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.



2018 SBP x Locus

Mon 25 Feb 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Locus February 2019 (#697) cover - click to view full sizeFollowing up on my earlier 2018 wrap-up, I’d meant to post something near the start of February about the 2018 Locus Recommended Reading List but so it goes. The whole issue is worth digging into if you like weird or sff&h or genre fiction at all as between these reviewers they’ve tried to see everything that came out last year. Not everything is included in their write up but many are and I’m proud to say that 4 of our books and 3 stories we published in collections and one in LCRW were included.

I’m going to start with a lovely quote from Gary K. Wolfe and then put some reviews for each title:

It’s worth noting that three of these collections (Singh, Otis, and Duncan) came from Small Beer Press, which has become a reliable source for innovative short fiction collections.
Gary K. Wolfe

2018 Locus Recommended Reading List

Andy Duncan · An Agent of Utopia
“An Agent of Utopia”, Andy Duncan (An Agent of Utopia)
“Joe Diabo’s Farewell”, Andy Duncan (An Agent of Utopia)

“Dying Light”, Maria Romasco Moore (Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet #37, 7/18)

Abbey Mei Otis · Alien Virus Love Disaster

John Schoffstall · Half-Witch

Vandana Singh · Ambiguity Machines & Other Stories
“Requiem”, Vandana Singh (Ambiguity Machines)

Readers can go and vote for their own favorites in the Locus Poll and Survey (deadline 4/15).

Reviews

Vandana Singh · Ambiguity Machines & Other Stories

“A major short story collection.” — Jonathan Strahan

“An essential short fiction collection in a year that saw many good ones. Singh’s superb work has appeared in a wide range of venues, and it is good to have a representative selection in one place.” — Graham Sleight (Ten books of the year)

John Schoffstall · Half-Witch

“Other highly recommended titles are Half-Witch from John Schoffstall, a traditional fantasy except that the sun orbits the world and God takes part as a not-very-helpful character . . .” – Laurel Amberdine

“Though billed as YA, had plenty for all to chew on in its vision of a magic-inflected Europe and a protagonist with a direct (if interference-riddled) line to God.” — Graham Sleight (Ten books of the year)

P.S. We just sold audio rights to Tantor on this title so listen out for that later this year.

Claire G. Coleman · Terra Nullius

“Searing.” — Gary K. Wolfe

Abbey Mei Otis · Alien Virus Love Disaster

“Abbey Mei Otis publishes in literary journals as well as SF magazines, so many of the weird SF and fantasy-infused stories in Alien Virus Love Disaster will be new and delightful for our readers.” — Tim Pratt

Andy Duncan · An Agent of Utopia

“Andy Duncan – in what might well be the collection of the year – invoked everyone from Sir Thomas More to Zora Neal Hurston in An Agent of Utopia, which also brought together some of his most evocative tales about the hidden corners of Americana, from an afterlife for Delta blues singers to the travails of an aging UFO abductee.” — Gary K. Wolfe

“. . . a book that showcased why he is a treasure.” — Jonathan Strahan

“An essential introduction to one of the great tellers of fantastic tall tales.” — Graham Sleight (Ten books of the year)

“Andy Duncan’s charming and affable stories abound with hidden depths, and An Agent of Utopia is no different, with a dozen stories, including a pair of originals that are generating a lot of buzz.” — Tim Pratt

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet

“My very favorite story this year may have been another story from a veteran of both SF and Mystery: ‘Dayenu’, by James Sallis, from Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. It’s an exceedingly odd and unsettling story, beautifully written, about a veteran of a war and his rehab – from injuries? Or something else done to him? And then about a journey, and his former partners. . . . The story itself a journey somewhere never unexpected.” — Rich Horton



Challenging SF

Thu 7 Feb 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Rachel Hill’s review of Claire G. Coleman’s Terra Nullius on Strange Horizons cheered me up immensely. Here’s a reviewer who has dug into the book, enjoyed it, and pulled up many fascinating threads. Here’s a line, but if you have a minute, read the whole thing:

“Coleman’s work challenges SF to be better, revitalising and compelling the genre to realise its political importance as an incubator for counterfutures, alternative imaginaries and as a home for the people yet to come.”



Celebrating the NPR Best of 2018

Tue 27 Nov 2018 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Half-WitchToday NPR posted their endlessly fascinating year-end book concierge and I am elated to find that two of our titles are included.

But first, have you tried it? There are 32 filters and I am going to try every one of them, but not right now, as I have to ship ship ship books from our recent sale — so yay and thanks to everyone who ordered and I hope you enjoy the books!

But, look: who doesn’t need a Rather Short book sometimes? And then winter is great for Rather Long books. There are 3 or 4 books in the Comics I want to read and I love that Shobha Roa’s excellent Girls Burn Brighter is the first title that pops up in the Eye-Opening Reads. I could go on (and point out faves such as Sofia and Del Samatar’s Monster Portraits) but, really, NPR have set you up here. Hope you enjoy playing with it as much as I do.

The two Small Beer novels that are included are:

John Schoffstall, Half-Witch

Terra Nullius: A NovelClaire G. Coleman, Terra Nullius

I posted two tweets after finding out these two books were on the list. They are quite understated because if I tried to encapsulate my joy in discovery I would have exploded the 280-character limit and perhaps my laptop, too.

While I tend to think the books we publish are some of the best I read each year, I never know how the world will take them. Some books land well, some don’t. Some find their readership over years, not months. It is at once a joy, a vindication, a relief, and an inspiration to see these books read and put forward — among hundreds of other great books — as some of the best of the year.

We will raise a glass tonight to these authors and to all the authors who send us or let us publish their books. Thanks again, Claire and John, hope you celebrate, too!



2018 by the Numbers

Mon 19 Nov 2018 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin


Before this week disappears I wanted to post about the year in Small Beer. The year out in the world is very dark although I refuse to be pessimistic about the present and the future. I believe everyone rises together and that working with that in mind is the way to live. One of the ways I can deal with all the crap right wing antihumanists are throwing at us around the world — besides going to protests, calling politicians, tweeting in desperation, lying on the floor, donating to nonprofits, and listening to audiobooks instead of the news — is to keep making things. Some of those things go out into the world, some of them are breakfast, some of them are ephemeral toys me and my kid make. The biggest things I make, with Kelly and the work of many other people, come out from Small Beer Press.

Every year I want to look back and see that we’ve published stories I haven’t read before — seems like a good place to throw in a reminder that we’re always looking for work by women and writers of color; our submissions are always open and we still ask for paper subs because there are two of us and we want to read everything.

So, in 2018 we published 2 issues of our million-year-old zine — still the best zine named after Winston Churchill’s Cobble-Hill Brooklynite mother, Jennie Jerome — LCRW and 6 diverse and fascinating books. To break down the books a little:

7 starred reviews — feel free to grab the illo above and put it into the hands of Netflix, review editors, &c.
5 US debuts
3 novels, 3 short story collections
3 women, 3 men
1 translation
2 NPR Best Books of 2018
1 Washington Post Best of the Year
plus 4 reprints:
— Sarah Rees Brennan, In Other Lands, 3rd printing, June 2018
— Kij Johnson, At the Mouth of the River of Bees, 5th printing, June 2018
— Kelly Link, Stranger Things Happen, 9th printing, November 2018
— Naomi Mitchison, Travel Light, short run reprint, November 2018
Somewhat related: 1 MacArthur Fellowship (so we had a sale — sort of still going)

The books:

Ambiguity Machines & Other Stories by Vandana Singh
“Magnificent.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review), Top 10 SF, Fantasy & Horror Spring 2018
“hopeful, enriching” — Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal

The Invisible Valley: a novel by Su Wei, translated by Austin Woerner
“pleasantly picaresque” — Publishers Weekly
“complex, colorful characters” — Kirkus Reviews
“shocking and gritty” — Library Journal
“lushly atmospheric and haunting novel” — Booklist

Half-Witch: a novel by John Schoffstall
NPR Best Books of 2018
“Genuinely thrilling.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“a marvel of storytelling” — Amal El-Mohtar, New York Times Book Review

Alien Virus Love Disaster: Stories by Abbey Mei Otis
“A breathtaking reading experience.” — Booklist (starred review)
“An exciting voice. . . . dreamy but with an intense physicality.” — Washington Post “5 best science fiction and fantasy novels of 2018”

Terra Nullius: a novel by Claire G. Coleman
NPR Best Books of 2018
Stella Prize finalist
“Imaginative, astounding.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Highly recommended.” — Library Journal (starred review)

An Agent of Utopia: New & Selected Stories by Andy Duncan
“Zany and kaleidoscopic.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Evocative, playful, and deeply accomplished.” — Booklist (starred review)

The zine

fiction: 9 women, 3 men
nonfiction: 1 woman
poetry: 3 women, 2 men
2 first publications

So far next year, besides helping with the ongoing progressive revolution, we’re planning on making many Small Beer things including 2 (or maybe 3) issues of LCRW and at least 3 books:

1 debut
1 novel, 2 short story collections
2 women, 1 man
4 Reprints
— Laurie J. Marks, Fire Logic, January 2019
— Laurie J. Marks, Earth Logic, February 2019
— Sofia Samatar, Tender: Stories, trade paperback, April 2019
— Sarah Rees Brennan, an, In Other Lands, trade paperback, September 2019

And one or both of us are planning to be at Boskone (Boston, February), AWP (Portland, OR, March), WisCon (Madison, WI, May), Readercon (Boston, July), Brooklyn Book Festival (September), & maybe more, who can say?

We published a lot of things to read this year and we know at least 2 people (us!) loved them. Hope you get a chance to read and enjoy them, too.



2nd Star for Terra Nullius

Fri 28 Sep 2018 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Terra Nullius coverI’m delighted to see that Claire G. Coleman’s debut Terra Nullius has received its second starred review, this one from Library Journal! I saw it on Barnes & Noble, so go there to read the whole thing:

“Demonstrates Coleman’s promise as a creative storyteller. VERDICT Highly recommended.”
—Faye Chadwell, Oregon State Univ., Corvallis



There Is No Nobody’s Land

Thu 20 Sep 2018 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Terra Nullius coverA year ago on September 7th I queried Hachette Australia about North American rights to Claire G. Coleman’s Terra Nullius. I’d read Veronica Sullivan’s review in the Guardian and was immediately intrigued. Intrigued doesn’t quite catch the level of my curiosity, though. When I was a kid one of my favorite novels was John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids — which happily for me is in print from our friends at the New York Review Books — a post apocalyptic story of a kid who realizes that his differences puts him in danger. The Guardian review reminded me of The Chrysalids and when I looked for a US edition of Terra Nullius I was frustrated, then delighted, to find it did not yet exist.

When I reached out to Hachette Australia they first emailed then mailed me the book, the latter took some time thanks to Massachusetts being quite far from Australia, and on October 27th I made an offer on North American rights. By November 3rd negotiations were concluded and we were a go to publish. In the intervening eleven months we’ve sent review copies hither and yon throughout the US (and a few to Canada).

Terra Nullius starts with a kid, Jacky, running, and never stops. It is a page turner that will resonate uncomfortably for many readers in postcolonial countries and I believe it will be yet another in the many steps needed in the ongoing discussions of land ownership, land use, reparations, owning, belonging, home, &c. in North America the way it has in Australia.

When the book came out in Australia, Claire was featured at many book festivals and interviewed a lot. I’ve listened to most of these (links copied from her website, thanks, Claire!) and recommend leaving a tab open and listening to a few. Besides being a great writer, she is a live spark and well worth listening to:

Home Truths: Telling Australian Stories. Recoded at Sydney Writers festival, on ABC iView.

Radio National the Hub on Books Great Debate – Write What You Know on ABC Radio National.

I had a great chat with Andrew Pople on Final Draft, 2ser Sydney, you can hear it here.

The second episode of The Meanjin Podcast has me talking to Jonathan Green.

I spoke to Jonathan Green about Australia, the White Invaders and who the real nomads are on Blueprint for Living.

I spoke to Beverley Wang for It’s Not a Race Season 2 Episode 2 – For Us Happy Endings Feel Dishonest.

Panel at Melbourne Writers Festival 2017, facilitated by Adelle Walsh, featuring Samantha Shannon, Sami Shah, Garth Nix and Me – Reality and Fantasy (Youtube)

Rhianna Patrick interviewed some authors, including me, at Genrecon for her podcast.

The Wire – Reframing Australia’s History of Invasion. My interview with Bonnie Parker.

I was on ABC Brisbane on the 4th of July 2017 talking about my book and what inspired me to write it for NAIDOC weekhttp://www.abc.net.au/radio/brisbane/programs/evenings/evenings/8657932. I am on at about 1 hour and 29 minutes in.

Hear me talk about Aboriginal literature, family history and the frontier wars on Brisbane Murri Radiohttp://www.989fm.com.au/podcasts/lets-talk/claire-coleman/

I was interviewed by Triple J breakfast, it’s somewhere in this podcast: http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/media/s4497391.htm



One More Week to Terra Nullius

Tue 4 Sep 2018 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Terra Nullius cover - click to view full sizeWe had a slight printer error and while I sort that out with them Claire G. Coleman’s Terra Nullius will be delayed a little. Some initial copies have gone out so you may find it in stores and the ebook is available (DRM-free as ever from Weightless) in all the usual places.

The good news is that Andrew Liptak included Terra Nullius in his September books to add to your TBR stack column on the Verge, as did Tor.com and Book Riot — they’re calling it “fantastic! on the podcast! — and Publishers Weekly included it in their Big Indie Books of Fall list, so yay!


Terra Nullius gets a Reading Group Guide

Mon 13 Aug 2018 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Terra Nullius cover - click to view full sizeNot recommended until you’ve read it, but once you have read Claire G. Coleman’s Terra Nullius and you really want to talk about it, we have you covered: you can come back here and download the Terra Nullius Reading Group Guide (0 downloads).



PW Star!

Mon 30 Jul 2018 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Terra Nullius cover - click to view full sizeSliding in here from sunny yet muggy San Diego to share my delight that Claire G. Coleman’s forthcoming debut novel Terra Nullius has received a starred review from Publishers Weekly:

“Coleman stuns with this imaginative, astounding debut about colonization. . . . Coleman universalizes the experiences of invaded indigenous populations in a way that has seldom been achieved. Artfully combining elements of literary, historical, and speculative fiction, this allegorical novel is surprising and unforgettable.”
Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Read the full review here and follow the author on twitter here.



Claire G. Coleman on the Book Podcast

Tue 17 Jul 2018 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Terra Nullius cover - click to view full sizeHere’s fascinating interview with Claire G. Coleman to whet your appetite for her forthcoming debut Terra Nullius:

Terra Nullius is a work of speculative fiction written by Claire Coleman, a writer from Western Australia who identifies with the South Coast Noongar people. It is a story exactly as we know it. No speculation required. A story so familiar, until it’s not.

Read more about Claire Coleman here and listen to the interview here.