“An Absolutely Delightful Book”

Wed 27 Sep 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The River Bank cover - click to view full sizeMichael Dirda is delighted by Kij Johnson’s The River Bank — as you can see in his new review just posted in the Washington Post:

“If you’re going to write a sequel to one of the most beloved children’s books of all time, you’ll need to be pitch perfect, hit all the right notes and, at its end, leave your reader shouting “Bravo!” Or in this case, “Brava!” and “Encore!” Kij Johnson has brought out an absolutely delightful book, as charming and funny and rereadable as Kenneth Grahame’s “Wind in the Willows” itself.”

Yay! There are a couple of Kathleen Jennings’s illustrations included in the review (they “add just the right extra magic”) and a comparison to Georgette Heyer. Not bad for a Wednesday morning!



The Story Spilling Over

Thu 14 Sep 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The River Bank cover - click to view full sizeOccasionally I read a review of a book we’ve published and it makes me want to pick up the book and read it all over again. I just had that experience reading Amal El-Mohtar’s review of The River Bank on the NPR website. Amal begins her review writing about fan fiction and reading that made me wonder if fan fiction was labelled something else, would it be more acceptable to those who don’t like it? Much of the time fan fiction can pass me by but then Kij sent us a book that Amal accurately labels fan fiction and I love it. I love a book in conversation with another but sometimes, ach, you know how it is. There’s no one rule that describes even one reader’s preferences. I know a good book when I see it! Right? Sure.

Enough of me, here’s a part of Amal’s review. I urge you to read the whole thing:

I was never less than delighted with this book. From beginning to end, it thoroughly charmed and engaged me, speaking the native literary language of my childhood. Like a river, it is in places languid and broad, in others narrow and rushing, the story spilling over sharp rocks of incident before pooling in afternoon sunshine, smelling of lilies and mud. I loved the sweetness of its pace, which spoke of a deep, abiding love not so much for the source material’s specific contents as their tone: a wistful, enchanted melancholy that walks hand in hand with summer’s end.

There are passages here that I treasure, that take up the timbre of Kenneth Grahame’s voice to speak of new things that feel timeless: the joys and pains of being an author at work; the changeability of a summer’s day from possibility to exhaustion; the quiet loneliness of a home half-dwelt in, a home asleep until woken by occupation, activity, presence. Sentences like “an animal lives in the long now of the world.” So much of this book dwells deeply in that long now.

In addition to its many native felicities, the text is embellished by Kathleen Jennings’ beautiful incidental illustrations, grace notes sounded in E. H. Shepard’s mode with a line reminiscent of Beatrix Potter and a sensibility all Jennings’ own.



Return to the River Bank

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

The River Bank cover - click to view full sizeToday, five years or so after we published Kij Johnson’s collection At the Mouth of the River of Bees we are delighted to be publishing her new novel The River Bank.

The River Bank is a sequel to Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows and, given Kij’s recent stories such as “Ponies” and “Spar”) you would not be the only one surprised that Kij had chosen this as one of her next projects. For us, the first illustrator who came to mind was Kathleen Jennings. Her detailed lines and light sense of whimsy combined with her deep knowledge of illustration made her the perfect choice and we were quite enchanted when she started sending pencil sketches for chapter and incidental illustrations.

So today the book comes out in a lovely paper-over-boards hardcover — we’ve never done that before, what fun! — and ebook editions. People seem to love it as much as we do and as much as we’d hoped, especially once they have it in their hands. It’s very different from Kij’s other work but as ever her love of the natural world and for animals shines through.

If you’re in the Kansas City environs, Kij is launching the book at the Raven Book Store tonight (so you can order a signed copy if you’d like) and she has a few more readings planned:

Sept. 12, 7 p.m. Raven Book Store, 6 East Seventh St., Lawrence, KS
10/14, 1 p.m., Uncle Hugo’s Bookstore, Minneapolis, MN
11/2-5, World Fantasy Convention, San Antonio, TX
11/20, 7 p.m., Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton, OR
11/21, 7 p.m., Elliot Bay Book Co., 1521 Tenth Ave., Seattle, WA



Tomorrow the green grass

Mon 11 Sep 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Tomorrow there will be some amount of fuss over the new iPhone (does it come with a toaster?! Find our tomorrow!) meanwhile there will a much more relaxed portion of the populace who will be reading Kij Johnson’s new book The River Bank.



The River Bank Goodreads Giveaway

Tue 5 Sep 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Quick: there are only 2 days left to win one of 8 advance copies of Kij Johnson’s forthcoming sequel to The Wind in the Willows, The River Bank.



Kij Johnson on Tour

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

The River Bank coverNext month we’ll publish Kij Johnson’s new novel, The River Bank. It is quite the treat, a much-needed break from the contemporary world, with chapter and spot illustrations throughout by Kathleen Jennings. Should you be in one of these places, why not go see her read for yourself!

Sept. 12, 7 p.m. Raven Book Store, 6 East Seventh St., Lawrence, KS
10/14, 1 p.m., Uncle Hugo’s Bookstore, Minneapolis, MN
11/20, 7 p.m., Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton, OR
11/21, Elliot Bay Bookshop, 1521 Tenth Ave., Seattle, WA

And more dates may yet be added so keep an eye on this page.

Meanwhile School Library Journal gave it a lovely review culminating thusly:

“Johnson’s attention to world-building and characterization create an engaging read with modern appeal while maintaining the aesthetic of the original. It also works as a stand-alone for new readers, though references to events covered in the first book are sprinkled throughout. Black-and-white line spot art and full-page spreads add to the nostalgic feel.”



Locus Says:

Mon 14 Aug 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Locus August 2017 (#679) coverThis month’s Locus includes reviews of a four-fingered handful of our books! As well as all the usual good stuff: interviews with John Scalzi and Justina Ireland; reviews by Faren Miller, Gardner Dozois, & more; the Locus Survey results, an SF in Finland report, Kameron Hurley’s column [“Did ‘Being a Writer’ Ever Mean. . . Just Writing?”], reports from the Locus Awards and Readercon; & obits (boo!). [Locus is available from Weightless and they’re having a subscription drive this month and there is a Patreon.]

Four-fingered handful? Hmm. Three books are reviewed by the one and only Gary K. Wolfe. The first is Christopher Rowe’s new collection Telling the Map:

“. . . it is no accident that Christopher Rowe dedicates his first story collection Telling the Map to fellow Kentuckians Terry Bisson and Jack Womack. It’s also no accident that Rowe, on the basis of no more than a couple of dozen stories over nearly 20 years (of which 10 are collected here), managed to gain a reputation as one of the most distinctive voices to emerge from this period. This is not only because he writes with lyricism and great precision of style, but because of his firm geographical grounding, which is reflected in all the stories here (as well as in his title), but is a key factor in several (‘Another Word for Map is Faith’, ‘The Voluntary State’, ‘The Border State’). This isn’t the geography of fake world-building, with all those Forbidden Zones and Misty Mountains, but rather the geography of locals who measure distances between towns in hours rather than miles, and who know which bridges you’ll need to cross to get there. It’s also a world in which agriculture and religion are daily behaviors rather than monolithic institutions. As weird as Tennessee gets in Rowe’s most famous story, ‘The Voluntary State’ (and that is very weird) it’s a Tennessee we can map onto the trails and highways that are there now.
“‘The Voluntary State’ and its longer prequel novella ‘The Border State’ (the latter original to this volume), take up well over half of Telling the Map, and together they portray a nanotech-driven non-urban future unlike any other in contemporary SF.”

Gary goes on to write of Sofia Samatar’s debut collection:

Tender: Stories includes two excellent new pieces together with 18 reprints, and one of them, “Fallow”, is not only the longest story in the collection, but also her most complex and accomplished SF story to date. On the basis of her award-winning debut novel A Stranger in Olondria and its sequel The Winged Histories, Samatar’s reputation has been mostly that of a fantasist, and her most famous story, ‘‘Selkie Stories Are For Losers’’ (the lead selection here) seemed to confirm that reputation – although once Samatar establishes the parameters of her fantastic worlds, she works out both her plot details and cultural observations with the discipline of a seasoned SF writer and the psychological insight of a poet.”

and Kij Johnson’s forthcoming The River Bank:

“The familiar figures of Mole, Water Rat, Badger, Mouse, and of course Toad are here, but the story opens with two new figures, a young mole lady named Beryl and her companion the Rabbit, an impressionable young woman described by Mouse as ‘‘right flighty,’’ moving into Sunflower Cottage on the River Bank. Beryl is a successful ‘‘Authoress’’ of potboiling adventure novels, and while Johnson has a good time giving us hints of these novels and of Beryl’s own writing process, her real significance is that she is not only one of the first female characters to move into the village, but one of the first who actually has a clear occupation. Both she and Rabbit are welcomed by the locals, although Mole himself seems oddly reticent to have any dealings with her, for reasons that become clear much later. Most of these residents are familiar in their dispositions, although Toad may if anything be a bit darker and more reckless and impulsive than in Grahame. One of the more intriguing aspects of The Wind in the Willows, maybe especially for SF readers, was the satirical manner in which it introduced technology into the world of the animal fable, and Toad’s famous passion for motorcars is here supplanted by an equally voracious and hilarious lust for the new motorcycles, after he sees a messenger riding one. That, of course, leads to the series of disasters – and attempted interventions on the part of Toad’s friends – that make up Johnson’s fast-moving plot. . . . The delicate balance of challenging the assumptions of a beloved classic while retaining the oracular charm of that classic seems almost effortless in Johnson’s hands, but it’s more of an achievement than it might at first seem.”

And then, turning the page, there is Colleen Mondor’s amazing review of Sarah Rees Brennan’s YA novel, In Other Lands — which comes out this Tuesday! The review begins thusly:

“I have rewritten the first paragraph of this review a half-dozen times, trying to find some way to make clear that Sarah Rees Brennan has created a nearly perfect YA fantasy without gushing. I can’t do it. In Other Lands is brilliantly subversive, assuredly smart, and often laugh-out-loud funny. It combines a magic-world school setting with heaps of snark about everything from teen romance to gender roles, educational systems and serious world diplomacy.”

It is pretty great when a book finds its reader!



Humble Bundle: Super Nebula Author Showcase

Sat 13 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Hey, stop the presses (except for the ones printing and reprinting our books!), spread the word, the Humble Bundle is back! This time it’s the Super Nebula Author Showcase presented by SFWA. What do these books have in common? They all include at least one Nebula Award winning story:

  • For one single US dollar, you can get 8 DRM-free ebooks including Howard Waldrop’s Howard Who? (“The Ugly Chickens”) and Kelly Link’s Stranger Things Happen (“Louise’s Ghost”).
  • For $8 or more and add another dozen books (8+12=20 ebooks for $8+!) including John Kessel’s The Baum Plan for Financial Independence (“Pride and Prometheus”).
  • For $15 or more and add another ten books (20+10=30 ebooks for $15+!) including Nancy Kress’s Fountain of Age (“Fountain of Age”).
  • For $20 or more and add another ten books (30+10=40 ebooks for $20+!) including Kij Johnson’s At the Mouth of the River of Bees (“The Man Who Bridged the Mist,” “Ponies,” & “Spar”), Carol Emshwiller’s Report to the Men’s Club (“Creature”), and Karen Joy Fowler’s What I Didn’t See (“Always” & “What I Didn’t See”).

As with all Humble Bundles, readers choose where the money goes – between the publishers; SFWA (or a charity of your choice), and the Humble Bundle. I’m scheduling this to post on the weekend and by Friday afternoon over 5,000 people have already picked up the bundle. Thanks for reading and spreading the word if you can. Cheers!



Con or Bust

Mon 24 Apr 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

If you’d like to get early copies of some of our books, bid now in the Con or Bust auction!

Sarah Rees Brennan, In Other Lands (hardcover/ebook, August)

Lydia Millet, The Dissenters middle grade trilogy (hardcovers, out now)

Kij Johnson, The River Bank (hardcover/ebook, September)

You can see everything that’s been donated to the auction in the 2017 Auction Index (Google spreadsheet, opens in new window). I am off to check it out now myself!



Manana

Mon 10 Apr 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We publish Sofia Samatar’s collection Tender: Stories tomorrow. Many, many people are going to be very happy about this.

Also: next week there will be a giveaway for Lydia Millet’s final Dissenters novel, The Bodies of the Ancients, on Goodreads.

The above giveaway is for readers in the USA only due to mailing costs, but: right now readers worldwide can sign up to receive a free advance copy of Christopher Rowe’s forthcoming collection Telling the Map on LibraryThing.

Edelweiss users: this morning we posted Kij Johnson’s The River Bank.

Juan Martinez will be at 2 upcoming literary festivals: in Arkansas on April 29 and much closer to home at the Evanston Literary Festival on May 8,In Celebration of the Short Story with Christine Sneed at Bookends & Beginnings.

Did you hear that Ursula K. Le Guin’s Words Are My Matter is a finalist for the Hugo Award? How wonderful! I also really like Ursula’s new publicity photo by Rod Searcey.



Boom! New Books for 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

None of the covers are 100% final.

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

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

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

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

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



Bestsellers & Locus Rec Reading 2013

Mon 3 Feb 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Here are two different views of 2013 in SBP books. What will 2014 bring? Droughts! Witches! Yetis! More and more weird fun!

Congratulations to all the authors on the 2013 Locus recommended reading list. It’s always fun to peruse the list and see, for whatever reasons, what rose up and what didn’t. It’s especially nice to have links to all the online short stories and novellas and so on, thanks Mark et al!

In 2013, we published 2 Peter Dickinson reprints, one chapbook, and six new titles, and of those six, four titles are on the list:

  1. Sofia Samatar, A Stranger in Olondria
  2. Nathan Ballingrud, North American Lake Monsters: Stories
  3. Angelica Gorodischer (trans. Amalia Gladhart), Trafalgar
  4. Howard Waldrop, Horse of a Different Color: Stories

And you can go and vote in the Locus awards poll here. I have some reading to do before I vote. Votes for Small Beer authors and titles are always appreciated, thank you!

In sales, once again our celebration of Ursula K. Le Guin’s fantastic short stories were our best sellers for the year. However, if we split the two volumes into separate sales, Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others would climb a notch to #2. But! Counting them as one means we get another title into the top 5: Elizabeth Hand’s late 2012 collection Errantry: Strange Stories. We really should release more books at the start of the year, as those released at the end have much less chance of getting into the top 5.

According to Neilsen BookScan (i.e. not including bookfairs, our website, etc.), our top five bestsellers (excluding ebooks) for 2013 were:

  1. Ursula K. Le Guin, The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin
    Ursula K. Le Guin, The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin
  2. Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others
  3. Kij Johnson, At the Mouth of the River of Bees
  4. Susan Stinson, Spider in a Tree
  5. Elizabeth Hand, Errantry: Strange Stories

Last year it was all short stories all the time, this year Susan Stinson’s historical novel Spider in a Tree jumped in (I’d have said sneaked in if it was #5, but since it’s at #4, that’s a jump!). Susan’s book is still getting great reviews, as with this from the Historical Novel Review which just came out this week:

“The book is billed as “a novel of the First Great Awakening,” and Stinson tries to do just that, presenting us with a host of viewpoints from colonists to slaves and even insects. She gives an honest imagining of everyday people caught up in extraordinary times, where ecstatic faith, town politics and human nature make contentious bedfellows. Although the novel was slow to pull me in, by the end I felt I had an intimate glance into the disparate lives of these 18th-century residents of Northampton, Massachusetts.”

As ever, thanks are due to the writers for writing their books, all the people who worked on the books with us, the great support we received from the independent bookstores all across the USA and Canada, and of course, the readers. We love these books and are so happy to find so many readers do, too: thank you!

    



Bookslinger: At the Mouth of the River of Bees

Fri 23 Aug 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

New this week on Consortium’s Bookslinger app is the title story from Kij Johnson’s At the Mouth of the River of Bees.

Previously on Bookslinger:

Georges-Olivier Chateaureynaud’s “Delauney the Broker” (translated by Edward Gauvin) from the collection A Life on Paper.

Ray Vukcevich, “Whisper

Maureen F. McHugh, “The Naturalist

Karen Joy Fowler, “The Pelican Bar

Kelly Link, “The Faery Handbag

Benjamin Rosenbaum, “Start the Clock

Maureen F. McHugh, “Ancestor Money

Download the app in the iTunes store.

And watch a video on it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySL1bvyuNUE



One Campus, One Book @ University of Alaska Southeast

Tue 6 Aug 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

One Campus, One Book @ University of Alaska Southeast

We’re excited to see how it goes this later this year at the University of Alaska Southeast where Kij Johnson’s At the Mouth of the River of Bees has been chosen for their One Campus, One Book program. Check out the huge rendering of Jackie Morris*’s great bee. You can keep up the university and community events on the OCOB facebook page.

Kij will be visiting the campus from November 6-8:

November 8, 2013, 7:00 pm, UAS Egan Library
An Evening with Kij Johnson
Sponsored by OCOB and UAS Evening at Egan lecture series.

November 9, 2013, 1:00-4:00 pm, Douglas Public Library
Community Fiction Writing Workshop with Kij Johnson
Sponsored by the Friends of the Juneau Public Libraries

April 2014, Location TBA
Narrative in Drawing
UAS Student Art Exhibit featuring works based on ‘At the Mouth of the River of Bees’

* Don’t miss Jackie’s pictures of her garden (which is really underselling this link). Flowers? Check. Interesting garden gate? Check. Cat? Check. Unique windows in garden wall? Check. Cornucopia of beauty? Check.



Locus awards & this month’s Locus

Thu 9 May 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

LocusLovely news from Locus that 2 (or 3, depending on how you count) Small Beer books are finalists for this year’s Best Collection Award. Any time something like this happens, I remember what an honor it is to be nominated. It is excellent and reassuring to know that there are readers finding these books. Congratulations to Kij Johnson, Ursula K. Le Guin, and all the nominees in all the categories. (Er, one note: come on world, there are some excellent women artists out there.)

When this month’s issue of Locus came in the mail I forgot to say that they have a fascinating indie publishing section where they asked the same couple of questions of many independent presses. I answered for Small Beer and am glad I did because it is awesome to be included with some of my favorite indies out there.  And, for a Locus trifecta, Rich Horton reviews Angélica Gorodischer’s Trafalgar and picks “Trafalgar and Josefina” as his favorite. (For instant gratification, you can pick up Locus from Weightless.)

COLLECTION

THE SMALL & INDEPENDENT PRESS 

Introduction • Small Beer Press • Lethe Press • PS Publishing • Earthling Publications • Cheeky Frawg Books • Fairwood Press • ChiZine Publications • Twelfth Planet Press • EDGE Books • Prime Books • Aqueduct Press • Tachyon Publications • Ticonderoga Publications • Subterranean Press • Night Shade Books


Small Beer Podcast 16: Kij Johnson’s “The Empress Jingu Fishes”

Tue 15 Jan 2013 - Filed under: Kij Johnson, Not a Journal., , , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Julie

At the Mouth of the River of Bees cover - click to view full size

Hallelujah! Another podcast is neigh. And to everyone’s delight here at the Small Beer Studios, it’s another piece of fiction.

Kij Johnson’s debut collection, At the Mouth of the River of Bees, came out in mid-2012. And people were excited. Kij can rock climb. She can teach. She knows both Old Norse and Latin. But most of all she knows how to tell horrific and wondrous stories in the most beautiful of language.

As well as all that, Kij is a research demon. Science and ancient Japan and near-future teen culture all collide between the pages of this collection.

Kij has won the World Fantasy Award, the Sturgeon Award and the Nebula award (multiple times). Reading “The Empress Jingu Fishes” was a truly lovely experience. Kij Johnson does more than just tell a compelling story. She knows how to put her words together.

Episode 16: In which Julie Day reads Kij Johnson’s “The Empress Jingu Fishes” from At the Mouth of the River of Bees.

Subscribe to the Small Beer podcast using iTunes or the service of your choice:

rss feed



Around Small Beer

Mon 14 Jan 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Just because the government tells you something doesn’t mean you have to believe it.

Tomorrow: Julie Day reads Kij Johnson’s “The Empress Jingu Fishes” on the Small Beer podcast.

And check out Wired.com’s Geek Mom interview with Kij. Kij is off to Oxford to give the JRR Tolkien lecture on fantastic fiction and to teach a workshop: lovely!

Ayize Jama-Everett’s The Liminal People was on the Identity Theory Holiday Reading List. Add it to all your comix-and-sf-reading lists!

I just interviewed Karen Lord, whose lovely new novel The Best of All Possible Worlds comes out from Del Rey next month, for BookPage. That should go up at the start of February.

In April it’s last chance to see Under the Poppy in Detroit. Do it!

The Village Voice gives Errantry a stormer of a review:
“With grand feeling and inventiveness, Hand writes of modern life edging just into the impossible. Her ragged modern characters, often lost or stoned or just unfixed in their lives, set out over moors or into hidden parks in search of realities less dispiriting than our own.”

Kelly’s “The Faery Handbag” is this week’s story on the Bookslinger app.

The first review has come in for the new ish of LCRWHere’s Sam Tomaino at SF Revu on LCRW 28:
Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is the kind of magazine that you want to read slowly. Read a story. Put the magazine down. Absorb what you have just read. Then, after a while, read another story. Repeat. After more than a year’s absence here is issue #28 with more of their very different stories.”

Scottish Television loves Alasdair Gray almost as much as we do. He’s doing another piece of public art in Glasgow—can’t wait to go over next summer and see it all—this time at the Western Baths Club. (Ok, so I may not be able to go see this one). Here’s the video of the unveiling of his previous mural in the Glasgow subway. It’s based on the art from Old Men in Love.

That’s it, out of time.



Small Beer Press Bestsellers 2012

Mon 7 Jan 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: intern

According to Neilsen BookScan, our top five Small Beer Press bestsellers (excluding ebooks) for 2012 were:

  1. Maureen F. McHugh, After the Apocalypse
  2. Ursula K. Le Guin, The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin
    Ursula K. Le Guin, The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin
  3. Kij Johnson, At the Mouth of the River of Bees
  4. Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others
  5. Eduardo Jiménez Mayo & Chris N. Brown, eds., Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Stories of the Fantastic

All short story collections or anthologies! Our publication dates all crept into the latter half of the year, really the last couple of months, so books such as Errantry and Earth and Air didn’t get much time out there in the world to see how they’d do. Also #6? Stranger Things Happen, #7? The Serial Garden. Short stories!



Low stock warning

Mon 19 Nov 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

As we head into the holiday season, I’m happy to see we have some hit books that will soon be out of stock:

It looks increasingly likely that our two volume Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin will be sold out by publication day (November 27).

We just got copies in of the second printing of Kij Johnson’s At the Mouth of the River of Bees so, it won’t be out of stock but for those who collect first editions, we will keep shipping them out from the office until we run out.

And although it’s now in its third printing, we still have a few first printings of Maureen F. McHugh’s collection, After the Apocalypse



Kij Johnson in Locus

Thu 18 Oct 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Back. Not awake. Catching up slowly. Just read the great Locus interview with Kij Johnson:

Excerpts from the interview:

‘‘My mom was a school librarian, so she would bring home whatever books came in – on a Friday, she’d bring home a huge armload of books and hand them to my brother and me. We would read them all over the weekend, and then we’d tell her the ones we liked and some reasons why we liked them. My parents read everything. I had no interest at all in being a writer, but I come from a publishing family: my grandfather was a big-deal publisher of agriculture magazines, and my grandparents and parents were editors and copyeditors. I got my undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College, in an alternative program based somewhat on the Oxford tutorial system. My degree was called ‘A Cultural History of England to 1066,’ and it was awesome. (I really did get drunk and recite Anglo-Saxon at parties!) I studied Latin and Old Norse and a bunch of other stuff, even though I’m not especially good with languages. What it was good for was teaching me how to research. Oh my God, I can research like a motherfucker.”

Ha! More: print / ebook.

ETA: Added a reading at the Raven and another starred review!

10/25  7 p.m. The Big Tent at The Raven, 6 East 7th St., Lawrence, KS, 66044
11/24  1 p.m. Uncle Hugo’s Books, 2864 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis MN 55407

“[The] stories are original, engaging, and hard to put down. . . . Johnson has a rare gift for pulling readers directly into the heart of a story and capturing their attention completely. Those who enjoy a touch of the other in their reading will love this collection.”
Library Journal (starred review)



Kij in NC; UKL in Seattle; Sofia in Madison (of course)

Sun 7 Oct 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We will have a fun announcement on Tuesday, October 9th. Come back for it!

We’re busy falling in love with the people and city of Uppsala, Sweden, at Swecon/Kontrast. The food here is as great as promised, although I do not think we will eat better than the homemade (for 21 people!) meal that Daniel ______ (last name TK!) slaved over for days. Ok, while naps are being had by part of our party, here are a few upcoming readings and so on.

If you’re in North Carolina (or, you know, have a small plane can fly there—or, better, have a friend with a tandem and can bike there!) on Tuesday night, don’t miss rising star Kij Johnson’s appearance at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh. (Tues., Oct. 9th, 7:30 PM)

Also coming up soon, Ursula K. Le Guin will be doing a Clarion West fundraiser event in Seattle. I’d go if I were there, dammit.

Join Ursula K. Le Guin Saturday evening, October 13, as she helps us kick off our upcoming 30th Anniversary Year. From 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. we’ll celebrate Clarion West’s past record of excellence and reflect on our future growth at the Uptown Hideaway, 819 5th Ave N., in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood. Attendance is limited to 100 people. All proceeds benefit Clarion West.

October 26th there’s the Joan Aiken celebration in NYC which we’ve alluded to before.

Into November: between the 7th & 10th, Sofia Samatar, whose fabulous debut novel A Stranger in Olondria we’re publishing in hardcover/paperback/ebook in April 2013, will be at the Wisconsin Book Festival. We were there a few years ago and remember it fondly. Any excuse to stay in Madison! You can download a chunk of the novel here.



In the mails recently

Tue 25 Sep 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Here are pics of a few things that have arrived at the office recently:

  1. Galleys of A Stranger in Olondria — booksellers, meet Sofia and get your copy at the Heartland Fall Forum.
  2. Daniel A. Rabuzzi’s The Indigo Pheasant (read his guest post here).
  3. J. Boyett’s novel Brothel, which arrived with a nice note.
  4. Bike cards from the fabulous artists at Cricket Press in Lexington, Kentucky
  5. Galleys of the two volume Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin.
  6. The first issue of One Teen Story: “The Deadline” by Gayle Forman (subscribe!)
  7. A stack! Made up of . . .
    1. Donny Smith’s new translation of Wenceslao Maldonado’s If Cutting Off the Gorgon’s Head.
    2. A galley of the Subterranean Press edition of Kelly’s Stranger Things Happen with the lovely cover and interior illos by Kathleen Jennings.
    3. The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 23, edited by Stephen Jones, which includes Joan Aiken’s story “Hair”
    4. Fantasy & Science Fiction‘s September/October issue featuring Peter Dickinson’s “Troll Blood” as well as stories by Andy Duncan and Richard Butner.
    5. Finished and actual copies of Kij Johnson’s At the Mouth of the River of Bees.

And!

Finished and actual copies of Lydia Millet’s new middle grade novel, The Shimmers in the Night, whose publication day is TODAY!



At the Mouth . . . on NPR

Mon 24 Sep 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Quick: click and read Alan Cheuse’s lovely allusive review of Kij Johnson’s collection At the Mouth of the River of Bees:

Ursula Le Guin comes immediately to mind when you turn the pages of Kij Johnson’s first book of short stories, her debut collection is that impressive. The title piece has that wonderful power we hope for in all fiction we read, the surprising imaginative leap that takes us to recognize the marvelous in the everyday.

You have a few more chances to catch Kij at a reading or on the radio—Twin Cities folks please note the new reading just added:

9/26    Writers Voice interview air date
9/29    7 p.m. Ad Astra Books & Coffee House, 141 N. Santa Fe, Salina, KS 67401
10/9    Quail Ridge Books, Ridgewood Shopping Center, 3522 Wade Avenue, Raleigh, NC
11/24  1 p.m. Uncle Hugo’s Books, 2864 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis MN 55407

In other news, the Goodreads giveaway for Peter Dickinson’s Earth and Air was very successful—now we know how to increase our traffic x 10! Give away great books. Winners’ books will be going out early this week.

What’s the connection between these two books? Cover artist Jackie Morris! Jackie painted both the bee for Kij’s book and the minotaur’s head for Earth and Air. Her blog is fascinating and I strongly recommend you take a look at this recent post which shows a piece of art in development.

What else? Lexington, Kentucky, is a city full of fabulous people! (Although flying Delta was a huge mistake. Urk.) More on that later. For now: bees!

Lastly, coming tomorrow: Julie Day posts a new podcast interview with Jennifer Stevenson, author of Trash Sex Magic.



Kij Johnson on tour

Wed 12 Sep 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

At the Mouth of the River of Bees coverThis week we’re celebrating readers all over the world enjoy Kij Johnson’s first (print) book of short stories, At the Mouth of the River of Bees, we’re happy to say that Kij is going to be out there doing some readings.

Should you not happen to be in Minneapolis, Lawrence, Salina, or Raleigh, you can listen to Kij chat with Jonathan Strahan and Gary Wolfe on the Coode Street Podcast and with Patrick Hester at SF Signal and later this month on the Writers Voice.

9/14    DreamHaven Books, 2301 East 38th Street, Minneapolis MN 55406
9/18    7 p.m. The Raven, 6 East 7th St., Lawrence, KS, 66044
9/29    7 p.m. Ad Astra Books & Coffee House, 141 N. Santa Fe, Salina, KS 67401
9/26    Writers Voice interview air date
10/9    Quail Ridge Books, Ridgewood Shopping Center, 3522 Wade Avenue, Raleigh, NC

Don’t have the book? We’ve got all your indie acquisition options here:

DRM-free ebook on Weightless

Support your local bookstore! Find this via IndieBound



Earlier Entries in Kij Johnson »