Skillfully Reinventing Familiar Narratives

Fri 16 Jun 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Telling the Map coverIt’s what Christopher Rowe has been doing for lo these some years now and soon enough there in every bookstore in the nation will be his collection of stories and those familiar but reinvented narratives will be spreading like wildfire. The week of publication will be celebrated throughout Kentucky but specifically in the author’s hometown of Lexington with these events:

Tuesday July 11th, 7 p.m.: Launch Party at Joseph-Beth Booksellers with drinks and snacks. Richard Butner will interview the author followed by a Q&A and a signing.

Friday July 14th: This, as Christopher pointed out, is Bastille Day. It is also Alumni Day at Bluegrass Writers Studio at Eastern Kentucky University MFA program’s summer residency in Richmond, KY, so Christopher Rowe will be reading for the students on campus in the afternoon and at 5 p.m. Rowe plus a number of alums with will do a reading. New Lexington pop-up bookseller Brier Books will sell books.

Saturday, July 15th, 8 a.m. til 1 p.m.: Lexington Farmer’s Market Homegrown Authors. Rowe will be there from  manning a table, talking to people, hopefully selling some books. Note that one scene in “Nowhere Fast” is set at this very farmer’s market, in this very spot. Again, books provided by Brier Books.

What’s the book about? Lemme let the professionals at Publishers Weekly cover that:

“In his inventive debut collection, Rowe bends the world we know, remaking regions of the southern United States. Appalachian settings, recurring characters, and dystopian themes of societal degradation link the stories. In “The Voluntary State,” a band of marauders from Kentucky attack a painter named Soma’s car and kidnap him. Japheth Sapp, the leader of the captors, recruits Soma in a plan to sneak into Nashville and kill Athena Parthenus, the governor of Tennessee. Meanwhile, Jenny, a mechanic, reunites Soma with his repaired (and sentient) vehicle. All paths converge in an explosive conclusion. In “The Border State,” twin cyclists Maggie and Michael Hammersmith set off on a bike race across Kentucky. Their ride takes them along a river and the Girding Wall, which isolates Athena’s Tennessee. The race evolves into a search for their missing father, and a hunt for answers to mysterious messages from their mother, who drowned in a flash flood 20 years earlier. Rowe skillfully reinvents familiar narratives and widens common story lines into a world where anything seems possible. Wild creativity, haunting imagery, and lyricism—as displayed in “Two Figures in a Landscape Between Storms”—urge readers forward even as the pacing slows to provide needed exposition. While at times the poetic syntax of the sentences hampers comprehension, the book offers an immersive and original reading experience.

 



The Force Acting Since 2003

Fri 26 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

As I scry the calendar I see Christopher Rowe’s collection Telling the Map approaching in July and I remember again that anthology Kelly edited in 2003, Trampoline, because there in those pages the very first story in the book was Christopher Rowe’s “The Force Acting on a Displaced Body”:

The little creek behind my trailer in Kentucky is called Frankum Branch. I had to go to the courthouse to find that out. Nobody around here thought it had a name. But all the little creeks and branches in the world have names, even if nobody remembers them, or remembers which Frankum they’re named after.

Read on: The Force Acting on a Displaced Body



Elizabeth Bear says . . .

Mon 22 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Christopher Rowe is

“A visionary writer known for writing haunting prose about people and societies with haunting problems.”

[Context!]



The Contrary Gardener

Fri 12 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

With the weekend coming up, here’s a story recommendation: tTelling the Map cover - click to view full sizehe first story in Christopher Rowe’s upcoming collection Telling the Map was first published on Jonathan Strahan’s Eclipse Online in October 2012. It was then reprinted in both Rich Horton’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2013 and Strahan’s Best SF & F of the Year Volume Seven.

In their review of Telling . . ., Kirkus Reviews called it “the sharpest story in the collection” and can read it right here right now.



Goodreads Giveaway: Telling the Map

Sat 6 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Telling the Map by Christopher Rowe

Telling the Map

by Christopher Rowe

Giveaway ends May 13, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway



Effective. Relaxed. Complex. Persuasive.

Wed 3 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Telling the Map coverKirkus Reviews is the first out the gate with a review of Christopher Rowe’s July collection, Telling the Map.

Do they like it?

Yes!

It is, among other things, “A clutch of complex, persuasive visions of an alternative South.”

Why the draft cover is still showing up is beyond me. Time to ask the distributor! In the meantime, here’s the final cover, illustration courtesy of the incredibly talented Kathleen Jennings.



Finding Telling the Map

Tue 21 Mar 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Telling the Map cover - click to view full sizeWe’re making it easy to find Christopher Rowe’s Telling the Map . . .

. . . it’s now available on Edelweiss!



Boom! New Books for 2017

Wed 7 Dec 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Should democracy survive in this sometimes lovely country in 2017 we will publish these books:

1. Sofia Samatar, Tender: Stories
This is a ridiculously good book. Twenty stories including two new stories which — POP! there goes my mind.

2. Laurie J. Marks, Fire Logic and Earth Logic in paperback. The ebooks are out but these trade paperbacks coming out is us building toward publishing the fourth and final Elemental Logic novel, Air Logic.

3. Kij Johnson, The River Bank: A sequel to Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. Illustrated throughout by Kathleen Jennings.
A book that came to us out of the blue and a reminder that there can be joy in the world.

4. Christopher Rowe, Telling the Map: Stories
Sometimes you wait a long time and then a good thing happens. This book ranges out from now in Kentucky to who knows where or when. And: wow.

5. Sarah Rees Brennan, In Other Lands: a novel
This is the funniest epic-not-epic fantasy you’ll read next year.

None of the covers are 100% final.

And, fingers crossed, there will be more books later in the year.

I owe an apology and a great debt of thanks to the authors for their immense patience as work slowed and stalled during and after this most recent election. Sorry. Putting out a new issue of LCRW helped with getting me back into doing things and not just calling senators and despairing.

I feel silly and melodramatic to be worried about democracy — not perhaps the best form of government, but the best I’ve seen yet — and to think that I and others can work to keep this country from becoming a militarized plutocracy/kleptocracy. This election that among others things was influenced by the Russian government…

…(oh that that were a conspiracy theory), this convulsion away from liberalism and toward a much darker, narrower future is horrifying and must be fought.

For now, we will fight one book at a time.



Steampunk! ToC

Wed 19 Jan 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Today Kelly and I are handing over the final copyedited manuscript of the anthology we’ve been working on for the last year or so: Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories to our editor, Deborah Noyes at Candlewick. Yay!

It’s been a huge amount of fun getting the stories (and two comics!) from the writers who hail from the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. There was the usual amount of last minute hijinks trying to corral 14 authors (including Kelly!) to go over the copyedits in superquick time, luckily for me none of them were on internet sabbatical.

But that it all done. The introduction is written, the bios are in, the stories are copyedited (and the copyediting arguments are over!) and so out the door it goes. Now we get to put together a website (although getting back to the 19th century and doing a website is harder than I expected it to be) and at some point soon we’ll get to post the cover. Candlewick showed us a couple of exciting cover roughs—more on that when it’s finalized.

And now: the table of contents!

Cassandra Clare, “Some Fortunate Future Day”
Libba Bray, “The Last Ride of the Glory Girls”
Cory Doctorow, “Clockwork Fagin”
Shawn Cheng, “Seven Days Beset by Demons” (comic)
Ysabeau Wilce, “Hand in Glove”
Delia Sherman, “The Ghost of Cwmlech Manor”
Elizabeth Knox, “Gethsemene”
Kelly Link, “The Summer People”
Garth Nix, “Peace in Our Time”
Christopher Rowe, “Nowhere Fast”
Kathleen Jennings, “Finishing School” (comic)
Dylan Horrocks, “Steam Girl”
Holly Black, “Everything Amiable and Obliging”