What we’ll have in NYC

Wed 27 May 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Hound by Vincent McCaffreyA good time? Knishes?* A trip back in time to the 1890s?

Or, maybe, books to show off — and even some to give away — at BookExpo. Which books? Lots to show off since last year, including The Baum Plan, The Ant King, The King’s Last Song, The Serial Garden, and now Cloud & Ashes.

Wait, wait, wait, though. Did we ever mention the books we’re going to be publishing this autumn and winter? The books we have been reading and playing with and designing and sometimes talking to the authors and thinking about covers but never actually doing anything about them? No?

Hot dang and Whoops!

Ok then, here are our next four titles (plus we have more more more TK after these, ha!) of which we will have early early not-at-all-real copies at BookExpo this week (as they are in various stages of discomportment and have just arrived in from a couple of different local printers):

  • September: Hound by Vincent McCaffrey. A debut novel about a Boston bookhound, books, death, and maybe the death of books. This is the first in a series and it will come out in hardcover.
  • Second Line by Poppy Z. BriteOctober: Second Line: Two Short Novels of Love and Cooking in New Orleans by Poppy Z. Brite. This paperback collects two of Poppy Z. Brite‘s chaotic and fun short novels (The Value of X and D*U*C*K) featuring two New Orleans chefs, Rickey and G-man, who grow up together, fall in love, open a restaurant, Liquor, and have some fun along the way. Poppy is writing a new afterword to go with the novels. Love this series, love that we get to be a part of publishing it. Huge thanks to Bill Schafer of Subterranean Press for helping put this together.
  • Interfictions 2: edited by Delia Sherman and Christopher BarzakNovember: Interfictions 2: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing edited by Delia Sherman and Christopher Barzak. The editors went out into the fields and found 21 pieces of excellently border-crossing material. They’re also putting together an online launch party and auction which will be filled with wonderful art, music, and stories. The book will be the icing and the cake, though.
  • January: Suprise! We are still eating Christmas cake and not thinking about books. Not all true, though, as Feb. is going to be a big mouth month:
  • February 2010: The Poison Eaters and Other Stories by Holly Black. Our second Big Mouth House title is a debut collection of young adult stories from New York Times bestseller (and one of our neighbors), Holly Black. Holly’s stories have just gone from strength to strength over the past few years — as evidenced by her appearances in various Best of the Year anthologies and lists. The Poison Eaters includes a new Modern Faerie Tale as well as some of our favorite stories of recent times.

So, if you’re going to the big show in NYC, drop by the Consortium (our distro) area and say hi. Jed will be there all the time (except for knish breaks), Gavin should be there on Friday & Saturday, and, with luck, Kelly will be there on Saturday. Books, baby, all about the books!

* Order! Order!



Carmen Dog in Japan

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

In all the excitement of the new year (cough), we forgot to point our Japanese readers to Carol Emshwiller’s novel Carmen Dog which came out recently from those magnificent people at Hayakawa.

That cover is just genius. We haven’t seen copies of it yet — they are usually shipped by slow boat, literally, but when we do, give it 4-5 more months and we’ll post pics up here.

http://bookweb.kinokuniya.co.jp/imgdata/large/4309205100.jpg



Award Season: Locus

Wed 27 May 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Almost forgot one of the award lists that came out recently: way back in April (where’s the telescope? Who can look back that far?) the finalists for the Locus Awards were announced. A bit of a disappointment in the collection department that John Kessel or Ben Rosenbaum didn’t get nominated, c’est la vie with awards seasons though.

Here’s the Small Beeriana-connected stuff (a bit of a reach, but Kelly still works here) and it was nice that the final Year’s Best volume received a nod:

Carrying on from the gender and country breakdown of previous lists: who are they, where do they come from?

Finalists (if a person is in a category twice they were counted twice. Numbers are hopefully accurate):

  • 50 men (32 USA, 9 UK, 6 AUS, 3 CAN)
  • 16 women (14 USA, 1 UK, 1 AUS)

SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL
5 men (2 UK, 3 USA)

FANTASY NOVEL
3 men (3 USA)
2 women (2 USA)

FIRST NOVEL
4 men (1 UK, 3 USA)
1 woman (1 USA)

YOUNG-ADULT NOVEL
4 men (1 CAN, 1 UK, 2 USA)
1 woman (1 AUS)

NOVELLA
4 men (2 UK, 1 USA, 1 CAN)
2 women (2 USA)

NOVELETTE
4 men (1 UK, 2 USA, 1 CAN)
1 woman (1 USA)

SHORT STORY
3 men (3 USA)
3 women (3 USA)

ANTHOLOGY
5 men (3 USA, 2 AUS)
2 women (2 USA)

COLLECTION
4 men (4 USA)
1 woman (1 USA)

EDITOR
4 men (3 USA, 1 AUS)
1 woman (1 USA)

ARTIST
5 men (4 USA, 1 AUS)

NON-FICTION/ART BOOK
4 men (2 USA, 1 UK, 1 AUS)
2 women (1 USA, 1 UK)



The Elect

Tue 26 May 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Stepping outside Small Beer HQ for a minute to point readers to 3 AM Magazine where they’ve just posted a new story of mine (that would be Gavin, if you can’t see the sig line on the website), “The Elect.” The story was written a couple of years ago. It was a dark time in this country. Freedom was talked of and flags were waved, even while freedoms were being taken away from more and more of us. Thus, stories like this.

And now, back to SBP.



Book Expo, NYC, Fri-Sun

Tue 26 May 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Those who remain in the book business (at least we’re not trying to sell gas guzzlers, phew) will party like it’s a very quite 2009 in NYC, Thursday to Sunday, at the Javits center — and, we have a couple of things Worth Doing while there.

Even if you’re not going, you can still go to our party and Ben Rosenbaum and Jedediah Berry’s reading at the might McNally Jackson Books.

We may have the inflatable couch this year, we may not. We have a shelf of books on display at the Consortium booth. We may have some freebies and galleys, but, not many. Hey, it’s the recession! Jedediah will definitely be there, Gavin will likely be there Friday/Saturday, and various friends and volunteers and Stars, baby, Stars will be there to spread the word. They’ll be like a street team, except in a convention center. And not really a team. Although there should be 11 of them and one of them will have big gloves on and will be known as “The safest hands in soccer.” All true.

Plus, there may be a last minute addition to this schedule but it will depend, like everything else at the moment, on she who must be obeyed:

Wed., May 27, 7:00 PM
Benjamin Rosenbaum (The Ant King and Other Stories) and Jedediah Berry (The Manual of Detection) read at McNally Jackson, 52 Prince St., New York, NY 10012.

Thu., May 28, 7:00 PM
Pre-BEA Party (with Melville House, Stop Smiling Books, The Feminist Press, NYRB Classics, and the Little Bookroom)
Melville House, 145 Plymouth St., Brooklyn, NY 11201
(take the F train to York or the A/C to High Street)

Fri., May 29, 3:00 PM
Table 23, Holly Black signs ARCs of her young adult short story collection, The Poison Eaters and Other Stories (Feb. 2010).

Sat., May 30, 3:30 PM
Table 17, Vincent McCaffrey signs ARCs of Hound ( Sep ’09), a debut mystery in which a Boston bookhound has to work who killed his ex and why.



Small Beer, little baby

Wed 20 May 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | 86 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant are the proud parents of a baby daughter. Ursula Annabel Link Grant, originally due on June 16, showed up three and a half months early. Born on February 23rd, 2009, Ursula weighed 1 lb 9 ounces and has spent the last three months in the neonatal intensive care unit at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass.
We expect to bring Ursula, who is currently well over 4 lbs, home in about two weeks. Right now we’re very thankful for the fabulous NICU nurses and doctors, the Ronald McDonald House in Springfield, the support of our friends and family, and also that we have health insurance.

Small Beer Press’s generous parental leave policies mean that Kelly and Gavin will take some time off in the next year or two. The latest issue of LCRW has been delayed until summer but otherwise everything should remain on schedule. Because premature babies don’t travel well, our travel schedule will be curtailed for the foreseeable future. We will post pictures in a couple of weeks.



Look for this guy at Wiscon

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

Superpowers CoverHe’s the one at the Small Beer Press tables! Meet David J. Schwartz who has a fantastic series of pictures on Flickr: it is well worth digging in to see what he’s been up to all winter. We just love these pics and love going back to see faves. A few are here, but really, if you have a minute, go check out the rest.

Dave (and, your goodself, if you want) will be personing the Small Beer tables at Madison, Wisconsin’s amazing alternaworld convention, WisCon, this coming weekend and he will have most of our books in the dealers’ room including Greer Gilman’s new Cloud & Ashes (Although sadly neither we nor Greer will be there) as well as Guest of Honor Geoff Ryman’s The King’s Last Song (get it, get it signed!). Despite our best intentions, there will not be a new issue of LCRW until summer.

There will be copies of Dave’s dark and thoughtful novel, Superpowers, and, hopefully, many other things of interest. Many of which will appear throughout the convention as people wander up and drop stuff off to sell (got a book or a zine? Bring it along!). In the meantime: Dave!

February 4, 2009 by SnurriFebruary 1, 2009 by SnurriFebruary 5, 2009 by SnurriJanuary 23, 2009 by SnurriJanuary 22, 2009 by SnurriFebruary 13, 2009 by Snurri.May 14, 2009 by SnurriMarch 26, 2009 by SnurriCertified by Snurri



Cloud & Ashes arrives

Tue 19 May 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

This month, or maybe next, depending on which bibliographic source you believe, Greer Gilman’s second novel, Cloud & Ashes, springs fully formed into the world. If you’ve ever had a chance to hear Greer read you’ll know what an entrancing, immersive experience this book is.

Greer has a new website up and has very handily opened up a thread on her live journal answering any and all reader’s questions on Cloud & Ashes:

To begin with, I wanted a Yorkshire dialect, because I so love the Watersons’ voices. It’s changed over the long years, becoming more itself, more Cloudish, but it’s founded on Yorkshire, mostly on the Dales and the North York Moors and coast.

Greer will read from Cloud & Ashes for the first time at Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Mass., on Wednesday, May 20, at 7 PM, then at Tuesday May 26 at 7 PM, she will read from Cloud & Ashes at Back Pages Books in Waltham. After that she is one of the Guests of Honor at Readercon 20 (July 9-12) and there may yet be a couple more readings appearing on the schedule.

Somewhat recently, Greer was one of the guests at the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts and she sent us a recording of her reading. Greer is introduced by her friend and fellow conspirator, Faye Ringel, and after a 40-minute reading, Sonya Taafe sings “The Scarecrow,” one of the songs Greer incorporates into the novel, then Greer reads a little more. You can download and listen to the (large) MP3 here.

We spent a decent part of last week shipping out most (nothing ever gets finished) of the pre-orders for Cloud & Ashes as well as a goodly number of review copies, so there should be more happy readers and more people reading about it soon.

For more about the book, see our page, Greer‘s, or order your copy now:

Buy | Mail Order | ebook | Fictionwise (TK) | Powells | Indie Bookstore



Caruso was framed

Mon 18 May 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Here’s an interview with David Suisman just in time for his reading this Thursday at Barnes & Noble (105 Fifth Ave. at 18th St., New York, at 6pm) in NYC:



Nice pic of Small Beer books in the NYTimes

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

The Times has a short piece on Scribd‘s latest maneuvers to become the place to go for reading offline text online and uses a rather lovely image of many of our books to illustrate that at least one publisher has most of their list on the site: check out Small Beer Press on Scribd:



Shipping, deals, reading

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

  1. We are still shipping books from our warehouse clearance sale (that went well!).* However, it went so well that we will be shipping stuff out for the next couple of weeks. Today Uline are delivering (come on, come on, deliver already!) many new boxes (since we recycled all we had on hand) which should mean massive amounts go out real soon now.
  2. We have just signed a couple of books for next summer: two novels! Where are the short story collections? Ah, well, we have a contract to be worked on for one of those next!
  3. We are reading submissions still: but, it we are slow right now. If you query, you may hear from us, you may not. Sorry. We love putting out a zine, but in times of great need (um, printer demands payment for lovely book), reading drops down and col calling bookshops becomes the groovy thing to do.

* Turns out old John Maynard Keynes was right: people will buy stuff in a depression if the price is crazy enough. That’s a direct quote.



intavues evrywhea

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

Wit's End CoverKaren Joy Fowler has a great essay about writing Wit’s End on Powell’s blog (Wit’s End is just out in paperback, read now!). She does life in the connected (pre-collapse? c-cough) 21st century very well:

A lot of my novel is focused on privacy, and what that means in the age of the internet. This includes things like the creation of the author persona, the mediated fake intimacy of the net, and a new kind of accessibility of writer to reader.

John Crowley in The Believer (Four Freedoms coming soon):

“IT’S PROBABLY CENTRAL TO THE NATURE OF FICTION ALTOGETHER, TO TRY TO ENTER INTO LOST WORLDS OR ENTER INTO ‘THE LOST’ IN SOME WAY.”
Reasons to get involved with the science-fiction crowd:
They speak Latin
They respond promptly to blogs
Their untamed romantic impulse

John Kessel on the podcastery and the radio:

In the first week of May I’ve had two interviews that are now available for your listening.  In the first, by Douglas Lain, author of LAST WEEK’S APOCALYPSE, we talk about science fiction, politics, utopia, some of my short fiction, and my twenty-year-old novel GOOD NEWS FROM OUTER SPACE). It’s available at Dietsoap, Doug’s quirky website, along with other recent podcasts.

The second interview was on the May 7 edition of “The State of Things” with Frank Stasio on WUNC radio, 91.5 FM in the Research Triangle. We talk about “Pride and Prometheus”, Mary Shelley, and Jane Austen. Here’s the link.

Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness CoverAnd another thing worth reading on Powell’s, this time an essay by Lisa M. Hamilton, author of Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness:

Writing about farmers has taught me a lot about how to be a witness. In simplistic terms, it’s because not much actually happens on the farm. Most days in the lives of farmers I know are composed of unremarkable tasks repeated over and over: milking one cow after another, weeding up this row and then down the next. Any writer who expects to swoop in, get a hot story, and then swoop out, will likely come away empty-handed.

I’ve learned that, to write about farmers, one must instead slow down to that rhythm of repetition. The writer must sit in the combine as it chugs along in concentric circles, taking hours to close in on the center of the field, only to pick up, move to the next field, and do it all over again. Being witness means a willingness to pass the same barn or tree or fencepost two dozen times and continually try to learn something new about it.

And Hannah Tinti (The Good Thief) gets an in-depth interview on Bookslut that goes well beyond the usual questions:

Women in this time period were almost always buried in their wedding dresses, because these were the nicest pieces of clothing they owned. I grew up in New England surrounded by old graveyards, and often picnicked and played in them. For this book I went back and spent time there and took many names for characters from the headstones.



Ben Rosenbaum: NYC & Booklist (now with picnicking)

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

Someone in Lexington, KY, made a great picnicking display at the library, and, maybe in the hope that he would keep his subjects away, included a copy of The Ant King. (Thanks Christopher!)

Ben Rosenbaum’s first collection The Ant King and Other Stories collected many (but not all, that guy is prolific!) of his stories in one place and showed off the range of Ben’s interests and talents. Booklist, following up on their previous starred review, just released a very interesting, nicely different and wide-ranging Top 10 List of SF and Fantasy titles for 2008. If you’re looking for a hardcover, we still have a few in stock but the distributor is out and maybe we will call it out of print later this month!

If you’re in the NYC area, you can catch up with Ben at McNally Jackson later this month. He’s a fast-moving and somewhat hard to pin down (or maybe you can catch him at WisCon?), but he will be reading with Small Beer Press’s own assistant editor Jedediah Berry (The Manual of Detection) on May 27th at 7 PM.

The Ant King and Other StoriesThe Ant King and Other Stories. By Benjamin Rosenbaum. 2008. Small Beer, $24 (9781931520522); paperback, $16 (9781931520539).

The most adroit sf and fantasy writer in ages, Rosenbaum can satirize, kick butt on narrative conventions, handle metareality direly and lightly at the same time, and change tone on a dime without shattering continuity. Dazzling, dazzling stories.



Fictionwise gets wristleted

Wed 13 May 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Looks like Fictionwise have caught up and added a bunch of our zines. (And some of them are available as DRM-free ebooks here.) Um, here’s a cut and paste including reviews (or, rather, ratings, where are the reviews? where’s the fun?). And, if you like the ebooks, this would be a good time to catch up on back issues as they all seem to be on sale.


1 Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 23 [MultiFormat]
by Gavin J. Grant & Kelly Link
Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is a twice-yearly zine of eclectic fiction, poetry, comics, etc. No. 23 features stories from Kirsten Allio, Nick Wolven, Angela Slatter, Mark Rich, Jodi Lynn Villers, and others. Ted Chiang contributes an algorithmic essay on The Problem of the Traveling Salesman (there’s math in it, but it’s fun, we swear). Plus, Abby Denson’s new comic explains how to create cats for fun and profit. Elsewhere within: murderous deer, fey graffiti, your wizardly father gives di… more info>> (Published: 2008) Hugo Award Nominee, Locus Poll Award Nominee

Words: 35532 – Reading Time: 101-142 min.
Category: Fantasy

Regular Club
List Price: $5.00 $4.25
You Pay: $3.00 $2.55
You Save: 40% 49%

Add to Cart Add to Wish List


2 Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 22 [MultiFormat]
by Gavin J. Grant & Kelly Link
Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is a twice-yearly zine of eclectic fiction, poetry, comics, etc. No. 22 features amazing stories from Carol Emshwiller, Maureen F. McHugh, David J. Schwartz, Charlie Anders, and others. Aunt Gwenda weighs in with some writing tips, and Abby Denson’s comic reveals the secrets of snake-slaying. Will the blind camera find aquatic love? Will the children of Winter undo their mother’s great work? Where has Satan been tending bar these days? All this and more within. (Published: 2008) Hugo Award Nominee, Locus Poll Award Nominee

Words: 37657 – Reading Time: 107-150 min.
Category: Fantasy

3 Reader Ratings:

Great Good OK Poor

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3 Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 21 [MultiFormat]
by Gavin Grant & Kelly Link
Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is a twice-yearly zine of eclectic fiction and so on. No. 21 is the first issue to be made available on Fictionwise and features amazing stories from Alice Sola Kim, Matthew Cheney, Kirstin Allio, Brian Conn, Benjamin Parzybok, Carol Emshwiller, and others. Of course the real reason to read it is for Dear Aunt Gwenda’s advice column (or perhaps Abby Denson’s comic?) wherein you too can learn the secrets of the universe. (Published: 2007) Hugo Award Nominee

Words: 41372 – Reading Time: 118-165 min.
Category: Fantasy

4 Reader Ratings:

Great Good OK Poor

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You Pay: $3.00 $2.55
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4 Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 15 [MultiFormat]
by Gavin J. Grant & Kelly Link
Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is a twice-yearly zine of eclectic fiction and so on. Issue No. 15 features a lady (Churchill, we presume) riding a tiger, and includes fabulous stories by Karen Russell, Sarah Micklem, Bruce McAllister, John Trey, Benjamin Rosenbaum & Paul Melko, Michael Northrop, Ellen M. Rhudy, Sarah Monette, Geoffrey Goodwin, Richard Parks, Stepan Chapman, Mark Rich, Amy Sisson, and Neal Chandler. (Published: 2005)

Words: 39167 – Reading Time: 111-156 min.
Category: Fantasy

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5 Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 16 [MultiFormat]
by Gavin J. Grant & Kelly Link
Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is a twice-yearly zine of eclectic fiction and so on. No. 16 features fiction, poetry and suchlike from the wonderful Jenny Ashley, Gwenda Bond, Chris Fox, Scott Geiger, Eric Gregory, Michaela Kahn, John Kessel, Matthew Kirby, Ursula K. Le Guin, Yoon Ha Lee, Sandra Lindow, David Lunde, Christina Manucy, Kat Meads, Sean Melican, Eric Schaller, and Kara Spindler (Published: 2005)

Words: 40539 – Reading Time: 115-162 min.
Category: Fantasy

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6 Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 18 [MultiFormat]
by Gavin J. Grant & Kelly Link
Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is a twice-yearly zine of eclectic fiction and so on. Issue No. 18 features a house monster. Black & white with handtinted woodblock cuts by famous and unknown artists. Printed on a 12th century Chinese letterpress on sheets of kelp-paper handmade by centaurs and sprites. Unattractively bound in the skins of dead animals. Alternately: attractively bound in more handmade paper, these sheets fairly traded from The Mysterions: Those Who Live at the Center of the Ea… more info>> (Published: 2006)

Words: 39363 – Reading Time: 112-157 min.
Category: Fantasy

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You Pay: $3.00 $2.55
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7 Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 19 [MultiFormat]
by Gavin J. Grant & Kelly Link
Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is a twice-yearly zine of eclectic fiction and so on. No. 19, our 10-year anniversary issue, has wrestlers on the cover and features such wonderful authors as Ray Vukcevich, Daniel A. Rabuzzi, Dennis Nau, Nancy Jane Moore, Cara Spindler & David Erik Nelson, Kara Kellar Bell, Andrew Fort, Anna Tambour, and Carol Emshwiller. (Published: 2006) Hugo Award Nominee

Words: 35506 – Reading Time: 101-142 min.
Category: Fantasy

Regular Club
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You Pay: $3.00 $2.55
You Save: 40% 49%

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8 Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 20 [MultiFormat]
by Gavin J. Grant & Kelly Link
Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is a twice-yearly zine of eclectic fiction and so on. No. 20, the notorious “robot” issue, includes amazing stories by Marly Youmans, Anil Menon, Edward McEneely, Steven Bratman, Michael Hartford, M. Brock Moorer, Laura Evans, Amelia Beamer, Meghan McCarron, Jon Hansen, and Karen Joy Fowler. There is also some very fine poetry from Neile Graham, Rose Black, and David Blair, and the always endearing Dear Aunt Gwenda. And robots! (Published: 2007) Hugo Award Nominee

Words: 39850 – Reading Time: 113-159 min.
Category: Fantasy



Animaux de pierre

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

Looks like Kelly’s story “Stone Animals” is a nominee for le Prix Imaginales in the Nouvelle category, yay!

In other news, we just received a copy of the Recorded Books audio version of Pretty Monsters and it is tres jolie. It can be downloaded from various sites or gotten from your library: encourage them to stock it on CD, or Playaway—a fave version of some people we know who love to go hiking and listen to books.



Suisman in the WSJ

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

Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music CoverHoly crap, look at the size of that . . . review! The Wall Street Journal spends some time reading Selling Sounds, David Suisman‘s first book. You might know him from his old radio show on WFMU, or, you might not know him! Selling Sounds is about to come out and David’s got a reading in NYC in a week or two (ok, details: Thursday, May 21, 6 PM, Barnes & Noble, 105 Fifth Ave. @ 18th Street) where you too can be wowed.

We’ll have a little something from David in a week or so. In the meantime, maestro!

Music and Money

From Tin Pan Alley to RCA Victor: shaping musical taste, profiting from it.

In 1888, the music publisher M. Witmark & Sons opened an office near Union Square in New York, not long after the fledgling company had enjoyed success selling sheet music for a song penned by one of the Witmark boys, “President Cleveland’s Wedding March.” Witmark would go on to play a major role in the commodification of music from the late 19th century to the Depression — the subject of David Suisman’s “Selling Sounds.” As the author notes in an epilogue, the Witmark building was just a few doors away from a contemporary bastion of what the commercialization of music wrought: a Virgin Megastore. Now, in an epilogue to his epilogue, Virgin’s music emporium will soon become a thing of the past: Like so many other retail music stores of late, it has announced that it is going out of business. The story of “Selling Sounds,” then, is especially timely.



Worldcon memberships for sale

Mon 11 May 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

For sale: 2 adult memberships for Worldcon 67 in Montreal this summer (Aug. 6-10) for sale. Currently memberships cost US$195, these are $175 each (which is what we paid for them a couple of months ago). Email [email protected] and we’ll send them your way.

Edited to add: Sold! Thanks internets.



Man with good taste posts about

Mon 11 May 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Carol Emshwiller. Yeah!

Short Story Month – Guest Post – Richard Grayson

SSMlogo I’d like to put in a good word for Carol Emshwiller’s wonderful short stories.  Her 1974 collection, Joy in Our Cause, published by Harper & Row, was one that influenced me a great deal.  I guess the stories could be classified as experimental, but they are all playful as well as profound.



Happy author

Tue 5 May 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Rediscovered this great old pic of Greer Gilman and all the other iwnners of the World Fantasy Award in 2004 while googling something about Cloud & Ashes:



Lunch find

Tue 5 May 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Best lunchtime LCRW slush-reading find: in the envelope with the story, a rejection from The Literary Review. Is this person submitting in reverse alphabetical order>=?



Freecycle

Mon 4 May 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Hey, we just successfully freecycled our old workhorse (which was the name of it in the end) Powerbook Mac to a guy who’s going to take it apart and maybe repair it for a computer repair class: excellent!

This press was basically run off that laptop from sometime in 2001 to sometime in 2006. It was bought when our place in Brooklyn was robbed (on July 4th weekend, how patriotic!) and it turned out rental insurance was one of the best ideas we’d ever had. At some point we put in a new harddrive, more than doubling its capacity to a mind-boggling 20GB. Ha. Then in 2006 or so it started slowing down and we stripped a lot of stuff off it and it was replaced with a MacBook. For a while it worked as a mini-server (and an AirTunes repository) then, one day, silence. We toasted it then, we toast it again. (Maybe all that toasting was why it stopped working? Is heat bad for laptops? How about peanut butter)

And now off it goes to a new and more scattered place: thanks old boy, good luck in your next life(/lives)!



New Scottish Poet Laureate

Mon 4 May 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Carol Ann Duffy wants her traditional payment of ‘a butt of sack’, which translates as around 600 bottles of sherry, up front as her predecessor hasn’t had his. Picture: PALovely news from the UK about the new poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, whose poetry we’ve enjoyed in the last couple of years. If you want to try her out, start with Feminine Gospels or The World’s Wife.

Duffy, the first woman and—since she was born in Glasgow and moved with her family to England when she was 5—the first Scot to get tapped for the job obviously knows how government works and is on top of the most important aspect of the job:

The World's Wife: Poems Cover

The job also comes with a “butt of sack” – traditionally a type of wine, which nowadays translates into around 600 bottles of sherry.

Duffy said: “Andrew (Motion) hasn’t had his yet so I’ve asked for mine up front.”

Should be more fun to read her occasional poetry than the poor, blocked Mr. Motion’s.



Get your summer read on

Mon 4 May 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Benjamin Parzybok, CouchAwesome news: Couch is on the Spring/Summer 2009 Indie Next List for Reading Groups. We’ll have a reading guide for Couch up within the next few weeks and if anyone wants to contribute, you know what to do. We haven’t seen the paper version of the list yet, but we like that Couch is in #9—and that the recommendation comes from Florida, yeah! (That’s a long way for a Portland-based couch to travel….)

Other recs include a couple of Kelly’s fave books, Molly Gloss’s bestseller The Hearts of Horses and Tana French’s In the Woods, and, in the YA guide, Kelly’s collection!

9. Couch by Benjamin Parzybok
Couch follows the quirky journey of Thom, Erik, and Tree as they venture into the unknown at the behest of a magical, orange couch, which has its own plan for their previously boring lives. Parzybok’s colorful characters, striking humor, and eccentric magical realism offer up an adventuresome read.” –Christian Crider, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss
(Mariner Books, $13.95,  / 0547085753)
“Molly Gloss tells a heartwarming story of a young woman who earns her way as a ‘horse gentler’ on the eastern Oregon frontier during the early 1900s.” –Sandra Palmer, Wy’east Book Shoppe & Art Gallery, Welches, OR

In the Woods: A Novel by Tana French
“This is a contemporary murder mystery set in Ireland with just the right hint of spookiness and great layers of psychological suspense, as a pair of detectives seek to solve the murder of a young girl in an ancient stand of woods. The current murder is foreshadowed by a crime against three young children many years ago that may hold a key to the new mystery.” –Sandra Palmer, Wy’east Book Shoppe & Art Gallery, Welches, OR

And here are some suggestions of great titles for reading groups of younger readers…

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves by M.T. Anderson

Chains by Laurie Halse AndersonThe Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Pretty Monsters: Stories by Kelly Link, Shaun Tan (illus.)



Unicorns

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

Seeker's Bane CoverKelly wanted to note that while Gavin is off not shipping and reading Libba Bray’s Going Bovine she has been busy re-reading for the nth time P. C. Hodgell’s The God Stalker Chronicles (two separate novels, God Stalk and its sequel Dark of the Moon) and Seeker’s Bane (two separate novels,  Seekers Mask and its sequel To Ride a Rathorn) which Baen books recently reprinted. For which: yay and thanks! And, also, there must be more in this series, right?

A few of Kelly’s favorite books are here and occasionally she adds books to LibraryThing (but the widget links to Amazon, meh).

Armor-plated unicorns!