The Chemical Wedding moves on

Fri 13 Feb 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Good news for those of you following the long evolution of John Crowley’s The Chemical Wedding. Jacob MacMurray is deep into the design and the book has just come back from the proofreader. More updates as we have them!

Got the snacks, cupcakes, beer, just need the reader

Fri 13 Feb 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

and Kelly will be on a train back from New York City soon. She also did a radio interview and read at Word Jersey City and chatted with Lev Grossman. I saw a photo on twitter, weird.

Tonight! Books! Eats from King Street Eats! Cupcakes! Berkshire Brewing beer!

Odyssey Bookshop, 7 pm!

Location: 9 College St., South Hadley, MA 01075 (get directions)

Poet A. B. Robinson will read followed by Kelly reading, doing a Q&A, and enjoying being in Western Mass for a couple of days before heading oot scoot off to the West Coast. Hope to see you there!

Monday: Brookline Booksmith!
Tuesday: Elliott Bay, Seattle!
Wednesday: Powell’s, Portland!
Thursday: Booksmith, San Francisco!
Friday: Literati, Ann Arbor!

Archivist Wasp gets going

Wed 11 Feb 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

How do we know Archivist Wasp is getting out there?

Archivist Wasp

Because Elliott Bay Bookstore and their lovely bookseller Justus Joseph, all the way over there in Seattle, was tweeting at us today about it, that’s how! Yeah! We sent copies out to some of the best indie bookstores around and they are reading it and loving it. The book came to us on a hot tip from Ysabeau Wilce and we are very happy to be sending it out into the world this May.

Also, because we’re getting a cracking response from early readers!

Archivist Wasp coverArchivist Wasp is a gorgeous and complex book, featuring a deadly girl who traverses an equally deadly landscape. Wasp won me over, and she’s sure to find fans among teens and grown-ups alike.”
— Phoebe North, author of Starglass

“A tremendously inventive and smart novel. Archivist Wasp is like Kafka by way of Holly Black and Shirley Jackson, but completely original. Highly recommended.”
— Jeff VanderMeer, author of the Southern Reach trilogy

“A gorgeous, disturbing, compelling book with a smart, complicated heroine who bestrides her post-apocalyptic world like a bewildered force of nature. Reading it was a wild ride and a thoroughly satisfying one.”
— Delia Sherman, author of The Freedom Maze

“Brutal post-apocalypse meets sci-fi techno-thriller meets a ghost story for the ages in this astonishingly original novel from Nicole Kornher-Stace. You’ve never read anything like Archivist Wasp, but once you have you’ll be clamoring for more.”
— Mike Allen, author of Unseaming

“One of the most revelatory and sublime books I’ve ever read, Archivist Wasp is a must-read for fans of post-apocalyptic fiction. Kornher-Stace is a genius, and I can’t wait to see what she does next!”
— Tiffany Trent, author of The Unnaturalists

Slipstream Fiction Goes Mainstream

Wed 4 Feb 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Names? Genres?

Hey, we just know what we love and when we can we publish it.

Great article in the Wall Street Journal by Anna Russell and Jennifer Maloney with shout outs to many favorite authors. Our new LCRW blurb:

“a ’zine, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.” — The Wall Street Journal

And this is all tied in to Kelly’s new book, Get in Trouble, which, despite a houseful of colds and days of sick or snow days we are celebrating and getting Kelly ready to head out to a ton a great bookstores. Love the picture of Kelly, too!

Kelly’s new collection is out on Tuesday

Sat 31 Jan 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Get in Trouble(Sign up for our email newsletter.)

Taking a break from the nonstop LCRW action (new issue in the works, bonus issue for summer!) I wanted to take a moment and celebrate Get in Trouble, the first new collection for adult readers in a decade from Kelly Link (my lovely spouse!), Small Beer cofounder, editor, art director, LCRW co-editor, etc., etc.! It has nine stories in it and it is a cracker.

Get in Trouble comes out on Tuesday February 3, 2015, in print, ebook, and audio from Random House. Excited does not begin to parse the feels, the oceanwide feels of seeing a new book from Kelly in print. The reviews have begun to appear, here are a few:

“The trick, of course, is that we can’t stop reading, that we — like she, like so many of the characters in this collection — are hopelessly engaged.” — David Ulin, Los Angeles Times

“A new Link collection is therefore more than just a good excuse for a trip to the bookstore. It’s a zero-gravity vacation in a dust jacket.”— Amy Gentry, Chicago Tribune

“Utterly addictive, finely wrought concoctions of fantasy and science fiction and literary realism and horror and young adult and old adult.” — Isaac Fitzgerald, The Millions

“If you’ve ever lost something, if you’ve ever had to live without something you really and truly love, Link will break your heart with her stories, and you’ll be glad.” — Rebecca Vipond Brink, The Frisky

“[Link's] stories are like nothing else, dark yet sparkling with her unique brand of fairy dust.” — Erin Morgenstern

“Utterly astonishing.” — Peter Straub

Get in Trouble offers further proof that she belongs on every reader’s book shelf.” — Karen Russell

“A combination of George Saunders’s eerie near-reality mixed with Amy Hempel’s badda-boom timing, plus a dose of Karen Russell’s otherworldly tropical sensibility.” — Library Journal

You can read two of the stories now: “The Summer People” and “I Can See Right Through You.” If you enjoy it, order a copy wherever books are sold.

Kelly is about to go out on a book tour — if you miss these you might hear her on the radio. The one on Feb. 13th in Western Mass. should be a party, come by if you can!

Feb. 5, 7:30 pm
Greenlight Bookstore
686 Fulton St.
Brooklyn, NY 11217

Feb. 9 – 11
ABA Winter Institute
Grove Park Inn
Asheville, NC
Indie Bookstores, FTW!

11 Feb, 7 pm
Barnes & Noble – Upper West Side (with Emma Straub)

NEW YORK, NY 10024
Kelly Link in Conversation with Emma Straub Audience Q&A, Signing

12 Feb, 7:30 pm
Word Jersey City (with Lev Grossman)

123 Newark Avenue
Jersey City NJ 07302
Master of magic realism and “sorceress to be reckoned with” Kelly Link stops by to celebrate the release of her latest collection of short stories, Get in Trouble, with a signing and reading. She will be in conversation with fellow author and New York Times bestseller Lev Grossman (The Magician King).

13 Feb, 7 pm
Odyssey Bookshop (with A. B. Robinson)
9 College St.
South Hadley, MA 01075

After the reading everyone is invited to stay and have cupcakes and other treats. A. B. Robinson’s poetry has appeared in TINGE as well as Industrial Lunch, which she currently co-edits. Her […]

16 Feb, 7 pm

17 Feb, 7 pm
1521 10TH AVE
“We’ve been waiting for this night to happen: Kelly Link, author of Magic for Beginners, Stranger Things Happen, and Pretty Monsters, makes this welcome Elliott Bay return for her dazzling new book of stories, Get in Trouble.”

18 Feb, 7:30 pm
— where the book is already #11 on the bestseller list: Go Portland!

19 Feb, 7:30 pm
The Booksmith

1644 Haight Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
“Kelly Link’s newest short story collection Get in Trouble is fiction in its finest. Half realistic, half fantastical, each story does just what the title promises: it gets into trouble. Beloved by writers and readers alike, Link is an expert at creating brilliantly detailed, layered worlds pulsing with their own energy and life.”

20 Feb, 7 pm


Even moar events here.

Alan DeNiro in Chicago

Wed 28 Jan 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Tyrannia and Other Renditions coverLook at me resisting writing Chitown! I am so strong.

What: Tuesday Funk with Alan DeNiro, Cameron McGill, Patty Templeton, Christa Desir and H.Melt, hosted by Andrew Huff and Eden Robins.
When: Feb. 3rd, 7 pm for 7:30 start.
Where: the Hopleaf (where the Bookslut readings used to be and very close to the excellent Women & Children First!), 5148 N. Clark St., Chicago 773-334-9851

Get ye along for there won’t be another chance to see Alan until AWP in April — where we will have a reading, a table, a banner, but probably not 100 mugs on a table the way Isaac Fitzgerald had on The Rumpus table in Boston a couple of years ago. Wait. We could totally rip that off.

Alan might read from his latest book, Tyrannia, which if you like weird political poetic poemic polemic stories: is for you.

In other news: Sofia Samatar has been burning up the internet! Here are a few links to keep you busy while we work on getting her second novel The Winged Histories ready to drop next year: twitter · The Guardian · Post 45.

Also: Karen Lord’s new novel The Galaxy Game just came out from Del Rey and is getting great reviews. You can read an interview with her here.

Ayize Jama-Everett is working on the final final line edits of The Liminal War. That book is going to Knock People Over.

Michael DeLuca was just out here in Western Mass. and we talked about his guest editing an issue of LCRW — and drank some delicious beer. He also shoveled our drive, whoa! Snow days!


Snow day

Mon 12 Jan 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Doh. So many plans. Oh well.

Now I can spend more time planning my outfit for my photo op tomorrow night in the glass coffin at Holly Black’s Odyssey Books launch party for The Darkest Part of the Forest. Cough.

Happy 2015!

Tue 6 Jan 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

You may have seen on the internets that we’re throwing out an extra issue of LCRW out into the world this year, this one to be edited by our own Head Brewer, Michael J. DeLuca. He is very fancy and can deal with e-subs. Me? Nope, still can’t. Read about what he’s looking for (and when) here.

What is 2015? An argument made a while ago by some people with calendar skills. It’s year 44 for me, 5775 for others, Year of the Horse turning over to Year of the Goat.

What is LCRW? A zine! An occasional outburst. A burning sun shooting across the sky. Sometimes “accessible” sometimes “unique.” Usually printed on paper. Full of great stories by writers you may or may not have heard of. No longer only available as a fridge magnet. Always available avec le chocolat or by email. Liable to outlast this website.

Happy new year! Hey, you never know, it might be. Here’s to world peace, making the world a better place for everyone we can, and enjoying a few good books along the way.

Free Prophecies. Also: Libel, Dreams.

Tue 23 Dec 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 3 Comments | Posted by: Gavin

Prophecies, Libels, and Dreams: Stories cover - click to view full sizeWe’ve been celebrating one of the local Califa California papers recognizing the brilliance of Ysabeau S. Wilce’s first collection of stories, Prophecies, Libels & Dreams.

“Ysabeau S. Wilce . . . writes like no one else. Her approach is playful and allusive, packed to the gills with clever wordplay, bizarre characters and outlandish events. Each tall tale is set in or around the Republic of Califa, an alternate, Aztec-influenced version of the Golden State from the 19th century, where magick is part of everyday life and wonders never cease.”

And now the news from Audible: the audio book is now available.

So: let’s have some pre-Christmas/Sunkiller/All Holidays fun. It’s almost too late to buy gifts (although downtown Northampton has been hopping the last couple of days) and way too late to ship things (unless you own Fedex or something) so a code to download an excellent audio book such as Prophecies, Libels, and Dreams may just be what the situation demands.

We have half a dozen(!) copies of the audio book to give away and we’re going to try and make it real easy:

Entry Rules:
Retweet the giveaway on Twitter, reblog on Tumblr, or comment on the post below to enter.
Please enter only once!
Giveaway is open to readers everywhere.
We’ll use to pick winners on December 24th at 12 pm EST.
Good luck!


Tue 23 Dec 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Rat Girl: A Memoir CoverThis morning brought to you by the sun which refuses to shine. Perhaps it is annoyed about the arrow I shot it down with the other day. I apologized and explained I was worried it would go away forever and we’d end up in a very boring (and short) dystopic future. The sun said it was not down with that and after chatting with the moon it promised to spin things up a bit and add a few minutes back to each day. At this point the whole southern hemisphere of the planet said, “Oi!” and I hid behind some boxes of books until they went away.

This morning also brought to you by the second printing of Sofia Samatar’s A Stranger in Olondria which arrived in the office and in the warehouse this week. At last and yay!

This morning is also brought to you by the Throwing Muses’s Hunkpapa (there are 4 comments on that page [where I think you can listen to the whole album!]: 1 offer to help with response, 1 comment, and 1 demand, which is a tiny look in at how people’s expectations and demands on performers have changed. Expectations: so high! Politeness, where did you go?). Anyway, Hunkpapa which was the only Muses I could find this morning in the office. Luckily I have a cassette player here(!). I think I have it because of the single “Dizzy” and also the year 1989. I’ve been reading Kristin Hersh‘s memoir Rat Girl which is pretty fantastic. It’s a real reminder that a writer (and a book) can have a voice unlike any other. There are sentences in there that read/sound like nothing I’ve read. The call out one-to-three line excerpts from the lyrics to her songs add a refractive perspective to the events. I’m almost done with the book and at that stage where I don’t want to be finished it — this is where series fiction/nonfiction wins! — but there’s no further memoirs, yet, so I’ll just have to stick it back on the shelf and re-read it sometime.

This morning also brought to you by a day where we’ve caught up on shipping again (yay! — just a couple of orders that came in after I left the office yesterday), a day in which we’ve reduced the submissions to a near-manageable 2-foot stack with plans for reducing even that, and the very, very cheery news that there is some solid forward movement on our our John Crowley project. Yay!

Caught up on shipping

Thu 18 Dec 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Friday morning update: Caught up again! says books shipped yesterday are scheduled to arrive Monday so you can still order today and fingers crossed they will arrive Tuesday!

Hey, we still have a couple of days — today and tomorrow — where the post office says that if you order from our site, since we’re upgrading all US book orders to Priority Mail, the books should arrive by December 24th. It’s been pretty great fun in the last week piling up the books and shipping them all out. The post office has been really busy!

Also: don’t miss these signed books:

A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar paperback:

Questionable Practices by Eileen Gunn

(We also did quite a few ebooks!)

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by Greer Gilman

Stranger Things Happen (and other books) by Kelly Link

Stranger Things Happen cover - click to view full size

& even some random older books (After the Apocalypse by Maureen F. McHugh, Howard Who? by Howard Waldrop, oh I don’t know!) all shipping free Priority (if only I could spell that) free until December 20th

Free upgrade to Priority Mail shipping

Fri 5 Dec 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

We always include free domestic Media Mail shipping for Small Beer Press orders but from NOW until December 20th we’re going to upgrade that: all domestic book orders will be automatically upgraded to Priority Mail shipping. This only applies to US domestic orders as international prices have, as we all know, gone nuts in the last few years, sorry. See Weightless for excellent worldwide ebook prices.

Not sure what to order? How about some new new new books? We published all of these in 2014:

(We also did quite a few ebooks!)

As well as a chapbook and 2 issues of LCRW (these 3 always include free first class mail shipping):

Then, there are Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories, which were really just made for holiday presents:


& even more more fabulous books . . . all shipping free Priority (if only I could spell that) free until December 20th:


2014 Holiday Shipping

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

Here’s our quick annual note that holiday mail dates are coming up fast. Also, our office will be closed from December 24 – January 1, 2015 and, based on previous years, it is unlikely we will ship over that period. (Of course, Weightless is always open.)

Here are the 2014 last order dates for Small Beer Press — which are almost the same as every other biz else in the USA. Dates for international shipping are here.

We ship all books media mail for free in the USA. But: Media Mail parcels are the last to go on trucks. If the truck is full, Media Mail does not go out until the next truck. And if that one’s full, too, . . . you get the idea. So, if you’d like to guarantee pre-holiday arrival, please add on Priority Mail.

Domestic Mail Class/Product Cut Off Date
First Class Mail Dec-20
Priority Mail Dec-20
Priority Mail Express Dec-23

The First Class and Priority Mail International Shipping deadlines are . . . tomorrow! Eek. We can still ship your books if you order today!

Ted Chiang and Eileen Gunn on To the Best of Our Knowledge

Mon 24 Nov 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

This weekend both Ted Chiang and Eileen Gunn were featured on WPR’s To the Best of Our Knowledge. Both were interviewed about their collections (Stories of Your Life and Others and Questionable Practices) and both read excerpts from their stories: lovely!

Where we are in the actual world

Tue 18 Nov 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

A Summer in the Twenties cover Kelly is off to Santa Cruz, California, where she’ll be on a panel on Thursday, November 20 at 4 p.m. with Karen Joy Fowler and Kim Stanley Robinson as part of Living Writers Series (free, open to the  public from 4:00-5:45pm in Humanities Lecture Hall 206.)

Which reminded me of a thought provoking essay Robinson published on Slate recently, “The Actual World: “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.” Robinson reminded me that people are out there in the world (offline, really? Yes!) climbing, doing show and tell with Thoreauean objects on mountain tops, and getting out into the world. Slate — despite all the stickystickycruft on their site included many great photos which made the essay come alive as well as links (ah, the internet) throughout. The one I clicked and then left open as a tab for a week or so was this “Webtext on the Ktaadn passage from The Maine Woods.” I haven’t read The Maine Woods and am not sure I ever shall but this passage challenged me more to think about humanity and the world more than anything else I’ve read in a while:

I fear not spirits, ghosts, of which I am one, — that my body might, — but I fear bodies, I tremble to meet them.

In other Small Beer book news, Peter Dickinson’s A Summer in the Twenties received a lovely review from the Historical Novels Review. Here’s a sample:

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

Fascinating to see that the book is categorized as “Jazz Age” — since it is set in the 1920s. Given the subject of the book, it would be fun to come up with other names for the time, “Age of Labor,” something like that? Also, given that the LA Times just cut all their sick leave and vacation time, I figure it’s about time to enter another age of labor. He said, optimistically.

One week on: 2 starred reviews, 1 best of the year

Tue 18 Nov 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Young Woman in a Garden: Stories cover - click to view full sizeIt’s been a great first week for Delia Sherman’s first collection, Young Woman in a Garden. It already had a starred review from Publishers Weekly but then just before pub date, it was selected as one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of the Year. Yay! Then we found out that in the current issue of Library Journal the book receives its second star! I didn’t find the whole review online, but part of it can be found here:

In this first collection from Sherman (The Porcelain Dove; The Freedom Maze), what seems ordinary consistently veers into the extraordinary and often downright surprising. . . . Ranging in length and style, these tales are captivating and odd, with characters and settings fully and memorably fleshed out.

More fun: Jason Heller gives the book a cracking review on NPR:

Real magic, right next door, indeed; each of the 14 stories in Young Woman in a Garden deals with some version of that equation, and it’s a testament to Sherman’s award-winning knack for fabulism that she pulls off such impossibilities with whimsy, dazzle and heart — not to mention a sharp edge of darkness.

Delia is reading in New York in a couple of weeks (more exactitude? On December 2 with Ellen Kushner) as part of the NYRSF reading series, this one guest hosted by Claire Wolf Smith.

Should you have gotten this far and begun to wonder where your next clickityinternetclick will be taking you, here’s a suggestion: one of Delia’s fabulous stories from this here book. Here’s “Nanny Peters and the Feathery Bride,” originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, in February 1990 and brought to you by the magic of The Internet Tubes.

Bookslinger: Dancing in a House

Fri 14 Nov 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Tyrannia and Other Renditions cover - click to view full sizeNew this week on Consortium’s Bookslinger app is Alan DeNiro’s story “Dancing in a House” from his collection Tyrannia and Other Renditions. Tyrannia just got a great review from L. Timmel Duchamp on Strange Horizons.

Download the app and get reading here:

Bookslinger is a great way to try out a story from quite a few Small Beer collections, as well as books from many of the fab publishers Consortium distributes. Here’s a few recent stories available on the app from books we’ve published:

Eileen Gunn’s “Up the Fire Road” (from her collection Questionable Practices)

Howard Waldrop’s Nebula and World Fantasy Award winning story  ”The Ugly Chickens.”

Howard Waldrop’s “A Dozen Tough Jobs.”

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

John Kessel, ”Pride and Prometheus

Kij Johnson’s “At the Mouth of the River of Bees

Georges-Olivier Chateaureynaud’s “Delauney the Broker“ (translated by Edward Gauvin)

Ray Vukcevich, “Whisper

Maureen F. McHugh, “The Naturalist

Karen Joy Fowler, “The Pelican Bar

Kelly Link, “The Faery Handbag

Benjamin Rosenbaum, “Start the Clock

Maureen F. McHugh, “Ancestor Money

Download the app in the iTunes store.

And watch a video on it here:

Congratulations to Sofia Samatar!

Sun 9 Nov 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | 1 Comment | Posted by: Gavin

A Stranger in Olondria cover - click to view full sizeWe are so, so happy to celebrate Sofia Samatar’s novel A Stranger in Olondria receiving the World Fantasy Award. Congratulations and all joy to Sofia whose debut novel has been so widely recognized as a strong, inventive, and fabulous addition to the field. Besides the World Fantasy Award, Olondria has also received the British Fantasy and Crawford awards and was a Nebula and Locus finalist and Sofia won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

Congratulations are due to all the nominees and the winners:

Life Achievement: Ellen Datlow and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Novel: A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar (Small Beer)
Novella: “Wakulla Springs”, Andy Duncan & Ellen Klages ( 10/2/13)
Short Fiction: “The Prayer of Ninety Cats”, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Subterranean Spring ’13)
Anthology: Dangerous Women, George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, eds. (Tor; Voyager)
Collection: The Ape’s Wife and Other Stories, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Subterranean)
Artist: Charles Vess
Special Award – Professional: (tie) Irene Gallo, for art direction of and William K. Schafer, for Subterranean Press
Special Award – Nonprofessional: Kate Baker, Neil Clarke, & Sean Wallace, for Clarkesworld

We spent the weekend in Arlington, VA, at the World Fantasy Convention catching up with many friends and meeting many new people. Our book haul was impressive! We came down from Massachusetts on the train with Kathleen Jennings whose illustration graces the cover of Olondria and throughout the weekend I was lucky enough to spend time with both Sofia and Kathleen. Part of the joy of the time was knowing that Sofia and Kathleen were comparing notes and that they were both looking forward to working on the cover of Sofia’s next novel, The Winged Histories, which, along with a short story collection, Small Beer Press will publish.

Once they’ve arrived back from Virginia, we’ll have a few signed copies of A Stranger in Olondria in stock (the hardcover will be out of print soon) as well as a few signed copies each of books from Ysabeau S. Wilce, Eileen Gunn, Nathan Ballingrud, Ted Chiang.

An Incomplete Report of the Events of the Past Weekend in the City of Crystals, somewhat near the Washington Which is Taxed But Without Representation.

Sun 9 Nov 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

We set out on Wednesday, October 8th, 2014, with eight mules and two packhorses. The mules carried our pineapples, books, and other items of domestic needs (couches, toasters, &c.) while for the most part we walked or sometimes lay down and let the ants carry us. We slept wherever the early sunsets found us: Springfield, Bridgeport, Baltimore, other places that are forgotten except for the bottles of brandy imprinted with their names and the somewhat happy memory of exchanging a carton of relatively new books to a M. Sturgis in New Amsterdam for a fine pair of shoes.

We arrived in the Crystal City and joined a parade of Readers, Writers, Publishers, Editors, Artists, and All Others Associated With the Fantastical Arts, that was heading to the Regency Hyatt. A time portal had been erected in Union Station, wherein we could also acquire timely appurtenances for a weekend in the Regency: wigs, collars, clothing, and so on. One Ms. Valentine advised us on our wardrobe and was kind enough to dispose of many of the inappropriate outfits in our trunks.

Once through the portal a TaxiFunicular took us all through the city and showed us many of the night sights before retracing its way back to our rooming house. We thanked the driver politely. Our rooming house had a cold box which puzzled us. But we used it to store our new clothes overnight and were most pleased by how refreshing they were in the morning.

Refreshed and ready to join the celebrations of the fantastic in literature, instead we immediately fled everyone we ever knew and spent the next two or three months two floors beneath the earth in the subterranean caverns where the purveyors of literature had been banished. Of course somewhere over our long journey down from our Northern home a carton or two of books had been misplaced so we applied for and were granted a special case one-time use telepathy license. We gathered many friends and strangers and sat in a helix pattern on the richly carpeted floor and sent messages to whomsoever might hear to ensorcell flights of herons to deliver replacements for our missing books. M. Berry in Amherst, Massachusetts, and M. Brown of Consortium in the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis in Snowlandia were projecting their spirits into the aether and were able to magick the herons. Many, many thanks are owed to them!

As to one M. DeLuca who helped us time after time. Thank you, M.

Sometime in the first month we began to meet up with friends and associates from city gatherings past. It had been many years since last we’d attended this particular traveling convention of like-minded readers and we shook many hands, drank many toasts, hugged many people, bought many books, ached and ached and talked of our so-long-missed late friend Jenna Felice, admired the art, sold many more books, and were generally astounded and amazed by how many people there were, how many we saw, and how many we did not.

Early one morning we took a mule with us and we went out into the city of Arlington and found that the government in this city there is entrenched in every aspect of life so much that they even control the grocery markets and severely limit what can be sold. The market stall we found would only sell us strongly fortified drinks from the far southern parts of this country such as Kentucky or from that beautiful northern outpost of civilization, Scotland. We begged and pleaded for solid sustenance and they put bags of chipped and fried potatoes or small sacks of boiled peanuts in our hands. Was this really Regency life, we wondered. We filled our panniers with tiny bottles of these highly flammable drinks and walked hungrily back to the rooming house. It was just breakfast time when we returned and a Ms. Jennings directed us to the stairs and after happily tramping up eighteen flights we found there was food aplenty after all and, as many others were, we were well looked after by the Saints of the Penthouse Suite.

The weeks passed and we were informed there was an outpost of Thai food little more than a day’s walk north. We did not even try to resist and found that although sober noodles could not be found, the drunken noodles sufficed.

One M. Rowe and Ms. Bond illustrated to us how to drink Kentucky Mashed Spirits and we found ourselves more and more happy to be educated in these esoteric spirits. Late one night we were shown the what was claimed to be Debbie Harry and Michael Lee Aday in a film together but how could we believe that such a thing existed that we’d never heard of? We did not.

As winter turned to spring we went forth less and less to the outside world. Down in the basement there were books, friends, fortified drinks full of cheer, energy, and future headaches, occasional snacks, tables to sleep under, and the never ceasing florescent lights. When high summer came one or two of the braver bookdealers packed up and took off for conventions that, so the rumor said, had bookrooms with windows. We were busy weaving our new pink T-shirts and did not pay attention and so we missed our chance to escape the basement.

Autumn came and one dark evening we were blindfolded and led to a charabanc. I do not know how long or how far we were driven but when it stopped we were all relieved to be taken into a house of Grecian wonders and our palates were amazed by four seasons of tastes. We were reminded of times and travels passed and also that we had left our families at home. We spent a week feasting and then the charabanc reappeared as if called by magic and we returned, as always, as if by a magnet in our souls, to the Regency. Oh that I could write of the wonders of the Regency. Even without a swimming pool it was a wonder of the world. Surrounded on all sides by huge and slightly similar rooming houses it stood silent and ready to stand down, waiting for the real monarch to appear, but always in place, ever ready to do the job thrust upon it.

By now we realized we must either fish or cut bait. Neither choice attracted us so we looked around and considered whether we should spend another winter in the Crystal City. We had by now found (and ridden and re-ridden and re-re-ridden the glass elevator) and had shared our excitement in it with the Rolling Thunder convention. We had sold many books, finished weaving the shirts and sold many of them. There were rumors: of Caribbean food in Union Station; that perhaps this fine convention might be winding down; that the time portal would close; that we had been outbid in the art show; that crystal miners were going to descend upon the Crystal City and mine it for crystal unicorns to sell at a thousand malls across the country. It was time to return home.

We said our goodbyes — and as always realized that we had missed many people: there are at least as many conventions as there are people — and packed up our last boxes of books. I will miss sleeping under that table but seeing the sun again more than made up for it.

After tears and hugs and promises that we will meet up again in some other past or future, Regency or otherwise, convention, we traded what we had left (tuppence and a pen that didn’t leak too badly) for seats in a nonfunicular Taxi and this time were sprinted directly to Union Station. We found the excellent restaurant and carried with us a feast.

We set off on our return trip, this time on a train, to Massachusetts at 12:30 pm on November 9th, 2014. Awards were given out while we traveled and the train was in a complete uproar of joy that only calmed once we reached Connecticut. They say our train is approaching Springfield and that in seventeen minutes we will be allowed once more to step on land. I hope we can still walk on the still and solid earth after all these weeks on this train. I hope my sense of time returns before tomorrow. It is very very dark and the train hurtles (of course) through it. We ride on rails and there is no stillness. Our hearts are full from the days, weeks, months away, and we miss everyone already. Goodbye, goodbye, hello, we hope to see you again soon. We go home now, so tired, but full of joy.

New LCRW? Yup!

Thu 6 Nov 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 1 Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 31 cover - click to view full sizeGood news: a new LCRW is coming out! It’s #31, December 2014, and I’m pretty sure it’s made up of more than a hundred thousand letters, most of them in the right place. We’re taking some to WFC this weekend and once we recover from the con and the train trip back subscriber, reviewer, and bookstore copies will shoot out all over the world, some avec le chocolat, some without. The ebook will be available and go out to subscribers next week.

There are two huge — and very different — stories that make up most of LCRW 31: Kathleen Jennings’s “Skull and Hyssop” and Owen King’s “The Curator.” I’ll leave it to you to decide which one is more your cup of tea, or, if you’re more like Kelly and me, maybe it will be both. Earlier this autumn I was temporarily overwhelmed with fennel and so I asked for help from Chef in Chief Nicole Kimberling. She has many great tips in her latest column, “Crazy-Sexy Agriculture.” Keep it on file!

The cover is indeed by our 5-year-old daughter. She is much enamored of rats — Templeton from Charlotte’s Web was the first, since then the fascination has only grown. This is a picture of many people and many rats. If you’d like to see the full image, click this:


And in the meantime, here’s the table of contents:


Jessy Randall, “You Don’t Even Have a Rabbit”
Goldie Goldbloom, “Never Eat Crow”
Kathleen Jennings, “Skull and Hyssop”
Owen King, “The Curator”
Sarah Micklem, “The Necromancer of Lynka”


Nicole Kimberling, “Crazy-Sexy Agriculture = CSA”
About the Authors


Lesley Wheeler, “Four Poems”


Ursula Grant

Ysabeau S. Wilce at WRITERS WITH DRINKS!

Wed 5 Nov 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Prophecies, Libels, and Dreams: Stories cover - click to view full sizePress Release
When: Saturday, Nov. 22, from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM, doors open 6:30 PM
Who: Ysabeau S. Wilce, Polly Superstar, and Jasmine Wilkerson Sufi!
How much: $5 to $20, all proceeds benefit the CSC
Where: The Make Out Room, 3225 22nd. St., San Francisco

About the readers/performers:

Ysabeau S. Wilce’s new book is the story collection Prophecies, Libels, and Dreams: Stories. She’s also the author of Flora Segunda,
Flora’s Dare, and Flora’s Fury, and she has published work in Asimov’s, Steampunk!, and Fantasy & Science Fiction. She is a graduate of Clarion West and has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, the James T. Tiptree Award, and won the Andre Norton Award.

Polly Superstar is the author of Sex Culture Revolutionary: A Memoir. She has dedicated her life to sexually progressive community as a latex fashion designer, a creator of arty, sexy parties, and a spokesperson for sex culture. er award-winning event, Kinky Salon, takes place in a dozen cities across Europe and North America.

Jaz Sufi is a poet, a Bay Area native, and the slammaster of the Berkeley Slam, the longest running poetry slam in California. She has competed for several teams at the National Poetry Slam and represented San Francisco at the 2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam. She was also a featured poet at the 2011 USF Creative Justice Art Show, and will be published in the upcoming Hurt to Hope Anthology.

About Writers With Drinks:

Writers With Drinks has won numerous “Best ofs” from local newspapers, and has been mentioned in 7×7, Spin Magazine, and one of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City novels. The spoken word “variety show” mixes genres to raise money for local causes. The award-winning show includes poetry, stand-up comedy, science fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery, literary fiction, erotica, memoir, zines and blogs in a freewheeling format.

Election Day 2014

Tue 4 Nov 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

If you can vote in today’s US elections, please do, thank you!

ETA: Voted!

Election Day Bake Sale: pretzel rolos [perhaps a Rolo squished between 2 square pretzels: yum!], blondies, chocolate chip cookies (as requested by 5-year-old), and some kind of maybe pumpernickel bread thing. All in all, a good day. I can get depressed about the results schmesults later.

SBP @ WFC 2014

Wed 29 Oct 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

What’s going on? Too much to say! We have tables (and, hopefully, you know, books for sale on those tables) in the dealer room, and many, many Small Beer authors will be there including (although to paraphrase what The New Yorker always says at the start of their gig listing: authors live complicated lives and sometimes plans don’t work out):

Nathan Ballingrud, Ted Chiang, Andy Duncan, Jeffrey Ford, Eileen Gunn, Kathleen Jennings (all the way from Australia, wooee!), Kij Johnson, Nancy Kress, Ellen Kushner, Kelly Link, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Delia Sherman, Sofia Samatar, Ysabeau S. Wilce.

Here’s some of what I saw on the program list the other week. If you’re going, drop by and say hi!


E. Nesbit and Her Influence
Time:  4 p.m.-5 p.m., Thursday,  Regency F
Panelists:  Benjamin Rosenbaum (M), Ginjer Buchanan, Robert Knowlton, S. T. Joshi
Description:  E. Nesbit published over forty children’s books, from the beloved The Railway Children to The Stories of the Treasure Seekers and Five Children and It. She also had a darker side, as seen in Something Wrong and Tales told in Twilight, collections of horror stories for adults. A writer of many sides, Nesbit had an influence on many writers, including C.S. Lewis, Michael Moorcock, and J.K. Rowling. The panel will discuss her work and why it continues to have an impact today.


Derived Myths: Making it Original
Time:  10 a.m.-11 a.m., Friday,  Regency F
Panelists:  Sandra Kasturi, Nick DiCharo (M), S. P. Hendricks, Ellen Kushner, Melissa Marr
Description:  There is no denying that the influence of various mythologies on fantasy, which have been inspiration for Lord Dunsay, Elizabeth Hand, Barry Hughart and many more. With a wealth of examples, the panel will discuss when the myth inspiration is the center of the work to when it has lead to a whole new mythos.

Language and Linguistics in Fantasy
Time:  10 a.m.-11 a.m., Friday,  Regency E
Panelists:  Lawrence M. Schoen (M), C.D. Covington, Matthew Johnson, Sofia Samatar
Description:  Foreign languages are often used in fantasy literature to add atmosphere, to show cultural backgrounds, and to bring a richness to the world, as can be seen in Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange and Richard Adams Watership Down. Some works rely on real languages. Others, such as Tolkien, have invented entire tongues of their own. Which stories incorporate other languages successfully, and where have authors stumbled, making too much of the work incomprehensible to the reader?

Reading: Nathan Ballingrud
Time: 10am-10:30am, Nov. 7, Fairfax

Adoption and Fostering in Fantasy
Time:  12 p.m.-1 p.m., Friday,  Regency F
Panelists:  Susan Dexter (M), Tina Connolly, Delia Sherman, Edward Willett
Description:  Adoption or fostering is often used in fantasy and horror literature, from Oedipus to Jon Snow, from young Wart helping in the kitchens before that fateful day when he pulled a sword out of a stone in Londontown, to the most famous orphan of them all, Harry Potter. Dozens of fantasies feature young orphans who do not know their parentage, from Richard in Wizard’s First Rule, to Will from the Ranger’s Apprentice series, who is a ward of the state, to even Frodo, who was an orphan, albeit an older one, at the beginning of his adventures. There is even one beloved character, Taren from the Prydain Chronicles, who never learns his parentage, and this mystery itself proves to be his key to assuming the kingship. How does adoption, bastardy, mixed parentage, long-lost relatives all contribute to epic quests for self-knowledge in literature?

Beyond Rebellion in Young Adult Fantasy
Time:  2 p.m.-3 p.m., Friday,  Regency F
Panelists:  Ysabeau Wilce (M), Gail Carriger, Sarah Beth Durst,
Description:  We all know the story of teen disaffection and rebellion, but there are plenty of Young Adult fantasies that maintain strong family ties, with rational adult role models, such as L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, Stephen Gould’s Impulse, or even Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games. A look at books that don’t always have the hero with an unhappy home, discussion why this can also make an intriguing story.

Reading: Jeffrey Ford
Time: 5pm-5:30pm, Nov. 7, Arlington


Fantasy Artists That Take Up the Pen
Time:  11 a.m.-12 p.m., Saturday,  Tidewater 2
Panelists:  Charles Vess (M), Kathleen Jennings, Greg Manchess, Ruth Sanderson
Description:  There are authors who are know for doing artwork, such as Beatrix Potter, Rudyard Kipling and Neil Gaiman, so it should be no surprise that artists can also be drawn to writing. The panel will discuss the impact of being both artist and writer and how these two creative forms interact.

Reading: Andy Duncan
Time: 11am-11:30am, Nov. 8, Fairfax

Reading: Kelly Link
Time: 11:30am-12pm, Nov. 8, Fairfax

Historical People in Fantasy
Time:  1 p.m.-2 p.m., Saturday,  Tidewater 2
Panelists:  Eileen Gunn (M), David B. Coe, Jack Dann, Jean Marie Ward, Rick Wilber
Description:  When using Samuel Adams, Joseph Warren, or perhaps on of the most used names, Nikola Tesla and other real people as characters in fiction, what liberties can an author take and what holes do they have to fill? How close to the real Jack Kerouac does Nick Mamatas get in Move Under Ground? What do creators owe to history, especially if the players are in a new world as in Philip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld series. The panel will discuss where historical truth meets literary license.

Lafferty as an American Fantasist
Time:  2 p.m.-3 p.m., Saturday,  Tidewater 2
Panelists:  Andy Duncan (M), Carrie Cuinn, Andrew Ferguson, Gordon Van Gelder, Don Pizarro, Cat Rambo
Description:  R. A. Lafferty was known for his original use of language and metaphor. Drawing on storytelling traditions of the Irish and Native Americans, but with his own twists, as in The Devil is Dead and The Flame is Green. The panel will explore how Lafferty used American history, American landscapes, and American folklore/mythology in his work.

Reading: Nicole Kornher-Stace
Time: 2:30pm-3pm, Nov. 8, Fairfax


Young, Middle-Aged, and Older Writers
Time:  11 a.m.-12 p.m., Sunday,  Washington
Panelists:  Catherine Montrose (M), Nancy Kress, Kevin Maroney, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Description:  Some writers’ best work is the first thing they ever published. Others, like George R. R. Martin, get better with age. Others, such as Terry Pratchett, have maintained their quality over a span of decades. How does the age and/or generation of the writer affect the story? Also, does the age at which authors began to write matter? The bestselling Eragon was published by a young man of not yet twenty, while Tolkien did not get his first work published until he was forty-five. How does getting older affect an author’s work? How do they feel about their earlier works when they look back? Have our opinions, as readers, changed on this subject over time?


Delia’s here — or at least her book is!

Fri 24 Oct 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Young Woman in a GardenLovely, lovely it is, too. I still find myself wanting to check Delia’s bibliography to see if she published had a collection of stories at some point that I missed. But, no, Young Woman in a Garden does seem to be the first one. Which is fabulous news for us as Delia has many, many great and fun and odd and fantastic stories and to bring fourteen of them together in one book is an incredible assortment of riches.

Publication date is November 11 and as you can see the finished books are here in the office nicely on time — so, yes, we will have them at the World Fantasy Con in DC — and they will start showing up in your fave indie bookstores (etc.) soon.

In the meantime you can read two of the stories online: “Miss Carstairs and the Merman” (and an author spotlight interview) is on Fantasy Magazine — which was brought back to life for this special “Women Destroy Fantasy” issue, and “The Ghost of Cwmlech Manor” is on

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