Dance on to the PKD Shortlist

Wed 20 Jan 2021 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Dance on Saturday cover - click to view full sizeWe’re delighted to see that Elwin Cotman’s Dance on Saturday is one of the finalists for the 2021 Philip K. Dick Award. Here’s the press release:

The judges of the 2021 Philip K. Dick Award and the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, along with the Philip K. Dick Trust, are pleased to announce the six nominated works that comprise the final ballot for the award:

FAILED STATE by Christopher Brown (Harper Voyager)
THE BOOK OF KOLI by M. R. Carey (Orbit)
DANCE ON SATURDAY by Elwin Cotman (Small Beer Press)
BONE SILENCE by Alastair Reynolds (Orbit)
ROAD OUT OF WINTER by Alison Stine (Mira)
THE DOORS OF EDEN by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Orbit)

First prize and any special citations will be announced on Friday, April 2, 2021 at Norwescon 44 which will be held virtually this year. The link to the ceremony will be posted at https://www.norwescon.org when it is available.

The Philip K. Dick Award is presented annually with the support of the Philip K. Dick Trust for distinguished science fiction published in paperback original form in the United States during the previous calendar year. The award is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and the Philip K. Dick Trust and the award ceremony is sponsored by the Northwest Science Fiction Society.

Last year’s winner was SOONER OR LATER EVERYTHING FALLS INTO THE SEA: STORIES by Sarah Pinsker (Small Beer Press) with a special citation to THE LITTLE ANIMALS by Sarah Tolmie (Aqueduct Press).

The 2021 judges are F. Brett Cox, Brendan A. DuBois, Cynthia Felice, Tim Pratt, and Jessica Reisman (Chair).



Congratulations, Kathleen!

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

We are so delighted that among all the crappiness of an uncertain election and millions of people somehow choosing Tr*mp despite the last 4 years there is the lovely news that Kathleen Jennings received this year’s World Fantasy Award for best artist.

Delighted, not only because last year we published Margo Lanagan’s chapbook, Stray Bats, illustrated by Kathleen and Laurie J. Marks’s Air Logic with a cover by Kathleen (which completed a fabulous piece of interlocking art she created over 5 years or so), and recently we published Kij Johnson’s The River Bank with a cover and illustrations by Kathleen as well as Christopher Rowe’s Telling the Map with a cover by Kathleen, but because she is a delightful person who adds joy to any day in which you see her. So, congrats to all the winners and especially this time to Kathleen.

      



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.

 



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.



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)



Nuekom Award Shortlists

Thu 9 May 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

These are words to brighten the day: there are two Small Beer titles on the Neukom Institute Literary Arts Debut Award Shortlist:

Alien Virus Love Disaster cover - click to view full size  Terra Nullius cover - click to view full size

Last year, the inaugural year for the awards, Juan Martinez’s Best Worst American and Christopher Rowe’s Telling the Map were both finalists for the award with Best Worst American being one of the winners.

Here’s the full press release with all of the finalists, congratulations, one and all!

These 10 Books May Be Telling Us the Future

HANOVER, N.H – May 9, 2019 – Ten books that dare to imagine how society collides with the future have been named to the shortlist of the 2019 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards.

From the challenges of life on a floating Arctic city, to epidemics of forgetfulness and zombification, to an Earth occupied by amphibious aliens, the Neukom shortlist forces readers to grapple with uncomfortable twists to familiar storylines of climate change, social justice and technological innovation.

The second annual speculative fiction awards program will be judged by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. Awards will be presented for a debut book and for a book in the open category.

“Artists and writers continue to take on the important role of challenging us with their visions of ‘what if,’ often picking up where scientists and technologists either neglect to or forget to go,” said Dan Rockmore, director of the Neukom Institute. “This year’s entries are testament to the extraordinary creativity and thoughtfulness that is finding its means of expression in speculative fiction.”

2019 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards Shortlist of Books:

Open Category

Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller (Ecco, 2018)

Plum Rains by Andromeda Romano-Lax (Soho Press, 2018)

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas (Little Brown, 2018)

The Night Market by Jonathan Moore (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017)

Theory of Bastards by Audrey Schulman (Europa, 2018)

Debut Category

Alien Virus Love Disaster: Stories by Abbey Mei Otis (Small Beer Press, 2018)

Infomocracy by Malka Older (Tor, 2016)

Severance by Ling Ma (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018)

Terra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman (Small Beer Press, 2018)

The Book of M by Peng Shepard (William Morrow, 2018)

“It’s been gratifying to play a part in reading and selecting such unique and strong fiction from so many different points of view. We’ve particularly enjoyed encountering writers we had not read before—and it’s especially gratifying to find so many new voices, who we believe readers will be encountering for decades to come. The Dartmouth prize is a much-needed addition to the current slate of science fiction awards,” said spec fic writer and co-judge Jeff VanderMeer.

The winning books will be selected from the shortlist in late May.

Each award winner will receive a $5,000 honorarium that will be presented during a Dartmouth-hosted panel to discuss the genre and their work.

“We’re looking forward to selecting the winners. This is such a strong list and a difficult choice for us but a very good problem to have! It’s wonderful to see so many writers taking chances and showing us other ways to view the world we live in today and what our tomorrows could be,” said spec fic editor and co-judge Ann VanderMeer.

The Neukom Institute for Computational Science is dedicated to supporting and inspiring computational work. The Literary Arts Awards is part of the Neukom Institute’s initiative to explore the ways in which computational ideas impact society.

###

About the Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards

The Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards is an annual awards program to honor and support creative works around speculative fiction. Established in 2017, the awards program is an open, international competition sponsored by the Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth College. The awards aspire to raise general awareness of the speculative fiction genre, as well as the interconnectivity between the sciences and the arts. The awards serve as part of the Neukom Institute’s initiative to explore the ways in which computational ideas impact society.



Meet a PKD Finalist

Mon 14 Jan 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Ambiguity Machines cover - click to view full sizeI’m paperback-sf-delighted to see that both Abbey Mei Otis’s Alien Virus Love Disaster and Vandana Singh’s Ambiguity Machines are finalists for the Philip K. Dick Award, yay! — and congratulations to all the finalists!

Where’s your chance to meet a finalist?

Vandana Singh will be the Hal Clement Science Speaker at the Boskone convention which runs from Feb. 15-17 at the Westin Boston Waterfront, in Boston, MA. We’ll be there with her book in the dealers room.

And in the meantime, here’s the whole PKD Award nominee announcement, Cheers!

2019 Philip K. Dick Award Nominees Announced

The judges of the 2018 Philip K. Dick Award and the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, along with the Philip K. Dick Trust, are pleased to announce the six nominated works that comprise the final ballot for the award:

TIME WAS by Ian McDonald (Tor.com)
THE BODY LIBRARY by Jeff Noon (Angry Robot)
84K by Claire North (Orbit)
ALIEN VIRUS LOVE DISASTER: STORIES by Abbey Mei Otis (Small Beer Press)
THEORY OF BASTARDS by Audrey Schulman (Europa Editions)
AMBIGUITY MACHINES AND OTHER STORIES by Vandana Singh (Small Beer Press)

First prize and any special citations will be announced on Friday, April 19, 2019 at Norwescon 42 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport, SeaTac, Washington.

Alien Virus Love Disaster cover - click to view full sizeThe Philip K. Dick Award is presented annually with the support of the Philip K. Dick Trust for distinguished science fiction published in paperback original form in the United States during the previous calendar year. The award is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and the Philip K. Dick Trust and the award ceremony is sponsored by the Northwest Science Fiction Society. Last year’s winner was BANNERLESS by Carrie Vaughn (Mariner/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) with a special citation to AFTER THE FLARE by Deji Bryce Olukotun (The Unnamed Press). The 2018 judges are Madeline Ashby, Brian Attebery, Christopher Brown, Rosemary Edghill, and Jason Hough (chair).



Tender a WFA Finalist!

Thu 26 Jul 2018 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Tender cover - click to view full sizeI am delighted to see that among all the happy finalists for this year’s World Fantasy Awards is Sofia Samatar’s debut collection Tender

If you’re curious and would like to read a few of the stories from this wide-ranging collection, here are just a few:

How to Get Back to the Forest

An Account of the Land of Witches

Meet Me in Iram



British Fantasy Awards

Fri 6 Jul 2018 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Tender coverI’m delighted to see Sofia Samatar’s collection Tender is one of five very strong finalists for the British Fantasy Award for Best Collection. It is always an honor to have a book in the running for an award, so yay, and thanks British Fantasy Awards for some good news!

Best Collection
· Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman (Bloomsbury)
· Strange Weather, by Joe Hill (Gollancz)
· Tanith by Choice, by Tanith Lee (Newcon Press)
· Tender: Stories, by Sofia Samatar (Small Beer Press)
· You Will Grow Into Them, by Malcolm Devlin (Unsung Stories)



Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards Winner: Best Worst American by Juan Martinez

Wed 16 May 2018 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Best Worst American cover The Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth College has announced that Best Worst American by Juan Martinez has been named the recipient of the inaugural Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award for Debut Speculative Fiction.

The awards will is presented for a debut work in the genre of speculative fiction. Martinez will receive a $5,000 honorarium that will be presented during a Dartmouth-hosted panel to discuss the genre and their work.

The judging was spearheaded by New York Times-bestselling author Maria Dahvana Headley, whose wide-ranging work includes speculative fiction for both adult and young readers. Her soon-to-be-released novel The Mere Wife (MCD × Farrar, Straus & Giroux) is a contemporary retelling of the classic “Beowulf.”



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!



It was never the Lovecraft award

Thu 12 Nov 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | 4 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Dear H.P. Lovecraft fan who are upset that the World Fantasy Award statuette will no longer be Gahan Wilson’s bust of HPL: you have my sympathies. It’s hard to see the cultural assessment of someone you love and respect change as time passes.

But: being rude and insulting writers? That can stop now, thanks.

Winners returning the award seems a bit over the top to me — I just got one and I’m not giving it back! — especially as the HPL publishing biz seems to grow and grow and no one is saying don’t read his books. He’s taught all over the country and there are so many of his books out there that even if all his titles were . . .  by some eldritch and unspeakable pact . . . (sorry) taken out of print right now there are so many copies in used book stores there is no way people would stop reading him.

I’m curious what the new design will be, although I don’t envy the board the choice. But this was never the Lovecraft award, it’s the World Fantasy Award. Who knows: from now on it may change every year, every 40 years.

I’m proud of — and grateful to — everyone in the writing, reading, and publishing community who worked towards this change and for the World Fantasy Convention Board for recognizing the need for change.

Peace in our time!

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 12.29.40 PM

 



Quick thoughts on WFC 2015

Mon 9 Nov 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | 3 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Buy this from Powell's!Holy bananas, that ended surprisingly well!

  • This is why I never write these things. There’s too much I’ll miss and that’s an hour I should have been napping after the weekend working working!
  • The book room was a huge, great well-lit space with tons of space for the crowds of eager readers ready to snap up hot hot books. Sadly said readers seemed to be seduced by Saratoga Springs’s lovely streets and great restaurants and mostly did not appear. Or they couldn’t get memberships or something. Darn it.
  • That said, Ninepin Press sold tons of copies of The Family Arcana from our table. People love Jed’s story-as-pack-of-cards.
  • Lovely restaurants: Karavalli (Indian, wow); Hattie’s (all the sides = dinner for this happy vegetarian); Four Seasons (very handy for a box lunch for still happy parent and child); Cantina (Mexican: can you sit 10 people with no reservation for Sunday lunch? No problem — nice, thank you!).
  • Out-of-con experiences: taking a 6-year-old to a con immediately changes everything. There are too many people, it’s chaotic, it’s an unfamiliar space — and, yes, that’s just me. But she made half a dozen books and met some friends so it was not all bad. And: hotel swimming pool, of course! Kid’s museum: high five for pre-arranged play dates! Another of course: the park. Hooray for finding the Triton’s pool and the statues of Pan, Dionysus, and the Maenads as well as leaves, man, leaves. You can do a lot with leaves and a bit of Greek mythology goes a long way.
  • Meanwhile: Gary K. Wolfe reviewed Mary Rickert’s new book You Have Never Been Here in the Chicago Tribune. All right!

The Three Ps:

  • Panels: they were epic! I suppose as I did not go to any, see out-of-con-experiences above, previously mentioned (and sometimes coldly abandoned) table in book room, and the theme was Epic Fantasy. There were some people I’d have loved to see on panels but I did not. C’est la vie.
  • People: it is great to see friends and meet people only known online or . . . once-were complete strangers. I had one meeting at the con with Ron Eckel of Cooke International who does a fab job of selling our books abroad (dammit, that reminds me I have a list of things I have to send him) and otherwise “relied” on happenstance, which worked out mostly ok but for everyone I did not actually see. Oops.
  • Parties: I got to two (er, I think), Kickstarter and Ellen Kushner et al’s Tremontaine, and they were both busy and well supplied, yay! The latter was such a happening that I ended up sitting on the floor outside chatting for a long, long while with many good people.

Also:

  • The art show was great! We got a tiny skull with crown papercut by Kathleen Jennings and a fantastic painting we’ve admired for years by Derek Ford.
  • I sneaked a galley of Sofia Samatar’s forthcoming novel The Winged Histories to one of the happiest people I know, Amal El-Mohtar. Yay!
  • Chatted with Jeffrey Ford and Christopher Rowe. Why pick those two out of the hundreds? Because we like to transmute art into commerce and 2016 will see Jeff’s new collection A Natural History of Hell coming out and 2017 will see Christopher’s debut collection for which you should put in an extra pair of socks because it will knock them right off you and fortunately he is a much better writer than me so his book is actually good while my blog posts are, well, here we are, it never will end, will it?

Happily:

  • The bust of H.P. Lovecraft is done and gone as the World Fantasy Award. Well done Gahan Wilson for making it in the first place and the board for making the decision. The world changes and we change with it and everyone I know is happy about this change.

Goofy story:

  • On Sunday we went out to lunch with friends rather than taking the kid to the banquet. At 1:30 or so I got a phone call from Gordon Van Gelder (one of the award administrators) who asked if we’d be at the award ceremony later as he was wondering if our kids could have another play date while the adults droned on about awards. I thought this was a great idea so we made a play date.
    Which made sure we were back at the hotel.
    In time for the awards ceremony.
    In which we received an award.
    Ha!
    I swear I am not usually this dense (um, honestly . . .) but since the kids had had such a good time on Friday I figured this was legit. Ha again! I’ve even been party to wrangling unknowing award winners in the past. If anything I thought, hey, maybe Kelly’s story . . . ? but I really thought, ooh, playdate = happy kid. Hats off to Gordon, nicely done.

And the awards!

Congratulations to all the winners — and the nominees — especially Sandra Kasturi and Brett Savory at ChiZine whose work ethic and determination to push great, dark books into the world is unequaled. It was fantastic to see the collection award shared between Angela Slatter and Helen Marshall. I hate awards because it is silly that not everything gets the prize. I was happy to remember Kathleen Addison’s The Goblin Emperor had won the Locus Award and I cannot wait until Kai Ashante Wilson starts racking them up. I wish Life Achievement award winner Sherri S. Tepper had been there because some of her books blew me away and I’d have liked to thank her.

It is an honor to have been nominated and a surprise to win. I did not have a speech — not hubris, I just thought the jury would go for something else as these awards tend towards the darker side of fantasy and as ever it was a very strong category. But afterwards I realized how silly I was: the book had a decent chance: it is called Monstrous Affections, the stories are bleak, amazing, dark, scary, fantastic. Of course I think it should win all the awards (hello Mr. Nobel Prize, do you do YA anthologies? Have you read Alice Sola Kim’s story that ends the book? Dare you to read it all alone late at night . . .) but still. And. Also. Anyway.

Thanks to the writers and artists in the book — this award is obviously really all about their stories. Thanks to Deborah Noyes our editor at Candlewick Press as well as Nathan Pyritz the designer and everyone at Candlewick who have made working on this book (and Steampunk!) such a joy. Thanks also to cover artist Yuko Shimizu and as always to Kelly’s fabulous and steadfast agent Renée Zuckerbrot. We’re grateful to the judges for their hard work and to the readers everywhere who have allowed us to keep living the dream.



Congratulations to Sofia Samatar!

Sun 9 Nov 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

A Stranger in Olondria cover - click to view full sizeWe are so, so happy to celebrate Sofia Samatar’s novel A Stranger in Olondria receiving the World Fantasy Award. Congratulations and all joy to Sofia whose debut novel has been so widely recognized as a strong, inventive, and fabulous addition to the field. Besides the World Fantasy Award, Olondria has also received the British Fantasy and Crawford awards and was a Nebula and Locus finalist and Sofia won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

Congratulations are due to all the nominees and the winners:

Life Achievement: Ellen Datlow and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Novel: A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar (Small Beer)
Novella: “Wakulla Springs”, Andy Duncan & Ellen Klages (Tor.com 10/2/13)
Short Fiction: “The Prayer of Ninety Cats”, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Subterranean Spring ’13)
Anthology: Dangerous Women, George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, eds. (Tor; Voyager)
Collection: The Ape’s Wife and Other Stories, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Subterranean)
Artist: Charles Vess
Special Award – Professional: (tie) Irene Gallo, for art direction of Tor.com and William K. Schafer, for Subterranean Press
Special Award – Nonprofessional: Kate Baker, Neil Clarke, & Sean Wallace, for Clarkesworld

We spent the weekend in Arlington, VA, at the World Fantasy Convention catching up with many friends and meeting many new people. Our book haul was impressive! We came down from Massachusetts on the train with Kathleen Jennings whose illustration graces the cover of Olondria and throughout the weekend I was lucky enough to spend time with both Sofia and Kathleen. Part of the joy of the time was knowing that Sofia and Kathleen were comparing notes and that they were both looking forward to working on the cover of Sofia’s next novel, The Winged Histories, which, along with a short story collection, Small Beer Press will publish.

Once they’ve arrived back from Virginia, we’ll have a few signed copies of A Stranger in Olondria in stock (the hardcover will be out of print soon) as well as a few signed copies each of books from Ysabeau S. Wilce, Eileen Gunn, Nathan Ballingrud, Ted Chiang.



Sofia Samatar: Overnight Success

Wed 20 Aug 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

A Stranger in Olondria coverOn Sunday night in London, California writer Sofia Samatar was presented (in absentia) with the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction or Fantasy Writer at the World Science Fiction Convention. Samatar received the award for her debut novel, A Stranger in Olondria (Small Beer Press, 2013), as well as short stories published in Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld, We See a Different Future, and other magazines and books.

Samatar began writing A Stranger in Olondria in 1998 in Yambio, South Sudan. She was teaching high school English and there was a 6 p.m. curfew and no internet or television. In between cards, reading, and listening to the BBC, Samatar hand wrote the first draft of her novel. She had no idea how long it was until she moved to Egypt in 2001 and got her first computer. After typing it up, she found it was well over 200,000 words — twice as long as the final version.

In 2011, thirteen years after she started Olondria, she sold the book to Small Beer Press and who published it in 2013. Since then the book has received the Crawford Award, been nominated for the World Fantasy, British Fantasy, Nebula, Locus awards, and rights have been sold in Poland and France with more expected to follow.

Why this novel of a pepper merchant’s son, thirteen years in the making, struck such a chord with readers might be explained by the process as well as the circumstances. Far from home with few resources, Samatar wrote deep background history for her world, most of which did not make it into the novel yet the reader is comforted by the knowledge that the writer’s familiarity with the story is more than just what is shown on the page. Samatar, who is now an Assistant Professor of Literature and Writing at California State University, Channel Islands, explored the joys and pains of learning to read, of travel, and the idea of whether only victors are ever able to tell their stories.

Samatar is working on more short stories and her second novel, The Winged Histories. She does not expect it to take thirteen more years.



World Fantasy Award nominations!

Thu 10 Jul 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

What great news! Congratulations to both Sofia Samatar and Nathan Ballingrud who last night received the lovely news that their books were both finalists for the World Fantasy Award. Yay! Sofia is also a finalist in the short story category for her Strange Horizons story, “Selkie Stories Are for Losers.”

It is an honor to have books nominated and we will be celebrating this weekend at Readercon, and, hey, why not, all the way to November when the awards will be given out at the World Fantasy Convention in Washington, D.C. And, as always, congratulations to all the finalists!

A Stranger in Olondria cover - click to view full size North American Lake Monsters cover - click to view full size



And now, congrats to the British Fantasy Award nominees!

Mon 9 Jun 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Congratulations to all the nominees for the British Fantasy Awards, especially to our two debut authors: Nathan Ballingrud, whose collection North American Lake Monsters is a nominee in the collection category and Sofia Samatar whose A Stranger in Olondria is a nominee in the novel/Robert Holdstock Award category.

The awards will be “announced at an awards ceremony at FantasyCon 2014 in York on 6 or 7 September 2014, depending on the convention’s scheduling.”

North American Lake Monsters cover A Stranger in Olondria cover



Congrats to the Shirley Jackson Award nominees!

Sun 11 May 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Congratulations to all the finalists for the Shirley Jackson Awards, especially to Nathan Ballingrud whose debut collection, North American Lake Monsters, is a nominee in the single author collection category, and to Greer Gilman whose Cry Murder! in a Small Voice, is a nominee in the novelette category.

The awards will be presented on Sunday, July 13, 2014, at Readercon 25, in Burlington (outside Boston), Massachusetts. Kelly was one of the jurors this year, so, as the site says: “Where a conflict of interest arises for a juror, the juror recuses himself/herself from voting for the particular work.”

Come say hello if you’re at Readercon! We will have stacks of these books — and more goodies, of course. And by the end of the week we should have another piece of very exciting news for fans of Greer Gilman!

ETA: Susan Stinson and Bob Flaherty (“My god, Susan! What you have you done to me!”) talk about North American Lake Monsters during their monthly bookswap on WHMP.

North American Lake Monsters cover - click to view full size Cry Murder! in a Small Voice cover - click to view full size



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.”



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


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


Fountain of Age a PKD Award finalist

Thu 10 Jan 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Fountain of Age cover - click to view full sizeLovely news from the Philip K. Dick Award peeps, Nancy Kress’s latest collection Fountain of Age is a finalist for this year’s award. Congratulations to all the nominees!

Here’s the full list of nominees and various links and so on:

The judges of the 2012 Philip K. Dick Award and the Philadelphia SF Society, along with the Philip K. Dick Trust, are pleased to announce seven nominated works that comprise the final ballot for the award:

BLUEPRINTS OF THE AFTERLIFE by Ryan Boudinot (Black Cat)

HARMONY by Keith Brooke (Solaris)

HELIX WARS by Eric Brown (Solaris)

THE NOT YET by Moira Crone (UNO Press)

FOUNTAINS OF AGE by Nancy Kress (Small Beer Press)

LOVESTAR by Andri Snær Magnason (Seven Stories Press)

LOST EVERYTHING by Brian Francis Slattery (Tor Books)

First prize and any special citations will be announced on Friday, March 29, 2013 at Norwescon 36 at the Doubletree Seattle Airport Hotel, SeaTac, Washington.

The Philip K. Dick Award is presented annually with the support of the Philip K. Dick Trust for distinguished science fiction published in paperback original form in the United States.  The award is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and the Philip K. Dick Trust and the award ceremony is sponsored by the NorthWest Science Fiction Society.  Last year’s winner was THE SAMUIL PETROVICH TRILOGY by Simon Morden (Orbit) with a special citation to THE COMPANY MAN by Robert Jackson Bennett (Orbit). The 2012 judges are Bruce Bethke, Sydney Duncan, Daryl Gregory, Bridget McKenna, and Paul Witcover (chair).



Paradise Tales wins the Sunburst Award

Thu 6 Dec 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Paradise Tales cover - click to view full sizeLovely sunny news from Canada: Geoff Ryman’s short story collection Paradise Tales has won the Sunburst Award. The winner of the 2012 YA award is All Good Children by Catherine Austen (Orca).

It is hard to believe—as he has written so many great books—but Paradise Tales is Geoff’s first short story collection. The sixteen stories include three set in Cambodia and a couple on Mars, some are contemporary and some are set in the far future. The wide-ranging nature of the collection reflects Ryman’s diverse interests in the world of today and tomorrow and how we humans will (or won’t deal with it). One of the things I wish more reviewers would point out is how funny some of Geoff’s stories are. His story “V.A.O.” (in which a retiree has to work who in his nursing home might be carrying out a string of robberies) is dark and satirical but it’s also hilarious in parts.

The most recent review I’ve seen of the book was by J. J. S. Boyce on AESciFi—the CanadianScience Fiction Review—which ended with a line I fully agree with:  “Short-form speculative fiction doesn’t get much better than this.”



Earlier Entries in Awards »