Stranger Things Happen limited edition news

Fri 25 May 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link.jpgStranger Things Happen is Kelly Link’s debut collection of stories. It contains eleven stories It was one of the first two books—the other was Ray Vukcevich’s Meet Me in the Moon Room—we launched with back in July 2001 and is our bestselling title. We just recently got in copies of the seventh printing of the paperback. It has also been downloaded more than 110,000 times from our site and others as well as selling very well as an ebook. It is taught at many schools and has been published in Japan, Italy, Hungary, Russia, the Czech Republic, France, Israel, and Korea. Yay!

This October, eleven years after first publication, Stranger Things Happen will be published in a hardcover edition by the good people at Subterranean Press. We could have published this edition ourselves but Kelly has long wanted to work with Bill Schafer and everyone at Sub Press and they are pros at this kind of project. As with many readers in this genre, we’ve long been admirers of the press and Bill has often given us great advice over the years. We own many of their books—and we have all these great books we’re working on so it made sense to go to them with it.

It is also gave Kelly a chance to work with one of her favorite artists, Kathleen Jennings, who has provided the cover illustration as well as story headers for each of the eleven stories.

This special signed limited edition of Stranger Things Happen is accompanied by a exclusive hardcover chapbook, Origin Stories, which contains two stories, “Origin Stories” and “Secret Identity.”

There are only going to be 500 copies, all of which will be signed, and we have arranged with Kelly to personalize copies ordered here.

Norton, Nebulas!

Mon 21 May 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The Freedom Maze cover - click to view full sizeWhat a weekend not to be in Washington, DC! Huge congratulations to Delia Sherman whose novel The Freedom Maze received the Norton Award. You can see a picture of a very happy Delia in this picture on Making Light with the rest of the nights awardees.

We’re very proud to have published this book and elated to see it recognized in this way. The Freedom Maze is also a Prometheus Award finalist and was on the Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011 and Tiptree Award Honor lists. The audio book will come out this autumn from Listening Library; you can listen to an interview with Delia and a reading from The Freedom Maze on our podcast, and read Delia’s guest post on Diversity in YA about the book: “When I began writing The Freedom Maze, back in 1987, I didn’t intend to write a book about race.”

Geoff Ryman was very happy that he came over from the UK for the weekend: his story “What We Found,” from the Sept./Oct. 2011 issue of F&SF received the novelette Nebula. That story is not in his collection Paradise Tales but if you want a taste of his writing you can read the first story, “The Film-makers of Mars,” on

It’s been said that Kij Johnson‘s forthcoming At the Mouth of the River of Bees: Stories is one of the most anticipated debut (print—there was an ebook collection a few years ago) science fiction and fantasy collections in recent years. Her story “The Man Who Bridged the Mist (Asimov’s, Oct./Nov. 2011) is her third in three years to have received the Nebula, which is pretty amazing. You can read a few of her stories on her website and the collection—with a fantastic cover by Jackie Morris—will be out in August.

Also: Delia will be at Wiscon in Madiscon, WI, next weekend. We’re not going (ach!) but David J. Schwartz will be tabling for us, thanks again Dave. He will have a few signed copies of Delia’s book—all we have left are the copies Delia signed when she was up here recently. When the few we have and those sent to Wiscon sell, that’s it until the paperback comes out. Get your copy here. Of course, you can also get the ebook.

Translation games

Thu 17 May 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | 3 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Three Messages and a Warning cover - click to view full sizeWhen Three Messages and a Warning came out one of the things we meant to do was play with Google Translate. Hold that thought, let a few months pass, find a quiet Thursday afternoon and here we are.


  1. here’s the story in the English translation
  2. then the same story run through Google from English to Spanish (enjoy, Hispanophones!),
  3. and, lastly the machine Spanish translation retranslated by Google from Spanish to English—using a different browser so that it did not just return the original text.

I used one of the shorter stories in the book, “Variation on a Theme of Coleridge” by Alberto Chimal [video of author reading], translated by co-editor Chris N.Brown so that you can buzz through it and easily compare: Read more

New Catalog, New Titles: Le Guin, Dickinson, Gorodischer, More

Tue 15 May 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 5 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

The Unreal and the Real: Where on Earth coverWe’ll be mailing copies of this soonish but you can read it right now due to the magic of . . . yes, your early childhood educators who taught you to read. A big hand, ladies and gentlemen, for all those educators. Yay! And now you can exercise your lovely reading ability on our new catalog covering rightnowthisinstant through to March 2013.

Bookstores and reviewers: if you would like a print copy, email us at info @ smallbeerpres dot com and we will add you to our opt-in very occasional actual physical mailing list.

In conjunction with posting our catalog, we’ve added our new titles to the site. More about these books TK in coming weeks, but for the moment we are delighted to add books we are very happily working on:

Peter Dickinson, Earth and Air: Tales of Elemental Creatures (Sept. tc/tp/ebook)

Kathe Koja, Under the Poppy (Sept. tp)

The Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin Volume One: Where on Earth (Nov. tc/ebook)
The Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin Volume Two: Outer Space Inner Lands (Nov. tc/ebook)

Angélica Gorodischer, Trafalgar: a novel (Feb. 2013, tp/ebook, translated by Amalia Gladhart)

All of which can be ordered right here right now.

Small Beer Press 2012+

The Book Group

Mon 14 May 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

At some point we realized one of our fave painfully funny TV shows, The Book Group is available on Hulu. Painful painful painful Funny funny funny.

Yay Street Books!

Tue 8 May 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Pasted wholesale from the National Book Foundation website’s winners of the Innovations in Reading Prize: yay Laura!

Street Books

Street Books, www.streetbooks.orgPortland, OR

Street Books is a bicycle-powered mobile library serving people who live outside in Portland, Oregon. Founded in June 2011, the street library offers a means to check out books for patrons who are unable to do so from regular libraries because they lack identification or proof of address. In nearly a year of operation, hundreds of patrons have been served, many of them becoming regulars who return weekly to the shift to return books and check out new ones. Patrons are invited to be photographed with their books of choice, and contribute their own reviews or stories from the road. These stories can be viewed at

Street Books is committed to providing good literature, and conversations about literature, for those who are often pushed to the margins. Patrons have checked out hundreds of paperbacks in all genres, from sci-fi to romance to memoir, by authors ranging from James Patterson and Jeannette Walls to Flannery O’Connor and Stephen King. Street Books has created a greater engagement between its patrons and the larger housed community, and built a bridge with literature between the two. The Street Books project has been featured in national and international media, including Library Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, and Newstalk Radio in Ireland.

Kij Johnson, At the . . . Goodreads Giveaway

Mon 7 May 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Goodreads Book Giveaway

At the Mouth of the River of Bees by Kij Johnson

At the Mouth of the River of Bees

by Kij Johnson

Giveaway ends May 10, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Small Beer Podcast 10: Julie Day Interviews John Kessel

Fri 4 May 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Julie

The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories cover - click to view full size Here at the Small Beer Studios, it’s Kesselmania! Between the reading of “The Last American” in Episode Nine and this week’s interview of the man himself, right now it seems that we have Kessel and nothing but Kessel on our minds.

And why not? He’s an interesting guy, an astute anthologist and a terrific writer. Yes,it’s true: he’s won the Nebula, the James Tiptree Jr. and the Shirley Jackson awards. He’s also co-edited a fantastic series of anthologies with James Patrick Kelly. I tried to cover everything in a single interview. In other words, I set myself the impossible task.

What did make it into this podcast? John’s thoughts on the singularity, his current batch of anthologies with Jim Kelly, his latest novel in progress (yay!) his illuminating thoughts on Ender’s Game, a reading from his novelette, “Buddha Nostril Bird,” and how science fiction saved his life.

Small Beer is part of the DRM-free universe. More than that, John’s collection The Baum Plan for Financial Independence is available as a free ebook on Weightless Books. So go ahead and read the collection for yourself. After all, how many interviews come with their own free book?

Episode 10: In which Julie Day interviews John Kessel

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Why print on demand isn’t right for us right now

Tue 1 May 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | 6 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Small Beer Sixpack: Goose IslandI keep reading about the death of legacy publishers (hey, that’s us!) due to their refusal to get into the ebook game (done that) or not being swift enough to change from old fashioned book printers to using print on demand. This is going to be a short post because here’s the simple problem with print on demand is it’s too expensive. (Unless we want to price our paperbacks at $20 . . . ! Which I don’t.) Another problem is that we would have to create a gallery that would allow each product to be ordered when wanted. So the printing would be more expensive and then we would essentially have to rework our online presence too.

Let’s use a 320-page book as an example. We’ve been pricing our trade paperbacks at $16 since we started publishing in 2001. From that $16, about 65% goes to the bookstore and the distro. So we receive about 35% = $5.60 to pay the author and for the art, copyediting, Indexer marketing, publicity, mailing, freight, returns, and whatever other costs there are, including, with luck, ourselves.

So why don’t we minimize our investment in printed books and only print one or two hundred at a time? Because we can’t afford to.

We always use recycled paper, which bumps up the printing price of all our books but we’ve always thought that if a publisher can’t afford that, they shouldn’t be printing books.

The book printer below quoted just under $2 a copy, not bad for only 2K books. The more books we can print, the lower the unit cost. That leaves us almost $4 for all those costs above.

If we go the print on demand route, we’d receive $0.83 per book, not enough to pay the author royalties, never mind anything else.

So until the print on demand unit price drops, we’ll stick to printing a couple of thousand copies, letting books sell through, and reprinting when the orders start building up.

Print on Demand (quotes provided May 1, 2012 from 2 printers):

100 copies
$517.00 · ($5.17 each)
$667.80 · ($6.67 each)

250 copies
$1,292.50 · ($5.17 each)
$1,458.89 · ($5.83 each)

Book Printer (quote provided Feb 16, 2012):

2000 copies (including freight to warehouse/office)
$3842.00 · ($1.92 each)