Here’s a short interview I did with the AWP Moveable Type blog:
How did Small Beer Press begin? What was the goal when starting the press?
I started a zine while I was temping in Boston. My then-girlfriend-now-wife, Kelly Link, started helping out with the second issue. Looking back, publishing chapbooks and the books seems so inevitable from that start. It didn’t feel that way then. The goal was to publish something that I wasn’t quite finding enough of in the world, writing that refracted back to the reader something of the true weirdness of the world, of us monkeys walking on our hind legs on our one little planet, worrying about health insurance and being alone in the universe. [more]
What’s with the title of this post? In the UK (at least in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, not so much in Scotland) the government has been slashing the National Health Service budget. The results: not great.
Here in the US almost everyone I know lives in fear of getting sick because none of us know what our health insurance will cover and how much of a hit the final bills will be. I really hope the UK does not follow the US and switch to this disaster* of a health care system.
* Massachusetts is an exception and long may it continue!
Brissy: is where we are headed. Near the Great Barrier Reef is where we were. (Photos: um, maybe when my camera and laptop start talking again.) Melbourne: where we are for Kelly to do Melbourne Writers Fest stuff. Also: Melbourne has a Burmese restaurant and a zine store.
Here’s Kelly’s sched. in Brisbane:
I’m delighted to say that on Friday April 26th I’m on a panel at the Massachusetts Library Association conference—although I’m gutted I’ll miss the library cart drill teams on Wednesday. The conference runs from 4/24 – 26 at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge and our (Western Mass. transplants!) panel is:
9:15 – 10:30am
The State of the Book in the Digital Age
What’s up with books these days? Books are ordered online, created on demand, and distributed in digital form to individuals and libraries. Many bookstores have closed in recent years, and publishers have had to drastically downsize, retool or go out of business. How have individuals and businesses responded to this new environment? Are books giving a last gasp or being reinvented? An author, a book artist, a publisher and a bookstore owner will give their thoughts on the changing environment for books. Co-presented by the Western Massachusetts Library Advocates
Speakers: Susan Stinson, Author, Writer in Residence at Forbes Library, Northampton; Daniel E. Kelm, Book Artist; Gavin J. Grant, Publisher, Small Beer Press; Nancy Felton, Co-owner, Broadside Bookshop.
Hey, we’re going to be at Boskone this weekend. Here’s Kelly’s and my schedules—all dependent of course on all people with colds/flus/con crud staying away, por favor, so that we can bring Ursula and have some fun running around with her. Not sure what we’re going to do at naptime. Maybe go off home. Michael will be there, too, although I’m not sure if he’s panelling after all. We’ll be sporting some nice new shirts and will be experimenting with a Weightless thing.
Saturday 11am Harbor 3: New Faces of Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror
These exceptional writers may still be in the early stages of their career, but already we catch glimpses of greatness. Let’s name names — and talk about what makes them so special.
Laird Barron, Peter V. Brett, Paul Di Filippo (m), David Anthony Durham, Kelly Link
Sunday 1pm Harbor 1: A Child’s Garden of Dystopias — the Boom in Nasty Worlds for Children
Why do dystopias and YA literature seem to go together? Are YA dystopias more common now than previously? Are there differences between YA and adult dystopias — perhaps a different ratio of cynicism to hope? How does “if this goes on” fit in? Consider this article.
Bruce Coville, Theodora Goss, Jack M. Haringa (m), Kelly Link
Saturday 1pm Lewis: The Small Press: Bigger Than Ever?
Boutique publishers and small presses are publishing more of the best stuff in the field every year. True? Who? How? Why? And what about the future? What’s the role of the small press in a world dominated by e-books?
Neil Clarke, Gavin Grant, Valerie L. Grimm (m), Joe Hill
Sunday 11am Harbor 3: The e-Book Market
E-books appear to be the wave of the future. How does a professional who wishes to continue to make a living surf that wave?
Jeffrey A. Carver, Neil Clarke (m), John R. Douglas, Gavin Grant, Charles Stross, Eleanor Wood
I have a story up at Strange Horizons this week! Or, at least, the first part. Part 2 will be up next Monday. Can’t wait to see what happens.
We published nine books last year (+ 2 issues of LCRW!), these four plus four that weren’t eligible for the list: a reprint (Ted Chiang’s collection), two novels that aren’t spec fic, (Kathe Koja’s Under the Poppy and Alasdair Gray’s Old Men in Love), the Daily Planner, and the first publication in English of Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud (A Life on Paper: Stories). It’s disappointing that A Life on Paper didn’t make the list but to make up for it there’s a nice review up at Devil’s Lake—a well-named lit journal from UW Madison.
Last week I was looking for any recs on mobile broadband devices and while Verizon gets the thumbs up, it’s pricey so I was leaning toward Virgin Mobile—but they’re putting on a data limit of 5GB/month (which I think I’d pass given we’re always uploading new things to Weightless). So now I’m wondering if anyone has used localnet? Looks old fashioned, but I only need better internet access for 3-6 months. Anyone know it?
And, Later this week Karen Joy Fowler and Edward Gauvin will be popping by.
Lovely news from San Jose: Gavin & Kelly have been awarded the World Fantasy Award, Special Award, Professional, for Small Beer Press and Big Mouth House: yay, we say, yay! John Kessel, whose collection we were proud to publish, was on hand to pick up the Howards which seemed appropriate as it is all about the books.
Other winners include: Jeff Ford (twice!), Margo Lanagan—Jeff and Margo: they rule this award!—Rick Bowes, Kij Johnson, Paper Cities (ed. by Ekaterina Sedia), Shaun Tan, and Michael Walsh of Old Earth Books for his two Howard Waldrop collections.
Don’t know that we’ll keep counting, but this year we did some gender breakdown of a few of the genre awards and back in August we posted the World Fantasy Award nominees and the gender breakdown:
- 26 men
- 21 women
And the winners (not counting the two extra Life Achievement Awards to Jane Yolen and Ellen Asher):
- 6 men (1 AUS, 5 USA)
- 4 women (1 AUS, 3 USA)
A couple of weeks ago Gavin was on a panel on “The Future of Publishing” with these fine people:
MIT has posted audio of the whole thing online here.
ETA: And now you can, erk, watch the whole thing here.
These were the panel questions to kick things off:
Stepping outside Small Beer HQ for a minute to point readers to 3 AM Magazine where they’ve just posted a new story of mine (that would be Gavin, if you can’t see the sig line on the website), “The Elect.” The story was written a couple of years ago. It was a dark time in this country. Freedom was talked of and flags were waved, even while freedoms were being taken away from more and more of us. Thus, stories like this.
And now, back to SBP.
Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant are the proud parents of a baby daughter. Ursula Annabel Link Grant, originally due on June 16, showed up three and a half months early. Born on February 23rd, 2009, Ursula weighed 1 lb 9 ounces and has spent the last three months in the neonatal intensive care unit at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass.
We expect to bring Ursula, who is currently well over 4 lbs, home in about two weeks. Right now we’re very thankful for the fabulous NICU nurses and doctors, the Ronald McDonald House in Springfield, the support of our friends and family, and also that we have health insurance.
Small Beer Press’s generous parental leave policies mean that Kelly and Gavin will take some time off in the next year or two. The latest issue of LCRW has been delayed until summer but otherwise everything should remain on schedule. Because premature babies don’t travel well, our travel schedule will be curtailed for the foreseeable future. We will post pictures in a couple of weeks.