13 days early

Wed 2 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

baum2.JPGBaum1.JPGArrived! The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories is a real and actual physical object even outwith that bandwidth one thinks of as one’s reading brain.

We’ll have more about it as the publication date (April 15) approaches including a nice surprise for peeps everywhere.

It’s already in some stores (especially those John is reading in) and should be arriving at your local book store soon.

Indie book shops may have it in their Book Sense section, chains will have it in New Books, Excellent Books, Short Story Collections by Extremely Smart People, or in the Tall section.

Podcast: Kessel

Thu 13 Mar 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Here’s John Kessel reading the title story of his new collection:

“The Baum Plan for Financial Independence”

Ex-con Sid and his sometime girlfriend Dot break into a house in the Blue Ridge Mountains and open a door to a world that changes everything.

The Baum Plan for Financial Independence (33:03)

First published in SciFiction.

Updated again with a link to a “sneak preview” of the story in the Raleigh News and Observer.  John will be reading in Raleigh in a couple of weeks: see the events calendar over there on the right (a direction that makes no sense in your blogreader of choice) or here.

Kessel reviewers

Fri 7 Mar 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We are running very low on galleys and won’t have copies of The Baum Plan for Financial Independence for a couple of weeks (see previous post). If any writer, blogger, etc. would like a PDF copy of the book for review, please either email or leave a request in the comments field.

Baum Plans for book stores

Thu 6 Mar 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Crowley, Endless ThingsIt’s almost all go on John Kessel’s new collection, The Baum Plan for Financial Independence. The book is at the printer , the proofs have been ok’d, it’s just a matter of ink being lathered onto paper then washed carefully off to leave the notes (or “letters” as John likes to call them) that you can take home and sing. Will the book be ready in time for John’s first reading at Quail Ridge Books? We are on the edges of our seats! (See more of John.)
Will you be able to find The Baum Plan in your local bookshop? Yes! The American Booksellers Association just announced their April bookseller picks and they’ve included Kessel’s book. Here’s what they had to say about this book (and a few others):

“John Kessel’s writing exists at the edge of things, in the dark corner where the fiction section abuts the science fiction shelves, in the hyphen where magic meets realism. This is one of those too rare short story collections that you can recommend with confidence to both the literary snob and the hard-core computer geek.”
Rich Rennicks, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC

THE SHADOW YEAR by Jeffrey Ford
“I loved The Shadow Year. In this story of the secrets of a 1960s Long Island suburb, Ford’s writing is hypnotic, as he examines the dark side of living in a small town through the lives of three siblings.”
Roberta Rubin, The Book Stall At Chestnut Court, Winnetka, IL

Other books on the list include new collections from Jhumpa Lahiri (Unaccustomed Earth) and Kevin Brockmeier (The View from the Seventh Layer); Jack O’Connell’s novel THE RESURRECTIONIST (which has already been highly recommended by a couple of readers we trust); the anthology of the moment, THE NEW WEIRD, edited by Jeff and Ann Vandermeer; and finally ARMAGEDDON IN RETROSPECT, by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Between these and some of the rest of the list, that’s more than a month’s reading. Unless you are a book-a-day monster and then we are green and envious and trying not to be small about it all.

More on The Baum Plan:

There’s a humongous review by Nick Gevers in the March issue of Locus.

Library Thingers (now exploding locally!) your copies of The Baum Plan for Financial Independence are in the mails and may even have arrived. We look forward to your reviews. Maybe there will be copies of Ben Rosenbaum’s collection up for grabs later this spring.

Lunacon: No, we will not be there. However, there will be one copy of Kessel’s book available (along with a CD of John reading the title story) from the Book Exhibit and Raffle: “The funds raised go directly into the Donald A. and Elsie B. Wollheim Memorial Scholarship Fund, which helps beginning SF and fantasy writers attend the Clarion or Clarion West Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop.” Bid high!Listen to an episode of Starship Sofa featuring John’s story “Buffalo” narrated by James Campanella.

Listen to an episode of Starship Sofa featuring John’s story “Buffalo” narrated by James Campanella.

And lastly here’s what Publishers Weekly thought about the book:

The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories
John Kessel. Small Beer (www.smallbeerpress.com), $24 (336p) ISBN 978-1-931520-50-8; $16 paper ISBN 978-1-931520-51-5
This nuanced mostly reprint collection, the first in a decade from Nebula winner Kessel (Good News from Outer Space), plays on the theme of a hapless, down-on-his-luck man thrown into extraordinary circumstances. “The Juniper Tree,” the Tiptree-winning “Stories for Men,” “Sunlight or Rock” and “Under the Lunchbox Tree,” all tied to Kessel’s lunar colony sequence, explore the limits placed on a man’s life in a beautiful, woman-dominated city on the barren moon. In “Powerless,” the only story original to the volume, a hapless inventor finally perfects a strange new power generator, destroying his relationships along the way. Paying homage to the classics, “Every Angel Is Terrifying” serves as a sequel to Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” while in “Pride and Prometheus” Mary Bennet meets Victor Frankenstein. These well-crafted stories, full of elegantly drawn characters, deliver a powerful emotional punch. (Apr.)

Powerful, baby, powerful.


Wed 13 Feb 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

  1. kessel-hc-lg.gifShouldn’t that be Sekrit? Isn’t that the OED-approved spelling for the web?
  2. Also, is it true that “Two can keep a secret if one of us is dead?

Next: Two actual secrets!

We just sent John Kessel’s collection to the printer so that it will (fingers crossed!) hit its publication date of April 15th (and, cough, the reading the next night at Quail Ridge).

  1. We can’t tell you this yet but it is very nice news for this book!
  2. The hardcover edition has a secret. The front cover (with amazing art by Nathan Huang) looks like this ->
    (very similar to the paperback—although the backside of both are different).
    But. And this is the secret part (if all goes well at the printing plant) the reverse side of the dustjacket will look like this one below. No kidding! Get yours before they run out.


Library Thing

Mon 4 Feb 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

has some copies of John Kessel’s Baum Plan going free—if you wants to gets your hands on a copy before April this is maybe (unless you are a reviewer or movie maker or something) your best chance.

First chance at John Kessel’s collection

Wed 12 Dec 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

baum.JPGThis week we got in a couple of boxes of galleys of John Kessel’s April collection The Baum Plan for Financial Independence—John should be getting them soon (honest, they’re in the mail!) and they’ve gone out to the trades for review. Other reviewers and so on will be getting them soon.

We’re having fun with the design of this one (or, at least, the hardcover). Not going to say what we’re doing just in case it doesn’t pan out!

something.JPGThen, yesterday we came across something unusual (and we’re not saying where) that was so unexpected that we decided to see if anyone can identify it. If someone does, we’ll send them one of the hundred copies of John’s book that there are in the world.

Usual rules apply: you have to be alive and able to read to receive this book.

’08 books

Mon 6 Aug 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We’ve lined up two collections for next year. (Earlybirds order here.) Simultaneous HC/PB for each which make it interesting.

The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories
John Kessel

April 8, 2008
9781931520515 · Trade cloth · 5.5 x 8.5 · 300 pp · $24
9781931520508 · Trade paper· 5.5 x 8.5 · 300 pp · $16

John Kessel’s first collection since 1997 is a literary collection of astonishing stories from an award-winning science-fiction writer and satirist whose stories intersect imaginatively with the worlds and characters of Pride and Prejudice, Frankenstein, The Wizard of Oz, and Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” Includes Kessel’s modern classic four story sequence about life on the moon.

Kessel’s stories have won the Nebula, Sturgeon, Locus, and Tiptree Awards. His books include Good News from Outer Space, Corrupting Dr. Nice, and collections The Pure Product and Meeting in Infinity (a New York Times Notable Book). Kessel and his family live in Raleigh, NC, where he co-directs the creative writing program at North Carolina State University.

John Kessel on WUNC talking about “A Clean Escape,” writing, and more. (Thanks Richard)

The Ant King and Other Stories
Benjamin Rosenbaum

August 5, 2008
9781931520522 · Trade cloth · 5.5 x 8.5 · 272 pp · $24
9781931520539 · Trade paper· 5.5 x 8.5 · 272 pp · $16

Benjamin Rosenbaum’s is one of science fiction’s brightest stars. His debut collection spans the weirdest corners of literature and science fiction, exploring family, loyalty, and memory. A dazzling, post-modern collection of pulp and surreal fictions: a writer of alternate histories defends his patron’s zeppelin against assassins and pirates, a man’s wife becomes hundreds of gumballs, an emancipated collective of children go house hunting. Benjamin Rosenbaum grew up in Arlington, Virginia, and received degrees in computer science and religious studies from Brown University. His work has been published in Harper’s, Nature, McSweeney’s, F&SF, Asimov’s, Interzone, All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories, and Strange Horizons. Small Beer Press published his chapbook Other Cities. He lives in Basle, Switzerland, with his family.

  • “Orphans,” originally published in McSweeney’s, Issue 15, was honorably mentioned in The Best American Short Stories 2006.
  • Rosenbaum has a story on the current Hugo Award ballot.
  • Part of the collection is free online licensed under the Creative Commons license.
  • Selections from Other Cities were reprinted in the debut issue of the Michigan Avenue Review.
  • Rosenbaum is the author of an art book, Anthroptic, with Ethan Ham (The Present Group, 2007).
  • Rosenbaum’s stories have been translated into Swedish, Italian, Finnish, Bulgarian, Romanian, French, Croatian, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, and Czech.
  • Rosenbaum’s stories have been podcast on Escape Pod and Beam Me Up.
  • Rosenbaum’s stories have been reprinted in Harper’s, Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology, The Year’s Best Science Fiction, The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Science Fiction: The Best of the Year, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and Fantasy: The Best of the Year.
  • Early galleys at NEIBA.
  • Rosenbaum has stories coming out in the next six months in Interzone, Realms of Fantasy, and F&SF.
  • Benjamin Rosenbaum on Strange Horizons talking about writing, regender.com, and more.

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