Where are they now: Christian N. Desrosiers

Tue 30 Jul 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Boorama, a city in western Somaliland.

Boorama, a city in western Somaliland

I’ve been all over the place, both geographically and career-wise—I’ll do my best to be concise and still interesting. I interned at SBP during my junior year at Amherst College. At the time, I was an English major who was solely interested in literature and making a career in literature. I went on from SBP to a summer internship at the Hudson Review and, in my senior year, I wrote a literary-historical thesis on poverty in Appalachia and applied for a Fulbright scholarship to Indonesia.

My time in Indonesia taught me a lot about myself and my interests. I wrote and published a few pieces in the Hudson Review and other publications—a major coup after a seemingly endless stream of thanks-but-no-thanks emails from journals—but also grew more interested in social justice causes. Writing took too much of my time and what I ended up with seemed like too little to justify all those hours spent writing alone and in a constant state of frustration. I traveled a bit in Southeast Asia—Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar—and subsequently found a job with an educational non-profit in Somaliland, the autonomous region in northwest Somalia. After working there for a year, I started two companies in Somaliland: a logistics company for the fisheries sector (which barely got off the ground) and a renewable energy development firm (still making headway, follow us at www.qoraxenergy.com).

After making some inroads, I’ve left most of the daily operations of Qorax Energy to my co-founders as I prepare to start a master’s program at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. A long way from what I envisioned my future only three years previous as an undergraduate. We’ll see where life takes me next . . .



The Seventh Raven

Mon 29 Jul 2013 - Filed under: Forthcoming, Preorders | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Postponed

A Notting Hill children’s opera is suddenly on the world stage when terrorists try to kidnap one of the children.
Read more



Where, etc

Fri 26 Jul 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

As I hoped, the Where Are They Now posts are interesting! We posted Sara’s on Monday and next week we will post a second one, from Christian N. Desrosiers. More, as ever, TK!



Audio book news

Tue 23 Jul 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We sent out the following note this morning. More below:

EASTHAMPTON, MA, July 23, 2013 — Small Beer Press is delighted to announce that audio rights to seven new and forthcoming titles have been acquired by Audible.com.

The first release will be award winning North Carolina writer Nathan Ballingrud’s debut collection, North American Lake Monsters: Stories. Also forthcoming within the next year are:

Gavin J. Grant, Publisher of Small Beer Press stated, “We love the books we publish and getting audio editions out there is becoming more important day by day. We’ve worked with many of the best audio publishers and are happy to add Audible to the mix.”

Audible, Inc., is the leading provider of premium digital spoken audio information and entertainment on the Internet, offering customers a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day. Audible is also the preeminent provider of spoken-word audio products for Apple’s iTunes® Store.

Small Beer Press is a Massachusetts based independent publisher headed by the husband and wife team of Gavin J. Grant and award winning author Kelly Link. Small Beer publishes a dozen or so select titles per year and also runs the DRM-free ebooksite, http://weightlessbooks.com. For more information, visit our website at http://www.smallbeerpress.com.

————–

This should be good news for authors and audio fans everywhere. Previously we’ve worked with

And we were very happy when Brilliance did the audiobook of Steampunk! and Recorded Books did Kelly’s collection Pretty Monsters.

Audiobooks are a growing part of the book business and we want our books read—or listened to—so I expect we will be selling more titles to Audible in the future but we will also shop them around to make sure we do well by our authors and readers.

And if none of this is fast enough for you and you want to listen to a good story right now, then I recommend our podcast which you can listen to here or subscribe to using iTunes or the service of your choice:

 rss feed



Where are they now: Sara Majka

Mon 22 Jul 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Sara's apartmentLet’s see . . . after my time with Small Beer Press I spent seven months living in Provincetown as a fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center.  From there I moved back to Northampton, MA to start at the University of Massachusetts MFA program.  I graduated from UMass a semester early because I couldn’t wait to move to New York City. That enthusiasm seems funny to me now, but here I am, living in Brooklyn, temping for the summer, saving money before starting the life of an adjunct in the fall. It’s hot here; the subway is unbelievably crowded on my morning commute. I finished a collection of short stories that I’m starting to shop around. I was lucky to be able to go on a lot of trips over the past few years—to Poland, Berlin, cross country by train, small mid-western cities by bus. I’ve begun to think, though, that a more established daily routine would be helpful.

When I volunteered with Small Beer, I think I was testing out publishing work as a potential future, but life seems to have funneled me towards teaching. Still, it was a good time to form relationships that I’m glad to have. It was also good to learn what the slush pile is like, what goes into making a book, and to get an intimate look at a press that’s there to publish books that otherwise might go unpublished.

Sara Majka lives in Brooklyn, NY. Her short stories have been published in The Gettysburg Review, Massachusetts Review, and A Public Space, among others. 



Where are they now?

Fri 19 Jul 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

I thought it would be interesting to see where some of our once-were-interns or volunteers are these days so a couple of weeks ago I emailed some of them to ask if they wouldn’t mind updating us on where they’ve been and where they are now.

In part it was curiosity since some of these people really helped out at various times: it’s no fun to mail the zine by myself, it’s much better with company! But I also thought it might be interesting to readers and students and anyone who is interested in working in publishing. The path to (or through) publishing is not simple nor singular, there are an infinite number of ways people enter, enjoy, live, and leave the field.

I’ll post the first one, from Sara Majka, on Monday, and then will post more as and when they come in. With luck we’ll do this again every seven years . . . well, maybe every now and then.



Publication Day: North American Lake Monsters

Tue 16 Jul 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Well, much to my regret I did not get to buy Nathan Ballingrud a tea or a beer at Readercon this past weekend. I saw him here and there, he looked pretty happy and I hope he is as this weekend we celebrated—a couple of days early—the publication of his first short story collection, the bleak, terrifying, heartrendingly brilliant North American Lake MonstersWe did manage to get him by the table to sign some copies of his book, so order soon if you’d like one. (We shipped out the personalized copies today.) Nathan is reading at the KGB Bar in New York City tomorrow night with his good friend, Dale Bailey—not coincidentally the co-author of one of the stories in his book, “The Crevasse.”

Early reaction to the book is strong, not surprising given the strength of the stories here. There’s an interview and a story coming up on Weird Fiction Review and reviews coming in some major newspapers and sites and we’re always curious to hear what readers think of our books. This one is excellent, but, oh so harsh!

Here’s where you can see and hear Nathan in the next month or two:

July
28 – Aug. 3, Shared Worlds, Wofford College, SC

August
3, 7 pm, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC (Bull Spec 3rd annual summer speculative fiction event)
28, 7 pm, Malaprop’s, Asheville, NC

“Ballingrud’s work isn’t like any other. These stories are full of sadness and sorrow, but they’re not merely sad. Like Tom Waits, Ballingrud is an expert at teasing out every delicious shade and nuance, every fine gradation of misery and pain. It’s a heady and fantastic cocktail mixed from roughnecks and down-and-outers and flawed people who find in their ordinary and terrible world monsters, magic, and the strange. Ballingrud’s fantastic elements are never seen full on, but always out of the corner of your eye, and it makes them all the more haunting.”
—Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing

“A good horror story stays with you long after reading it. A great horror story doesn’t simply stay with you, it haunts you, and Nathan Ballingrud’s fiction does just that. He breathes life into rough, blue-collar characters and places them in some of the best dark fiction being written today. Every single story in this collection is an emotional gut punch.  The despair that saturates these tales is rich, and often it is not the supernatural elements in these tales that is horrific.”
Arkham Digest

“For those willing to go down the dark road that’s laid out here, and those willing to feel complex patterns of sympathy, disgust, and horror for (often bad) people, this is an interesting collection. Uncomfortable a read as it is, it has the tinge of reality to it: a reality that often we’d rather not look at.”
—Brit Mandelo, Tor.com



North American Lake Monsters

Tue 16 Jul 2013 - Filed under: Books | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

July 16, 2013 · trade cloth · 9781618730596 | trade paper · 9781618730602 | ebook · 9781618730619 | Available on Audible
Second printing: October 2014
Third printing: October 2016

Shirley Jackson Award winner.

World Fantasy, British Fantasy, and Bram Stoker Award finalist.
Locus Recommended Reading

Nathan Ballingrud’s debut collection is a shattering and luminous experience not to be missed by those who love to explore the darker parts of the human psyche. Monsters, real and imagined, external and internal, are the subject. They are us and we are them and Ballingrud’s intense focus makes these stories incredibly intense and irresistible.

These are love stories. And also monster stories. Sometimes these are monsters in their traditional guises, sometimes they wear the faces of parents, lovers, or ourselves. The often working-class people in these stories are driven to extremes by love. Sometimes, they are ruined; sometimes redeemed. All are faced with the loneliest corners of themselves and strive to find an escape.

Table of Contents

You Go Where It Takes You
Wild Acre
S.S.
The Crevasse
The Monsters of Heaven [read on Tor.com]
Sunbleached
North American Lake Monsters [read at the Weird Fiction Review]
The Way Station
The Good Husband

Reviews and Reactions

“My favorite collection from the last 5 years.” — Sarah Langan

“Nathan Ballingrud’s North American Lake Monsters is an exceptional fictional debut: It deserves a place alongside collections like Peter Straub’s Magic Terror, Scott Wolven’s Controlled Burn, Dan Chaon’s Stay Awake, Raymond Carver’s Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? and Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son. Like those works, Ballingrud’s stories delve into the damaged psyches of American men, with a distinctly twenty-first-century awareness of  the world we now inhabit, itself as damaged as the shellshocked figures that populate it. Ballingrud’s tales are ostensibly tales of terror, meticulously constructed and almost claustrophobically understated in their depiction of an all- encompassing horror that, despite its often unearthly shimmer, is human rather than supernatural in origin; Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” or Charlotte Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” as reimagined by Robert Stone or Cormac McCarthy.”
—Elizabeth Hand, F&SF

Susan Stinson and Bob Flaherty (“My god, Susan! What you have you done to me!”) talk about North American Lake Monsters during their monthly bookswap on WHMP.

“Pain has a rich and varied language, both mundane and transcendent, with infinite variations and many subtle flavours. Pain is one of the most private experiences people face, and yet a universal experience. North American Lake Monsters uses this palette to create most of its narrative hues and textures, to sharpen and heighten the characteristics of its profoundly human, deeply flawed characters. What sets this collection of short stories apart is the way the supernatural, magical and horrific are utilized like a light source, illuminating dark places while casting even deeper shadows. Ballingrud’s writing is piercing and merciless, holding the lens steady through fear, rage and disgust, showing a weird kind of love to his subjects, in refusing to turn away, as well as an uncompromising pitilessness. Angels and vampires are placed next to lost white supremacist boys and burnt-out waitresses. All are equally, horribly ugly and real.”
Toronto Globe and Mail

North American Lake Monsters is not a physically demanding book — slim, spare and elegant in appearance, not heavy to the heft — but here appearances are deceptive. Because it is a truly impressive book, one to which attention should be paid. The stories carry (so lightly) a weight of hinterland and incident, of emotional power and implication, seemingly to excess for their modest size. And they punch with that weight solidly behind them.”
— John Howard, Wormwood

“Each one of these nine stories has the capacity to seduce and terrify you.”
Andrew Liptak, io9

“Matched to his original ideas and refreshing re­furbishments of genre set pieces, Ballingrud’s writ­ing makes North American Lake Monsters one of the best collections of short fiction for the year.
Locus

“The beauty of the work as a whole is that it offers no clear and easy answers; any generalization that might be supported by some stories is contradicted by others. It makes for an intellectually stimulating collection that pulls the reader in unexpected directions. The pieces don’t always come to a satisfactory resolution, but it is clear that this is a conscious choice. The lack of denouement, the uncertainty, is part of the fabric of the individual stories and of the collection as a whole. It is suggestive of a particular kind of world: one that is dark, weird, and just beyond our ability to impose order and understanding. These are not happy endings. They are sad and unsettling, but always beautifully written with skillful and insightful prose. It is a remarkable collection.”
Hellnotes

“Ballingrud’s language transforms known quantities into monsters again. . . .
“You Go Where It Takes You,” the opening story of the collection, sets the tone and, with its shocking ending, frames the moral of North American Lake Monsters. Transformation carries a shocking cost.
Two recent, disastrous transformations of the American landscape reverberate through the book: Katrina and the financial crisis. New Orleans is felt as a lost love. So is the American Dream, which seems now to have vanished for good along with Bear Stearns’s collateralized debt obligations. The transformations of Ballingrud’s characters echo these cataclysms. And yet–despite all the blame that’s flying around the landscape, and in the teeth of our contemporary hysteria about anything resembling reckless behavior–he refuses to judge them. These people do some really terrible things. They suffer. But there’s no sense of comeuppance earned, much less deserved.
This is the most striking quality of this extraordinary collection: the compassion of Ballingrud’s gaze. He makes no excuses for his characters, never comes near to glorifying their bad choices, and yet never looks down on them. The reader is left with the scarcely bearable knowledge that in the end, the subjects of North American Lake Monsters are human.”—Amazing Stories

“What Nathan Ballingrud does in North American Lake Monsters is to reinvigorate the horror tradition.”
—John Langan, Los Angeles Review of Books

“Dark, quirky stories.”—Charlotte Observer

“Ballingrud’s work isn’t like any other. These stories are full of sadness and sorrow, but they’re not merely sad. Like Tom Waits, Ballingrud is an expert at teasing out every delicious shade and nuance, every fine gradation of misery and pain. It’s a heady and fantastic cocktail mixed from roughnecks and down-and-outers and flawed people who find in their ordinary and terrible world monsters, magic, and the strange. Ballingrud’s fantastic elements are never seen full on, but always out of the corner of your eye, and it makes them all the more haunting.”
—Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing

“A good horror story stays with you long after reading it. A great horror story doesn’t simply stay with you, it haunts you, and Nathan Ballingrud’s fiction does just that. He breathes life into rough, blue-collar characters and places them in some of the best dark fiction being written today. Every single story in this collection is an emotional gut punch.  The despair that saturates these tales is rich, and often it is not the supernatural elements in these tales that is horrific.”
Arkham Digest

“For those willing to go down the dark road that’s laid out here, and those willing to feel complex patterns of sympathy, disgust, and horror for (often bad) people, this is an interesting collection. Uncomfortable a read as it is, it has the tinge of reality to it: a reality that often we’d rather not look at.”
—Brit Mandelo, Tor.com

“A diverse, highly-engaging collection from a grossly under-appreciated author. ”
Twilight Ridge

“It’s Raymond Carver territory, beautifully written and right on target for today: construction work, waitressing, tattoos, and white supremacists. And shattering each story is the luminous, the terrifying, the Lovecraftian otherness that reveals what it really feels like to be alive in this moment in time.  Ballingrud’s fantastical werewolves and human skins and Antarctic staircases evoke the truth of our own fears about life.”
—Maureen F. McHugh (After the Apocalypse)

“One of the best horror short story collections published during the last couple of years.”
Rising Shadows

“Wild Acre” was a Shirley Jackson Award finalist.

Interviews

Red Room interview by Asha Vose

Read an interview.

the Laurel of Asheville

Shirley Jackson Awards blog

BooklifeNow

Reviews

Tor.com on “Sunbleached.”

Colleen Mondor on “North American Lake Monsters.”

Lucius Shepard writing an appreciation of “You Go Where It Takes You.”

Two videos in which Nathan participated, promoting Teeth (Ellen Datlow, ed.), which featured “Sunbleached.”

“Nathan Ballingrud is one of my favorite short fiction writers.”—Jeff VanderMeer

“Nathan Ballingrud’s ‘The Way Station’ is another story of the sort I’ve come to expect from him: emotionally intense, riveting, and deeply upsetting in many ways. It deals with loss, with the aftereffects of Katrina on a homeless alcoholic who’s haunted by the city itself before the flood, and in doing so it’s wrenching. . . . It’s an excellent story that paints a riveting portrait of a man, his city, and his loss.”—Tor.com on The Naked City

“But the two most remarkable stories in Naked City are by relatively new authors: ‘The Projected Girl’ (Haifa) by Lavie Tidhar and ‘The Way Station’ (New Orleans and St. Petersburg, Florida) by Nathan Ballingrud are both heartbreakers.”—John Clute on Strange Horizons

Nathan Ballingrud was born in Massachusetts but has spent most of his life in the South. He worked as a bartender in New Orleans and New York City and a cook on offshore oil rigs. His stories have appeared in several Year’s Best anthologies, and he has twice won the Shirley Jackson Award. He is working on his second collection, The Atlas of Hell. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with his daughter.



Bookslinger: Delauney the Broker

Fri 12 Jul 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

New this week on Consortium’s Bookslinger app is French legend Georges-Olivier Chateaureynaud’s “Delauney the Broker” (translated by Edward Gauvin) from the collection A Life on Paper.

Previous Small Beer stories on Bookslinger:

Ray Vukcevich, “Whisper

Maureen F. McHugh, “The Naturalist

Karen Joy Fowler, “The Pelican Bar

Kelly Link, “The Faery Handbag

Benjamin Rosenbaum, “Start the Clock

Maureen F. McHugh, “Ancestor Money

Download the app in the iTunes store.

And watch a video on it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySL1bvyuNUE



Readercon: more signed books

Thu 11 Jul 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 6 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

This weekend we are off to Readercon and the program tells me I am on one panel (below) and Kelly will be interviewing guest of honor Maureen F. McHugh. We will also have a couple of tables in the bookshop—along with many friends from far away, yay!

I was going to paste in all the panels various Small Beer authors or connected peeps will be on but it got unwieldy. Program!

This also means you can order signed or personalized books by:

Nathan Ballingrud (new book!), Greer Gilman (yes, that new chapbook!), Elizabeth Hand, Maureen F. McHugh (we will have copies of the limited edition of Mothers & Other Monsters at a rather excellent price), John Crowley, Ted Chiang, John Kessel, Vincent McCaffrey, Howard Waldrop, Kelly Link, and maybe more? Just leave a note in the comments (or we will just suppose that’s what you want anyway).

Saturday

9:00 AM    VT    Reading: Jedediah Berry. Jedediah Berry. Jedediah Berry reads “The Family Arcana,” a story in cards.

9:00 AM    NH    Reading: Elizabeth Hand. Elizabeth Hand. Elizabeth Hand reads Flash Burn, the in-progress third Cass Neary novel.

10:00 AM    VT    Reading: Michael J. DeLuca. Michael J. DeLuca. Michael J. DeLuca reads “Remorse and the Pariah,” a mini-epic poem published in Abyss & Apex.

12:00 PM    RI    The Works of Maureen F. McHugh. Nathan Ballingrud, Dennis Danvers, Gavin J. Grant, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Charles Oberndorf (moderator). As Jo Walton said in a review ofMission Child, Maureen F. McHugh’s work explores “chewy ideas rather than shiny ones.” This is true of her novels, such as the Tiptree Award–winning China Mountain Zhang; her intense short stories, each of which contains an astonishing amount of narrative and conceptual complexity; and her alternate reality games, including the groundbreaking “I Love Bees.” McHugh’s work introduces the reader to communities large and small (families, subcultures, towns, nations, planets) and describes them with compassion, affectionate humor, and honesty. This panel will endeavor to give her rich, nuanced writing the close reading it deserves.

1:00 PM    NH    Reading: John Crowley. John Crowley. John Crowley reads unpublished work.

1:00 PM    CL    Kaffeeklatsch. Ken Liu, Maureen F. McHugh.

5:00 PM    F    Maureen F. McHugh Interviewed by Kelly Link. Kelly Link, Maureen F. McHugh

10:00 PM    F    Reading: Howard Waldrop. Howard Waldrop. Howard Waldrop reads from a work to be determined.

Sunday

10:00 AM    NH    Reading: John Kessel. John Kessel. John Kessel reads from the novel-in-progressSunlight or Rock.

12:00 PM    VT    Reading: Nathan Ballingrud. Nathan Ballingrud. Nathan Ballingrud reads fromNorth American Lake Monsters: Stories, published by Small Beer Press, which will debut at Readercon.



An American Beer Nerd in Edinburgh

Wed 10 Jul 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Michael

100_1835

Edinburgh from Holyrood Park

Part 1: Culture Shock

I spent a week in lovely, misty, craggy, beery Edinburgh, Scotland, walking everywhere and drinking everything. This was my first time in the UK as a full-fledged beer nerd, engaging immersively with the beer culture that is perhaps dearest to my heart. I’d visited London and Dublin years before; I’d researched as extensively as might be considered reasonable from the other side of the ocean. So I wasn’t completely oblivious. Indeed, I thought myself quite well-prepared. I thought I knew what to expect.

Not so.

Read more



Holly Black’s book is in the 2nd Humble Ebook Bundle

Wed 10 Jul 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The 2nd Humble Ebook Bundle now includes Holly Black’s dark and delicious short story collection The Poison Eaters and Other Stories A couple of the extras were included with the 1st bundle in case you missed them but Holly’s collection and Machine of Death are new. Humble Bundle says:

“If you have already purchased the bundle, these refreshing reads should automatically show up on your download page. New customers can access them by paying more than the current average on the site. All four books are available DRM-free in PDF, MOBI, and ePub formats — perfect for your computer, eBook readers, and tons of mobile devices!”

Also, a bunch of the Humble Bundle authors will be taking part in a group Reddit AMA on Thursday, July 11 at 12:30 EST.

You choose how your purchase is divided: between the authors, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Child’s Play Charity, or the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, and the Humble Bundle peeps themselves.

We say: go forth and acquire 10 new DRM-free ebooks including books by Cory Doctorow, Will Wheaton, Cherie Priest, Robert Charles Wilson, Peter Beagle, and, yes, more!



Signed copies of North American Lake Monsters

Fri 5 Jul 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Nathan Ballingrud will be at Readercon next weekend in Burlington, Mass. (Additional readings are also scheduled, see below.)

If you’d like a signed or personalized copy of North American Lake Monsters (publication date is July 16th), we’ll take orders until this Thursday, July 11th, and then mail copies out the next week.

July
11 – 14, Readercon, Boston, MA
17, 7 pm, KGB Bar, NYC
28 – Aug. 3, Shared Worlds, Wofford College, SC

August
3, 7 pm, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC (Bull Spec 3rd annual summer speculative fiction event)
28, 7 pm, Malaprop’s, Asheville, NC

 



Cory on North American Lake Monsters

Fri 5 Jul 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Cory Doctorow wrote about Nathan Ballingrud’s debut collection today on BoingBoing:

Ballingrud’s work isn’t like any other. These stories are full of sadness and sorrow, but they’re not merely sad. Like Tom Waits, Ballingrud is an expert at teasing out every delicious shade and nuance, every fine gradation of misery and pain. It’s a heady and fantastic cocktail mixed from roughnecks and down-and-outers and flawed people who find in their ordinary and terrible world monsters, magic, and the strange. Ballingrud’s fantastic elements are never seen full on, but always out of the corner of your eye, and it makes them all the more haunting.

This slim volume traces the fine veins of unhappiness in a way that no other writer of science fiction or fantasy I know of can match. If you’ve ever enjoyed a long cry, or come out of a deep funk to discover the joy of the contrast of the light and the sun, then you know why these stories are so powerful and moving.



Quelle Horreur

Wed 3 Jul 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

You know, with Errantry and Nathan Ballingrud’s North American Lake Monsters, we are definitely getting our share of the darker books out there. Both authors are nominees for this year’s Shirley Jackson Awards which will be presented in a week or so at Readercon, where you can meet both authors! Should be a busy con, and a laugh.

Nathan’s book, being a fab piece of work, is about to see some nice reviews and mentions, more on those later. In the meantime it’s great to see a couple of nice reviews of Elizabeth Hand’s Errantry: Strange Stories popping up recently. Nic Clarke at Strange Horizons wrote

“. . . Hand’s strangeness is redolent of the sort of disturbing, uncanny children’s books that gave you nightmares at the age of nine (for me, Alan Garner): books with malevolent forces lurking under sunny hillsides, where adults aren’t going to save our heroes, and whose endings are staggeringly bleak.”

and Helen McCrory on Pank said

“Hand’s stories here are more expansive, yet have that undercurrent of a formless force closing in, be it weather, or birds gathering in a falling evening sky.”

which both capture something of the disturbing nature of Liz’s stories. Shiver me timbers!