I missed this (as with so many things) while mostly offline over the new year. Neither did I vote as I always forget things I wish I had included. But maybe if I had Maureen F. McHugh, Alice Sola Kim, and some others would appear. Also there are two Karen Joy Fowler stories and I think seven Ursula K. Le Guin’s. And we published one of the top ranked stories and reprinted two in Ted’s mighty and fabulous Story of Your Life and Others. Yay, indeed!
20th Century Novella:
|Rank||Author : Title (Year)|
|1||Chiang, Ted : Story of Your Life (1998)|
21st Century Novella:
|Rank||Author : Title (Year)|
|1||Link, Kelly : Magic for Beginners (2005)|
21st Century Novelette:
|Rank||Author : Title (Year)|
|1||Chiang, Ted : Hell Is the Absence of God (2001)|
According to Neilsen BookScan, our top five Small Beer Press bestsellers (excluding ebooks) for 2012 were:
- Maureen F. McHugh, After the Apocalypse
- 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
- Kij Johnson, At the Mouth of the River of Bees
- Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others
- 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!
The new issue of Lightspeed Magazine just went out and besides all that new and shiny stuff it includes Kelly’s story “Catskin” and Ted Chiang’s “Story of Your Life.” Kelly’s story will go live on December 18th but Ted’s is exclusive to the ebook—which of course you can get on Weightless.
The other big news for Ted Chiang fans was last week’s announcement that “Story of Your Life” has been optioned for film. The source material is about as good as it gets, so fingers crossed that it will be made and be great.
. . . and our neighbor one-town-over Cassandra Clare’s bestselling Mortal Instruments series breaks into movieworld next summer in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones! (“Everything you’ve heard about monsters . . . all the stories are true . . . “)
We went to see Cloud Atlas the other night. I think it was the first good film I’ve seen in ages. Ok, so I might not have seen anything in the cinema since The Avengers, but have I missed anything good? I’m glad we made the trip out to see Cloud Atlas. Even with the weird and bad choices (and I’m not just talking casting Tom Hanks here) the producers made, they did a good job of making a big, complicated book into a big, complicated film.
When: Monday, December 10, 2012 – 6:30pm-7:30pm
Where: Filter, 1373-75 N Milwaukee Ave Chicago, IL
And in Uppsala, Sweden (hello everyone in that lovely city!), Wired’s Noah Schachtman unwinds a fabulous story of a philologist who, gifted with a mysterious manuscript, eventually helps decode it:
. . . in January 2011, Schaefer attended an Uppsala conference on computational linguistics. Ordinarily talks like this gave her a headache. She preferred musty books to new technologies and didn’t even have an Internet connection at home. But this lecture was different. The featured speaker was Kevin Knight, a University of Southern California specialist in machine translation—the use of algorithms to automatically translate one language into another.
Then, down in North Carolina, the Charlotte Observer has a great story on Kelly’s cousin Bryan Jones who with his friend Mark “Hootie” Bowman (I never knew his name was Mark, I’ve only ever heard of him mentioned as Hootie!) are selling “interactive hardbacks that introduce children to popular colleges and universities.” In other words, if you have a sports-obsessed parent in your life, hie thee to Collegiate Kids Books and get them a book now.
Just a quick note to note that we would like to note that, wait. Start again:
We just got copies of the third printing of Ted Chiang’s excellent debut collection, Stories of Your Life and Others. Thanks to Ori Avtalio and other sharp-eyed readers for helping us with typos. This is a book that I can honestly give to just about anyone and say, “Read the title story,” and know they will love it.
Bookscan says our bestsellers were:
1) Kathe Koja, Under the Poppy
2) Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others
3) Kelly Link, Stranger Things Happen
4) Maureen F. McHugh, After the Apocalypse
5) Karen Joy Fowler, What I Didn’t See and Other Stories
I know other things happened this year. We published one issue of LCRW with a lovely cover by Kathleen Jennings:
A. D. Jameson · Jessy Randall · K. M. Ferebee · Karen Heuler · M. K. Hobson · Carol Emshwiller · David Rowinski · Joan Aiken · Sarah Harris Wallman · Gwenda Bond · David Blair · Sarah Heller · Nicole Kimberling
And here are the books we published.
First Small Beer Press titles:
After the Apocalypse
Maureen F. McHugh
“Incisive, contemporary, and always surprising.”—Publishers WeeklyBest Books 2011: The Top 10
A Slepyng Hound to Wake
“Henry is a character cut from Raymond Chandler: a modern knight on a mission to save those, and what, he loves.”—Barbara Peters, The Poisoned Pen
* “Often contemplative and subtly ironic, the 16 stories in this outstanding collection work imaginative riffs on a variety of fantasy and SF themes”—Publishers Weekly (*Starred Review*)
The Child Garden
Winner of the John W. Cambell and Arthur C. Clarke Awards.
The Monkey’s Wedding and Other Stories
* “Wildly inventive, darkly lyrical, and always surprising . . . a literary treasure.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Solitaire: a novel
A New York Times Notable Book, Borders Original Voices selection, and Nebula, Endeavour, and Spectrum Award finalist.
And one Big Mouth House title:
The Freedom Maze
“Adroit, sympathetic, both clever and smart, The Freedom Maze will entrap young readers and deliver them, at the story’s end, that little bit older and wiser.”
—Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Out of Oz
- Gary K. Wolfe in Locus on Geoff Ryman’s Paradise Tales: “In the best of Ryman’s fiction, the world unfolds in ways that are at once astonishing and thoroughly thought out, both radically disorienting and emotionally powerful.”
- Ted Gioia on Ted Chiang. (It’s a TedFest!) “The divide between genre fiction and literary fiction is, blurry at best . . . “
- Catch-up: Matt Kressel interviews Richard Butner for the Shirley Jackson Award site.
- Very sad to read about William Sleator’s death. Many years ago Kelly gave me a copy of his autobiographical collection Oddballs (it’s still one of the books she loves to give people), a hilarious book that only gets more fascinating as I see if from two sides, the child POV and the parental. I haven’t read much of his fiction, but
Ok, so the last two weren’t reviews, but go on, open up some tabs and read them.
Next: a reading! Vincent McCaffrey will read from A Slepyng Hound to Wake at the Brookline Booksmith at 7 PM on Thursday August 25th. We love Vince and we love the Booksmith (and their reading series, they have Lev Grossman there this week) so we are very sad we won’t be there. Slepying Hound is shipping out very nicely. If you want a signed copy, the Booksmith, Poison Pen, or Avenue Victor Hugo are your choices. (On AVH’s site on Biblio.com you can see what else Vincent has published . . . )
Next: Locus! The August issue has:
- an interview with Karen Lord—who can be heard on the Locus roundtable podcast here.
- a review of Geoff Ryman’s collection (ok, that one’s linked above, but I liked having all this stuff together)
- a review by Rich Horton of The Monkey’s Wedding and Other Stories
- and includes Lydia Millet’s The Fires Beneath the Sea in the Notable Books
- and at some point soon, Locus will become available on Weightless
Next: travel! Next week Kelly will be at the Edinburgh Book Festival—apparently their website is down due to a lightning strike on their servers in Ireland!—where she and Audrey Niffenegger will have a lively chat at 8:30 PM on Tuesday, August 16th, and then Kelly will be part of what sounds like a great shindig of a night from 9 PM onward on Thursday the 18th. And since they are very sensibly headquartered in Edinburgh, we also get to go visit Kelly’s UK publisher for Pretty Monsters, Canongate!
Last! Clarion West. Kelly and I are excited to be among next year’s instructor’s at Seattle’s Clarion West:
We are very happy to announce that our instructors for the 2012 Clarion West Writers Workshop are Mary Rosenblum, Hiromi Goto, George R.R. Martin, Connie Willis, Kelly Link and Gavin Grant, and Chuck Palahniuk, the 2012 Susan C. Petrey Fellow.
Although with that line-up, we might just see if we can sit in from week one . . .
Bye! We’re also off to visit family in Scotland, so will be offline for most of this month. We’ll be back—and starting to do events for Steampunk!—at the start of September.
@ Beaverton Powell’s, Portland, OR
Mon, June 6, 7pm – 8pm
|Where||Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton, OR 97005 map|
|Where||5736 N.E. 33rd Ave. Portland, OR 97211 map|
(Keep up with all our authors here.)
Added 2 new books to Scribd—and half a dozen other ebook sites(!)—so now you can directly preview these two books. The Child Garden is shipping out soon (pre-orders will go out this coming week) and The Fires Beneath the Sea has been delayed until July (sorry!):
Borders have about 3,500 copies of our books in stock. Hmm. Selfish wonderings: if they go under, will we get those books back? Will we get paid for the lovely numbers of Under the Poppy, Stories of Your Life, The Poison Eaters, and some backlist books such as Poppy Brite’s Second Line, they’ve been selling? I really hope they don’t close. I can’t imagine all those booksellers and so on being chucked out of work right now. Yes, ebooks are the future, but we need all kinds of bricks and mortar (or mall and strip mall) in the meantime to remind people that there are books out there to be read, not just shoes and gadgets and food court lunches.
So, we, along with all the other publishers who have shipped books to them, await the outcome of today’s meetings with baited breath!
Besides wondering about that we’ve been enjoying the lovely busyness of Weightless and adding new titles for the next season—Fall 2011! I’ve hardly wrapped my head around last year never mind this spring or summer—we have tons of new books to publish before Fall comes rolling around. But that’s the book biz, so we’re adding away. What are we adding? Some of the books are Super Sekrit (as in: we have no contracts yet) but others . . . ok, this isn’t the place for that.
But I did sign two contracts today: the first was a contract for Turkish rights for Couch. It will no doubt be an age until the book comes in, so something to look forward to. And the second was for the audio rights to Redemption in Indigo. Although that contract still needs to come back to me countersigned, so maybe those chickens should not yet be counted.
And we heard from the printer that the second printing of Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others will ship at the end of the month—go Ted! It’s such a fabulous book and we are so happy to see it being picked up by a whole new generation of readers.
We haven’t managed to send Paradise Tales to the printer yet so it looks very doubtful that that will be out on time. Boo! Is it our most complicated book yet? (That anthology we’re doing later this year might give it a run for its money.) Geoff did let slip that he’s just finished a new novel. Not sure if we’ll get a peek at or not. Of course we want!
Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is certainly a horse of a different color. I can’t think of where else I’d be able to read and assembly of stories so diverse. Though some were not to my particular taste, I applaud the editors for their fearless inclusion of some pieces that would otherwise not see the light of day simply due to their noncommercial nature. Any fan of speculative fiction, or simply good writing, will find something to like in LCRW.
Reviews of our new edition of Solitaire are popping up everywhere including Future Fire which has reminders that this is SF, not contemporary literature, “Questions concerning sexual equality and sexuality are not discussed and this invisibility is genuinely innovative and refreshing.” Can’t wait for the day when sexual equality and sexuality not being discussed is run of the mill rather than innovative.
What else? The Working Writer’s Daily Planner is our bestseller so far this year—that should last until the end of the month. It’s now $7.95.
Onnesha Roychoudhuri’s article on RudeGorilla.com‘s impact on the publishing industry is the cover story for this month’s Boston Review magazine—and is now up on Alternet. (When Amazon start being nice, we’ll be nice to them, too.)
And Amazon just opened up BookScan access (which means they can see their actual sales numbers on a weekly basis) to any authors who are willing to sign up with them. This is going to ensadden many people! Will be fascinating to see what people do with it though.
By way of international travel, service, and hoarding, Erica Harris uses collage to translate a universal language.
Good piece on UK publisher Dedalus—we have some of their books on the shelf. Used to love going through their catalog when we were editing the Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror. Their experience certainly rings a bell:
“These are not sensible commercial decisions but they are culturally the correct decisions.”
Don’t expect to be in NYC until next May but when I go I’m taking the Zinester’s Guide to New York City—”Bars! Pizza! Historic buildings! Veggie options! Open mics! Craft supplies!”
LCRW 26 is at the printer. At some point soon we will have a mailing party. You bring the envelope-stuffing ability, we’ll bring the tea and biscuits and zines. (Also: added more subscription options.)
Meanwhile we just contacted five writers with variations on this email: Your Story Is Lovely! We would like to publish it (but not until next year). Sorry it took us so long to get back to you (since the stories were sent in January/February/July/September!). Much reading still to be done.
Also just sent another DMCA takedown notice—why is Ted Chiang’s book so popular with pirates? Sure, it’s excellent and was out of print for a while but now it’s available in all kinds of formats.
Then I posted on a free ebook trading site asking people not to add our books. So depressing and a little silly to post but I think it’s worthwhile now and then. I don’t think every illegal download is a lost sale (and I understand that readers abroad might have trouble getting their hands on books they want) but we try and go the extra mile to make our books available everywhere. Oh well.
Later today I’m hoping to take Ursula out for a walk. I was hoping to make it to a war memorial for Veterans/Remembrance Day but since I can’t drive with her in the car alone (there needs to be 2 people with her in a car) maybe we will just go to a local cemetery and have a wander. Right now she is fighting off 2 therapists and a nurse. Strong kid.
What up? Many things. Visitors, busyness, to and froings in the oncoming weeks. The permanence of change. Catch up, link dump, tab closer, recent reads and more:
Also to get: Sarah Smith‘s first YA novel which is out this week: The Other Side of Dark. It’s about ghosts, treasure, and two teenagers and life, art, madness, love, and more and it’s set it this here fair city of Boston.
One of our great local-ish bookshops, Food for Thought in Amherst—one of those places that just makes you happy to walk into—is in a moneycrunch. If you did you next book buy here, it would be much appreciated. Biased suggestions for starting places: Under the Poppy, Stories of Your Life, What I Didn’t See, The Poison Eaters, Meeks. And, as of this writing, these books are all in stock: what an awesome place!
Another non-local fave bookshop is Subterranean in St. Louis and there’s a lovely little piece in the local student paper about it. They have signed copies in stock of a certain 1,000 page McSweeney’s brick as well as excellent Africa-supporting lit-shirts. It’s a lovely shop from which we walked away with a nice bagful of books. (via)
Really enjoyed the current issue of the Harvard Review. Got it because Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud has a story in it but there were a couple of excellent stories and essays as well as a good range of poetry in it.
Jay Baron Nicorvo has an excellent essay about re-roofing the family house with his two teenage brothers on Guernica.
Apex just published a special Arab/Muslim themed edition.
How does a book signed by Betty Ann Hull, Fred Pohl, and Gene Wolfe sound? Sounds good!
Thanks to Susan for this. Go read, but not while eating cake.
And Congratulations to Susan and to Niall: we love Strange Horizons and are both selfishly sad and very happy to hear about the transition.
More on the World Fantasy Awards at some point soon. Mostly: yay!
Belletrista looks at What I Didn’t See and likes what they see, “Fowler’s stories are gripping and surprising, with multiple pleasures awaiting the reader.” The San Francisco Chronicle also published a good review: “Fowler understands how disappearances heighten suspense. And she’s equally skilled at weaving mystery from the unknown.”
Karen’s final reading of her mini-California tour is this Friday at 7 PM at Vroman’s in Pasadena.
You can see Kathe read in Ann Arbor next Wednesday night at the Blackbird Theatre where there will be delightful and scary sexy puppets. Thanks to Scott Edelman (having more than either of us right now) you can also see her reading on the youtubes. More on those readings TK.
A couple of readers discover Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others for the first time. The sound of their heads exploding echoes through the intertubes. 1) Ed Park @ the LA Times ["patient but ruthless fascination with the limits of knowledge."] 2) Dreams & Speculations 3) Stefan @ Fantasy Literature.
Today is publication day for Julia Holmes’s excellent debut novel Meeks! If you’re in NYC or environs, there’s an awesome launch party happening at WORD tonight. Do not say we did not warn you! Julia’s reading all over the place (Portland, OR! Boston, MA! More!) and you should attend in your bachelor suit.
Other updates: Kathe Koja and Holly Black are reading in South Carolina this week.
You can now preorder our fall books direct from us! We ship preorders out asap. Those books include Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others (just got an amazing blurb for that!), Kathe Koja’s Under the Poppy, A Working Writer’s Daily Planner, and the book that we are just about to send to the printer: Karen Joy Fowler’s stunner of a collection, What I Didn’t See and Other Stories. Ouch, that’s a good one.
We have one more title, a November book, which we haven’t announced yet even though it is getting really damn close but the contract, it could not be agreed upon. But, news should come on that soon, so: yay. And: phew.
Then we have new books which are coming next year all of which will be world-bestriding green-energy fueled juggernauts. Or, at least, great books. Because why do anything else?
Working back from January 2011, we’re exceedingly happy to announce that in October 2010 we will bring Ted Chiang’s first collection, Stories of Your Life and Others, back into print. The title story alone is a knockout and then there are those seven other stories, which together have received a ton of awards and make this one of the strongest collections ever published.
Stories of Your Life and Others has been out of print for a couple of years so we are very excited to bring it back. Don’t go paying $100 for it now, wait until October and pay $16! Stories will be published in trade paperback and the table of contents is:
Tower of Babylon
Division by Zero
Story of Your Life
The Evolution of Human Science
Hell is the Absence of God
Liking What You See: A Documentary
And for those readers (us!) waiting for new stories from Ted, the good news is that he just handed in a longish story to Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press. So, two books to look forward to!
ETA: That long story has now been published.