Bookslinger: Lions

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

New this week on Consortium’s Bookslinger app is  Bernardo Fernandez’s “Lions” (translated by co-editor Chris N. Brown) from Three Messages and a Warning.

Previous Small Beer stories on Bookslinger:

John Kessel, “Pride and Prometheus

Kij Johnson’s “At the Mouth of the River of Bees

Georges-Olivier Chateaureynaud’s “Delauney the Broker” (translated by Edward Gauvin)

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:

Wolf Children

Wed 20 Nov 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

From an ad on this video (17-year-old Biggie Smalls freestyling) linked from here (17-year-old LL Cool J plays a Maine gymnasium in 1985: rap! beatbox! sing! snap! ping! pow!) both from Kottke, via Eileen Gunn:

We all live in Tyrannia

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

Tyrannia and Other Renditions cover - click to view full sizeI’ve been looking forward to this day for a year! Well, not the one where we all live in Oceania with the all-seeing government watching us from the cameras in our laptops (all the NYT journalists cover the cameras with yellow stickies now . . . ), rather the day where Alan DeNiro‘s new collection Tyrannia and Other Renditions comes out and blows everyone’s minds. Alan’s stories are about the person on the ground (or the monster on the motorbike) affected by the weird goings-on in politics, for ecstatic poets, worried artists, table top adventurers, and should be required reading for all politicians.

Booklist said: “With just one novel and one story collection under his belt, DeNiro has already garnered a reputation as a genre-bending experimental author with an indescribably quirky but captivating prose style.” Of all the trade reviewers, they really seem to get his writing.

The cover map of the (ok, imaginary) Tyrannian lands and the typography is by Kevin Huizenga, and it was so right that we carried it on through the book. And then there is Alan’s incredible new author portrait by Shelly Mosman. I love Alan, but he is the weensiest bit scary here.

You can get Alan’s book in all good bookstores, the usual online slavedriving warehouses, or from here. And of course you can always get our DRM-free ebooks here on Weightless.

Tyrannia and Other Renditions

Tue 19 Nov 2013 - Filed under: Alan DeNiro, Books | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

November 2013 | trade paper · 9781618730718 | ebook: 9781618730725 | Audio (Audible)

“This collection is slim but never slight, and just when you think DeNiro must have run out of renditions, they tilt the idea of tyranny just enough that each story feels new, unique, and important.”
—Leah Schnelbach,

New interview.

In these 11 stories—and the weird spaces in between—people of all kinds struggle to free themselves from conventions and constraints both personal and political. Places ranging from the farthest reaches of outer space to the creepy abandoned farmhouse in the middle of nowhere become battlegrounds for change and growth—sometimes at a massive cost.

Tyranny takes many forms, some more subtle than others, and it is up to the reader to travel along with the characters, who improvise and create their own renditions of freedom.

“The pitch-dark yet often comic stories in Tyrannia, the second collection and third book by Twin Cities writer Alan DeNiro, throw the reader headfirst into strange, menacing worlds whose contours only gradually become clear (or, perhaps, more complexly mysterious). We sometimes seem to be in a dystopian, totalitarian future, sometimes in a brutal present, sometimes in eerie borderlands.”
—Dylan Hicks, Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Minnesotan DeNiro gives us large hunks of riveting weirdness in these 11 stories.”
—Mary Ann Grossman, St. Paul Pioneer Press

“Most of Tyrannia‘s rambunctious, immensely entertaining stories — seven of them science fiction — blend bizarre speculations with intermittent humor. When there isn’t humor, there’s weirdness — often extreme weirdness, funny in its own right. Fair warning: what I’m about to describe might not always make sense. That’s in the nature of this highly unconventional collection.”
—Will George, Bookslut

“Wildness, fierceness, and anarchic imagination are traits, then, to be prized in this book, above beauty, order, and sense—or, in classical terms, the Dionysian over the Apollonian—and process.”
Strange Horizons

“There’s no other writer like DeNiro working today. His voice is absolutely his own, and while his work can be spiky and challenging, that’s no bad thing – this is a spiky and challenging world, after all, and he just shows us its distorted reflection.”
— Tim Pratt, Locus

“With just one novel and one story collection under his belt, DeNiro has already garnered a reputation as a genre-bending experimental author with an indescribably quirky but captivating prose style. His latest compilation of offbeat tales and novelettes extends his range even further.”—Carl Hays, Booklist

“DeNiro (Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead) has crafted the rare work whose setting is the realm of pure imagination.”
Publishers Weekly

“Quirky, unconventional and outlandish short fiction, bordering on the surreal—and sometimes crossing the border.”
Kirkus Reviews

Alan DeNiro talks about “Cudgel Springs” which just appeared in Blue Penny Quarterly.

Poet and fiction writer Alan DeNiro uses language like no other. His second collection of stories explores our relationship to art, history, and looks at how everyday events, personal and political, never cease to leave us off balance.

mapTable of Contents

A Rendition
Cudgel Springs
Plight of the Sycophant
Dancing in a House
Highly Responsive to Prayers
Walking Stick Fires [excerpt on | audio version from StarShipSofa]
The Flowering Ape
Moonlight Is Bulletproof
The Wildfires of Antartica [Theodore Sturgeon award finalist]
Tyrannia (II)
The Philip Sidney Game

Cover by Kevin Huizenga.

Alan DeNiro was born in Erie, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the College of Wooster with a B.A. in English and the University of Virginia with an M.F.A. in creative writing. He is the author of the story collection Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead (Crawford Award finalist; Frank O’Connor Award longlist) and the novel Total Oblivion: More or Less. His short stories have appeared in One Story, Asimov’s, Santa Monica Review, Interfictions, and elsewhere. He lives outside of St. Paul, Minnesota with his wife Kristin Livdahl and their children.

Praise for Alan DeNiro’s books:

“There aren’t many writers who take weirdness as seriously as DeNiro does, and fewer still who can extract so much grounded emotion, gut-dropping humor, and rousing adventure from it. A dizzying display of often brilliant, always strange, and definitely unique storytelling”
Booklist (starred review)

“A fast-paced, suspenseful dystopian picaresque, part Huck Finn and part bizarro-world Swiss Family Robinson.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Macy’s adventure is engaging and absorbing, but it doesn’t make much sense. For those conditioned to the logic of classic science fiction, “Total Oblivion’s” rule-breaking can be frustrating. But readers who are willing to let go will be swept away.”
Los Angeles Times

“DeNiro’s novel moves the reader along at a lively and crazy pace, engaging interest in Macy and her fate while making subtle references to the sad past and giving frightening glimpses of a scarier future.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Unsettling and never boring, ‘Total Oblivion’ should interest older teens who are hooked on vampires and other dark fantasies. They’ll cheer for Macy, whose courage increases as she does dangerous things she never dreamed of when she was in her safe high school in St. Paul—before everything collapsed.”
St. Paul Pioneer Press

“Macy narrates this story in a delightful, lighthearted voice that stiffens only a little as she realizes that she will never have a senior year.”
Denver Post

“Chock-a-block with adventure, suspense, and surprise. Apocalyptic family values, too! Recommended to all.”
—Karen Joy Fowler (The Jane Austen Book Club)

Alan DeNiro’s excellent debut novel . . . is the very rare novel that satisfies on a multiple of levels.”

“Wow! This is a wonderfully weird, fun, touching, heartfelt and memorable novel. Imagine if Huck Finn had been living in post-apocalypse America, and Terry Pratchett had been promoted to God, with George Saunders as his avenging angel. The world of this book is a little like that. In this case, the role of Huck is played by a sixteen-year-old-girl named Macy, whose smart, mordant, utterly convincing voice grounds our journey through this crazy landscape. Macy reminds us that no matter how surreal things get, there is still resilience and hope in the human spirit. Alan DeNiro has created a hilarious and terrifying dream world, but his real genius is that he’s peopled it with characters we come to love.”
—Dan Chaon (Await Your Reply)

“Alan DeNiro lifts the modern family drama and sets it down in the middle of a wildly inventive post apocalyptic landscape. The insulated life of Middle America may be a thing of the past, but DeNiro finds a way to lead readers into a future full of humor, imagination, and hope.”
—Hannah Tinti (The Good Thief)

“Deeply weird, sometimes challenging, but always smart and affecting.”
Locus (Notable Books)

“Endlessly imaginative.”

“Deniro’s greatest gifts are those of a poet, and his prose is filled with stunning images and incantatory rhythms. Debuts often come along with press releases touting them as “assured,” and sure enough, Deniro’s was no different. But with talent as deep as his, it’s no wonder Deniro is confident in touring us around his strange worlds.”
—Jonathan Messinger, Time Out Chicago

“Maybe the future of sf is Alan DeNiro. The title story here, set in twenty-third-century Pennsylvania, is its nameless-till-the-last-sentence narrator’s university-application essay, numbered footnotes and all, which explains why not to expect him on campus anytime soon; he is in love and considering getting gills. Maybe DeNiro is the future of alternate history: in “Our Byzantium,” a college town is invaded by horse-and-chariot-led soldiers who demolish cars, wheelchairs, and other machines; reestablish Greek as the lingua franca; and otherwise conquer. He could be fantasy’s tomorrow, too, if the offhandedness of the impossible transformations in “The Cuttlefish,” “The Centaur,” “The Excavation,” and “If I Leap” catches on. In “The Fourth” and “A Keeper,” DeNiro is one of the most powerful, least partisan prophets of consumerist totalitarianism. “Salting the Map” confounds the distinction between artifice and reality as deftly and daftly as Andrew Crumey’s Pfitz (1997) and Zoran Zivkovic’s Impossible Stories (2006). The long closer, “Home of the,” about Erie, Pennsylvania, now and then, is as laconic and associative as its title is elliptic. Refreshing, imaginative, funny-scary stuff.”
—Ray Olson, Booklist

“A commitment to experimental structure and oddball elements provides this debut collection’s consistency…. The collection argues for DeNiro as a writer to watch.”
Publishers Weekly

“Many of these stories unfold like dreams, startling in their detail but elusive in their meaning. Yet, the prosaic as well as the poetic features in these stories as characters attempt to create a detailed but incomplete record, like a dream book of their own histories. Objects such as a college entrance essay, maps, postcards, outdated computer disks, the provenance of a chess set, all become documents which convey the fragility of histories”
Greenman Review

“I’m not ordinarily an editor, so finding stories for the first six issues of Fence magazine was a guilty pleasure, and the subsequent work by formerly unknown Fence writers like Kelly Link and Julia Slavin has made me look like a prognosticator, or maybe an annoying drunk guy on a streak at thaicasinoslots, that’s why so many people prefer don’t go to casinos anymore and rather bet online, if you’re one of those people you can click here to find more information. In addition, visit to know the latest update about casino online. Now here’s Alan DeNiro, whose “Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead” was always my favorite. I’m thrilled to see him in bookstores at last.”
—Jonathan Lethem (Fortress of Solitude)

“Reading Alan DeNiro’s new collection, Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead, made me feel like a dog that twists its head a bit to the side on hearing a whistle too high for humans to hear. The dog is perplexed and intrigued by the sound — it knows where it’s coming from but not really. Familiar enough, but maybe not. So too with these strong, out of kilter stories. DeNiro blows his own distinctly different sounding whistle and once you’ve heard it, you can’t help but stop and take real notice.”
—Jonathan Carroll (Glass Soup)

“The wholly original, carefully crafted tales that comprise Alan Deniro’s Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead are like colorful pinatas full of live scorpions — playful, unexpected, and deadly serious.”
—Jeffrey Ford (The Girl in the Glass)

Susan and Kelly, tonight, Cambridge, Mass.

Mon 18 Nov 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Are you curious about how a manuscript becomes a book? Get ye to the Porter Square Bookstore tonight! Susan Stinson and Kelly Link read and talk about the writing and editing of Susan’s novel Spider in a Tree. 

Here’s the info from the bookstore website:

Our Next Event

11/18/2013 – 7:00pm

“Stinson reads the natural world as well as Scripture, searching for meaning. But instead of the portents of an angry god, what she finds there is something numinous, complicated, and radiantly human.”

Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home

“Through an ardent faith in the written word Susan Stinson is a novelist who translates a mundane world into the most poetic of possibilities.”

Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones

Susan Stinson is the author of three novels and a collection of poetry and lyric essays and was awarded the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize. Writer in Residence at Forbes Library in Northampton, Massachusetts, she is also an editor and writing coach.

Kelly Link lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she and her husband, Gavin J. Grant, run Small Beer Press and publish the zine Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.

Porter Square BooksPorter Square Books
Porter Square Shopping Center
25 White Street
Cambridge, MA 02140

We are located in the Porter Square Shopping Center on Massachusetts Ave., about two miles north of Harvard Square and directly across from the Porter Square station commuter and subway stop. Click here for a map.

Where’s Sofia?

Fri 15 Nov 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Sofia Samatar’s debut novel A Stranger in Olondria got an excellent review recently from Nic Clarke on Strange Horizons

But, where is Sofia? She’s in California and on Saturday, November 30, she’ll be handselling some favorite books at the excellent Borderlands Books in San Francisco from 1 to 4 pm. (You can check out a map of all the authors and booksellers on the Indies First page.)

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 12.01.20 PM


Howard Waldrop, 2013

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

Yesterday Martha Grenon was kind enough to take some new author photos of Howard Waldrop. Howard refused any attempt to style him but something of his cheeriness comes through anyway. For those of us in the cold, cold north, it’s nice to see someone standing there warm enough with just have a shirt (with rolled-up sleeves!) instead of layers, baby, layers.

This is probably a good time to link to “Three Ways of Looking at Howard Waldrop (and Then Some)” by Jed Hartman, et alia.






Howard Waldrop, King of Where-I-Go

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

Horse of a Different Color cover Hey! It’s been eight years since Howard Waldrop’s last collection, Heart of Whitenesse. Too long! We’re very happy to be publishing Horse of a Different Color: Stories today. (Howard promises us we’ll have more to publish soon.)

Long time readers of Howard’s amazing stories will know (and new readers will find out from his introduction to Horse) that a couple of years ago Howard’s health took a turn for the worse. The good news is the VA and his family and friends have looked after him (are still looking after him!) and he is hard at work. And he promises to be back harder at work once he gets eye surgery. He’s always been a great reader and we have great plans to get Howard to do the audio editions of his books. Great plans! but they do depend on him being able to read in comfort without the 4x microscope he used at Readercon this year.

Anyway. This book includes the best piece of Esperanto-based fiction I’ve read, “Ninieslando,” first published—as so many of Howard’s stories are in an anthology (Warriors) edited by his good friends, Gardner Dozois & George R. R. Martin.

It’s a story of missed chances, as a few of these stories are, and sometimes I argue that Howard’s career is one of missed chances. Not his: everyone else’s. Why I’m not sitting down to Howard Waldrop’s Missed Chances every Tuesday night at 9 p.m. I don’t know. Well, nothing in the way of TV and movies ever goes easily. Fingers crossed Craig Ferguson will read the title story, love the pantomime horse act, get Howard on The Late Late Show and off Howard’s career will go, boom, on a rocket, into space.

Whether that happens or not, we’re very glad to be bring you these 10 stories of wolf-men, actors, pirates, fairy tales and more from the one and only literary mashup master, Howard Waldrop.

Horse of a Different Color

Tue 12 Nov 2013 - Filed under: Books | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

November 12, 2013 · $24 · trade cloth (9781618730732) · ebook (9781618730749)

Signed copies available.

Austin Chronicle profile: Howard Waldrop, Upright & Writing

“What’s most rewarding in Mr. Waldrop’s best work is how he both shocks and entertains the reader. He likes to take the familiar — old films, fairy tales, Gilbert & Sullivan operettas — then give it an out-of-left-field twist. At least half the 10 tales in his new collection are prime eccentric Waldrop . . .  as he mashes genres, kinks and knots timelines, alchemizing history into alternate history. In “The Wolf-man of Alcatraz,” the B prison movie rubs fur with the Wolf-man; “Kindermarchen” takes the tale of Hansel and Gretel and transforms it into a haunting fable of the Holocaust; and “The King of Where-I-Go” is a moving riff on time travel, the polio epidemic and sibling love.
“Among the most successful stories is “The Horse of a Different Color (That You Rode In On),” an improbable confluence of vaudeville (two of the main characters perform in a horse suit) and the Arthurian Grail legend that manages to name-check Señor Wences, Thomas Pynchon, “King Kong” and more as Mr. Waldrop tells of the Ham Nag — “the best goddamned horse-suit act there ever was.” It’s certainly the best horse-suit-act story I’ve ever read.”
New York Times

Howard Waldrop’s stories are keys to the secret world of the stories behind the stories . . . or perhaps stories between the known stories. From “The Wolfman of Alcatraz” to a horrifying Hansel and Gretel, from “The Bravest Girl I Ever Knew” to the Vancean richness of a “Frogskin Cap,” this new collection is a wunderkammer of strangeness.

The title story, “The Horse of a Different Color (That You Rode in On)” is a masterpiece that crashes together aged-vaudevillian Manny Marks (who changed his name from Marx so that his brothers couldn’t ride to success on his coattails), “the best goddammed horse-suit act there ever was,” and the story of two men and their hunt for the holy grail. It’s a uniquely American take on the Arthurian legend that Waldrop takes to places (theaters, diners, resthomes) that he could do.

Howard Waldrop also provides an introduction to the book in his inimitable manner as well as Afterwords to most of the stories.


Locus Recommended Reading

“Waldrop combines erudition with authentic folksiness, optimism with a cold clear vision of life’s pitfalls and false paths.”
BN Review Best of the Year

“Filled with the same joie-de-vivre, sense of wonder, ingenious invention and eternally youthful appreciation for the weird and magical rollercoaster ride that is existence.”
—Paul Di Filippo, Locus Online

“I didn’t quite know what to expect going into this collection, and in a way I still don’t. Waldrop’s writing is impossible to characterize, and almost as difficult to describe. He is a unique voice, and I regret that I didn’t discover him sooner–I certainly intend to seek out more of his work now that I have tried it. I highly recommend this book, and I hope it’s publication will win Waldrop new fans.”
SF Revu

Table of Contents

Introduction: Old Guys With Busted Gaskets

Why Then Ile Fit You
The Wolfman of Alcatraz [excerpt on]
“The Bravest Girl I Ever Knew…”
Frogskin Cap
Avast, Abaft!
Thin, On the Ground
The Horse of a Different Color (That You Rode in On)
The King of Where-I-Go

About Howard Waldrop’s books

“The most startling, original, and entertaining short story writer in science fiction today.”
—George R. R. Martin

“”If Philip K. Dick is our homegrown Borges (as Ursula K. Le Guin once said), then Waldrop is our very American magic-realist, as imaginative and playful as early Garcia Marquez or, better yet, Italo Calvino…. Calvino once said that he was ‘known as an author who changes greatly from one book to the next. And in these very changes you recognize him as himself.’ Much the same could be said of Howard Waldrop. You never know what he’ll come up with next, but somehow it’s always a Waldrop story. Read the work of this wonderful writer, a man who has devoted his life to his art—and to fishing.”
—Michael Dirda, Washington Post

“Waldrop subtly mutates the past, extrapolating the changes into some of the most insightful, and frequently amusing, stories being written today, in or out of the science fiction genre.”
The Houston Post/Sun

“You want funny? Howard’s got funny. You want weird? Howard’s got weird. You want mind-bending? You’re about to get it.”
—Cory Doctorow

“It always feels like Christmas when a new Howard Waldrop collection arrives.”
—Connie Willis

“There’s no better writer alive than Howard Waldrop.”
—Tim Powers

Three Ways of Looking at Howard Waldrop (and Then Some)
Jed Hartman (et alia)

About Howard Waldrop

Howard Waldrop, born in Mississippi and now living in Austin, Texas, is an American iconoclast. His highly original books include Them Bones and A Dozen Tough Jobs, and the collections Howard Who?, All About Strange Monsters of the Recent Past, Night of the Cooters, Other Worlds, Better Lives, and Things Will Never Be the Same. He won the Nebula and World Fantasy Awards for his novelette “The Ugly Chickens.”

Busy week coming

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

Tyrannia and Other Renditions cover First, tomorrow, the lovely (well, in the USA), 11/12/13, we celebrate publication day of Howard Waldrop’s Horse of a Different Color: Stories.

On Wednesday there are two readings for you to drop all and get your plane tickets for. How will you decide which to go to? Flip a coin?

For those nearer Massachusetts, Susan Stinson will be reading from Spider in a Tree at 8 pm at Amherst Books in Amherst. The Concord Monitor just chimed in with a lovely review thatcaptured the same sense of surprise I found in myself when I was grabbed by this novel of life in 1740s Northampton:

Massachusetts author Susan Stinson’s Spider in a Tree: a Novel of the First Great Awakening surprised me. I knew the basic history of the period, including a bit about Jonathan Edwards, and frankly, thought it dull. But Stinson takes readers into Edwards’s home, into the lives of his family, their slaves, neighbors, relatives, and yes, even the spiders and insects of colonial Northampton, Mass. Suffering and joy, religious ecstasy and secular sorrow, the conflict between formal theology and individual conscience all make vivid fodder for Stinson’s story, which follows Edwards’s trajectory from 1731, during the religious revival that gripped New England, to 1750, when his congregation dismissed him.

and you can read an interview with Susan on Bookslut.

For those in the middle or left side of the country, Alan DeNiro is also reading on Wednesday night. He is reading at 7 pm at SubText: a Bookstore in St. Paul, MN. Alan’s second collection, Tyrannia and Other Renditions comes out next week and you can read an excerpt from “Walking Stick Fires” on

Make your choice!

Susan Stinson
8 pm, Amherst Books, Amherst, Mass.

Alan DeNiro
7 pm, SubText: a Bookstore, St. Paul, Minn.

Indies First!

Fri 8 Nov 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Since Sherman Alexie first threw the Indies First idea out into the world, more than 375 authors have signed up to try their skills at handselling books at 300 bookstores.

Sofia Samatar, author of A Stranger in Olondria, will be Borderlands Books in San Francisco from 1-4 pm and Kelly Link will be at the Harvard Book Shop in Cambridge (where you can get Three Zombie Stories).

Some companies want to be your always and everything, these shops want to find you a good book. Ok, maybe sell you a mug, too!

Why are we posting this? Because we love the indie bookshops!

More here.

ETA: And Nathan Ballingrud will be at the excellent Malaprop’s in Asheville!

Alan DeNiro on “The Philip Sidney Game”

Thu 7 Nov 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Tyrannia and Other Renditions cover - click to view full sizeI’m delighted to see Alan DeNiro’s new story “The Philip Sidney Game” is up on  Interfictions. When I asked Alan for more about the story, this is how he replied (posted with Alan’s permission, of course):

Diving into the writing of “The Philip Sidney Game” was a strangely autobiographical process. I had to let my wife Kristin know that I was writing her as a character in the story. After she read it, she said that she didn’t sound like herself. I probably didn’t sound like myself either, but there was a version of me within the core of that story that was added to the many other layers of “me.” That, too, is a speculation, just as much as Philip Sidney’s use of magic. But as the rails fell off the story (by design) near the end, I entered a place where I wanted to write directly, as Alan DeNiro, to my readers—and a poem seemed to be the best way to do that. So it was fun to be able to incorporate that other side of me into a story.

Where are they now: Katharine Duckett

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

lustforgenreKDIn the years since reading slush and mastering the art of all-day tea drinking as a Small Beer Press intern, I’ve spent two years in Kazakhstan, two years in New York City, and a handful of months in climes between. It turns out that if you want to break into publishing, you should move to Central Asia, drink lots of vodka, and learn valuable, hands-on life skills, like how to rescue a dog from a trash pit using only an old door and a curtain. (You never know when you’ll need to whip that one out at a job interview.) Then move to New York and start eavesdropping on well-respected authors at readings, which, if done correctly, will turn out to be more charming than creepy when they offer youa job as their assistant. That’s how I ended up handling publicity for the lovely duo of Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman, and eventually segued into my current position coordinating book and author coverage for, the rocket ship division of Macmillan Publishers.

These days I’m engaged to a recent Oxford grad; we’re taking Spanish classes in preparation for our Costa Rican honeymoon and painting our new Brooklyn living room a cozy shade of “yam.” Around New York City, I write and read stories, perform in the occasional theater piece, and relive the glory of my post-Soviet days with trips to Brighton Beach and experimentation with borscht and dolma recipes.


Read more in the Where Are They Now series.

Photos (“Coney Island” and “Hyde Park”) courtesy Laura Lamb.


Mon 4 Nov 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

This post is inspired by two things: first, reading Anne Elizabeth Moore’s fabulous zine Cambodia Grrl and an Indiegogo campaign to digitize the Clamor backlist.

I was just wondering the other day if there are magazines today similar to some I really miss: Clamor, Herbivore, Punk PlanetVenus. Not to mention Peko Peko, dammit!

I liked their mix of politics, food, and music. And since my New Yorker subscription is coming to an end and (boo hoo!) I’m not renewing it because of their pathetic Vida scores [Bylines, Briefly Noted, Overall], I’m looking around to see if I can find indie magazines coming from the edges of things, rather than bam! in the center.

I read a fair number of mags, but any suggestions are welcome because one thing I know, I am missing a lot, too!

John Crowley, The Chemical Wedding

Fri 1 Nov 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 19 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

We are very happy to note that work continues apace on John Crowley’s The Chemical Weddinga book that in his introduction John calls “the first science fiction novel.” His aim in producing this new version, he says, “was simply to make this, one of the great outlandish stories in Western literature, accessible to readers in the context of no context.”

In January of this year John introduced us to the weird and fascinating woodcuts and prints of Theo Fadel and since then Theo has completed most of the illustrations (one for each day that passes) for the book.

We expect to publish The Chemical Wedding in 2016 (making it an 400th Anniversary Edition) in a number of states: 1) a slipcased signed, limited edition accompanied by a unique woodcut, and 2) a trade cloth edition. Depending on interest, we may produce a signed, lettered state with a portfolio of sketches and prints from the artist.

We will start taking preorders once we have the whole book in hand.

In the meantime, here is the full title page:

A Romance in Eight Days
Johann Valentin Andreae

In a new version
John Crowley

Illustrated by

Theo Fadel

May 2016: Kickstarter exclusive editions (lettered, numbered, and hardcover) and trade paperback edition and ebook editions announced. The Kickstarter will go live in late April and will be announced here. Edition pricing will be available then.

Update: pricing added.

4/22/16 update: The Kickstarter is expected to launch in the first week of May. We will send an email to all commenters on this page as soon as it launches.

6/3/16 update: Kickstarter funded!