Views of Small Beer Press

Tue 14 Jul 2009 - Filed under: smallbeer

Books | Chapbooks | LCRW

Reviews, press coverage, awards, events
Early history


“The works Small Beer produces are so unique that they could come from nowhere else, a singularity that fosters the same kind of loyalty music buffs feel toward their favorite record labels.”
— Eugenia Williamson, Boston Globe


“All in the Family: Ig Publishing, Two Dollar Radio, and Small Beer Press”
Poets & Writers, Nov./Dec.

— Gavin J Grant & Kelly Link receive a World Fantasy Award for Small Beer Press & Big Mouth House
Bookseller Pens Mystery About Book HoundPW, Sept. 1
Small Beer Press Big into e-Books, PW, Aug. 17

Small Beer, for ChildrenPW, Sept. 15
— Small Beer Offers Free Downloads of New Collection, Publishers Weekly (April 18)
“In some ways, the evolution of their publishing endeavors can be described as two people working with greater and greater amounts of paper”
Is Greater Than, March 24
LCRW and The Best of LCRW are Locus Award finalists

2007 — “They have a knack for putting out books that are different from just about everything else.”– MassLive, May 19
— Ellen Kushner’s The Privilege of the Sword wins a Locus Award.
LCRW is nominated for a Hugo.

2006 Alan DeNiro’s Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead Longlisted for the Second Annual Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.
— Kate Wilhelm’s Storyteller wins the Hugo and Locus Awards.
–“Make it Weird,” Boston Globe, October 8

— Nominated for the World Fantasy Award
— “The Book People,” The Valley Advocate, July 28

— Nominated for the World Fantasy Award
— Small Beer on the Rise, Publishers Weekly, June
Interview, Emerald City, June
— “Small Beer Press doesn’t put out as many books each year as the bigger houses, but the average quality is remarkable. This remains one of the genre publishing stories of recent years.”
— Richard Horton, Internet Review of Science Fiction, November

— Nominated for the World Fantasy Award
— An Omnibus Review at Green Man Review, July
— Interview in Broken Pencil issue 21 (not online)
— Feature article: Matrix: the news magazine of the BSFA, Jan./Feb.
— Small interview (on the Wheel of Time mania page), January 10

— Feature article in Poets & Writers, Sept./Oct.
— An interview about Small Beer with Gavin J. Grant on RevolutionSF, July

— A review of Stranger Things Happen and Meet Me in the Moon Room in Canada’s January Magazine, Aug. 21
Bookweb/Bookselling This Week, “Small Beer Press Makes a Heady Debut“, July 19

Water Logic
Laurie J. Marks

  • Tiptree Honor List
  • Booklist starred review

Endless Things
John Crowley

  • Locus Award finalist

Edited by Delia Sherman & Theodora Goss
published for the Interstitial Arts Foundation

  • Tiptree Honor List

Generation Loss
Elizabeth Hand

  • Believer Book Award Finalist
  • Shirley Jackson Award Finalist

Howard Who?
Howard Waldrop

The Privilege of the Sword
Ellen Kushner

  • Locus Award Winner
  • Tiptree Honor List
  • Nebula & World Fantasy Award finalist
  • Romantic Times Epic Fantasy Novel Revewers Choice Award finalist

Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead
Alan DeNiro

Magic for Beginners
Kelly Link


  • Best of the Year: Time Magazine, Salon, Village Voice, San Francisco Chronicle, Locus, Capital Times, PopMatters
  • Book Sense pick
  • Locus Award Winner
  • World Fantasy, Stoker, International Horror Guild Award finalist

Mothers & Other MonstersMothers & Other Monsters
Maureen F. McHugh


  • Finalist for The Story Prize
  • Book Sense Notable Book


Kate Wilhelm

  • Hugo Award Winner
  • Locus Award Winner

Travel Light
Naomi Mitchison

Sean Stewart

Perfect Circle
Sean Stewart


  • Excerpted on
  • Book Sense Notable Book
  • Starred review in Booklist
  • World Fantasy & Nebula Award finalist
  • “Clearly one of the best fantasy novels of the year.”
    — Richard Horton, Internet Review of Science Fiction

Trash Sex Magic
Jennifer Stevenson


  • “A strong first novel, a wild book, well-imagined and well-written, with absorbing characters.”
    — Richard Horton, Internet Review of Science Fiction

Kalpa Imperial: the greatest empire that never was
Angélica Gorodischer
translated by Ursula K. Le Guin


Kelly Link, ed.


  • Greer Gilman’s novella “A Crowd of Bone” won World Fantasy Award.
  • Alex Irvine’s short story “Gus Dreams of Biting the Mailman” and the anthology were both nominated.
  • Richard Butner’s “Ash City Stomp” received an Honorable Mention from the new Fountain Award.
  • Susan Mosser’s “Bumpship” will be reprinted in The Year’s Best SF.
  • Christopher Barzak’s Dead Boy Found” will be reprinted in The Best New Horror.
  • Karen Joy Fowler’s “King Rat” and Richard Butner’s “Ash City Stomp” are reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror. [paperback] [ hardcover]

The Mount
Carol Emshwiller


  • Philip K. Dick Award Winner
  • Impac Award Nominee
  • Nebula Award Nominee
  • Starred review in Publishers Weekly
  • Reprinted by Firebird

Report to the Men’s Club and Other Stories
Carol Emshwiller

  • “Creature” won the Nebula Award for Short Story

Stranger Things Happen
Kelly Link


  • Firecracker Award Nominee
  • “Louise’s Ghost” won the Nebula Award for Novelette
  • “The Specialist’s Hat” won the World Fantasy Award
  • “Travels with the Snow Queen” won the James Tiptree, Jr., Memorial Award

Ray Vukcevich, Meet Me in the Moon RoomMeet Me in the Moon Room
Ray Vukcevich

ReviewsPublisher’s Weekly, Booklist
Also: Locus, F&SF, Science Fiction Chronicle, Tangent Online, January Magazine

  • Philip K. Dick Award Nominee


The Rose in Twelve Petals
Theodora Goss

  • The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror XVIII (Datlow, Grant, & Link, eds.) honorable mentions: “Her Mother’s Ghosts” & “The Bear’s Daughter.”
  • Fantasy Book Spot
  • “Theodora Goss is one of the most exciting new writers to appear in this
    — Richard Horton, Internet Review of Science Fiction

Horses Blow Up Dog City
Richard Butner

  • “Butner picks up the absurdities of high-speed America and throws them back in its face, reveling in the wild, wonderful mess he creates.”
    New Pages
  • The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror XVIII (Datlow, Grant, & Link, eds.) honorable mention: “The Rules of Gambling.”
  • “Wry, caustic, calculated, impulsive…. Gems of gorgeous weirdness.”
  • “Richard Butner has rather quietly published some interesting stories over
    the past several years…. Good stuff—the foundation of a fine career,
    I hope.”
    — Richard Horton, Internet Review of Science Fiction

Bittersweet Creek and Other Stories
Christopher Rowe

  • “As smooth and heady as good Kentucky bourbon”
  • “‘Men of Renown’ is a herald of what Rowe can do best: deal with time and place without limits.”
    Tangent Online

Other Cities
Benjamin Rosenbaum

  • “Throughout Other Cities, compressed insight and wonder are compressed into but a handful of words. This small book’s crisp design and illustrations mirror the elegance of the writing: recommended.”
    Xerography Debt
  • “Charming…”
  • “I enthusiastically urge you to get a copy and enjoy the exciting and odd metropolises in Other Cities.”
    Washington Science Fiction Association The WSFA Journal Dec. 2003
  • “And though the stories are tiny, they do not disappoint as a result of their brevity. When you leave one fantastic destination behind, there is another city right around the corner.”
    Tangent Online

Foreigners, and Other Familiar Faces
Mark Rich

Lord Stink and Other Stories
Judith Berman

Rossetti Song: Four Stories
Alex Irvine

Five Forbidden Things
Dora Knez

  • SF Site
  • “a fine burgeoning talent.” Asimov’s
  • “…one admires Knez’s gift for language. It should come as no surprise that three poems of impeccable craftsmanship follow the five narrative prose works…”
  • The (almost) title story, “The One Forbidden Thing” and “Vaster Than Empires” received honorable mentions in The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror (vols. XIII & XIV, respectively)

4 Stories
Kelly Link

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet

No. 22

No. 21

  • “An accomplished magazine. There’s no shortage of ambition amongst the writing on show, and even those stories criticised here have obvious qualities and are the work of demonstrably capable writers. The standard throughout is high and Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is neither as fey nor as hard to approach as its esoteric name might suggest. This issue contained a number of genuinely memorable stories and some excellent writing. It is a read that is certainly worth your while.”
    The Fix
  • Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is a different kind of magazine.”
    SF Revu

No. 20

  • Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is a different kind of magazine.”
    SF Revu

No. 19

  • Reviews?

No. 18

  • “Primarily fiction with some non-fiction and poetry. Literary journal/small press quality; very polished writing. A two-page play I didn’t get, a magic realist piece about souls blowing loose from their bodies on windy days that makes a comment on being on the fringe; a dreamy piece about lost girls and a witch’s garden; something about a train I didn’t get; a darkly funny zombie story about consumer guilt; and poetry I actually understood. That’s just the first half. Well worth the price.”
    Zine World #24
  • Tangent

No. 17

  • John Brown’s “Bright Waters” reprinted in Best of the Rest 4.
  • Deborah Roggie’s “The Mushroom Duchess” was on the Fountain Award short list and was reprinted in The Year’s best Fantasy & Horror: 2006, 19th Annual Edition (Gavin Grant, Kelly Link, & Ellen Datlow, eds.)
  • “Number 17 is one of the best issues I’ve seen of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.Hightlights include Philip Raines & Harvey Welles’s “All the Things She Wanted”, set in a much changed Washington DC, where everyone seems to have (at least potentially) a personal map of a different city. A woman buys a potion that gives her what she wants, at a certain price (first one’s free!) — only to find that the things she wants keep changing. Deborah Roggie’s “The Mushroom Duchess” is a pleasant depiction of a quite monstrous Duchess, whose experiments with mushrooms extend to using them to control her unwanted daughter-in-law in a nasty way. John Brown’s “Bright Waters” is a fine, long story, only barely fantastical, of a rather ugly trader in pre-Revolution America whose efforts to find a wife among the local Indians meets with little success. But things change when he meets a feisty English immigrant, and also gets some magical help from an Indian medicine woman.”
    —Rich Horton, Locus, 2/06
  • “A feast of mystery, novelty, and desire.” — Zine World 23
  • Tangent

No. 16

  • “Three Urban Folk Tales” by Eric Schaller reprinted in Best of the Rest 4. and recommended by Rich Horton in Locus (“Impressive…. The three stories intertwine in surprising ways — lovely stuff.”)
  • Tangent

No. 15

  • “Successively bridges the literary and genre worlds with strange, off-beat tales that venture into the fantastic while somehow remaining grounded in the real world. This really is a magazine worth checking out, regardless of whether you favour genre or literary fiction.”
    Kara Kellar Bell on the Laura Hird site
  • “LCRW never ceases to amaze me. It is always a beatiful zine, but the caliber of the writing in it is stunning.”
    Xerography Debt, 17

No. 14

  • Douglas Lain’s story “Music Lessons” received an honorable mention from the Fountain Award.
  • Deborah Roggie’s story “The Enchanted Trousseau” from has been picked by Jonathan Strahan and Karen Haber for their anthology, Fantasy: The Best of 2004.
  • The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror XVIII (Datlow, Grant, & Link, eds.) honorable mentions: James Sallis’s “The Museum of Last Week,” Deborah Roggie’s “The Enchanted Trousseau,” and David Blair’s poem Diamond”
  • Tangent
  • “Old as Methuselah in small-press years, LCRW shows no signs of hardening of the arteries.”

No. 13

  • SF Site
  • “If you enjoy short fiction and essays this one comes highly recommended.”
    Xerography Debt
  • As usual, the editorial dynamic duo, Grant and Link, has put together an assortment of sly, bizarre, funny, and haunting stories by writers both familiar and unfamiliar. …[Which] amuses, enthralls, mystifies, and moves me. It’s always a wonder to me that Grant and Link can continually bring us such fresh, idiosyncratic talents.”

No. 12

  • Harvey Welles and Philip Raines’s “The Fishie” received an Honorable Mention from the new Fountain Award.
  • Harvey Welles and Philip Raines’s “The Fishie” reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror.
  • Home and Security” by Gavin J. Grant was reprinted in the Zine Yearbook Vol. 8
  • “There’s something for everyone within these pages, which include fiction, poetry, non-fiction, a book review, a film review, a few zine reviews, and even a piece that could pass for a visual poem. If anything, you could argue that the zine is a little too eclectic because it doesn’t cohere under any one theme or mood. But these days, who needs coherence?… Many of the stories, like Jan Lars Jensen’s “Happier Days”, at first seem perfect for a lazy, hung-over Sunday afternoon when you may be more receptive to a bit of gold old nostalgia, but then take a weird and welcome twist. Cara Spindler offers some poetic mid-zine relief with her delightful lyricism, and Richard Butner instructs on how to make a proper martini. (There is no such thing as a Choco-Banana Martini.) … This is a good zine to keep in your bag during daily travels.
    Broken Pencil, 23
  • “Rich in elegant prose and startling literary perspectives, Richard Parks demonstrates anew his talent for oriental fables…[with] a medieval-Japanese ghost story with a shock in reserve; Ursula Pflug intones a heartfelt love song to mythic Ireland…; Jan Lars Jensen…haunts his characters with much more recent legends, to alarming effect; and Jennifer Rachel Baumer writes with superb lyricism of very subtle phantoms…. But best of all is “Bay” by David Erik Nelson, a recontextualization of ghosts that is authentically surprising, genuinely horrifying — an extraordinary achievement in a hackneyed subgenre.”
    –Nick Gevers, Locus
  • “A highbrow literary zine that presents fiction, nonfiction, and poetry with beautiful layout and spare but attractive graphics.”
    A Reader’s Guide to the Underground Press, no. 20
  • “Had LCRW #12 been a sheaf of blank pages around “The Fishie,” I still would have felt compelled to give it a good review. But with its usual assortment of quietly compelling fiction hovering somewhere around the nexus of ghost story, fairy tale, folklore, fantasy, and magical realism, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet continues to define-and redefine-for me why we read, write, and take risks on new writers, new ideas, and new ways. Quality.”

No. 11

  • Sarah Monette’s story “Three Letters from the Queen of Elfland” won the 2003 Gaylactic Spectrum Award
  • Nan Fry’s poem “The Wolf’s Story” was reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror XVI (Datlow & Windling, eds.).
  • The following stories & poem received honorable mentions:
  • Theodora Goss — The Rapid Advance of Sorrow
  • Sarah Monette — Three Letters from the Queen of Elfland
  • Kathryn Cramer — The Mourners
  • “I particularly enjoyed Sarah Monette’s fey eroticism in “Three Letters from the Queen of Elfland.”
  • “Oil and Greece” by Gavin J. Grant reprinted in the Zine Yearbook Vol.7
  • “Smart, accessible… If you’re looking to spend some quality time with a lit zine, this is a must have.”
    A Reader’s Guide to the Underground Press, no. 18 — supplement
  • Locus, Jan. 2003, “a very strong outing.” Especially recommended: Minsoo Kang’s “Three Stories”
  • Locus, Feb. 2003 Recommended Reading: Sarah Monette’s “Three Letters from the Queen of Elfland”
  • Tangent

No. 10

LCRW 9No. 9

No. 8

No. 7

No. 6

  • SF Site review
  • “Intriguingly surreal fiction” — Asimov’s
  • The Hotsy-Totsy Club review
  • Nice mention in the “Zines with a Literary Bent” section of the shouldn’t-be-missed Xerox Debt
  • The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror XIII, (Datlow & Windling, eds.) nod: Kelly Link’s “The Dictator’s Wife”

No.5 (v3,n2) —

No. 4

  • A Reader’s Guide to the Underground Press, no. 12
    “The fiction by Nalo Hopkinson and a hilarious short story by Kelly Link about beauty queens are impressive. The poetry ranges from good to fair, but the zine has some interesting nonfiction pieces as well. Naoko Takahashi’s observations on Japan’s culture and media are fascinating. A debate about the death penalty by Gavin J. Grant is excellent. Fiction and zine reviews, too. Nicely presented.”

Press releases

August 22, ’01, “A play based on a Kelly Link short story”

Seems like we don’t really do these after all.

“Small Beer is the hottest thing in publishing. It’s amazing. Like learning that Luxembourg has nuclear warheads.”
— Rick Bowes