Emma Tupper’s Diary

Tue 25 Feb 2014 - Filed under: Big Mouth House, Books, Peter Dickinson | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

paper · $12 · 9781618730633 | ebook · $9.95 · 9781618730640
A Big Mouth House book.

Peter Dickinson on writing Emma Tupper’s Diary and on choosing the “right” dinosaur.

A girl helps her Scottish cousins dig up their Victorian-era minisubmarine and they pretend to be a monster in a Scottish loch. There are complications!

Emma is spending the summer with her Scottish cousins—who are wonderful material for her attempt to win the School Prize for most interesting holiday diary. The cousins, lofty Andy, reserved Fiona, and fierce Roddy, and “some sort of looker-after person called Miss Newcombe” are experimenting with their grandfather’s dilapidated old mini-submarine to see if they can find a monster in the family loch.

Emma Tupper’s Diary is a sometimes terrifying, sometimes broadly hilarious (Chapter 3: “I am beginning to understand about the Scots,” wrote Emma. “And why they murdered each other so much.”) adventure novel in the spirit of From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and I Capture the Castle.

Praise for Emma Tupper’s Diary:

“Emma Tupper of Botswana goes to spend the summer in Scotland with her bizarre and hilarious, cantankerous, feuding cousins and writes about it in her journal. They launch a plan to create a loch ness hoax in order to make some money to keep the family going. This involves an ancient submarine and leads to a fascinating discovery when the feud goes too far. Great adventure, for fans of Swallows and Amazons.”
— Jenny Craig, Seattle Public Library

“Loch Ness’s claims pale beside the super-exciting discovery made by Emma . . Expert mystification, the tender conscience and burning courage of the young, tantalising details, make this a compelling tall story.”
Sunday Times

“Narration par excellence … The characters and dialogue are yeasty with fun and Emma is a quiet foil for the sometimes mad exuberance of her cousins.”—Saturday Review

“One of the most enthralling books for older children that I have ever read. Peter Dickinson is master of suspense.”—Evening Standard

“Fish out of water Emma must spend the summer in Scotland with cousins she’s never met. They’re somewhat older and get along fine with minimal adult supervision. Even when they plot to take an old submarine out on the nearby loch for a spin, adding a Nessy-like monster head to the top for fun, there’s no one around to urge caution. It’s the sort of family where everyone is whip-smart, conversations are fast and fascinating, and statements of fact are rarely truthful. All of which makes for one extremely suspenseful and surprisingly thought-provoking adventure.”
—Gwenyth Swain (author of Chig and the Second Spread)

“One of my favorite childhood books. . . . Its themes and plot have come around again, and a smart production company should scoop it up for a film adaptation.”
Atomic Librarian

“An enthralling book, with fascinating characters, told with humor and wit, and with a story that just might, barely, be possible.”
Book Loons

“Comedy of manners? Ecological allegory? Adventure? Farce?”—Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Peter Dickinson’s children’s books:

“One of the real masters of children’s literature.”—Philip Pullman

“Peter Dickinson is a national treasure.”—The Guardian

“Magnificent. Peter Dickinson is the past-master story-teller of our day.”—The Times Literary Supplement

Peter Dickinson is the author of over fifty books including EvaEarth and Air, and the Michael L. Printz honor book The Ropemaker. He has twice received the Whitbread Prize as well as the Phoenix and Guardian awards, among other awards. He lives in England and is married to the novelist Robin McKinley.


Thu 20 Feb 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Emma Tupper’s Diary cover - click to view full sizeWe’re going to add some books to the world — and this website — soon.

And I’m not just talking our new edition of Emma Tupper’s Diary by Peter Dickinson which will be going out into the world next Tuesday. Emma forever!

Is that enough to answer the question, Ready?


We’re going to announce something else fun, too.

A movie? Nope.

All my open tabs which got lost when Chrome crashed? No. (Saad.)

A tumblr. Well . . .

An indie ebooksite? Come on, stop pandering!

Something fun? I hope so!

Fire Logic

Tue 18 Feb 2014 - Filed under: Books | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

An occupying army, cut off from their homeland, has to make peace with those they have brutally suppressed.

Spring 2018 · trade paper  · $16 · 9781618730886 | ebook  available now ·  9781931520393 · Edelweiss

Elemental Logic: Book 1
Spectrum Award winner
Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award nominee

The martial Sainnites have occupied Shaftal for fifteen years. Every year the cost of resistance rises. Emil, an officer and scholar; Zanja, a diplomat and last survivor of her people; and Karis, a metalsmith, half-blood giant, and an addict, can only watch as their country falls into lawlessness and famine. Together, perhaps they can change the course of history.

Read an excerpt. Listen to Chapter 1 read by the author: part 1 · part 2

See the Map of Shaftal by Jeanne Gomoll. Download hi-resolution map for printing.

“Marks has created a work filled with an intelligence that zings off the page.”—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“A deftly painted story of both cultures and magics in conflict. Marks avoids the black-and-white conflicts of generic fantasy to offer a window on a complex world of unique cultures and elemental magic.”
—Robin Hobb

“Marks is an absolute master of fantasy in this book. Her characters are beautifully drawn, showing tremendous emotional depth and strength as they endure the unendurable and strive always to do the right thing, and her unusual use of the elemental forces central to her characters’ lives gives the book a big boost. This is read-it-straight-through adventure!”—Booklist (Starred Review)

“Like real life, it is all about shades of gray. . . . an immensely political and unflinchingly optimistic novel. Differences are celebrated as often as scorned, and love can be found even with an enemy without the costs that might be expected in our world. Fire Logic questions both the real magic behind faith and the self-selective blindness involved in following a leader: religious, military or political. Characters and story come together effortlessly even as Marks refuses to shy away from complex issues of self-determination, ownership and multicultural coexistence.”—BookPage

“A deep and intriguing read.” – BookSense Daily Pick

“Contained in Fire Logic are some of the most sensual and tender sexual encounters ever captured on paper. She perfectly portrays the timidity, the lust, the uncertainty, of that first connection and the exultation of discovery. The emotion, so raw and vulnerable, is arresting and humbling.” – ME Reviews

“A cast of memorable characters whose lives, loves, and sacrifices combine to imbue faith in a shattered land.”
Library Journal“Marks vividly describes a war-torn land, and the depth of character development makes this novel a page-turner.”

“Cuts deliciously through the mind to the heart with the delicacy, strength, beauty, and surgical precision of the layered Damascus steel blade that provides one of the book’s central images.”
—Candas Jane Dorsey

“Laurie Marks brings skill, passion, and wisdom to her new novel. Entertaining and engaging—an excellent read!”
—Kate Elliott

“This is a treat: a strong, fast-paced tale of war and politics in a fantasy world where magic based on the four elements of alchemy not only works but powerfully affects the lives of those it touches. An unusual, exciting read.”
—Suzy McKee Charnas

“A glorious cast of powerful, compelling, and appealingly vulnerable characters struggling to do the right thing in a world gone horribly wrong. I couldn’t put this down until I’d read it to the end. Marks truly understands the complex forces of power, desire, and obligation.”
—Nalo Hopkinson

“Most intriguingly, about two-thirds of the way into the book, the low-key magical facets of her characters’ elemental magics rise away from simply being fancy “weapons” and evoke—for both the readers and the characters—that elusive sense of wonder.”
—Charles de Lint, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction

“An exquisite novel of quiet charm. Fire Logic is a tale of war and magic, of duty, love and betrayal, of despair encompassed by hope.”
SF Site

Cover art by Kathleen Jennings.

Laurie J. Marks‘s Elemental Logic novels (Fire Logic, Earth Logic, and Water Logic) received multiple starred reviews and the first two both won the Gaylactic Spectrum Award. Marks is currently working on the fourth Elemental Logic novel, Air Logic. She lives in Massachusetts and teaches at the University of Massachusetts.

JE in the news

Mon 10 Feb 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Susan Stinson’s Spider in a Tree is still catching readers — it’s not quite a Great Awakening, but the novel delves so deeply into life in the 1740s that once immersed, it’s hard to leave.

Apropos of some upcoming reviews and so on, Susan just posted her latest Library as Incubator post just went up, a lot of which is about researching Spider in a Tree at the Forbes Library here in Northampton. It’s 5 of the 6 part series she been doing for them and here is a link for the whole series to date. Click through for som great pictures of the library and the librarians!

Susan’s book got a mention in this interview David Moore carried out with Richard Bailey, associate history professor at Canisius College where they touched on one of the lesser known facets of Jonathan Edwards’s life, his ownership of slaves:

Moore: It is not well known that Jonathan Edwards owned slaves.  How should we think of Edwards in light of this reality?

Bailey: I am not 100% certain how to answer this question, David. I am glad that this fact about Edwards is becoming more commonly known and I am glad that my book can have something to do with that fact.

But how to think of Edwards? Well, Jonathan Edwards is certainly more than simply a slave owner. He is an important figure in the development of American evangelicalism and the modern missions movement. He is one of America’s most prominent philosophers and theologians. He certainly ought to be remembered for those sorts of legacies. But he also was a purchaser of human flesh. He actively defended and participated in the slave trade. And I’d argue he must be remembered for that, as well. I think that is what it means to take on the virtual amnesias of our pasts.

The one way I would encourage people NOT to think of Jonathan Edwards is as “a man of his time.” That sort of phrase doesn’t really mean anything; rather, it is a way of not thinking about Edwards. And I hope people will continue to think about him, relying of the historical work of George Marsden in Jonathan Edwards: A Life (Yale University Press, 2003) or the recent novel by Susan Stinson, Spider in a Tree (Small Beer Press, 2013) to get a more complete picture not only of the man, but also of the society and culture of which he was a part. [continues]

I’m very happy to note that Wikipedia has been updated to change the embarrassingly written section covering his slave ownership and presently just states “In 1747 Edwards took in a slave, “a Negro girl named Venus”. He purchased the girl for 80 pounds from a man named Richard Perkins of Newport.” Although this does still seem connected to the next sentence “The Edwards opened their home to those in need on a regular basis.”

Taking in slaves  does not equal looking after those in need! I don’t really know how to read the change history on Wikipedia—I looked at, but I can’t make sense of it—but there have been a lot of changes in the last few months and I’m glad that this part of Edwards’s and his family’s and the town’s life will be further examined.

Local readers can join Odyssey Books Open Fiction Book Group next Tuesday, Feb. 17th at 7 pm to meet Susan and discuss the book.

Bestsellers & Locus Rec Reading 2013

Mon 3 Feb 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Here are two different views of 2013 in SBP books. What will 2014 bring? Droughts! Witches! Yetis! More and more weird fun!

Congratulations to all the authors on the 2013 Locus recommended reading list. It’s always fun to peruse the list and see, for whatever reasons, what rose up and what didn’t. It’s especially nice to have links to all the online short stories and novellas and so on, thanks Mark et al!

In 2013, we published 2 Peter Dickinson reprints, one chapbook, and six new titles, and of those six, four titles are on the list:

  1. Sofia Samatar, A Stranger in Olondria
  2. Nathan Ballingrud, North American Lake Monsters: Stories
  3. Angelica Gorodischer (trans. Amalia Gladhart), Trafalgar
  4. Howard Waldrop, Horse of a Different Color: Stories

And you can go and vote in the Locus awards poll here. I have some reading to do before I vote. Votes for Small Beer authors and titles are always appreciated, thank you!

In sales, once again our celebration of Ursula K. Le Guin’s fantastic short stories were our best sellers for the year. However, if we split the two volumes into separate sales, Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others would climb a notch to #2. But! Counting them as one means we get another title into the top 5: Elizabeth Hand’s late 2012 collection Errantry: Strange Stories. We really should release more books at the start of the year, as those released at the end have much less chance of getting into the top 5.

According to Neilsen BookScan (i.e. not including bookfairs, our website, etc.), our top five bestsellers (excluding ebooks) for 2013 were:

  1. Ursula K. Le Guin, The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin
    Ursula K. Le Guin, The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin
  2. Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others
  3. Kij Johnson, At the Mouth of the River of Bees
  4. Susan Stinson, Spider in a Tree
  5. Elizabeth Hand, Errantry: Strange Stories

Last year it was all short stories all the time, this year Susan Stinson’s historical novel Spider in a Tree jumped in (I’d have said sneaked in if it was #5, but since it’s at #4, that’s a jump!). Susan’s book is still getting great reviews, as with this from the Historical Novel Review which just came out this week:

“The book is billed as “a novel of the First Great Awakening,” and Stinson tries to do just that, presenting us with a host of viewpoints from colonists to slaves and even insects. She gives an honest imagining of everyday people caught up in extraordinary times, where ecstatic faith, town politics and human nature make contentious bedfellows. Although the novel was slow to pull me in, by the end I felt I had an intimate glance into the disparate lives of these 18th-century residents of Northampton, Massachusetts.”

As ever, thanks are due to the writers for writing their books, all the people who worked on the books with us, the great support we received from the independent bookstores all across the USA and Canada, and of course, the readers. We love these books and are so happy to find so many readers do, too: thank you!