Words Are My Matter wins a Hugo!

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

Words Are My Matter cover - click to view full sizeWe are delighted to hear that Ursula K. Le Guin’s nonfiction collection Words Are My Matter won the “Best Related Work” Hugo Award last night at the Worldcon in Finland!

This year’s Hugo sits “on a base designed and produced for Worldcon 75 by local Helsinki artist and Science Fiction fan, Eeva Jokinen” and we will post a picture of it if we can at some point later. In the meantime, congratulations to the fabulous list of winners and nominees!



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.



We Will Know You By Your Friday Afternoon Executive Orders

Fri 3 Feb 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

And will be unimpressed with your chaos, bombast, and moral weakness. That the Democratic Party are not impeaching this President yet is astounding. That the “Republican Party” accept their “President’s” actions: his racist Executive Orders, his racist and lying advisor and press secretary, his not recording his calls to Vladimir Putin, his insulting of allies, his emolument-clause twisting actions show that they are power hungry dogs willing to tear the country to pieces if only they can hold on to power for a moment longer.

Our town was supposed to get 51 refugees this year. There has been so much prepwork done for these 51 people — out of 60,000,000 displaced people. This anti-humanist “government” is a disgrace.

Here’s to the people who have been, are, and will continue to volunteer, march, and fight for actual freedom and the welcoming principles this country has (at least supposedly) espoused.

As well as all that: we publish extremely good books and here are a few spots in the world where they are being enjoyed:

— We published but five books last year and four of them are on the Locus Recommended Reading List. No stories from LCRW, which I’d disagree with, as would be expected of any editor. But I tend to think LCRW is one of the best zines out there and one I consistently read (for), so there’s my 2 cents.

— Over on Tor.com Juan Martinez writes about George Saunders’s CivilWarLand in Bad Decline for “The One Book That Unstuck My Writing

“I owe so much of my writing life to George Saunders that even this introductory bit is lifted from him, I just realized, even as I started writing it. Because I was going to begin by sharing how often I fantasized about meeting writers I admired, and it’s super common, this fantasy—writers meeting their idols, and then the idol recognizes your genius and you become best buds, and the idol lifts you from whatever dire circumstances you happen to be in, and your life is perfect from then on. I totally wanted to start with that—with confessing how often I thought of meeting Saunders—before I realized why I wanted to start with that.”

— a profile of the indomitable Ursula K. Le Guin by David Larsen in New Zealand’s The Listener:

Words Are My Matter demonstrates, among other things, the difference between a hectoring sermon and a ­memorable oration – notably in the text of her instantly viral 2014 speech on freedom, in which she lambasts profit-driven corporate publishing. ‘Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings.'”

       



Happy New Year

Sat 31 Dec 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

On the last day of the year: a quick fly-by on Small Beer books. In 2016 we (on purpose) published the fewest number of books we’ve done for a while and an unusual ratio of hardcovers to paperbacks — it’s also hard to properly count them. We published two trade paperbacks (Jeffrey Ford’s A Natural History of Hell and John Crowley’s The Chemical Wedding) but did we put out three hardcovers (Joan Aiken’s The People in the Castle, Sofia Samatar’s The Winged Histories, and Ursula K. Le Guin’s Words Are My Matter*) . . . or four or seven — including the Kickstarter there were three hardcover editions of The Chemical Wedding. . . .
All but The Chemical Wedding received starred reviews and ended up on Best of the Year lists and I toast each and every author. (Or, I will tonight!)

* A moment to celebrate: Words Are My Matter was our third title with Ursula K. Le Guin after her translation of Angélica Gorodischer’s Kalpa Imperial and her two volume The Unreal and the Real.

And even though we only published five titles (plus that fun but total time sink Kickstarter) I manage to be behind with so many things. Even when I reduced the number of books we published, I’m still behind. But! There are so many things to fill me with despair! So many interesting people on twitter! So many leaves to pick up on the walk to school. So many books to reprint — sneaked that last one in. I don’t think I’ve ever gathered in one place which books we reprinted in one year so here goes:

Nathan Ballingrud’s first collecton, North American Lake Monsters. Third printing — this book has legs! (Horrible things happen to those legs in at least one of the stories, but, still, legs!) The good news: Nathan is working on his next collection.

Naomi Mitchison’s novel Travel Light. Second printing. I read the first part of this to our 7-year-old who is part dragon herself and she really enjoyed all the parts with Uggi and the other dragons. She has the proper disregard for heroes, at least sometimes.

Ursula K. Le Guin, Words Are My Matter. The first printing was in October and the second in December — could I have increased the first print run? Yes. But I am so good at overprinting, so ordering a print run that was 220+% of the initial orders seemed like a solid call. Ordering another 50% of that first run was fun.
— A reprint not of our own: The Unreal and the Real in one volume, not two, with one extra story by Joe Monti at Simon & Schuster/Saga as part of a raft of Le Guin titles that they will publish including at some point a Charles Vess illustrated Complete Earthsea book I am very much looking forward to.

Another reprint not our own: Ted Chiang’s collection Stories of Your Life and Others (aka Arrival) by Vintage. The movie of the title story has made $90 million in the USA alone and the paperback edition was on the New York Times bestseller lists for four weeks which translates into thousands and thousands more readers for Ted’s fabulous stories. Sometimes, no, wait, very infrequently, things go right.

Nicole Kornher-Stace’s YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults 2016 novel Archivist Wasp. Third printing, May 2016. A book that blew out the door and keeps on going. As with Nathan above, Nicole is working on her next book.

Greer Gilman, Cry Murder! in a Small Voice. Second printing, March 2016. The first of Greer Gilman’s Ben Jonson, Detective novellas. Dense, bloody, funny, fantastic. Wait, I see a pattern here: Greer is also working on her next book. Writers write!

I think that’s it: five new titles and five reprints plus the de rigueur two issues of LCRW — thank you writers, subscribers, and booksellers for getting behind the only zine named after a Brooklyn girl who moved to London, married a Lord who probably had the syph, and published her own fancy fancy literary journal.

Sometimes in the past I’ve posted year end Small Beer bestseller lists but I find them oddly hard to do: should I list books shipped from our lovely distributor, Consortium (now owned by Ingram)? But what about website and bookfair sales? Books shipped out from Consortium, can and will be returned, sometimes months later. Should I post Bookscan rankings? Bookscan only seems to capture about 30-50% of actual sales — which I always forget when I look at their reports, oops, but is very clear when I look at sales/return numbers from Consortium.

Either way, we sold a lot of books in 2016: thank you. In 2017 we have many books planned and — if all goes well — more reprints. No Kickstarter, at least, I don’t think so right at this moment in the middle of inventory and preparing for 1099s and so on. There is a Howard Waldrop project kicking around…. We’ll see. Two more issues of LCRW FTW. We will go to AWP in Washington, DC, in February and Kelly is teaching at Tin House in Portland in July. I just received an update (no real movement, but the possibility of movement) on a secret project we’ve been slowly trying to make work for at least five years — it may not work, c’est la vie in publishing: try and make something happen for years, sometimes it flames out, disappears, or ends up elsewhere but if it ever did come together, wow, what fun.

And at the very end of this year I signed a contract and sent of a check for a short story collection that has been a long time in the making — but more on that in the new year: more books, more cheer, and of course: more fighting for freedom, equality, and justice for all. Happy new year to you and yours.



Shipping Going Well

Mon 19 Dec 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

At least, it’s going well from here — thank you! It’s busy as all get out but we are up to date to Thursday’s orders and by the end of today will have caught up again — unless there are too many orders to ship, woohoo, bring it! The post office says that US Priority Mail orders will still arrive by Christmas if ordered by 12/21, go for it!

Want some last minute present ideas? (OK, these are all going to be Small Beer books, I think.) Nothing here will stop the howling void of despair and depression taking over all from the electoral shenanigans but they will distract for various amounts of time:

Margaret Atwood selected Ursula K. Le Guin’s Words Are My Matter as one of her favorite books of the year in the Walrus:

It was a pleasure to encounter renowned SF and fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin’s book of essays, Words Are My Matter, and to hear her wise, informed, elegant, and occasionally testy voice discussing such joys as the early H.G. Wells classics such as The Time Machine and China Miéville’s Embassytown—which surely owes a debt to Le Guin’s own The Left Hand of Darkness, now out in a sumptuous new Penguin Galaxy edition.

And Nora Jemisin recommended the book in the New York Times Book Review. Also: there was an Ursula K. Le Guin symposium at the University of Oregon.

Sit back (or go jog, or shovel some snow) and listen to David Naimon and Sofia Samatar chat about The Winged Histories on the Between the Covers podcast. The Winged Histories was chosen as one of the best books of the year by NPR — yay!

The Valley Advocate ran a 3-page spread on John Crowley’s The Chemical Wedding which included interviews with Crowley, illustrator Theo Fadel, and designer Jacob McMurrary. The paper edition had many illustrations. Meanwhile the book was reviewed on Tor.com.

See the Elephant ran a review of Joan Aiken’s The People in the Castle, which was also selected as one of the year’s best books by the Washington Post. Double yay!

See the Elephant had previously run a review of Jeffrey Ford’s A Natural History of Hell which much to my enjoyment began “Hellishly Good Stories.” Jim Sallis revelled in Ford’s collection in F&SF (“Formally Ford’s stories are object lessons in how to stage a narrative.”) Alvaro Zinos-Amaro reviewed it on IGMS and DF Lewis wrote reaction posts while reading the stories. Hazel and Wren also liked the book. What can I say? It struck a chord.

There is a new issue of LCRW and meanwhile the previous issue received a strong review in Fantastic Stories of the Imagination and another in New Pages.

And Mary Rickert’s collection, You Have Never Been Here, came out so late in 2015 that a lot of people read it this year, i.e. Sallis (“Reading a Mary Rickert story quite often is like sinking through layers of such worlds. We begin in one place, blink, and open our eyes to somewhere—something—else.”) in F&SF and William Grabowski in See the Elephant: “Rickert’s work, its superbly subtle handling of deepest human yearning for something to heal the howling void behind our increasingly demythologized world, shows the ineffable power—and value—of fantastical storytelling.”

Quickshots:
— Afrofuturism? The Liminal War
— Density? Prodigies
— The underworld? Archivist Wasp
— Digging a hole? Secession? Sherwood Nation
— Middle grade ecothrillers? The Fires Beneath the Sea

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Toodles!



Words Are My Matter Publication Day & Interview

Tue 18 Oct 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Words Are My Matter cover - click to view full sizeThere is an interview with the excellent Ursula K. Le Guin by Bryan Hood in the Guardian today (I love all the recent photos of her here [and in The Nation], what joy there is there, what sharpness) in which, among all the other survey works recently published, Words Are My Matter gets a mention:

Rounding out the quartet is Words Are My Matter, a collection of the writer’s recent nonfiction. Le Guin may not have written a novel since 2008’s Lavinia, but the always sharp, frequently funny, and unfailingly confident compilation of essays, lectures and book reviews show she hasn’t stopped working.

No she hasn’t stopped! What a joy it is to publish this book — ok, yes, it’s a joy to publish aalll of our books, otherwise, what’s the point?! — and to see it read out in the world. There is something about having all the words between two covers that gives them a weight and a consequence. We can see all (some!) of the authors through their work and arguments. And here Le Guin is arguing for a broad inclusive world where walls are not what we’re erecting, rather, we see the differences and live with each other. It’s a hard task, but we might even be up to it. We have these handy units of communication that we can use with each other to try and understand, these words, so many words. And Le Guin, she uses them to well. Words are indeed her matter and she shows as well as tells us that Words Matter.



Ursula K. Le Guin in profile & ToC

Thu 6 Oct 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Words Are My Matter cover There’s just under two weeks to go until the official publication date* of our forthcoming collection of Ursula K. Le Guin’s recent nonfiction, Words Are My Matterand in the run-up to that and celebrating the recent Library of America collection, The Complete Orsinia, and the two huge collections of short fiction (one of which may be very familiar to readers here) from Saga, The Unreal and the Real and The Found and the Lost, there’s an article on Le Guin in the Nation

“The collection articulates Le Guin’s belief in the social and political value of storytelling, as well as her fear that corporatization has made the publishing landscape increasingly inhospitable to risk-takers, to those who insist on other ways. This is a real problem, particularly if we can’t count on fresh water from the well of Le Guin’s imagination. In a year stalked by the long shadows of authoritarianism, ecological collapse, and perpetual war, her writing feels more urgent than ever.”

as well as one in the Washington Post by Michael Dirda where he writes the book

“Spills over with insight, outrage and humor. In ‘Making Up Stories,’ Le Guin implores her audience not to ask where she gets her ideas: ‘I have managed to keep the address of the company where I buy my ideas a secret all these years, and I’m not about to let people in on it now.’ Of Dr. Zhivago, Le Guin confesses that ‘I now realize how much I learned about how to write a novel from [Boris] Pasternak: how you can leap across miles and years so long as you land in the right place; how accuracy of detail embodies emotion; how by leaving more out you can get more in.’”

And: there’s a long profile by Julie Phillips coming up in the New Yorker. In the meantime, here’s the final Table of Contents for Words — some of these reviews are online and we will be adding links soon:

Table of Contents

Foreword
Talks, Essays, and Occasional Pieces

The Operating Instructions
What It Was Like
Genre: A Word Only a Frenchman Could Love
“Things Not Actually Present”
A Response, by Ansible, from Tau Ceti
The Beast in the Book
Inventing Languages
How to Read a Poem: “Gray Goose and Gander”
On David Hensel’s Submission to the Royal Academy of Art
On Serious Literature
Teasing Myself Out of Thought
Living in a Work of Art
Staying Awake
Great Nature’s Second Course
What Women Know
Disappearing Grandmothers
Learning to Write Science Fiction from Virginia Woolf
The Death of the Book
Le Guin’s Hypothesis
Making Up Stories
Freedom

Book Introductions and Notes on Writers

A Very Good American Novel: H. L. Davis’s Honey in the Horn
Philip K. Dick: The Man in the High Castle
Huxley’s Bad Trip
Stanislaw Lem: Solaris
George MacDonald: The Princess and the Goblin
The Wild Winds of Possibility: Vonda McIntyre’s Dreamsnake
Getting It Right: Charles L. McNichols’s Crazy Weather
On Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago
Examples of Dignity: Thoughts on the Work of José Saramago
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky: Roadside Picnic
Jack Vance: The Languages of Pao
H. G. Wells: The First Men in the Moon
H. G. Wells: The Time Machine
Wells’s Worlds

Book Reviews

Margaret Atwood: Moral Disorder
Margaret Atwood: The Year of the Flood
Margaret Atwood: Stone Mattress
J. G. Ballard: Kingdom Come
Roberto Bolaño: Monsieur Pain
T. C. Boyle: When the Killing’s Done
Geraldine Brooks: People of the Book
Italo Calvino: The Complete Cosmicomics
Margaret Drabble: The Sea Lady
Carol Emshwiller: Ledoyt
Alan Garner: Boneland
Kent Haruf: Benediction
Kent Haruf: Our Souls at Night
Tove Jansson: The True Deceiver
Barbara Kingsolver: Flight Behavior
Chang-Rae Lee: On Such a Full Sea
Doris Lessing: The Cleft
Donna Leon: Suffer the Little Children
Yann Martel: The High Mountains of Portugal
China Miéville: Embassytown
China Miéville: Three Moments of an Explosion
David Mitchell: The Bone Clocks
Jan Morris: Hav
Julie Otsuka: The Buddha in the Attic
Salman Rushdie: The Enchantress of Florence
Salman Rushdie: Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights
José Saramago: Raised from the Ground
José Saramago: Skylight
Sylvia Townsend Warner: Dorset Stories
Jo Walton: Among Others
Jeanette Winterson: The Stone Gods
Stefan Zweig: The Post Office Girl

The Hope of Rabbits: A Journal of a Writer’s Week

* We are shipping copies out and the ebook is now available on Weightless.



Holiday Gift Guide … Which Holiday?

Mon 3 Oct 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

A Natural History of Hell cover - click to view full sizePerhaps you and your family and/or friends exchange horrible gifts and favors on Halloween? Perhaps you’ve been wondering what to give your demonic friends who seem to have all the slavering zombie tchotchkes in the world? Publishers Weekly says Jeffrey Ford’s A Natural History of Hell is:

This is the perfect reader-who-has-everything gift for fantasy fans with a literary bent or vice versa. Ford brilliantly cross-pollinates the grim suburban settings of literary fiction with fantastical elements, adding dashes of humor and empathy to provide some light in dark days.

Also on the sf&f part of the Holiday Gift Guide are the new one-volume hardcover edition of Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Unreal and the Real as well as the huge new book of collected novellas, The Found and the Lost, Nisi Shawl’s Everfair, and N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season.

Anyone who received all five books would be a lucky reader indeed!



PW Fall 2016 Adult Announcements: Essays & Literary Criticism Top 10

Tue 21 Jun 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

In between the things I’m not doing here is something good about a book coming sooner than soon! (This is not Jeff Ford’s book which comes out next month!)

Words Are My Matter is in the top 10 of the Publishers Weekly Fall 2016 Adult Announcements: Essays & Literary Criticism. Yay!

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Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin

Mon 1 Feb 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Hope you will consider backing this if you can!



David Mitchell on Ursula K. Le Guin

Fri 23 Oct 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

“Adulthood brings more demanding critical standards and many a childhood favourite has been booted off my podium of most cherished books, but my admiration for Le Guin’s artistry has only grown with every rereading.”

I imagine that many people I know feel the same way.

Read the whole thing on the Guardian.



The Unreal and the Real wins the Oregon Book Award!

Tue 18 Mar 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Lovely news from Ben Parzybok on twitter from Oregon last night. Among the winners (congrats to all!) of the Oregon Book Award, was Ursula K. Le Guin, whose two-volume Selected Stories received the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction.

Even better, Luis Alberto Urrea (who posted the accompanying photo yesterday) was the the master of ceremonies and, well, Jeff Baker gave it a lovely write up for the Oregonian:

“. . . Le Guin won the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction for “The Unreal and The Real: Collected Stories Vol. 1 and 2.” At 84 Le Guin is perhaps the most decorated author in the state; her many honors include a National Book Award, every major science fiction award and an Oregon Book Award in 1992 for “Searoad.”

Luis Alberto Urrea, the master of ceremonies, began the evening with a humorous, heartfelt tribute to Le Guin. Urrea said he was “a poor boy from Tijuana” who wrote a story based on a family experience that somehow made its way to Le Guin, who asked him to join a workshop she was teaching and befriended him. She chose the story for an anthology she was editing, Urrea’s first sale, and his friends all bought the book and asked him to sign it. Urrea said Le Guin “smoked a pipe back then” and he accompanied her to her first viewing of “Star Wars,” during which she explained all the science errors to him.

“Everything good in my life comes from writing,” Urrea said. “Everything good in my life comes from Ursula. I’m here tonight for Ursula, the queen of America.”

Le Guin accepted her award graciously and first cautioned the audience that they should pay attention to Urrea when he’s writing, maybe not so much when he’s speaking. She remembered that in 1987, the year the Oregon Book Awards began, the award she received was named for H.L. Davis and she presented it to the winner. She touted Davis’ novel “Honey in the Horn” as the best written about Oregon and rued that it is out of print. She remembered the founders of Literary Arts, the organization that sponsors the Oregon Book Awards, particularly Brian Booth, and talked about her feeling for the state.

“I came to Oregon by luck,” Le Guin said, “and lasted 55 years. No plan can beat good luck.”



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!

    



Unreal and the Real: Oregon Book Award finalist

Fri 10 Jan 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The Unreal and the Real: Where on Earth cover - click to view full sizeLovely news this week, Ursula K. Le Guin’s selected stories, The Unreal and the Real, is one of 2014 Oregon Book Award Finalists for the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction. All of the finalists for the various categories are here and the award ceremony (hosted by the excellent Luis Alberto Urrea!) is on March 17 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $10 – $50.

And here is the list of fiction finalists: congrats one and all!

Ursula K. Le Guin of Portland, The Unreal and The Real: Collected Stories: Volume 1 and 2 (Small Beer Press)
Whitney Otto of Portland, Eight Girls Taking Pictures (Scribner)
Amanda Coplin of Portland, The Orchardist (Harper Perennial)
Roger Hobbs of Portland, Ghostman (Knopf)

27th Annual Oregon Book Awards Ceremony
Gerding Theater at The Armory (View)
128 NW Eleventh Avenue
Portland, OR 97209


Some goings on, reviews, &c.

Fri 6 Sep 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

LCRW 29 is out. Must write a prop’r post about that soon. Phew. It is a goody.

Things on the to-be-read pile: Duplex by Kathryn Davis. Alice Kim gave it a thumbs up which is good enough for me. Also, picked it up at Odyssey Books the other night after Holly Black’s reading.

Just came across this great review of Travel Light by Paul Kincaid from 2007 on SF Site.

“The enchantments of Travel Light contain more truth, more straight talking, a grittier, harder-edged view of the world than any of the mundane descriptions of daily life you will find in … science fiction stories.”

Sounds about right to me. We reprinted this book because I found myself buying more and more copies to give to people and now I am very glad we did as now readers have told me they pick up multiple copies to press on friends. Thus a good book is read!

Nerds of a Feather reviewed Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Unreal and the Real: Where on Earth“You’ve probably guessed that I really liked this volume of short stories . . . ” (There’s an earlier review of Outer Space, Inner Lands here.) Nerds of a Feather is a great name.

If you subscribe to F&SF, you may already know this: Angélica Gorodischer’s “By the Light of the Chaste Electronic Moon” appeared in the May/June edition of F&SF.

A while ago Kelly did a podcast interview and reading with Hold That Thought with Rebecca King. Kelly in turn interviewed Readercon guest of honor Maureen F. McHugh and Scott Edelman posted it in two parts. And! Game reviewer VocTer posted a reading of “Magic for Beginners” on YouTube. This is part 1 and is an hour long!



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 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!



Ursula K. Le Guin @ Powell’s, Sunday, Jan. 6

Fri 4 Jan 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Ursula K. Le Guin will be at Powell’s City of Books this Sunday evening at 7:30 PM. Would that we could be there!  But this is your chance to order your signed copy:

 Upcoming Event

Sunday, January 06, 2013 07:30 PM
In The Unreal and the Real (Small Beer), a two-volume selection of Ursula K. Le Guin‘s best short stories, readers will be delighted, provoked, amused, and faced with the sharp, satirical voice of one of the best short-story writers of the present day. Volume One, Where on Earth, explores Le Guin’s satirical, risky, political, and experimental earthbound stories, while the companion volume, Outer Space, Inner Lands, includes her best-known fantastical stories.


Updates: Dickinson, Le Guin, Hand, more

Mon 17 Dec 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

This weekend the Wall Street Journal picked Peter Dickinson’s new collection of short stories, Earth and Air, as one of the 10 best books of fiction of 2012:

“Much modern fantasy draws upon myth and folklore, but not many authors can enter wholly into the surprising and novel logic of myth. In this brilliant collection of stories, Peter Dickinson recasts Beowulf and Orpheus, investigates tales of earth-spirits, explains the footwear of Mercury and accounts for the survival of Athena’s owls in Christian Byzantium. These beautiful stories, our reviewer believed, ‘deserve to become classics of the genre.'”

Look! Peter has a shiny new website with tons of extra stuff. (Including another new book!) There are gems everywhere, including this from the news section: “Most Tuesdays I bike up into the town to have tea with a 92-year-old friend.  Week before last we laughed ourselves into hiccups talking about funerals.  Did us both a power of good.” Ha!

You can listen to Ursula K. Le Guin on BBC’s The World. It’s all about language. I know you’ll love it.

Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe chat with Maureen F. McHugh about writing, games, online and TV things, writing for TV and other media, the Chinese economy, writing collaboratively, and more on the Coode Street Podcast.

Coming tomorrow, we have Julie Day’s final Small Beer podcast of 2012, an extra special edition featuring Lydia Millet reading the first chapter of The Shimmers in the Night.

Elizabeth Hand’s Errantry gets a lovely review in her sort-of-local paper, the Maine Sunday Telegram“No writer has cornered the market on darkly beautiful, unsettling stories. But it’s a niche that Elizabeth Hand inhabits with uncanny ease.”

I haven’t seen the new Hobbit movie but I loved these Tove Jansson illustrations for the Swedish edition that someone on Twitter (thank you, Tweetee!) posted.

Ellen Datlow has a Kickstarter! Also, Red Emma’s in Baltimore is moving. Check out that timeline and help out? Also, there’s an Indiegogo for a student film version of Kelly’s story “Survivor’s Ball.”

Short story lovers may have noticed that we are the sponsor of the current issue of One Story. We love One Story — and their new project, One Teen Story (which, you know, would make a great present for teens . . . !) — and for the last couple of years we have been very happy to be one of their sponsors. Here’s editor Hannah Tinti’s post about the story:

Issue #172: Goodbye, Bear

December 7th, 2012 3:44pm by Hannah Tinti

The first thing that drew me to E.B. Lyndon’s “Goodbye, Bear” was the voice.  It felt fresh and modern and full of energy, and I loved the wit, intelligence and humor, as well as the fast-paced dialogues that battered back and forth like a game of tennis on speed.



That’s it.

Thu 29 Nov 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The Unreal and the Real is out of stock at the distributor. If you want copies for the holidays, order them now. (Powells have plenty.)

We think they were two of the best books published this year—no matter what other lists say! Wait a couple of years and try and see. Of course we feel the same about all the books we publish (otherwise, sang the chorus, what would beeeeee the point?) so if you miss them, may we suggest:

a deep and dark collection of strange stories . . . half a dozen stories of earth and air . . . a debut collection that Adam Roberts mentioned in the Guardian . . . that Armitage family . . . a guidebook to 26 fantastic cities . . . a first of its kind anthology of contemporary Mexican stories . . . nine stories of science, aging, and imagination . . . a pageturning science fiction thriller . . . the Sykes’s children’s find their mother and she is no longer who they thought she was!

       



The Unreal and the Real: Publication Day

Tue 27 Nov 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

It is amazing to sit here and think about these two books being out in the world. The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin Volume One: Where on Earth and Volume Two: Outer Space, Inner Lands.

There are many people we owe thanks to for their help and patience as this rather big book came slowly into sight: Ursula K. Le Guin, of course, and her agent, Vaughne Lee Hansen of the Virginia Kidd Agency; John D. Berry for designing the covers; Tugboat Printshop for the use of their art; and Michael J. DeLuca, Julie Day, Kelly Lagor, Anne Horowitz, Julia Patt, and Georgiana Lee for last minute help.

Should you wish signed copies, you should keep an eye on Ursula’s calendar. Her next reading is at Powell’s City of Books on January 6, 2013.

Now the books are out and getting read and reviewed widely, selling like hot cakes, and generally behaving as if, yes, it is incredibly obvious that such books would be well received, it is an immense relief and a hell of a way to end the year on.

Because, besides an upcoming issue of LCRW, this (these!) is (are!) the last book(s!) from us for 2012. (Ok, ok, so we’re well into our 2013 books and buying books for 2014, what’s your point?) Whether you read these books in their lovely hardcover editions or download them as ebooks, I hope you enjoy them as much as we have.

The Unreal and the Real: Where on Earth cover - click to view full size The Unreal and the Real: Outer Space, Inner Lands cover - click to view full size



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 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!