Alan DeNiro – Trampoline Interview

Mon 29 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Authors | Leave a Comment| Posted by: intern


Alan DeNiroTrampoline: an interview

Alan DeNiro, Fuming Woman

What’s your favorite cocktail?

Not much of a cocktail drinker…should I be?

Which of the seven deadly sins is your favorite these days?

Dopey.

What’s your favorite rule of thumb?

Not to always trust rules of thumb (or is it rule of thumbs?).

Who’s been eating my porridge?

I think the world would be a better place if people ate more porridge. It just sounds so good. Porridge! So, the answer is: everyone, I hope.

Who’s there? Betty. Betty who?

I’ll pretend Mr. Barzak answers this question for me: “Betty get your freak on.”

Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?

I’ll leave this one for Robert Jordan to answer…

Kennst du das Land wo die Zitronen Bluhn?

Actually, I haven’t listened to Def Leppard’s “Rock of Ages” for awhile now.

How should I your true love know?

Skywriting. And bookmarks.

What immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry?

Roberto Alomar.

What has it got in its pocketses?

A wallet, a piece of lint, a key. The usual.

What rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?

Richard Perle. Wait, did you say “Bethlehem”? I thought you said “seventh circle of Hell”.

What has it got in its ‘pocalypse?

By me or according to Olaf?

Where do you hope to haunt when you’re gone (or, I guess, when you come back)?

Maybe a Starbucks, or a Fuddruckers. Or go the Ringu route, and maybe upgrade from VHS to DVD. I could haunt an iPod!

What are your favorite kids’ books? What was your favorite when you were a kid (say, 10)?

My favorite book when I was ten? Dungeons and Dragons Basic Edition Player’s Manual.

What’s the most favorable sort of weather for your creative process?

Not too hot, not too cold. Porridge weather.

When’s the last time you changed your mind about something? I think I mean a radical shift of personal values — regarding art (“Suddenly, I’m not crazy about Billie Holiday, in fact, I’m not even sure I’m spelling her name right”), regarding anything (“Actually, you can go home again”).

About every three weeks or so for smaller stuff, every six months for larger paradigms.

What book or books do you press upon friends?

Book of the New Sun, by Gene Wolfe, any poetry by Lisa Jarnot and Jennifer Moxley, The Age of Wire and String by Ben Marcus, The Tremor of Forgery by Patricia Highsmith.

Where did you grow up?

Erie, Pennsylvania.

Did you ever go to a really low rent amusement park that had trampolines stretched over shallow pits and bounce and bounce and bounce and get really confident and start bouncing from one trampoline to the next but then kind of lose it and bounce in to your cousin Jeff and cause him to fall into a split timber fence and knock out one of his teeth? Did you ever do that?

Accidents involving teeth give me the willies.

What can we, as a group, do to increase the popularity of multi-stage bicycle racing as a spectator sport in America?

Do what we, as a group, do about any major societal problem in America: make a zine about it.

I once had a creative writing teacher tell me that he didn’t understand why authors used science fiction or magical realism to tell a story or impart a theme. Why do you think we do, when good old realism might do the trick?

Ray Davis said it best: “Restricting yourself to mainstream fiction in the late twentieth century is like restricting yourself to heroic tragedy after 1650.” Even more true in the early 21st.

What is the meaning of life?

“This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”
— Walt Whitman, from the Preface of the first edition of Leaves of Grass, (1855)

What, in your opinion, is the relationship, if any, between the so-called real world and your particular imaginary one?

I have about twenty imaginary worlds. And they’re not even worlds since I am not very good at consistent “world building”. Tendrils instead of worlds. This is sounding really dorky, so I should probably stop.

Can you say something, particularly in light of these grave times, about the writer’s role or responsibility in the creation of work that is purely literary, that is the work of the imagination, as opposed to work that serves more overtly and diras a voice of conscience?

Trampoline: an anthology, edited by Kelly Link.I think all times are more or less grave, and it is only the snowglobe shellac that our now-ness, which our present tense provides us, that we think the “now” is somehow more grave than any other point in history. The Merovingians, the Picts, the late Victorians, the Toltecs…all more or less grave. To the question…I don’t think any work is “pure.” Language itself isn’t ever pure but is always borne by societal expectations. So in theory all writing should be able to bring something to bear to a larger “conscience.” Doesn’t often seem that way. But I don’t think it’s an either or proposition. Good writing, by nature, is subversive. It doesn’t mollycoddle the reader. And so even if it’s subtle, or might not seem political with a capital P, good writing is nevertheless part of a POLIS.

Gertrude Stein said: “I have destroyed sentences and rhythms and literary overtones and all the rest of that nonsense, to get to the very core of this problem of communication of intuition.” The relationship of form to content. Form as it facilitates communication, particularly communication of the remote, of the mysterious. Form as it permits the dramatization of states of mind. As it serves to make comprehensible the incomprehensible. What are your views on this subject?

I think Ms. Stein hit the nail on the head, and if she were alive I’d buy her a beer or three.

O

Next — Carol Emshwiller



Pretty Locus Monster

Mon 29 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | 5 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Pretty MonstersExcellent news! Kelly’s story “Pretty Monsters” received a Locus Award this weekend:

which is awesome!

Cutting and pasting from the gender and country breakdown of previous posts: who are they, where do they come from?

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

  • 10 men (USA)
  • 3 women (USA)

Nominees:

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


ad op

Fri 26 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 3 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

we’ve been offered a spot in an ad with some other publishers — it will be 4 books on a page with some text and the covers — in a national pop culture mag. Cost is $9,100. Anyone want to pay up? Come on, what else are you going to do with Aunt Aggie’s bequest?

(We will give you some books, and, er, stand you a drink or two when we next see you.)



Benjamin Rosenbaum

Fri 26 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Authors| Posted by: intern

Benjamin RosenbaumBenjamin Rosenbaum grew up in Arlington, Virginia, and received degrees in computer science and religious studies from Brown University.

His work has been published in Harper’s, Nature, McSweeney’s, F&SF, Asimov’s, Interzone, All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories, and Strange Horizons. Small Beer Press published his chapbook Other Cities and The Present Group published his collaboration,Anthroptic, with artist Ethan Ham. His stories have been translated into fourteen languages, listed in Best American Short Stories: 2006, and shortlisted for the Hugo and Nebula awards.

Rosenbaum lives near Basel, Switzerland, with his wife and two small, rambunctious children. There are cows, steeples, double-decker trains, and traffic lights for bicycles in his neighborhood.

Photo credit: Photo by Jessica Wallach/PortraitPlaytime.com
Download for print.





Elizabeth Hand

Fri 26 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Authors| Posted by: intern


Elizabeth HandA couple of years after seeing Patti Smith perform, Elizabeth Hand flunked out of college and became involved in the nascent punk scenes in DC and NYC. From 1979 to 1986 she worked at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air & Space Museum; she was eventually readmitted to university to study cultural anthropology, and received her B.A.

She is the author of many novels, including Winterlong, Waking the Moon (Tiptree and Mythopoeic Award-Winner), Glimmering, and Mortal Love, and three collections of stories, including the recent Saffron and Brimstone.

Her fiction has received the Nebula, World Fantasy, Mythopeoic, Tiptree, and International Horror Guild Awards, and her novels have been chose as New York Times and Washington Post Notable Books. She has also been awarded a Maine Arts Commission Fellowship.

A regular contributor to the Washington Post Book World and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Hand lives with her family on the Maine Coast.

Elizabeth Hand is represented by the Martha Millard Literary Agency.

Author photo © Norm Walters.
Download author photo for print.


Reviews + Quotes for Generation Loss

Generation Loss

“Thirty years ago, Cassandra Neary’s grim photos of punks and corpses briefly made her the toast of the downtown art scene. Now an alcoholic wage slave, Neary accepts a magazine assignment to interview one of her reclusive photographer heroes on a Maine island, where a rash of missing-teenager cases and an off-kilter populace grab her attention. It takes time to warm to the self-destructive, sour-tempered protagonist –she drives drunk, pops Adderall and Percocet, and generally tries to not stick out her neck. Luckily, Hand’s terse but transporting prose keeps the reader turning pages until Neary’s gritty charm does, finally, shine through.” (B)
Entertainment Weekly

“Although Generation Loss moves like a thriller, it detonates with greater resound.”
— Graham Joyce, Washington Post Book World

“This novel disturbs like Cass’s photos of dead junkies and squalid club scenes. While in some ways she’s just another self-destructive person, Cass’s intelligence and talent make her an appealing mess. Hand propels this oddly appealing character through an old-fashioned mystery-thriller with stirring results. In the end, Generation Loss is a conventional story of sin and redemption. With darkly inventive polish, Hand reveals a character so deeply disordered, she’s both unlikable and compelling.”
Time Out Chicago

“Cass is a marvel, someone with whom we take the difficult journey toward delayed adulthood, wishing her encouragement despite grave odds.”
Los Angeles Times

“This smart, dark, literary thriller will keep you up at night. A photographer who has been drinking, doing drugs, and alienating everyone around her since the ’70s goes to Maine to interview a legendary photographer and gets caught up in the case of a missing girl.”
— Megan Sullivan’s Pick of the Week at the Boston Globe

“This long-awaited fantasy novel brings an end to the critically acclaimed Aegypt quartet that takes ‘the vast jigsaw that Crowley has assembled in the first three books – and places them in a picture that’s open, smiling, filled with possibility….gracefully written, beautifully characterized, moving, and thought-provoking…. [Graham Sleight]'”
Locus Notable Books

“Just as lives that are only momentarily brilliant deserve celebration and respect, though, so do such novels, because life is dark enough that we need whatever illumination we can get, and there’s plenty to be had in Generation Loss.”
Strange Horizons

“A formerly famous punk photographer attracted to the dead and damaged stumbles on a serial killer case when she takes a job inteviewing a famous reclusive photographer in this dark thriller of art and damaged souls, and despite only a hint of the supernatural, ‘…something of a departure for the author, but fully as elegant and significant as her overtly fantastic works. There is grave beauty her, and great thematic power.’ [Nick Gevers]”
Valley Advocate

“Hand (Mortal Love, Black Light) expertly ratchets up the suspense until it’s at the level of a high-pitched scream near novel’s end.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

* “Hand (Mortal Love) explores the narrow boundary between artistic genius and madness in this gritty, profoundly unsettling literary thriller.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Ægypt is a metamorphosis, a metensomatosis, a memory play and a meta-novel; a story about many stories, a book with a larger book inside it. The further in you go, the bigger it gets.”
— Elizabeth Hand, F&SF

“Cass Neary, Elizabeth Hand’s unlikely heroine in her latest novel Generation Loss, may be hard to like, but I found her story is easy to love.”
Feminist Review

“A dark, literate mystery that’s easy to appreciate and hard to put down.”
The Olympian

“The novel crackles with energy: it is alive.”
Nicholas Rombes, (The Ramones and New Punk Cinema)

“Intense and atmospheric, Generation Loss is an inventive brew of postpunk attitude and dark mystery. Elizabeth Hand writes with craftsmanship and passion.”
— George Pelecanos

“Lucid and beautifully rendered. Great, unforgiving wilderness, a vanished teenager, an excellent villain, and an obsession with art that shades into death: what else do you need? An excellent book.”
— Brian Evenson, The Open Curtain

Praise for Elizabeth Hand’s previous novels:

” A literary page-turner . . . deeply pleasurable. . . . A delightful waking dream.”
— People (****)

“One of the most sheerly impressive, not to mention overwhelmingly beautiful books I have read in a long time.”
—Peter Straub

*”[Hand’s] language has an incantatory beauty.”
Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)



Random Happy Birthday shout out

Thu 25 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

There’s a reason for this search buried in our Writer’s Daily Planner. So happy belated birthday George. It’s the 25th iteration of the year 1984 and we the citizens of Oceania thank you for your prescience.

null

Associated Press

Happy Birthday, George Orwell, Author of “1984”

June 25, 2009
by Anita Gutierrez-Folch
George Orwell holds a significant place in contemporary literature. His politically charged masterpieces, “Animal Farm” and “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” introduced an entirely different approach to issues such as freedom and totalitarianism, and remain fresh and relevant today.

Early Days

Eric Arthur Blair, later known as George Orwell, was born on June 25, 1903, in Motihari, Bengal, then a British colony in India. As The Literature Network explains, his father, Richard Walmesley Blair, worked for the Indian Civil Service and his mother, Ida Mabel Limouzin, stayed at home with Eric and his two sisters, Marjorie and Avril.



Podcast of “The Hortlak”

Thu 25 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

magic for beginnersBy Frank Marcopolis courtesy of Creative Commons. He’s split the story into two: part one is here, part 2 TK.

“Can Erik and Batu revolutionize convenience retail? And what about all those zombies? ”
– Is the All-Night Convenience a metaphor for life itself? If so, how?
– What other symbols are used in the story (if any)?
– Is a new style of retail, one that will usher in a revolutionary era, on the horizon?
– Do you believe in ghosts? Zombies? Dog ghosts? Why or why not?
– Do you sleep in pajamas?
– What themes/issues/whatevers from the story do YOU want to talk about?

I’d love to know your thoughts. Listen to the story, and let’s discuss in the comments section.



Other Cities – Bradley Denton quote (pt. 5)

Wed 24 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Authors| Posted by: intern

Other Cities, a Chapbook
Benjamin Rosenbaum

Quoting Mr. Denton:

Dear Ben,

You sure you’ve never been to Austin?

Deep in the heart of Texas,

Brad



Other Cities – Bradley Denton quote (pt. 2)

Wed 24 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Authors| Posted by: intern

Other Cities, a Chapbook
Benjamin Rosenbaum

Quoting Mr. Denton:

Dear Ben,

Having said that, I confess that I’ve been struggling with writing an appropriate blurb. The best I’ve come up with so far is:

“My God, these are beautiful.”

— Bradley Denton



Other Cities – Bradley Denton quote (pt. 1)

Wed 24 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Authors| Posted by: intern

Other Cities, a Chapbook
Benjamin Rosenbaum

Quoting Mr. Denton:

Dear Ben,

First of all —

Other Cities is wonderful. Thank you for the privilege of reading these stories.

— Bradley Denton



get that woman a beer, dammit

Mon 22 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Great piece about the only woman beer inspector in the UK (thanks Michael, Erin!). Apparently 80% of women in the UK haven’t tried real ale. How is this possible? Ok, so stout is no longer prescribed when women are pregnant, but still, come on! Next round, here’s some advice:

“The other thing is that women are more sensitive to bitter flavours,” says Annabel, “so if a woman’s first experience of real ale is a very bitter pint, she may never go back to it.” Better to start with something more floral, such as Caledonian Deuchars IPA or Theakston’s Old Peculier.



Previous Books of Carol Emshwiller

Fri 19 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Authors, Carol Emshwiller| Posted by: intern

Praise for Carol Emshwiller’s previous books:

Carol Emshwiller’s stories have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Century, Scifiction, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, The Voice Literary Supplement, Omni, Crank!, Confrontation, and many other anthologies and magazines.
LedoytLedoyt
Mercury House, 1995

Ms. Emshwiller is so gifted. . . . She describes the ragged, sunswept Western countryside with a vividness and clarity that let us see it as her characters do — and understand why they love it as they do. There are moments of [Ledoyt] that are remarkably moving; there are scenes of great power.
The New York Times Book Review

[Ledoyt is] as haunting as the song of a canyon wren at twilight.
Atlanta Journal

It’s always cheering when an unclassifiable writer suddenly grows a little more unclassifiable. That’s the case with Carol Emshwiller, the feminist-fantasist author of three short-story collections and one earlier novel…. With Ledoyt, Emshwiller offers a historical novel of sometimes gothic intensity, but one remaining well within the realm of physical possibility…of all things — a Western…a story of unlikely love and destructive jealousy.
San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

A fierce and tender portrait of a girl growing up fierce and tender; a sorrowful, loving portrait of a man whose talent is for love and sorrow; a western, an unsentimental love story, an unidealized picture of the American past, a tough, sweet, painful, truthful novel.
— Ursula K. Le Guin, author of Tales of Earthsea
— read the full review

Ledoyt is sweet and true and heartbreaking, echoing with the actualities of our old horseback life in the American West. Carol Emshwiller has got it dead right.
–William Kittredge, editor of The Portable Western Reader



Leaping Man HillLeaping Man Hill
Mercury House, 1999
Leaping Man Hill is a satisfying novel, with complexities not susceptible to easy summary, as well as those quirky characters and some playful language. Finally, though, it is dominated by Emshwiller’s sure development of Mary Catherine. Readers who grow with that young woman may remember this book a long time.
San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

[Leaping Man Hill is] another strong, satisfying western . . . a headstrong young heroine succeeds in finding her niche in the ranch country of post-WWI California. . . . An exuberant yet exquisite portrait of a woman coming into her own.
Kirkus Reviews

Emshwiller is particularly good at showing the ways we aspire to self-sufficiency to insulate ourselves from a world beyond our control…. Leaping Man Hill is, if anything, a love story…. Love, strange and complicated, has been a theme of Emshwiller’s from her earliest, fantasy-tinged short stories, in which characters float, shrink, grow wings, and cohabitate with aliens under its influence. As Emshwiller knows, implausibility and affection seldom rule each other out, and in some cases the combination effects amazing transformations. In Emshwiller’s carefully drawn, realistic western context these changes are less pronounced, but no less revealing or remarkable.
San Francisco Bay Guardian
— read the full review


Carmen DogCarmen Dog
Mercury House, 1990** Small Beer Press reprinted Carmen Dog in June 2004 through their new Peapod Press imprint. More.

Emshwiller has produced a first novel that combines the cruel humor of Candidewith the allegorical panache of Animal Farm. In the hyper-Kafkaesque world ofCarmen Dog, women have begun devolving into animals and animals ascending the evolutionary ladder to become women. . . . there has not been such a singy combination of imaginative energy, feminist outrage, and sheer literary muscle since Joanna Russ’ classic The Female Man.
Entertainment Weekly

This trenchant feminist fantasy-satire mixes elements of Animal Farm, Rhinoceros and The Handmaid’s Tale…. Imagination and absurdist humor mark [Carmen Dog] throughout, and Emshwiller is engaging even when most savage about male-female relationships.
Booklist

An inspired feminist fable…. A wise and funny book.
The New York Times

–review from Vector: The Critical Journal of the British Science Fiction Association
— review from Strange Horizons


The Start of the End of It All
Mercury House, 1990


— Winner of the 1991 World Fantasy AwardEighteen short fantastic fictions comprise Emshwiller’s third superb collection. . . . again, her improvisations include inventive fabulisms and feminist satires, many with a science-fictional spin to them…. Emshwiller’s fabulisms court a sense of the sacred but cleverly undercut that sense with tongue-in-cheek playfulness. The ensuing deft balance between mystery and skepticism is touching — and often aesthetically triumphant.
Kirkus Reviews

Emshwiller’s characters embrace the unexpected and extraordinary; their lives leap from the mundane to the wondrous in a surreal instant, and the reader feels transported too.
Publisher’s Weekly

review by Gwyneth Jones on the Broad Universe site
L. Timmel Duchamp on “Peninsula,” a story from Carol Emshwiller’s first collection, Joy in Our Cause
— review from Strange Horizons



Verging on the PertinentVerging on the Pertinent
Coffee House, 1989“I have loved her work for years. Her imagination is fierce and funny, never mean.”
–Grace Paley

“[She] must be read, watched for, nurtured as an original and exciting new talent.”
— Doris Grumbach



Venus Rising, a chapbookEdgewood Press,1992A stunning story of an alien exiled to an exotic world, the peaceful inhabitants he finds there and his attempts to “civilize” them.

“I have always thought that Carol had the most inventive mind in science fiction. It is not possible to summarize her work as a whole nor describe it satisfactorily piece by piece, but it does all have a particularly tough kind of feminity that appeals to me very much. Her heroines generally rise to the occasion and they do this with only their courage and their imagination and they do this in ways no one else would. And yet, as a reader, you always liked her heroines just fine before they were heroic, so there is a bit of sadness there, that the world is the sort of world that forces nice, ordinary people into heroism. Other writers can be funny one moment and heart-breaking the next, but Carol is routinely both at once and she makes it look effortless or accidental.”
— Karen Joy Fowler

“Here is a female living out among the breakers. Here is a man from the land-dwelling culture. When they meet, the encounter touches on culture-clash, gender politics, evolution in its manifold forms, relative civilization, even murder and kidnapping. No one else has a voice like Carol Emshwiller’s. She should be heard.”
Locus

Venus Rising is wonderfully Emshwillerian: lyrical in its language, delightfully idiosyncratic in its thinking, filled with laughter and strange pain.”
— Pat Murphy

Another review. (Warning: this is a slow-loading PDF file.)

Emshwiller knows well the marvelous inexplicability of love, jealousy, and heroism.
Library Journal

First and foremost, Emshwiller is a poet — with a poet’s sensibility, precision, and magic. She revels in the sheer taste and sound of words, she infuses them with an extraordinary vitality and sense of life.
Newsday



Notes Toward an Article on Carol Emshwiller

Fri 19 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Authors, Carol Emshwiller, Not a Journal.| Posted by: intern

Notes Toward an Article on Carol Emshwiller
Gavin J. Grant

Carol EmshwillerCarol Emshwiller, who has been publishing superb, stirring, challenging fiction for over 50 years, is a perfect Guest of Honor for Wiscon, the only Feminist Science Fiction convention.

If someone were to compile one of those futile lists of the top hundred writers in the world right Now! I’d have to hack into the results and replace the name of one of the politely-angry young men in the top ten with Carol Emshwiller’s. I wouldn’t put her in the top five, but only to avert the pollsters suspicions. Number six then, or number seven.

I imagine that when they discovered I’d spoofed their poll, said pollsters might be ticked off. But if they attempted to track me down, I expect there would be a Spartacus moment (perhaps without all the cleft chins) as writers from all around the world would stepped themselves forward to say, “I put Carol Emshwiller in the top ten,” or, “It was I who fixed your silly poll,” and so on.

Carol Emshwiller’s writing, and she herself, inspires that kind of action.

But why would someone need (or want) to put Carol’s name forward that way? Surely the cream will rise to the top? Well, some will, but for the most part, it takes work to get there (as well as some odd mechanical processes which aren’t an appropriate extension of this metaphor). As sharper critics than I have pointed out, Carol’s writing manages to both demand the reader pay attention and at the same time depends on the willingness of the reader to invest their imagination in the story to be fully appreciated. This is why I would fix that poll. This is why others would defend me. This is why Carol’s readers are very happy people and are always putting her books into other people’s hands.

Carol’s writing can rarely be satisfyingly pigeon-holed. Her latest novel which we were extremely happy and proud to publish, The Mount (2002), is science fiction; but it can also be described (or defended or attacked) as allegory, a coming-of-age story, or fantasy. Or even romance. Ledoyt(1995) is a biographical historical Western coming-of-age story. Carmen Dog (1990), a novel that I hope every Wiscon attendee will read, is transformative in many senses of the word. As for Carol’s short stories: they are many, they are awesome, and each one is worth an essay to itself. Carol, of course, is well aware — and not at all bothered — that her fiction is not easily categorized.

Among the many resonances and influences in Carol’s writing are the mountains and landscape of the American West, personal relationships, the odd moments of war, and the actions and effects of people who may or may not be more damaged than the rest of us.

Recently, Carol has written a series of war stories including “Boys” (Scifiction), “The General” (McSweeney’s No.10), and “Repository” (F&SF), which explore war from typically Emshwilleresque viewpoints. Soldiers are unsure of who they are, who they are fighting, or why. War is the question, not the subject.

I look forward to reading many more of Carol’s questions.

More

Carol Emshwiller

Reviews

The Mount

Report to the Men’s Club and Other Stories

Originally published in the Wiscon 27 program book.

Author photo by Susan Emshwiller.



Ready to burn up this summer?

Thu 18 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

issue preview Steve Berman has put out the first issue of a new magazine, Icarus, through Magcloud, one of those Web 2.1 long tail site thingies where you can publish what you like on any scale. Since niche mags are dying off like dinosaurs after a meteor crash, it will be interesting to see how this develops.Not sure if we will put out LCRW through them the way we did with Lulu; the ebook + zine format ($5 vs. $13) works quite well at the moment.

Not sure if you can subscribe or not, but you can preview and order the first issue here:

Icarus is the first magazine devoted to gay-themed speculative fiction and writing – from fantasy to horror to science fiction, and all the weird tales that fall between the cracks. Our first issue features short stories by Jeff Mann, Joel D. Lane, Jameson Currier and Tom Cardamone; interviews with Dan Stone and graphic artist Peter Grahame; poetry by Lawrence M. Schoen; plus book reviews, an article about the Gaylactic Network, and brief happenings in gay publishing. Icarus is published by Lethe Press.



[email protected]

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

We’re having an internet nofun time with all our @smallbeerpress.com emails not working. Boo. Old emails: info @ lcrw.net for instance still work. One of these years we will change over prop’ly, one of these years.

Update: snafu all untangled and everything is working again!



Stop motion art hanging

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

at the Morris Book Shop in Lexington, KY:



widgety

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

IndieBound just added a list widget so that people can have multiple wish lists (one for family, one for, er, friends?).

Of course we abused it right away to make a list of Small Beer books. Actually, Small Beer Press books, will have to go back and make a small beer booklist later. Copy and paste at will.



Comparitively Creepy

Mon 15 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Michael Northrup’s firstnovel, Gentlemen, just got a review in the NYTimes and Michael, well, he’s a funny guy, so: lifted from his site:

I am having a contest on my website to celebrate the review of Gentlemen in today’s New York Times Book Review. The money line of the review is the last one: “Northrop’s first novel is creepy, yet it has what can pass for a happy—or at least satisfying—ending.” Yet it could be so much moneyer! That’s where you come in.

Simply write your own ending to the sentence: “Northrop’s first novel is creepy, yet…”

For example, Northrop’s first novel is creepy, yet so is Northrop. So much fun! So much easy! Just leave your entry as a comment on my site. The winner will be picked by a celebrity guest judge and will receive amazing prizes! (You know, kind of.)



Greer’s cover

Fri 12 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 3 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

It took a while to organize but we’ve just posted Michael’s great picture of Greer Gilman’s Cloud & Ashes. These angled shots give a much better idea of what one of our books look like and this, thanks to Kathleen Jennings’ wonderful cover, is one of the more beautiful ones we’ve put out:

Cloud & Ashes



Greer Gilman

Thu 11 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Authors | Leave a Comment| Posted by: intern


Bio

Greer Gilman’s novel, Moonwise, is decidedly thorny. It won the Crawford Award and was shortlisted for the Tiptree and Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards. “A Crowd of Bone” is one of three linked stories, variations on a winter myth. The first, “Jack Daw’s Pack,” was a Nebula finalist for 2001, and the subject of a Foundation interview by Michael Swanwick. A sometime forensic librarian, Gilman lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and travels in stone circles.


Reviews

Cloud & Ashes

“A work that reads like language stripped bare, myth tracked to its origins. Seasons, weather, lust, pain, sacrifice … the stuff of old ballads becomes intensely real, with the natural contradictions of a cold wind that both chafes and dances…. And the payoff is immense. I finished Cloud & Ashes almost tempted to write a thesis that compares it favorably to what James Joyce did in Ulysses and tried in Finnegan’s Wake, yet feeling like I’d lived through it all.”
Locus

“Moving, engaging, mysterious, glorious…In her flying pastiche of words and images Gilman does in the fantasy vernacular what Joyce aimed for.”
Tangent

A Crowd of Bone

“Gilman’s ‘A Crowd of Bone’ . . . is dense, jammed with archaic words and neologisms . . . but the story—complex, tangled in narrative as well as syntax, and very dark—rewards the most careful of readings.”
The Washington Post Book World

“Greer Gilman’s diamond of a novella . . . might reward a lifetime of re-reading. A question like ‘What is it about?’ is as useful applied to Gilman’s novella as asked of a snow leopard. Both simply are.”
—Locus

Moonwise

Greer Gilman is a writer like no one else. Many try to employ the matter of myth and folktale, but their tongues are inadaquate—Gilman can employ words as the bards of Ireland did, to make realities . . . Moonwise doesn’t resemble a work of the past age—it is the past age come back new, in its clothes and its language and its dark riddling heart. Moonwise simply has no peers.”
—John Crowley


Interview

Trampoline: an interview

Two more interviews: -1--2-

KL: Were there any particular writers or stories that influenced the writing of the story that will be appearing in Trampoline? If so, how exactly did they influence the writing of your story?

GG: Folk songs and ballads, mostly, ravelled out and rebraided. Lots of Anon. Some formal poetry: Hopkins and the Gawain poet, for the hedge-entangled language; Andrew Marvell, for the mowers. And for the soliloquies, a slew of playwrights. It’s a winter’s tale, a late romance. I wrote it for the ear, as much as for the imagination. There are two sorts of voices here, in counterpoint: Cloudish vernacular and a high Jacobean iambic, endlessly enjambed.

I owe the vision of the Scarecrow/Hanged Man/Child Sacrifice to the late miraculous Lal Waterson. Her song, “The Scarecrow,” haunts me, and it has for years.

Oh, and Thea’s magic is inspired by the art of Andy Goldsworthy.

KL: Is your Trampoline story generally representative of the sort of story you usually write? To elaborate: is this story a departure in style or subject matter (or any other sort of departure, for that matter) for you? If so, what was different or new for you in the writing of this story? Do you think it is a new direction for your writing, or simply an experiment?

GG: I keep moving inward. It gets bigger.

KL: What’s your favorite cocktail?

GG: Chocolate.

KL: Which of the seven deadly sins is your favorite these days?

GG: Don’t know whose friends they are, but Sloth and Gluttony keep hanging around my kitchen playing cards.

KL: What’s your favorite rule of thumb?

GG: When you come back for it, it won’t be there.

KL: Do you have any pets? How many? And if so, how do they affect your writing (if at all)?

GG:No. None. Not at all.

KL: What is the writer’s role in inhabiting the commercial spaces of publishing?

GG:Waiting anxiously in hallways.

KL: Best trampoline story you know (or, in lieu of story, rules for best trampoline game you’ve played).

GG: The one with the castellated blancmange and the roller skates has seldom been attempted.

KL: Where do you hope to haunt when you’re gone (or, I guess, when you come back)?

GG: A kitchen table with old friends. A library. Woods in autumn. An English wood in spring. A winter hillside on a starry night. My desk when I’m writing well. The seacoast of Bohemia.

KL: What are your favorite kids’ books? What was your favorite when you were a kid (say, 10)?

GG: Say five, six, seven.

I always loved Mary Poppins and Irene’s Great-Great-Grandmother (in The Princess and the Goblin). They were my first intimations of godhead. Mary Poppins is Artemis. (“Is this a Nursery or a Bear Garden?”) Prickly, aloof, but a great protectress if she’s yours. And the sun, moon, and stars dance for her: she’s a strange attractor for the numinous.

But Irene’s Grandmother — ah, she indwells. I’ve been writing about the moon ever since. And threads and labyrinths and rings, and children lost in houses which are dreams.

Alice got into my warp as well. Everyone she meets is so rude. And that row of asterisks as she’s shrinking — chin to foot — gave me a sense of the magic in typography, of spell.

What else? I loved The Golden Almanac, which gave me my fascination with the turning year. October had “The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies, O!” in a whirl and tatter of leaves — so ballads keep for me that vivid restless melancholy.

Oh, and fairy tales. “The Snow Queen” for the shards of mirror and the puzzles of ice; for the winter hag who is fell and beautiful, the crones in their reeky hovels, and the robber girl. And “The Twelve Swans” and “The Dancing Princesses.” I loved the nettleshirts that bound winged creatures to the earth, the wood of silver underground.

The Oz books, alas, have faded for me, though I read them all with passion. I still have my Scarecrow and my Witch, but she’s indelibly Margaret Hamilton.

There are other children’s fantasies I love — The Wind In the Willows, Earthsea,and Green Knowe, stories by Joan Aiken and Diana Wynne Jones — but I found them long afterward.

And a little later on–at eight, nine, ten — I read and loved The Secret Gardenand A Little Princess; Hitty: Her First Hundred Years; all the Alcott books; Elizabeth Enright…All the girl books, and whatever I could lay my hands on. But the fantasies came first.

KL: Tell me a little about when you left home to live on your own.

GG: Oh, I just snailed away, carrying myself with me.

KL: If you could have a writer of your choice come live with you, who would it be and what writerly stuff would you want to talk to them about?

GG: Dear me. I wouldn’t dream of imposing my company on strangers. They have their own friends, or ghosts of friends; their own rooms on earth or elsewhere. Unless by chance we meet in that publisher’s hallway…? And then drift away for tea. I’d love to talk with Sylvia Townsend Warner. And Angela Carter. Hope Mirrlees? I’d be shy of Shakespeare, though I’d love to watch him in rehearsal. And I’ve always wanted to take Jo March to the movies.

KL: When’s the last time you changed your mind about something? I think I mean a radical shift of personal values — regarding art (“Suddenly, I’m not crazy about Billie Holiday, in fact, I’m not even sure I’m spelling her name right”), regarding anything (“Actually, you can go home again”).

GG: I do change my mind, but glacially. Hard to remember what I thought in the Mesozoic.

KL: What book or books do you press upon friends?

GG: Whatever book is Three-Bearically right for that friend. I get a huge kick out of perfect matches. I don’t press.

KL: What can we, as a group, do to increase the popularity of multi-stage bicycle racing as a spectator sport in America?

GG:Free lemonade?

KL: I once had a creative writing teacher tell me that he didn’t understand why authors used science fiction or magical realism to tell a story or impart a theme. Why do you think we do, when good old realism might do the trick?

GG: For the tang of it, the taste of Otherwise; for all the flavors of quark: not just Truth and Beauty, but up, down, charm, and strangeness.

KL: My story has a semi-wild chimpanzee in it; does yours?

GG: Alas, no.

KL: Have you found that during the Reagan-Bush-Bush-Quayle-Bush-Cheney era the quality of your writing has gotten a little dodgier?

GG: No. My life, maybe. Not my writing.

KL: What, in your opinion, is the relationship, if any, between the so-called real world and your particular imaginary one?

GG: Aslant. Their landscape is like the north of England; but their laws are otherwise. It’s as if the White Goddess and the Golden Bough were true, as if metaphor and myth were physics. Metaphysics. Cloud has the same stars as this world — our sky is their Wood Above — but their constellations are strange. Somehow this world is bound to theirs: the back side of their brighter tapestry.

Can I quote myself?

“Not that there aren’t quilt knots here and there, stitching heaven and earth. Houses, in the astrological sense; or sacred places, which are realer than the world, and have a way of disappearing like the egg in Alice. Woods, stone circles, sheepfolds. And the one long seam, the Milky Way.”

KL: If you could live in a book, which one would it be?

GG: Oh, I’d like to travel in many books. Sadly, I can’t envision stories while I’m reading them, so I’d dearly love to see a score of other worlds. And talk with their denizens. But here’s where I live.

KL: Can you say something, particularly in light of these grave times, about the writer’s role or responsibility in the creation of work that is purely literary, that is the work of the imagination, as opposed to work that serves more overtly and directly as a voice of conscience?

GG: With all respect for the voices of conscience, it would be a sad grey world without works of pure imagination. Wodehouse. Austen. A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.”

Trampoline: an anthology, edited by Kelly Link.KL: Gertrude Stein said: “I have destroyed sentences and rhythms and literary overtones and all the rest of that nonsense, to get to the very core of this problem of communication of intuition.” The relationship of form to content. Form as it facilitates communication, particularly communication of the remote, of the mysterious. Form as it permits the dramatization of states of mind. As it serves to make comprehensible the incomprehensible. What are your views on this subject?

GG: Fugue, rhyme, rainbow — I love all sorts of patterns and forms. Conjugations and crystals. Self-assembly. Mathematics. I think people are made to make patterns, to see them with delight. Defy entropy!

O




John Kessel in Seattle

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

This post 100% ganked from here (thanks!):

Clarion West reading series starts June 23

Clarion West’s Six Summer Evenings of Science Fiction & Fantasy starts June 23 with John Kessel. All readings take place 7 p.m. at University Book Store, 4326 University Way NE, Seattle. Free!

Kessel is the author of four novels and three short story collections most recently The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories (2008). He edited Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology (2006) and Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology (2007), and The Secret History of Science Fiction (forthcoming from Tachyon) with James Patrick Kelly. He teaches American literature, science fiction, fantasy, and fiction writing at North Carolina State University.

Upcoming readings will be by:
Karen Joy Fowler
June 30
Elizabeth Bear July 7
Nalo Hopkinson
July 14
David G. Hartwell
July 21
Rudy Rucker
July 28



Bugger Bugger Bugger

Tue 9 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Shaman Drum Bookshop is closing. It really is a fantastic bookshop: well designed, great choices, superb staff. Fuck.



Podcast: Media in Transition 6: “The Future of Publishing”

Tue 9 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

A couple of weeks ago Gavin was on a panel on “The Future of Publishing” with these fine people:

Gavin J. Grant, Small Beer Press
Jennifer Jackson, Donald Maass Literary Agency
Robert Miller, Harper Studio
Bob Stein, Institute for the Future of the Book
Moderator: Geoffrey Long, MIT

MIT has posted audio of the whole thing online here.

ETA: And now you can, erk, watch the whole thing here.

These were the panel questions to kick things off:

Read more



Interfictions 2: Your Name Here

Mon 8 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 3 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Well, maybe more like Your Rich Pal Who Likes To Directly Support the Arts‘s Name Here. The Interstitial folk have had the great idea of sending out a direct call for support for their new anthology in Tweeterland, Blogistan, Flogistan, and Facebukia. And in case those countries are not on your usual paths, here’s the goods:

We live in a world of niche marketing. The Interstitial Arts Foundation brings artists together to tear those barriers down.

We are asking you now to join us in our next adventure in storming the barricades: Interfictions 2: a New Anthology of Interstitial Writing, edited by Delia Sherman & Christopher Barzak. Interfictions 2 will be published in November 2009 in collaboration with Small Beer Press.

Interfictions 2The first volume of Interfictions, published in 2007, was hailed as “A phenomenal collection…engrossing and provocative” (Hipster Bookclub) that “belongs on the nightstand of anyone interested in the development of contemporary short fiction” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

This second volume features original work by a whole new set of writers who joyfully explore the big imaginative spaces between conventional genres. And this time, we’ll be reaching out to even more readers by publishing a series of free stories on the new Interfictions 2 Annex online!

What can you do to help? This extraordinary collection of interstital fiction needs your financial support. We’re asking you to sponsor not just a book, but an idea – the idea that artists need to be able to express themselves freely and directly to their audiences, without the restraints of conventional genre limitations.

Here are some ways you can help us publish Interfictions 2:

SUPPORT AN INTERFICTIONS 2 STORY

  • $500 pays one author for a 10,000 word short story
  • $375 pays one author for a 7,500 word short story

SUPPORT THE INTERFICTIONS ONLINE ANNEX
8 stories will be available only online, with one appearing every week from August until November 2009.

  • $400 covers author honoraria for the entire Annex
  • $50 pays one author for an Annex story

SUPPORT THE NUTS & BOLTS OF ACTUAL BOOK PRODUCTION & PROMOTION

  • $400 covers typesetting fees
  • $200 buys Interfictions 2 a magazine ad
  • $100 prints up promotional postcards
  • $25 sends out five copies to reviewers
  • Your Choice: Gift amount of your choosing supports the IAF’s General Fund

Become an Interfictions 2 Sponsor with a gift of $500 or more, and we’ll list you as a Sponsor on our Friends of Interfictions 2 web page. And if your gift of $500 or more is received by June 30, 2009, your name will be published in the printed anthology!

Your gift of $499 or less will get you listed on a Friends of Interfictions 2 web page as a Booklover, and Booklovers who donate between $375 and $499 by June 30, 2009 will have their names published in the printed anthology. Individual supporter names will not be linked to specific stories or work.

SUPPORT A STORY, GET A BOOK!
We’ll also send signed copies of both Interfictions and Interfictions 2, signed by editors Delia Sherman and Christopher Barzak, to supporters who contribute $375 or more. In addition, Sponsors of $1,000 or more can choose to receive a signed limited edition print of Connie Toebe’s “Moonlight“, the art used on the cover of the first Interfictions.

The easiest way to contribute is on our Web site at http://www.interstitialarts.org/donate.

Or you can mail your check along with the 2009 Gift Form to P.O. Box 35862, Boston, MA 02135. Contributions of any size are most welcome.

The IAF is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, so your contribution will be fully tax-deductible. But more importantly, when you make a gift to the IAF, you can bask in the knowledge that you are helping to build a new work of literature that can change people’s lives.

Thank you for your continued support. Please feel free to link to or pass on this page to anyone else you think might be interested in art without borders!

Warmly,
Ellen Kushner
Vice President & Co-Founder,
Intersitial Arts Foundation



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