Online Events (links TK)

Wed 16 Sep 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

There are a few online events featuring Small Beer authors planned in the next couple of weeks and there are more TK but here are the first few:

September 16, 7 p.m. PST
Elwin Cotman (Dance on Saturday)
Register here.

September 24, 7:30 p.m. EST
Pre-register for the inaugural event of the Strange Light Reading Series (originally planned to take place at Book Moon) hosted by Alexandra Manglis & Yvette Ndlovu with Karen Lord (Redemption in Indigo 10-year anniversary reading) & Tessa Gratton (Night Shine)

October 7th, 7 p.m. CST
Elizabeth Hand (Generation Loss, The Book of Lamps & Banners) & Nathan Ballingrud (North American Lake Monsters)
Madison Street Books, 1127 W Madison Street, Chicago, IL 60607

October 19
Elwin Cotman (Dance on Saturday)

Questionable Utopias?

Thu 6 Aug 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

An Agent of Practices? An Agent of Utopia! Questionable Practices! Get these fabulous collections by Andy Gunn and Eileen Duncan Andy Duncan and Eileen Gunn as well as 8 more books by Chesya Burke, Tenea D. Johnson, Larissa Lai, JD Scott, Ginn Hale, Maurice Broaddus, and an anthology edited by Bill Campbell & Francesco Verso in the latest StoryBundle deal: the Innovative Worlds Bundle curated by Tenea D. Johnson:

Innovation can mean the difference between progress and stagnation, wonder and woe, seeing the return of dim days or a new age of enlightenment. An innovative world is one where you can immerse yourself and learn something new, see a trope turned on its head, meet characters that will frequent the passages of your mind, navigating by the spark of newness they carry through the gloom.
Innovative worlds can shine as an example of what to be or provide respite from what, if only temporarily, is. Or they can make you appreciate what ain’t broke.
One could make a strong case that innovation and its possibilities are in short supply at the moment.
But not here.

LCRW Forty-Extraordinary-One

Tue 30 Jun 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 41 cover - click to view full sizeHey, it is publication day for the new issue of LCRW! We are celebrating all day by relaxing by the seaside with mimosas. It is a sunny day with a breeze and the shade of the trees it hitting me just right. Later someone, not me, is going to produce a fruit plate. If you happen to call Book Moon and I answer the phone, that’s not me, that’s my semi-sentient personal AI who may be able to help you find a book or may check in on your feelings about the word pudding and the utility of graprefruit cannons as distractors for angry 11-year-olds.

The other day after mailing out all the LCRWs, I went to update the subscriber database so mark some subscriptions expired. Except! Ha! Made myself laugh! No subscriptions expired because this was a freebie to all the subscribers! So, thank you, subscribers! It is mostly great fun to make this zine and send it out into the world and it was delightful to send this issue out as a thank you for supporting the work.

It’s a big issue: we packed 2 novellas and a long story in there along with Nicole Kimberlings “Quarantine Pantry Challenge” column. And of course the fabulous cover illustration, “Mirrie in the Sea Storm,” is by Vicky Yuh.

Also, 2020 being so uneven, LCRW 41 is the first thing Small Beer has published this year. We’d meant to have Elizabeth Hand’s Generation Loss paperback out in April (it is printed, at the warehouse, and ready to roll out in August) and Elwin Cotman’s new collection, Dance on Saturday, out this month, but: COVID-19 meant we asked our booksellers at Book Moon not to come in to the shop, so we spent much of spring here. That may change a little in upcoming months, as we need to find new balances in the new world, or, it may not. Who knows how anything will go — except the chances of me getting on a plane this summer is near zero, so: more time for making books or more time in BKMN? The USA is doing such a terrible job of controlling the virus — which, you know, just means being polite enough to wear a mask in public — that we may remain in the equivalent of lockdown until there is a vaccine (eek).

All of which is to say, we are delighted to have actually published something in this the last day of the first half of 2020. We look forward to hearing readers’ reactions and to publishing many more things in the second half of the year.

Psychopomps Galore

Mon 29 Jun 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Psychopomp BundleThis is your chance to get a fabulous deal on a dozen books by writers who’ve chosen to investigate life (as it were) on the other side of the veil — including Nicole Kornher-Stace’s Archivist Wasp, and the sequel, Latchkey.

This bundle lasts for the next two weeks or so:

The Crossing the Veil Bundle – Curated by Rhonda Parrish: I’ve spent the last several years curating and editing short stories and poetry for anthologies and this year I’m very excited to expand that into curating books for a StoryBundle. I’m excited to share my first ever StoryBundle which is all about psychopomps and crossing the veil.

A couple years ago I stumbled across a word I’d never heard before — psychopomp. When I looked up its meaning I discovered that I’d been aware of the concept of a psychopomp for a long time, I just hadn’t known the word for it. A psychopomp is a being which acts as a guide for the souls of the recently departed, helping them move from this world to the next and occasionally carrying messages between the two.

It’s kind of impressive that I went so long without knowing the word psychopomp because I’ve always loved stories that involve crossing over from the world of the living to that of the dead. Always. As a kid we took Greek Mythology in school and while all the stories interested me it was those set in Hades that really fascinated me. I would seek them out and devour version after version. And as I grew, that never really changed. I still love stories set in the places we go after we die, or featuring characters that can cross between those worlds, which made choosing that as the topic for this StoryBundle an easy decision.

That’s not all! Read more about the 12 books in the bundle here, and make sure to click on each cover for a synopsis, reviews and preview of each book.

And Go Like Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award Finalists

Wed 17 Jun 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

And Go Like This coverI’m delighted to see that John Crowley’s collection And Go Like This is a finalist along with many other fine novels and collections in the$5,000 2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards.

Award winners will be announced during the summer and the full list of finalists can be found on the Neukom Institute’s website.


2 x Buzzfeed

Wed 3 Jun 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Dance on Saturday cover - click to view full sizeWe moved Elwin Cotman’s forthcoming collection, Dance on Saturday, from this month to August since a lot of booksellers and reviewers were unable to receive their review copies in a timely fashion. But that just means more time for people to look forward to it!

Buzzfeed recently had it on 2 summer reading lists. Add it to yours!

“Cotman blends humor, emotional clarity, and wild imagination to bring life to stories about identity, power, and human nature.”
— Arianna Rebolini, Buzzfeed, 29 Summer Books You Won’t Be Able To Put Down

“Fantastically weird short stories infused with elements from Black culture. . . . Each story provides a singular and riveting reading experience.”
— Margaret Kingsbury, Buzzfeed, 17 Summer Must-Reads For Fantasy Lovers


Mon 1 Jun 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Small Beer Press and Book Moon will be closed tomorrow, June 2, 2020.


LCRW Forty (Extraordinary) One

Wed 20 May 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 41 cover - click to view full sizeThe next issue of LCRW, no. 41, will be published in print and ebook form on June 16th, 2020, and will be known as LCRW Forty (Extraordinary) One.

That cover there, that’s a place holder for a fabulous piece of art.

The page for it will go up soon but in the meantime: news!

LCRW 41 will be sent to print and ebook subscribers — and anyone who subscribes to LCRW before June 15 — for free.

We will check in with the lovely indie bookshops that usually carry LCRW and see if they are going to be open but many are in the same position as Book Moon which won’t be open for the forseeable future for anything but curbside pickup from May 27th at the earliest. So since this issue can’t find readers the usual way, maybe it will find a few more readers in a different way.

The Table of Contents includes two novellas which will take you to two very different places. Best of all, neither of those places is this one.

There are many subscription levels — my favorite remains the chocolate subscription (which is tough in warm weather as that price does not include cold packs) — and #10, the huge donation & a free chocolate subscription.

Otherwise Award Honor List

Tue 14 Apr 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

4 Logic coversThis weekend I was thrilled to see that Laurie J. Marks’s 4-book Elemental Logic series was one of nine titles on this year’s Otherwise Award Honor List — congratulations go to Akwaeke Emezi whose novel Freshwater is this year’s winner and to all the writers whose work is on this year’s honor list.

The Otherwise Award, Formerly Known As the Tiptree Award, is one of my favorite awards. It was begun in 1991 by Pat Murphy and Karen J. Fowler and is for encouraging the exploration & expansion of gender. One of the multitude of reasons I love the award is that there is an actual monetary prize — $1,000! — some of which is raised by bake sales, mmm, but that’s not all: the winner also receives a specially commissioned piece of original artwork, and (as always) chocolate.

Laurie’s third novel in the series, Water Logic, was also on the Honor List — as was her 1993 novel Dancing Jack.

Here’s what award jury member Debbie Notkin wrote about the Elemental Logic series:

“Laurie J. Marks’ Fire Logic was published 18 years ago, followed by Earth Logic in 2004, Water Logic in 2007, and Air Logic in 2019. The four Elemental Logic books reflect the author’s growth in skill and breadth over the nearly two decades, along with an extraordinary consistency in characterization and vision. The gender aspects of the story arc largely concentrated in the depth and detail of complex same-sex relationships, though Air Logic also ventures into the realm of treating autism-spectrum mindsets as a gender of their own. More subtly, while Marks does include heterosexual relationships in her story, she never centers the dynamics of those relationships, concentrating all of her relationship writing on same-sex couples. One crucial thing these books offer the contemporary reader is a vision of undermining and destabilizing polarized societies, focused on the long hard work of bringing factions that hate each other back into tenuous but respectful relationship – and perhaps that too is a form of exploring and expanding gender.”

Winner of the Philip K. Dick Award

Mon 13 Apr 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea cover - click to view full sizeWe were delighted to see that Sarah Pinsker’s first collection of short stories, Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea is this year’s winner of the Philip K. Dick Award.

Congratulations, Sarah! Here’s one of the stories from the book which if you have not read it should keep you happily entertained for a little while: And Then There Were (N-One), originally published in Uncanny Magazine.

Sarah is having a (relatively) good month: her story “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye,” — also originally published in Uncanny, is a finalist for the Hugo Award. So congrats to all the nominees and fingers crossed for Sarah in August.

February’s Gone, But We Already Have Something to Look Forward to Next February

Wed 4 Mar 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Although 2021 seems far away and everything in the future gets blurrier every day we’re still slowly, slowly reading manuscripts for Small Beer Press and so we are already very much looking forward to next February when we will publish Isabel Yap’s as-yet-untitled debut collection of stories in trade paperback and ebook editions.

We’ve long enjoyed Isabel Yap’s fabulous stories and — as you can see from her website — she has published a good number of them over the years. Working with her on putting a collection together has been a joy for the two of us. Good news for all: there will be at least one, perhaps two, new stories in the book.

As time goes by we will add links to more stories (for example: “How to Swallow the Moon” from the Nov/Dec 2018 Uncanny Magazine)  and so on. There will be advance reading copies, reviewers can do their review thing, and at some point we will send a beautiful thing out into the world for you the reader to find.

Locus Recommended Reading List

Mon 3 Feb 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Issue 709 Table of Contents, February 2020Congratulations to all the writers whose work has been selected for this year’s Locus Recommended Reading List! I am especially delighted that in a year where we published 10 titles (2 collections, 2 novels, 1 chapbook, 5 titles reprinted in paperback), three of the five new titles are on the list:

And among all the stories on the list (I’d have added a few from LCRW, but, hey, bias) I’m glad that Kelly’s story in the final issue of Tin House made it to the list:

Congrats to one and all!

Happy New PKD Award Finalist

Fri 17 Jan 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea cover - click to view full sizeWe are delighted to note that Sarah Pinsker’s collection, Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea, is a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award — and the book also appeared on a couple of year-end lists (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Best Books of 2019; Booklist: Top 10 Debut SF&F). You can try a couple of the stories out here:

And We Were Left Darkling
In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind
No Lonely Seafarer
And Then There Were (N-One)

Holiday Deadlines 2019

Wed 4 Dec 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Shipping times have slowed down over the last few days due to big storms everywhere — shout out to all those shoveling snow! So here are the USPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines.

The Small Beer office will be closed from December 23 – January 2, 2019. It is unlikely we will ship over that period. Weightless Books is there for you: 24/7/365. (And Book Moon will be open . . . !)

Here are the last (domestic) order dates for Small Beer Press. Dates for international shipping are also here.

All orders include free first class (LCRW) or media mail (books) shipping in the USA.

But this is your annual reminder that Media Mail parcels are the last ones to go on trucks. If the truck is full, Media Mail does not go out until the next truck. And if that one’s full, too . . . it could be very late in December before there’s space. So, if you’d like to guarantee pre-holiday arrival, please add Priority Mail:

Domestic Mail Class/Product Deadline
 Media Mail (estimate, not guaranteed) Dec. 14
 First Class Mail (LCRW/chapbooks) Dec. 20
 Priority Mail Dec. 21
 Priority Mail Express Dec. 23

Order a book today!

Just like to read a book, don’t care about a ding or two?

Kathleen Jennings Live Sketching

Wed 20 Nov 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Stray Bats cover - click to view full sizeThis Friday evening we’re looking forward to Grrl’s Night Out on Cottage Street in Easthampton — we’re celebrating the publication of Kathleen Jennings’s & Margo Lanagan’s chapbook, Stray Bats, with an exhibition of her original illustrations (for the chapbook & more) and an eggnog-and-snacks-fueled reception:

Art Show Reception with On-the-Spot Sketching from 7 – 8 p.m.

Sketches Available for Purchase by acclaimed visiting Australian artist & illustrator Kathleen Jennings. Art exhibit with original illustrations for books by Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Kij Johnson, Margo Lanagan, and more.
Event date: Friday, November 22, 2019 – 5:30pm to 9:30pm
Event address: Book Moon, 86 Cottage Street, Easthampton, MA 01027

Order your chapbook here or watch the Book Moon site to get an opportunity to pick up some of Kathleen’s amazing originals!

Stray Bats in Los Angeles

Mon 28 Oct 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Stray Bats coverIf you are heading to LA this weekend for the 2019 World Fantasy Convention don’t miss your chance to get both Guest of Honor Margo Lanagan and Kathleen Jennings to sign your copy of their new chapbook Stray Bats.

We won’t be there (cf Book Moon) but I am happy to say — and very appreciative of their generosity — that it will be available from two lovely dealers in the dealers room, Patrick Swenson of Fairwood Press and Greg Ketter of DreamHaven.

As usual Kathleen will have work in the Art Show and she will also have extra copies of Stray Bats with her.

Hot Chocolate Walk 2019

Fri 25 Oct 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | 1 Comment | Posted by: Gavin

On December 8 me and our kid, Ursula (now 10-years-old), and my mother-in-law, Annie, are all going to be doing the Hot Chocolate Walk for Safe Passage. Should you be up for it, please do consider sponsoring either one of us or donating. It’s a fun morning: usually cold, we do the walk, not the run, and Ursula doesn’t really love hot chocolate but we usually walk with friends, everyone has a great time. 6,000 people turn out and they raise something like $600,000, which is amazing. Thanks for any support you can give!

Here’s the kid at the end of 2017 walk — bravely trying the hot chocolate, delighted by the free sunglasses, and proudly wearing the red hat they give to people who raise over $150:

Ursula Grant 2017

Lianna Fled to the Moon

Mon 21 Oct 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Lianna Fled the Cranberry Bog: A Story in Cootie Catchers by GennaRose Nethercott Illustrated by Bobby DiTrani Thursday we’re hosting our first ever event at Book Moon (formerly White Square Books) in Easthampton: an evening with GennaRose Nethercott, award-winning author of Lianna Fled the Cranberry Bog.

A spooky story told entirely in fold-up cootie catchers, Lianna Fled the Cranberry Bog transforms a traditional children’s game into an interactive fable of cruel beasts, daring thieves, lost sweethearts, and a family on the run. The cootie catchers (also known as fortune tellers, salt cellars, chatterboxes, etc.) are lavishly illustrated by artist Bobby DiTrani. Each features eight possible endings—but the endings are also beginnings, complications, transformations, and jumping-off points for other parts of the story.

Come see GennaRose Nethercott conduct a journey through this haunted, magical tale.

Next Tuesday is Half-Witch Tuesday

Fri 18 Oct 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Half-Witch cover - click to view full sizeComing next Tuesday: the paperback edition of Half-Witch. I love having this on the table at book fairs and conventions. The title speaks to so many people who pick up the book and say something along the lines of “I’m a bit of a witch . . . ” Pick it or here, you know, from Book Moon!

Coming Soon: Book Moon

Wed 25 Sep 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 3 Comments | Posted by: Gavin

Here’s a project we’ve been working on for a bit and will be, with luck, working on daily for a long time to come: Book Moon!

ETA: Shelf Awareness story. Now in our local paper, the Daily Hampshire Gazette.


Kim Scott on The Vintner’s Luck

Wed 25 Sep 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Book Riot just posted this week’s episode of their Recommended podcast and one of the authors featured is Kim Scott who recommends Elizabeth Knox’s novel The Vintner’s Luck [transcript].

Kim is the second author on the show. The first is Jackson Bird (@jackisnotabird), who recommends The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Bird’s memoir, Sorted: Growing Up, Coming Out, and Finding My Place, is now available.

I highly recommend this Recommended podcast!

Good news for those that like singed books: we’re stocked up on signed copies and are shipping them out for website orders of Kim Scott’s novel Taboo, Andy Duncan’s collection An Agent of Utopia, and a few others.


Tue 24 Sep 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

We have some news coming tomorrow. It’s not about announcing a new short story collection coming next summer which will provoke much fainting and sharing on the sosh meeds. It’s not about the next issue of LCRW, coming together, should be out in November, as per usual, fingers crossed for a yay. Neither is it about a John Crowley reading in Easthampton in November, but that should be happening. We haven’t been unlawfully prorogued, so it’s not that. More manana!

Brooklyn Book Fest 2019

Thu 19 Sep 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Humans and other inhabitants of this universe and others, on this coming Sunday, September 22, 2019, from 10 a.m. in the morning until 6 p.m. in the balmy early evening please make your way to

Table 649
Brooklyn Book Festival
Borough Hall
Brooklyn, NY

and join us at our booth where you will find: New Books · Old Surprises · Sale books · Zines · and perhaps even: Andy Duncan, author of An Agent of Utopia! (Andy is To Be Confirmed so that’s a solid maybe, actually. Read one of his stories here in the meantime.)

Last year I had a great time, sold tons of books, talked to a lot of people. This year I’m looking forward to having the paperbacks of Sarah Rees Brennan’s In Other Lands and maybe even John Schoffstall’s Half-Witch as last year everyone picked those up.

New Margo Lanagan & Kathleen Jennings

Tue 17 Sep 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Stray Bats cover We are delighted to announce our second surprise Australian title of the year: Stray Bats by Margo Lanagan, illustrated by Kathleen Jennings.

Stray Bats, which is number 13 in our very occasional chapbook series, will be published on November 5, 2019. It will also be available at the World Fantasy Convention in Los Angeles (Oct. 31 – Nov. 3) where Margo will be a Guest of Honor and Kathleen, who was one of the World Fantasy Award judges this year, will be attending.

Stray Bats will be available as a 68-page, saddle-stitched chapbook, and as an ebook on Weightless Books as well as all the other usual ebooksites once the information filters out to them.

Both author and illustrator are probably quite familiar to our readers — I’ll drop their bios in at the end, though, just in case — and being long-time admirers of their work we could not resist this fabulous collaboration. Stray Bats began when Margo started writing short vignettes in response to poems from Australian women. She gathered those and sent them to Kathleen who responded in kind, in loose enjoyable pencil illustrations that capture the same quick, quirky smart energy of Margo’s responses. The result is this chapbook of short shorts which imitate the style, character or subject of a work for the purposes of celebrating the work. There are “Dachshund droids, sinister crones, shapeshifting children, a plethora of witches, dragonstalkers, familiars, slithering eels and, of course, bats.”

For those readers who wish to explore Lanagan’s inspirations further, she has included a list of poems that inspired her and notes on where those poems might be found.

We’re very much looking forward to publishing this tiny chapbook. You can pre-order or share info about it here.

Margo Lanagan has published two dark fantasy novels, and Stray Bats is her eighth short story collection. She collaborated with Scott Westerfeld and Deborah Biancotti on the New York Times-bestselling YA superheroes trilogy, Zeroes. Her work has won four World Fantasy Awards, nine Aurealis and five Ditmar Awards and been listed for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Dublin IMPAC Award, Shirley Jackson, Michael L. Printz, and Seiun awards, among others. Her books and stories have been translated into 19 languages. Margo lives in Sydney. Her twitter is @margolanagan.

Kathleen Jennings is an illustrator and writer in Brisbane, Australia. She is a Hugo Award finalist and has been shortlisted three times for the World Fantasy Award and has received the E. G. Harvey Award for Australian SF Art and several Ditmar Awards for professional and fan art. Many of her illustrations and incidental drawings appear on her blog and she tweets @tanaudel.


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