LCRW subscriptions rising, rising

Mon 28 Jul 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Some of the fancier LCRW subscription options will be going up in price next month — wait, is that really later this week? Wow. Well, it will be before mid-August.

So get your sub in before the chocolate, mug, Bentley (hey, if you want a Bentley with every issue we are happy to oblige) etc. levels catch up with the rising postage prices. As always, we recommend international readers stick with the just the zine option as mailing the chocolate bars abroad gets silly expensive really fast.

I am loathe to put the forthcoming issue #30 table of contents here as I am sure, sure, that I am going to squeeze another something in there somehow. So, yes, should be out next month!

 



A Summer of Peter Dickinson

Thu 17 Jul 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

A Summer in the Twenties coverWe’re celebrating the release of our latest Peter Dickinson reprint, A Summer in the Twenties, this week in a couple of ways:

First, we’ve just posted the first three chapters for your reading enjoyment. That should take care of what to read at lunchtime while ignoring twitter. If instant gratification is your thing, you can pick up the DRM-free ebook (epub/mobi/pdf) at Weightless right now.

While you’re on Weightless thinking about all those lovely books, how about adding another Peter Dickinson title to your library? Today only his strange and fascinating novel The Poison Oracle is the Weightless Weekly One Book sale title and is just $1.99. It’s a very different book from A Summer in the Twenties, which is one of the things Kelly and I love about Peter Dickinson.

As Nancy Pearl recently said on NPR about our first Dickinson mystery reprint, Death of a Unicorn:

Death of a Unicorn has nothing to do with unicorns or fantasies. … This is a mystery by Peter Dickinson. (Small Beer Press, a small publishing company in Massachusetts, is reprinting … Peter Dickinson’s books, which is a wonderful, wonderful gift to mystery readers who are yearning for that kind of old-fashioned British mystery where it doesn’t move quickly, you get engrossed in the time period.) …

“The thing about Peter Dickinson is that his books, one from the other, are totally different. … And this is a novel, a mystery, where the mystery doesn’t really happen. The event that is mysterious, the death — if you will — doesn’t really happen until probably two-thirds of the way through the book. And it’s written from the point of view of a young upper-class … woman in England and her relationship with the [financier] of a magazine very much like the New Yorker.

“I think that this is one of those books that I hope will … introduce people to Peter Dickinson and then they’ll go and pick up all the rest of his books. … But I have to stress these are not for people who want fast-moving thrillers. These are not mysteries in the style of American private-eye stories. These are really character studies and studies of society at a particular place in a particular time.”

That last paragraph really applies to A Summer in the Twenties. It’s definitely not a traditional murder mystery, but it has something of the thriller to it. I’ve been re-reading some Dorothy Sayers recently (in part because I know I haven’t read them all so I have to go back and re-read everything just in case, see?) and it isn’t too hard to imagine Lord Peter Wimsey passing through this novel — although I’ll leave that to better fanfic writers than me! The novel is really about choices and consequences and long after you’ve put it down you’ll be thinking about which choices led where and who might be happy. Might!



An excerpt from A Summer in the Twenties

Thu 17 Jul 2014 - Filed under: Free Stuff to Read, Novel Excerpts | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Read the first three chapters from A Summer in the Twenties by Peter Dickinson:

1
Hendaye, 6th April, 1926

A Summer in the Twenties cover‘EVERYTHING’S CHANGING so fast,’ she said. ‘Isn’t it stunning to wake up every morning and feel that the whole world’s brand-new again, a present waiting for you to unwrap it?’
For emphasis she stabbed her foot-long cigarette holder towards the Pyrennees, to declare them part of the present, with the snow-glitter along the peaks a little tinsel to add glamour to the gift.
‘It’s all yours,’ he said, generously including in his gesture not only the mountains but the nearer landscape, and the cubist spillage of roofs down the slope below the terrace and the two crones in black creaking up a cobbled alley, and nearer still the elderly three-piece band nobly attempting a Charleston while their souls still pined for the Vienna Woods, and even the braying group of young French rich, already into their third cocktail at half past three. Read more



A Summer in the Twenties

Tue 15 Jul 2014 - Filed under: Books, Peter Dickinson | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

paper · $16 · 9781618730848 | ebook · 9781618730855

A young man has to choose who to love, who to leave in the 1926 General Strike in Britain.

“Small Beer Press, a small publishing company in Massachusetts, is reprinting … Peter Dickinson’s books, which is a wonderful, wonderful gift to mystery readers who are yearning for that kind of old-fashioned British mystery where it doesn’t move quickly, you get engrossed in the time period.”—Nancy Pearl, NPR

Read an excerpt.

In 1926 the British government was worried about revolution. Two million people are about to go on strike and class warfare is about to erupt. Tom Hankey is caught between his love for Judy, a bright young thing, and Kate, a fireball agitator. Brought home from Oxford by his father, Tom volunteers to drive a train in the General Strike. When the train is ambushed, Tom is thrust into the darkest and most threatening regions of English politics. Gritty yet sparkling and full of unexpected turnarounds, A Summer in the Twenties resonates and captivates.

“In A Summer in the Twenties, Mr. Dickinson, who is best known in the United States for his mystery thrillers and in England for his award-winning children’s books, tells a story of confrontation between the rich rich and the poor worker, set against the background of 1926, the year of the General Strike. The very rich are facing the rise of a force they can barely understand. Politics, here, is everything. . . . A Summer in the Twenties shows the body politic balanced at a precarious moment of tension.”
New York Times Book Review

“Dickinson shows us the daily lives of both the upper crust, with their carpeted manor houses and petty intrigues, as well as the working poor, who live in noisy, crowded conditions. Intergenerational strife abounds, as children of all classes disappoint their elders by not becoming what they were brought up to be; the exchanges are witty yet full of meaning, illuminating the shift of power away from the old class system toward something new and unproven. Dickinson conveys a lot of excellent historical material in a thoroughly engaging narrative with enough suspense to keep readers entertained on multiple levels.”
Historical Novel Review

“Imagine if Evelyn Waugh and P.G. Wodehouse had been called in to doctor a “Downton Abbey” script . . . . There’s sharp dialogue, wonderfully grotesque characters, a love story or three. (Judy or Kate? What shall our hero do?) The wit is droll and British.”—Wilmington StarNews

“A lovely smooth read.”—The Washington Post

“A witty, affectionately nostalgic masterpiece.”—The Columbus Dispatch

“As absorbingly readable, as well-written as anything Peter Dickinson has written.”—The Times Literary Supplement

“Dickinson (author of engagingly offbeat thrillers and children’s books) does splendidly here with atmosphere, with the eccentric supporting characters, with the occasionally bizarre comic touches.”
Kirkus Reviews

From the jacket:

Peter Dickinson . . .

“has an unusual kind of mind.” — New York Times Book Review
“is the best thing that has happened to serious, sophisticated, witty 
crime fiction since Michael Innes.” — Sunday Times
“defies categorisation and summary.” — Morning Star
“is a delight to read.” — Times Literary Supplement
“goes in a bit for the high fantastical.” — Evening Standard
“is the best crime writer we have, always absorbingly original.” — Marghanita Laski
“is now the best writer of crime-stories working in this country.” — Birmingham Post

“What makes reading Dickinson a pleasure is that the characters are well drawn and above all human. They make mistakes, have prejudices on both sides of the question, and manage to change, grow, and rise to the occasion as needed. . . . He is also the brightest of writers, capable of real humor and rare intelligence. . . . As a portrait of a unique time and a picture of good people trying to resolve the differences that divide them, coming together for a common good, and facing the very real class divisions that separate them A Summer in the Twenties is a solid smart read.”—Mystery File

Praise for Peter Dickinson’s mysteries:

“The works of British Mystery Writer Peter Dickinson are like caviar-an acquired taste that can easily lead to addiction. Dickinson . . . does not make much of the process of detection, nor does he specialize in suspense. Instead, he neatly packs his books with such old-fashioned virtues as mood, character, and research.”—Time

“Dickinson (author of engagingly offbeat thrillers and children’s books) does splendidly here with atmosphere, with the eccentric supporting characters, with the occasionally bizarre comic touches.”—Kirkus Reviews

Peter Dickinson has twice received the Crime Writers’ Association’s Gold Dagger. He is the author of more than fifty books, including many books for children and young adults such as Earth and Air: Tales of Elemental Creatures, The Dancing Bear, and Emma Tupper’s Diary. His crime novels include Death of a Unicorn, The Poison Oracle, and many more. He lives in England and is married to the novelist Robin McKinley. Find out more at peterdickinson.com.



Drink Local! A Detcon1 Beer Guide

Mon 14 Jul 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 1 Comment| Posted by: Michael

Me, Scott, Bradley P. Beaulieu and Howard Andrew Jones stumping for NasFic at ConFusion; photo by Al Bogdan

Detcon1, this year’s NASFIC convention in Detroit, happens next weekend, July 17 – 20, 2014. Along with fellow Fermented Adventurer Scott H. Andrews, I’m on a panel about beer in fiction that Saturday afternoon, whereat, or perhaps immediately thereafter, I may or may not happen to have a very few bottles of homebrew available for sampling. I’ve also been scheduled to take part in a group reading of Michigan writers–the implication being, I suppose, that I speak for the region. Which–though Detroit does feature briefly in my story in this month’s Ideomancer–I am really not trying to do in my fiction; I’ve only lived here four years, after all.

I am, however, rather more prepared to take up that banner for Michigan beer. I have traveled, I have tasted, I have brewed. So, for those of you making the trip maybe for the first time, I thought I might be of help and interest with a brief beer guide to Detroit.

Read more



Bookslinger: The Ugly Chickens

Fri 11 Jul 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

New this week on Consortium’s Bookslinger app is Howard Waldrop’s Nebula and World Fantasy Award winning story “The Ugly Chickens” from our ebook edition of Old Earth Books’s Waldrop anthology Things Will Never Be the Same: A Howard Waldrop Reader: Selected Short Fiction 1980-2005.

Previous Small Beer stories on Bookslinger:

Howard Waldrop’s “A Dozen Tough Jobs.”

Bernardo Fernandez’s “Lions” (translated by co-editor Chris N. Brown) from Three Messages and a Warning.

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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySL1bvyuNUE



World Fantasy Award nominations!

Thu 10 Jul 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

What great news! Congratulations to both Sofia Samatar and Nathan Ballingrud who last night received the lovely news that their books were both finalists for the World Fantasy Award. Yay! Sofia is also a finalist in the short story category for her Strange Horizons story, “Selkie Stories Are for Losers.”

It is an honor to have books nominated and we will be celebrating this weekend at Readercon, and, hey, why not, all the way to November when the awards will be given out at the World Fantasy Convention in Washington, D.C. And, as always, congratulations to all the finalists!

A Stranger in Olondria cover - click to view full size North American Lake Monsters cover - click to view full size



In which we go to Readercon!

Tue 8 Jul 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Hey, are you going to Readercon this weekend? We are! Well . . . Kelly will be there Friday and then she is flying off at oh-dark-thirty on Saturday for beautiful Portland, Oregon, where she’ll be one of the fab faculty at the Tin House Writers Workshop. OK, Tin House first: it’s held at Reed College, Oregon, and Kelly is doing a seminar:

Wednesday July 16th, 3pm, Vollum Lecture Hall
Nighttime Logic: Ghost Stories, Fairy Tales, Dreams, and the Uncanny, with Kelly Link

The writer Howard Waldrop distinguishes between the kinds of stories that rely upon daytime logic and stories that use nighttime logic. What does he mean by this? We’ll examine writers, stories, and techniques that dislocate the reader and make the world strange. 

and a reading:

Thursday, July 17th, 8pm
Reading and signing with Kelly Link, Mary Ruefle, Antonya Nelson

Kelly is not on programming at Readercon. But, many, many Small Beer authors are! Some of them may be familiar, some will have travelled many miles to be there. Check out the program here to see where these fine folks will be:

All the way from Seattle: Eileen Gunn!
All the way from Austin! Chris Brown
Shirley Jackson Award nominee Greer Gilman [fingers crossed for both that and for an appearance by Exit, Pursued by a Bear]
Up from NYC: Ellen Kushner & Delia Sherman
Down the coast from Maine: Elizabeth Hand
Al the way from California, Crawford Award winner Sofia Samatar

— which all means we will have signed copies to go out from next Monday onward. (Want a personalized book? Leave a note with your order!)

I (Gavin) have two things scheduled:

Friday
4:00 PM    CL    Kaffeeklatsch. Gavin Grant, Yoon Ha Lee.

Saturday
10:00 AM    G    Books That Deserve to Remain Unspoiled. Jonathan Crowe, Gavin Grant, Kate Nepveu, Graham Sleight, Gayle Surrette (moderator). In a 2013 review of Joyce Carol Oates’s The Accursed, Stephen King stated, “While I consider the Internet-fueled concern with ‘spoilers’ rather infantile, the true secrets of well-made fiction deserve to be kept.” How does spoiler-acquired knowledge change our reading of fiction? Are some books more “deserving” of going unspoiled than others? If so, what criteria do we apply to determine those works?

If you have big opinions about spoilers, tell me! Wait, don’t spoil the panel! Wait! Do!

We will have two tables in the book room, where, besides our own best-in-the-world-books we will also help DESTROY SCIENCE FICTION, yay! We will have copies of the limited print edition of one of the most interesting (and huge, it is $30, has color illustrations, plus an additional story) anthologies of recent days: Women Destroy Science Fiction edited by Christie Yant and with a pretty incredible Table of Contents.

Come by and say hi!



Bookslinger: A Dozen Tough Jobs

Tue 1 Jul 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

New this week on Consortium’s Bookslinger app is Howard Waldrop’s “A Dozen Tough Jobs” from our ebook edition of Old Earth Books’s Waldrop anthology Other Worlds, Better Lives: Selected Long Fiction, 1989-2003.

If you look at the previous Small Beer stories on Bookslinger, it’s sort of like we are slowly building a virtual anthology:

Bernardo Fernandez’s “Lions” (translated by co-editor Chris N. Brown) from Three Messages and a Warning.

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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySL1bvyuNUE