Get The Homeless Moon

Wed 16 Jul 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Chapbook CoverHere’s a fun thing for Readercon: pick up your copy of Michael J. DeLuca et al.’s new chapbook, Homeless Moon, which these crazy kids will be giving away for free. Free. Don’t they know that no one has any money in this crap economy and they can’t afford books…. Oh yeah, free.

We have a couple of copies at the office and it’s pretty! If you aren’t going to the convention (and it’s apparently nearly sold out, so register if you are going), you can either download a free PDF of the chapboor or send them a buck for postage and get the book mailed to you. Can’t beat that.



Wrong, so wrong!

Thu 15 May 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 5 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Thanks to Angus MacAbre (Scotland’s Funniest Zombie Comedian!) this will no doubt be the place to visit during WisCon.

Sadly they do not seem to have haggis on the menu. But we trust the chef can put one together. Best part of the menu is the beer list: all the usual suspects (with a complete lack of Scottish beer, but, they do have their own Tilted Kilt lager!) as well as the well-loved Franchise Options 1 to 4. Mmm!

Madison TK Cast



Baum Plan hardcover / LA

Sat 26 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Jed_in_LA.jpgJust a note that our distributor is running out of the hardcover of John Kessel’s collection. We have some in stock for conventions and so on but if you want one from a store, sooner is better than later.

If you’d like a signed copy, John’s got some more signings coming up.

And: here’s a pic of Jed in LA just before the book festival madness began!



LA Times Book Fest

Thu 24 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Jedediah Berry will be manning the Small Beer booth at the LA Times Book Fest this weekend so if you’re in the area go say hello (and congratulate the man!) at Booth # 1023 in Zone: J – Moore Hall Grass, UCLA campus.

Small Beer are splitting a table with the wonderful Coffee House Press. Drop by and say hi to some of their authors, and meet other local stars such as Cecil Castellucci and more authors than a forest could shake sticks at. Admission to the Festival of Books is free. Parking is $8.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, that forest will not be shaking sticks at Kelly Link who will not be there after all. Maybe next year.



Manana we go to Boskone

Fri 15 Feb 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Tomorrow we go to the only con named after Bruce Springsteen’s ice cream. We have not been to this Westin Waterfront hotel convention echoing hall of death place (although we have found many such places in the metropolis of Boston, Massachusetts). We will be there 10AM – 6PM and then we shall ride our unicorns into the sunset. Between 10 and 6 we shall Huck, Huck, Huckster! Our table will be filled with goodies beyond either description or compare. (Although some of them will resemble these.)
We will also contribute to the hive-mind’s peregrinations through the following topics:

Kelly Link:

11am Bar: Literary Beer
Walter H. Hunt, Kelly Link

1pm Otis: Do Sweat the Small Stuff: Writing Short Fiction
Versus novels, do short forms let you spend more lapidary time and effort on each detail? Or do you write in a headlong burst? Is it carpentry or sculpture? Do you feel constrained, or cozy? Do you add context or cut fat? If you stop writing before the end, could the fizz leak out? Examples, please.
James Patrick Kelly (m), Kelly Link, Jennifer Pelland

2pm Grand Prefunction: Autographing
John Langan, Kelly Link, Michael Swanwick, George Zebrowski

3pm Commonwealth A: Good Things Come in Small Packages: The Craft of Short Fiction
The craft of writing a short story is different from writing a novella or novel. Having fewer words means each word has to be there for a reason. How do pace and characterization differ in a short story? Is a writer forced to decide if the idea is more important than the description? How are those decisions made, and so made, create an effective story, which lingers with the reader?
Beth Bernobich, James Patrick Kelly (m), Kelly Link, Michael Swanwick

Gavin J. Grant:

10am Kaffeeklatsch

2pm The Great Book Covers
Ellen Asher, Gavin Grant, Elaine Isaak, Omar Rayyan, Joe Siclari (M)
Let’s talk about the truly outstanding art that has adorned science fiction, fantasy, and horror books. (By all means, bring and show examples.) How is a cover different from other artworks? Does a great cover always make a great book? Must it always both tell and sell? Do the best covers share any specific elements of content or style? Can a once-great cover go out of fashion?



AWP in NYC this weekend

Mon 28 Jan 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We’ll be at the Associated Writing Programs Conference and Bookfair this coming Thursday to Saturday (Hilton New York & Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on 6th Ave. and 53rd St.).

Here are a few items of interest and so on (some of this info is also on our calendar). The conference is sold out but the book fair is open to the public Saturday 8.30 – 5.30. If you’re in NYC (or nearby) we highly recommend you drop by—not to see us (but sure, come by and say hi to Jed and Gavin and Kelly), but because this will be the biggest small press fair this year this side of the Mississippi. While you might see some of the same people at the Brooklyn Book Fair, there will be a ton of people and presses you’d never normally see. (And just because the bookfair opens at the cruel and unusual time of 8.30 AM doesn’t mean you have to be there then, wait until at least 10 or 11 for the maximum literary crowd experience.)

First thing: we are taking down boxes of returns (most like-new condition) and selling them at 1/2 price. That is 50% off the price agreed upon by the oligopoly of Small Beer Press and Small Beer World Domination, Inc.

There are about a million events going on, a hundred thousand interesting panels, a few bars, and not enough time. See you there—

Thu., Jan 31, 7 PM
Ira Glass Discussion & Signing
Borders
10 Columbus Circle
From the witty first-person fiction radio shows to the acclaimed program on DVD, Ira Glass celebrates the series at Borders.
(This has nothing to do with us, it’s just kind of cool.)

Fri., Feb 1, 10:30 AM — “Reeling Beyond Realism: But to Reel in What?”
Kate Bernheimer, Rikki Ducornet, Brian Evenson, Theodora Goss, Kelly Link, Ken Keegan (moderator)
Sheraton, Lower Level, Executive Conference Center, Rm D

Fri., Feb 1, 2:30 PM — Kelly Link signing at the Best American Fantasy table.

Sat, Feb 2, 11 AM — Delia Sherman & Theodora Goss sign copies of Interfictions,
Small Beer Press
Americas Hall 1, Exhibit Hall, 3rd floor, Hilton

Sat, Feb 2, 2.30 PM — Kelly Link signing
Small Beer Press
Americas Hall 1, Exhibit Hall, 3rd floor, Hilton



We go to Saratoga

Mon 29 Oct 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Maybe see you there? We’ll have a table in the dealer’s room with some interesting extras besides our books and (fingers crossed) a new issue of LCRW.

Kelly’s schedule is:

Friday, 2:00 PM, City Center C: M.R. James and His Successors.
Christopher Roden, John Langan (m), Kelly Link, Ramsey Campbell, Barbara Roden

Saturday, 9:00 PM, City Center C: The Legacy of Shirley Jackson.
Charlaine Harris, Kathryn Cramer, Alexandra Sokoloff, James Frenkel (m), Kelly Link

Gavin is on the judges panel (bring chocolate, not rotten cabbages, it was such hard work!) at some point on Sunday afternoon after the banquet.



Brooklyn Book Festival

Sat 15 Sep 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 5 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Today, Sunday, Sept. 16,  from 10 AM until 6 PM (plus or minus a few minutes, come on, this is us , after all) we will be joining the hordes at the Brooklyn Book Festival in Brooklyn, NY.

We should be at Table 27, easily distinguished by it’s whiff of late summer lavender and dancing goat display. Also, it is between tables 26 (Housing Works Bookstore Café) and 28 (BOMB Magazine). And near Drawn & Quarterly (32). And some 90+ others. Many of whom will have fascinating texts that might interest You, Dear Reader.

So take the train down (2, 3, 4, 5 to Borough Hall; R to Court Street; A, C, F to Jay Street/Borough Hall) or perhaps it will be lovely and you will want bike instead (aren’t cars banned from NYC by now?) and do drop by to say hello.



Sat 25 Aug 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 3 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

We are in Tokyo! Arrived via Northwest. Flight ok—tiny seats but at least they serve up all the bad movies you want on your tiny screen (Namastey London isn’t bad: it had the proper amount of cheesy pop and fun dancing).

マジック・フォー・ビギナーズWe were met at the airport by Kelly’s editor at Hayakawa, Naoki Shimizu, who very kindly accompanied us all the way to our hotel (the amazing Hotel Grand Palace). He also gave Kelly a copy of the new hardcover Japanese edition of Magic for Beginners—which has a lovely painting of a telephone box on the cover, a review in the Nikkei paper, and her schedule (Tues/Wed: busy!)

How sensible it seemed that there are regularly scheduled buses from the airport to all the big hotels. We picked up a rental cell phone at the airport, maybe we ate something, but mostly what we did was wonder why we were awake until, happily, we were not.

Now it is Saturday evening. We started out the day with the fabby Japanese breakfast at the hotel (rice/rice porridge, miso soup, poached eggs, pot of green tea, some fishy and meaty bits for those that like that sort of thing) then made a quick trip out doors. It is melty: hot and humid. So it was a slow trip around a few blocks then to Lawson to see how the onigiri had progressed in the last 10 years. (Still tasty!) Lucky we got those snacks, because Mari Kotani had arranged for us to see the Takarazuka Revue. We were originally meant to go on Tuesday with Eileen Gunn and others but Kelly has interviews all day so we were thinking we would miss it. However, Mari not only arranged for us to go today, but also bought our tickets. Mari is traveling with Eileen, John Berry, and Ellen D., so we have not seen her yet. Instead her assistant, Yasuko Nakaegawa came to the hotel and took us (in a taxi with those groovy self-closing doors) to the Takaruzaka Theater (Thanks Yasuko!). We got there just on time and loved our seats: by themselves on the end of a row so that we could both stretch our feet out each way. (Still cramped up from the flight!)

The Revue was fantastic and shouldn’t be missed (even if you somehow managed to miss it in its home city of Osaka while teaching there for a year, cough). It’s an all-women cast, something still unusual today. (The audience was also something like 90% women.) There were two shows, Valencia, 90 minutes of something about Napoleon and Spain, then a mind-blowing 30-minute show, Space Fantasista. Which is really something to write home about. Not so much the plot (um, the origins of the universe?) but the lights, songs, dances, and the way way way out costumes. Feathers. Lots and lots of feathers. There was a shop where you could buy a special edition $600 DVD of one of their shows. We bought four, of course. Be ready for them at Xmas!

After that it was hard to be impressed by anything. Except we were in Ginza and went to goggle over the new toys at the Sony store (shiny! small! like Apple, but Sony!), eat pizza (hee hee! Italian food is great in Japan), go to HMV (hello Mayumi Kojima! Super Butter Dog!—nothing new but listened to a lot. Any recommendations welcome!), wander round lovely stores (all the lovelier with a/c—we were told it is an extra hot summer this year, yay…!), and take the subway back. Yay public transport. Now to avoid sleeping too early so that we will not zoink awake at 5 AM. Again.

We have some email access but will be mostly off it until Sept. 14 when we will be back in the office in Easthampton (and to the Brooklyn Book Fest on the 16th, eek!). There may be some more We Did This and That from Japan. It Depends. We are going to the WorldCon (schedule below) and then will travel about some. Most of that will probably be off the grid. Yay!

Kelly’s schedule:

Fri 1400 What Do You Read Passionately Besides SF Is cross-genre reading all that popular? Can an author of one genre rightly expect his/her readers to follow when the author switches genres? What, as a fan, do you like to read? Do you read outside that genre? As an author, do you write outside that genre? Grant CARRINGTON, Kelly LINK, Kirsten (KJ) BISHOP, Marianne PLUMRIDGE-EGGLETON, Susan DE GUARDIOLA, Carolina GOMEZ LAGERLOF
Fri 1700 Introducing the Triptree Award and the Sense of Gender Award   Reona KASHIWAZAKI, Yutaka EBIHARA, Hisayo OGUSHI, Tomoyo KASUYA, Megumi KOBAYASHI, Yasuhiko NISHIZAWA, Natsuko MORI, Mari KOTANI, Kelly LINK, Candas Jane DORSEY, Eileen GUNN
Sat 1600 Is It Really Strange?: New Slipstream Bruce Stterling coined the term Slipstream nearly twenty years ago. Since then a bunch of new writers has written a lot of that kind of unclassifiable strange fiction. But is it a type, or subgenre? One thing is clear now. Many writers in their thirties now prefer to write bizarre and surrealistic stories within our genre. And it happens in Japan, too. Kelly LINK, Patrick NIELSEN HAYDEN, Mark L. VAN NAME, Takashi OGAWA
Sun 1000 Small Press Publishing in the United States, Japan, Europe … Some of the most exciting work in science fiction, fantasy and horror is produced by small presses. What makes a book good? Can small presses save us from degeneration? What challenges in design, production, and marketing do small presses face? Can labors of love make money? Daniel SPECTOR, Bob EGGLETON, Charles ARDAI, John D. BERRY, Kelly LINK

Gavin’s schedule:

Fri 1000 Sprawl Fiction
Participants: Ellen DATLOW, Gavin J. GRANT, Lou ANDERS, Yoshio KOBAYASHI
“Sprawl fiction” was coined to show how new writers, most in their thirties, are trying to expand our genre yet still loving its very core, straight SF. Terms like “new Weird”, “interstitial”, “strange fiction” or “new fabulist” don’t cover the trend fully. It is a natural reflection of our urban society and probably heralds the new stage of our evolution; to the stars. We talk about why the new generation slipstream is not the fusion of literary fiction and SF/F.

Fri 1200 How Healthy is the Short Story
Participants: Ellen DATLOW, Gavin J. GRANT, Joe HALDEMAN, Larry NIVEN
For decades, there has been talk of the death of short fiction in science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Are markets shrinking? Is the quality less than it was thirty years ago?

Fri 1700 Kaffeeklatsche
Participants: Gavin J. GRANT

Sun 1400 The Short Story’s Role in Fantastic Fiction
Participants: Ellen DATLOW, Gavin J. GRANT, Larry NIVEN, Pat CADIGAN
Short fiction rarely gets the attention that novels do by reviewers. It is harder to sell collections and anthologies than novels. The panelists, writers and editors of short fiction discuss their thoughts about the shorter forms (short story, novelette, novella) of fantastic fiction.

Sun 1600 Lost Tribes of Cult Novels
Participants: Elizabeth Anne HULL, Gavin J. GRANT, Yoshio KOBAYASHI
Where have the cult novels gone? They were once legion; “Stranger in a Stranger Land”, “Cat’s Cradle”, “The Lord of the Rings”, “Illuminatus!”, “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues”, “Neuromancer” and “The Wasp Factory” . But what about “Snow Crash” and “Harry Potter”? Why aren’t they cult novels?



Sat 25 Aug 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We are in Tokyo! Arrived via Northwest. Flight ok—tiny seats but at least they serve up all the bad movies you want on your tiny screen (Namastey London isn’t bad: it had the proper amount of cheesy pop and fun dancing).

マジック・フォー・ビギナーズWe were met at the airport by Kelly’s editor at Hayakawa, Naoki Shimizu, who very kindly accompanied us all the way to our hotel (the amazing Hotel Grand Palace). He also gave Kelly a copy of the new hardcover Japanese edition of Magic for Beginners—which has a lovely painting of a telephone box on the cover, a review in the Nikkei paper, and her schedule (Tues/Wed: busy!)

How sensible it seemed that there are regularly scheduled buses from the airport to all the big hotels. We picked up a rental cell phone at the airport, maybe we ate something, but mostly what we did was wonder why we were awake until, happily, we were not.

Now it is Saturday evening. We started out the day with the fabby Japanese breakfast at the hotel (rice/rice porridge, miso soup, poached eggs, pot of green tea, some fishy and meaty bits for those that like that sort of thing) then made a quick trip out doors. It is melty: hot and humid. So it was a slow trip around a few blocks then to Lawson to see how the onigiri had progressed in the last 10 years. (Still tasty!) Lucky we got those snacks, because Mari Kotani had arranged for us to see the Takarazuka Revue. We were originally meant to go on Tuesday with Eileen Gunn and others but Kelly has interviews all day so we were thinking we would miss it. However, Mari not only arranged for us to go today, but also bought our tickets. Mari is traveling with Eileen, John Berry, and Ellen D., so we have not seen her yet. Instead her assistant, Yasuko Nakaegawa came to the hotel and took us (in a taxi with those groovy self-closing doors) to the Takaruzaka Theater (Thanks Yasuko!). We got there just on time and loved our seats: by themselves on the end of a row so that we could both stretch our feet out each way. (Still cramped up from the flight!)

The Revue was fantastic and shouldn’t be missed (even if you somehow managed to miss it in its home city of Osaka while teaching there for a year, cough). It’s an all-women cast, something still unusual today. (The audience was also something like 90% women.) There were two shows, Valencia, 90 minutes of something about Napoleon and Spain, then a mind-blowing 30-minute show, Space Fantasista. Which is really something to write home about. Not so much the plot (um, the origins of the universe?) but the lights, songs, dances, and the way way way out costumes. Feathers. Lots and lots of feathers. There was a shop where you could buy a special edition $600 DVD of one of their shows. We bought four, of course. Be ready for them at Xmas!

After that it was hard to be impressed by anything. Except we were in Ginza and went to goggle over the new toys at the Sony store (shiny! small! like Apple, but Sony!), eat pizza (hee hee! Italian food is great in Japan), go to HMV (hello Mayumi Kojima! Super Butter Dog!—nothing new but listened to a lot. Any recommendations welcome!), wander round lovely stores (all the lovelier with a/c—we were told it is an extra hot summer this year, yay…!), and take the subway back. Yay public transport. Now to avoid sleeping too early so that we will not zoink awake at 5 AM. Again.

We have some email access but will be mostly off it until Sept. 14 when we will be back in the office in Easthampton (and to the Brooklyn Book Fest on the 16th, eek!). There may be some more We Did This and That from Japan. It Depends. We are going to the WorldCon (schedule below) and then will travel about some. Most of that will probably be off the grid. Yay!

Kelly’s schedule:

Fri 1400 What Do You Read Passionately Besides SF Is cross-genre reading all that popular? Can an author of one genre rightly expect his/her readers to follow when the author switches genres? What, as a fan, do you like to read? Do you read outside that genre? As an author, do you write outside that genre? Grant CARRINGTON, Kelly LINK, Kirsten (KJ) BISHOP, Marianne PLUMRIDGE-EGGLETON, Susan DE GUARDIOLA, Carolina GOMEZ LAGERLOF
Fri 1700 Introducing the Triptree Award and the Sense of Gender Award   Reona KASHIWAZAKI, Yutaka EBIHARA, Hisayo OGUSHI, Tomoyo KASUYA, Megumi KOBAYASHI, Yasuhiko NISHIZAWA, Natsuko MORI, Mari KOTANI, Kelly LINK, Candas Jane DORSEY, Eileen GUNN
Sat 1600 Is It Really Strange?: New Slipstream Bruce Stterling coined the term Slipstream nearly twenty years ago. Since then a bunch of new writers has written a lot of that kind of unclassifiable strange fiction. But is it a type, or subgenre? One thing is clear now. Many writers in their thirties now prefer to write bizarre and surrealistic stories within our genre. And it happens in Japan, too. Kelly LINK, Patrick NIELSEN HAYDEN, Mark L. VAN NAME, Takashi OGAWA
Sun 1000 Small Press Publishing in the United States, Japan, Europe … Some of the most exciting work in science fiction, fantasy and horror is produced by small presses. What makes a book good? Can small presses save us from degeneration? What challenges in design, production, and marketing do small presses face? Can labors of love make money? Daniel SPECTOR, Bob EGGLETON, Charles ARDAI, John D. BERRY, Kelly LINK

Gavin’s schedule:

Fri 1000 Sprawl Fiction
Participants: Ellen DATLOW, Gavin J. GRANT, Lou ANDERS, Yoshio KOBAYASHI
“Sprawl fiction” was coined to show how new writers, most in their thirties, are trying to expand our genre yet still loving its very core, straight SF. Terms like “new Weird”, “interstitial”, “strange fiction” or “new fabulist” don’t cover the trend fully. It is a natural reflection of our urban society and probably heralds the new stage of our evolution; to the stars. We talk about why the new generation slipstream is not the fusion of literary fiction and SF/F.

Fri 1200 How Healthy is the Short Story
Participants: Ellen DATLOW, Gavin J. GRANT, Joe HALDEMAN, Larry NIVEN
For decades, there has been talk of the death of short fiction in science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Are markets shrinking? Is the quality less than it was thirty years ago?

Fri 1700 Kaffeeklatsche
Participants: Gavin J. GRANT

Sun 1400 The Short Story’s Role in Fantastic Fiction
Participants: Ellen DATLOW, Gavin J. GRANT, Larry NIVEN, Pat CADIGAN
Short fiction rarely gets the attention that novels do by reviewers. It is harder to sell collections and anthologies than novels. The panelists, writers and editors of short fiction discuss their thoughts about the shorter forms (short story, novelette, novella) of fantastic fiction.

Sun 1600 Lost Tribes of Cult Novels
Participants: Elizabeth Anne HULL, Gavin J. GRANT, Yoshio KOBAYASHI
Where have the cult novels gone? They were once legion; “Stranger in a Stranger Land”, “Cat’s Cradle”, “The Lord of the Rings”, “Illuminatus!”, “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues”, “Neuromancer” and “The Wasp Factory” . But what about “Snow Crash” and “Harry Potter”? Why aren’t they cult novels?



Fri 13 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Readercon, Readercon (every three syllable word carries a tint of Washington, Washington). It’s a blast. Unfortunately we are terrible at writing up cons. Oh well.

They added Thursday this year which made it less of a Friday night to Sunday morning (brunch? maybe…) deal. Instead it was a mellow drive into Burlington (where apparently it won’t be next year, yay!—although, that Indian food at the mall next door may be missed) and finding that some peeps were there already.

The Readercon crowd really liked the Interfictions book—enough so that we sold out and pretended to sell chits. Honest, missus, we’ll mail you a copy. Why don’t you give us some of your hard earned Washingtons and we’ll take your name on the back of this chocolate bar wrapper and mail you a copy as soon as we get back to the office. A quick $100 later, we went to the Suffolk Downs and we have funded next spring’s books. Thanks folks!

But what are you really interested in? Karen Joy Fowler is reason enough to travel to a convention. She and Lucius Shepard were the guests of honor. On Friday morning Karen read the first chapter of her newly completed and perhaps-temporarily-titled novel Ice City (sorry chaps: no ISBN or ordering yet but you may have heard it at WisCon) to an enthusiastic crowd which she thought of as a mystery and may not quite be. (Also: ask her sometimes about her strategy for answering those who want her to categorize her books.
Later Karen was on the “Brilliant But Flawed” panel with John Crowley, Kelly, Barry N. Malzberg, and Darrell Schweitzer. Most of the panelists had T.H. White’s The Sword in the Stone in mind but over the hour there were discursions into Crowley’s own books, The Worm Ourobouros, and maybe some newer books.

Adam Golaski’s wife had their first kid during the con so F. Brett Cox sturdily stepped into Adam’s shoes and interviewed Karen on Saturday afternoon. It was an often hilarious hour with Karen’s tales of discovering her idyllic early years in Indiana were actually an exile in hell for her parents; her deal with her husband (she would try writing for one year: she sold her first story another four years later); and just toward the end of the hour her experience of seeing her bestselling novel The Jane Austen Book Club being turned into a movie.

Friday was the easiest day for us to see panels. After that the book room was busier, although we had much help from Jed, Michael, and Emily Cambias (the youngest of the Zygote Games peeps). There was an awful lot that went on that we didn’t see—the mafia made an appearance and so did some people with no pants looking for someone else’s key. Must remember to stay up late at these things, not miss all the fun.

That’s it. Crap, ne?

Next year (July 17-20) they have Jim Kelly and Jonathan Lethem as the guests.  On the website there is an easily accessible list of past guests from 1997 to the present (in other words, the first eight years are probably accessible somewhere, but not without searching . . . 2008 isn’t included because the memorial Guest of Honor wasn’t on the flier):

  • 2007: Lucius Shepard, Karen Joy Fowler; [Angela Carter]
  • 2006: China Miéville, James Morrow; [Jorge Luis Borges]
  • 2005: Joe Haldeman, Kate Wilhelm; [Henry Kuttner, C.L. Moore]
  • 2003: Hal Clement, Rudy Rucker, Howard Waldrop; [R.A. Lafferty]
  • 2002: Octavia E. Butler, Gwyneth Jones; [John Brunner]
  • 2001: David Hartwell, Michael Swanwick; [Clifford D. Simak]
  • 2000: Suzy McKee Charnas, Michael Moorcock; [Mervyn Peake]
  • 1999: Ellen Datlow, Harlan Ellison; [Gerald Kersh]
  • 1998: Lisa Goldstein, Bruce Sterling; [Leigh Brackett]
  • 1997: Algis Budrys, Kim Stanley Robinson; [C.M. Kornbluth]

21 Guests of Honor (14 male, 7 female)
11 Memorial Guests of Honor (8 male, 3 female)
32 total (22 male, 10 female)

Readercon is a great con that’s interested in looking inward at itself as well as outward at the world of literature. There are Readercon favorite authors (John Crowley is definitely one!) and the list only expands by the year. This isn’t an excuse or a call to action or anything. Just noting another asymmetry and wondering if and when and all that.



Fri 13 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Readercon, Readercon (every three syllable word carries a tint of Washington, Washington). It’s a blast. Unfortunately we are terrible at writing up cons. Oh well.

They added Thursday this year which made it less of a Friday night to Sunday morning (brunch? maybe…) deal. Instead it was a mellow drive into Burlington (where apparently it won’t be next year, yay!—although, that Indian food at the mall next door may be missed) and finding that some peeps were there already.

The Readercon crowd really liked the Interfictions book—enough so that we sold out and pretended to sell chits. Honest, missus, we’ll mail you a copy. Why don’t you give us some of your hard earned Washingtons and we’ll take your name on the back of this chocolate bar wrapper and mail you a copy as soon as we get back to the office. A quick $100 later, we went to the Suffolk Downs and we have funded next spring’s books. Thanks folks!

But what are you really interested in? Karen Joy Fowler is reason enough to travel to a convention. She and Lucius Shepard were the guests of honor. On Friday morning Karen read the first chapter of her newly completed and perhaps-temporarily-titled novel Ice City (sorry chaps: no ISBN or ordering yet but you may have heard it at WisCon) to an enthusiastic crowd which she thought of as a mystery and may not quite be. (Also: ask her sometimes about her strategy for answering those who want her to categorize her books.
Later Karen was on the “Brilliant But Flawed” panel with John Crowley, Kelly, Barry N. Malzberg, and Darrell Schweitzer. Most of the panelists had T.H. White’s The Sword in the Stone in mind but over the hour there were discursions into Crowley’s own books, The Worm Ourobouros, and maybe some newer books.

Adam Golaski’s wife had their first kid during the con so F. Brett Cox sturdily stepped into Adam’s shoes and interviewed Karen on Saturday afternoon. It was an often hilarious hour with Karen’s tales of discovering her idyllic early years in Indiana were actually an exile in hell for her parents; her deal with her husband (she would try writing for one year: she sold her first story another four years later); and just toward the end of the hour her experience of seeing her bestselling novel The Jane Austen Book Club being turned into a movie.

Friday was the easiest day for us to see panels. After that the book room was busier, although we had much help from Jed, Michael, and Emily Cambias (the youngest of the Zygote Games peeps). There was an awful lot that went on that we didn’t see—the mafia made an appearance and so did some people with no pants looking for someone else’s key. Must remember to stay up late at these things, not miss all the fun.

That’s it. Crap, ne?

Next year (July 17-20) they have Jim Kelly and Jonathan Lethem as the guests.  On the website there is an easily accessible list of past guests from 1997 to the present (in other words, the first eight years are probably accessible somewhere, but not without searching . . . 2008 isn’t included because the memorial Guest of Honor wasn’t on the flier):

  • 2007: Lucius Shepard, Karen Joy Fowler; [Angela Carter]
  • 2006: China Miéville, James Morrow; [Jorge Luis Borges]
  • 2005: Joe Haldeman, Kate Wilhelm; [Henry Kuttner, C.L. Moore]
  • 2003: Hal Clement, Rudy Rucker, Howard Waldrop; [R.A. Lafferty]
  • 2002: Octavia E. Butler, Gwyneth Jones; [John Brunner]
  • 2001: David Hartwell, Michael Swanwick; [Clifford D. Simak]
  • 2000: Suzy McKee Charnas, Michael Moorcock; [Mervyn Peake]
  • 1999: Ellen Datlow, Harlan Ellison; [Gerald Kersh]
  • 1998: Lisa Goldstein, Bruce Sterling; [Leigh Brackett]
  • 1997: Algis Budrys, Kim Stanley Robinson; [C.M. Kornbluth]

21 Guests of Honor (14 male, 7 female)
11 Memorial Guests of Honor (8 male, 3 female)
32 total (22 male, 10 female)

Readercon is a great con that’s interested in looking inward at itself as well as outward at the world of literature. There are Readercon favorite authors (John Crowley is definitely one!) and the list only expands by the year. This isn’t an excuse or a call to action or anything. Just noting another asymmetry and wondering if and when and all that.



Readercon

Thu 5 Jul 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We’re off to Readercon where Karen Joy Fowler and Lucius Shepard are the guests of honor and there are tons of smart people coming to talk about smart things. And then there is us! We will be in the bookshop (stop by and say hello to us and various interns and interested third parties) and on a panel or two. Although Gavin may miss his Future SF Scenarios to see Towards a Promiscuous Theory of Story Structure with John Clute, John Crowley, James Morrow, Sarah Smith, Eric M. Van (L). Because, who wouldn’t?

There are tons of good things about the weekend—not including the hotel restaurant, but there is a mall next door with a food court. Wooee.

Laurie J. Marks is reading and on a couple of interesting panels including Other Points of View with David Louis Edelman, Laurie J. Marks (L), Maureen McHugh, Wen Spencer, Peter Watts.

Theodora Goss will fly the interstitial flag high-ish at The Slipstream / Fabulation / Magic Realism Canon with F. Brett Cox (L), Paul Di Filippo, Ron Drummond, Theodora Goss, John Kessel, Victoria McManus, Graham Sleight, Catherynne M. Valente.

Maureen McHugh (she of the hilarious New Novel Chart) is making the trip up from Austin (where Howard is dog sitting, blogs are weird and wonderful).

Also, all this week John Crowley’s Aegypt series has been getting the full retrospective treatment from the NYTimes, oh, wait, Strange Horizons:

Feature Week: John Crowley’s Ægypt

The fourth book of Ægypt: Endless Things by John Crowley

John Clute:
Endless Things comprises, in part, a release into stillness, an ontological black hole from which other stories of the world cannot escape, or are disinclined to; a spiral which becomes a circle in the end; a holy emptiness vaster than pleroma, where the utter still centre of the world utters all.

The third book of Ægypt: Dæmonomania by John Crowley

Paul Kincaid: Dæmonomania should represent the point in the sequence where the creation has become too big, so that it starts to slip out of the author’s sure grasp. In fact I think it is where Crowley reasserts his grip on the story after the (relative) slippage of Love & Sleep. But it is also where he breaks the pattern of Ægypt.

The second book of Ægypt: Love & Sleep by John Crowley

Graham Sleight: The story of the first three volumes of John Crowley’s Ægypt sequence is, broadly, the story of his protagonists getting what they want and finding they can’t stand it. The first volume, Ægypt, is the story of the main characters wishing; Love & Sleep is the story of them getting.

The first book of Ægypt: The Solitudes by John Crowley

Abigail Nussbaum: The Solitudes presents the reviewer with an unusual challenge. How to review the novel as an independent entity—and thus avoid stepping on my fellow reviewers’ toes—when it is so clearly and overwhelmingly part of a whole? More importantly, how to review Ægypt the novel when the experience of reading Ægypt the series so completely and irrevocably colors and alters one’s reactions to it?



ALA

Tue 26 Jun 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Back from the ALA conference in DC which was great. (Also: Ah, Amtrak.)

Librarians are so damned engaged and passionate. They go to this huge shindig not only for the free books and parties, but also for the panels — which were quite formal in their set up and fascinating to see.

  • Red Spikes CoverIt was pointed out by star librarian David Wright that not a ton of libraries have subscriptions to The Believer, McSweeney’s, or indeed many new lit mags. We popped over to the McSweeney‘s/Bomb table soon afterward and there were librarians queueing up to subscribe. Thought = action, baby. (In a sentence that will only make sense to librarians and a few others, LCRW is available through SWETS, by the way.)
  • Exciting books spotted: an appropriately Huge stack of ARCs of Margo Lanagan’s collection, Red Spikes, which just gets better and better the more its read.
  • Other books of interest: The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy given to us by someone lovely at the New York Review of Books. (Everyone we have met from there has been lovely, not a coincedence, methinks.) Looks like a great summer read, a fun thing about two young women pottering around Europe in the ’50s. Should go great with a glass of Monkey Bay.
  • Also got a copy of Derrick Jensen’s Thought to Exist in the Wild: Awakening from the Nightmare of Zoos which is full of black and white pictures and thoughtful text and which will be on our gift list to a couple of people
  • Thought to Exist in the Wild: Awakening from the Nightmare of Zoos CoverIf anyone would like to send us all the NYRB books, that too would be lovely.
  • Should you be wandering a book convention and not able to find any good books go find Theo Black and he will lead you.
  • Completely missed (due to not reading the program book, doh!) Scalzi and the VanderMeers and the whole sci-fi contingent.
  • Program book and exhibit book were in fact 2 separate heavy things. Hmm.
  • Stayed at the Watergate Inn and took spy photos. Was too lazy to carry the camera otherwise.
  • DC in June was more like DC in September so we had beautiful walks across the city with friends. (Now we are back in Northampton and someone has draped a hot, wet towel across the whole town, yuck.)
  • Baltimore Library has a great zine library. No, didn’t get there but did meet Miriam DesHarnias and Google says it’s true. They have a great handout for new zine librarians.
  • Witnessed the glory of the book cart drill teams. The Texans won again and we concurred that those librarians knew how to drill with carts.
  • Exotic BirdsChronicle Books have an absolutely great giveaway to go with their book on Florence Broadhurst. If you win this print you must lend it to us. Or at least send us an email syaing, Ha ha!
  • Abby Bass (from awesome Seattle bookshop Bailey/Coy) was one of many librarians who stopped and said hello. Since we are newish to the world of librarian events we are most happy when people lead us around. For which: thank you!

Surely there was more? Yes. But that’s more than enough for today.



    Wed 30 May 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

    Back! Unspeakably awesome. Booked next year. 19 hour drive home. Unspeakably awesome. Next year you should drive back with us.
    Busy! BEA tomorrow. (Liz Hand reading and signing, we’re at booth 2431 in the Consortium aisle.)

    Next: Monday is the pub date for Water Logic.

    Ack!



    Wed 30 May 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

    Back! Unspeakably awesome. Booked next year. 19 hour drive home. Unspeakably awesome. Next year you should drive back with us.
    Busy! BEA tomorrow. (Liz Hand reading and signing, we’re at booth 2431 in the Consortium aisle.)

    Next: Monday is the pub date for Water Logic.

    Ack!



    Sweet Georgia

    Tue 27 Feb 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

    is where we are headed — to Atlanta* for the AWP conference. We have our fingers crossed that the first copies of Delia Sherman and Theodora Goss’s Interstitial Arts Foundation anthology Interfictions will arrive and be available for reviewers.
    We’ll have a table at the Bookfair (split with jubilat) and Kelly will be on a couple of panels:

    Friday, 10.30 AM, North Court East, 2nd Floor

    F129. Fairy Tales and Contemporary Fiction.
    (Judy Budnitz, Kathryn Davis, Rikki Ducornet, Kelly Link, Kate Bernheimer, Stacey Levine) Distinguished writers discuss the influence of fairy tales in their work, and read from selected writings. This gathering seeks to reveal how the traditional form of fairy tales inspires innovative contemporary writing.

    Saturday, 9 AM, Ballroom A, 2nd Floor

    S103. From the MFA to the Editor’s Desk: MFA graduates talk about careers in publishing and editing.
    (Jim Clark, Kelly Link, Leigh Anne Couch, Matt O’Donnell, Renee Soto, Allison Seay) In this panel, editors from five different publishing arenas will talk about the editorial opportunities and challenges available to creative writers. The panelists will also consider how being an editor has added to and taken away from their lives as writers and how their lives as writers influence their decisions as editors. Introductions by Allison Seay.

    Another conference note: WisCon says that they are nearing their 1,000 membership cap so if you are tempted to go, now is the time. Kelly Link and Laurie J. Marks (whose flabbergastingly good novel Water Logic we will publish in June) are the Guests of Honor and Madison is a great place to spend a sunny weekend with 999 other smart, feminist science fictioneers.

    * In the future, after the seas rise, Atlanta will be known (once again) as Atlantis.



    Dec. 2-3, NYC

    Mon 27 Nov 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

    We will be here:

    The Independent and Small Press Book Fair, Saturday, December 2nd (10-6 PM) and Sunday, December 3rd (11-5 PM), at the Small Press Center, at 20 West 44th street, between 5th and 6th Avenues in midtown Manhattan. ([email protected] · 212.764.7021)

    With over one hundred of the nation’s top indie presses, and over 28 free public programs featuring some of New York’s top political and avant-garde literary writers, the Independent and Small Press Book Fair is one of the most groundbreaking independent publishing events of the year.

    This year’s Fair will be featuring some of the countries’ most cutting-edge presses, including: Akashic Books, AK Press, Allworth Press, Archipelago, Coffee House Press, Contemporary Press, Disinformation, The Feminist Press, Gingko Press, Haymarket Books, Ig Publishing, McPherson & Company, Melville House Press, Nation Books, The New Press, Ocean Press, PEN American, Persea Books, Seven Stories Press, Seven Locks Press, Small Beer Press, Soft Skull Press, The Smith and many, many more.

    Some of the authors being featured at this year’s Fair include: Dore Ashton, Amiri Baraka, Jen Benka, Jennifer Baumgardner, Phong Bui, Colin Channer, T. Cooper, Michael Cunningham, Luis Francia, Steve Freeman, Matthea Harvey, Elizabeth Holtzman, Emily Jenkins, Caren Lissner, Lauren Baratz-Logsted, Jaime Manrique, Joe Meno, Jonas Mekas, Mark Crispin Miller, Eileen Myles, Greg Palast, Ed Park, Rachel Pine, Peter Plate, Katha Pollitt, Paul Robeson, Jr., Eyal Press, Dan Simon, Martha Southgate, David Levi Strauss, Monique Truong, Anne Waldman, Nation Books, PEN American, and much more…

    Also, to help kick off this very exciting event, the Independent and Small Press Book Fair, in conjunction with Akashic Books & Seven Stories Press, will be hosting a Pre-Book-Fair Fiesta, on Friday, December 1st, from 8-11 p.m., at KGB Bar, on 85 E. 4th Street, at 2nd Ave in the East Village. Please come and join us for a round of drinks to celebrate Independent Publishing and the writers who publish with them!!! Please note that as a preliminary to the party, acclaimed authors Joe Meno and Peter Plate will be reading at Barnes & Noble Astor Place, at 7p.m.



    Harlan Ellison: eejit

    Mon 28 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

    This can’t go on.

    Gwenda points to

    the chatter that Harlan Ellison groped Connie Willis (scroll to 3) — sans permission, natch, as the verb groping more or less implies — on stage during the Hugos.

    Why was there no groping in Glasgow? Kim Newman and Paul McAuley would have been far less disturbing (and funnier), I’m sure.

    But seriously, I think this news is going to remind a lot of us of a certain ICFA banquet gone terribly wrong. It must stop.

    Worldcon: sorry, the eejit has put you on the spot and a public statement is needed.
    What’s up with these dirty old men? They’re taking all the fun out of being in the genre and not inspiring anyone with anything but horror and the urge to vomit and throw out their books.
    No matter how Connie Willis feels (bemused? horrified?), Ellison needs to be censured. And/or, of course, never again invited to any public event where there are women.


    home

    Thu 17 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

    Home-ish. Sort of. Back in the office after a trip to Minneapolis and NYC. Photos may appear if the downloading thingy can be worked. (Unlikely anytime soon. If you would like to hold your breath until this happens, feel free. If you would like to come over and download the things: Away! To speak to a human customer service agent, please press Control-Alt(or Apple)-Delete on your keyboard.)

    It had been a while since we’d been to DreamHaven Books — wow. And woe-is-me because it is so far away. Happily they send is their monthly catalog but being there is an inspiring experience. So many good books to read! (And they have copies of zines like Say… and JPPN.) Kelly read there (with Bryan, see next) on Thursday night to a standing room only crowd. We also managed to get to Wild Rumpus (a bookshop with chickens), the Wedge (a huuuge coop: local, baby, local!), and some good eateries, as well as visit the Diane Arbus exhibit at the Walker and meet the Rain Taxiers….
    Diversicon is a lovely convention — readers and writers (in the Midwest especially) should go if possible. It’s sort of in the same headspace as WisCon, smaller, but smart people talking about interesting things. Bryan Thao Worra, the Special Guest, is a suave, smart poet (download a pdf chapbook, Monstro) and activist whose writing is as funny as he is. He gave a great presentation on mysterious places in Laos (so says Alan — we saw the preview). Books were sold (yay!), the Mall of America was avoided (uh huh!), and a couple of trips into the Twin Cities were made. The hotel, a Holiday Inn Select (selected for oddness?) was just weird — hear that hoteliers? we will seek revenge! Petty revenge, at that. Reservation? Nope. Uh. Help? Maybe. Buggers. Fortunately the con folks had all the info at their fingertips (even when woken after midnight (sorry Rick!) — it really did take the hotel a while to get us in a room). Who cares?

    Elizabeth Bear and Bill Shunn read at KGB, fantastic fiction was read, fantastic food at Grand Sichaun was had, and loud music was sung along to on the way home.

    Let’s see: Beginning. yes, did that. Middle? Sort of. End? Uh, no. Maybe next time.



    Off to Diversicon

    Tue 8 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

    Doesn’t Diversicon have a nice musical tone to it? Di-versy-chorus-versy-con. Say hi if you’re there (that would be in Minneapolis). Kelly will be reading at DreamHaven early Thursday evening, then off to the convention the next day with Goblinmercantileexchange and 32degrees. Or Kristin and Alan.



    BEA

    Mon 22 May 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

    Book Expo — the annual trade show of the sliced wood imprinted with colored marks — is out of the way for another year. This time Small Beer did not have a booth (rather our distro, SCB, displayed some of our books and stacked up freebies of our catalog, the paperback edition of Mothers & Other Monsters, and Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead. One of the fun things of the show was Alan’s reading guide and drinking game which can be downloaded here: (PDF warning) The Cabana on the Lake of the Dead. Alan signed a ton of copies of his book and carried boxes of them all across our great taxed-but-not-represented capital city. Thanks, Alan!

    There were awesome parties (PGW [w/ the Brazilian Girls], Consortium, SCB[!] and others at Madam’s Organ, maybe the one below), a good time was had by most, galleys were picked up, and food was gathered more sparingly than dietitians recommend.

    Books at the top of the stack include:

    There are tons more but now it is time to empty the suitcases into the washing machine (mustn’t mix up the galley-filled suitcase with the smoke reeking post-party clothes) and get ready to git on the road to WisCon.



    AWP

    Mon 13 Mar 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

    AWP, Austin, Texas: Well, you had to be there. Wait, too annoying? Ok. It was a blast. We will probably go back to AWP next year in Atlanta, Georgia. If you want to put together a panel, email us. The proposals have to be in by May 1.

    Food in Austin is fan-foodie-tastic. Breakfasts at the must-go-back-to Las Manitas Avenue Cafe — where some newspaper piece warned of the possibility of running into Karl Rove. And me not exercising my right to bear arms (very necessary if any Friend of Cheney is around). Was that tipping the free speech card a little early? Back to food. Manuel’s has great margaritas (and wandering Iowa poets) which made waiting around survivable then the little bit fancy good Mexican food (and actually spicy salsa) was verrry welcome.

    Reading at Book People seemed to go well — 6 readers and it didn’t run over long. Phew. Book People started off as “Grok Books” — how funny is that? Huge store, tons of great books, so much space for all the good books (and huge shelves of staff picks) that they have tons of, uh, junk? Or sidelines, you pick. Being we were overstuffed with books and lit mags and so on, we bought books, cards and a Keep Austin Weird T-shirt — which kind of campaign you might want to get behind if you likes your local town stuff before it all becomes McWal-Margeted. The reading was put together by Omnidawn, who successfully launched their new short fiction anthology Paraspheres. [Between that and the upcoming Firebirds Rising anthology that’s the start of a pretty good year for spec. fic. short stories.] Tons of new fiction and some fave stories from Kim Stanley Robinson and Alasdair Gray.

    Did it suck that SXSW was starting as we were leaving? Yes. But we wouldn’t have had a place to stay or tix to see anything. Before we left we had breakfast with Howard Waldrop and Martha Grenon at Guero’s (another great breakfast, oy!). Will need to add her site which has many excellent pix from Kosovo and Albania. In the meantime there’s this book site.

    On our second try, we saw the bats!

    One flying thing: if you can avoid United Airlines: do. Good lord. Fortunately there was plenty to read while waiting including the Backwards City Review and the Doris anthology.



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