OtherLife’s first reviews

Thu 22 Jun 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

OtherLife, the movie based on Kelley Eskridge’s novel Solitaire has debuted at the Sydney Film Festival and has picked up some great reviews. As Kelley says, “You can find OtherLife on Facebook and on Twitter. Read about the wild ride of indie filmmaking at the OtherLife Journals.”

I hope it gets released in the US as it sounds — from the Hollywood Reporter review — like a film that would be fun to see on a movie screen.

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5331081de4b02aa0f34b5ee9/t/563bf01fe4b0826bf0b8b20d/1446768671752/OTHERLIFE.png“As OtherLife progresses and the pacing warms up, you can sense the shit about to hit a virtually rendered, glitch-prone fan. . . . The near-future setting, combined with Helen O’Loan’s resourceful, interior-heavy production design, protect the film from extending its sci-fi inclinations beyond the point that can be reasonably achieved within its modest budget. The atmosphere is big but the settings are contained, like Shane Abbess’ Infini.
And like last year’s horror indie Observance (another innovative Australian genre film, constructed on an even smaller budget), OtherLife’s score and sound design is so striking it is practically a character in the film. All credit to Jed Palmer, who also worked on 2014’s delightful The Infinite Man.”
The Guardian

“A stylish piece of sci-fi pulp fiction. . . . OtherLife likewise boasts a non-linear structure that is just explicable enough until one too many late reversals, though its puzzles could prove catnip to genre fans who thrill to fare such as FX’s Legion that blurs the line between real worlds and virtual ones.”
The Hollywood Reporter

Read more about the film here and check in here later for who knows what?



The Committee Picks . . . The Chemical Wedding

Tue 20 Jun 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

New England Book Show 2I never got round to posting some lovely news about one of our books last month but today in among all the copyright registrations, LCRW submissions, and the ubiquitous printer bills, there was a certificate from the Bookbuilders of Boston for The Chemical Wedding which was a Committee Pick for the 60th Annual New England Book Show.

Back on May 9th, I went with The Chemical Wedding illustrator Theo Fadel and her partner to Symphony Hall in Boston for the award show. It was great fun seeing all the winners and we had that lovely extra frisson of enjoyment since our book was one of them. The food was tasty, the chat was good, and the show catalog (the blue hardcover with New England in silver in the photo below) is a thing of beauty, which is still out on the table at home because at the moment it is too pretty to put away.

I haven’t entered books for the awards before because while I think we make beautiful books, so do Candlewick and Beacon and David R. Godine and so on and on but The Chemical Wedding was such an unusual book I hoped it might catch the jury’s attention. Yay for trying! And when you read the committee citation the award is obviously for designer Jacob McMurray and illustrator Theo Fadel, to whom I am still very grateful that we actually pulled this book off.

And now I will go find a place on the wall to hang our certificate — which I had fun photographing on top of an unbound copy of the book. New England Book Show 3

New England Book Show 5



Skillfully Reinventing Familiar Narratives

Fri 16 Jun 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Telling the Map coverIt’s what Christopher Rowe has been doing for lo these some years now and soon enough there in every bookstore in the nation will be his collection of stories and those familiar but reinvented narratives will be spreading like wildfire. The week of publication will be celebrated throughout Kentucky but specifically in the author’s hometown of Lexington with these events:

Tuesday July 11th, 7 p.m.: Launch Party at Joseph-Beth Booksellers with drinks and snacks. Richard Butner will interview the author followed by a Q&A and a signing.

Friday July 14th: This, as Christopher pointed out, is Bastille Day. It is also Alumni Day at Bluegrass Writers Studio at Eastern Kentucky University MFA program’s summer residency in Richmond, KY, so Christopher Rowe will be reading for the students on campus in the afternoon and at 5 p.m. Rowe plus a number of alums with will do a reading. New Lexington pop-up bookseller Brier Books will sell books.

Saturday, July 15th, 8 a.m. til 1 p.m.: Lexington Farmer’s Market Homegrown Authors. Rowe will be there from  manning a table, talking to people, hopefully selling some books. Note that one scene in “Nowhere Fast” is set at this very farmer’s market, in this very spot. Again, books provided by Brier Books.

What’s the book about? Lemme let the professionals at Publishers Weekly cover that:

“In his inventive debut collection, Rowe bends the world we know, remaking regions of the southern United States. Appalachian settings, recurring characters, and dystopian themes of societal degradation link the stories. In “The Voluntary State,” a band of marauders from Kentucky attack a painter named Soma’s car and kidnap him. Japheth Sapp, the leader of the captors, recruits Soma in a plan to sneak into Nashville and kill Athena Parthenus, the governor of Tennessee. Meanwhile, Jenny, a mechanic, reunites Soma with his repaired (and sentient) vehicle. All paths converge in an explosive conclusion. In “The Border State,” twin cyclists Maggie and Michael Hammersmith set off on a bike race across Kentucky. Their ride takes them along a river and the Girding Wall, which isolates Athena’s Tennessee. The race evolves into a search for their missing father, and a hunt for answers to mysterious messages from their mother, who drowned in a flash flood 20 years earlier. Rowe skillfully reinvents familiar narratives and widens common story lines into a world where anything seems possible. Wild creativity, haunting imagery, and lyricism—as displayed in “Two Figures in a Landscape Between Storms”—urge readers forward even as the pacing slows to provide needed exposition. While at times the poetic syntax of the sentences hampers comprehension, the book offers an immersive and original reading experience.

 



LCRW 36 cover illustration

Mon 5 Jun 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

We’re working on LCRW 36 and I just love this cover, “I Was Raised By The Forest” by kAt Philbin, so much I had to post it.

(Get LCRW delivered just for you.)

I Was Raised by the Forest



Get Your Hands on In Other Lands

Fri 2 Jun 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Goodreads Book Giveaway

In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan

In Other Lands

by Sarah Rees Brennan

Giveaway ends June 10, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway



The Force Acting Since 2003

Fri 26 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

As I scry the calendar I see Christopher Rowe’s collection Telling the Map approaching in July and I remember again that anthology Kelly edited in 2003, Trampoline, because there in those pages the very first story in the book was Christopher Rowe’s “The Force Acting on a Displaced Body”:

The little creek behind my trailer in Kentucky is called Frankum Branch. I had to go to the courthouse to find that out. Nobody around here thought it had a name. But all the little creeks and branches in the world have names, even if nobody remembers them, or remembers which Frankum they’re named after.

Read on: The Force Acting on a Displaced Body



OtherLife Premiere at the Sydney Film Festival

Fri 26 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

OtherLife world premiereGood news from Australia for fans of Kelley Eskridge’s novel Solitaire: the film based on the book will premier next month at the Sydney Film Festival — wish I was going! Here’s the filmakers’ announcement:

We are honoured to have been invited to screen OtherLife at the 2017 Sydney Film Festival! The WORLD PREMIERE will be on Friday, June the 16th at the Event Cinemas on George St, Sydney, Australia. We could not have come this far without the unwavering support of our investors, including Screenwest, Screen Australia, Deluxe, Red Apple Cameras, Head Gear Films and Josh Pomeranz of Spectrum Films. See you at the screening!

So now get your tickets here!

The film is not a straight adaptation of the novel, instead it is a different story that sprang from the novel as you can see if you compare the description of the novel:

Solitaire: a novel coverJackal Segura is a Hope: born to responsibility and privilege as a symbol of a fledgling world government. Soon she’ll become part of the global administration, sponsored by the huge corporation that houses, feeds, employs, and protects her and everyone she loves. Then, just as she discovers that everything she knows is a lie, she becomes a pariah, a murderer: a person with no community and no future. Grief-stricken and alone, she is put into an experimental program designed to inflict the experience of years of solitary confinement in a few short months: virtual confinement in a sealed cell within her own mind. Afterward, branded and despised, she returns to a world she no longer knows.

Struggling to make her way, she has a chance to rediscover her life, her love, and her soul—in a strange place of shattered hopes and new beginnings called Solitaire.

with the description of the film:

Ren Amari is the driven inventor of a revolutionary new drug. OtherLife expands the brain’s sense of time and creates virtual reality directly in the user’s mind. With OtherLife, mere seconds in real life feel like hours or days of exciting adventures. As Ren and her colleagues race around the clock to launch OtherLife, the government muscles in to use the drugs as a radical solution to prison overcrowding. They will create virtual cells where criminals serve long sentences in just minutes of real time. When Ren resists, she finds herself an unwilling guinea pig trapped in a prison cell in her mind. She must escape before she descends into madness, and then regain control of OtherLife before others suffer the same fate.

As author Kelley Eskridge says, “the film story and the book story are different in terms of plot. But they are deeply connected in core concepts and in the emotional exploration of loneliness and connection.” Kelley wrote the script over many years with Gregory Widen and director Ben C. Lucas, you can read about parts of the process here: The OtherLife Journals.

I can’t wait to see the film and enjoy the differences and similarities to the book.

 



John Kessel on The Moon and the Other

Wed 24 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Shelf Awareness just review John Kessel‘s new novel The Moon and the Other:

The Moon and the Other coverIf the literary zeitgeist has been dominated by dystopias, The Moon and the Other evokes Dickens and H.G. Wells. It’s science fiction with heart, romance with ideas. It’s utopian and it’s savvy. Kessel’s droll, sideways humor surfaces periodically, as in “uplifted” dogs and casual allusions to punitive “debtors freezers.” He explores gender identity and politics, portraying the complexity of social customs and relationships with neither jaundice nor bullishness. Focused on the lives of his characters, Kessel keeps pace yet makes room for his meticulously thought-out future world.

It’s a grownup vision: not because it’s serious, but because it’s wondrous. It extrapolates not just society and technology, but real-world emotions and human behavior as well. This moon is a place we’ve never seen before in fiction.

and I’m happy to say we have an interview with Kessel for you!

North Carolina (by way of Buffalo, NY) writer John Kessel has long been a writer we love — both his books, and the man himself. We had the joy of publishing a collection of John’s, The Baum Plan for Financial Independence, [I still love the easter egg dustjacket we did] a few years back and when I saw that he had a new novel coming out from Saga/S&S, The Moon and the Other, I jumped on the chance to talk with him about it:

Your new novel, The Moon and the Other, is set on the moon: do you think there will be people walking in the moon in the near future?

John Kessel: I don’t know if people will be on the moon real soon, but I do think it would be possible given current technology to colonize the moon and build livable environments there. The main thing stopping us is whether there is a strong enough motive to do it.

There would either have to be some economic advantage to be gained from living on the moon, or the people who financed and moved to such a colony would have to have reasons that went beyond economics. In my book I hypothesize that many people go to the moon as separatist groups seeking to establish independent alternative societies away from the nation states of earth, based on social principles that people on earth might find objectionable, rather the way groups like the Quakers and Shakers, and later the Mormons and the Oneida Community, established their own social systems away from Europe or the rest of American society.

What was the impetus for writing this book?

John Kessel: There were several. One was a thought experiment, creating a place, my Society of Cousins, where men are given social and sexual privilege at the cost of giving up the right to vote. I had written three stories [Including Tiptree Award Winner “Stories for Men” — ed.] set in that world and have been thinking about it for twenty years or so. I also wanted to explore various political ideas—the notion that most societies are neither utopian nor dystopian, and there is a continual friction between individual freedom and social comity. I also spent a lot of time thinking about masculinity, what defines the male, what different ways there are to be male, and how some are more available to people than others. I am very interested in the question of to what degree our behaviors are biologically determined and to what degree they are social constructed. Is violence a direct result of male biological imperatives, and if so, what can we do about it?

Did you have any societal models in mind when you described the Society of Cousins?

John Kessel: I modeled aspects of the Society of Cousins on the social structures of bonobos, and to a degree on the culture of the Mosuo people of China, near the border of Tibet. Both might be characterized as matriarchal societies with a different sexual and familial setup than the patriarchal hierarchical structures we are more familiar with.

Did you see this book as being in conversation with books or stories by yourself or other writers?

John Kessel: I have been very influenced by feminist sf over the last forty years, from Ursula K. Le Guin to Joanna Russ, Karen Joy Fowler, Eleanor Arnason, and many others. I suppose you could say that The Moon and the Other is in conversation with lots of traditional sf going back to Robert Heinlein as well. I am a magpie, and I borrow pretty shamelessly from my betters. I have been ripping off my pal James Patrick Kelly for decades, and Kim Stanley Robinson’s novels about colonizing the solar system have also had their effect on me.

After teaching writing for many years, did you find yourself breaking any rules you’d not expected to while writing this?

John Kessel: I tend to be pretty conservative in my understanding of story construction and novel writing. I believe in all the traditional elements of characterization, plotting, extrapolation, significant detail, story logic, etc. I don’t think I did anything too unusual in that regard. I do seem to like stories with multiple character viewpoints, where none of the individual points of view can be said to be exactly my own. I have inserted some passages of non-narrative exposition in this novel, rather the way that Kim Stanley Robinson has done in some of his work and I do have one big time disjuncture in the book that I intend to be a bit of a jolt.


Extras: listen to John Kessel on UNC public radio’s “The State of Things” and Carolina Bookbeat with Sam Montgomery-Blinn and Mur Lafferty and read more about The Moon and the Other.

 

 



Best Worst NYTBR

Mon 22 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Best Worst American cover Although I did not actually get to sit down with a pot of tea and read the New York Times yesterday (kids, what can you do?), I did exult all weekend over this lovely review of Juan Martinez’s collection Best Worst American.

The review, by Lincoln Michel, covers four recent short story collections — I love these catch-up columns where they review 4 collections or translations or books that might vaguely fit a theme as they are often books I’ve missed otherwise.

Anyway, here’s a single measly line from the start of the review (“Martinez’s debut showcases a try-anything approach to narrative”) and here’s one other from the end. For all the interesting bits in between (botched what?), click ye link:

In his longest and best stories, Martinez mines both the small details and the large absurdities of life to show us our own strange world in a new way.



Elizabeth Bear says . . .

Mon 22 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Christopher Rowe is

“A visionary writer known for writing haunting prose about people and societies with haunting problems.”

[Context!]



Printing and Reprinting

Fri 19 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

When I posted about the Super Nebula Humble Bundle the other day I threw in a line about stopping the presses “except for the ones printing and reprinting our books!” which made me wonder what was at the printer right now. (Ok, so I didn’t really wonder as I know but I thought it would be interesting to see where everything is.)

At the printer now:

Jeffrey Ford, A Natural History of Hell: Stories (2nd printing)
Christopher Rowe, Telling the Map: Stories (July 2017)
Sofia Samatar, A Stranger in Olondria (3rd printing, should ship soon)

Galleys being printed Paradise Copies:

Vandana Singh, Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories (February 2018)

About to go to the printer

Sarah Rees Brennan, In Other Lands: a novel (August 2017)

Why do I feel that the moment I publish this I’ll remember there’s something else (besides the kettle) on the boil? But busy days are good days so out it goes.

Although, “busy days are good days” is a funny thing to write when what’s keeping me busy is making books and from a certain angle buying or borrowing a book is a promise by the reader to themselves that they’ll set aside time in the future to relax and read that book. So what I’m hustling and bustling to make are books, in other words (hours to read the book) x (future readers) and if those “hours to read the book” are enjoyable, what I’m doing, by transforming an author’s manuscript into a book is helping the author create enjoyment. Ok, enough with this twaddle and back to making books!



A New Collection from Vandana Singh

Wed 17 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Ambiguity Machines coverI am delighted to announce that we will publish Vandana Singh‘s first US collection Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories in February of 2018. The title story, Ambiguity Machines: An Examination, can be found on Tor.com.

Long ago when the world was young and we had published just four books in two years (woah, slow down there young fellow!), we published an anthology edited by Kelly, Trampoline, which included an early story of Vandana’s, “The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet.” That story went on to be the title story of Vandana’s first collection which was published by Zubaan/Penguin India. Vandana is also the author of two novellas published by Aqueduct Press, two books for children, and she co-edited with Anil Menon the anthology Breaking the Bow: Speculative Fiction Inspired by the Ramayana. Outside of writing fiction, Vandana, as she so neatly says, professes physics and follows her interests in climate science.

Ambiguity Machines is a book full of big ideas (big isn’t a big enough word for them . . . maybe: ginormous ideas of unusual size) and people. One of the best parts of getting this book ready for the light of day was when Vandana emailed in a story that will appear in the book for the first time, “Requiem.” It’s a story of a woman who goes searching for her aunt who has gone missing in Alaska. It’s a page turner, deep and rich, with a streak of very cheering and surprising scientific optimism.

The cover isn’t final, c’est la vie, but it will be beautiful! You can pre-order the book here.



Humble Bundle: Super Nebula Author Showcase

Sat 13 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , , | 1 Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Hey, stop the presses (except for the ones printing and reprinting our books!), spread the word, the Humble Bundle is back! This time it’s the Super Nebula Author Showcase presented by SFWA. What do these books have in common? They all include at least one Nebula Award winning story:

  • For one single US dollar, you can get 8 DRM-free ebooks including Howard Waldrop’s Howard Who? (“The Ugly Chickens”) and Kelly Link’s Stranger Things Happen (“Louise’s Ghost”).
  • For $8 or more and add another dozen books (8+12=20 ebooks for $8+!) including John Kessel’s The Baum Plan for Financial Independence (“Pride and Prometheus”).
  • For $15 or more and add another ten books (20+10=30 ebooks for $15+!) including Nancy Kress’s Fountain of Age (“Fountain of Age”).
  • For $20 or more and add another ten books (30+10=40 ebooks for $20+!) including Kij Johnson’s At the Mouth of the River of Bees (“The Man Who Bridged the Mist,” “Ponies,” & “Spar”), Carol Emshwiller’s Report to the Men’s Club (“Creature”), and Karen Joy Fowler’s What I Didn’t See (“Always” & “What I Didn’t See”).

As with all Humble Bundles, readers choose where the money goes – between the publishers; SFWA (or a charity of your choice), and the Humble Bundle. I’m scheduling this to post on the weekend and by Friday afternoon over 5,000 people have already picked up the bundle. Thanks for reading and spreading the word if you can. Cheers!



The Contrary Gardener

Fri 12 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

With the weekend coming up, here’s a story recommendation: tTelling the Map cover - click to view full sizehe first story in Christopher Rowe’s upcoming collection Telling the Map was first published on Jonathan Strahan’s Eclipse Online in October 2012. It was then reprinted in both Rich Horton’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2013 and Strahan’s Best SF & F of the Year Volume Seven.

In their review of Telling . . ., Kirkus Reviews called it “the sharpest story in the collection” and can read it right here right now.



WisCon, Readercon

Wed 10 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

This week I’m shipping out books to lovely Madison, Wisconsin, for WisCon — and some freebies, check those tables! — where the most excellent Dave Schwartz will once again be tabling for Small Beer — yay! I wish we were going as it’s one of my favorite places/theoretical spaces (plus Vientiane restaurant, sniff) but with a kid in school — even though the kidtrack/child care is fab — we’re not going to make it. I know it will be a many splendored thing.

I’m also looking to see if I can find someone to table for us at Readercon as we are going to be out of town (dammit!). Anyone who likes moving 20 kg/30 lb boxes of books, sitting at a table for many hours (well, if you put it that way!) and chatting to people and selling books, send me an email!

We are going to World Fantasy in Texas where Kelly is interviewing Karen Joy Fowler — I recommend her blog. Then there’s Worldcon: a couple of years back I optimistically bought memberships. Will we get there? I’d love to, but I’m not sure. Anyone need memberships for two adults and one kid?



Kickstarter + 1 Year

Tue 9 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

I came in from taking my kid to school and remembered that about this time last year I was immersed in the Kickstarter for hardcover editions of John Crowley’s new edition of The Chemical Wedding, illustrated by Theo Fadel and designed by Jacob McMurray. When I looked it up, I was a little amazed to find it was a year ago today. Coincidence? Those don’t exist, right? The Kickstarter was a lot of fun. Not that I’ve been too tempted to do it again — shh! Who said LCRW Kickstarter? Not me!

I see that on the morning after the first day I was baking muffins. Coincidentally — if you believe in coincidences — I made banana chocolate chip muffins again on Sunday. But this year they had almonds and rhubarb in them instead of walnuts. Reviews were mostly strong but maybe they should have stayed in for another two minutes or so. Such is the way of baking on the fly. I would be out in the first round of the GBBO with nary a sad look from Mary Berry.

As everyone promised, running a Kickstarter was a wild ride. There’s no way we’d have had a chance to make such beautiful editions without it, though. 1,310 people backed the book and there are only a dozen or so who have yet to receive their books/rewards — mostly we still need addresses but there are a few special things that will be delivered later.

Would it be wrong to give a nod of thanks to the Secret List of Secret Backers of Secret Books of the Masters of the Universe? Of course it’s not wrong, thank you! How many people on that list are members of secret societies? Who knows!

The print run was quite close to the bone although there are some of the signed, numbered edition left which at some point I should do something about.

I will have another tiny fun piece of news about this book tomorrow. Until then!

kickstarter-logo-light

 



Goodreads Giveaway: Telling the Map

Sat 6 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Telling the Map by Christopher Rowe

Telling the Map

by Christopher Rowe

Giveaway ends May 13, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway



Effective. Relaxed. Complex. Persuasive.

Wed 3 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Telling the Map coverKirkus Reviews is the first out the gate with a review of Christopher Rowe’s July collection, Telling the Map.

Do they like it?

Yes!

It is, among other things, “A clutch of complex, persuasive visions of an alternative South.”

Why the draft cover is still showing up is beyond me. Time to ask the distributor! In the meantime, here’s the final cover, illustration courtesy of the incredibly talented Kathleen Jennings.



Leigh Bardugo says . . . (!)

Mon 1 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Leigh Bardugo, bestselling author of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, read an advance copy of Sarah Rees Brennan’s forthcoming In Other Lands and just sent us this:

“Brennan delivers witty, nervy, romantic adventure that fizzes with feeling and giddy imagination.”

Yay!



Frankly Tender

Thu 27 Apr 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Tender cover - click to view full sizeI really enjoyed Brit Mandelo’s use of the word “frank” in their Tor.com review of Sofia Samatar’s Tender: Stories. The word captures something about Sofia’s writing that I haven’t been able to describe. This book is something else:

“I was also impressed with both of the pieces original to this collection. . . . ‘Fallow’ is the second original piece, a novella, and is by far the longest in the collection. It’s also the best novella I’ve read in quite some time. . . . a heady mix of science and grim hard-scrabble religious life in a dystopic and closeknit society. . . . I’d strongly recommend giving the literary, clever, and productive art that Samatar has collected here a read. It’s as good as I’d hoped, and just as smart too.”

This week also saw the book appear on NPR woohoo!, where  Jason Heller reviewed it:

Tender‘s longest story is also a science fiction tale set in the future — and like ‘The Red Thread,’ it toys with the ambiguity between dystopia and utopia. Told from the perspective of a child named Agar Black Hat, who lives in an extraterrestrial colony after cataclysmic climate change and a universal draft have forced a sect of religious pacifists from Earth, the story is a feast of ideas. It’s reminiscent of vintage Ursula K. Le Guin in its combination of social science and hard sci-fi, even as it probes the nature of belonging and belief.
“The book’s beating heart, though, is its title story. ‘Tender’ starts out with a clever play on words — ‘tender’ is used as a noun, as in, one who tends — and employs some tricky unreliable narration and splintered points-of-view. But Samatar’s virtuoso flourishes of form serve a higher purpose: They couch a quietly devastating account of a woman who gave up her life as a career woman and mother to become a cyborg, one who, alone, tends to a radioactive waste facility which she may never leave. While Samatar slowly unspools her character’s reasons for leaving her former life — delivering a primer on the haunting philosophies and damaged psyches of the scientists who gave us nuclear power along the way — ‘Tender’ redefines the emotional power and literary heft that speculative fiction can convey. As does Tender as a whole.”



Con or Bust

Mon 24 Apr 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

If you’d like to get early copies of some of our books, bid now in the Con or Bust auction!

Sarah Rees Brennan, In Other Lands (hardcover/ebook, August)

Lydia Millet, The Dissenters middle grade trilogy (hardcovers, out now)

Kij Johnson, The River Bank (hardcover/ebook, September)

You can see everything that’s been donated to the auction in the 2017 Auction Index (Google spreadsheet, opens in new window). I am off to check it out now myself!



The Bodies of the Ancients Giveaway

Mon 17 Apr 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Bodies of the Ancients by Lydia Millet

The Bodies of the Ancients

by Lydia Millet

Giveaway ends April 25, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway



Manana

Mon 10 Apr 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

We publish Sofia Samatar’s collection Tender: Stories tomorrow. Many, many people are going to be very happy about this.

Also: next week there will be a giveaway for Lydia Millet’s final Dissenters novel, The Bodies of the Ancients, on Goodreads.

The above giveaway is for readers in the USA only due to mailing costs, but: right now readers worldwide can sign up to receive a free advance copy of Christopher Rowe’s forthcoming collection Telling the Map on LibraryThing.

Edelweiss users: this morning we posted Kij Johnson’s The River Bank.

Juan Martinez will be at 2 upcoming literary festivals: in Arkansas on April 29 and much closer to home at the Evanston Literary Festival on May 8,In Celebration of the Short Story with Christine Sneed at Bookends & Beginnings.

Did you hear that Ursula K. Le Guin’s Words Are My Matter is a finalist for the Hugo Award? How wonderful! I also really like Ursula’s new publicity photo by Rod Searcey.



Ayize Jama-Everett on the Black Porch Show with Brotha Subjek

Wed 5 Apr 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Kick back and enjoy a wide-ranging conversation between two friends covering growing up, travel, writing, music, and more:



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