International shipping

Wed 27 Feb 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Wow. We just caught up with the recent changes in international shipping costs. Basically the price of mailing one book outside the USA is now = Ouch. The cost of mailing 2 books = 4 x Ouch. Anything more than 2 books = Wow, wait, that really hurt!

Man, does this suck. First they got rid of M-Bag shipping and now it costs $23.95 to ship a book priority mail.

We’ll continue to ship books abroad—we’re very happy that readers from all over the world find Small Beer and LCRW—but, Ouch!—we won’t be surprised if you switch to ebooks instead.

Mead Manifesto

Tue 26 Feb 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Michael

Me hitting the floral aromas a little too hard at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, Kalamazoo, MI, courtesy of @erin_meyers.

I’ve needed to get this off my chest for awhile. A bee in my bonnet, so to speak.

Mead is at long last becoming a popular thing in the US, growing in the same way cider has been growing, particularly at brewpubs and among craft brewers in regions otherwise known for prowess in the fermenting arts. The trouble–as with cider, only worse because mead hasn’t had Strongbow and Woodchuck holding it up commercially for the last ten years–is that nobody knows a damn thing about it. Including, it seems to me, a lot of the people brewing it.

Mead is, or should be, a wonderful thing, sublime I dare say, magical even. Mead can be complex with rich mouthfeel like a port, but lighter-bodied and prettier. It can smell delicate and amazing, like all the flowers in the honey it was made from. It can send both palate and pate into flights of hyperbolic fantasy unknown since the age of bards and heroes.

Or it can be sickly-sweet, cough-syrupy, overpowered and unbalanced with ridiculous, unnecessary additives by well-intentioned brewers who as best I can understand don’t actually know what mead is supposed to taste like.

What’s it supposed to taste like?

Read more

Worldreader: Books for All

Tue 26 Feb 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Just read the Worldreader Annual Report and was fascinated by the results of an external study looking into their impact:

“For girls, one year with Worldreader is like five years of regular schooling.”

This is amazing and an absolute world changer.

We’re very proud to be part of it. Publishers and authors, please donate your ebooks here, thank you!
World Reader Annual Report


Tue 26 Feb 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Hey, peeps, they are a-reading the new issue of LCRW.

Also, it is now in many shops. Indies bookshops who carry LCRW, listen up: We Love You! We appreciate your mad passions! You are It for us, now and forevers!

“Always happy to see a new issue of this occasional story outburst. I grope for a term to suggest the nature of the highly imaginative fiction here; “weird” will not do; “fabulist” is wrong; “odd” might fit, but I think I’ll settle on “strange”. Yes, these are strange stories, in which even experienced explorers of genre terrain may occasionally find themselves on uneven footing; there are few overworn trails here.”
—Lois Tilton, Locus Online

“The entire issue made me smile. I’m looking forward to the next issue, whenever it may come.”
Fantasy Literature

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is the kind of magazine that you want to read slowly. Read a story. Put the magazine down. Absorb what you have just read. Then, after a while, read another story. Repeat. After more than a year’s absence here is issue #28 with more of their very different stories.”
SF Revu


Trafalgar, here, there, everywhere

Thu 21 Feb 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Trafalgar cover - click to view full sizeThanks to translator extraordinaire Amalia Gladhart, I’m very happy to be celebrating the first English language publication of Angélica Gorodischer’s novel TrafalgarThe credit for this book coming out also goes back to Ursula K. Le Guin whose translation of Kalpa Imperial opened our eyes to this excellent writer. I am so glad I put this rather optimistic line in our About page:

We are seriously interested in more translations — especially of Angelica Gorodischer. However, we are monolingual (sorry) which makes the editorial process difficult. If you are a grad student looking for a translation project which may be of interest to us, we recommend Gorodischer’s Trafalgar and Prodiges.

We heard from a few translators of Gorodischer’s work in the ten years(!) since we published Kalpa Imperial but nothing panned out so when I received an email in June 2011 from Amalia I didn’t know whether to get excited or not. She had published a couple of previous translations, The Potbellied Virgin and Beyond the Islands, both by Alicia Yánez Cossío of Ecuador, which seemed like a good sign. But I still wasn’t sure, of course, until I got the book.

The first story, “By the Light of the Chaste Electronic Moon,” is great and really off the wall—check it out in Fantasy & Science Fiction this spring—so I was on edge, wondering where the book was going. But the second story, “The Sense of the Circle,” blew me away and I knew we were going to publish the book.

When it was announced that Angélica was one of the two winners of the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award, I had a mad thought that we could get the book—or at least a chapbook—out in time for the convention. Ha. Did not happen. But in the meantime Kelly found Ron Guyatt‘s fabulous travel poster “Caloris Basin – Mercury” and we worked with him to use it for the cover.

And now the book is out!

Two of the stories are already online: “The Best Day of the Year” (on and “Trafalgar and Josefina” (on Belletrista), and just today “Of Navigators” went up on the lit journal Eleven Eleven’s new site (their print edition will be available here). And reviews are coming in from all over. The Willamette Week (“a thing of digression and casual wonderment”) liked that Trafalgar was translated by an Oregonian. Abigail Nussbaum, in the Los Angeles Review of Books, called it “A novel that is unlike anything I’ve ever read, one part pulp adventure to one part realistic depiction of the affluent, nearly-idle bourgeoisie, but always leaning more towards the former in its inventiveness and pure (if, sometimes, a little guilt-inducing) sense of fun.”

Trafalgar is hard to describe, which is part of the fun of it. Put the coffee on and join in.

Death stars to electric cars

Thu 14 Feb 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

I find it hard to believe that so many people fell for the White House’s announcement that they aren’t building a Death Star. Of course that’s what they’d say.

Are you going to be in Chicago on Sat. April 6th? Check out the Caxton Symposium: OUTSIDERS: Zines, Samizdat, & Alternative Publishing. Looks like a good day.

I was sad to note the recent death of Ralph G. Martin, “The author or co-author of some 30 books, Mr. Martin was perhaps best known for Jennie: The Life of Lady Randolph Churchill, a two-volume biography of Winston Churchill’s beautiful American-born mother, the former Jennie Jerome.” Nice books, I recommend them if you haven’t read them.

Speaking of the Times, did you see Karen Russell on the cover of the Book Review this week? Can’t wait to read Vampires in the Lemon Grove, although I will probably pick it up and have to put it aside until all the excitement dies down and I can read it in peace.

Other Small Beer stuff: No, we did not post eligible books/stories or whatever for various awards. It never quite seems like the right thing for us to do. But we do like awards and reviews and so on, including this review of LCRW 28 in Locus Online from Lois Tilton, who enjoyed most of the zine. LCRW‘s out at most of the bookstores it goes to now. Thank you for giving our tiny zine space on your lovely shelves, indie bookstores!

There’s one bookstore with a 10-year-old invoice for chapbooks. On the 10th anniversary, in September, maybe I will post the invoice online and see if payment appears!

Did you see Linda Nagata has a new SF novel coming out next month. Ch-ch-ch . . . you know what to do.

AWP is in Boston this March. See you there?

Looks like an interesting show starting soon in NYC: Ann.

Who’s right, who’s wrong? NYT vs. Tesla! The writer reports he skipped regular charging stations because he wanted to use only the superchargers. Because that is a rational decision any driver would make . . . ? Er, no. Sorry. Can’t wait for the driving in circles explanation.

How about 9 books in a box?

Thu 14 Feb 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

No, not a sale. We should do one of those someday, shouldn’t we? Some day when we’ve caught up with things.

Anyway! The annual Con or Bust auction is on and this is what we put up. At the moment, the bid is $25. Bid it up!

  1. Poppy Z. Brite, Second Line
  2. Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud, A Life on Paper: Stories (hardcover, trans. by Edward Gauvin)
  3. Kelley Eskridge, Solitaire
  4. Karen Joy Fowler, What I Didn’t See and Other Stories(hardcover)
  5. Angélica Gorodischer, Trafalgar (paperback, trans. by Amalia Gladhart)
  6. Julia Holmes, Meeks (paperback)
  7. Eduardo Jimenez Mayo & Chris N. Brown, Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Short Stories of the Fantastic (paperback)
  8. Laurie Marks, Water Logic (paperback)
  9. Benjamin Parzybok, Couch (paperback)

Olondria Winners

Thu 14 Feb 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

To the 5 lucky readers who Goodreads selected: Your copies of A Stranger in Olondria are on their way!


Tue 12 Feb 2013 - Filed under: Books | Leave a Comment| Posted by: intern

February 12, 2013 · 256pp · 9781618730329  · trade paper · $16  | 9781618730336 · ebook · $9.95
Translated by Amalia Gladhart.

Locus Recommended Reading

“Trafalgar and Josefina” was reprinted in The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2014, edited by Rich Horton.

When you run into Trafalgar Medrano at the Burgundy or the Jockey Club and he tells you about his latest intergalactic sales trip, don’t try to rush him. He likes to stretch things out over seven double coffees. No one knows whether he actually travels to the stars, but he’s the best storyteller around, so why doubt him?

Trafalgar, a novel-in-stories, was originally published in Argentina in 1979. It starts off light and refreshing right from the very first short Who’s Who in Rosario listing for Trafalgar, although there are occasional clouds that pass through Trafalgar Medrano’s bright and happy stories.

Excerpts available in F&SF , Tor.comLightspeed, Belletrista, and Eleven Eleven.

Read an interview with Angélica Gorodischer on Lightspeed.

“Elegantly constructed images and smooth narrative twists make “Trafalgar’s” enchanting oddness all-encompassing and unforgettable.”
Seattle Times

“Perhaps the strangest thing about these tales is how easily one forgets the mechanics of their telling. Medrano’s audiences are at first reluctant to be taken in by yet another digressive, implausible monologue about sales and seductions in space. But soon enough, they are urging the teller to get on with it and reveal what happens next. The discerning reader will doubtless agree.”
Review of Contemporary Fiction

“Gorodischer’s fecund and playful sense of invention is dazzling here, especially in the roll call of perfectly contrived larksome proper names. Her style is more jaunty and modern, less baroque than in Kalpa Imperial, giving the sense that Trafalgar is right at your elbow, hoisting a beer. The banter between Trafalgar and his interlocutors, particularly his female Boswell, is sprightly and fun. . . . At age 84, perched atop a major canon, Angélica Gorodischer deserves to loom high in the ranks of contemporary fantasists.”
—Paul Di Filippo, Locus Online

“Had I to choose five words to describe it, I would call it: quiet, contemplative, provoking, bizarre—and brilliant. Quite, quite brilliant.
“It is not the kind of thing I would normally choose to read.
“But now that I’ve read it, I am at liberty to inform you I found it delightful. Thought-provoking. Impressive. Brilliant.”
—Liz Bourke,

“A novel that is unlike anything I’ve ever read, one part pulp adventure to one part realistic depiction of the affluent, nearly-idle bourgeoisie, but always leaning more towards the former in its inventiveness and pure (if, sometimes, a little guilt-inducing) sense of fun.”
—Abigail Nussbaum, Los Angeles Review of Books

“A thing of digression and casual wonderment.”
Willamette Week

“The narrative of this compilation draws the reader into the story of an ordinary man traveling to alternative worlds. Gorodischer creates an atmosphere where fascinating stories take on the ordinariness of everyday life.”

“This understated and impressive story cycle, written in 1979 by Argentinean author and World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award winner Gorodischer (Kalpa Imperial), relates the adventures of intergalactic trader and coffee addict Trafalgar Medrano. When he meets with the unnamed narrators, he tells of his attempts to raise money by selling goods and services on other planets; most of his efforts end in improbable, hilarious disaster, such as being mistaken for Mandrake the Magician or finding a world that looks exactly like Earth—in 1492. The tropes are well-worn, but Gorodischer takes them in entertaining directions that both evoke their golden age roots and transcend them with a layer of absurdism. Gladhart’s translation spotlights Trafalgar’s dryly comic statements, like “I changed the course of history; nothing more than that.” Trafalgar’s adventures build on each other nicely, creating a collection that’s a joy to read.”
Publishers Weekly

Table of Contents

By the Light of the Chaste Electronic Moon
The Sense of the Circle
Of Navigators
The Best Day of the Year
The González Family’s Fight for a Better World [audio]

–Interval with my Aunts
Trafalgar and Josefina
–End of the Interval

Mr. Chaos
Strelitzias, Lagerstroemias, and Gypsophila
Trafalgar and I

Read more

Office closed

Mon 11 Feb 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Perhaps not a surprise but given the rubbish weather, our office is closed today.

Win a copy of A Stranger in Olondria

Wed 6 Feb 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar

A Stranger in Olondria

by Sofia Samatar

Giveaway ends February 13, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win