 MW AC solar system. Who knew beer could be so green? Click past the break for the full press release.

[Source: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company]

Jimmy Carter for President

Tue 28 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

I don’t like guns. 30,000 people are killed every year with guns in the USA. That’s only 0.01% of the population but it’s thousands more than would be killed if guns were illegal. It’s really, really hard to carry out a massacre at your local school without guns. How is it that we even have the recognizable catchphrase “school shooting”? Why doesn’t that phrase make the NRA spin in their spinning suits?

However you or I feel about owning guns, former President and proud gun owner Jimmy Carter calls it on assault weapons:

I have used weapons since I was big enough to carry one, and now own two handguns, four shotguns and three rifles, two with scopes. I use them carefully, for hunting game from our family woods and fields, and occasionally for hunting with my family and friends in other places….

But none of us wants to own an assault weapon, because we have no desire to kill policemen or go to a school or workplace to see how many victims we can accumulate before we are finally shot or take our own lives. That’s why the White House and Congress must not give up on trying to reinstate a ban on assault weapons, even if it may be politically difficult.

Please write to your representative to support the ban on assault weapons.

Award Season: Tiptrees

Mon 27 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

I’m very happy to see that the Tiptree winners and honor list have been announced. I was the chair of the jury this year and we very much enjoyed reading the recommended work. As with my experience on the World Fantasy Award jury, I can highly recommend the reading list and hasten to point out that an appearance there is a rare and wonderful honor. I can’t wait to see the art that each of the winner’s will receive (and hear about the song…). I recused myself from discussions of any Small Beer Press or Kelly’s stories so it is great to see John Kessel’s great story, “Pride and Prometheus,” made it onto the list anyway.

It never struck me to do this while the jury were working but just now I looked at the winners and honor list in the way I normally look at winners: who are they, where do they come from?

Winners: 1 man (UK); 1 woman (USA)
Honor List: 7 women (4 USA, 2 Australia, 1 UK); 5 men (4 USA, 1 Sweden)

Here’s the whole list: how many have you read?

Chaos Walking Trilogy #1: The Knife of Never Letting Go Cover2008 Tiptree Award Winners Announced!

The James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award Council is pleased to announce that the 2008 Tiptree Award has two winners: Patrick Ness’s young adult novel, The Knife of Never Letting Go (Walker 2008) and Nisi Shawl’s short story collection, Filter House (Aqueduct Press, 2008). Read more

Amherst and why is this brilliant?

Fri 24 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We are at the Juniper Fest at UMass Amherst tomorrow: 6 PM until late, Saturday 12 midday (that’s a decent hour) until later. Eric Lorberer, Lucy Corwin, and all sorts of good people will be there. (And Gavin will disappear off to Boston for a panel at MIT partway through the PM, oh well.)

Embedding is disabled by request (boo!) but you have to watch this and then tell us just why it it so brilliant and funny? (It absolutely is!)

At the printer

Thu 23 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Cloud & Ashes: Three Winter's Tales CoverWe just got a note that Greer Gilman’s (awesome) second novel Cloud & Ashes will ship soon from the printer, Thomson-Shore in Dexter, Michigan. That is one Michigan company who do great work and we doubt they need any bailout. Also, we’re very happy to be working with an employee-owed company. So, Cloud & Ashes will  be in stores within a couple of weeks. If you’d like yours faster, order it here.

You can see the amazing front cover by Australian artist Kathleen Jennings at Powell’s or on Indiebound, what you can’t see is the full wraparound effect of it which is pretty pretty. Here’s a little note from the artist abut it.

Thanks again to those readers who pre-ordered the book—you can find their names in the old-fashioned subscription list on the inside of the dustjacket.

“Sublimely lyrical Jacobeanesque dialect . . . readers who enjoy symbolism and allusion will cherish Gilman’s use of diverse folkloric elements to create an unforgettable realm and ideology.”—Publishers Weekly

Biking in Edinburgh

Wed 22 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

This is not the way we bike, but it’s a fun thing to watch this guy do some “huge riding” around Edinburgh. Fast forward to about the minute mark (and YMMV with the soundtrack) to get to the livelier part:

Are you uncomfortable?

Wed 22 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet CoverGustave Bondoni gets The Best of LCRW at SF Reader:

This is not a book which will fall into most readers’ comfort zones. The stories, poetry and even the movie reviews attempt to make you think, as opposed to giving you an open and shut storyline. You will not be satisfied with the endings of these stories. And you are not meant to be. You are meant to challenge your assumptions.

Call for artists

Tue 21 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

From the Interstitial Arts Foundation who are going to have a lot of fun with their next anthology before, during, and after it comes out. These are the people, after all, who’re interested in skipping and slipping along between the cracks, so read on if you like the weird mixed with the weird:


Dear lovers of Interstital Arts,

We are proud to announce the publication of our second volume of Interfictions, edited by Delia Sherman and Christopher Barzak.

To celebrate the release of this unique anthology we are delighted to present our second annual Interfictions auction. Like all interstitial arts, this auction is more than the sum of its parts. Artists participating in this year’s auction may draw their inspiration from the first anthology or will be allowed to have first look at a story from the new book. This means that the 2009 auction is in the unique position of being an artistic fan celebration for an anthology that does not yet technically exist. We invite you to add your voice to this synthesis of words and imagination.

The first auction featured jewelry artists from across the country participating in a collaboration across mediums. The artists’ imaginations, triggered by words and images, produced over a dozen magnificent pieces of art. This year we’re expanding the focus beyond jewelry to music and wearable/portable art in any medium.

From April 20 to September 20, 2009 the Interstitial Arts Foundation invites artists and musicians of all genres and mediums (interstitial or not) to participate in the Interfictions 2 auction.

How It Works:

  • On the Call to Artists page you will find short excerpts from the stories in Interfictions 2. As you click through them, we hope that at least one will immediately call to you. Choose a story you’d like to read in full, then fill out the form at the bottom of that page. Alternately, artists may also choose to submit work based on the first Interfictions volume, available in bookstores.
  • Within 7 days we will send you a confirmation of receipt and, barring any questions we may have, you will receive the story you chose in email as a PDF. Then read, enjoy, and be inspired!
  • Completed pieces are due by September 20. The auction begins in November!

To read the excerpts and express your interest, please click here.

Have questions? Check out the FAQ. Still have questions? Email us here:

266. (Nothing to do with 2666.)

Mon 20 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

It’s been great seeing transparency and public responsibility hit the government in the last 3 months since the previous administration was turfed out. (It’s not all getting an equal amount of light: hello State Secrets Act, time for bed!)

So we have today’s headlines which are all about two men who got torturedwaterboarded—by the US Government. Not once:

The controversial technique that simulates drowning — and which President Obama calls torture — was used at least 83 times in August 2002 on suspected al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah, according to the memo.

Interrogators also waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 183 times in March 2003. Mohammed is believed to be the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

Which doesn’t quite jibe with the propaganda spouted in 2007:

A former C.I.A. officer, John Kiriakou, told ABC News and other news media organizations in 2007 that Abu Zubaydah had undergone waterboarding for only 35 seconds before agreeing to tell everything he knew.
NY Times

We spent the period from January 20, 2000, to January 19, 2008, being lied to by our government. Around the world everyone else knew that the US was operating secret prisons (what kind of military junta were we being led by??) abroad although few members of the media reported it here.

Now it’s time to clean up and for those cowards who lied (for our own good, of course) should stand up and be counted, try and defend their actions, and where it fits, be tried and sentenced.

It won’t be particularly easy or nice and it might be distracting during this huge recession but if we as a country want to have any say in how the world works we have to own up to our mistakes and take the punishment for crossing lines which should not be crossed.


Fri 17 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Ok, we were told this was easy. Sounded like a challenge. Nope. No challenge. Really, really easy. What’s it for? Who knows? For the nonce, here’s http://smallbeerpress.tumblr.com/

Some Mass. book affairs

Fri 17 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We have a few things coming up in local environs that we wanted to tell yous all about in an endeavor to get you off the internet and back into peopleville. First up, a busy weekend, second a publishing course, and last, the best, a book!

  1. First one comes in two parts:
    a) The 9th ANNUAL JUNIPER LITERARY FESTIVAL Celebrating 50 Years of the Massachusetts Review April 24 & 25, 2009, wherein there is a bookfair where we will be selling books and, if they have it like they did last year, eating candy floss and attending readings by Marilyn Hacker, et al.
    b) June 21-27, Juniper Summer Writing Institute (which includes the  Juniper Institute for Young Writers). Wherein Holly Black (and maybe Kelly Link) will be teaching.
  2. The same weekend as the Juniper Lit. Festival Gavin will be in Boston for a panel at MIT as part of the MiT6 Conference:
    The Future of Publishing

    Gavin Grant, Small Beer Press
    Jennifer Jackson, Donald Maass Literary Agency
    Robert Miller, HarperStudio
    Bob Stein, The Institute for the Future of the Book
    Moderator: Geoffrey Long, MIT CMS
    Saturday, April 25, 6:45-8:15 pm, Wong Aud., E51
  3. Then in May, Gavin’s on a panel at Emerson as part of their 2-week Certificate in Literary Publishing program:
    Keeping Afloat in Literary Publishing
    May 22 – 1:00 to 4:00 pm
    Panelists: Jan Freeman, Gavin Grant, William Pierce, Thomas Radko & Ladette Randolph – Moderator: Gian Lombardo
    A panel of literary periodical and book publishers will present information on their presses and magazines, outline their key concerns, and be available for questions from participants. Jan Freeman is founder and director of Paris Press. Gavin Grant is publisher of Small Beer Press. William Pierce is senior editor of Agni and contributes a series of essays there called “Crucibles.” Ladette Randolph is director/editor-in-chief of Ploughshares.  Before that she was an editor at the University of Nebraska Press, and was managing editor of Prairie Schooner.
  4. This last one’s a bit of a stretch, but we’ll be having a closer look at it nearer pub. date and the press is based in this state. Also, after all these conferences and writing workshops, it’s a bit of a relief to talk about an actual book!
    Harvard UP is publishing a book by one of our favorite WFMU DJs, David Suisman. (Check out that great cover!) If this rings a tiny (musical) bell, it might be that you read David’s great piece in The Believer a couple of years ago, “Welcome to the Monkey House: Enrico Caruso and the First Celebrity Trial of the 20th Century“—which you can read today through the magic of the internet (and The Believer and whoever taught you to read). Pre-order the book here:Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music
    From Tin Pan Alley to grand opera, player-pianos to phonograph records, David Suisman’s Selling Sounds explores the rise of music as big business and the creation of a radically new musical culture. Around the turn of the twentieth century, music entrepreneurs laid the foundation for today’s vast industry, with new products, technologies, and commercial strategies to incorporate music into the daily rhythm of modern life. Popular songs filled the air with a new kind of musical pleasure, phonographs brought opera into the parlor, and celebrity performers like Enrico Caruso captivated the imagination of consumers from coast to coast.

Whose the big bad wolf?

Thu 16 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Something for the to-read pile from Shelf Awareness:

Shelf Starter: An American Trilogy

An American Trilogy: Death, Slavery and Dominion on the Banks of the Cape Fear River by Steven M. Wise (Da Capo Press, $26, 9780306814754/0306814757, March 23, 2009)

Opening lines of books we want to read, excerpted from the prologue:

In the fall of 2008, I learned that an undercover agent working for People for the Unethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had been investigating reports of cruelty at a large hog-breeding farm. I asked PETA lawyer Dan Paden to send me some video showing what their agent had seen.

I thought that nothing we humans do to pigs could upend me. Then Paden sent me a four-minute highlights clip of what the latest farm investigator had seen. Soon after I flicked it on, I began crying so uncontrollably that it took me an hour and a half to finish it.

Read on

new picture book

Wed 15 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Mabel, One and Only CoverOne of our favorite writers has her first book out: and this one comes with pictures. Mabel, One and Only is by Margaret Muirhead who long time readers will recognize as a contributor of some great and hilarious poetry as well as an early nonfiction piece. Some of these pieces can be found (or rediscovered) in The Best of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.

When we saw Mabel, One and Only was coming out (and it should be in your local store now), we tracked down Margaret and got her to sit still long enough to answer a few questions. Of course, we very much recommend her book:

We just loved reading your new picture book, Mabel, One and Only. Can you tell us about it?

Mabel is the story of a girl who is the only kid on her block. Usually she can convince her grown-up neighbors into playing a game or two, but one afternoon, she finds they’re all busy. So Mabel and her canine sidekick, Jack, set about to find their own fun.

Mabel is a great, lively kid. Do you have more stories for her planned?

Read more


Tue 14 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Pity we missed the latest Amazon debacle due to chocolate consumption and losing a couple of days to a cold. Whether it was a cataloging error, hack, or whatever, it sure did make (heads up for a late Easter reference) keeping all one’s eggs in one basket sound like a bad idea.

Perhaps readers might take note that Amazon’s annual sales are over $10 billion and that books are only a small part of that total, which make Amazon more of a Wal-Mart than a bookshop. And we know what Wal-Mart wants to do to your town: rip out its heart and make you drive out to the periphery to buy cheap stuff made abroad in factories where people are paid pennies.

Women & Children FirstHappily Indiebound is easier to use than it used to be (we just ordered a couple of books from there which went out through one of our fave bookshops in Chicago, Women & Children First) so we 100% encourage everyone to keep a multitude of voices alive and Shop Local!

Sunday morning

Sun 12 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Ok, so this is why newspapers are in trouble: it has something to do with the 150-people rule and something to do with those friends providing better morning reading than the papers:

Photo012Maureen on vodka infusions, mmm! We tried this, great fun: we got better results with dried things—peppercorns, coffee, and vanilla—over green—basil, cucumber, lemongrass—but passion fruit was the real surprise winner.

Gwenda reported on a doll parts horror scare (with optional fuzzy unicorn posters).

Alan really got things going with a post on Kutiman, which has been everywhere recently, but it was the voice of authority/trusted recommendation that made it worth looking at. And then, dancing Sunday mornings, Batman, that is great stuff. (Looks like their site is down, so will just keep listening to it on YouTube for now.) Yeah.

Autobloggreen (ok, it’s more newsy than people) says that our fave jellybean will arrive over here . . . only another 2 years to wait, dur. We saw the non-electric version in Japan in 2007, so what’s 4 years to wait for a jellybean? (Why so loved? Maximum space, minimum ride!)

But then The Scotsman showed its mettle with a piece on ear symmetry and dancing skills! So get your dancing shoes and calipers out:

At the Edinburgh Science Festival event, good dancers will be asked to put themselves forward for a dance-off to find the five best among them. The five worst dancers, Prof Wiseman said, would be easier to spot.

Then the ear measuring will commence. Prof Wiseman said researchers suspected the best dancers would have the most symmetrical ears, while the worst dancers would be less equal – though there may only be a few millimetres difference.

Lone Star Stories on paper

Fri 10 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The Lone Star Stories Reader CoverEric Marin emailed us to say that the The Lone Star Stories Reader is now available as a free PDF download here. It is a great collection (although I recuse myself from talking about my story, “Janet Meet Bob”) with stories by Martha Wells, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, M. Thomas, Sarah Monette, Catherynne M. Valente, Tim Pratt, & more. I think it’s worth popping for the paper edition myself, but to try it out, why not download it.

Eric says:

I am asking that anyone who downloads and enjoys the anthology spread the word about the book and Lone Star Stories in general. I will be curious to see what effect the download has on visitors to the LSS Press and Lone Star Stories sites.

How social are you?

Thu 9 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We just got a query on how socially Web 2.0 (isn’t it 2.1 by now?) this press is. Not much, we said. We’re the retiring types. It’s fun to put the books out there, not us. But then the listing began. And did it go on:

  1. Obviously we have this bloggity-type thing with RSS feed and livejournal syndication for which we sometimes get people to write but usually it is robot-produced text (such as this: 1001011010101000110).
  2. We dropped myspace: hated it. (It would be great if we were a band. We’re not.)
  3. We’re on Scribd.
  4. We’re on LibraryThing.
  5. We’re sort of on Flickr.
  6. And on YouTube.
  7. We’re on Facebook. (Fixed, thanks Jed!)
  8. Gavin’s on IndieBound—we should add the press as an indie business—and Goodreads.
  9. Some of our authors are on Twitter (although god knows we’re not, so maybe we can add to this later): Benjamin Parzybok, Holly Black, Jedediah Berry, Alan DeNiro, & ?

Not sure which of these is our favorite. Or if there’s something else that would be fun to join?

AS Byatt in the New Yorker

Thu 9 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Just read a fantastic poem by A.S. Byatt in The New Yorker of April 6th, “Trench Names.” Byatt thanks Peter Chasseaud, and a quick search finds his blog: “Peter Chasseaud: Landscape, Air Photos, Trench Maps.” Oddly enough for someone in the visual arts, it’s white text on black so a bit hard to read, but who needs words when the pictures have so much in them.

Anyway, here’s the third and fourth verses of Byatt’s poem, go forth and read the rest:

The sunken roads were numbered at the start.
A chequer board. But men are poets, and names
Are Adam’s heritage, and English men
Imposed a ghostly English map on French
Crushed ruined harvests and polluted streams.

So here run Piccadilly, Regent Street,
Oxford Street, Bond Street, Tothill Fields, Tower Bridge,
And Kentish places, Dover, Tunbridge Wells,
Entering wider hauntings, resonant,
The Boggart Hole, Bleak House, Deep Doom and Gloom.

Swedes wanting couches

Wed 8 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

KARLSTAD sofa-bed w/storage compartmentWe just received this completely trustworthy email. (Maybe they don’t have IKEA in Sweden?)

From: Richardson Dawson <[email protected]>
Date: April 4, 2009 9:31:32 AM EDT
To: [email protected], [email protected]
Subject: order
Reply-To: [email protected]

Hello Sir/Madam,
My Name is Mr. Richardson Dawson.I am from Ohio in the United states,I will like to order for couch Funitures for my Client in Sweden.I want to know from you what sizes and brands you do have instock so that i can have you know what i need to order for my client.I do also want to know the prices as well per.Secondly i do want to know if you do accept credit card payment as i will be making my payment with my Credit card.I hope to hear from you soon and to do more  favourable business with you.Thank you

Your’s Faithfully

Richardson Dawson

Any Massachusetts librarians out there…?

Fri 3 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We just read the program guide for the Mass. Library Association’s annual conference and found it is full of fabulous things to do and people to see (Lynda Barry!). So our question to any librarians in Massachusetts is: can you help us get in?

I saw it on the back of a cereal box

Thu 2 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

http://www.alexmyers.info/files/gimgs/8_danishgirls-copy3.jpgDon’t know if you got a beer and put up the slideshow of the Interstitial Arts Foundation cover pool on Flickr on your computational device — it was great fun to do, highly recommended for passing a good amount of time.

The IAF have pulled (ouch) out a winner, “e” by Alex Myers, which will be used for the cover of their next antho, Interfictions 2. And, natch, it was painted on the back of a cereal box. Or maybe the inside. Which side is the inside if the box is flat? Hmm. (More about Alex and the cover).

Interfictions 2 comes out in November. Keep up with it here. Check out that ToC, should be a great book!