Your photos?

Wed 21 Jul 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | 20 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

We’re in the final stages of our new Working Writers Daily Planner and I thought I’d throw out a last minute call for for photos or art. We pay $10 + 1 copy for print + electronic rights. Please post links in the comments but only to art/photos you have rights to, thanks!

Also just added the multiple copy discounts for this one. These were very popular last year as whole workshops and bookclubs and all kind of book-related groups planned out their year together.



Meeks today, more tomorrow

Tue 20 Jul 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Today is publication day for Julia Holmes’s excellent debut novel Meeks! If you’re in NYC or environs, there’s an awesome launch party happening at WORD tonight. Do not say we did not warn you! Julia’s reading all over the place (Portland, OR! Boston, MA! More!) and you should attend in your bachelor suit.

Other updates: Kathe Koja and Holly Black are reading in South Carolina this week.

You can now preorder our fall books direct from us! We ship preorders out asap. Those books include Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others (just got an amazing blurb for that!), Kathe Koja’s Under the Poppy, A Working Writer’s Daily Planner, and the book that we are just about to send to the printer: Karen Joy Fowler’s stunner of a collection, What I Didn’t See and Other Stories. Ouch, that’s a good one.

We have one more title, a November book, which we haven’t announced yet even though it is getting really damn close but the contract, it could not be agreed upon. But, news should come on that soon, so: yay. And: phew.

Then we have new books which are coming next year all of which will be world-bestriding green-energy fueled juggernauts. Or, at least, great books. Because why do anything else?

Bachelor Suits at 7:30!



Weightless is Featherproof!

Tue 20 Jul 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Over on our Weightless ebook store (the best place for indie press ebooks!) we just added half a dozen titles from one of our fave Chicago publishers, Featherproof Books, plus two o/p titles from sf writer Judith Moffett—who was in the right place at the right time when we needed to try adding a few more titles from other people.Weightless is taking off nicely and we should have more addition announcements and so on over there most Tuesdays.



Meeks

Tue 20 Jul 2010 - Filed under: Books | 3 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

July 20, 2010 · 9781931520652 · trade paperback / ebook / audiobook

New! Julia Holmes’s essay in the New York Times magazine, “Upstate, and Back in Time

A Reader’s Guide to Meeks.

“Julia Holmes takes a page from Suzanne Collins — whose thriller The Hunger Games borrowed from reality TV — by imagining a world where bachelors jockey for mates, becoming laborers if they fail ”until one died of exhaustion or was yanked from the factory floor by the trailing teeth of some awful machine.” In Meeks her main character, shy Ben, appears destined to fail: He can barely talk to women, let alone romance them. Yet even though his fate seems preordained, Meeks, leavened by Holmes’ wit, never becomes grim melodrama.” B+
Entertainment Weekly

No woman will have Ben without a proper bachelor’s suit . . . and the tailor refuses to make him one. Back from war with a nameless enemy, he’s just discovered that his mother is dead and that his family home has been reassigned by the state. As if that isn’t enough, he must now find a wife, or he’ll be made a civil servant and given a permanent spot in one of the city’s oppressive factories.

Meanwhile, Meeks, a foreigner who lives in the park and imagines he’s a member of the police, is hunted by the overzealous Brothers of Mercy. Meeks’s survival depends on his peculiar friendship with a police captain—but will that be enough to prevent his execution at the annual Independence Day celebration?

A dark satire rendered with all the slapstick humor of a Buster Keaton film, Julia Holmes’s debut novel evokes the strange charm of a Haruki Murakami novel in a dystopic setting reminiscent of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Meeks portrays a world at once hilarious and disquieting, in which frustrated revolutionaries and hopeful youths suffer alongside the lost and the condemned, just for a chance at the permanent bliss of marriage and a slice of sugar-frosted Independence Day cake.

Read excerpts from Meeks at The Collagist, BenMarcus.net, and Conjunctions.

Locus Recommended Reading · Tiptree Honor List

Meeks is a wild, woolly, sly, gentle and wry first novel. . . . It’s a book whose singular vision keeps returning to me at odd moments, one of the most original and readable novels that’s come my way in a long time.”
The New York Times Book Review | Editor’s Choice

The novel is a postmodern parable about American passion and paranoia, like The Great Gatsby as told by Don DeLillo.”
The New York Observer

“The satire here has plenty of bite, but instead of winking at the reader, Holmes evokes her world with luminous prose.”
Los Angeles Times

“Holmes is a wonderful writer.”
The Stranger

“Holmes pares her prose to a pitch-perfect Beckettesque flatness—in a novel so richly engaged, and darkly amused, by the pathos of our contemporary search for love, the narrative authority maintains a wonderfully ironic tightness with a gentle, subtle indulgence for the striking metaphor and the occasional glint of cool wit that makes the reading at once eloquent and understated, edgy and nostalgic.”
Review of Contemporary Fiction

“A highly imaginative debut finds a stark Darwinian logic in a rigidly hierarchical society. . . . Holmes has fashioned a terrifying and utterly convincing world in which the perfect human being is one stripped of all illusions.”
Publishers Weekly

Belletrista

Read an interview with Julia on Portland’s Reading Local:

But the farther along you go, the better you understand the world’s weird local laws — even in an entirely invented, contrived world, there’s no tolerance for lies. I think that’s just crazy and delightful.

Julia picks 5 Recent Reads for Impose Magazine.

An August 2010 Indie Next Notable Book

“Holmes has created a fabulously surreal dystopia where to be married is the only way to find true happiness. Bachelors spend their days cultivating skills to impress ladies in what is essentially a lottery, and if they aren’t successful, they are consigned to a life of civil service–or worse. Darkly comic and lyrical, Meeks provides a unique satirical lens to look at our own changing perceptions of marriage, home life, and success.”
—Emily Pullen, Skylight Books, Los Angeles

Early Reader Reaction:

Meeks is a feat of desolating literary spellcraft, irresistible for its bleak hilarity and the sere brilliance of Julia Holmes’s prose.”
—Wells Tower (author of Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned)

“The world of Meeks is cruel, cold, and weird, suffocating in laws so strange they very nearly resemble our own.  Julia Holmes is that rare artist who, with invention and mythology, reveals nothing less than the most secret inner workings of the real world we overlook every day. A masterful debut by a writer of the most forceful originality.”
—Ben Marcus (author of Notable American Women and The Age of Wire and String)

“Oh bachelors, poor bachelors, pining for their pale suits—these needy men, so poignant in their search for wives, will break your heart in twain. Splendid and limping, hilarious and painful, a quiet perfection in its idiosyncrasy, the powerful alternate reality of Meeks is also an unforgettable truth. You’ll never see marriage the same way again.”
—Lydia Millet (author of How the Dead Dream and Oh Pure and Radiant Heart)

“The life of a bachelor is always hard, but in Meeks it’s truly desperate: if you don’t have the right suit then it’s either the Brothers of Mercy or the factories. Julia Holmes’s lucid prose tightens the noose of this curious world around your readerly neck before you even know what’s hit you. An invisible enemy, a pageant, a fashion system whose signification would stymie Roland Barthes, and a society that demands everyone rush quickly to fill their odd social slot, makes Meeks a unique (and uniquely imaginative) nightmare and a severely engrossing read.”
—Brian Evenson (author of  Fugue State and The Open Curtain)

“Pity the young gentleman set loose in this world of cruel tailors, perpetual war, large-scale civic pastry and the untold rivalries of the Bachelor House! With her uncommonly assured first novel, Julia Holmes channels the surreal paranoia of Poe and the dark-comic melodrama of a lost Guy Maddin script. The strangest, most compelling debut you’ll read this year.”
—Mark Binelli (author of Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die!)

Cover art © Robyn O’Neil.



Your Very Own Bachelor

Wed 14 Jul 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: jedediah

Some exciting updates from the Brothers of Mercy. The launch party for Meeks by Julia Holmes is next Tuesday, July 20th, at WORD Bookstore in Brooklyn. To celebrate (and to keep us mindful of our fates, Brothers and Sisters!), a raffle will be held, and with a raffle comes prizes, and oh, what prizes!

Signed copies of Meeks, for starters. And a one-of-a-kind hand-sewn “The Bachelor” action figure. And a piece of original artwork by Robyn O’Neil, “The Hill.” We are especially covetous of this last item, as Robyn O’Neil’s work is strange and haunting stuff, and this piece was created just to mark the publication of Meeks. Robyn’s art has appeared in galleries around the world, and you may have seen it in some other nifty places.

So we are wondering: Which lucky souls will walk away with the loot? Because we can’t keep it for ourselves, sadly…

More details about the event (with link to RSVP) over at the WORD Bookstore site.



Want baby stuff @ Readercon?

Tue 6 Jul 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We have some stuff we’d like to pass on next week at Readercon to anyone in the community who wants it. Post in the comments or send me an email at info at lcrw dot net.

  • some baby clothes for age 6-18 months, mostly girl’s, some random boy’s stuff in there, too.
  • a lovely Graco Baby Swing (with cute owls) given to us by the great Ford family.

Think that’s it. All the clothes are clean, everything’s in good shape. Drop me a line if you’re interested.



Readercon

Tue 6 Jul 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Along with 700 other readers, I (Gavin) will be at Readercon this weekend—there’s a small chance Kelly and Ursula will visit. Small. But I will have pictures. I’ll be there with Michael J. DeLuca and maybe a few others (but not Jedediah Berry, who is overseas spreading the good word about The Manual of Detection) shilling for shillings in the dealer’s room and I am on two panels on Friday (one all male, hmm). There’s also a chance I won’t be there later on Saturday, oops, silly me, but I’ll be back Sunday all the way until the bitter 2 PM end.

We will have new new new books and (glorious word) if you come looking for us, as if by magic you will also find the fine folks from ChiZine Publications.

Friday 3:00 PM, Salon G: Panel

The Best of the Small Press.  Michael Dirda, Gavin J. Grant, Sean Wallace, Robert
Freeman Wexler, Rick Wilber (L).

These days, many of the best novels and novellas, collections and anthologies are published by small presses in print runs that may only number in the hundreds. Most of these cannot be found on the shelves of chain bookstores, or even most independent and specialty shops. We’ll highlight the best works recently published by small presses — including many that Readercon attendees may not have heard about.

Friday 8:00 PM, Salon G: Panel

The New and Improved Future of Magazines.  K. Tempest Bradford, Neil Clarke, Liz Gorinsky (L), Gavin J. Grant, Matthew Kressel.

After last year’s “The Future of Magazines” panels, participant K. Tempest Bradford wrote: “The magazines and anthologies that I love tend to have editors who have taken the time to examine themselves or their culture, to expend their knowledge of other people and ways of being, to open their minds. These magazines and anthologies contain far more stories I want to read by authors of many varied backgrounds. As I said, it’s not fully about print vs. online, it’s about better magazines and books.” This time, creators and proponents of both print and online magazines collaborate on determining ways that any genre magazine can create a brighter and better-read future for itself, using Bradford’s comment as a launching point.



Redemption in Indigo

Tue 6 Jul 2010 - Filed under: Books, Karen Lord | 20 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

9781931520669 · Trade paper/ebook/audiobook · 200 pp

Karen Lord’s debut novel is an intricately woven tale of adventure, magic, and the power of the human spirit. Paama’s husband is a fool and a glutton. Bad enough that he followed her to her parents’ home in the village of Makendha—now he’s disgraced himself by murdering livestock and stealing corn. When Paama leaves him for good, she attracts the attention of the undying ones—the djombi— who present her with a gift: the Chaos Stick, which allows her to manipulate the subtle forces of the world. Unfortunately, a wrathful djombi with indigo skin believes this power should be his and his alone.

Bursting with humor and rich in fantastic detail, Redemption in Indigo is a clever, contemporary fairy tale that introduces readers to a dynamic new voice in Caribbean literature. Lord’s world of spider tricksters and indigo immortals is inspired in part by a Senegalese folk tale—but Paama’s adventures are fresh, surprising, and utterly original.

Awards

Carl Brandon Parallax award winner
Mythopoeic Award winner.
Crawford Award winner.
Frank Collymore Award winner.
World Fantasy Award finalist.
Longlisted for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature.
Shortlisted for the Guyana Prize for Literature.

Interviews

World SF Blog interview by Chesya Burke · Locus Magazine · Notes from Coode Street podcast

Reviews

Locus: Recommended Reading · Best of the Year

“Filled with witty asides, trickster spiders, poets and one very wise woman, “Redemption in Indigo” is a rare find that you could hand to your child, your mother or your best friend.”
Washington Post

“The perfect antidote to the formula fantasies currently flooding the market…. Précis fails to do justice to the novel’s depth, beauty and elegant simplicity. Written from the point of view of an omniscient storyteller in the style of an oral narrative, this is a subtle, wise and playful meditation on life and fate.”
The Guardian

“A clever, exuberant mix of Caribbean and Senegalese influences that balances riotously funny set pieces (many involving talking insects) with serious drama initiated by meddlesome supernatural beings.”
New York Times

“Lord’s novel is very sprightly from start to finish, with vivid descriptions, memorable heroes and villains, brisk pacing — and an “authorised” epilogue that raises goosebumps along with expectations for a sequel. Iffy or not, that’s clever storytelling.”
Caribbean Review of Books

—Read the Introduction and first chapter on Tor.com.
—Karen writes about Paama’s origins for Scalzi’s Big Idea.
—Karen blogged for one of our favorite bookstores, Powell’s.com: Listening to stories. Making a book trailer. Cake! Authenticity. The Muse.
A report on the book launch in Barbados.
—Audio edition available from Recorded Books.
—Available in the UK from Jo Fletcher Books/Quercus

“Full of sharp insights and humorous asides (“I know your complaint already. You are saying, how do two grown men begin to see talking spiders after only three glasses of spice spirit?”), Redemption extends the Caribbean Island storyteller’s art into the 21st century and hopefully, beyond.”
Seattle Times

“There’s never a doubt we’re in the hands of a contemporary taleteller with a voice both insouciant and respectful of its sources, and it’s a voice we’d like to hear more from. Redemption in Indigo is wise, funny, and very promising.”
—Gary K. Wolfe, Locus

“The seamless weaving of fantasy, folklore, and science creates a speculative text that is diasporic in its dimensions. Most compelling, however, is Lord’s ability to bring the past, present, and future of diasporic narrative together in a way that is not stereotypically timeless but instead innovatively time conscious.”
—Alisa K. Braithwaite, Small Axe

Redemption in Indigo is a brilliant little gem of a novel, as close to perfect as storytelling can be. It is hard to believe that such an intricate tale could be told in just about 200 pages. It is even harder to believe that this is Karen Lord’s debut given how self-assured the narrative is. But it is extremely easy to see how this book has earned such well-deserved admiration, mine included.”
The Book Smugglers

“As I read the first pages of Karen Lord’s slim debut novel Redemption in Indigo, I knew I wouldn’t put the book down until the story was finished. A modern retelling of a Senegalese legend, the book is both modern and mystical. There is magic in these pages, both in the story and Lord’s flowing prose. Her narrator is humble, articulate, and wise, and Redemption in Indigo is yet another skillfully told fairy tale (of several this year) that truly transports the reader to another world where spirits take the shape of men and alter lives for better and for worse.”
LargeHeartedBoy

Redemption in Indigo is a quick, engaging read, and I expect that most readers will find it a fresh addition to the genre. I’ll certainly be looking forward to Karen Lord’s future books. Should she choose to revisit these characters in particular, I know I’d enjoy it very much.”
BSC Review

“What if Paradise Lost were recast in an African setting, its themes of rebellion, disobedience, greed, innocence lost, and redemption intact, its trickster characters both earthly and heavenly also intact, but its storyline adjusted to suit a more contemporary audience and adjusted to avoid having the young (or older) skeptic call it a fairy tale?
“Karen Lord’s first novel is unique, warm, funny, and smart, and her speculative imaginings should awaken every fantasy fan’s sense of wonder. It might not make it to a bestseller list, but given time, it might be found on a list of hidden gems—as might whatever Lord writes next.”
Reflection’s Edge

“A great deal happens in the novel’s relatively short course, but confusion is minimal because Lord has found the ideal voice for the narrator—feminine yet authoritative, amusing yet soothing, omniscient yet humble. This is one of those literary works of which it can be said that not a word should be changed.”
Booklist *Starred Review*

“Lord’s debut, a retelling of a Senegalese folktale, packs a great deal of subtly alluring storytelling into this small package…. An unnamed narrator, sometimes serious and often mischievous, spins delicate but powerful descriptions of locations, emotions, and the protagonists’ great flaws and great strengths as they interact with family, poets, tricksters, sufferers of tragedy, and—of course—occasional moments of pure chaos.”
Publishers Weekly *Starred Review*

“The impish love child of Tutuola and Garcia Marquez. Utterly delightful.”
—Nalo Hopkinson (Brown Girl in the Ring)

“Adventure, mystery, familial relations, discourse of power, ananse, the spirit world—a difficult mix/transition between conventional ‘plot’/narrative and magical realism—between cooking and xtreme lyric—beyond the boundary of what we conventionally/conveniently think of as ‘Bajam’, as ‘West Indian writing’, but part of and contribution to the ‘new generation’ of Caribbean imprint, pioneered by Lawrence Scott (TT/UK), in development now by Nalo Hopkinson (Guyana/Canada), (Marina Warner’s Indigo too?) and being incremented on/to by this challenging first novel by prize-winning Karen Lord of Barbados.”
—Kamau Brathwaite (Born to Slow Horses)

“Drawing on a multicultural mélange of narrative traditions—both oral and written—this Barbadian author surprises. She tap dances across the conventional, using it to make spirited sounds. She twists out of tired modes: “Once upon a time—but whether a time that was, or a time that is, or a time that is to come, I may not tell.” Then, Lord ends the tale by challenging “those who utterly, utterly fear the dreaded Moral of the Story.” Expect a work that can revive this and other exhausted elements of story.”
Foreword Reviews

Karen Lord was born in Barbados in 1968 and decided to explore the world. After completing a science degree at the University of Toronto, she realised that the course she had enjoyed most was History of the English Language. Several degrees, jobs, countries, and years later, she had taught physics, trained soldiers, worked in the Foreign Service, and gained a PhD in sociology of religion. She writes fiction to balance the nonfiction she produces as an academic and research consultant. She lives in Barbados and now uses the internet to explore the world, which is cheaper.

Author photo © Risée N. C. Chaderton.
Cover photo © Corbis.

First Printing: July 6, 2010
Second Printing: December 2010
Third Printing: April 2013

Previously:

Sept. 10, 2010:
Reading with Julia Holmes
McNally Jackson Books
52 Prince Street, New York, NY

Sept. 12: 2 PM,
Karen read at the Brooklyn Book Festival and signed books at the Small Beer Press table.
Brooklyn Borough Hall
209 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Sept. 14: Reading with Julia Holmes (Meeks)
Greenlight Bookstore
686 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY



Yesterday, we shipped!

Thu 1 Jul 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We have good news: we have copies of Redemption in Indigo and Meeks! Which means that soon enough your local bookstore (and maybe some other retail outlets) will have them, too. Pre-orders (for which: thanks!—and more TK soon about that for Kathe Koja’s book…!) and more review copies have been shipped from the office. Consortium ship out books to stores, soooon. Of course, you can see both authors in New York (and other places!) over the next couple of months. Keep an eye out here (ouch) or see the handy dandy events thingy.

And, also, Ladies and Gents! All this week! Karen Lord has been blogging at one of the biggest bookshops in the universe: Powell’s Books in Portland, OR. Listening to stories. Making a book trailer. Cake! And today: Authenticity.

Ok, another tab to be opened: Edward Gauvin is at Kepler’s Books’s Well-Read Donkey this week writing about talking to himself and then getting to talk to everyone else about G.-O.C. now that A Life on Paper has been published and ways of reading Châteaureynaud.

Lastly, Kathe Koja on writing what you have to at Ramblings of a Tattooed Head.

Next: tea time and wondering if the tea lady will have any of those nice gingery biscuits left by the time she reaches this part of the office.



Indie Bookstore Week

Thu 1 Jul 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Independents Week: July 1–7

Celebrate Independents Week with independent businesses across the country—and around the world as the movement grows. If you shop at local independent businesses your purchases help pay the wages of people in your area—who can then afford to buy books: maybe even your book! Check out the American Independent Business Alliance (www.amiba.net) or for more info on this celebration that is becoming more popular each year.

In celebration of Independents Week we’re listing a few favorite bookshops (many more can be found on Indiebound.org and on our website) from our homestate, Massachusetts. It will only take us 49 more years to cover the whole USA!

Boston has a few good bookshops scattered throughout the metropolitan area which makes for a fun day on the T to try to see them all. Start in Coolidge Corner with the Brookline Booksmith (brooklinebooksmith.com) which features a busy reading series, a used book basement, and a staff of engaged and passionate readers. Brookline is also lucky enough to have a full-service kid’s store, the Children’s Book Shop (thechildrensbookshop.net). Also worth a visit is Calamus, a GLBT bookstore (calamusbooks.com)
Over the Charles River in Cambridge at the Harvard Book Store (harvard.com) they also have a used book basement but their new additions don’t just include their well-stocked ground floor, they also have an On Demand book printer where thousands of out of print books are available—and you can print your book there, too! Harvard Square also boasts a lovely kid’s book store, Curious George & Friends (curiousg.com), Schoenhof’s Foreign Books (schoenhofs.com), as well as the one and only Grolier Poetry Bookshop (grolierpoetrybookshop.org). Up Mass. Ave. is another fave, a newish general bookshop the Porter Square Bookshop (portersquarebooks.com) and further out are Newtonville Books (Newtonville, newtonvillebooks.com), Jamaicaway Books and Gifts (Jamaica Plain, jamaicawaybooks.com), Back Pages (Waltham, backpagesbooks.com), and Cornerstone Books (Salem, cornerstonebooks-salem.com).
Out in central Massachusetts there are a cluster of great bookshops not coincidentally near Easthampton—the popularity of books and reading is a big reason why we’re here. Cherry Picked Books (101 Main St, Easthampton, MA) is a good old-fashioned used booksshop and is handy should you need a stack of holiday paperbacks. . . . Broadside Books (Northampton, broadsidebooks.com) like every indie bookshop can get any book within a day or two. Over the Connecticut River, in Amherst, Amherst Books (amherstbooks.com), Food For Thought Books (foodforthoughtbooks.com), and the Eric Carle Museum Bookshop (picturebookart.org/shop) cover all ages, political philosophies and budgets. The Odyssey  Book Shop (S. Hadley, odysseybooks.com) has an impressive first First Editions Club for readers and collectors. The Montague Bookmill (Montague, montaguebookmill.com) is a favorite of everyone we know.
Out in the Berkshires, the Bookloft (Great Barrington, thebookloft.com) also has an On Demand machine which is so popular they have started a print on demand service, Troy Book Makers which nicely turns the publishing wheel back to the period when publishers were booksellers, now booksellers are publishers!