What up? Many things. Visitors, busyness, to and froings in the oncoming weeks. The permanence of change. Catch up, link dump, tab closer, recent reads and more:
Also to get: Sarah Smith‘s first YA novel which is out this week: The Other Side of Dark. It’s about ghosts, treasure, and two teenagers and life, art, madness, love, and more and it’s set it this here fair city of Boston.
One of our great local-ish bookshops, Food for Thought in Amherst—one of those places that just makes you happy to walk into—is in a moneycrunch. If you did you next book buy here, it would be much appreciated. Biased suggestions for starting places: Under the Poppy, Stories of Your Life, What I Didn’t See, The Poison Eaters, Meeks. And, as of this writing, these books are all in stock: what an awesome place!
Another non-local fave bookshop is Subterranean in St. Louis and there’s a lovely little piece in the local student paper about it. They have signed copies in stock of a certain 1,000 page McSweeney’s brick as well as excellent Africa-supporting lit-shirts. It’s a lovely shop from which we walked away with a nice bagful of books. (via)
Really enjoyed the current issue of the Harvard Review. Got it because Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud has a story in it but there were a couple of excellent stories and essays as well as a good range of poetry in it.
Jay Baron Nicorvo has an excellent essay about re-roofing the family house with his two teenage brothers on Guernica.
Apex just published a special Arab/Muslim themed edition.
How does a book signed by Betty Ann Hull, Fred Pohl, and Gene Wolfe sound? Sounds good!
Thanks to Susan for this. Go read, but not while eating cake.
And Congratulations to Susan and to Niall: we love Strange Horizons and are both selfishly sad and very happy to hear about the transition.
More on the World Fantasy Awards at some point soon. Mostly: yay!
Belletrista looks at What I Didn’t See and likes what they see, “Fowler’s stories are gripping and surprising, with multiple pleasures awaiting the reader.” The San Francisco Chronicle also published a good review: “Fowler understands how disappearances heighten suspense. And she’s equally skilled at weaving mystery from the unknown.”
Karen’s final reading of her mini-California tour is this Friday at 7 PM at Vroman’s in Pasadena.
You can see Kathe read in Ann Arbor next Wednesday night at the Blackbird Theatre where there will be delightful and scary sexy puppets. Thanks to Scott Edelman (having more than either of us right now) you can also see her reading on the youtubes. More on those readings TK.
A couple of readers discover Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others for the first time. The sound of their heads exploding echoes through the intertubes. 1) Ed Park @ the LA Times ["patient but ruthless fascination with the limits of knowledge."] 2) Dreams & Speculations 3) Stefan @ Fantasy Literature.
With me and brewing, the circumstance most likely to cause such a turnaround is the ready, cheap availability of superior ingredients. In January, I went to Guatemala—the cradle of Mayan civilization, and arguably the cradle of chocolate as a human institution. I brought back a half-kilo of cacao “beans”—a form of chocolate two steps removed from the least-processed chocolate you’re ever likely to encounter in this country. “What the hell is a cacao bean?” asked the customs official rummaging through my bags in Houston. I started in on the two-minute explanation; disappointingly, he waved me on before I’d got half started.
Read on for the two-minute explanation—but first, know that when I sat down to brew this beer, it was with the purest of aesthetical intentions in the Small Beer spirit: I strove for a beer that would as closely as possible resemble a bar of 70% raw cacao dark chocolate in liquid form.
We just mailed out the last of the subscriber‘s copies of LCRW 24 (thanks to the amazing intern team of: Michael, Paul, Felice, Kristen, and Abram!) and subscribers did not in fact get the Spicy Maya bar we promised: instead we sent out the Firecracker because it is at once fantastic and also weird and wonderful. It’s a dark chocolate bar with chipotle (mm), salt (mmm), and popping candy. What?! Yes. Feeling the popping candy go off in the middle of the deep dark chocolate is like eating the stars at night.
We have one bar left then new subscribers will get something else. And sharp-eyed readers will note that in the pic to the right there is a coupon from Chuao Chocolatiers especially for LCRW subscribers for 20% off online purchases: LCRW and the unexpected extra chocolatey goodness bonus! We recommend moving phasers to Stock Up.
The new issue of LCRW is about to go out and we are last-minute getting the chocolate in (in summer we can’t keep it around here because 1) Gavin will eat it and 2) it will melt). So we’re ordering a bunch of chocolate and this time round we are getting in the even better stuff. Last time we asked if anyone minded a low-price (er, cheap) bar that time so that we could go great this time. The readership said Sure! and we sent out IKEA Food dark chocolate bars! So this time we’re taking the savings from that time (and any subscribers since then are just lucky!) and ordering Chuao Chocolatier‘s Spicy Maya Bar. This is one fantastic chocolate bar which we’ve only tried a couple of times: it’s more of a birthday present than an everyday bar.
So, anyway, if you want to subscribe to LCRW and get a chocolate bar each time, now is maybe the best time ever to do it. We’re going to order something like 100 bars (hope the delivery person isn’t a chocolate fiend) and once they’re sent out (and once we’ve tried a few around here) that’s it with the Over The Top excellentness and it will be back to the regular goodness.
It’s pre-tax madness around here. Who didn’t make those estimated payments? Oops. Ok, must go fix that now. In the meantime, these:
- Smackdown: Gwenda vs. 2008. (We side with the booze and maybe the hobbits.)
- Oddly, no one sent this book at Xmas time. Don’t worry, there were some books received!
- We are still hoping that the Choconomicon arrives.
- Old Earth Books‘s Waldrop collections keep picking up the plaudits. The latest review of Other Worlds, Better Lives: Selected Long Fiction, 1989-2003 is in the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinal, “Like old American jalopies, Waldrop’s alternate realities are well-built and well lived in.” He builds them better than Detroit does.
- For anyone who can’t afford the flight for the Times-suggested “36 Hours in Siem Reap,” Cambodia, we have a suggestion: a whole bunch of Geoff Ryman audio files—a reading as well as a couple of excellent radio shows on Cambodian arts and rap:
- Arts in Cambodia: 90 minute radio special broadcast on Resonsance FM in London in 2004. Music and interviews with Cambodian poets, novelists, playwrights, arts organizations, dance and performance artists and a pop star.(100 MB)
- I Let My Pen Bleed: an hour radio show on Khmer and Khmer-American rap with music and interviews with Sok Visal, A Ping, Tony Real, DJ Boomer, Silong and Prach Ly. Broadcast 2006 by Resonance FM in London. (70 MB)
- Audio from the Rick Kleffel’s Agony Column:
—Geoff Ryman reads from The King’s Last Song.
—Geoff Ryman reads from The Child Garden.
—Panel Discussion with Geoff Ryman, Ellen Klages, Terry Bisson, and Nalo Hopkinson : SF in SF, November 15, 2008.
LCRW update: we’re in the middle of thinking about being in the middle of reading and putting together a new issue of LCRW for publication in November. We have stories, drawings, horses.
One thing we are wondering about is whether those smart and happy subscribers who receive a bar of chocolate each time with their zine would mind if we sent out a lovely but cheaper bar this time (except for those whose subscriptions are about to expire) and a lovely but expensive bar next time? Any thoughts? We’d love to hear.
Besides the chocolate bar subscribers, another choice proving happily popular is Option 6, “Newness,” which for $89 comprises: a random chapbook; 4 issues of the zine and a good chocolate bar with each issue & all our fall 2008 books The Ant King and Other Stories (pb), The King’s Last Song, The Serial Garden, and Couch). Otherwise, about $107.