Old Men in Love — in summer

Wed 31 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Also: we just bit the bullet and moved Alasdair Gray’s novel Old Men in Love: John Tunnock’s Posthumous Papers from April to June. The pre-press work on this was really awful, but thanks to the good people at Thomson-Shore our edition should be beautiful and this fabuloso novel should ship out at the end of this month and start hitting stores (and the review pages) in mid-May.

email snafus

Wed 31 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

And now someone around here, ok, me, has put their foot in it and broken the work email. So please try [email protected] dot dot dot if you want to get through, thanks.

Simple economics says we can’t pay you

Wed 31 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

No, really. Here at Small Beer Press every time one of us editors pitches a book (or announces a new issue of LCRW) to the publisher we get a standard response: a $50,000 check. After ten years or so, it’s pretty routine by now. So why doesn’t this 2-Prius’s+a bag of chips payment filter down to the writers? I mean, sure, we give advances and royalties to our authors and LCRW contributors get a tiny payment as befits a tiny habit (we can give it up anytime, honest) but what about the rest of those 50 big ones?

Well, it’s a long story and exceedingly complicated….

But, luckily for us we don’t have to do the drudgery of explaining it all as editor Mark Reiter did all the work for us while trying to get Steve Almond to contribute a freebie to a book Mark and his co-editor received that paltry $50,000 for:

Yes, Richard Sandomir and I are sharing an advance of $50,000. That’s $25,000 each. Take away the 15% agency commission, it’s down to $21,250 each. I’m paying my assistant Emily Sklar an extra $5000 out of my pocket to handle the logistics (tracking down folks like you, for example). We’re delivering to Bloomsbury 100 brackets. We can’t pay some people and not others, but if we did offer payment-less than $500 would be pointless-to everyone, the math says we’d be in the red.

So just like Nick I looked at Bookscan:

Enlightened Bracketologist (2007)
lifetime sales 8,346
this week   0

and being nosy I look and see what else Mark has published—a book with Twyla Tharp and something about success (we know how to achieve that—don’t pass on the advance!) as well as maybe the (retitled) paperback edition:

The Final Four of Everything by Mark Reiter and Richard Sandomir (2009)
lifetime sales 4,570
this week  13

It’s a pretty great model and we will be utilizing it in our upcoming Unicats! and the People Who Love Them. For which we’d be more than happy to read your submission, and, wait for it:

Now, the good news. Assuming that you don’t do anything with your contribution too far before our . . .  pub date, you have all the rights to the material.

(via Kelly, via Nick)

Sighted with our telepathic goggles

Mon 29 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Somewhere out in April or May we can see the new issue of LCRW. It’s looks like an LCRW: b&w cover (unveiled herein, ta da!), sixty pages, some color in the pdf version, a picture of Ursula or two, fiction and poetry and a comic from writers you may or may not know, and possibly, delivered to your door with a chocolate bar through hail, kale, ice or snow by the postal service of your country.

One oddity about this issue: there are a few stories about travel and sleep—two of our favorite things. And this issue does indeed as promised include two translations: yay!

The best way to ensure delivery: subscribe!

ToC after the jump: Read more

A free Chateau(reynaud)

Fri 26 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 17 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

At the end of May we’re going to publish our second translation (yay Edward Gauvin for bringing it to us!), a collection by French legend Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud titled A Life on Paper. Yes folks, we are in it for the money: not only a debut short story collection, but a translation.

Money, you say? What’s money got to do with art? Ignoring that question and swiftly going on to: “Money!” says the French government! They popped up with not one but two grants (the Hemingway and the French Voices) making up $6,000 of support for this book. Whoopee—we can pay the translator! Which is good, because Edward’s been hard at work placing stories from the book in Conjunctions, Harvard Review, Joyland, Southern Review, Agni Online, F&SF, Words Without Borders, and more, more, more. If you read this month’s Harper’s . . . no you won’t find a story but you’ll find a teeny ad for the book. Ha!

Ok, so, free books*: post something interesting about you, France, French things (not Freedom Fries, but anything else goes) in the comments and in a week or so we’ll randomly pick five and reward them with an advance review copy which we hope you the happy winner will dive into and enjoy the way we have and maybe even go on TV and rave about it in a bouncing-on-the-couch-aliens-told-me-to-do-it fashion that gets talked about for years after. Ok? Ok!

* US + Canada readers only, sorry—maybe we can get someone in the UK, Australia, Rest of World to pick up the rights.

Looks better than expected

Fri 26 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Hopeful, but keeping expectations low:

Nicholas Sparks: eejit

Wed 24 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

About a week or two after it was emailed everywhere but, really, is there anyone who read this and thought, “Oh yes, must read one of his romances next”?

Somewhere Nicholas Sparks is smiling. Hard. Eek!

Pop those tabs

Wed 24 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

And a short tab closer:

  • The Spec Lit Foundation Older Writers Grant ($750) is open to applications until the end of the month. Apply here.
  • Reading Local Portland has an interview with our favorite furniture mover, Ben Parzybok—and, bonus, Laura Moulton.
  • Reading has been somewhat scattershot between Steampunk stories (latest in is from Ysabeau Wilce, yay!) and the old submission pile but Suzy McKee Charnas’s “Lowland Sea” is a fantastic start to Ellen Datlow’s new The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 2.
  • Also very much enjoying Mark Rich’s collection, Edge of Our Lives, which you can get direct from the publish RedJack Books.
  • 3% announced the winners of their Best Translated Book Awards:
    —Elena Fanailova for The Russian Version, translated from the Russian by Genya Turovskaya and Stephanie Sandler and published by Ugly Duckling Presse.
    —Gail Hareven for The Confessions of Noa Weber, translated from the Hebrew by Dalya Bilu and published by Melville House Press.
  • Our local copy shop (and LCRW maker) Paradise Copies in Northampton, MA, have a groovy new site.
  • Fred Pohl keeps a fascinating blog and the other day he posted about a couple of books, The Ground Truth by John Farmer and Zeitoun by Dave Eggers.
  • And Alan DeNiro, whose blog is sometimes abstruse but is on the must-read list, writes on the continuing tension between the book as a social object versus the book as a thing produced by one person alone.
  • The one and only Libba Bray and Tiger Beat at Books of Wonder:

Health care, etc.

Mon 22 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

March 20thWhat a relief that some kind of Intro to Health Care bill passed at last. It’s been a national embarrassment that an estimated 15% (say 47 million people—about the equal to the population of Spain or the Ukraine or Colombia) of this country’s people don’t have insurance. It’s hard to be proud of a country that just accepts that that’s the way it is and wants to ignore it. This is the best spending of political capital in a while.

We’ve spent the last year in hospitals with my and Kelly’s daughter, Ursula. Our health insurance, Health New England, has been fantastic and most things they don’t cover Mass Health will. She’s been in three different hospitals for 13 months. We’d be bankrupt if we have to pay, so I recommend Health New England to everyone in their area: Connecticut, Western Mass., and Vermont. All of which doesn’t stop my heart leaping into my throat (ouch) every time I check the mail and there’s an envelope from any of those hospitals, doctors, and god knows who all else. Is this the one going to say my insurance has run out? Is this the one saying my check somehow doesn’t seem to have arrived on time and my insurance has stopped? Will Mass Health pay this ambulance bill? What kind of bad news is this? And so far we have no idea—we’ve received different replies—if the insurance will cover her at-home nurse care. Good times.

I grew up in Scotland and much of my family still lives there. One of the biggest differences in quality of life between there and here is that over there no one worries about their health insurance—because it isn’t insurance, it’s a national health service that automatically covers everyone. Sure, it could be better, but everyone knows it’s there and available. In the USA I don’t know a single person, rich or poor, who doesn’t worry about their health insurance. I am raising a glass of Vermont’s own Long Trail Pale Ale in salute to everyone who put their name on the line and signed us up for a (ok, possibly) better future.

R,R,R,R,R,R. Nope. Wrrrrrrock!

Fri 19 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Here’s looking forward to some fun. What you going to do the night before BookExpo in NYC in May? There is no choice: there’s only Wrrrrrrock Onnn!?!

The mighty people at Two Dollar Radio have put together a fan-tastic sounding event and all proceeds benefit Girls Write Now. When they pinged us and asked “So, you up for this?” we immediately flew the torn black t-shirt of approval. The show features Care Bears on Fire and Japanther and maybe a few other things, and the more monies spent, the more Girls Write Now.

See you there!

Cloud & Ashes: Tiptree Award winner!

Wed 17 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We’re hugely excited to see that Greer Gilman‘s astounding novel Cloud & Ashes: Three Winter’s Tales is one of the winner of this year’s Tiptree Award. We love to put shiny stickers on our books and this particular sticker is a real fave. Also can’t wait to get our hands on a copy the other winner, the first two volumes of Fumi Yoshinaga’s manga, Ooku.

The awards (money! art! chocolate!) will be presented at Wiscon in Madison, WI, in May, and Greer (and perhaps some of her art) should be there to receive hers.

The Tiptree Award jury also announced an honor list (as well as honoring L. Timmel Duchamp’s Marq’ssan Cycle) of awesomeness:

  • Alice Sola Kim, “Beautiful White Bodies” (online at Strange Horizons 2009.12.07-14)
  • Vandana Singh, Distances (Aqueduct Press 2008)
  • Caitlin R. Kiernan, “Galapagos” (in Eclipse 3 edited by Jonathan Strahan, Night Shade Books 2009)
  • Jo Walton, Lifelode (NESFA Press 2009)
  • Maureen F. McHugh, “Useless Things” in Eclipse 3 edited by Jonathan Strahan (Night Shade Books 2009)
  • Paul Haines, “Wives” (in X6 edited by Keith Stevenson, coeur de lion 2009)

If you haven’t gotten your copy of Cloud & Ashes yet, Greer is part of a group signing (with Paul Tremblay, John Crowley, and more) at 1:30 PM at the Harvard Bookstore this Saturday as part of Vericon. Greer is reading at 4 PM and if you’re in the Boston area, this panel at 10 AM on Saturday is probably worth going to:

John Crowley, Greer Gilman, and Katherine Howe talk about how they craft cultures for the people who populate their stories.

Free association

Mon 15 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

This is fascinating. Part of me wants to try it myself, part of me thinks it would be embarrassing. I think it might make a great panel/event at Wiscon or something, but, again with the possibly embarrassing:

Making a book cover @ Orbit

Wed 10 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Don’t know who sent me here but it’s great (although so tempting to slow down!):

Thursday: freebies, signed books, etc.

Tue 9 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

PianerThis morning the Boston Globe includes our awesome event this Thursday at 6 at the Brookline Booksmith in their Three to See mini feature.

What’s not mentioned: there will be free stuff! Franciscan will provide the candy, there will be a tiny leetle bit of chocolate, and we will have Working Writer’s Daily Planners for all and sundry! (Well, say the first 100 people, if UPS delivers them on time.)

Also, if you’d like any books signed by Holly Black (The Poison Eaters, Tithe, Spiderwick), Kelly Link (Pretty Monsters, Magic for Beginners), and Cassandra Clare (City of Glass, City of Bones), use these links to pre-order them directly from the fab peeps at the Booksmith.

And, if you have questions for these writers (especially for the “lightning round”!) please email them to:[email protected].

Hope to see you there—or at least to read one of your questions!

SF Hall of Fame

Tue 9 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

I was honored to be one of the jury—along with George R.R. Martin, Frank Wu, Leslie Howle, Robin Wayne Bailey, Robert Silverberg, Brooks Peck, and Therese Littleton—for the Science Fiction Museum Hall of Fame inductees this winter. Just saw that Locus (post ganked wholesale below) says the Museum has now announced the inductees and you can go to the party to celebrate:

The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame has announced the 2010 Hall of Fame inductees: Octavia E. Butler, Roger Zelazny, Douglas Trumbull, and Richard Matheson.

The induction ceremony will be held June 26, 2010 at the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum in Seattle, Washington as part of the Science Fiction Awards Weekend, June 25-27, 2010, in conjunction with the Locus Awards and NW Media Arts writing workshops with Connie Willis and Gregory Frost. Further information and tickets to the Science Fiction Awards Weekend are available on the Locus website.

What would make you believe me?

Mon 8 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Neko dresses up for Dave TV:

books, whisky, and cards

Fri 5 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Catching up on the open tabs: be gone before the weekend!

Geoff Ryman is interviewed at The Short Review—which is an awesome site that only reviews that most commercial of forms, the short story!

Lois Ava-Matthews and friends have a great new(ish) online zine, Belletrista, whose mission is to Celebrate Women Writers Around the World. Issue 4 just went up and in it Tim Jones reviews Kalpa Imperial:

it stands in the distinguished tradition of fabulation of authors such as Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino, and it is arguably not a novel at all, but a collection of linked stories. As translated by Ursula K. Le Guin from the 1983 original, it reminded me most of a humanist equivalent of Gene Wolfe’s science fiction series The Book Of The New Sun.

Diagram has a 10 year antho which is a set of cards. Buy now.

An excellent review of Interfictions 2 by Sue Bond is up at Australian site MC Reviews with a lovely line (at least for interstitial enthusiasts):

I am still left puzzled as to what the deciding factor was for the choice and placement of the stories that are included in this anthology. It doesn’t seem to be restricted to particular themes, or to stories that contain an element of fantasy, or even stories that are unusual narratively.

And Erin asks are there interstitial writers in (between) other genres?

inverarity_12Speaking of (potentially) interstitial stuff, our Alasdair Gray book is at the printer and fingers crossed all will go well with all that pretty blue art on the inside. Here’s that bottle of whisky that he did the art for. Must try!

Our friends at Zygote games posted about an 11,000 year old site in Turkey.

When the Great Pyramid was built in Egypt, those stones in Turkey were older than the Pyramids are today.

Phew. Also, while you’re at it, pick up both their games for only $20!

Zine World reviews LCRW 23 and 24. 23 gets the better response:

Long-running, reliably good lit-zine. . . . There are stories from just about every genre, from fairy tales, surreal stories, and even an essay on logic problems. I enjoyed the bizarre surprise ending of “The LoveSling” and the engrossing story of “The Girl with No Hands. Truly something for everyone.

24 gets a light lambasting:

The bulk of the zine is the fiction pieces. They all seem to have the exact same style.

Eek! But they go on to say “Those who like to discover new writers, check this out.”