Ayize Jama-Everett on the Black Porch Show with Brotha Subjek

Wed 5 Apr 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Kick back and enjoy a wide-ranging conversation between two friends covering growing up, travel, writing, music, and more:



What’s Up?

Thu 9 Mar 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Kelly Link will be reading in Greensboro tonight — check out the picture of her midflow on the UNCG MFA program page! Here’s the info:

The MFA Writing Program at Greensboro and The Greensboro Review will host a fiction reading by Kelly Link on Thursday, March 9th at 7PM in the UNCG Faculty Center on College Avenue. The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a book signing.

And, hey if you are in that area, don’t miss the upcoming readings with Chris Abani (3/22), David Blair (4/5), and Heather Hartley (4/13).

FOGcon logo: the Golden Gate Bridge as a bookshelf, in fogThis weekend I would love to be in San Francisco for FogCon where Ayize Jama-Everett and Delia Sherman are the Guests of Honor — and Iain M. Banks (RIP) is the Honored Ghost — and the theme is “Interstitial Spaces.” I just looked at the programming and it made me want to go, darn it. It will be a weekend of great conversations!

And coming up in two weeks, on Friday 3/24, Sofia Samatar will be on a panel at the Virginia Festival of the Book: “Building (and Breaking) Worlds in Contemporary Science Fiction and Fantasy,” Central JMRL Library, Charlottesville, VA.

 



Ayize in NYC

Thu 10 Nov 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Ayize Jama-EverettDon’t miss West Coast author Ayize Jama-Everett making 2 exclusive appearances in New York as part of Book Riot Live:

11/11, 7 pm, 826 Broadway, 3rd floor
Books & Booze with Diane McMartin and Book Riot Live
Join host and sommelier Diane McMartin (This Calls For a Drink!) and Alyssa Cole, Ayize Jama-Everett, and Tara Clancy. McMartin will be pairing speakers’ books and hand-selected wine, followed by readings from the authors. Your ticket includes refreshments and a $15 gift card to The Strand. Sponsored by Unbound Worlds.

Please note: this event is 21+, as alcohol will be served.
Tickets: $40 (available here) includes refreshments and a $15 gift card to The Strand.

11/12, 1:15 pm, MetWest Stage 2
Farm to Table: How a Book Gets Made
How does a book get from submitted manuscript to your bookshelf? Not always the way you think! Find out more from publishing experts who work behind the scenes.
Self-publishing and small presses: author Ayize Jama-Everett
Book packaging: Sona Charaipotra
Editor: Michael Reynolds
Marketing: Kathryn Ratcliffe-Lee
Sponsored by Speaking American: How Y’all, Youse, and Your Guys Talk from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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Notorious

Wed 18 May 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

One of these days I will sit back with a huge bowl of popcorn, a beer, and a huge grin and watch the premiere of Ayize Jama-Everett’s Liminal books on TV or at the movies. No solid news yet, but one day it will come and I will be bouncing up and down about it. In the meantime listen to Lilliam Rivera’s interview with Ayize — and the great music — on Radio Sombra.

Ayize read part of his final Liminal novel at the AWP conference in LA last month and he sang part of the song “Notorious” — which is on the episode by Turbulence but Ayize also mentions the version by Nãnci and Phoebe, listen to that one here — I love Nãnci and Phoebe’s Cypher Cycles song, too: they’re outside, it’s cold, people are going by, no matter, the singing and beatboxing is great.

A little international news: the French translation of A Stranger in Olondria has been nominated for the Prix Imaginales. Fingers crossed we will have more international news on Sofia’s books soon, too.

And a couple of fave author have new novels coming out:

Lydia Millet, whose final novel in her Dissenters series we will publish early in 2017, has a new novel Sweet Lamb of Heaven, which the New York Times and everyone loves.

And Elizabeth Hand has a new novel, Hard Light, out which continues the story (begun in Generation Loss) of Cass Neary. Here’s Megan Abbot on it:

“Nerve-jangling and addictive, Elizabeth Hand’s Hard Light offers up a signature Cass Neary tale of moral ambivalence, keen betrayal and a dark lushness that leaps off the page. And with Cass―relentless in her dangerous curiosity, her ruthless art of survival―Hand has created an anti-hero for the ages. We’d follow her anywhere, into any glittery abyss, and do.”

and a trailer:

HARD LIGHT by Elizabeth Hand/Book Trailer from Phish Chiang on Vimeo.



SBP @AWP2016

Tue 22 Mar 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Besides our groovy (sorry) reading on Wed. March 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Last Bookstore [with Kelly Link (Get in Trouble), Maureen F. McHugh (After the Apocalypse), Ayize Jama-Everett (The Entropy of Bones), and Sofia Samatar (The Winged Histories)] we have a few other things we’d like to share:

First: we have a table, #1331, in the huge bookfair. Come search us out!
Second: panels and stuff!

Thursday, March 31
11:00 am to 11:30 am
Table 1331, Ayize Jama-Everett (The Entropy of Bones) signing

3:00 pm to 4:15 pm
Room 515 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
R265. Smooth Criminals: What’s at Stake When We Break the Rules? (Juan Martinez, Susan Hubbard, Robin Rozanski, Julie Iromuanya) What writing rule do you hate? Love? We all break a few: We switch POV halfway through a story, we use too many exclamation marks, we don’t write what we know, or we use the wrong form, the wrong genre. The panelists balance the costs and benefits of these misdemeanors. They explore how rules hinge on cultural, ethnic, and social backgrounds. They provide rule-breaking exercises that have helped generate exciting material and talk about how rule-breaking has helped them publish and teach.

Friday, April 1
10:30 am to 11:45 am
Room 513, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
F161. Small Beer Press: 15th Anniversary Reading. (Sofia Samatar, Ayize Jama-Everett, Maureen F. McHugh, Juan Martinez) Fifteen years after Small Beer Press was founded to publish works that cross genre definitions, traditional bookstore shelving options, and academic course descriptions, four authors from different parts of the USA who now all live in California read from their books and then discuss the spaces their books were published into with Small Beer Press publisher and cofounder Gavin J. Grant.

2:00 pm to 2:30 pm
Table 1331, Sofia Samatar (The Winged Histories) signing

4:30 pm to 5:45 pm
Concourse Hall, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One
F271. Kelly Link, Emily St. John Mandel, and Ruth Ozeki: A Reading and Conversation, Sponsored by Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau. (Emily St. John Mandel,  Ruth Ozeki,  Kelly Link) This event brings together three brilliant contemporary female writers—Kelly Link, Emily St. John Mandel, and Ruth Ozeki—to read and discuss their craft and experiences as genre-bending authors. Kelly Link is the recipient of an NEA grant and is the author of Get in Trouble. Emily St. John Mandel is the author of Station Eleven, a finalist for the 2014 National Book Award. Ruth Ozeki is the author of A Tale for the Time Being, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Saturday, April 2
10:00am to 10:30am
Table 1331, Kelly Link (Get in Trouble) signing

11:00am to 11:30am
Table 1331, Maureen F. McHugh (After the Apocalypse)

12:00 pm to 1:15 pm
AWP Bookfair Stage, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One
S171. In the Realms of the Real and the Unreal. (Katharine Beutner, Sofia Samatar, Carmen Machado, Alice Sola Kim, Kelly Link) This panel explores genres of fiction that juxtapose the real and the unreal in experimental ways: historical fiction, literary fantasy/science fiction, weird fiction, and satire. Where do we draw the line between a secondary world and a distorted reflection of our own world’s beauty, violence, and diversity? Can we discern a poetics of the unreal in contemporary fiction? How have the continual debates over generic boundaries—and/or their irrelevance—affected the ways contemporary writers work?



SBP @The Last Bookstore in LA

Thu 17 Mar 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

If you’re in LA — or going there for the AWP conference — I hope you’ll join us on Wednesday, March 30, at 7:30 pm at the Last Bookstore for a reading/party with beer, snackity snacks, and most importantly, excellent short readings from four fabulous authors!

Ayize Jama-Everett, The Entropy of Bones
“. . . consistently resists easy categorization. . . . by setting the book in a weird, if recognizable, Bay Area, ­Jama-Everett captures something about the way it feels to live so close to so much money and yet so far; he traces the differences between postindustrial East Bay towns, the gray melancholy of an older city, the particular feeling of struggling while surrounded by otherworldly wealth. If the book veers among different  approaches . . .  there’s nevertheless a vitality to the voice and a weirdness that, while not always controlled or intentional, is highly appealing for just that reason.”— Charles Yu, New York Times Book Review

Kelly Link, Get in Trouble: Stories
Time Magazine Top 10 Fiction of 2015 · NPR 2015 Great Reads · Slate Laura Miller’s 10 Favorite Books of 2015 · Buzzfeed Books We Loved in 2015 · Book Riot Best of 2015 · io9: Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2015 · Flavorwire: Best Fiction of 2015 · San Francisco Chronicle Best of 2015 · Electric Lit Best Story Collections of 2015 · Washington Post Notable Books of the Year · Kirkus Best Books of the Year · Toronto Star Top 5 Fiction of 2015 · New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice · Los Angeles Times bestseller · Locus Recommended Reading

Maureen F. McHugh, After the Apocalypse: Stories
Shirley Jackson Award winner · Publishers Weekly Top 10 Books of the Year · NPR Best Books of the Year · io9 Best SF&F Books of the Year · Tiptree Award Honor List · Philip K. Dick Award finalist · Story Prize Notable Book

Sofia Samatar, The Winged Histories
“A highly recommended indulgence.” — N. K. Jemisin, New York Times Book Review · “An imaginative, poetic, and dark meditation on how history gets made.” — Hello Beautiful · “Samatar has created characters that you will carry around with you for weeks (months?). If you love strong voices, world-building, and books that tell hard truths with beautiful language, these are for you.” — Jenn Northington, Book Riot · “Samatar’s use of poetic yet unpretentious language makes her one of the best writers of today. Reading her books is like sipping very rich mulled wine. The worldbuilding and characterization is exquisite. This suspenseful and elegiac book discusses the lives of fictional women in a fantasy setting who fear their histories will be lost in a way that is only too resonant with the hidden histories of women in our own age.” — Romantic Times Book Reviews (4.5/5 stars, Top Pick)

Get in Trouble 



Hello, Ravenna Third Place in Seattle!

Wed 24 Feb 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Just got wind of two, wait, three, highly relevant and interesting staff picks at by one great bookseller at Ravenna Third Place Books in Seattle. Two out of three books here may not surprise you, the third one may?

It’s pretty great as a publisher on (near!) the east coast to see our books as staff picks on the west coast. Which reminds me that The Winged Histories is also a staff pick at BookPeople in Austin, yay!

The Winged Histories by Sofia Samatar
“You can always trust Small Beer Press to bring you the beautiful and the strange. In The Winged Histories, four women (a solider, a scholar, a poet, and a socialite) relate their experiences of a shattering rebellion and its aftermath. Far from linear, each woman’s narrative plumbs the depths of their individual and cultural memories; and surprisingly the ending — where Samatar ties off a wonderful multitude of threads — was so brilliant, such a dark surprise, it was nearly my favorite part. One of the best things about The Winged Histories (and its stunning prequel, A Stranger in Olondria) is its fierce lyricism and the depths of Samatar’s worldbuilding. Every character is a believable expression not only of individual traits but of the invented historical texts, whole schools of literature, arguments between translators, oral traditions, and the fragments of bestiaries of the literature-sodden world of Olondria. Every page is worth your time.”

The Entropy of Bones by Ayize Jama-Everett
“Ayize Jama-Everett’s Entropy of Bones is a very exciting book! Chabi is unlike most young women — but that’s as far as Jama-Everett takes this trope before thankfully inverting it on its head. Chabi is black-Mongolian, and comes from part of the Bay Area solidly ignored if not harmed by that area’s rapid gentrification. She’s ready to start putting her martial arts training to use by earning money as a bodyguard, providing for herself and her estranged alcoholic mother. But then her mentor disappears, and she realizes that without her knowledge (and certainly her consent) he has transformed her into an unwilling champion in an ages-old supernatural battle. There are taut action sequences and moral conflicts, but Chabi’s tough, wise, and funny character holds every strange, fascinating bit together. Her story is rooted solidly in our own world, from aspiring young DJs to pot-growing cottage industrialists, but the behind-the-curtain world of elemental good and evil Jama-Everett creates feels tantalizingly real.”

And then the third pick is a book on my TBR pile, useful!

Our Spoons Came from Woolworths by Barbara Comyns
“This beautiful book, the story of an impoverished, naive young artist in 1930s London, totally took me by surprise. At first the mishaps of newly-married Sophia and her husband Charles are funny and awkward — everything Sophia cooks tastes like soap; they paint all of their furniture sea-green; they live in terror of Charles’ forbidding relatives; and they’re always hard up for money. But through a masterful technique of Comyns, Sophia’s wondering attitude slowly reveals as much about her (and her unconscious attempts to deflect the emotional impact of constant disappointments) as it does those around her, who benefit from exploiting her optimism and self-doubt. Some moments of the book approach psychological horror, and the happy ones (they exist!) come as a great relief.”



New LCRW coming

Wed 27 Jan 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

It’s been all audio video with Ayize Jama-Everett‘s fab BCAF interview, Sofia Samatar’s SF Signal podcast interview, and Julie Day’s podcast of Mary Rickert’s “Cold Fires.”

So next month we’ll try and take it back to where it all began: the zine, in print!

I’ll post the table of contents soonish. The cover is by none other than Kathleen Jennings. There are excellent stories. There will not be blood. There will be poetry. There will not be political posturing. Wait, there may be. We may misspell the acronym: LCWR, CLWR, MEHH, WHUT, LWRW, WWLCD? (She’d marry another younger man, start a fannncy lit mag, join a hospital ship, get a tattoo, have some fun.)



Electric Lit: Diff’rent Strokes for Different Folks

Sat 21 Nov 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Yep, Ayize Jama-Everett has a great short personal essay on Electric Lit:

“Yo, Dudley a faggot!

What happened?” . . .

That’s what my childhood friend got out of the very special two-part episode of “The Bicycle Man” on Diffrent Strokes. I’m going from memory, rather than re-watching the episode on YouTube because I want to talk about how the show impacted two black kids living in the city where the show itself took place. Diffrent Strokes often put episodes in front of us we were supposed to watch as a family. But not all families are the same. . . .

Read it.



Consistently resisting easy categorization

Sat 24 Oct 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The Entropy of Bones cover - click to view full sizeI think that’s my new favorite description, a t-shirt or a mug waiting to happen. When people ask what kind of books we publish they often have an idea already: short story collections that resist easy categorization — except Ben Rosenbaum’s collection, The Ant King, it being what it says on the label: Plausible Fabulism. But while that thing about short story collections is true, it’s only one part of a whole that changes half a dozen times or more every year when we publish another book.

Last week Charles Yu used that phrase to describe Ayize Jama-Everett’s The Entropy of Bones in the New York Times Book Review. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you like books that consistently defy being stuck in a category, give it a shot:

“Jama-Everett’s book consistently resists easy categorization. Chabi’s mixed racial background offers a potentially nuanced look from a perspective that seems underserved. And by setting the book in a weird, if recognizable, Bay Area, ­Jama-Everett captures something about the way it feels to live so close to so much money and yet so far; he traces the differences between postindustrial East Bay towns, the gray melancholy of an older city, the particular feeling of struggling while surrounded by otherworldly wealth. If the book veers among different approaches — now a philosophical kung fu master story, now a seduction into a rarefied subculture, now an esoteric universe made from liner notes and the journal entries of a brilliantly imaginative teenager — there’s nevertheless a vitality to the voice and a weirdness that, while not always controlled or intentional, is highly appealing for just that reason.”

Read the first chapter on Tor.com.



Celebrating the Liminal world!

Tue 22 Sep 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The Entropy of BonesHey, today is the day that the third liminal novel comes out! At last here comes The Entropy of Bones. The first  review the book received was a star from Publishers Weekly:

“Rooted in Chabi’s voice, the story is spare, fierce, and rich, and readers will care just as much about the delicate, damaged relationship between Chabi and her mother as the threat of world destruction.”

and they are not wrong. It is a hell of a read. Chabi is a girl who is having trouble finding her place in the world. Then she meets a strange guy down at the docks who offers to teach her his unique martial art. No wonder her mother is worried. But the weird training she’s getting is just the start.

There is nothing like these books out there. They are international, fast-paced, and set in the moment all the while being infused with a deep sense of history. You can read more about the books here:

Largehearted Boy: Book Notes playlist
SF Signal: The Liminal People and The Entropy of Bones
City Lights: 5 Questions

and especially Michael Berry’s essay in the LA Review of Books:

“Slavery and indenture are themes that run through all three books. Taggert’s own relationship with his boss is more that of a servant to his master than that of a mentee to his mentor. At one point, Nordeen tells Taggert, “I told you from the beginning we all serve someone.” That harsh truth runs throughout these novels, recapitulated in interesting and often heartbreaking ways. No matter how much wealth they possess or what near magical abilities they command, each Liminal is concerned with controlling others and being controlled by someone else. Jama-Everett is skilled at moving beyond simplistic notions of good and evil and presenting the full complexity of master/servant relationships.”

More? More: The Liminal People, The Liminal War, The Entropy of Bones.



Next week

Fri 17 Jul 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

we’re going to add three books to this here site. One for November, one for January, one for March. I’d like to take this chance to jump up on the table (and fall off) to say how excited we are about these books. They represent a lot of things we love to do. There are two short story collections and a novel. Two of the writers we’ve published before and one is new to us. I think you’re going to enjoy them. But that’s next Tuesday. And then next Wednesday to Friday — because the universe is funny that way — I will be mostly offline. While I’m away feel free to hit the preorder button so hard it breaks over and over again. What we want is to bring good books to as many readers as possible in as many ways as we can: print, ebook, and audio. We want you to find them in your local indie, online at ebookstores, in the library, in the to-be-read stack at your friend’s house, in that huge megamarket sitting next to the sunscreen so that you can read the best in weird fiction where ever you go.

But that’s next week. And, whisper it, there’s a possibility we have more books coming sooner than expected.

Have you seen LCRW? Lois Tilton has.

But let’s put that all aside for now. In the meantime, here’s Chapter One from a pageturner that is at the printer right now: The Entropy of Bones by Ayize Jama-Everett. Chabi is a character who will stay with you, promise.

Chapter One
The Time I Choked Out a Hillbilly

Last time I’d been this deep in the Northern California hills I was on a blood and bar tour in a monkey-shit brown Cutlass Royale with Raj. Now I was distance running from the Mansai, his boat, to wherever I would finally get tired. From Sausalito to Napa was only sixty or so miles if I hugged the San Pablo Bay, cut through the National Park, and ran parallel to the 121, straight north. About a half a day’s run. Cut through the mountains and pick up the pace and I could make it to Calistoga in another three hours. From downtown wine country I’d find the nicest restaurant that would serve my sweaty Gore-Texed ass and gorge myself on meals so large cooks would weep. The runs up were like moving landscape paintings done by masters, deep with nimbus clouds hiding in craggy sky-high mountains. Creeks hidden in deep green fern and ivies that spoke more than they ran.

Narayana Raj had taught me in the samurai style. You don’t focus on your enemy’s weakness; instead, you make yourself invulnerable. My focus was to be internal. In combat, discipline was all. But in the running of tens of miles, that discipline was frivolous. My only enemy was boredom and memory. Surrounded by such beauty, how could I not split my attention? Nestled in the California valleys, I found quiet, if not peace.

I also found guns. Halfway between Napa and Calistoga, the chambering of a shotgun pulled my attention from the drum and bass dirge pulsing in my earbuds. The woods had just gone dark, but my vision was clear enough to notice the discarded cigarette butts that formed a semicircle behind one knotted redwood. Rather than slowing down, I sped up and choke-held the red-headed shotgun boy hiding behind the tree before he had time to situate himself, my ulna against his larynx, my palm against his carotid. He was muscular but untrained. Directly across from him was an older man, late thirties, dressed for warmth with one of those down jackets that barely made a sound when he moved. His almost Fu Manchu mustache didn’t twitch when he pulled two Berettas on me. I faced my captive toward his partner.

“Wait… ,” Berettas said, more scared than he meant to sound.

Read on



The Liminal People: $1.99 today, also: free

Tue 2 Jun 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The Liminal People: A NovelPre-order The Liminal War by June 12th from this website, we will include a copy of The Liminal People.

Don’t miss Ayize Jama-Everett’s debut novel: The Liminal People is just $1.99 today only on bn.com. You can start reading it here

The Liminal People is the first of Ayize’s amazing “Liminal” novels which posit that there are a limited number of Liminal People on this planet who will be at some point decide and/or defend us against the Alters, who are entropy-beings whose greatest wish is to destroy us all. Reading these books can give you whiplash, the action is so fast. In between the lines — and the superpowered conflicts — these novels have some sharp things to say about contemporary life, race relations, and class in the US, UK, and around the world.

The Liminal People ebook has an excerpt from Ayize’s second novel, The Liminal War, which comes out next week. And for a further dose of fun:




“spare, fierce, and rich” — Starred review for The Entropy of Bones!

Fri 8 May 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The Entropy of Bones Yeah! This is why we’re publishing two books by Ayize this summer. The first review has come in the The Entropy of Bones and it’s a star from Publishers Weekly!

“This spellbinding novel shares a setting—the present day, layered with magic—with Jama-Everett’s The Liminal People and The Liminal War, but it stands well on its own. “Normal” is not part of protagonist Chabi’s world: she was raised on a houseboat in Sausalito, Calif., and has been mute from birth, but she discovers she can push her mental voice into people’s minds. Faced with public school and its hazards, she asks a local martial arts master, Narayana, to teach her to fight. Narayana makes Chabi a weapon: a superhuman bar fighter and brawler. She’s able to shatter skeletons with her understanding of the powers of entropy. Chabi uses her deadly skills first to protect a likable trio of marijuana farmers, then as a security guard for an impossibly rich hotel magnate who’s as dangerous in his own way as Narayana. Rooted in Chabi’s voice, the story is spare, fierce, and rich, and readers will care just as much about the delicate, damaged relationship between Chabi and her mother as the threat of world destruction. (Aug.)”



Kirkus and PW on The Liminal War

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

The Liminal War coverEveryone take note: this summer we’re publishing two novels by Ayize Jama-Everett. They’re pure pageturning SF and the proof is here in the first two — stripped to the bone — trade reviews:

Kirkus: scrappy · careen through  · the space-time continuum · frequently outrageous battles · supernatural · survivors · legendary musicians  ·  strange god · nonhuman entities · swiftly, cramming · action-adventure · speed · refreshing · refreshingly · engaging · likable · fast-paced · dangers · survivors · legendary musicians  ·  strange god · nonhuman entities · swiftly, cramming · action-adventure · speed · refreshing · refreshingly · engaging · likable · fast-paced · dangers

Publishers Weekly: raw wattage · lit up · healer/killer · epic · sociopathic · rich, dense ·  blast · pure psychic chaos · “mine by choice” ·  superpowered · stumped · four-billion-year-old vegetable god · cyclonic energy · verbal legerdemain · noir-infused verve

For a taster, you can start reading Ayize’s first book The Liminal People here.



This Saturday in LA

Wed 18 Feb 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The Entropy of Bones This Saturday in LA at the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association Children’s Literacy Day we are very happy to note that Ayize Jama-Everett (The Entropy of Bones, Aug. 2015) will be a panelist on the We Need Diverse Books panel, along with Newbery Award winner Cynthia Kadohata (Kira-Kira) and Sherri Smith (author of the fabulous and weird Orleans). The moderator is debut novelist Stacey Lee (Under a Painted Sky).

Even better news: Fedex is right now delivering advance reading copies of The Entropy of Bones for attendees. Ayize’s novels are pretty fast-paced sf thrillers and this one kicks off hard with a young woman out for a run in the Northern California hills getting the drop on some people who expected to surprise her.

Here’s a taste:

Chapter One

Last time I’d been this deep in the Northern California hills I was a blood and bar tour in a monkey-shit brown Cutlass Royale with the Raj. Now I was on distance running from the Mansai, his boat, to wherever I would finally get tired. From Sausalito to Napa is only sixty or so miles if I hugged the San Pablo Bay, cut through the National Park and ran parallel to the 121, straight north. About a half a day’s run. Cut through the mountains and pick up the pace and I could make it to Calistoga in another three hours. From downtown wine country I’d find the nicest restaurant that would serve my sweaty gortexed ass and gorge myself on meals so large cooks would weep. The runs up were like moving landscape paintings done by masters; deep with nimbus clouds hiding in craggy sky-high mountains. Creeks hidden in deep green fern and ivies that spoke more than they ran.

Narayana Raj had taught me in the samurai style. You don’t focus on your enemy’s weakness, instead you make yourself invulnerable. My focus was to be internal. In combat discipline was all. But in the running of tens of miles, that discipline was frivolous. My only enemy was boredom and memory. Surrounded by such beauty, how could I not split my attention? Nestled in the California valleys I found quiet, if not peace.

I also found guns. Halfway between Napa and Calistoga, the chambering of a shotgun pulled my attention from the drum and bass dirge pulsing in my ear buds. The woods had just gone dark but my vision was clear enough to notice the discarded cigarette butts that formed a semi-circle behind one knotted Redwood. Rather than slowing down, I sped up and choke-held the red headed shotgun boy hiding behind the tree before he had time to situate himself, my ulna against his larynx, my palm against his carotid. He was muscular but untrained . Directly across from him was an older man, late thirties, dressed for warmth with one of those down jackets that barely made a sound when he moved. His almost fu-manchu moustache didn’t twitch when he pulled two Berettas on me. I faced my captive towards his partner.

“Wait . . .” Berettas said, more scared than he meant to sound.

Drop them. I commanded with my Voice. The gun went down hard. I used the Dragon claw, more a nerve slap than a punch, to turn the redhead’s carotid artery into a vein for a second. When he started seizing, I dropped him. To his credit, Beretta went for the kid rather than his weapons. I continued my run, mad that I’d missed a refrain from Kruder and Dorfmeister.
. . .



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!

 



So much news: 2015 edition!

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

Here’s a large part of it: 4 new books for early 2015! Two of them are from Ayize Jama-Everett, The Liminal War (June) and The Entropy of Bones (August). You can read about how the covers came about today on Tor.com. The covers are both by John Jennings, check out his tumblr which is full of excellent art. You can read the first three chapters of Ayize’s first novel The Liminal People here. The books are all connected, but can also stand alone. More on these two pageturners soon-ish.

Two more books! First, another translation of an Angélica Gorodischer novel! Prodigies (translated by Sue Burke) is considered by the author and many others to be her best novel. After Sofia Samatar reviewed Kalpa Imperial so thoughtfully we asked her to have an early look at Prodigies and this is what she said:

“Gorodischer’s rhythmic and transparent prose reveals the violence underlying bourgeois respectability. Prodigies is both incisive and incantatory.”—Sofia Samatar, author of A Stranger in Olondria

The fourth book is the first Big Mouth House title of 2015, Nicole Kornher-Stace’s debut YA novel Archivist Wasp. It’s a dark, thrilling ride (wait, did I really write that? Yup. Sorry! But, you know: true!) set in a deeply imagined future. Just wait. Here’s a better description:

“Goes off like a firecracker in the brain: the haunted landscape, the sure-footed, blistering prose — and, of course, the heroine herself, the most excellent Archivist Wasp.” — Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble



Around Small Beer

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

Just because the government tells you something doesn’t mean you have to believe it.

Tomorrow: Julie Day reads Kij Johnson’s “The Empress Jingu Fishes” on the Small Beer podcast.

And check out Wired.com’s Geek Mom interview with Kij. Kij is off to Oxford to give the JRR Tolkien lecture on fantastic fiction and to teach a workshop: lovely!

Ayize Jama-Everett’s The Liminal People was on the Identity Theory Holiday Reading List. Add it to all your comix-and-sf-reading lists!

I just interviewed Karen Lord, whose lovely new novel The Best of All Possible Worlds comes out from Del Rey next month, for BookPage. That should go up at the start of February.

In April it’s last chance to see Under the Poppy in Detroit. Do it!

The Village Voice gives Errantry a stormer of a review:
“With grand feeling and inventiveness, Hand writes of modern life edging just into the impossible. Her ragged modern characters, often lost or stoned or just unfixed in their lives, set out over moors or into hidden parks in search of realities less dispiriting than our own.”

Kelly’s “The Faery Handbag” is this week’s story on the Bookslinger app.

The first review has come in for the new ish of LCRWHere’s Sam Tomaino at SF Revu on LCRW 28:
Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is the kind of magazine that you want to read slowly. Read a story. Put the magazine down. Absorb what you have just read. Then, after a while, read another story. Repeat. After more than a year’s absence here is issue #28 with more of their very different stories.”

Scottish Television loves Alasdair Gray almost as much as we do. He’s doing another piece of public art in Glasgow—can’t wait to go over next summer and see it all—this time at the Western Baths Club. (Ok, so I may not be able to go see this one). Here’s the video of the unveiling of his previous mural in the Glasgow subway. It’s based on the art from Old Men in Love.

That’s it, out of time.



Publication Day!

Tue 10 Jan 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The Liminal People cover - click to view full sizeHere’s the deal: order a copy of The Liminal People from us today, January 10, 2012, and we’ll throw in the ebook for free as well as a copy of Ayize’s original edition that you can either keep in your amazing book collection or give it to a friend.

Read the first three chapters here here, but be warned: you may get hooked!

Ayize self-published the book and Nalo Hopkinson did us a huge favor and suggested he send the book to us. It’s a fast-paced science fiction thriller that grabbed me from the get go and I read it right through.

Early readers love it but we somehow managed to score a 0/4 trade reviews—eek! It’s been a while since we did that and now we need to get the word out asap! The book is in indie stores (and yes, online monoliths) just waiting for Guillermo Del Toro to discover it.

Anyway: read it and come back and tell me what you think. Ayize is working on another novel set in the same world and I am trying to get him to send it to me now! and after you’ve read it I think you’ll be saying the same thing.



get liminal!

Tue 27 Dec 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Annalee Newitz reviews Ayize Jama-Everett’s debut novel and if you read the review you’ll see why we had to publish the book:

The Liminal People“You’ll be sucked into a fast-paced story about superpowered people struggling for control of the underground cultures they inhabit…. The novel is a damn good read. It’s a smart actioner that will entertain you while also enticing you to think about matters beyond the physical realm.”
—Annalee Newitz, io9

Read the first three chapters.



Next week (+ giveaway)

Fri 9 Dec 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | 14 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

We have a new episode of Who Is Amazon Trying To Stomp Out of Business/Subsume/Buy Out This Week. Then we will keel over in shock, shock I tells you when we discover that the $34-billion WalMart-wannabe has disclosed its teeth to the public once again. You should see what they’re like behind closed doors. Not pretty. They’ve hired some great people, they’re going to buy some great books for their publishing arm, but, man, those people are, um, not nice.

Besides that, we have a new installment of Julie Day’s excellent Small Beer Podcast. This one features two stories from Three Messages and a Warning as well as actual and real beer from our new fave beer store, TruBeer, in Easthampton.

Want to preview the anthology? You can read two stories here.

We’ll also have office copies of at least one of our January books (yes, they were December, they slipped, darn it!), Ayize Jama-Everett’s The Liminal People. We will have giveaways for that, so be ready to define liminal.

In fact, we’ll send a free galley to the first five commenters (US/Canada only, sorry) on this post who post comments either on people or liminality(!).

Remember the holiday shipping deadlines—and how they don’t apply to our ebooks!

And: we will be posting some new books. Preorders welcome! We love preorders! We send them out asap so that you get the book long before it reaches the distribution system. Go, baby, go.

What else? Next week we will be trying to finish up a lot of work before 2011 goes quietly into the night. You never know, might get it done!



Liminal People giveaway

Thu 30 Jun 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Git git git over to Goodreads and git yourself a copy of this science fiction thrill-ill-iller! We’re publishing it in December but we have 20 copies for going-to-be-happy readers to enjoy long before that cold cold month comes along.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Liminal People by Ayize Jama-Everett

The Liminal People

by Ayize Jama-Everett

Giveaway ends July 07, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win