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 on the tavern with beer and food.

And check out’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.

The Company We Keep – Under the Poppy takes to the road

Thu 8 Sep 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

A Guest Post from Kathe Koja:

An industrial art festival, throngs of hipsters, and bands, and Sailor Jerry rum…. And upstairs there was a Victorian townhouse, lovingly designed and painstakingly painted, hung about with deep red curtains, decorated with lavish lace and plump floor pillows and risque art. There was wine, and chocolates; there were flowers. There were curious glances as the curious audience—whose knowledge of Under the Poppy ranged from multiple devoted readings to “What’s this all about?”—made its way past the Poppy booth into the playing space.  And then the door closed behind them, and the show began.

“The company we keep
May keep us from our sleep
And keep us toss-and-turning till the morning …” Read more

Boston Book Fest is this Saturday

Thu 14 Oct 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

and we’d love to see you there! We have new books and will be there 10 – 6.

And: Kelly is on Kate Bernheimer’s fairy tale panel at 3 PM with Maria Tatar and Kathryn Davis in celebration of the huge new anthology, My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me. Kelly just got her copy yesterday and it’s a fabulous looking book. There are 40 stories, including many originals, from peeps such as Shelley Jackson, Kevin Brockmeier, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Joy Williams, Aimee Bender, and, you know, 35 others! The cover art and design is by house fave Julie Morstad.

At the book fest, we will be sharing a booth with the completely new journal (which will be launched next year), The Common, from Amherst College. They’re open for submissions and seeking “stories, poems, essays, and dispatches that embody a strong sense of place.” You can download Issue Zero here.

You can find us and The Common at booth 26. Other exhibitors include the fine folk at One Story, Godine, and Zephyr Press, a couple of our favorite bookshops, Brookline Booksmith and the Raven, as well as Oxfam, WBUR and WGBH, Redivider, 826 Boston, and some food trucks—yum! Wish Yoma were providing the food. Maybe next year! Maybe we will bring banh mi (shades of the Brooklyn Book Fest).

If all goes well, Kelly and I will be bringing Ursula along. We can’t get a nurse for the day (eek!) so Kelly and I will be juggling looking after her (she is 18 months old and wants to do stuff!). I’m not quite sure how that will work with Kelly’s panel. Anyone want to step in from 3-4PM and help shill will be appreciated.

Lastly: two new titles, Under the Poppy and A Working Writer’s Daily Planner 2011, just arrived at the office so they will be debuting at the book fest.

Apparently it will be sunny and breezy. If that’s true, that will be a mild improvement on the rain rain rain at last month’s Brooklyn Book Fest. See you in Copley Square!

ETA: We have a nurse for Ursula for Saturday so she will only be making an appearance early in the morning during set up!

& now the first review for Under the Poppy

Mon 30 Aug 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Publishers Weekly is again first off the blocks with their take on Kathe Koja’s huge sexy historical novel, Under the Poppy:

“The latest from Koja (Skin) is a page turner with riveting language and
close attention to sensory detail. Set in late 19th-century Brussels, the
story follows the adventures of puppeteer Istvan and brothel owner Rupert
who bond as friends and lovers. The first half of the novel is set at
Rupert’s brothel, Under the Poppy, a haven for bawdy puppet shows and loose
women. With war in the air, the brothel is forced to house soldiers led by a
corrupt general. A mysterious assault on Rupert leads to more violence and
an exodus of prostitutes from the establishment. Istvan and Rupert, with one
of the former working girls, who morphs into a theater owner and puppeteer,
leave as well and arrive in a new town, where they cavort with a family of
aristocrats that includes Isobel, who falls for Rupert (as does her young
brother, Benjamin, the family heir). Koja’s style is unconventional,
resulting in a melodrama with deep insights into character and a murky plot
balanced with prose as theatrical as the world it portrays.(Oct.)”