AWP Reading/Party: Thu April 9, 7 pm

Wed 1 Apr 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

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 . . .
Who:
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!



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



Small Beer Podcast 17: Angélica Gorodischer’s “The González Family’s Fight for a Better World”

Tue 19 Mar 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Julie

Trafalgar cover - click to view full size

I don’t always take authors very seriously, but when Angélica Gorodischer indicated in Trafalgar’s foreword that the stories should be read in order, something in her tone made me pay attention. And something in her writing. She amused me right from the beginning, and so I decided to take her at her word and allow the journey to unfold over the course of the novel. Honestly, it was no hardship. Once I started the first story, I realized nothing less than mainlining the entire book would satisfy.

Angélica Gorodischer is the recipient of the 2011 World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award. She has published over nineteen award-winning books in her native Spanish. Still, for me, an English-only reader, Gorodischer feels like a “new author” discovery. Trafalgar may have been written in 1979, but it’s already one of my top five books for 2013.

A fix-up novel, a mosaic novel, or as the book copy suggests “a novel-in-stories:” whatever the term you choose to describe Angélica Gorodischer’s Trafalgar, it is funny, dry, and always engaging. Trafalgar feels like some sort of Douglas Adams, Gabriel Garcia Marquez hybrid. The narrator of Trafalgar is Trafalgar Medrano’s coffee-shop companion. It is she who transcribes the various intergalactic adventures Trafalgar describes over cups of strong, black coffee. And it is she who understands Trafalgar and his foibles enough to fill in the blanks he might have left in these stories. Unlike Dr. Watson, this biographer has no misapprehensions about human nature.

And now we have one of these stories available on the podcast. When Amalia Gladhart offered to read for the podcast, I was thrilled. Amalia translated Trafalgar; she read the original novel and she shepherded that novel from Spanish to English. What better person to read the English translation?

Episode 17: In which Amalia Gladhart reads Angélica Gorodischer’s “The González Family’s Fight for a Better World” from Trafalgar.

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Trafalgar, here, there, everywhere

Thu 21 Feb 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Trafalgar cover - click to view full sizeThanks to translator extraordinaire Amalia Gladhart, I’m very happy to be celebrating the first English language publication of Angélica Gorodischer’s novel TrafalgarThe credit for this book coming out also goes back to Ursula K. Le Guin whose translation of Kalpa Imperial opened our eyes to this excellent writer. I am so glad I put this rather optimistic line in our About page:

We are seriously interested in more translations — especially of Angelica Gorodischer. However, we are monolingual (sorry) which makes the editorial process difficult. If you are a grad student looking for a translation project which may be of interest to us, we recommend Gorodischer’s Trafalgar and Prodiges.

We heard from a few translators of Gorodischer’s work in the ten years(!) since we published Kalpa Imperial but nothing panned out so when I received an email in June 2011 from Amalia I didn’t know whether to get excited or not. She had published a couple of previous translations, The Potbellied Virgin and Beyond the Islands, both by Alicia Yánez Cossío of Ecuador, which seemed like a good sign. But I still wasn’t sure, of course, until I got the book.

The first story, “By the Light of the Chaste Electronic Moon,” is great and really off the wall—check it out in Fantasy & Science Fiction this spring—so I was on edge, wondering where the book was going. But the second story, “The Sense of the Circle,” blew me away and I knew we were going to publish the book.

When it was announced that Angélica was one of the two winners of the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award, I had a mad thought that we could get the book—or at least a chapbook—out in time for the convention. Ha. Did not happen. But in the meantime Kelly found Ron Guyatt‘s fabulous travel poster “Caloris Basin – Mercury” and we worked with him to use it for the cover.

And now the book is out!

Two of the stories are already online: “The Best Day of the Year” (on Tor.com) and “Trafalgar and Josefina” (on Belletrista), and just today “Of Navigators” went up on the lit journal Eleven Eleven’s new site (their print edition will be available here). And reviews are coming in from all over. The Willamette Week (“a thing of digression and casual wonderment”) liked that Trafalgar was translated by an Oregonian. Abigail Nussbaum, in the Los Angeles Review of Books, called it “A novel that is unlike anything I’ve ever read, one part pulp adventure to one part realistic depiction of the affluent, nearly-idle bourgeoisie, but always leaning more towards the former in its inventiveness and pure (if, sometimes, a little guilt-inducing) sense of fun.”

Trafalgar is hard to describe, which is part of the fun of it. Put the coffee on and join in.



Coffee? Sure. La Morenita or La Virginia?

Thu 17 Jan 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Pinot Noir beginning veraisonReforma gives Trafalgar a very strong recommendation (“Highly recommended for Public and Academic Libraries”), which I translate as: a book for everyone!

I suppose a good quote from the review would be “The narrative of this compilation draws the reader into the story of an ordinary man traveling to alternative worlds. Gorodischer creates an atmosphere where fascinating stories take on the ordinariness of everyday life.”

Not mentioned: Trafalgar drinks a lot of coffee. We should have partnered with an Argentinean coffee firm because this book is going to cause a lot of people to get up and put the coffee on. La Morenita! La Virginia! Coffee shops! Baristas! Call us!

How much coffee? Seven cups. Begins like this:

I was with Trafalgar Medrano yesterday. It’s not easy to find him. He’s always going here and there with that import-export business of his. But now and then he goes from there to here and he likes to sit down and drink coffee and chat with a friend. I was in the Burgundy and when I saw him come in, I almost didn’t recognize him: he had shaved off his mustache. . . .

Marcos brought him his double coffee and a glass of cold water on a little silver plate. That’s what I like about the Burgundy. . . .

Marcos brought him another double coffee before he could order it. That Marcos is a marvel: if you drink nothing but dry sherry, well chilled, like me; or orange juice—not strained—with gin, like Salustiano, the youngest of the Carreras; or seven double coffees in a row like Trafalgar Medrano, you can be sure that Marcos will be there to remember it even if it’s been ten years since you went to the Burgundy.

Marcos arrived with the third double coffee. . . .

Marcos had put down the paper—he had collected at one of the other tables—and now he was coming with the fourth double coffee. . . . 

All right, coffee, anyone?

But, wait, if you prefer it with wine, the third edition of Wine and Word Tasting at Winter’s Hill Vineyard will take place on Saturday, February 16, 11:00-5:00 in Lafayette, Oregon. Yum.



Trafalgar and Josefina

Wed 5 Dec 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Trafalgar cover - click to view full sizeBelletrista just posted “Trafalgar and Josefina,” an excerpt which will give you a nice sense of our forthcoming book by Angélica Gorodischer, TrafalgarAlong with the book there is a short intro—and a great picture of the two of them—by the translator, Amalia Gladhart:

Trafalgar’s adventures are curious, funny, sometimes hair-raising, always thought-provoking. His stories are sought after, traded among acquaintances, shared sparingly by those lucky enough to hear them first hand. And the importance of the storytelling process is always evident. Trafalgar loves to tell a tale—and he loves to draw it out, pausing for another cup of coffee, petting a friend’s cat, playing hard to get; his listeners prod him impatiently, but he will not be rushed.

Read on.

 



Trafalgar’s chaste light

Thu 15 Nov 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Trafalgar cover - click to view full sizeBefore you know it we’ll be publishing our second novel by Angélica Gorodischer, Trafalgartranslated by U. of Oregon professor Amalia Gladhart. Originally published in Argentina in 1979, it’s a very light and funny book. We had some good news recently: the book is getting a small grant to help with translation costs from the “Sur” Translation Support Program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Culture of the Argentine Republic. (Obra editada  en el marco del Programa “Sur” de Apoyo a las Traducciones del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto de  la República Argentina.) How cool is that? It is awesome.

We’re also working with Ron Guyatt on the final cover.

Trafalgar is a novel-in-stories and the first one, “By the Light of the Chaste Electronic Moon,” is more bawdy than the others, which is a funny way to set things up! But it also starts right in with Trafalgar Medrano, salesman and storyteller, who, given time and seven double coffees, will tell all about his sales trips to the farthest parts of the galaxies. Another of the stories, “Trafalgar and Josefina,” is forthcoming on Belletrista, but you can get a tiny taste of the first story here:

“By the Light of the Chaste Electronic Moon”

I was with Trafalgar Medrano yesterday. It’s not easy to find him. He’s always going here and there with that import-export business of his. But now and then he goes from there to here and he likes to sit down and drink coffee and chat with a friend. I was in the Burgundy and when I saw him come in, I almost didn’t recognize him: he had shaved off his mustache.

The Burgundy is one of those bars of which there aren’t many left, if there are any at all. None of that Formica or any fluorescent lights or Coca-Cola. Gray carpet—a little worn—real wood tables and real wood chairs, a few mirrors against the wood paneling, small windows, a single door and a façade that says nothing. Thanks to all this, inside there’s a lot of silence and anyone can sit down to read the paper or talk with someone else or even do nothing, seated at a table with a cloth, white crockery dishes, and real glass, like civilized people use, and a serious sugar bowl, and without anyone, let alone Marcos, coming to bother them.

I won’t tell you where it is because one of these days you might have adolescent sons or, worse, adolescent daughters who will find out, and goodbye peace and quiet. I’ll give you just one piece of information: it’s downtown, between a shop and a galería, and you surely pass by there every day when you go to the bank and you don’t even see it.

But Trafalgar came over to me at the table right away.