Alan DeNiro in the house

Sat 28 Apr 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Literally. If you have any questions for Alan (for an interview we’re going to do), email us! Alan’s on a panel this afternoon and then reading tonight at the UMass Amherst Juniper Literary Festival:

2:15-3:15 PM Roundtable Discussion: Weird War: Politics & the Politics of Whimsy (at Emily Dickinson Homestead): investigating the relationship between world events and various literary responses to them, from the overt championing of a particular cause to the less explicit approaches of lyric, personal history, and invented parallel worlds; with Chris Bachelder, Alan DeNiro, Paul Fattaruso, Sabrina Orah Mark, Eugene Ostashevsky, & Matthew Zapruder

7:30 PM Poetry & Fiction Reading with Eric Baus, Lucy Corin, Alan DeNiro, Julia Johnson, Sabrina Orah Mark, Eugene Ostashevsky, Imad Rahman, Michael Robins & Shauna Seliy at University of Massachusetts’ Memorial Hall

We went to the opening reading last night where Rachel Sherman read a hilarious story (that Alan says was published in n+1) that occasionally required her to read in the voice of “The Reaper”—not the reaper you’re thinking of. 6 good readers (none of whom went too far over time!), beer + cookies = fun night.

Alan & the LBC

Tue 13 Feb 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the DeadForced to post yet again despite the comfy couch, big old book, and cup of crabby green tea (too lazy to go see what the proper name is) by Pinky‘s rather exciting news from the Lit Blog Coop announcing that Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead is one of three Read This! picks for Spring ’07:

The Cottagers by Marshall Klimasewiski (W.W. Norton)

Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die! by Mark Binelli (Dalkey Archive Press)

Skinng Dipping in the Lake of the Dead by Alan DeNiro (Small Beer Press)

So at some point this spring all the lit bloggers who take part in the LBC will be talking about these books on their own blogs and at LBC central. There will also be podcasts, interviews, free donuts (ask at your local coffee shop, say the LBC sent you), and so on.

This is fantastic news — thanks to the bloggers who nominated Alan’s book and everyone else who has anything to do with this. Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead is a fantastic book on many levels and an incredibly strong debut collection. Alan’s writing moves carefully and easily across and through familiar genres creating a unique and unmistakably individual voice. We very much look forward to following the conversations about the book.

Recent Read This! selections (yanked right from the LBC homeship) have included:


Update: But will any of the conversations be as deep (and wacky) as Chris Nakashima-Brown‘s?

Cleveland gets DeNiro

Thu 14 Dec 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

— Added an exciting reading: Alan DeNiro will read with Christopher Barzak and Sean Thomas Dougherty on Jan. 4 at Mac’s Backs in Cleveland Heights. Great store, we love doing events there. Don’t forget to eat at Tommy’s next door. Yum. (Reading calendar.)

— Also, John Kessel took a look at Alan’s book in F&SF:

About fifteen years ago, in an essay I wrote comparing sf and mainstream fiction, I quoted Raymond Carver’s assertion that short stories are more like poems than novels. I protested that you would be hard pressed to find more than a handful of sf stories published every year of which this was true.

I don’t think that’s true anymore.

— Nice little story about another fave bookshop (we have so many…): Malaprop‘s in Asheville. Which is very near Salsa’s. Ah, the food of the traveling days. Malaprop’s also picked Magic for Beginners as one of their faves of 2006.
— Elsewhere: an interview with Kelly Link by Bat Segundo. (Download.)

— And: a review of Julie Phillips’s biography of Alice Sheldon. (This was necessarily foreshortened to fit the space available. What can you do?)

Besides all the other great reviews The Double Life… received, it was just picked as a Salon Book of the Year and there’s an interview with Julie here.

Signed Waldrops; Suggestion Plea

Tue 21 Nov 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Howard Who?During a brief sidetrip to Texas (where a bunch of plausible fabulists were gathered and wondering where a certain Mr. B. Rosenbaum was {Swizzerland, it seems}), we asked a boon of Mr. Howard Waldrop. He consented (when approached with ice cream and beer: Texans!) to apply his signature to his book. Huzzah, we announced, to the surprised gila monsters everywhere. Huzzah.

Then we returned to Gueros again. For: verily, the tacos are unbeatable. Also, Las Manitas. Oh, the joy that was in our hearts, even as it was enspicened by the knowledge that we would have to leave this city of joyous eats and head away, away.

Even Joe’s Cafe was a place of wonders in this time of joy. (Joy especial as the fabulist gathering was on the edge of the City of Great Foods so to be in the center was akin to being the chocolaty center of a bon bon.) There, and a few other places, we were able to speak with Mr. N-B (interviewed here) whom, should you get the opportunity to see him read, you should take as he is, really, quite wonnerful.

Eventually retured to the Small Beer HQ and enstrengthened by our collection of Waldropian Signatures (for he is Mighty with his pen or typewriter), we are making these books, this debut collection, Howard Who? which is its name, available for sale.

Lo, it is done.

Other titles we have signed copies of: many. Move thy clickity thingy over here to see. (Kelly Link, Ellen Kushner, Alan DeNiro, Carol Emshwiller).

Now your turn: Please send us Suggestions for what kind of sale we should put on this year. Suggestions welcome by email or in the comments below.

Other tiny updates: everywhere on our site. Because the paper in the office it overwhelming, of course.

Alan is reading at the Erie Bookstore on Dec. 30th at 2 PM. Drop by and see him!

Added links to a couple more audio recordings (almost like podcasts!) of Kelly (or readers reading Kelly’s stories) here — includes a Real Audio (oh well) file from November 2005 from Prairiie Lights where she read “Monster.”

Kelly also got a nice mention in this piece about short stories by Kevin Sampsell (micro emperor!).

Rust Belt Surrealist

Tue 10 Oct 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Yes he is. Look at that, a great piece on new wave fabulists in the Boston Globe.

The Globe is of course the only remaining spherical newspaper in the world (after the demise of the Atlanta Sphere in the midst of the late 20th century depression).

Bostonians (and readers elsewhere) have long-established habits and traditions of how to read it. Some prefer the onion-skinning method of peeling a page off at a time, while others prefer flattening the whole thing and reading it as if it were any other daily. That all supposes that no one kicks it off your front step in the first place. Since the New York Times purchased the Globe a couple of years ago, there have been persistent rumors that the new ownership would switch the format but local sentiment (as well the daily tours of the unique Mercury Grace presses) have thus far prevented it.

Our favorite use of unread copies of the Globe are the Lynn Circular Houses. The hive was begun in the early 1970s and is still occasionally added to. Pictures can be found here.

Catch up time

Mon 18 Sep 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Thoughtful and excellent review of Skinny Dipping:

“An impressive and darkly humorous debut collection—well worth every baby sacrificed in the making.” — Diagram

Calendar: Kelly is on the west coast this week and Ellen Kushner reads at KGB in NYC on Wednesday.

Exciting travel news: Kelly will be going to Italy in December to take part in the Turin Rome World Book Capital Program. She’ll be reading or doing events in Turin, Milan, and Rome. This is in between two other events, the small/indie press Book Fair in New York City on Dec 1/2 (that’s 1st & 2nd, not 0.5) and something else, but there’s enough time, a week or so, to go see some Old Stuff. Constantine’s finger, here we come!

This is due to the fantastic job Donzelli has done with Stranger Things Happen. We received some PDF pages of an Italian mag article on Kelly and the book—the piece had some great art in it so at some point we hope to get them on here. In the meantime, a little Italian blog love.

From our newsletter thing: Aunt Gwenda’s been handing out pithy advice for a while now. Aren’t you in need? Send us your question to [email protected] (include your address and with luck we’ll send you the ish of LCRW your question appears in). That could be LCRW 19, which will be the 10th anniversary issue. Perhaps the last if we think too deeply about that. But Zine World just said this about #17, so maybe we will keep going: “This treasury of fiction is a feast of mystery, novelty, and desire.” Send Aunty G. a Q!

Clarion move FAQ.

We’d love to hear from any teachers or professors or whomever using Small Beer books in classrooms or any kind of teaching use. We want to send some catalogs out to other people who could be doing the same thing so maybe you can help us use the right language?

Alan on the secrets of the Twin Cities

Tue 29 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Not all of them, not at once. Not once, not twice. Some secrets, no twins. Some city, some paper.
Alan DeNiro‘s story “The Fourth” can be read at The Rake‘s site. By chance he is reading tonight at Haven of Dreams Books in the Thin Cities. Twin Cities. Those cities. Your cities? One city split by a river? No. Twin cities.

Go see him read, see him fulminate, see him change the world as he reads.

Alan, Ellen, Condor

Fri 18 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Worried about stagflation? Glaciation? Decapitation? Save your head and the global economy (can’t do much about global warming*) by getting multiple copies of Alan DeNiro‘s Book Sense Pick, Harvard Book Shop Select Seventy Pick, etc., etc:

SKINNY DIPPING IN THE LAKE OF THE DEAD: Stories, by Alan DeNiro “This is a great debut collection of loopy, off-the-wall, and still-somehow-packing-emotional-weight stories; DeNiro can weld words into some mighty strange configurations.”
–Caleb Wilson, Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Nashville, TN

Quick interview with Julie Phillips (have some rougher stuff that might post later — this was meant to be a longer interview, but ran out of time after the simple stuff).

Keep up with Ellen Kushner’s schedule (the hardcover is at the printer — more news when we have it). Good review of The Privilege of the Sword over at Green Man Review. If you’re in NYC, don’t miss Ellen et al at Shriek: the Movie Event.

Green Man Review also provides one of the first reviews of the Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror: 2006. More on this, too, when we see it!

Kelly is reading this Sunday on Nantucket. Doesn’t look like she will be at Worldcon next weekend — hope it’s a blast and that Anaheim gets to show off its hidden depths.
* A lie. Brought to you by G.W.Bush & Co. Ask Joe Turner from Three Days of the Condor what it’s all about.


Thu 17 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Home-ish. Sort of. Back in the office after a trip to Minneapolis and NYC. Photos may appear if the downloading thingy can be worked. (Unlikely anytime soon. If you would like to hold your breath until this happens, feel free. If you would like to come over and download the things: Away! To speak to a human customer service agent, please press Control-Alt(or Apple)-Delete on your keyboard.)

It had been a while since we’d been to DreamHaven Books — wow. And woe-is-me because it is so far away. Happily they send is their monthly catalog but being there is an inspiring experience. So many good books to read! (And they have copies of zines like Say… and JPPN.) Kelly read there (with Bryan, see next) on Thursday night to a standing room only crowd. We also managed to get to Wild Rumpus (a bookshop with chickens), the Wedge (a huuuge coop: local, baby, local!), and some good eateries, as well as visit the Diane Arbus exhibit at the Walker and meet the Rain Taxiers….
Diversicon is a lovely convention — readers and writers (in the Midwest especially) should go if possible. It’s sort of in the same headspace as WisCon, smaller, but smart people talking about interesting things. Bryan Thao Worra, the Special Guest, is a suave, smart poet (download a pdf chapbook, Monstro) and activist whose writing is as funny as he is. He gave a great presentation on mysterious places in Laos (so says Alan — we saw the preview). Books were sold (yay!), the Mall of America was avoided (uh huh!), and a couple of trips into the Twin Cities were made. The hotel, a Holiday Inn Select (selected for oddness?) was just weird — hear that hoteliers? we will seek revenge! Petty revenge, at that. Reservation? Nope. Uh. Help? Maybe. Buggers. Fortunately the con folks had all the info at their fingertips (even when woken after midnight (sorry Rick!) — it really did take the hotel a while to get us in a room). Who cares?

Elizabeth Bear and Bill Shunn read at KGB, fantastic fiction was read, fantastic food at Grand Sichaun was had, and loud music was sung along to on the way home.

Let’s see: Beginning. yes, did that. Middle? Sort of. End? Uh, no. Maybe next time.

Off to Diversicon

Tue 8 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Doesn’t Diversicon have a nice musical tone to it? Di-versy-chorus-versy-con. Say hi if you’re there (that would be in Minneapolis). Kelly will be reading at DreamHaven early Thursday evening, then off to the convention the next day with Goblinmercantileexchange and 32degrees. Or Kristin and Alan.

Pop! The sound of a mind exploding.

Mon 31 Jul 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Review of Alan DeNiro’s collection at Strange Horizons. Pop! The sound of a mind exploding. [Note: Here’s the wince inducingly-named Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.]

– Also, an interesting story, “The Women of Our Occupation” by Kameron Hurley. (Thanks to Gwenda for pushing the story.) Which, with the wonders of the web, looks like this once it goes through

– It’s the last day of July. Celebrate! Or, dig a hole and hide underground from the heatttt.

Alan at Magers & Quinn

Mon 17 Jul 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Tomorrow night Alan DeNiro whoops it up at a local(ish) bookshop: 7 PM — Magers & Quinn, 3038 Hennepin Avenue S, Minneapolis, MN 55408. (612) 822-4611 and the good news is there’s a reception afterward where Alan will probably not be leading the karaoke charge. Probably….

Alan in NE

Tue 11 Jul 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Tons of people at the reading in Boston last night — yay! Now Alan + Kristin are off back to Minneapolis and he gets a break until the next reading. – The Boston Phoenix blog points toward Alan and Theodora Goss’s reading tonight.

– Last night’s reading at the Amherst Bookshop was great fun. To celebrate the new issue of LCRW we had a couple of people read pieces from the new issue. Caitlin Beck and Lauren Smith read (or, really, performed) David Schwartz’s story “Play” — a playful story in two voices which was hilarious. Michael DeLuca read Fred Coppersmith’s short piece “At Uncle Ogden’s House.” Then the three of them read Dear Aunt Gwenda‘s latest column — with Caitlin reading Aunt Gwenda’s incisive and informative responses while wearing an orange boa! Jeanette Westwood (whose story “Crimson-lady at the Auction, Buying” is in the issue) dropped by to say hello but couldn’t stick around for the reading. Next time! Nice people from One Less and Zygote Games and lots of readers turned up for the wine and the reading. The evening was recorded so at some point we may be able to add it to the audio pages. We’ll send you an email when and if….


Mon 10 Jul 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Time Out Chicago likes Skinny Dipping:

“Deniro’s greatest gifts are those of a poet, and his prose is filled with stunning images and incantatory rhythms. Debuts often come along with press releases touting them as “assured,” and sure enough, Deniro’s was no different. But with talent as deep as his, it’s no wonder Deniro is confident in touring us around his strange worlds.” –Jonathan Messinger

Tonight: a reading!

Book Sense!

Thu 6 Jul 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Big News: Alan’s book is a Book Sense Pick for August with a great quote from Caleb Wilson of Davis-Kidd who obviously got the book. (Thanks go all those bookshops who nominated it!) So now the bookshops should have it and hopefully be selling the heck out of it!

SKINNY DIPPING IN THE LAKE OF THE DEAD: Stories, by Alan DeNiro “This is a great debut collection of loopy, off-the-wall, and still-somehow-packing-emotional-weight stories; DeNiro can weld words into some mighty strange configurations.”
–Caleb Wilson, Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Nashville, TN

If you are in Massachusetts, come meet Alan Deniro, hear him read, pick up a reader’s guide (and drinking guide), join the LCRW launch party, and see him and Theodora Goss all in the next few days:

7-9 — Readercon 17, Burlington, MA (where Small Beer will have a table and many interns will attend!)

10 (Monday)– Amherst Books, 8 Main Street, Amherst, MA 01002 413.256.1547 — 800.503.5865
— with LCRW 18 launch party

11 (Tuesday) — Porter Square Books, Porter Square Shopping Center, 25 White Street, Cambridge, MA 02140 · (617) 491-2220
— with Theodora Goss (In the Forest of Forgetting)

Also on the Book Sense list in case you didn’t believe us earlier. This is a damned good book:

JAMES TIPTREE, JR.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, by Julie Phillips (St. Martin’s) “Alice Sheldon trekked across Africa with her parents in the 1920s, became an accomplished painter, joined the Women’s Army Auxiliary, worked for the CIA, received a Ph.D. in psychology, and married twice. She also had a career as an influential writer of science fiction as James Tiptree. Her complex gender identity and sexual orientation is utterly fascinating, as is her remarkable life, which is made all the more vivid in this rich biography.”
–Kris Kleindienst, Left Bank Books, Saint Louis, MO

20 rainstorms

Mon 3 Jul 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

In 20 Epics there is some rain. We sold all the copies we had at Readercon. It was an epic job of salespersonship by interns, friends, us, others. Finding the epically designed books was a long sordid tale of hidden icons, misdirection, and dead letter offices which was only concluded when Mary “I live in Iceland” Robinette “Shimmer” Kowal tracked them down far into the Labyrinth past the Steaming Kitchens of Despair. The books sold grandly, richly, with bread and cheese and some ale. They found spots by the fire in inns, they were purchased by plucky, heartfelt, surprisingly good looking kids who in a certain light looked like writers. The books were prizes, ill-gotten gains, kept in saddlebags, used as hats, ripped in two and kept by distance-separated lovers. There are at least twenty epics in the book but you only have to buy one. Lulu. Powells.

– Damn rainmakers. Damn rain gods. Damn all the Rain Cowboys. Living in the rain forest. No rainbows. Would love a rain check on the rain, thanks. Refuse to get out the rain wear. This is more of a squall than a storm. Being rained out. Sad not to be rain proof.

Alan DeNiro interviewed by John “Whatever” Scalzi. Read a couple of the stories in a funsize PDF edition.

Publication day!

Sat 1 Jul 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Alan DeNiro’s Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead officially hits the bookshops today. Street Team Alpha will be facing out the book in stores near You. Street Team Beta are being held in reserve in case they get last minute tix forthe Brazil France game later today. Street Team C will be skinny dipping in lakes all over the country. Go do the same!

Mothers & Other Monsters a Plain Dealer Summer Reading Pick, etc.

Sat 17 Jun 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Maureen F. McHugh’s Mothers & Other Monsters is a Cleveland Plain Dealer Recommended Summer Reading pick: “Unpredictable and poetic work.”

– Updated Alan‘s readings — that man is going to get around! Bring it on, we think he says.

Don’t remember if foreign rights were updated recently (we are horribly behind on contracts — fortunately these ones are done by more competent people than us!). As was mentioned in this story, Magic for Beginners, has sold to the United Kingdom — which is incredibly exciting. It has also sold to Hayakawa, Japan, Donzelli Editore, Italy, Gayatari Publishing, Russia, Harcourt/Harvest, USA pb, Argo, Czech Republic, and Grup Editorial Tritonic, Romania, and Verlagsgruppe Random House GmbH, Germany. This stuff gets updated here.

More rights news to come, yay for readers all over this world.

reviews, signed books

Fri 2 Jun 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Alan DeNiro news: Small Spiral Notebook review, Ideomancer interview and review of Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead.

New review of Storyteller — of which we now have signed copies in stock:

“Satisfying in its own right, presenting an informative, and entertaining, blend of history, memoirs, and writing lessons.”
Steven Silver

We also have a few signed copies of our Carol Emshwiller books. (Good news there: she handed in a new novel to Jacob Weissman at Tachyon Books.)


Mon 22 May 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Book Expo — the annual trade show of the sliced wood imprinted with colored marks — is out of the way for another year. This time Small Beer did not have a booth (rather our distro, SCB, displayed some of our books and stacked up freebies of our catalog, the paperback edition of Mothers & Other Monsters, and Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead. One of the fun things of the show was Alan’s reading guide and drinking game which can be downloaded here: (PDF warning) The Cabana on the Lake of the Dead. Alan signed a ton of copies of his book and carried boxes of them all across our great taxed-but-not-represented capital city. Thanks, Alan!

There were awesome parties (PGW [w/ the Brazilian Girls], Consortium, SCB[!] and others at Madam’s Organ, maybe the one below), a good time was had by most, galleys were picked up, and food was gathered more sparingly than dietitians recommend.

Books at the top of the stack include:

There are tons more but now it is time to empty the suitcases into the washing machine (mustn’t mix up the galley-filled suitcase with the smoke reeking post-party clothes) and get ready to git on the road to WisCon.

Frank O’Connor Longlist

Thu 20 Apr 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Small Beer Press is proud to announce that Minneapolis-based poet and writer Alan DeNiro’s passionate and political debut fiction collection, Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead , (July 1, 2006 – $16 – ISBN: 1-931520-17-8) is on the 2006 Longlist for the Second Annual Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. At 35,000 euros (~$42,500), the award is the world’s richest prize for the short story form.

Author of a collection reminiscent of debuts by George Saunders and Aimee Bender, praised by leading short story writers Jonathan Lethem and Hannah Tinti, DeNiro, 32, was surprised and delighted: “It’s a thrill to be in such good company, for a prize that is doing a lot to foster appreciation and awareness of the short story throughout the world.” DeNiro shares the list with 28 writers from Great Britain and Ireland, the United States, Nigeria, Canada, Japan, and elsewhere. The winner of last year’s inaugural award was Yiyun Li’s debut collection A Thousand Years of Good Prayers (Random House). Four finalists will be announced in mid-July and the winner declared at the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Festival in Cork, Ireland, Sunday, Sept. 24th 2006.

Small Beer Press publisher Gavin J. Grant said, “Alan is a genuine 21st-century voice and we jumped at the chance to publish his first collection. We’d never read anything quite like these stories.”

DeNiro’s appearance on the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award is the latest piece of good news for Small Beer Press, who recently announced a hard/soft co-publishing deal with Harcourt Harvest for Elizabeth Hand’s novel Generation Lost — Harvest’s first CO-publishing deal of this kind since Harvest and MacAdam/Cage’s bestseller, The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger. Small Beer published two critically acclaimed collections in 2005: Maureen F. McHugh’s Mothers & Other Monsters, a Story Prize finalist, and Kelly Link’s Magic for Beginners, a Time Magazine Best Book of the Year.

– Also: Dan at the Emerging Writers Network enjoys Alan DeNiro‘s “Child Assassin.”

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