Travelling back to 1975

Thu 5 Nov 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Or, at least, the WFC in Saratoga Springs this weekend. (It’s not the town, it’s just some of the panels.) We’ll be in the Dealers’ Room with a tower of books so high you can see the present from the top. We have deals! Come on by! (Ok, if you’re not there are are in the US and want the same deals, Send Money by Paypal and you’re on.)

Also on the plan for the weekend: swim (maybe not in the Springs . . . ), visit the new Northshire Books, visit the kids museum, visit the bar, visit the bar, you know how it it. We are also transporting secret whiskey for someone who is not us, very exciting. Say hi if you’re there! I’m the one arguing with the 6-year-old while Jedediah Berry and Emily Houk of Ninepin Press sell our books and their cards!



Archivist at KGB

Tue 19 May 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Archivist Wasp cover Nicole Kornher-Stace will be in New York City Tomorrow night to read from Archivist Wasp and generally celebrate at the excellent KGB Fantastic Fiction Reading Series. Wesley Chu is also reading.

And then later this week (really? eek!) Nicole will be off to WisCon to do panels and a reading (Sat. 1 pm!) and enjoy the fab city of Madison for the weekend. We’re hosting an Archivist Wasp celebration on Friday night somewhere on the party floor of the Concourse Hotel where we will have food of the damned, drinks from the underworld, or at least some local beer. Hope to see you there!

We haven’t been at WisCon for years and I’m very much looking forward to some of the things I know and love (political discourse! people talking about books, books, books! the Tiptree Bake Sale! the farmer’s market, the dealers room, the restaurants on State St.) and then the things I don’t: how it has changed!

Anyway, wherever you are, you can start reading Archivist Wasp here on Tor.com and be ready for what NPR called:

“a jarring yet satisfying reveal, one that fully justifies the obscuring of truth and arrangement of clues that leads up to it. It’s also modestly, quietly profound. “We bring our own monsters with us” is a refrain in the book, and as pat as that statement sounds, it’s not used glibly. With understated skill, Archivist Wasp twists myth, fantasy and science fiction into a resonant tale of erasure and absence — and an aching reminder that regaining what has been lost isn’t always the answer.”



SBP @ WFC 2014

Wed 29 Oct 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

What’s going on? Too much to say! We have tables (and, hopefully, you know, books for sale on those tables) in the dealer room, and many, many Small Beer authors will be there including (although to paraphrase what The New Yorker always says at the start of their gig listing: authors live complicated lives and sometimes plans don’t work out):

Nathan Ballingrud, Ted Chiang, Andy Duncan, Jeffrey Ford, Eileen Gunn, Kathleen Jennings (all the way from Australia, wooee!), Kij Johnson, Nancy Kress, Ellen Kushner, Kelly Link, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Delia Sherman, Sofia Samatar, Ysabeau S. Wilce.

Here’s some of what I saw on the program list the other week. If you’re going, drop by and say hi!

Thursday

E. Nesbit and Her Influence
Time:  4 p.m.-5 p.m., Thursday,  Regency F
Panelists:  Benjamin Rosenbaum (M), Ginjer Buchanan, Robert Knowlton, S. T. Joshi
Description:  E. Nesbit published over forty children’s books, from the beloved The Railway Children to The Stories of the Treasure Seekers and Five Children and It. She also had a darker side, as seen in Something Wrong and Tales told in Twilight, collections of horror stories for adults. A writer of many sides, Nesbit had an influence on many writers, including C.S. Lewis, Michael Moorcock, and J.K. Rowling. The panel will discuss her work and why it continues to have an impact today.

Friday

Derived Myths: Making it Original
Time:  10 a.m.-11 a.m., Friday,  Regency F
Panelists:  Sandra Kasturi, Nick DiCharo (M), S. P. Hendricks, Ellen Kushner, Melissa Marr
Description:  There is no denying that the influence of various mythologies on fantasy, which have been inspiration for Lord Dunsay, Elizabeth Hand, Barry Hughart and many more. With a wealth of examples, the panel will discuss when the myth inspiration is the center of the work to when it has lead to a whole new mythos.

Language and Linguistics in Fantasy
Time:  10 a.m.-11 a.m., Friday,  Regency E
Panelists:  Lawrence M. Schoen (M), C.D. Covington, Matthew Johnson, Sofia Samatar
Description:  Foreign languages are often used in fantasy literature to add atmosphere, to show cultural backgrounds, and to bring a richness to the world, as can be seen in Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange and Richard Adams Watership Down. Some works rely on real languages. Others, such as Tolkien, have invented entire tongues of their own. Which stories incorporate other languages successfully, and where have authors stumbled, making too much of the work incomprehensible to the reader?

Reading: Nathan Ballingrud
Time: 10am-10:30am, Nov. 7, Fairfax

Adoption and Fostering in Fantasy
Time:  12 p.m.-1 p.m., Friday,  Regency F
Panelists:  Susan Dexter (M), Tina Connolly, Delia Sherman, Edward Willett
Description:  Adoption or fostering is often used in fantasy and horror literature, from Oedipus to Jon Snow, from young Wart helping in the kitchens before that fateful day when he pulled a sword out of a stone in Londontown, to the most famous orphan of them all, Harry Potter. Dozens of fantasies feature young orphans who do not know their parentage, from Richard in Wizard’s First Rule, to Will from the Ranger’s Apprentice series, who is a ward of the state, to even Frodo, who was an orphan, albeit an older one, at the beginning of his adventures. There is even one beloved character, Taren from the Prydain Chronicles, who never learns his parentage, and this mystery itself proves to be his key to assuming the kingship. How does adoption, bastardy, mixed parentage, long-lost relatives all contribute to epic quests for self-knowledge in literature?

Beyond Rebellion in Young Adult Fantasy
Time:  2 p.m.-3 p.m., Friday,  Regency F
Panelists:  Ysabeau Wilce (M), Gail Carriger, Sarah Beth Durst,
Description:  We all know the story of teen disaffection and rebellion, but there are plenty of Young Adult fantasies that maintain strong family ties, with rational adult role models, such as L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, Stephen Gould’s Impulse, or even Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games. A look at books that don’t always have the hero with an unhappy home, discussion why this can also make an intriguing story.

Reading: Jeffrey Ford
Time: 5pm-5:30pm, Nov. 7, Arlington

Saturday

Fantasy Artists That Take Up the Pen
Time:  11 a.m.-12 p.m., Saturday,  Tidewater 2
Panelists:  Charles Vess (M), Kathleen Jennings, Greg Manchess, Ruth Sanderson
Description:  There are authors who are know for doing artwork, such as Beatrix Potter, Rudyard Kipling and Neil Gaiman, so it should be no surprise that artists can also be drawn to writing. The panel will discuss the impact of being both artist and writer and how these two creative forms interact.

Reading: Andy Duncan
Time: 11am-11:30am, Nov. 8, Fairfax

Reading: Kelly Link
Time: 11:30am-12pm, Nov. 8, Fairfax

Historical People in Fantasy
Time:  1 p.m.-2 p.m., Saturday,  Tidewater 2
Panelists:  Eileen Gunn (M), David B. Coe, Jack Dann, Jean Marie Ward, Rick Wilber
Description:  When using Samuel Adams, Joseph Warren, or perhaps on of the most used names, Nikola Tesla and other real people as characters in fiction, what liberties can an author take and what holes do they have to fill? How close to the real Jack Kerouac does Nick Mamatas get in Move Under Ground? What do creators owe to history, especially if the players are in a new world as in Philip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld series. The panel will discuss where historical truth meets literary license.

Lafferty as an American Fantasist
Time:  2 p.m.-3 p.m., Saturday,  Tidewater 2
Panelists:  Andy Duncan (M), Carrie Cuinn, Andrew Ferguson, Gordon Van Gelder, Don Pizarro, Cat Rambo
Description:  R. A. Lafferty was known for his original use of language and metaphor. Drawing on storytelling traditions of the Irish and Native Americans, but with his own twists, as in The Devil is Dead and The Flame is Green. The panel will explore how Lafferty used American history, American landscapes, and American folklore/mythology in his work.

Reading: Nicole Kornher-Stace
Time: 2:30pm-3pm, Nov. 8, Fairfax

Sunday

Young, Middle-Aged, and Older Writers
Time:  11 a.m.-12 p.m., Sunday,  Washington
Panelists:  Catherine Montrose (M), Nancy Kress, Kevin Maroney, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Description:  Some writers’ best work is the first thing they ever published. Others, like George R. R. Martin, get better with age. Others, such as Terry Pratchett, have maintained their quality over a span of decades. How does the age and/or generation of the writer affect the story? Also, does the age at which authors began to write matter? The bestselling Eragon was published by a young man of not yet twenty, while Tolkien did not get his first work published until he was forty-five. How does getting older affect an author’s work? How do they feel about their earlier works when they look back? Have our opinions, as readers, changed on this subject over time?

 



Brattleboro, here we come!

Thu 16 Oct 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

San Francisco, so lucky to have not one but at least FIVE Burmese restaurants. That shows there are a lot of smart people in that city because the food is fab. If, like me, there are no Burmese restaurants near you, please hie yourself to Yoma Boston’s site and order some tea salad. Yumtastic.

Why am I chuntering on about San Francisco? Because Ayize Jama-Everett (great news about him coming before the end of the month!) is taking part in the ongoing LitQuake celebration of books, readers, and writers and it looks Don’t-Miss-Fascinating.

We also just added a new Monstrous Affections reading with me, Kelly, and M. T. Anderson — and possibly more special guests To Be Announced. So here’s an update on what’s happening in the next couple of weeks:

NEW: Ayize Jama-Everett (The Liminal People)
We Are Mystic Detectives About to Make an Arrest: A Night of Afrosurreal Expression, 10/18, 7:15 pm
LitQuake, Aldea Home, 890 Valencia St. San Francisco, CA

M. T. Anderson, Sarah Rees Brennan, Joshua Lewis, Kelly Link, Gavin J Grant (Monstrous Affections), 10/22, 7 pm
Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

NEW LOCATION: Ysabeau S. Wilce (Prophecies, Libels, and Dreams) & Garth Nix (Clariel), 10/25
SF in SF, The Women’s Building, Audre Lourde Room, 2nd Floor, 3543 18th Street, one block up from Valencia, San Francisco, CA 94110

Sarah Rees Brennan, Alice Sola Kim, Joshua Lewis, G. Carl Purcell, Kathleen Jennings, Kelly Link, Gavin J. Grant (Monstrous Affections), 10/28, 7 pm
McNally Jackson, NYC

NEW: M. T. Anderson, Kelly Link, Gavin J. Grant (Monstrous Affections), 11/1, 4 pm
Mystery on Main Street, Brattleboro, VT

NEW: And! Many authors we have published will be at the rapidly approaching World Fantasy Convention. We’ll have tables in the dealer room and will have excellent books by: Nathan Ballingrud, Ted Chiang, Andy Duncan*, Jeffrey Ford*, Eileen Gunn, Kathleen Jennings, Kij Johnson, Nancy Kress, Ellen Kushner, Kelly Link, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Delia Sherman, Sofia Samatar, Ysabeau S. Wilce, and maybe even more, who knows!
World Fantasy Convention, Washington DC/Arlington, VA
* Forthcoming



AWP

Sun 10 Mar 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

UntitledI never managed to catch up with all the people I hoped to, I enjoyed the bookfair so much I didn’t see any panels, I didn’t manage to arrive on time 2 out of 3 mornings, but besides all that, AWP was, somewhat unexpectedly, a ton of fun! We have a pile of new books from a few quick trips around the fair—including a new subscription to Tin House and more poetry than I’ve gotten in ages. It was invigorating to spend three days with 13,000(!) people who care deeply in one way or another about words on pages. (Not as much chat about ebooks as expected, none about the possible horrors of the used ebook market, yay!)

Tin HouseWe stayed with friends (to whom we are very grateful!) and Kelly’s mom looked after Ursula (and brought her in on Saturday when the fair was open to everyone) which made the whole thing much more relaxed.

Friday there was a snowstorm so I was late. On Saturday morning smoke started coming out of the ceiling of the T at Fenway. “Driver, there’s smoke in here,” someone shouted. Doors opened: we all trooped out. Looked like a long wait, walked in.

Our neighbors in the fair were the very lively H_ngm_n Books on one side and our real-life near neighbors, the excellent Perugia Press. I am very happy to say that somewhere in that 13,000 people there is a contingent who read books from H_ngm_n, Small Beer, and Perugia.

We talked to hundreds of people and I owe apologies to some people for the times when I could not stop my anti-Am*zon invective: sorry. (They really do want to put everyone else out of business and all the fun out of life. Ya boo sucks to them.)

We sold out of LCRW on the second day: awesome! Wish I had brought more but it was—again—invigorating to meet so many readers.

Malarky, indeed.I can’t even begin to list the excellent people I met. Wait, I can. People from: Paris Press, One Story, Milkweed, McNally Jackson, Porter Square Books, Coffee House (got a copy of Raymond McDaniel’s new superhero-themed poetry collection(!) Special Powers and Abilities and Geronimo Johnson’s excellent sounding New Orleans novel, Hold It ‘Til It Hurtswhich is one of two Coffee House titles, the other being Laird Hunt’s Kind One, up for the Pen/Faulkner Award!), Shape & Nature, Eleven Eleven, Unstuck, Biblioasis, oh, wait, no I can’t list everyone. Sore hands and: Lists = I will miss people, sorry friends! And! We just added Puerto del Sol over on Weightless so while I met tons of people from New Mexico State U., I am kicking myself for missing the Puerto del Sol table. Argh, mea culpa. Didn’t take photos. Argh x 2.

A few of the goodiesIt turns out tons of our books are being taught in schools around the country, including Karen Joy Fowler’s What I Didn’t See and Other Stories, Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud’s A Life on Paper, Ted Chiang’sStories of Your Life and Othersand others including pretty much all of Kelly’s books. For which I say to all those teachers: it was awesome and heartening to hear that you are reading and teaching and studying these books. Thank you!

And that’s it. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hi. Hope you got home ok and that you too went home with some books you’re looking forward to reading.



That AWP thing

Mon 4 Mar 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Hey, Thursday through Saturday of this week we will be participating in the annual literary scrum commonly known as AWP. This year it’s in Boston where the weather should be a comfy 40 degrees (or 5 centigrade) with maybe rain and snow TK. Yay! Bring your boots!

Before I forget: on Saturday the book fair is OPEN TO EVERYONE! Come on by! It’s in Exhibit Halls A, B, & D,  Plaza & Level 2. Phew.

We haven’t been to AWP since 2009 and it will be awesome and overwhelming to catch up with everyone and see  all the new flashy things that people are up to. Woohoo! Kelly is teaching at UMass Amherst on Wednesday afternoon, so we drive to Boston in the evening—already missing out on the early parties! Oh well. Thursday or Friday early in the evening she is part of a UNCG alumni reading somewhere in Cambridge (details TK). Other than that, not sure how many things we’ll be doing. Would love to see Seamus Heaney and Derek Walcott in conversation . . . But there may have to be strategic withdrawals as we are old, and, of course, parents!

The best thing about the whole bedazzling thing: it’s being held at the Hynes Convention Center. Ok, that’s not soooo fab, but it is within a quick T/bus/taxi/car ride to Yoma Burmese restaurant and Pho Saigon (both in Allston), the latter of which is in the Super 88 Hong Kong Supermarket food court  and they have the best banh mi sandwichs. Otherwise, sure there are plenty of restaurants around the convention center. The worst thing: the Other Side Cafe closed last year. Oh I am so sad.

Anyway, the conference is expected to be brutal. Woohoo! We will be at table L26 in the book fair—no doubt behind a pillar, under the a/c, so far from where it’s all happening, man, that when we look around we are actually in New Hampshire. But, hey, we will have books on sale! Or, books for sale at discount prices? Something like that. Also, we like trades, so bring them on!

Kelly is on one panel at 9 am on Thursday morning with two local-to-us writers, John Crowley and Jane Yolen, one used-to-be-local writer, Kate Bernheimer, and one new-to-me writer, Anjali Sachdeva:

Room 107, Plaza Level

R108. Modern Fairy Tales and Retellings. (Anjali Sachdeva, John Crowley, Jane Yolen, Kelly Link, Kate Bernheimer) Many of us grew up reading the same stories our grandparents read when they were children. But contemporary writers are also creating their own fairy tales or crafting surprising variations on traditional stories, for both children and adults. In this panel, authors who have written modern retellings of old tales will discuss the need for fables in modern society and the literary marketplace, as well as the writing process they use to go beyond archetype and tradition to create new tales.

(Here’s the schedule. Note, that’s just Thursday. AWP is a just little huge.)



Here we go to Readercon & Clarion West

Tue 10 Jul 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

ReaderconThis coming weekend we (me, Kelly, and our daughter, Ursula) will be at Readercon. I am on a panel on Oblique Strategies. Help! Kelly is on some panels, too, see below. Since we are leaving on Saturday morning for Clarion West (Writer Boot Camp ahoy! We do a reading on Tuesday night in Seattle!) even though the program sched says Kelly will be at the Shirley Jackson Awards, she won’t. And, Jedediah Berry has stepped up to man the Small Beer table. Phew! And Vincent McCaffrey (author of the Hound series) is on a panel about political fiction, Delia Sherman can be found on “When Non-Fantastic Genres Interrogate Themselves,” Greer Gilman is on “Mapping the Parallels,” and so on and on!

The bad news is that the con dropped us from two tables down to one, which means we can’t take as many titles from other publishers to sell: boo! That’s how we got our start with LCRW—people such as Mike Walsh (Old Earth Books) and Greg Ketter (DreamHaven, a real bookstore, how exciting that was!) sold the zine and then our chapbooks off their table, encouraging us to keep going back to the conventions and eventually it all snowballed into BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS! (It is a slippery slide!)

See you in Boston or Seattle!

Thursday

8:00 PM   G   Genrecare. Elizabeth Bear (leader), Kathleen Ann Goonan, Kelly Link, Shira Lipkin. In a 2011 review of Harmony by Project Itoh, Adam Roberts suggests that “the concept of ‘healthcare’ in its broadest sense is one of the keys to the modern psyche.” Yet Roberts notes “how poorly genre has tuned in to that particular aspect of contemporary life.” Similarly, in the essay “No Cure for the Future,” Kirk Hampton and Carol MacKay write that “SF is a world almost never concerned with the issues of physical frailty and malfunction.” As writers such as Nalo Hopkinson, Tricia Sullivan, and Kim Stanley Robinson explore the future of the body, how is SF dealing with the concepts of health, medicine, and what it means to be well?

Friday

4:00 PM   ME   Oblique Strategies for Authors. Marilyn “Mattie” Brahen, Gavin J. Grant, Glenn Grant (leader), Katherine MacLean, Eric M. Van, Jo Walton. In 1975 Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt published a deck of cards called “Oblique Strategies.” Each card provides a cryptic directive—such as “Use an old idea” or “Honour thy error as a hidden intention”—intended to help an artist deal with a creative block or dilemma. While many of the original strategies are useful for writers of fiction, others (such as “The tape is now the music”) are perhaps only appropriate for musicians and visual artists. Let’s brainstorm a deck of Oblique Strategies specifically designed to provide unexpected creative kicks for authors who are in a jam.
Proposed by Glenn Grant.



Book Fests! Brooklyn

Thu 15 Sep 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Tonight Kelly is in Brooklyn to read at the powerHouse Arena Tin House/Electric Literature party—her Steampunk! story, “The Summer People,” also appears in the new Ecstatic issue of Tin House,

Then on Sunday, Sept. 18, we will be at the Brooklyn Book Fest where we will be at table #124 and both Kelly and I have panels. Come on by and say hi! Don’t quite know if we will have the secret t-shirts we had at Readercon (maybe at some point they’ll be on sale here . . . ) or LCRW mugs but we have the new ish of LCRW, and books, books, glorious books!

12:00 P.M. Crashing Genres. Join authors whose work defies classification: crashing the genre borders of sci-fi / fantasy and the supernatural. Cory Doctorow (For The Win and NYT best-selling Little Brother), has won the Locus and Sunburst Awards, Kelly Link, author of cult favorite stories in Pretty Monsters and Magic for Beginners and best-selling author Jewell Parker Rhodes, winner of the American Book Award, uses magical realism to examine race and memory in her New Orleans vampire trilogy Seasons, Moon, and Hurricane. Moderated by Stephanie Anderson.

5:00 P.M. Epic Adventures. Have you ever wanted to travel to the other side of the world to experience new places, really learn about other cultures, and maybe even find your true love in the process? Join graphic novelist Sarah Glidden (How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less) and author/illustrator team Casey Scieszka and Steven Weinberg (To Timbuktu: Nine Countries, Two People, One True Story) as they take you on two powerful journeys that really show what is like to be entirely somewhere else. Moderated by Gavin Grant, co-editor of Steampunk!: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories.



Readercon

Tue 6 Jul 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Along with 700 other readers, I (Gavin) will be at Readercon this weekend—there’s a small chance Kelly and Ursula will visit. Small. But I will have pictures. I’ll be there with Michael J. DeLuca and maybe a few others (but not Jedediah Berry, who is overseas spreading the good word about The Manual of Detection) shilling for shillings in the dealer’s room and I am on two panels on Friday (one all male, hmm). There’s also a chance I won’t be there later on Saturday, oops, silly me, but I’ll be back Sunday all the way until the bitter 2 PM end.

We will have new new new books and (glorious word) if you come looking for us, as if by magic you will also find the fine folks from ChiZine Publications.

Friday 3:00 PM, Salon G: Panel

The Best of the Small Press.  Michael Dirda, Gavin J. Grant, Sean Wallace, Robert
Freeman Wexler, Rick Wilber (L).

These days, many of the best novels and novellas, collections and anthologies are published by small presses in print runs that may only number in the hundreds. Most of these cannot be found on the shelves of chain bookstores, or even most independent and specialty shops. We’ll highlight the best works recently published by small presses — including many that Readercon attendees may not have heard about.

Friday 8:00 PM, Salon G: Panel

The New and Improved Future of Magazines.  K. Tempest Bradford, Neil Clarke, Liz Gorinsky (L), Gavin J. Grant, Matthew Kressel.

After last year’s “The Future of Magazines” panels, participant K. Tempest Bradford wrote: “The magazines and anthologies that I love tend to have editors who have taken the time to examine themselves or their culture, to expend their knowledge of other people and ways of being, to open their minds. These magazines and anthologies contain far more stories I want to read by authors of many varied backgrounds. As I said, it’s not fully about print vs. online, it’s about better magazines and books.” This time, creators and proponents of both print and online magazines collaborate on determining ways that any genre magazine can create a brighter and better-read future for itself, using Bradford’s comment as a launching point.