Climate change is one of humanity’s most pressing challenges. Researchers, environmentalists, and writers including Kim Stanley Robinson have called our societal failure to address climate change a problem of the imagination as much as one of economics or the environment. Previous generations of science fiction and fantasy writers provided inspiration for technical innovations ranging from cellphones to robotics to gene therapy. Michael J. DeLuca wanted to ask today’s writers: can speculative fiction help us find new ways to understand and approach the complex issue of global warming?
Stories, poetry, and nonfiction inspired by this question can be found in the new issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet (LCRW), the venerable, much-awarded indie fiction zine from Gavin J. Grant and Kelly Link’s Small Beer Press. LCRW #33, guest edited by Michigan writer Michael J. DeLuca, approaches its theme of humanity’s relationship with the earth with a little humor, a touch of horror, and seventeen different kinds of understanding.
DeLuca spent two months reading hundreds of submissions from all over the world. The table of contents includes writers from California, Florida, Massachusetts, Minneapolis, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, Nova Scotia, Canada, London, U.K., and features stories, poems, essays and art from World Fantasy and Campbell award winner Sofia Samatar, Nebula and Shirley Jackson award nominee Carmen Maria Machado, World Fantasy Award nominee Christopher Brown and many other.
DeLuca says that asking this question of writers is ”not about pointing fingers or shouting down deniers. It’s not about politics. It’s about people, about how our actions affect the earth and how it affects us: physically, emotionally, spiritually. We’re part of the earth and it’s a part of us. I asked for optimism, I expected cynicism, I got both. I tried to find complexity and overlook the easy answers.”
LCRW #33 is now available in print from many independent bookstores or directly from the publisher at smallbeerpress.com and in DRM-free ebook from weightlessbooks.com as well as all the other usual ebookstores.
Michael J. DeLuca is available for interviews and excerpts are available for reprint.
About the Editor
Michael J. DeLuca is a writer, reader, dreamer, designer, brewer, baker, photographer, and philosopher. He produces both virtual and tangible goods in the form of bread, beer, tomatoes, websites, and stories. His fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex, and Interfictions, among others. He can be found online at mossyskull.com and twitter.com/michaeljdeluca
Discarded Titles for LCRW #33
The Humanity Versus the Earth Issue
The Earth Saves Itself from Humanity Issue
The 30% Non-Dead-Tree Issue
The Crying Indian Is Actually Italian Issue
The Women Turning Into Trees Issue
The What the Mushrooms Told Me Issue
The Jellyfish Inherit the Earth Issue
The Critical Mass Issue
The There Is No Such Thing as Critical Mass Issue The Change Is Inevitable Issue
The Inevitability Is Change Issue
Magazine / $5.00 / 56 pages
Ebook / $2.99 / ISBN: 9781618731173
we’re going to add three books to this here site. One for November, one for January, one for March. I’d like to take this chance to jump up on the table (and fall off) to say how excited we are about these books. They represent a lot of things we love to do. There are two short story collections and a novel. Two of the writers we’ve published before and one is new to us. I think you’re going to enjoy them. But that’s next Tuesday. And then next Wednesday to Friday — because the universe is funny that way — I will be mostly offline. While I’m away feel free to hit the preorder button so hard it breaks over and over again. What we want is to bring good books to as many readers as possible in as many ways as we can: print, ebook, and audio. We want you to find them in your local indie, online at ebookstores, in the library, in the to-be-read stack at your friend’s house, in that huge megamarket sitting next to the sunscreen so that you can read the best in weird fiction where ever you go.
But that’s next week. And, whisper it, there’s a possibility we have more books coming sooner than expected.
Have you seen LCRW? Lois Tilton has.
But let’s put that all aside for now. In the meantime, here’s Chapter One from a pageturner that is at the printer right now: The Entropy of Bones by Ayize Jama-Everett. Chabi is a character who will stay with you, promise.
The Time I Choked Out a Hillbilly
Last time I’d been this deep in the Northern California hills I was on a blood and bar tour in a monkey-shit brown Cutlass Royale with Raj. Now I was distance running from the Mansai, his boat, to wherever I would finally get tired. From Sausalito to Napa was only sixty or so miles if I hugged the San Pablo Bay, cut through the National Park, and ran parallel to the 121, straight north. About a half a day’s run. Cut through the mountains and pick up the pace and I could make it to Calistoga in another three hours. From downtown wine country I’d find the nicest restaurant that would serve my sweaty Gore-Texed ass and gorge myself on meals so large cooks would weep. The runs up were like moving landscape paintings done by masters, deep with nimbus clouds hiding in craggy sky-high mountains. Creeks hidden in deep green fern and ivies that spoke more than they ran.
Narayana Raj had taught me in the samurai style. You don’t focus on your enemy’s weakness; instead, you make yourself invulnerable. My focus was to be internal. In combat, discipline was all. But in the running of tens of miles, that discipline was frivolous. My only enemy was boredom and memory. Surrounded by such beauty, how could I not split my attention? Nestled in the California valleys, I found quiet, if not peace.
I also found guns. Halfway between Napa and Calistoga, the chambering of a shotgun pulled my attention from the drum and bass dirge pulsing in my earbuds. The woods had just gone dark, but my vision was clear enough to notice the discarded cigarette butts that formed a semicircle behind one knotted redwood. Rather than slowing down, I sped up and choke-held the red-headed shotgun boy hiding behind the tree before he had time to situate himself, my ulna against his larynx, my palm against his carotid. He was muscular but untrained. Directly across from him was an older man, late thirties, dressed for warmth with one of those down jackets that barely made a sound when he moved. His almost Fu Manchu mustache didn’t twitch when he pulled two Berettas on me. I faced my captive toward his partner.
“Wait… ,” Berettas said, more scared than he meant to sound.
We will have books from some excellent writers! And, if you’re not going, you can of course always order online. We can also try and get signed copies for you, although we may also sell out of books over the weekend, it is a reading crowd.
Small Beer Press authors on the program include: Ted Chiang, John Crowley, Kelley Eskridge, Greer Gilman, Eileen Gunn, Elizabeth Hand, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Kelly Link, and maybe more!
Not to be missed: the debut of the new issue of LCRW, guest edited by Michael J. DeLuca. There’s a reading from it at 4 pm on Wednesday:
4:00 PM EM LCRW. Christopher Brown, Michael J. Deluca, Eric Gregory, Deborah McCutchen, Alena McNamara. Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet Group Reading
Come by the table to get a peek at a few upcoming books: I will have a print out of the current state of our next John Crowley title, The Chemical Wedding.
Yesterday I was offline and before I left I said to the world, hey, Tuesday was great, so, Wednesday, what have you got?
And apparently what Wednesday had was some great news for many writers, editors, publishers, and artists, as the World Fantasy Award nominations came out — congratulations to all nominated! I’m very happy to see Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales on the ballot: it is a testament to the power of the stories in the book so I’m going to use this nomination as an excuse to thank everyone who sent us those scary, scary stories. (Why did I not realize how dark things would get in a book called Monstrous Affections? I thought they’d all be stories about affection, love, things like that. Ha. As is proven over and over, I know nothing.) Anyway, it’s truly always an honor to be nominated.
Yesterday was a pretty great day for our books so, you know Wednesday, what are you going to do?
Tuesday started with a bang when the Book Smugglers released a 10/10 review for Archivist Wasp with this great quote”All of sudden, this book Mad-Max-Fury-Roaded me, like a boss.” Then Stephen Burt gave a tiny shout out to LCRW in a great no-really-why-do-people-start-lit-mags piece in the New Yorker (cough). And lastly Kelly posted a picture of the first copy in of our new edition of Geoff Ryman’s killer novel Was featuring cover art by Kathleen Jennings:
— kellylink (@haszombiesinit) July 8, 2015
Me? I have to run (ok, drive) to Weymouth and back today so go on internet, have your funs!
LCRW: umami for the brain.
Apparently it’s been 10 years since we first publisher Kelly’s second collection, Magic for Beginners. Which had a different working title for a while (as I think all of her books except Stranger Things Happen have had) but you know which one Kelly went with in the end. Even if the actual story “Magic for Beginners” wasn’t actually finished so it wasn’t in the first set of advance galleys we sent out.
The official-ish bibliography is pasted in below — such a lovely cover painting by Shelley Jackson! so many lovely covers! so many trips abroad that book brought! — and I’ve posted some covers in a tiny video. Random House recently published lovely new paperback and ebook editions with an added bonus of a chat between Kelly and Joe Hill, and Laura I. Miller has written the book up on Lithub today. They’ve also put up the first story, “The Faery Handbag.”
Salon, Village Voice, Onion, HTML Giant Book of the Decade
Time Magazine, Salon, Village Voice, San Francisco Chronicle Book of the Year
Locus Award Winner
Young Lions, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy Finalist
- Small Beer Press, Northampton, MA. July 2005.
Harcourt/Harvest, USA pb. September 2006.
Random House, USA pb/ebook, July 2014
- Gayatari Publishing, Russia. March 2007.
- Hayakawa, Japan. August 2007.
- Harper Collins, UK.
- Argo, Czech Republic.
- Grup Editorial Tritonic, Romania.
- Verlagsgruppe Random House GmbH, Germany. February 2008.
- Editions Denoel, France*. May 2008.
- Wydawnictwo Dolnoslaskie, Poland.
- Woongjin Think Big Co., Korea. 2008.
- Grupo Leya, Brazil.
- Donzelli Editore, Italy. Forthcoming.
- Babel, Israel
LCRW is a tiny juggernaut, bouncing over the desert, heading for the dessert line, ready for both stories and readers who don’t mind crossing a line or two, refueling souls, brains in jars, and the worldwide weird and great fiction bucket. It is doing very well! The latest issue, #32, is getting strong reviews (Lois Tilton liked most of it on Locus) and if a couple of stories from this issue don’t end up in Best American Short Stories or the like, well, I will eat my lunch and maybe someone else’s too. Or maybe I will drink it.
I don’t know how publishers who put out a monthly magazine do it. We just published #32 and I’m enjoying the reaction and Michael DeLuca has #33 just about ready to go! You can see the full ToC here as well as the Kevin Huizenga cover. It will be going out next month — which of course is a day or two from now.
And: lovely news from Prime Books: two stories from LCRW will be included in Rich Horton’s forthcoming The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2015:
Long, thought-provoking essay by Neko Case on being alive and cursed with self-awareness:
What the hell am I (and who the hell cares)? – by Neko Case
“Who am I to say these things? The jury is still out, but I think the answer is; “A human currently living who possesses the curse of self-awareness”. I don’t think of myself as a “woman”much, which is the third reason for my reticence on the topic of feminism. Physically, I am a woman, but my gender doesn’t dominate my thoughts or passions every waking moment. I feel like I’m a mixture of all kinds of people and sexes we don’t even know about yet, and I like it that way. That doesn’t mean I don’t love to my core the women of this planet. I would defend them to the death. I feel the same about men, and I want all of them to have the freedom to think of themselves in the same way I do; which is, “whatever I feel like”. I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty choice. Get ON this dance floor.”
Pre-order The Liminal War by June 12th from this website, we will include a copy of The Liminal People.
The Liminal People is the first of Ayize’s amazing “Liminal” novels which posit that there are a limited number of Liminal People on this planet who will be at some point decide and/or defend us against the Alters, who are entropy-beings whose greatest wish is to destroy us all. Reading these books can give you whiplash, the action is so fast. In between the lines — and the superpowered conflicts — these novels have some sharp things to say about contemporary life, race relations, and class in the US, UK, and around the world.
The Liminal People ebook has an excerpt from Ayize’s second novel, The Liminal War, which comes out next week. And for a further dose of fun:
Fri 29 May 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., chocolate is food of the gods so does that mean we're gods no that's silly from any POV never mind the aetheist humanist, LCRW, retirement, subscribe | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin
So this is your chance to subscribe! We have silly options (get a free house in lovely Northampton, Massachusetts with every $1,000,020* ** subscription!) as well as the standard you send us money and we send you mindbending and heartbreaking stories twice or thrice a year. Sometimes, no promises because my memory is a —what’s that thing with all the holes in it? Oh, yes, political promises — anyway, sometimes we send out extra things. Things! No wet spaghetti. No huge cardboard boxes hilarious filled with packing material and a tiny zine. No concrete blocks with pretty ribbons tied around them. So many things we don’t send! Really, I suppose it is mostly books, postcards, pretty pretty bookmarks and so on and on!
Also, is we get 5,000 new subscriptions I retire! (Wait. 5000 x $19.12 (after Paypal fee) = $95,600. Would I really retire? Would I just take a trip around the world? Or buy 10,000 superfancy bars chocolate and a solar-powered walk-in fridge to keep them in so that post-apocalypse at least I’d have that? Let’s see! Ok. Post-apocalypse, subscribers can come by and share the chocolate.)
Subscribe while we still have mugs, chocolate bars (pretty fancy, but not as fancy as in above para), copies of Crank!, signed books, etc., etc., et-fabulousa-cetera.
This post brought to you by LCRW 32 and the letter F for wait, is it Friday? Oh gosh.
* No, our house is not a million dollar house but I don’t really want to move, so, you know, there’s a small amount of padding in the price to cover that.
** Will Paypal process a million dollar payment? Let’s find out together!
And here we go! Coming soon: a new issue of the house zine, commonly known as Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. Also sometimes subtitled: An Occasional Outburst. This issue contains more than its fair share of fabulous stories, what can you do? It has a cover from Debbie Eylon (which may remind long time readers of a cover from lonnng ago), will be out next month, is titled
and will consist of the following fabulosities:
Henry Wessells, “The Beast Unknown to Heraldry”
Alyc Helms, “The Blood Carousel”
Kodiak Julian, “Marrying the Sea”
Joe M. McDermott, “Everything is Haunted”
Henry Lien, “The Shadow You Cast Is Me”
Joanna Ruocco, “Auburn”
Dylan Horrocks, “The Square of Mirrors”
Jade Sylvan, “Sun Circles”
Nicole Kimberling, “Sleek Fat Albinos in Spring”
About the Authors
A. B. Robinson, “Sonnet Crown for Third Officer Ripley”
Gillian Daniels, “The Virgin Regiment”
Nicole Kornher-Stace will be in New York City Tomorrow night to read from Archivist Wasp and generally celebrate at the excellent KGB Fantastic Fiction Reading Series. Wesley Chu is also reading.
And then later this week (really? eek!) Nicole will be off to WisCon to do panels and a reading (Sat. 1 pm!) and enjoy the fab city of Madison for the weekend. We’re hosting an Archivist Wasp celebration on Friday night somewhere on the party floor of the Concourse Hotel where we will have food of the damned, drinks from the underworld, or at least some local beer. Hope to see you there!
We haven’t been at WisCon for years and I’m very much looking forward to some of the things I know and love (political discourse! people talking about books, books, books! the Tiptree Bake Sale! the farmer’s market, the dealers room, the restaurants on State St.) and then the things I don’t: how it has changed!
“a jarring yet satisfying reveal, one that fully justifies the obscuring of truth and arrangement of clues that leads up to it. It’s also modestly, quietly profound. “We bring our own monsters with us” is a refrain in the book, and as pat as that statement sounds, it’s not used glibly. With understated skill, Archivist Wasp twists myth, fantasy and science fiction into a resonant tale of erasure and absence — and an aching reminder that regaining what has been lost isn’t always the answer.”
“This spellbinding novel shares a setting—the present day, layered with magic—with Jama-Everett’s The Liminal People and The Liminal War, but it stands well on its own. “Normal” is not part of protagonist Chabi’s world: she was raised on a houseboat in Sausalito, Calif., and has been mute from birth, but she discovers she can push her mental voice into people’s minds. Faced with public school and its hazards, she asks a local martial arts master, Narayana, to teach her to fight. Narayana makes Chabi a weapon: a superhuman bar fighter and brawler. She’s able to shatter skeletons with her understanding of the powers of entropy. Chabi uses her deadly skills first to protect a likable trio of marijuana farmers, then as a security guard for an impossibly rich hotel magnate who’s as dangerous in his own way as Narayana. Rooted in Chabi’s voice, the story is spare, fierce, and rich, and readers will care just as much about the delicate, damaged relationship between Chabi and her mother as the threat of world destruction. (Aug.)”
Although once you’ve had a chance to read the book, you may wonder how happy Archivist Wasp ever gets! It’s not all bleak, but following ghostfinder into the underworld is a pretty dark start. We were very happy, though, when Ysabeau Wilce sent us a note, oh, back in 2012 (that really was a long time ago) about a great book she’d read and would we like to read it? We love Ysabeau’s books, so, of course we would. I added it to my ever-taller To Be Read stack and when I got to it, burned through it. When we started Small Beer (and, later, Big Mouth House), did I ever think we’d be publishing science fiction novels like this? Only in my dreams!
Archivist Wasp has reached most stores (find it in one near you) and the early reader reaction has been strong. (Especially the booksellers who picked up galleys at Children’s Institute in Pasadena last month, yeah!)
We have a couple of reviews we’re looking forward to reading and we also always love to hear from readers. You can jump right in and read an excerpt on Tor.com or if you’re lucky you can go hear Nicole read from the book at a couple of readings and we’ll have a launch party in a couple of weeks at WisCon!
May 17, 4 p.m. Inquiring Minds Bookstore, 6 Church Street, New Paltz, NY
May 20, 7 p.m. KGB Bar Fantastic Fiction Reading Series, 85 East 4th Street (just off 2nd Ave) New York, NY 10003 [with Wesley Chu]
May 22 – 25, WisCon, Madison, WI
Kirkus: scrappy · careen through · the space-time continuum · frequently outrageous battles · supernatural · survivors · legendary musicians · strange god · nonhuman entities · swiftly, cramming · action-adventure · speed · refreshing · refreshingly · engaging · likable · fast-paced · dangers · survivors · legendary musicians · strange god · nonhuman entities · swiftly, cramming · action-adventure · speed · refreshing · refreshingly · engaging · likable · fast-paced · dangers
Publishers Weekly: raw wattage · lit up · healer/killer · epic · sociopathic · rich, dense · blast · pure psychic chaos · “mine by choice” · superpowered · stumped · four-billion-year-old vegetable god · cyclonic energy · verbal legerdemain · noir-infused verve
For a taster, you can start reading Ayize’s first book The Liminal People here.
Tomorrow night, meet at a crossroads on a windy night, the moon in tatters and the mist unclothing stars, and make your way clear to Porter Square Books in Cambridge for Greer Gilman’s first reading from the shiny new paperback edition of her Tiptree award winning novel Cloud & Ashes: Three Winter’s Tales.
Sonya Taaffe (who re-read Cloud & Ashes with a fabulous eye for detail, thank you!) will also be reading. She is celebrating the publication of her new collection of 36 poems and 1 story, Ghost Signs.
It will be a night of language explored, stretched, and broadened: don’t miss it!
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – 7:00pm
Porter Square Books
25 White St.
Cambridge, MA 02140
When a star falls, we do say: the Nine are weaving. Look! The Road’s their skein, that endlong from the old moon’s spindle is unreeled. Their swift’s the sky. O look! says Margaret. The children of the house gaze up or glance. The namesakes. Look thou, Will. Look, Whin. They stitch your daddy’s coat. The twins, still whirling in the meadow, seem as heedless as the light, as leaves. Now one and now the other one, they tumble down and down the slope, lie breathless in the summer grass. His mantle’s of the burning gold, says Whin; and Will, His steed is January. I’m to have his spurs.
Bright-lipped in her bower of meadow, imber-stained, small Annot gazes. She is like bright Annot fled; is like herself. I’ve counted seven for the Ship. Like cherrystones. I’ve wished.
What Nine? says Tom.
Why, sisters in a tower—see yon smutch of silver, where it rises? Back of Mally’s Thorn?
He studies. Aye. And stars in it. Like kitlins in a basket.
Their house. It is a nursery of worlds.
Is’t far? says Annot. Can I walk there?
Not by candlelight, says Margaret. ’Tis outwith all the heavens, sun and moon. I’ll show thee in my glass. But she is elsewhere now, remembering the Road beneath her, and the heavens that her glass undid. Remembering the Nine, the sisters at their loom of night.
But coming home to the countries of the West, where nobody dies for a moment’s lapse in fealty to a prime minister or a president, it can be depressing beyond words to hear the loyalists of a given political creed — whether of the left or the right — adopt the unyielding certainties common in totalitarian states. Our rights to think and speak freely have been won at great cost, and we abuse them at our peril.
John F. Burns, “The Things I Carried Back,” New York Times
In less a week or so we will be in the Twin Cities (where our distro, Consortium is based, woohoo!) at the AWP Conference and Bookfair. To celebrate 1 million poets, writers, editors, publishers, readers, teachers, students, preachers, itinerant educators and professional argumentors getting together we are hosting a party with a few readings in it. Here are the salient details!
When: Thursday, April 9, 7 -9 pm
Where: Peterson Milla Hooks, 1315 Harmon Pl, Minneapolis, MN 55403 (4 minutes by car from l’hotel, says Google Maps)
What: Party — with short readings from . . .
Amalia Gladhart (translator of Angélica Gorodischer’s Trafalgar)
Alan DeNiro (Tyrannia)
Kelly Link (Get in Trouble)
We’ll also have a table in the Bookfair, #324, and will be there be most of the time (multiple snack breaks will be taken) while the Bookfair is open:
4/9 Thu. 9 am – 5 pm
4/10 Fri. 9 am – 5 pm
4/11 Sat. 9 am – 5 pm
and at said table on Friday morning we are very happy to announce that we will have those lovely writers in for signings!
Friday, April 10, 30-minute signings:
10 am Kelly Link
10:30 am Amalia Gladhart
11 am Alan DeNiro
This post will be updated with panel info and anything else that seems appropriate. Can’t wait to be standing there in the bookroom with 1000 (sounds about right, yes?) other indie presses. I am going to go and buy me some books, chapbooks, and journals. And maybe a T-shirt if I am lucky. Whomsoever brings the pink T-shirt, I am your buyer!
Dropping this here in case you want some big dancy music — and some quiet stuff, too (“I go home and lock the doors, and I hear the sirens . . . I’m in love with the ice-blue, gray skies of England. And I’ll admit all I want to do, is get drunk and silent”) and what’s spending about 50% of the time on all the virtual turntables around here:
This post has been automagically set to go up on a Saturday while I am not online, woohoo! (US/Canada only, sorry: see USPS mailing costs!)
So pretty! Very glad this book will be find a readership in the UK thanks to Corsair!
We just added Nicole Kornher-Stace’s forthcoming young adult science fiction novel Archivist Wasp to Edelweiss for booksellers, librarians, & reviewers of all persuasions.
Request copies here!
I love the simplicity of Edelweiss so much that I even did a panel on it once. I used to love Goodreads, but once Am*zon bought them I decided I didn’t want them to know that much about me — ok, all my reviews and so on are archived in their huge databases somewhere, but I wanted that slice of data to stop dead right around that point. But I have no particular dislike of social media, hello Twitter and Tumblr!, and given that I was on Facebook (another account I’ve since deleted!) I just opened another Goodreads account. This one I’m not going to list anything but Small Beer Press books, books by or edited by me and/or Kelly but I will be able to use it to do giveaways, so, yay for that. Check out my new profile (I officially have nae pals!) with a picture by Greg Frost of Tiny Me at Swarthmore College here.
But, anyway, this is really about Archivist Wasp. If you’re a bookseller, you might have gotten a copy in the mail and if not, there will be copies at the ABA’s Children’s Institute next month in Pasadena.
Wait, Pasadena? I lived for a short time in South Pasadena in a tiny apartment with a Murphy bed (loved it!) and worked at the Rizzoli bookshop (now RIP, I think) in Pasadena. Now and then we’d have “lunch” at the Gordon Biersch brewery across the way and when the World Cup was on in 1994 the Italian owners came over to see Italy play in the final. We all felt very bad the next day that we’d been dancing in the streets with all the celebrating Brazilian fans. Oh well. Before that I worked at an Italian restaurant making salads. If you ate a not-very-well put together salad in Pasadena in the early nineties, I apologize.
So anyway. I cannot keep it on track today. If you do go to Pasadena, hope you get a good salad and a copy of Archivist Wasp from the fine folks at the Consortium booth.