Champagne!

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

Lovely news came in late last week for Sofia Samatar and her debut novel, A Stranger in Olondriawhich has been honored with the Crawford Award. We are immensely happy for Sofia! Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors: Yoon Ha Lee for Conservation of Shadows (Prime Books), Helene Wecker for The Golem and the Jinni (Harper), and N.A. Sulway for Rupetta (Tartarus Press).

Sofia will be at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in Orlando, Florida, where the award will be presented on March 22.

And in an amazingly graceful segue, I can reveal that Eileen Gunn will also be at that conference and will be celebrating the publication of her second collection of stories, Questionable Practiceswhich just received its first review, and it’s a star from Publishers Weekly!

“Nebula-winner Gunn combines humor and compassion in 17 short, intricate gems that showcase her many talents. Of particular note among these outstanding works are the poem “To the Moon Alice,” in which a bombastic threat provides escape from comedic domestic violence, and “Michael Swanwick and Samuel R. Delany at the Joyce Kilmer Service Area, March 2005,” an affectionate fable-like tribute to two legendary authors. “Up the Fire Road” provides dueling accounts of triadic romance and problematic parentage. “Phantom Pain” is a kaleidoscopic examination of a wounded soldier’s life. Though Gunn first saw print in the 1970s, this short collection contains a surprisingly large portion of her stories; her rate of publication has recently been increasing, giving fans reason to hope for many more delights to come.”

Nice!

And since all posts should have 3 items, we’re raising up a glass of champagne to toast Holly Black whose novel Doll Bones is one of this year’s Newbery Honor books!

“In this distinctive coming-of-age tale, best friends Zach, Poppy and Alice set out on a life-altering quest driven by the presence of a sinister bone china doll who haunts their dreams and waking hours. Black explores complex questions of storytelling, imagination and changing friendships in this superbly haunting narrative.”

It’s a great book for kids or adults and we are just beside ourselves with joy that Holly’s book was recognized by the ALA. Props to the ALA for running a fabulous awards organization: it’s not even the end of January and they fired off a couple of dozen fab awards in under an hour. Wow!



Bookslinger: Understand

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

New this week on Consortium’s Bookslinger app is Ted Chiang’s Asimov and Hayakawa award winning story ”Understand.”

Previous Small Beer stories on Bookslinger:

Kelly Link, “The Specialist’s Hat”

Bernardo Fernandez, “Lions” (translated by Chris N. Brown)

John Kessel, ”Pride and Prometheus”

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

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

Ray Vukcevich, “Whisper

Maureen F. McHugh, “The Naturalist

Karen Joy Fowler, “The Pelican Bar

Kelly Link, “The Faery Handbag

Benjamin Rosenbaum, “Start the Clock

Maureen F. McHugh, “Ancestor Money

Download the app in the iTunes store.

And watch a video on it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySL1bvyuNUE



Small Beer Podcast 19: Nathan Ballingrud’s “You Go Where It Takes You”

Tue 14 Jan 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Julie

North American Lake Monsters cover - click to view full sizeNathan Ballingrud is one of those authors who should be far better known. Hopefully, this collection will do something to bridge that particular gap.

I don’t write fan letters and I don’t read stories that sometimes fall across the border into grotesque, but then Nathan Ballingrud’s North American Lake Monsters came along. Immediately after I finished the collection, before I even knew I was going to record this podcast, I had messaged Nathan directly to tell how how I felt. The thing is—I don’t do things like that.

Even as I type this blog entry, I am holding back my over-eager fangirl. Ballingrud’s stories are that good. They are dark and unique and beautifully written. The prose is Ballingrud’s alone, but it reminds me of Raymond Carver after Gordon Lish had cleaned up his work. (Here’s a link for those of you who don’t know that particular story. It is a psychological horror story all its own.)

Ballingrud’s stories blur that artificial line between psychological, supernatural, and physical horror. But they do more than that. These are stories about people who make hard and, often morally uncomfortable choices, and yet remain emphatically human. We may not approve of what they do, but we damn well understand it. In the end, after traveling through Ballingrud’s world, I didn’t feel anxious or scared, I felt lighter, as though his stories had carried off some darkness within myself. Best of all, I felt entertained.

Episode 19: In which Julie C. Day reads Nathan Ballingrud’s “You Go Where It Takes You” from North American Lake Monsters.

Subscribe to the Small Beer podcast using  iTunes or the service of your choice:

rss feed



Jeff Ford says

Mon 13 Jan 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

“Eileen Gunn’s terrific new story collection, Questionable Practices, is a unique amalgam of big ideas and versatile styles packed into short pieces devoid of loose threads and excess baggage. Gunn manages to perfectly balance themes of thought paradox, gender politics, corporate culture, time travel, steampunk, with a storyteller’s ability to immediately draw the reader in through character and drama. Real science fiction, great humor, and some cool collaboration with Michael Swanwick make this a good choice for SF short fiction fans.”

Sounds about right to us!



Unreal and the Real: Oregon Book Award finalist

Fri 10 Jan 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

The Unreal and the Real: Where on Earth cover - click to view full sizeLovely news this week, Ursula K. Le Guin’s selected stories, The Unreal and the Real, is one of 2014 Oregon Book Award Finalists for the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction. All of the finalists for the various categories are here and the award ceremony (hosted by the excellent Luis Alberto Urrea!) is on March 17 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $10 – $50.

And here is the list of fiction finalists: congrats one and all!

Ursula K. Le Guin of Portland, The Unreal and The Real: Collected Stories: Volume 1 and 2 (Small Beer Press)
Whitney Otto of Portland, Eight Girls Taking Pictures (Scribner)
Amanda Coplin of Portland, The Orchardist (Harper Perennial)
Roger Hobbs of Portland, Ghostman (Knopf)

27th Annual Oregon Book Awards Ceremony
Gerding Theater at The Armory (View)
128 NW Eleventh Avenue
Portland, OR 97209


The Freedom Maze publication day, again!

Tue 7 Jan 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

The Freedom MazeHey, we are very proud and happy to note that Delia Sherman’s The Freedom Maze comes out in paperback today from Candlewick Press and before you click off somewhere else I want to note it is only $6.99! How can you resist! Buy it for all the kids you know, and two for yourself (one to giveaway!).

Remember this book? It is the one that took 18 years to write and is a curl-up-and-read-right-through.

How did it do?
Well!

Lookit!

Norton Award winner
Prometheus Award winner
Mythopoeic Award winner
ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults
Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011
Tiptree Award Honor List
Audiobook available from Listening Library.
French rights sold.

And!

Delia did a Big Idea: “Eighteen years ago, I was stuck.”
and wrote a guest post on Diversity in YA: “When I began writing The Freedom Maze, back in 1987, I didn’t intend to write a book about race.”
You can listen to an interview with Delia Sherman and a reading from The Freedom Maze or download the first chapter. [PDF link]

I love this book. So happy it is off into paperbackland with such wonderful folks. May every school and library in the land order it. May cities choose it for One City One Book. May colleges make their incoming classes read it. May it outlive us all!



Travel Light — and free

Sat 4 Jan 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 3 Comments | Posted by: Gavin

Travel Light cover - click to view full sizeTor.com is running a giveaway sweepstakes for five copies of Naomi Mitchison’s Travel LightLeave a comment to enter — and/or get the ebook on sale this week for only $2.99  on Weightless.

The giveaway was inspired by Amal El-Mohtar’s incredible You Must Read This which was published by NPR this week which includes these lovely lines about the book:

Travel Light is the story of Halla, a girl born to a king but cast out onto the hills to die. She lives among bears; she lives among dragons. But the time of dragons is passing, and Odin All-Father offers Halla a choice: Will she stay dragonish and hoard wealth and possessions, or will she travel light?

Amal wove many personal and literary threads together in an enthralling and thought-provoking way. Her love for the book shines through so fully it has sent hundreds, thousands of readers to find the book for themselves. And Travel Light is such a short, beautiful book that many readers have already read it and recommended it to others. It’s amazing to see. Annalee’s io9 headline about Amal’s essay, The book we all wish we could have read as children, hits the nail on the head for many of us reading it for the first time. I’d have loved to read Travel Light when I was a kid deep in John Christopher’s Beyond the Burning Lands and Tripods series, Ursula K. Le Guin’s Wizard of Earthsea, Richard Cowper’s White Bird of Kinship books, Joan Aiken, Alan Garnar’s The Weird Stone of Brisingamin, Megan Lindholm’s Wizard of the Pigeons, John Wyndham’s Chrysalids, etc., etc.

I’ve loved Travel Light for years. I had the Virago UK edition with the green cover and kept giving copies of it away. At some point I got a hardcover—Kelly used to give me Mitchison books for my birthday, now I have to catch up!—and when we were doing Peapod Classic reprints it was a natural fit. Kevin Huizenga’s  cover illustration is still a treat: there are so many things going on in that cover.

To see a book I love as much as this suddenly rocket up and off in the world is so exciting I’ve occasionally had to step away from it all and take a deep breath. (Which has been made very easy by our 4-year-old daughter—often bearish, sometimes dragonish—who has been wearing a princess dress under her new jaguar costume and has been running around terrorizing everyone and everything in the house.)

I’ve spent years at book fairs chatting to people about the book and some of those people were caught by in the same way. One reader I know, Karen Meisner, was caught because Amal writes that Karen gave it her  for her birthday. If we are lucky, if the work is done and everything is in place, this is the way the world works: a good book is written (be it now or in “Marseilles — Peshawar, 1951″), a reader finds it, loves it, and passes that love on. And on and on and on . . . .

. . . and should you be tempted like me to look for more MitchisonThe Corn King and the Spring Queen is a huge immersive historical novel, Memoirs of a Spacewoman is a sometimes slow, sometimes hilarious taboo-crushing novel about “communication,” but the books I really recommend are her autobiographies (Small Talk: Memories of an Edwardian ChildhoodAll Change Here: Girlhood and Marriage, and You May Well Ask: A Memoir) and her World War II diaries, Among You Taking Notes: The Wartime Diary of Naomi Mitchison, 1939-1945.

Many of her books are available here.



1st and last 2013, 2014

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

Happy New Year!

Later this week we’ll get the last Bookscan report for 2013 and we’ll be able to replicate our 2012 bestsellers post.

In the meantime, here’s the first and last orders from our website in 2013 and the first from 2014. Greer’s excellent chapbook—for which there is a followup coming!—was no doubt helped by Henry Wessells choosing as his best book of 2013!

2013

First: Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet 28
Last: Greer Gillman, Cry Murder! in a Small Voice

2014

First: Greer Gillman, Cry Murder! in a Small Voice
Last: who knows?

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 28 cover - click to view full size Cry Murder! in a Small Voice cover - click to view full size



Bookslinger: The Specialist’s Hat

Fri 27 Dec 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Available today on Consortium’s Bookslinger app is Kelly Link’s World Fantasy Award winning story ”The Specialist’s Hat.”

Previous Small Beer stories on Bookslinger:

Bernardo Fernandez, “Lions” (translated by Chris N. Brown)

John Kessel, ”Pride and Prometheus”

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

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

Ray Vukcevich, “Whisper

Maureen F. McHugh, “The Naturalist

Karen Joy Fowler, “The Pelican Bar

Kelly Link, “The Faery Handbag

Benjamin Rosenbaum, “Start the Clock

Maureen F. McHugh, “Ancestor Money

Download the app in the iTunes store.

And watch a video on it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySL1bvyuNUE



Not bells, an endorsement

Mon 23 Dec 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Questionable Practices coverWhat’s that ringing sound in your ears? Not the bells, the bells, rather Margo Lanagan’s ringing endorsement of Eileen Gunn’s March 2014 collection, Questionable Practices.

And should you wish a quick blast of excellent and odd Christmas fiction, try Eileen and Michael Swanwick’s “The Trains That Climb the Winter Tree.”

“From the first sentence of an Eileen Gunn story, you know you’re in the hands of a master. She brings you good, knotty characters every time, and sends them on trajectories you can’t help but care about. She roams the world and lets you appreciate its depth, variety and complications. She does humour and seriousness with equal aplomb; she can write to any length and know exactly what’ll fit. Above all she’s a sharp and a deep thinker; it’s a privilege to watch her mind at work. Read these stories and there’s no question you’ll feel like a smarter, more attentive human being.”
—Margo Lanagan

Preorder (or gift!) the paperback here and the ebook here.

We’ve also added the first couple of Eileen’s events:

March 19 – 23, ICFA, Orlando, FL
March 26, 7 pm, University Bookstore, Seattle, WA



2013 in SBP books

Wed 18 Dec 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Sometimes I miss Badreads, the community reading site that AFAIK closed down earlier this year. I haven’t yet really migrated to LibraryThing (there’s that part ownership thing) or any of the others. I certainly liked seeing what other people were reading and keeping up with what I was reading.

Now, who knows what I read? I barely do. Although I really enjoyed the most recent issue of Pen AmericaNot just because they reprinted two stories from Three Messages and a Warning either. The whole thing was great, from the forum on teaching writing (Dorothy Allison, Paul La Farge . . . and Elissa Schappel’s heartbreaking piece) to the poetry by Ron Padgett (“Advice to Young Writers”) and two graphic narratives (comics!) by the fab David B. and Jean-Pierre Filiu (translated by none other than Edward Gauvin!) and Brian Evenson and Zak Sally. Anyway, you want a good magazine? Go read it.

I joined Pen a couple of years ago (teenage me: so proud!) and now Kelly’s a member, too. Are you a writer or editor? Do you care about intellectual freedom? If you can swing it, sign up here!

Ok, so, Small Beer: What have we been up to this fine year almost done and gone?

2 issues of LCRW! A record! Well, for recent years. We are planning 2 more for 2014. Phew!

A banner year for Weightless, yay!

And the New York Times just gave a great review to one of our final books of the year, Howard Waldrop’s new collection. I always think our books are so good that they all should be on NPR, in the WaPo, the LA, NY, St. Petersburg, Seattle, and London Times, etc., etc., so sometimes I surprised when they aren’t. I know: different strokes for different folks and all that, although really I think since all our books are so good they should overcome any reader prejudices. (“Short stories! Pah!”) The real reason they’re not reviewed anywhere? All the papers and magazines find it hard to justify reviewing half a dozen or more books from the same publisher. Right? Right!

BTW: if you would like to order Small Beer books (we have many signed copies!) to arrive in time for the holidays, please select Priority Mail. We are shipping until 5 pm on Thursday December 19th this year.

Here’s a picture of all the books we published this year and below, a little bit more about each book.

2013 books

BOOKS!
Authors!

Chuntering on!

Reviews!

CRY MURDER! IN A SMALL VOICE
Greer Gilman

What, another chapbook? That’s two in two years! The last one we did was in 2004 (Theodora Goss) and the next one should be 2014. Woo! This one is a dark, dense and intense serial killer story with Ben Jonson, detective and avenging angel.

“A jewel of a novella.”—Strange Horizons

NORTH AMERICAN LAKE MONSTERS
Nathan Ballingrud » interview

The darkest book I expect we will ever publish! Bleak? Check. Monsters? Check? Fabulous, fabulous writing? Check!

“Matched to his original ideas and refreshing re­furbishments of genre set pieces, Ballingrud’s writ­ing makes North American Lake Monsters one of the best collections of short fiction for the year.
Locus

“The beauty of the work as a whole is that it offers no clear and easy answers; any generalization that might be supported by some stories is contradicted by others. It makes for an intellectually stimulating collection that pulls the reader in unexpected directions. The pieces don’t always come to a satisfactory resolution, but it is clear that this is a conscious choice. The lack of denouement, the uncertainty, is part of the fabric of the individual stories and of the collection as a whole. It is suggestive of a particular kind of world: one that is dark, weird, and just beyond our ability to impose order and understanding. These are not happy endings. They are sad and unsettling, but always beautifully written with skillful and insightful prose. It is a remarkable collection.”
Hellnotes

SPIDER IN A TREE
Susan Stinson » Rick Kleffel interviews Susan Stinson (mp3 link).

Flying out the door in our town (Broadside Books alone has sold 140+ copies!) and now all over the country. Jonathan Edwards, we hardly knew ye. Until Susan brought you and your family and your town back to life.

“Ultimately, ‘Spider in a Tree’ is a lesson in what not to expect. Stinson eludes the clichés usually associated with religious extremism to peel away the humans underneath. We speak of a loving God, who asks us to embark upon a deadly war. We most easily see the sins in others that we are ourselves guilty of. Every ambition to perfect ourselves has a very human cost. As we reach for what we decide is the divine, we reveal our most fragile human frailties. Words cannot capture us; but we in all our human hubris, are quite inclined to capture words.”
The Agony Column

A STRANGER IN OLONDRIA
Sofia Samatar

We still have a few hardcovers of this left, unlike most other places. Some reviewers have really got this book including Jane Franklin in Rain Taxi who just gave it a huge excellent review. Yes, it’s a fantasy novel. Yes, it’s fantastic. Sofia sure can write.

“Sofia Samatar’s debut fantasy A Stranger in Olondria is gloriously vivid and rich.”
—Adam Roberts, The Guardian, Best Science Fiction Books of 2013

“For its lyricism, its focus on language, and its concern with place, it belongs on the shelf with the works of Hope Mirrlees, Lord Dunsany, and M. John Harrison — but for its emotional range, it sits next to books by Ursula K. Le Guin or Joanna Russ.”—Jane Franklin, Rain Taxi

TRAFALGAR
Angélica Gorodischer. Translated by Amalia Gladhart.

Our second Gorodischer—and we have high hopes of a third and maybe even a fourth! This one is a discursive, smart, self aware science fiction. Don’t miss!

“Perhaps the strangest thing about these tales is how easily one forgets the mechanics of their telling. Medrano’s audiences are at first reluctant to be taken in by yet another digressive, implausible monologue about sales and seductions in space. But soon enough, they are urging the teller to get on with it and reveal what happens next. The discerning reader will doubtless agree.”
Review of Contemporary Fiction

HORSE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR: STORIES
Howard Waldrop

We keep getting letters from Waldrop fans who are so pleased he has a new book out: and that after 40 years he’s in the New York Times! Spread the joy!

“What’s most rewarding in Mr. Waldrop’s best work is how he both shocks and entertains the reader. He likes to take the familiar — old films, fairy tales, Gilbert & Sullivan operettas — then give it an out-of-left-field twist. At least half the 10 tales in his new collection are prime eccentric Waldrop . . .  as he mashes genres, kinks and knots timelines, alchemizing history into alternate history. In “The Wolf-man of Alcatraz,” the B prison movie rubs fur with the Wolf-man; “Kindermarchen” takes the tale of Hansel and Gretel and transforms it into a haunting fable of the Holocaust; and “The King of Where-I-Go” is a moving riff on time travel, the polio epidemic and sibling love.
“Among the most successful stories is “The Horse of a Different Color (That You Rode In On),” an improbable confluence of vaudeville (two of the main characters perform in a horse suit) and the Arthurian Grail legend that manages to name-check Señor Wences, Thomas Pynchon, “King Kong” and more as Mr. Waldrop tells of the Ham Nag — “the best goddamned horse-suit act there ever was.” It’s certainly the best horse-suit-act story I’ve ever read.”
New York Times

TYRANNIA AND OTHER RENDITIONS
Alan DeNiro

Alan’s second collection marries absurdity to with politics and heart. Every writer is unique. Alan? Alan is like a superhero made up of the best parts of half a dozen of our favorite writers. Read these two excerpts to see why: “Tyrannia”, Walking Stick Fires [excerpt].

“Most of Tyrannia‘s rambunctious, immensely entertaining stories — seven of them science fiction — blend bizarre speculations with intermittent humor. When there isn’t humor, there’s weirdness — often extreme weirdness, funny in its own right. Fair warning: what I’m about to describe might not always make sense. That’s in the nature of this highly unconventional collection.”
—Will George, Bookslut

DEATH OF A UNICORN & THE POISON ORACLE
Peter Dickinson

We added Reading Group Questions to the former and the latter includes an author interview carried out by none other than Sara Paretsky. These two sort of mysteries are filled with bon mots, memorable characters, and the strangeness of the 1950s, 1970s, and 1980s. There is nothing as haunting as the last line of The Poison Oracle.

“Dickinson’s crime novels are simply like no other; sophisticated, erudite, unexpected, intricate, English and deeply, wonderfully peculiar.”
—Christopher Fowler, author of The Memory of Blood



Last readings of the year

Wed 18 Dec 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Susan Stinson (Spider in a Tree) is the sole reader at a fundraiser/party at Food for Thought Books in Amherst tomorrow night at 6 pm. Hope to see you there!

And on the same night over on the other coast, Sofia Samatar (A Stranger in Olondria) is reading in Los Angeles:

December 19, 2013
The Empty Globe
8:00 p.m.
Betalevel
behind Full House Restaurant (963 N. Hill St., Chinatown, Los Angeles)
Free

Sofia Samatar, Lily Robert-Foley, and Xina Xurner (Marvin Astorga & Young Joon Kwak).

Details here.

If you miss those, catch both authors on le twitttttr: Susan, Sofia.



Valley Gives 2013

Wed 11 Dec 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

As with last year, here in the happy valley tomorrow, 12/12 (a date that works in the UK and here!) is day of giving where local charities and nonprofits all collaborate in a day of fundraising and giving. Everyone has their list of fave organizations they support to whatever degree they can (more in a good year! a little in a bad year!). Here are a few groups we support and recommend:

Our basic recs (from our links) page: Greenpeace | Amnesty | Habitat | Partners in Health | Heifer | Franciscan Hospital for Children | Ronald McDonald Houses (Springfield, MA) | Children’s Hospital Boston | Worldreader | Kiva (great present for kids to see how they can make a difference) | Fistula Foundation

Recommended by GiveWell:

Nurse Family Partnership | Youth Villages | and the fascinating Give Directly

And a few more good local things—feel free to add more in the comments.

Northampton Survival Center

Friends of Northampton Trails and Greenways

WFCR — which is part of NEPR now. You may have heard our ads on WNNZ, the AM station. One of the reasons I love them is their use of Stone Roses, Neko Case, and other great music in between stories.

If you know people with too much stuff (and if they already have all our books), gifts to any of these orgs make great holiday presents!

 

   Ronald McDonald House Fistula Foundation



Clarion 2014

Fri 6 Dec 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Clarion

Hey, want to spend 6 weeks in San Diego writing with some of the best sf&f writers around?

Applications are now open for the 2014 Clarion Writers Workshop. This year’s instructors are Gregory Frost, Geoff Ryman, Catherynne Valente, N.K. Jemison, Ann VanderMeer & Jeff VanderMeer.

Applications are taken until March, but the application fee rises from $50 to $65 in mid-February.

Apply here



Holiday shipping 2013

Thu 5 Dec 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Time for a quick annual reminder that holiday mail dates are coming up fast. Our office will be closed as usual from December 20 – January 1, 2014. (Of course, Weightless is always open.)

Here are the last order dates for Small Beer Press—which are not the same as everyone else, see note about the office being closed above. Dates for international shipping are here.

We ship all books media mail for free in the USA. If you want to guarantee pre-holiday arrival, please add on Priority Mail.

Domestic Mail Class/Product Cut Off Date
First Class Mail Dec-19
Priority Mail Dec-19
Standard Post Dec-14


Where are they now: Heidi Smith

Thu 5 Dec 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

I worked in the el-hi (elementary and secondary school) textbook publishing industry in Massachusetts for five years, managing projects for clients such as Houghton Mifflin, National Geographic, and McGraw-Hill. The book projects ranged from 2-4,000 pages, with teacher editions, student editions, and various grade levels and subjects. We produced print books, online materials, CDs, interactive lessons, magnets, and other ancillary materials.

My next move was to Washington, DC, to work as an editor in nonfiction business trade publishing. I worked closely with authors and designers, producing at least eight titles per year as the lead editor. The editing ranged from copyediting to developmental and structural editing, depending on the needs of the manuscripts and authors. I also edited and wrote marketing collateral to support the books and the organization, and supported other editors by proofreading their books.

After working in the busy world of publishing, I’m looking forward to the next opportunity. Although I enjoyed textbook and nonfiction business publishing, I’d like to expand and learn from other markets.

After some amazing vacations to the British Virgin Islands and Tanzania, Africa, I currently live in Northern California, where I’m taking a deep breath and focusing on my own writing once again. I’m reading some great books, and working on freelance opportunities.

——

Heidi Smith volunteered for us back in the summer of 2006. Read more in the Where Are They Now series.



Malvern, Hardest Part, the ABA, Susan @ KGB, &c

Wed 4 Dec 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

I don’t know when we’ll get there but I can’t wait to visit Malvern Books which just opened in Austin, Texas.

In book biz news, I’m very happy to see that Publishers Weekly chose American Booksellers Association chief Oren Teicher and the ABA board as their Person of the Year. I worked at the ABA as a BookSense (now IndieBound) content coordinator for two years and I love the ABA and their mission. It’s been great to see the indies change the narrative in the last couple of years: they’re building sales, opening stores, and illustrating every day that they are vital cornerstones to downtowns (and middle-of-nowheres!) everywhere.

Sofia Samatar has an excellent entry in Bull Spec’s series, “The Hardest Part,” on Chapter 7 of A Stranger in OlondriaShe also has a lovely, weird story, “How I Met the Ghoul,” in the new issue (#15) of Eleven Eleven.

Our local library has a lovely interview in the new issue of their newsletter [pdf] with Susan Stinson on writing her novel Spider in a Tree. Below is a picture of Susan reading at the KGB Bar (where she read the infamous “bundling” scene!) in New York City and another of her among many happy friends.

Susan has one more reading coming before the year ends: December 15, 5 p.m. Bloom Readings, Washington Heights, NYC

Susan Stinson by Jeep Wheat Susan Stinson & friends by Jeep Wheat



Small Beer Press Announces New Air Delivery Program

Mon 2 Dec 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | 1 Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Effective December 26th* Small Beer Press will revolutionize publishing by using hovercrafts to deliver packages in as little as 7 days. Declaring himself an “optimist,” Gavin J. Grant, Small Beer Press publisher predicted the technology will immediately bring tectonic changes to the publishing world.

This is more than a theoretical idea. This morning Grant showed the … internet a Hammacher Schlemmer ad from Harper’s Magazine*** for a hovercraft drone called a “2-person hovercraft” which will be emblazoned with “Small Beer Press Air Delivery.” The flying machine has one person to drive it and one to scoop up packages at Small Beer Press fulfillment centers and carry them to customers’ front lawns:

* Once Santa delivers the air delivery device.

** Plagiarized from the Bezos Daily News.

*** Full disclosure: Small Beer Press has paid for books to be advertised in Harper’s.



Bookslinger: Lions

Fri 22 Nov 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

New this week on Consortium’s Bookslinger app is  Bernardo Fernandez’s “Lions” (translated by co-editor Chris N. Brown) from Three Messages and a Warning.

Previous Small Beer stories on Bookslinger:

John Kessel, ”Pride and Prometheus

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

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

Ray Vukcevich, “Whisper

Maureen F. McHugh, “The Naturalist

Karen Joy Fowler, “The Pelican Bar

Kelly Link, “The Faery Handbag

Benjamin Rosenbaum, “Start the Clock

Maureen F. McHugh, “Ancestor Money

Download the app in the iTunes store.

And watch a video on it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySL1bvyuNUE



Wolf Children

Wed 20 Nov 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

From an ad on this video (17-year-old Biggie Smalls freestyling) linked from here (17-year-old LL Cool J plays a Maine gymnasium in 1985: rap! beatbox! sing! snap! ping! pow!) both from Kottke, via Eileen Gunn:



We all live in Tyrannia

Tue 19 Nov 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Tyrannia and Other Renditions cover - click to view full sizeI’ve been looking forward to this day for a year! Well, not the one where we all live in Oceania with the all-seeing government watching us from the cameras in our laptops (all the NYT journalists cover the cameras with yellow stickies now . . . ), rather the day where Alan DeNiro‘s new collection Tyrannia and Other Renditions comes out and blows everyone’s minds. Alan’s stories are about the person on the ground (or the monster on the motorbike) affected by the weird goings-on in politics, for ecstatic poets, worried artists, table top adventurers, and should be required reading for all politicians.

Booklist said: ”With just one novel and one story collection under his belt, DeNiro has already garnered a reputation as a genre-bending experimental author with an indescribably quirky but captivating prose style.” Of all the trade reviewers, they really seem to get his writing.

The cover map of the (ok, imaginary) Tyrannian lands and the typography is by Kevin Huizenga, and it was so right that we carried it on through the book. And then there is Alan’s incredible new author portrait by Shelly Mosman. I love Alan, but he is the weensiest bit scary here.

You can get Alan’s book in all good bookstores, the usual online slavedriving warehouses, or from here. And of course you can always get our DRM-free ebooks here on Weightless.



Susan and Kelly, tonight, Cambridge, Mass.

Mon 18 Nov 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Are you curious about how a manuscript becomes a book? Get ye to the Porter Square Bookstore tonight! Susan Stinson and Kelly Link read and talk about the writing and editing of Susan’s novel Spider in a Tree. 

Here’s the info from the bookstore website:

Our Next Event

11/18/2013 – 7:00pm

“Stinson reads the natural world as well as Scripture, searching for meaning. But instead of the portents of an angry god, what she finds there is something numinous, complicated, and radiantly human.”

Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home

“Through an ardent faith in the written word Susan Stinson is a novelist who translates a mundane world into the most poetic of possibilities.”

Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones

Susan Stinson is the author of three novels and a collection of poetry and lyric essays and was awarded the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize. Writer in Residence at Forbes Library in Northampton, Massachusetts, she is also an editor and writing coach.

Kelly Link lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she and her husband, Gavin J. Grant, run Small Beer Press and publish the zine Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.

Porter Square BooksPorter Square Books
Porter Square Shopping Center
25 White Street
Cambridge, MA 02140

We are located in the Porter Square Shopping Center on Massachusetts Ave., about two miles north of Harvard Square and directly across from the Porter Square station commuter and subway stop. Click here for a map.



Where’s Sofia?

Fri 15 Nov 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Sofia Samatar’s debut novel A Stranger in Olondria got an excellent review recently from Nic Clarke on Strange Horizons

But, where is Sofia? She’s in California and on Saturday, November 30, she’ll be handselling some favorite books at the excellent Borderlands Books in San Francisco from 1 to 4 pm. (You can check out a map of all the authors and booksellers on the Indies First page.)

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 12.01.20 PM

 



Howard Waldrop, 2013

Thu 14 Nov 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Yesterday Martha Grenon was kind enough to take some new author photos of Howard Waldrop. Howard refused any attempt to style him but something of his cheeriness comes through anyway. For those of us in the cold, cold north, it’s nice to see someone standing there warm enough with just have a shirt (with rolled-up sleeves!) instead of layers, baby, layers.

This is probably a good time to link to ”Three Ways of Looking at Howard Waldrop (and Then Some)” by Jed Hartman, et alia.

Howard_Waldrop_by_Martha_Grenon_1B&W

Howard_Waldrop_by_Martha_Grenon_2B&W

Howard_Waldrop_by_Martha_Grenon_3

Howard_Waldrop_by_Martha_Grenon_2

Howard_Waldrop_by_Martha_Grenon_1



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