Today we publish The Bodies of the Ancients, Lydia Millet’s final novel in her middle grade Dissenters series through our Big Mouth House imprint for books for readers of all ages:
It has been fascinating to work with Lydia on these books and to see the fight against global warming used as the basis for a fantasy series. The final volume includes aliens, bugs, neanderthals, changelings, and a few world-shaking surprises for the Sykes family as everything is (well, sort of) tied up. Along with the shapeshifters and magic there is some actual satisfying climate science, of course, since Lydia has worked at the Center for Biological Diversity for many years.
You can start reading the first book in the series, The Fires Beneath the Sea, right now on Wattpad and the second book, The Shimmers in the Night, has just been added. To reintroduce the series on the publication of the final book we have put the whole series on sale for up to 50% off here!
From the Paris Review:
“Born in the town of Pinos in the state of Zacatecas, Dávila published her first book of stories, Tiempo destrozado—from which “Moses and Gaspar” is taken—with the prestigious Fondo de Cultura Económica in 1959. During the previous decade, she had published several volumes of poetry, but it was fiction that made her name. Her stories immediately commanded respect, and it’s hard to overstate how grudgingly such respect was granted to women in that era: Tiempo destrozado was published barely six years after women in Mexico were granted suffrage. The 1950s were a rich decade of Mexican literature only peppered with female names, such as Rosario Castellanos and Elena Garro—heavyweights who nevertheless had to fight against being overshadowed by male colleagues and partners. Dávila herself was secretary to the great Mexican writer Alfonso Reyes, and Reyes opened literary circles to her and encouraged her to publish her stories. At the same time, we shouldn’t reduce Dávila’s history to the male figures who helped smooth her access to the patriarchal milieu: she built herself a literary career in willful defiance of both peers and parents who believed that it was absurd for a woman to move to Mexico City from the provinces in hopes of pursuing such a vocation.”
At AWP this past weekend more than one person came up, looked at Juan Martinez’s debut collection Best Worst American, and thought it had something to do with HMH’s Best American Short Stories which in itself was hilarious and gave me an idea for a new series of books — which we will not be publishing. AWP also turns out to be a great place to have a Juan Martinez book as he has graduated from a couple of universities and taught at a couple more. So many people came by either looking for him or the book. At least I could always help with the latter — even on Saturday when I was pretty much a zombie.
If you’re reading about this book for the first time, try this:
— so many short stories in one place I cannot list them all*
— also pointed out to me this weekend: none of these stories have been published in magazines in the sci-fi or whatevs genre
— 2 of these stories were read on NPR’s Selected Shorts
— Juan read the title story at Politics & Prose this weekend and it was hilarious
— Chicago people: don’t miss his reading on Thursday night
— Chicago people: if you do miss his reading on Thursday night, here is your second chance: Feb. 27, 6:30 p.m. Curbside Splendor Happy Hour Swill (with Kathleen Rooney)
— A. M. Dellamonica on Tor.com captures the range of the book: “out of the realm of the mildly disturbing, into something colder, more unequivocally horrifying…. stories run from the darkly absurd to finely-honed depictions of American immigrants’ experiences.”
— But what if you are just looking for, you know, weird stuff? Nisi Shawl says at the Seattle Review of Books that you will be ok: “Weirdness builds upon delectable weirdness throughout the whole book.”
* Ok, so there is a list, aka the TOC, here.
We’ve arrived in DC — where democracy is taking a beating, fingers crossed it will survive — and tomorrow the whole AWP shebang begins. Our books are still in transit due to the ice storm that hit the northeast. With luck I’ll be getting them today and by tomorrow there will be a lovely table (110-T, come on by and say hello) full of books all neatly set up and ready for dispersement into the world.
There are approximately four quadrillions readings and parties going on in the next few days. Here are a few Small Beer-related or -adjacent during the conference and then on Saturday at 6 pm we have a reading with Kelly Link & Juan Martinez at Politics and Prose.
Signing at the Small Beer Press table: 110-T (on the edge, near Tin House)
10:00am to 10:30am Juan Martinez
10:30am to 11:00am Sofia Samatar
11:00am to 11:30am Kelly Link
|Thursday, February 9, 2017|
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm
Marquis Salon 7 & 8, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two
R205. The Political Woman: Historical Novelists Reimagine and Reclaim Women’s Place in Politics. (Erin Lindsay McCabe, Gina Mulligan , Karen Joy Fowler, Alex Myers, Mary Volmer) While rarely central and often discounted, women have always played a role in politics. In this panel, historical novelists discuss how and why they chose to unearth and reimagine the lost and untold stories of women in politics. What are the risks and rewards of using fiction to place women at the center of political narratives? What liberties are novelists compelled, or unwilling, to take with the historical record?
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm
Ballroom A, Washington Convention Center, Level Three
R282. Jennifer Egan, Karen Joy Fowler, and Hannah Tinti: A Reading and Conversation, Sponsored by Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau. (Ron Charles, Jennifer Egan, Karen Joy Fowler, Hannah Tinti) This event will bring together three engaging contemporary female writers to read and discuss their craft. Jennifer Egan is the author of five books, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel A Visit From the Goon Squad. Karen Joy Fowler is the author of nine books, including We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award. Hannah Tinti is the author of three books, including The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, which will be published in 2017.
|Saturday, February 11, 2017 View Full Schedule|
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm
Liberty Salon N, O, & P, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
S181. Immigrants/Children of Immigrants: A Nontraditional Path to a Writing Career . (Ken Chen , Monica Youn, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, Juan Martinez, Irina Reyn ) Not only do you not have an uncle in publishing or see people from the neighborhood get MFAs, immigrants and children of immigrants are inculcated to opt for “safe,” “secure,” often well-paying jobs; a writing career may seem like an unimaginable luxury or a fantasy. This panel of working writers looks at both psychic and structural issues that add a special challenge for writers from immigrant families.
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm
Marquis Salon 9 & 10, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two
S271. The Short Story as Laboratory. (Lesley Nneka Arimah, Carmen Maria Machado, Kendra Fortmeyer, Sofia Samatar, Juan Martinez) What does short fiction allow? The form is beloved by science fiction writers, who use it to test out hypothetical futures; what does it offer writers who are doing other kinds of testing, related to emotional transitions, marginality, and migration? Is the short story an inherently border form? This panel considers these questions, the challenge of putting a set of experiments into a collection, and the tension between the laboratory and the completed book.
Kelly Link and Juan Martinez
Politics & Prose Bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008 Get Directions
Kelly Link will read with Juan Martinez (Best Worst American) at the most excellent Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse. This event is free to attend with no reservation required. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis. Click here for more information.
Do you want your first chance at a freebie? We just added Sarah Rees Brennan’s forthcoming YA novel In Other Lands to LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer list.
What’s it all about? Well, Holly Black — author of The Darkest Part of the Forest and many other fabulous books — put it this way: “A subversive, sneaky, glorious tale of magic, longing, and growing into your wings.”
You’re not going to want to miss this!
And will be unimpressed with your chaos, bombast, and moral weakness. That the Democratic Party are not impeaching this President yet is astounding. That the “Republican Party” accept their “President’s” actions: his racist Executive Orders, his racist and lying advisor and press secretary, his not recording his calls to Vladimir Putin, his insulting of allies, his emolument-clause twisting actions show that they are power hungry dogs willing to tear the country to pieces if only they can hold on to power for a moment longer.
Our town was supposed to get 51 refugees this year. There has been so much prepwork done for these 51 people — out of 60,000,000 displaced people. This anti-humanist “government” is a disgrace.
Here’s to the people who have been, are, and will continue to volunteer, march, and fight for actual freedom and the welcoming principles this country has (at least supposedly) espoused.
As well as all that: we publish extremely good books and here are a few spots in the world where they are being enjoyed:
— We published but five books last year and four of them are on the Locus Recommended Reading List. No stories from LCRW, which I’d disagree with, as would be expected of any editor. But I tend to think LCRW is one of the best zines out there and one I consistently read (for), so there’s my 2 cents.
— Over on Tor.com Juan Martinez writes about George Saunders’s CivilWarLand in Bad Decline for “The One Book That Unstuck My Writing”
“I owe so much of my writing life to George Saunders that even this introductory bit is lifted from him, I just realized, even as I started writing it. Because I was going to begin by sharing how often I fantasized about meeting writers I admired, and it’s super common, this fantasy—writers meeting their idols, and then the idol recognizes your genius and you become best buds, and the idol lifts you from whatever dire circumstances you happen to be in, and your life is perfect from then on. I totally wanted to start with that—with confessing how often I thought of meeting Saunders—before I realized why I wanted to start with that.”
— a profile of the indomitable Ursula K. Le Guin by David Larsen in New Zealand’s The Listener:
“Words Are My Matter demonstrates, among other things, the difference between a hectoring sermon and a memorable oration – notably in the text of her instantly viral 2014 speech on freedom, in which she lambasts profit-driven corporate publishing. ‘Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings.'”
of Sofia Samatar’s Tender:
“Equal parts brutal and beautiful, flinty, and acrobatic, Samatar’s stories explore lesser known territories of the imagination. The results chime with all the strangeness of dream and the dark-hearted truth of fairytale. I loved it.”
I am proud of our Massachusetts governor, Charlie Baker, and our representatives for standing against Trump and his bullying small-minded, heartless cohort who are intent on breaking the promise of this country. The USA is supposed to be a place people want to go to not escape from.
I’m grateful for the ACLU, SPLC, and all the lawyers who worked pro-bono this weekend. I am disgusted by the Republican Party’s failure to stand up for their own principles and the laws of this country. Ugh.
How much work is not being done these days as well fight for our democracy? There goes the economy as we all desperately call our political representatives instead of working.
On NPR this morning I heard an (all-male) panel talk about this weekend’s protests as “hysterical” because the “Muslim Ban” is temporary and not actually a Muslim ban. Perhaps the empty talking heads have forgotten how quickly temporary powers can become permanent? I don’t think so. They’re still not paying attention to what Trump et al are saying and doing now in their name. Millions of us are. Will it be enough? I hope so.
Will you be in DC for the AWP grief fest? Yay, see you there. We will be selling books, tweetings and signing useless petitions at table 110-T in the bookfair. But more on that next week, if there is still an internet.
Anyway. We are throwing a reading at the amazing Politics and Prose Bookstore! Juan Martinez and Kelly Link are Juan read on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 6:00 p.m. Juan will be reading from his debut collection Best Worst American — which just received a lovely review in Booklist Online:
“In a podcast conversation about this book’s title story, Israeli writer Etgar Keret praises the suspense Martinez builds by packing scenes with high emotion while withholding information from the reader. This disorienting energy infuses many of the two-dozen short stories collected here, including “Roadblock,” which opens with a pyromaniac aunt and a series of suspicious airplane accidents. Martinez parlays this odd sense of estrangement and tension into subtle, absurd humor. In “Well Tended,” the narrator finds himself caring for a missing neighbor’s houseplants, and he winds up alone in a room with them, watering can in hand, with the ridiculous sensation of being ignored by the plants. Other stories are more bluntly funny, like “Your Significant Other’s Kitten Poster,” which deciphers the contents of innocuous wall hangings and closes with a hilariously violent encounter with a professor in a pool hall. Throughout, Martinez reimagines urban landscapes like Orlando as hellish and spectacular, “lakes afire with reflected light,” and the “aggressively ethnic streets of Culver City.” In his idiosyncratic approach to fiction, Martinez delivers truly new ways to read the world.”
This weekend the new president’s press spokesperson, Sean Spicer, lied to the public and refused to take questions.
This weekend the new president’s press spokesperson, Sean Spicer, lied to the public and refused to take questions.
This weekend the new president’s press spokesperson, Sean Spicer, lied to the public and refused to take questions.
The White House phone comments line is closed. You can communicate to them through the website or by Facebook Messenger (sorry, what?). Here are the phone numbers — if they ever get turned on again — courtesy of Gwenda Bond:
From the facespace. And now, really, to work! pic.twitter.com/Rt5wmzTgaq
— Gwenda Bond (@Gwenda) January 23, 2017
Thank you to the millions of women and their supporters who marched this weekend. It was strengthening to be reminded that millions and millions of people are also horrified to see fascism rising in the US and around the world. I’ll keep making the calls, writing the letters, supporting those who expand human rights, and I expect to be marching with you all again soon.
There is so much that is wrong in this country. Our Massachusetts senators are standing up and shouting, our congress peeps, too — thank you.
It is amazing to see the Republican Party roll over and die without a fight. There is not a single one of the government nominees who would pass their confirmation hearings if they had been put forward by the Democrats. Conflicts of interest? Incompetency? They are a barrel-scraping of old white prejudice. I wish the Democratic leadership would fight it harder. Are they in the back rooms screaming? I hope so.
I witnessed the Republican Party’s obstructionist/anti-, and non-governmentive tactics of the last 8 years but I thought they actually had some principles that they were fighting for, not that they were just being oppositional. Now I see for certain they do not. I look forward to joining one of the marches on Saturday and witnessing the people’s hope that this Republic survives.
Then an email like this comes in and I think YES! We will make the future we want and need. Today’s thanks go out to adrienne maree brown (co-editor of Octavia’s Brood) and Sofia Samatar for her collection Tender:
“Sofia Samatar’s stories are just so good. Surprising. Suspenseful at an emotional level — I kept finding myself plummeted into an emotion face first, everything built up so steadily, with such subtle and meticulous storytelling. Samatar earns readers’ trust and uses it to take us into unexpected territory, to make us see ourselves in our power, in our messiness. Tender is the right word, so many of these stories touched into the place of gasping, or tears. Each story had me like, “Oh this is my favorite, I must mention this one.” But then I would read the next story which would be Another Whole Paradigm, similar only in that the writing was astonishing, each word so precise. This collection is an exquisite exploration of what otherness and belonging and place and language and love do to us all. It is visionary fiction. Please accept this as my enthusiastic recommendation to let this book have its way with you.”
Reviewers/Booksellers/Bloggers: please check the book out on Edelweiss.
“The stories in Sofia Samatar’s Tender are perfect and profound works of art written with the impossible ease of someone who has unlimited access to the secret knowledge of the exact right order in which words are supposed to go. The stories ring in sympathy with the reader like the favorite stories of childhood or youth or old age: Familiar and strange in the same proportion. These stories give you several new lives to live and with each reading–because you will read all of them several times–you discover new tales and new possibilities hidden within and you are filled endlessly with the pure pleasure of great literature.”
Juan Martinez’s collection Best Worst American winds its way toward publication — well, it’s at the printer so fingers crossed all goes well — and for that final cover that I made with help from Ursula and designed with Kelly we have a quote from Kelly herself:
“A master of the absurd who serves up contemporary American life in rare, blistering slices.”
Juan will be reading in Chicago at Women & Children First and then with Kelly at Politics and Prose in DC during ye olde AWP Conference — and signing at our table in the bookcity — next month. See you there, if DC is still standing.
Ben Loory just sent this about Sofia Samatar’s first story collection, Tender, coming in April:
“If a library came alive, and spent ten thousand years walking up and down upon the earth, exploring and dreaming and falling in and out of love, it might write stories like these.”
To which I say, wow! Also: true.
On the last day of the year: a quick fly-by on Small Beer books. In 2016 we (on purpose) published the fewest number of books we’ve done for a while and an unusual ratio of hardcovers to paperbacks — it’s also hard to properly count them. We published two trade paperbacks (Jeffrey Ford’s A Natural History of Hell and John Crowley’s The Chemical Wedding) but did we put out three hardcovers (Joan Aiken’s The People in the Castle, Sofia Samatar’s The Winged Histories, and Ursula K. Le Guin’s Words Are My Matter*) . . . or four or seven — including the Kickstarter there were three hardcover editions of The Chemical Wedding. . . .
All but The Chemical Wedding received starred reviews and ended up on Best of the Year lists and I toast each and every author. (Or, I will tonight!)
* A moment to celebrate: Words Are My Matter was our third title with Ursula K. Le Guin after her translation of Angélica Gorodischer’s Kalpa Imperial and her two volume The Unreal and the Real.
And even though we only published five titles (plus that fun but total time sink Kickstarter) I manage to be behind with so many things. Even when I reduced the number of books we published, I’m still behind. But! There are so many things to fill me with despair! So many interesting people on twitter! So many leaves to pick up on the walk to school. So many books to reprint — sneaked that last one in. I don’t think I’ve ever gathered in one place which books we reprinted in one year so here goes:
Nathan Ballingrud’s first collecton, North American Lake Monsters. Third printing — this book has legs! (Horrible things happen to those legs in at least one of the stories, but, still, legs!) The good news: Nathan is working on his next collection.
Naomi Mitchison’s novel Travel Light. Second printing. I read the first part of this to our 7-year-old who is part dragon herself and she really enjoyed all the parts with Uggi and the other dragons. She has the proper disregard for heroes, at least sometimes.
Ursula K. Le Guin, Words Are My Matter. The first printing was in October and the second in December — could I have increased the first print run? Yes. But I am so good at overprinting, so ordering a print run that was 220+% of the initial orders seemed like a solid call. Ordering another 50% of that first run was fun.
— A reprint not of our own: The Unreal and the Real in one volume, not two, with one extra story by Joe Monti at Simon & Schuster/Saga as part of a raft of Le Guin titles that they will publish including at some point a Charles Vess illustrated Complete Earthsea book I am very much looking forward to.
Another reprint not our own: Ted Chiang’s collection Stories of Your Life and Others (aka Arrival) by Vintage. The movie of the title story has made $90 million in the USA alone and the paperback edition was on the New York Times bestseller lists for four weeks which translates into thousands and thousands more readers for Ted’s fabulous stories. Sometimes, no, wait, very infrequently, things go right.
Nicole Kornher-Stace’s YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults 2016 novel Archivist Wasp. Third printing, May 2016. A book that blew out the door and keeps on going. As with Nathan above, Nicole is working on her next book.
Greer Gilman, Cry Murder! in a Small Voice. Second printing, March 2016. The first of Greer Gilman’s Ben Jonson, Detective novellas. Dense, bloody, funny, fantastic. Wait, I see a pattern here: Greer is also working on her next book. Writers write!
I think that’s it: five new titles and five reprints plus the de rigueur two issues of LCRW — thank you writers, subscribers, and booksellers for getting behind the only zine named after a Brooklyn girl who moved to London, married a Lord who probably had the syph, and published her own fancy fancy literary journal.
Sometimes in the past I’ve posted year end Small Beer bestseller lists but I find them oddly hard to do: should I list books shipped from our lovely distributor, Consortium (now owned by Ingram)? But what about website and bookfair sales? Books shipped out from Consortium, can and will be returned, sometimes months later. Should I post Bookscan rankings? Bookscan only seems to capture about 30-50% of actual sales — which I always forget when I look at their reports, oops, but is very clear when I look at sales/return numbers from Consortium.
Either way, we sold a lot of books in 2016: thank you. In 2017 we have many books planned and — if all goes well — more reprints. No Kickstarter, at least, I don’t think so right at this moment in the middle of inventory and preparing for 1099s and so on. There is a Howard Waldrop project kicking around…. We’ll see. Two more issues of LCRW FTW. We will go to AWP in Washington, DC, in February and Kelly is teaching at Tin House in Portland in July. I just received an update (no real movement, but the possibility of movement) on a secret project we’ve been slowly trying to make work for at least five years — it may not work, c’est la vie in publishing: try and make something happen for years, sometimes it flames out, disappears, or ends up elsewhere but if it ever did come together, wow, what fun.
And at the very end of this year I signed a contract and sent of a check for a short story collection that has been a long time in the making — but more on that in the new year: more books, more cheer, and of course: more fighting for freedom, equality, and justice for all. Happy new year to you and yours.
We had a placeholder cover for so long but hey, at last, before even the end of the world, here is the actual and real* cover for Juan Martinez’s debut collection Best Worst American which we’re publishing next February.
And here is a story from the book, “Hobbledehoydom,” first published on the Morning News, about Anthony Trollope and naked people.
* For a certain internet screen version of reality. How are you seeing this cover? On a computer? A phone? A wallscreen? The Times Square ad?
At least, it’s going well from here — thank you! It’s busy as all get out but we are up to date to Thursday’s orders and by the end of today will have caught up again — unless there are too many orders to ship, woohoo, bring it! The post office says that US Priority Mail orders will still arrive by Christmas if ordered by 12/21, go for it!
Want some last minute present ideas? (OK, these are all going to be Small Beer books, I think.) Nothing here will stop the howling void of despair and depression taking over all from the electoral shenanigans but they will distract for various amounts of time:
It was a pleasure to encounter renowned SF and fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin’s book of essays, Words Are My Matter, and to hear her wise, informed, elegant, and occasionally testy voice discussing such joys as the early H.G. Wells classics such as The Time Machine and China Miéville’s Embassytown—which surely owes a debt to Le Guin’s own The Left Hand of Darkness, now out in a sumptuous new Penguin Galaxy edition.
Sit back (or go jog, or shovel some snow) and listen to David Naimon and Sofia Samatar chat about The Winged Histories on the Between the Covers podcast. The Winged Histories was chosen as one of the best books of the year by NPR — yay!
The Valley Advocate ran a 3-page spread on John Crowley’s The Chemical Wedding which included interviews with Crowley, illustrator Theo Fadel, and designer Jacob McMurrary. The paper edition had many illustrations. Meanwhile the book was reviewed on Tor.com.
See the Elephant had previously run a review of Jeffrey Ford’s A Natural History of Hell which much to my enjoyment began “Hellishly Good Stories.” Jim Sallis revelled in Ford’s collection in F&SF (“Formally Ford’s stories are object lessons in how to stage a narrative.”) Alvaro Zinos-Amaro reviewed it on IGMS and DF Lewis wrote reaction posts while reading the stories. Hazel and Wren also liked the book. What can I say? It struck a chord.
And Mary Rickert’s collection, You Have Never Been Here, came out so late in 2015 that a lot of people read it this year, i.e. Sallis (“Reading a Mary Rickert story quite often is like sinking through layers of such worlds. We begin in one place, blink, and open our eyes to somewhere—something—else.”) in F&SF and William Grabowski in See the Elephant: “Rickert’s work, its superbly subtle handling of deepest human yearning for something to heal the howling void behind our increasingly demythologized world, shows the ineffable power—and value—of fantastical storytelling.”
First trade review for Best Worst American comes form Kirkus Reviews who say: “Twenty-four semiexistential short stories that have appeared in the likes of McSweeney’s and Selected Shorts from Colombia-born writer Martinez. The author has an interesting way of injecting absurdity into everyday life and humor into the phantasmagorical in this wide-ranging, mostly engaging collection of tall tales. . . . there are also occasional moments of grace. . . . Some are just flat-out funny. . . . Martinez even makes the frightening funny. . . . promising debut collection of short stories, some unique in their execution.”
Comes out in February 2017 and will make you laugh all the way through 2018.
Should democracy survive in this sometimes lovely country in 2017 we will publish these books:
1. Sofia Samatar, Tender: Stories
This is a ridiculously good book. Twenty stories including two new stories which — POP! there goes my mind.
2. Laurie J. Marks, Fire Logic and Earth Logic in paperback. The ebooks are out but these trade paperbacks coming out is us building toward publishing the fourth and final Elemental Logic novel, Air Logic.
3. Kij Johnson, The River Bank: A sequel to Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. Illustrated throughout by Kathleen Jennings.
A book that came to us out of the blue and a reminder that there can be joy in the world.
4. Christopher Rowe, Telling the Map: Stories
Sometimes you wait a long time and then a good thing happens. This book ranges out from now in Kentucky to who knows where or when. And: wow.
5. Sarah Rees Brennan, In Other Lands: a novel
This is the funniest epic-not-epic fantasy you’ll read next year.
None of the covers are 100% final.
And, fingers crossed, there will be more books later in the year.
I owe an apology and a great debt of thanks to the authors for their immense patience as work slowed and stalled during and after this most recent election. Sorry. Putting out a new issue of LCRW helped with getting me back into doing things and not just calling senators and despairing.
I feel silly and melodramatic to be worried about democracy — not perhaps the best form of government, but the best I’ve seen yet — and to think that I and others can work to keep this country from becoming a militarized plutocracy/kleptocracy. This election that among others things was influenced by the Russian government…
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) December 7, 2016
…(oh that that were a conspiracy theory), this convulsion away from liberalism and toward a much darker, narrower future is horrifying and must be fought.
For now, we will fight one book at a time.
Tue 6 Dec 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., book fairs, Emily Houk, Holly Black, Jedediah Berry, John Crowley, Kelly Link, Leslea Newman, Mordicai Gerstein, Ninepin Press, Northampton, Rich Michelson | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin
This world continues to be crap — i.e. “Half of Detroit votes may be ineligible for recount” (great pop up on that page, btw — everyone needs an instant audio ad for viagra to start when they click on a link!).
So for a brief moment instead of that here are some photos from a couple of panels at the Northampton Book Fair this weekend. The fair was in the Smith College Campus Center which is a beautiful building just outside the center of Northampton. The events were in two lovely, airy rooms on the ground floor and there was an antiquarian book fair full of the most tempting things upstairs. Wow, so many pretty things.
I saw some of the 10 a.m. Children’s picture book panel readers: Rich Michelson gave a, wait, no, really, fascinating presentation on Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy, Leslea Newman read her new book Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed (you can listen to Ketzel’s 21-second composition here), and Mordicai Gerstein (The Sleeping Gypsy, I Am Pan) strode up and just started drawing away on the white board. That was fabulous. Here he is drawing Hera (he noted she didn’t trust Zeus) and his drawing of the god Pan:
I missed Heidi Stemple and Jane Yolen (what a line up that panel had!) as I had to split to prepare for John Crowley’s reading of The Chemical Wedding in the next room over at 11 a.m. John is erudite and smart and very funny — and, hey, we sold books, which is always nice. He read and then answered quite a few questions, as the reading was well attended, and afterward I met some more local book and nonbook people.
Here’s one photo and perhaps a one-minute video I just tried uploading to Flickr:
I came back in the afternoon and — with mostly patient kid — sat in on the Ninepin Press celebration/reading where Jedediah Berry and Emily Houk read from, played with, and showed their current projects:
This Saturday when you drop by your local bookstore you may run into your favorite (or new favorite or not!) author when millions of happy authors get to be booksellers for a bit. Here in Northampton Susan Stinson will be guest bookselling at Broadside Books — who have sold a couple of hundred copies of her historical Northampton novel Spider in a Tree.
Who’s coming to your store?
“A best-of collection — with an introduction by Kelly Link — by the late British master of supernatural fiction and children’s literature.”
I think my favorite line from a review is still “Sprightly but brooding” from Kirkus Reviews’s starred review which captures something of the range of darkness and light within the book.
“The particular joys of a Joan Aiken story have always been her capacity for this kind of brisk invention; her ear for dialect; her characters and their idiosyncrasies. Among the stories collected in this omnibus, are some of the very first Joan Aiken stories that I ever fell in love with, starting with the title story “The People in the Castle,” which is a variation on the classic tales of fairy wives.”
— Kelly Link, from her Introduction