Meet the new boss

Mon 25 Oct 2021 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Quite different from the old boss. Cass Neary, allergic to bosses, sensitive as a brick through a window, deeply intimate with the relationship between light and dark and the photography of same, is coming back. Hard Light comes out on November 2.

More Hands, More Hands

Mon 17 May 2021 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Being among the more cautious, I have no idea if travel will seem like a good idea or not this summer or autumn. I know millions of people are traveling right now but I’m not there yet so for travel, it’s all just books for me.

Come September, those who are armchair traveling will have 2 dark, propulsive options to carry them to Scandinavia and the south of England and the the darkest secrets at the heart of humanity. In other words, Cass Neary is coming back.

I’ve added 2 new September 2021 books to this site: Elizabeth Hand’s novels Available Dark and Hard Light, the second and third books in her can’t-look-away series of Cass Neary novels that began with Generation Loss. In the coming weeks I’ll post them on Edelweiss for reviewers and booksellers and post excerpts here to give readers a taste — here’s the the first chapter of Generation Loss.

NPR Best of the Year

Wed 30 Dec 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Posted by: Gavin

In 2020 like everyone else in the world we rang the changes pretty hard. Our kid has been remote schooled (i.e. at home) since March, we closed Book Moon to walk-in browsing and ran it as a phone, online, and curbside pickup joint, and ran ourselves as hard as we could just to stand still.

Here’s an indented aside on Book Moon: it’s a small, local bookshop with an outsize national and international reach and those two facts kept it alive this year. We have a small staff, 4 smart and hardworking part-time booksellers, me and Kelly, and Kelly’s mother, an invaluable volunteer. We worked either as the 2 of us (plus kid doing school) or either Jed or Amanda alone in the store. On weekends in autumn and winter, Franchie worked outside as a carnival barker — although everyone has mixed feelings about actually trying to attract more people to the store. Having only one person in the store at a time was tough. I’m glad we only have one phone line and appreciate people leaving messages.

Every month at Book Moon has been our best month — but some of that is just us having fun with words. March to October sales were flat flat flat. We took out a small PPP loan which I think will be turned into a grant. Our landlords gave us a truly needed break on the rent — it was the difference between breaking even and losing money. All that aside, sure, these were our best March, April, May, June, July, August, September, and even October yet. November 2020 was 20% up on November 2019. December 2020 beat (THANKS ALL!) our actual best month so far, December 2019 — but woah what a different kind of work all these phone and internet orders are.

Book Moon is part of Do I want to only have a Bookshop site? No. Do I think it’s a good thing? People love it and if it gets them off the crappiness that is Am*zon, all the better.

I hoped and expected sales to grow this year. Easthampton has been very welcoming to having its own bookstore. But I also expected to have 1-3 booksellers in the store each day who were not Kelly or me. Covid meaning only us or 1 person at a time in the store has meant squeezing time for Small Beer pretty hard. Will it change? Yes. Soon? No.

So we ran ourselves hard because what we are doing, publishing books, running a bookshop, putting out a zine, is what we really want to keep doing. Do I want 750 Book Moons around the country or to publish 120 books a year? Not really. Do I like this what we’re doing? Yes!

So as purveyors of the written word — be it in printed book form, ebook, audiobook, zine, or T-shirt format — to readers local and far flung we are pretty damned grateful to still be around here at the end of December 2020 and to be (knock on wood, wearing a mask, washing hands) healthy. We’d like to do this for some years to come so we owe you thanks for buying books from us, borrowing them from a library, attending events, picking them up used, reviewing and sharing them.

In 2020 we published one new book (1), one TV tie-in (2), brought two books back into print (3) in new editions (as well as innumerable reprints, but that might be too much for me to go find), and published two issues of LCRW (41 — the free one, 42 — the answer, of course).

  1.  Elwin Cotman, Dance on Saturday: Stories
    — Karen Russell, “In addition to being wildly inventive, is also so goddamn funny.”
    — and the reason for the title of this post. It really is an amazing read.
  2. Nathan Ballingrud, Monsterland
    — if you watch the show on Hulu try and match the stories to the episodes.
  3. (i) Elizabeth Hand, Generation Loss
    — Danielle Trussoni, New York Times Book Review: <“Elizabeth Hand’s Cass Neary series began in 2008 with Generation Loss, a startling and addictive novel that introduced a protagonist fueled by drugs and post-punk irreverence.
    — More news on book 2 & 3 in the Cass Neary series in early 2021.
    (ii) Susan Stinson, Martha Moody
    — Karen Rigby, Foreword Reviews: “An exuberant, cheeky Western in which sensual hunger steers an offbeat homesteader toward freedom.”

Other things that happened: since a friend talked us into joining the local Hot Chocolate Walk me and the kid have joined 6,000+ people in early December on a walk to raise money for a local shelter organization, Safe Passage. This year there was no walk but of course Safe Passage still needs the funds so we put up our page and it was just beyond inspiring and so lovely to see people from all over the country donate. Thanks, all. I continue to review zines for Xerography Debt and really enjoy the different views of the world represented in zines.

Weightless Books continues along as a half decent DRM-free independent alternative ebookstore. Next year, time willing, Michael and I have a few ideas to freshen it up. But that would be after everything else gets done.

In LCRW news, a story from #40, Michael Byers’s “Sibling Rivalry” was reprinted in Best American Short Stories 2020, edited by Curtis Sittenfeld. We gave away #41 to print and electronic subscribers to provide a moment of joy for one and all. This year has been so crappy, sending out a couple of hundred free zines was a respite.

This was a year in which we writers sent us longer stories that caught us by surprise. From LCRW 42, Sarah Langan’s You Have the Prettiest Mask was excerpted on Lithub and there were 2 long stories in LCRW 41, Rachel Ayers, “Magicians & Grotesques” and David Fawkes’s “Letterghost.”

We have quite a backlog of good things to come for LCRW. Will 2021 be the year we manage 3 issues? Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. I know we are publishing collections from Alaya Dawn Johnson, Isabel Yap, Jeffrey Ford, Zen Cho, and one more writer late in the year, perhaps there will be space for another LCRW in there somewhere.

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 42 cover - click to view full size Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 41 cover - click to view full size Dance on Saturday cover - click to view full size Martha Moody cover - click to view full size Generation Loss cover - click to view full size

Oct. 21, 7 p.m. Nathan Ballingrud & Elizabeth Hand

Mon 12 Oct 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Good news for those enjoying visiting the literary part of October country, we have an online event coming up with two favorite authors whose books are definitely on the darker and spookier part of the spectrum.

Join us on Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. EST  as we welcome Nathan Ballingrud, author of North American Lake Monsters (aka Monsterland, a new TV series available now on Hulu) & Elizabeth Hand, author of many fabulous books including her new novel, fourth in the Cass Neary series (which begins with Generation Loss), The Book of Lamps and Banners to the online space occasionally generated on this planet by the gravity of Book Moon for a reading and discussion of their latest books.

Register for this Book Moon event HERE — and please do help spread the word. See you there!

Monsterland: (a Hulu Series) Cover Image The Book of Lamps and Banners (Cass Neary #4) Cover Image

Online Events (links TK)

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

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

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

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

a Gratton (Night Shine).

October 18, 6:30 p.m. EST

Elwin Cotman (Dance on Saturday)
The Ivy Bookshop, 5928 Falls Road, Baltimore, MD 21209
Register here.


Boskone 2019

Tue 5 Feb 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

If all goes as planned, from Feb. 15-17 you’ll be able to find me behind a table in the Dealers Room at Boskone in Boston. I haven’t been for a while — I think since our kid was oh-so-tiny and where a very kind Genevieve Valentine let Kelly go take the kid for a nap in her room, so kind!

This year Elizabeth Hand is the guest of honor so we’ll be bringing along copies of her first Cass Neary novel (where’s the TV show for that?) Generation Lost as well as her collection, Errantry. The latter just came back from the printer so if you like your books fresh off the ye olde bigge printing machine get your copy now.

Besides Liz, this year’s Hal Clement Science Speaker will be Vandana Singh, and, again if all goes as planned (weather &c. willing) we will have copies of the second printing of Vandana’s Philip K. Dick Award finalist(!) Ambiguity Machines & Other Stories. Nothing like an in-person appearance to get a book back to the printer. That’s also what’s happened with Karen Joy Fowler’s What I Didn’t See and Other Stories. I was looking at the AWP schedule (in Portland, OR, in March) and realized we were running very, very low of Karen’s book and since she’ll be doing a signing at our AWP booth that Saturday morning off that book went to the printer, too.

Three reprints, three fab writers, three good books.

Of course we’ll also have our 2 new reprints in Laurie J. Mark’s Elemental Logic series as well as lots of other good books, some old boots (seeing if anyone is still reading), LCRW, and some shiny things. Stop by and say hi if you’re there!


Mon 23 May 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

All coversThe Story Collection Storybundle is live May 11 through June 2. There are 8 DRM-free short story collection ebooks including three exclusive to this bundle. Check them out:

What I Didn’t See: Stories by Karen Joy Fowler
The collection won the World Fantasy Award and the title story won the Nebula. Fowler is the author of The Jane Austen Book Club, a New York Times Bestseller made into a film, and won the 2013 PEN/Faulkner for We are all completely beside ourselves.

The Green Leopard Plague and Other Stories by Walter Jon Williams
Two stories in this collection won the Nebula Award. Williams was a Philip K Dick Award Finalist and placed numerous times for the Nebula and Hugo Awards.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories by Lisa Mason
The collection received five stars from the San Francisco Review of Books. Mason’s books have been finalists for the Philip K Dick Award Finalist and New York Times Notable Books. Her OMNI story, “Tomorrow’s Child,” sold outright to Universal Studios.

Collected Stories by Lewis Shiner
The collection is an ebook exclusive for Storybundle! It includes forty-one stories, and has an Introduction by Karen Joy Fowler. Shiner’s work has been a finalist for the Philip K Dick Award, the Hugo Award, and the Nebula Award.

Wild Things by C. C. Finlay
The collection is a second ebook exclusive for Storybundle and has a new Afterword. A multi-award-nominated author, Finlay is the editor of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Errantry: Strange Stories by Elizabeth Hand
Hand has won the World Fantasy Award four times, the Nebula twice, the Shirley Jackson twice, and the Mythopoetic Award. Her books have been both New York Times and Washington Post Notable Books.

Women Up to No Good by Pat Murphy
Two stories in the collection were nominated for the Nebula. Murphy won the Nebula twice, the World Fantasy, and the Philip K Dick Award.

6 Stories by Kathe Koja
A third Storybundle exclusive collection! Koja, author of Skin and Under the Poppy, won the Bram Stoker Award and was a Philip K Dick Award Finalist.

Pay what you want for three books; pay more than $12 ($23? $42? $1,099?) and get all 8 — plus donate a percentage to the Science Fiction Writers of America.

The Story Collection Storybundle will run only from May 11 through June 2, 2016. When it’s gone, it’s gone!

All Covers Large


Wed 18 May 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Posted by: Gavin

One of these days I will sit back with a huge bowl of popcorn, a beer, and a huge grin and watch the premiere of Ayize Jama-Everett’s Liminal books on TV or at the movies. No solid news yet, but one day it will come and I will be bouncing up and down about it. In the meantime listen to Lilliam Rivera’s interview with Ayize — and the great music — on Radio Sombra.

Ayize read part of his final Liminal novel at the AWP conference in LA last month and he sang part of the song “Notorious” — which is on the episode by Turbulence but Ayize also mentions the version by Nãnci and Phoebe, listen to that one here — I love Nãnci and Phoebe’s Cypher Cycles song, too: they’re outside, it’s cold, people are going by, no matter, the singing and beatboxing is great.

A little international news: the French translation of A Stranger in Olondria has been nominated for the Prix Imaginales. Fingers crossed we will have more international news on Sofia’s books soon, too.

And a couple of fave author have new novels coming out:

Lydia Millet, whose final novel in her Dissenters series we will publish early in 2017, has a new novel Sweet Lamb of Heaven, which the New York Times and everyone loves.

And Elizabeth Hand has a new novel, Hard Light, out which continues the story (begun in Generation Loss) of Cass Neary. Here’s Megan Abbot on it:

“Nerve-jangling and addictive, Elizabeth Hand’s Hard Light offers up a signature Cass Neary tale of moral ambivalence, keen betrayal and a dark lushness that leaps off the page. And with the best subscription boxes in her dangerous curiosity, her ruthless art of survival―Hand has created an anti-hero for the ages. We’d follow her anywhere, into any glittery abyss, and do.”

and a trailer:

HARD LIGHT by Elizabeth Hand/Book Trailer from Phish Chiang on Vimeo.

In which we go to Readercon!

Tue 8 Jul 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Hey, are you going to Readercon this weekend? We are! Well . . . Kelly will be there Friday and then she is flying off at oh-dark-thirty on Saturday for beautiful Portland, Oregon, where she’ll be one of the fab faculty at the Tin House Writers Workshop. OK, Tin House first: it’s held at Reed College, Oregon, and Kelly is doing a seminar:

Wednesday July 16th, 3pm, Vollum Lecture Hall
Nighttime Logic: Ghost Stories, Fairy Tales, Dreams, and the Uncanny, with Kelly Link

The writer Howard Waldrop distinguishes between the kinds of stories that rely upon daytime logic and stories that use nighttime logic. What does he mean by this? We’ll examine writers, stories, and techniques that dislocate the reader and make the world strange. 

and a reading:

Thursday, July 17th, 8pm
Reading and signing with Kelly Link, Mary Ruefle, Antonya Nelson

Kelly is not on programming at Readercon. But, many, many Small Beer authors are! Some of them may be familiar, some will have travelled many miles to be there. Check out the program here to see where these fine folks will be:

All the way from Seattle: Eileen Gunn!
All the way from Austin! Chris Brown
Shirley Jackson Award nominee Greer Gilman [fingers crossed for both that and for an appearance by Exit, Pursued by a Bear]
Up from NYC: Ellen Kushner & Delia Sherman
Down the coast from Maine: Elizabeth Hand
Al the way from California, Crawford Award winner Sofia Samatar

— which all means we will have signed copies to go out from next Monday onward. (Want a personalized book? Leave a note with your order!)

I (Gavin) have two things scheduled:

4:00 PM    CL    Kaffeeklatsch. Gavin Grant, Yoon Ha Lee.

10:00 AM    G    Books That Deserve to Remain Unspoiled. Jonathan Crowe, Gavin Grant, Kate Nepveu, Graham Sleight, Gayle Surrette (moderator). In a 2013 review of Joyce Carol Oates’s The Accursed, Stephen King stated, “While I consider the Internet-fueled concern with ‘spoilers’ rather infantile, the true secrets of well-made fiction deserve to be kept.” How does spoiler-acquired knowledge change our reading of fiction? Are some books more “deserving” of going unspoiled than others? If so, what criteria do we apply to determine those works?

If you have big opinions about spoilers, tell me! Wait, don’t spoil the panel! Wait! Do!

We will have two tables in the book room, where, besides our own best-in-the-world-books we will also help DESTROY SCIENCE FICTION, yay! We will have copies of the limited print edition of one of the most interesting (and huge, it is $30, has color illustrations, plus an additional story) anthologies of recent days: Women Destroy Science Fiction edited by Christie Yant and with a pretty incredible Table of Contents.

Come by and say hi!

Bestsellers & Locus Rec Reading 2013

Mon 3 Feb 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Here are two different views of 2013 in SBP books. What will 2014 bring? Droughts! Witches! Yetis! More and more weird fun!

Congratulations to all the authors on the 2013 Locus recommended reading list. It’s always fun to peruse the list and see, for whatever reasons, what rose up and what didn’t. It’s especially nice to have links to all the online short stories and novellas and so on, thanks Mark et al!

In 2013, we published 2 Peter Dickinson reprints, one chapbook, and six new titles, and of those six, four titles are on the list:

  1. Sofia Samatar, A Stranger in Olondria
  2. Nathan Ballingrud, North American Lake Monsters: Stories
  3. Angelica Gorodischer (trans. Amalia Gladhart), Trafalgar
  4. Howard Waldrop, Horse of a Different Color: Stories

And you can go and vote in the Locus awards poll here. I have some reading to do before I vote. Votes for Small Beer authors and titles are always appreciated, thank you!

In sales, once again our celebration of Ursula K. Le Guin’s fantastic short stories were our best sellers for the year. However, if we split the two volumes into separate sales, Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others would climb a notch to #2. But! Counting them as one means we get another title into the top 5: Elizabeth Hand’s late 2012 collection Errantry: Strange Stories. We really should release more books at the start of the year, as those released at the end have much less chance of getting into the top 5.

According to Neilsen BookScan (i.e. not including bookfairs, our website, etc.), our top five bestsellers (excluding ebooks) for 2013 were:

  1. Ursula K. Le Guin, The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin
    Ursula K. Le Guin, The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin
  2. Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others
  3. Kij Johnson, At the Mouth of the River of Bees
  4. Susan Stinson, Spider in a Tree
  5. Elizabeth Hand, Errantry: Strange Stories

Last year it was all short stories all the time, this year Susan Stinson’s historical novel Spider in a Tree jumped in (I’d have said sneaked in if it was #5, but since it’s at #4, that’s a jump!). Susan’s book is still getting great reviews, as with this from the Historical Novel Review which just came out this week:

“The book is billed as “a novel of the First Great Awakening,” and Stinson tries to do just that, presenting us with a host of viewpoints from colonists to slaves and even insects. She gives an honest imagining of everyday people caught up in extraordinary times, where ecstatic faith, town politics and human nature make contentious bedfellows. Although the novel was slow to pull me in, by the end I felt I had an intimate glance into the disparate lives of these 18th-century residents of Northampton, Massachusetts.”

As ever, thanks are due to the writers for writing their books, all the people who worked on the books with us, the great support we received from the independent bookstores all across the USA and Canada, and of course, the readers. We love these books and are so happy to find so many readers do, too: thank you!


Quelle Horreur

Wed 3 Jul 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

You know, with Errantry and Nathan Ballingrud’s North American Lake Monsters, we are definitely getting our share of the darker books out there. Both authors are nominees for this year’s Shirley Jackson Awards which will be presented in a week or so at Readercon, where you can meet both authors! Should be a busy con, and a laugh.

Nathan’s book, being a fab piece of work, is about to see some nice reviews and mentions, more on those later. In the meantime it’s great to see a couple of nice reviews of Elizabeth Hand’s Errantry: Strange Stories popping up recently. Nic Clarke at Strange Horizons wrote

“. . . Hand’s strangeness is redolent of the sort of disturbing, uncanny children’s books that gave you nightmares at the age of nine (for me, Alan Garner): books with malevolent forces lurking under sunny hillsides, where adults aren’t going to save our heroes, and whose endings are staggeringly bleak.”

and Helen McCrory on Pank said

“Hand’s stories here are more expansive, yet have that undercurrent of a formless force closing in, be it weather, or birds gathering in a falling evening sky.”

which both capture something of the disturbing nature of Liz’s stories. Shiver me timbers!

Around Small Beer

Mon 14 Jan 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Just because the government tells you something doesn’t mean you have to believe it.

Tomorrow: Julie Day reads Kij Johnson’s “The Empress Jingu Fishes” on the Small Beer podcast on the tavern with beer and food.

And check out’s Geek Mom interview with Kij. Kij is off to Oxford to give the JRR Tolkien lecture on fantastic fiction and to teach a workshop: lovely!

Ayize Jama-Everett’s The Liminal People was on the Identity Theory Holiday Reading List. Add it to all your comix-and-sf-reading lists!

I just interviewed Karen Lord, whose lovely new novel The Best of All Possible Worlds comes out from Del Rey next month, for BookPage. That should go up at the start of February.

In April it’s last chance to see Under the Poppy in Detroit. Do it!

The Village Voice gives Errantry a stormer of a review:
“With grand feeling and inventiveness, Hand writes of modern life edging just into the impossible. Her ragged modern characters, often lost or stoned or just unfixed in their lives, set out over moors or into hidden parks in search of realities less dispiriting than our own.”

Kelly’s “The Faery Handbag” is this week’s story on the Bookslinger app.

The first review has come in for the new ish of LCRWHere’s Sam Tomaino at SF Revu on LCRW 28:
Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is the kind of magazine that you want to read slowly. Read a story. Put the magazine down. Absorb what you have just read. Then, after a while, read another story. Repeat. After more than a year’s absence here is issue #28 with more of their very different stories.”

Scottish Television loves Alasdair Gray almost as much as we do. He’s doing another piece of public art in Glasgow—can’t wait to go over next summer and see it all—this time at the Western Baths Club. (Ok, so I may not be able to go see this one). Here’s the video of the unveiling of his previous mural in the Glasgow subway. It’s based on the art from Old Men in Love.

That’s it, out of time.

Updates: Dickinson, Le Guin, Hand, more

Mon 17 Dec 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

This weekend the Wall Street Journal picked Peter Dickinson’s new collection of short stories, Earth and Air, as one of the 10 best books of fiction of 2012:

“Much modern fantasy draws upon myth and folklore, but not many authors can enter wholly into the surprising and novel logic of myth. In this brilliant collection of stories, Peter Dickinson recasts Beowulf and Orpheus, investigates tales of earth-spirits, explains the footwear of Mercury and accounts for the survival of Athena’s owls in Christian Byzantium. These beautiful stories, our reviewer believed, ‘deserve to become classics of the genre.'”

Look! Peter has a shiny new website with tons of extra stuff. (Including another new book!) There are gems everywhere, including this from the news section: “Most Tuesdays I bike up into the town to have tea with a 92-year-old friend.  Week before last we laughed ourselves into hiccups talking about funerals.  Did us both a power of good.” Ha!

You can listen to Ursula K. Le Guin on BBC’s The World. It’s all about language. I know you’ll love it.

Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe chat with Maureen F. McHugh about writing, games, online and TV things, writing for TV and other media, the Chinese economy, writing collaboratively, and more on the Coode Street Podcast.

Coming tomorrow, we have Julie Day’s final Small Beer podcast of 2012, an extra special edition featuring Lydia Millet reading the first chapter of The Shimmers in the Night.

Elizabeth Hand’s Errantry gets a lovely review in her sort-of-local paper, the Maine Sunday Telegram“No writer has cornered the market on darkly beautiful, unsettling stories. But it’s a niche that Elizabeth Hand inhabits with uncanny ease.”

I haven’t seen the new Hobbit movie but I loved these Tove Jansson illustrations for the Swedish edition that someone on Twitter (thank you, Tweetee!) posted.

Ellen Datlow has a Kickstarter! Also, Red Emma’s in Baltimore is moving. Check out that timeline and help out? Also, there’s an Indiegogo for a student film version of Kelly’s story “Survivor’s Ball.”

Short story lovers may have noticed that we are the sponsor of the current issue of One Story. We love One Story — and their new project, One Teen Story (which, you know, would make a great present for teens . . . !) — and for the last couple of years we have been very happy to be one of their sponsors. Here’s editor Hannah Tinti’s post about the story:

Issue #172: Goodbye, Bear

December 7th, 2012 3:44pm by Hannah Tinti

The first thing that drew me to E.B. Lyndon’s “Goodbye, Bear” was the voice.  It felt fresh and modern and full of energy, and I loved the wit, intelligence and humor, as well as the fast-paced dialogues that battered back and forth like a game of tennis on speed.

Saddest email of the weekend

Mon 26 Nov 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Suffice to say, another copy of Errantry is on its way:

I write book reviews for XXXXX. You were nice enough to send a copy of Elizabeth Hand’s ERRANTRY, which I have been planning to write up for December — but today my bag went missing after a screening of Lincoln, of all things. (I’m fascinated trying to work out who it is who go to see Lincoln on a Saturday afternoon while keeping an eye out for bag-thieving opportunities.)

Errantry: publication day

Wed 14 Nov 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

Everyone’s favorite writer of strannnnge, uneasy, disquieting, disturbing, itchy and scratchy stories, Elizabeth Hand, has a new book, Errantry: Strange Stories (print | ebook), out today.

Errantry collects ten of Liz’s recent stories and includes the very popular “The Maiden Flight of McCauley’s Bellerophon” as well as Shirley Jackson Award winner, “Near Zennor.” (Between this, the forthcoming Le Guin Selected Stories and Kij Johnson‘s book, we’ve had a great year for short story fans!) And I should  mention that next year we’ll be reprinting one of our favorite of Liz’s novels, Mortal Love. More Liz, all the time!

As for Errantry, Stefan Raets writes in his review on today:

These are stories of the overwhelmingly mystical breaking into our world in small, almost unnoticeable ways, seen from the point of view of the few people who get to witness those minor intrusions and who then have to try and process their meanings. The subtlety is deceptive: there’s something huge going on, but it’s as if we and these characters are peeking at it through a keyhole, only seeing a small glimpse of what’s on the other side and only being hit by a small portion of the light it sheds. The suggestion that that door may open further is only part of what gives these stories their “slightly sinister” atmosphere.

Liz’s stories definitely get under your skin. There’s nothing quite like reading these stories late at night with the light pooled around you and being aware that you can’t quite see what’s going on in the darker corners of the room. Is that something moving?

Errantry: Strange Stories

Free copy of Errantry anyone?

Fri 19 Oct 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Here we go again, not back in the country two days and here we go again giving away books! And, we’ll be giving some away on LibraryThing next month. All in the name of getting the books out there. These are physical books, so we’re only sending them to the US & Canada, sorry international readers—but we send out free ebooks through LibraryThing, sometimes, too. The post office here has killed sea mail, so mailing 1 book costs $17, just for the mail. Eek!

We are having quite the month: Peter Dickinson’s new collection, Earth and Air, is about to be released, Errantry is about to ship out(!), and we are promised that the two huge Ursula K. Le Guin volumes of Selected Stories are about to ship from the printer.

All of which is to say: this is fun!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Errantry by Elizabeth Hand


by Elizabeth Hand

Giveaway ends October 25, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win



Tue 31 Jul 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Dancing in the trees

We’re back in the office after 2+ weeks away. Yay! Yesterday we flew back from Seattle: today I feel like the sludge left at the bottom of a cup of cowboy coffee. Did we miss anything? (Yes.)

There is a stack of mail, a box of packages, tons of orders (thank you!), many emails, a few phone messages, a sad lack of telegraphs, one beeping box (a toy!), and a number of deadlines looooming.

Before leaving, we were at Readercon for a couple of days and we owe many thanks to Jedediah Berry and the et al awesome people who ran our table when we left. We were offline the last few days so missed Readercon’s craptacular response to the craptacular behaviour spotlighed by Genevieve Valentine so we just signed Veronica’s petition. (I am not sure if the BoD should stand down, but only because I want to make sure the convention survives. If the Board stands down and new directors are elected [is that how it works?], then that’s great.) But over all, blech. And kudos to Genevieve for posting about her experience. Thank you for helping everyone by doing that.

Also, Elizabeth Hand (“Near Zennor”), Kelly (“The Summer People”), and Maureen F. McHugh (After the Apocalypse) won Shirley Jackson Awards. (And, I have the nominee rock to send to Joan Aiken’s estate’s agent!). Wish we had been there.

At Clarion, with cup of tea

After Readercon, we went to Seattle to teach week 5 at Clarion West. This is a heads-up to editors and publishers everywhere*:  the 2012 Clarion West class are coming for you! They are in a white hot heat of creation, revision, and submission, and you will be hearing from them soon. Wow, that was a week. The worst part about it was leaving on Saturday. We wanted to stay!

We owe huge thanks to the Clarion West organization for all their work and accommodations. We traveled as a party of four, Kelly, me, our daughter Ursula and Kelly’s mom, Annie (without whom it would not have been possible, so thanks to Annie, too) and the CW people didn’t blink. They put us up, they put up with us, they ferried us around (even acquiring car seats when needed!) to parties and more. Every time I’ve seen Clarion West in operation I’m impressed. (The 2013 instructors have been announced.) Also thanks to Nicole Kimberling (publisher of Blind Eye Books and LCRW food columnist) who visited the Clarion class and Eileen Gunn & John Berry and Greg Bear for wonderful parties. (I grew up reading Greg Bear but was able to speak 2-3 coherent sentences to him without my head exploding. Phew.)

Then we went to Portland (hello Powell’s and Reading Frenzy) and Vancouver (hello Naam!), both of which were lovely (and occasionally terrifying—eek!). While post-Clarion braindead in Vancouver we almost watched a movie in the hotel . . . but it was $15.99. Um. Internet was expensive and so avoided. Do people really pay prices like that?

Travel back was ok except that we would like to unthank the bridge that got stuck in the upright position meaning we had to drive from Vancouver to Seattle instead of take the lovely train. Bad bridge, bad! (Loved the train otherwise.) And: United Airlines has the smallest seats in the world. Boo! Also: on the way out they lost our stroller and we did not get it back for a whole week. Ever really missed something? We missed that stroller! I even tried tweeting United but I got no response. Oh well!

And now we are back in body if not in spirit. Emails will be returned soon-ish.

* I think every Clarion instructor always wants to send out this heads up but since this is the first time I have officially been one of the instructors I am adding my voice to the masses of other instructors.


Wed 1 Feb 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Small Beer Press are very happy to announce that they will publish Elizabeth Hand’s new collection of stories, Errantry: Strange Stories, this coming autumn. The cover will be a detail from Paolo Uccello’s “The Hunt in the Forest” (link leads you to the excellent Ashmolean Museum site).

Table of contents and final release date TBA but the book will be out in time for Liz’s guest of honor spot at the World Fantasy Convention in Toronto.

<strong>  Uccello (Paolo Di Dono) (1397 - 1475)</strong>, <em>The Hunt in the Forest</em> (Click for larger version of this image)


Tue 31 Mar 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Random links, mostly to reviews of our books. Why would you read this? It’s coming near to the end of the day and the teleprompter isn’t working and really, who is watching CNBC right now anyway? Might as well read out a bunch of reviews and see if any of the books catch your eye. Go on, newsreader, have some fun.

Brian Slattery enjoys Geoff Ryman’s The King’s Last Song in The New Haven Review:

As sensitive and humble toward the subject matter as the author could be, yet manage also to tell an unflinching, wrenching story involving some deeply, deeply flawed people who are nonetheless searching for a way out.

Nice short piece on Venus Zine about Anne Elizabeth Moore and Cambodia.

Jedediah Berry’s book is getting a bunch of nice notices, including in the Boston Globe. See his site (or our calendar on this page) for more of his upcoming readings.

Rambles looks at Generation Loss:

The reader will find it difficult to put down. The multiple levels of mystery, the setting and the characters work together seamlessly. In Generation Loss, Hand proves that real life can be scarier and stranger than fantasy.

The Seattle Times on The Ant King: (and Howard “Yay!” Waldrop and Cory Doctorow):

The Ant King and Other Stories shows just how strange and wonderful the microcosms he creates can be.

More readings from Ben R. are coming soon: watch out!

A bunch of people are out there on the couch reading the eponymous couch. It gets two shots from The Daily Evergreen from Andrew and Jessica Schubert McCarthy—who both like it, which is good news for us.

The essential message of Couch appears to be that the world and our lives would be better if we all got off our couches (literal and metaphorical) a bit more often.
Zone SF

Charles Tan interviewed Ben Parzybok:

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn Cover

I enjoy multi-tasking – I find it a kind of high – and yet I don’t believe it’s good for me. When I wrote Couch I was in a small apartment in Ecuador with no Internet access, and it was a tremendous boon to productivity.

Gavin reviews Alison Goodman’s Eon: Dragoneye Reborn and Ray Bradbury’s We’ll Always Have Paris for the LA Times: “In recent years, Ray Bradbury has settled comfortably into his role as the wacky grandfather of American letters….”

Unbelievable, yet

Mon 27 Oct 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Working at the satellite office (as compared to the 70 storey underground moonbase where everyone else is) in Easthampton today (it’s a somewhat easier commute). The old mill we work in is (see LA Times below) “a refurbished New England mill that looks like something out of Blake, surrounded by trees that burst into violent color in the fall.” True. What isn’t mentioned is that some of the refurbishment, well, it’s more simple and whoever did it took a colorful attitude to what really needed to be done. So for instance high up in the corners between this space and the next there are gaps in the drywall around the pipes which run through the building (which carry, er, who knows? The liquified algae being turned into biofuel on the floor below us?).

trapped birdAnd one of our neighbors has left a window open. How do we know? Because this morning there was the too-familiar fluttering sound of tiny wings. Nope, not a fairy nor an angel. Yes, indeed, ladies and gentlemen, we have a trapped birdie. No cameras here today (besides the ones on the Macs—we’ll keep trying with Photo Booth) so no pics yet….

Weekend review update:

Scott Timberg writes about Kelly in the LA Times and we have a new quote about Small Beer Press (thanks Scott!), we’re a “Hip house”!

Beam Me Up eats up The Ant King and Other Stories, “for me it was like the desert cart, each amazing bite building on what came before and promising so much more in the future.”

A summary of Geoff’s week at Omnivoracious.

Missed a review of The King’s Last Song which ran in the Washington DC City Paper in time for Gaylaxicon.

Liz Hand in the NYTimes

Sat 25 Oct 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Generation LossIn the NYTimes, Terrance Rafferty’s horror column focuses on women writers beginning with the mother of the genre, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, and going on to say “men — as is their wont — have coolly taken possession of the genre, as if by natural right, some immutable literary principle of primogeniture” and then that the modern populist streak of horror writing known as paranormal romance is “unreadable” for most males. (Not entirely true, there are many Laurel Hamilton fans.)

But rather than continue with these fighting words, he then takes a thoughtful look at a couple of prizewinners and novels from the literary end of the genre: Sara Gran’s Come Closer, Alexandra Sokoloff’s The Price, Sarah Langan’s Bram Stoker Award winner The Missing, and Liz Hand’s Generation Loss (on sale here)—which is listed as an Editor’s Choice—he describes as:

“Startling, unclassifiable. . . . There’s nothing supernatural in “Generation Loss,” but it’s full of mysteries — all originating in its characters’ troubled psyches — and full of terrors that can’t be explained.”

Generation Loss on sale

Wed 27 Aug 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Generation LossWe’re celebrating Elizabeth Hand’s Shirley Jackson award-winning novel Generation Loss and sending it out there into the world for $10.

As with all our prices, that includes US/Canada shipping—please use the international shipping options if you are ordering outwith North America. Go forth and read good books!


Mon 21 Jul 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Liz Hand’s Generation Loss won one of the inaugural Shirley Jackson Awards!

Mon 26 Nov 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Liz Hand is serializing her novella “Chip Crockett’s Christmas Carol” on The Inferior 4+1:

“Chip Crockett?” Brendan frowned, staring at his computer screen as though he was afraid Tony might materialize there. “You mean, like, The Chip Crockett Show?””Yeah, man.” Tony sighed deeply. “My brother Jake, he just faxed me the obituary from the Daily News. He died over the weekend but they just announced it today.”

There was a clunk over the phone receiver, a background clatter of shouting voices and footsteps. Tony was working as a substitute teacher at Saint Ignatius High School. Brendan was amazed he’d been able to hang onto the job at all, but he gathered that being a substitute at Saint Ignatius was way below being sanitation engineer in terms of salary, benefits, and respect. He heard a crackle of static as Tony ran into the corridor, shouting.

“Whoa! Nelson Crane, man! Slow down, okay? Okay. Yeah, I guess it was lung cancer. Did you know he smoked?”

“You’re talking about Chip Crockett the kiddie show host. Right?” Brendan rubbed his forehead, feeling the beginning of a headache. “No, Tony, I didn’t know he smoked, because I don’t actually know Chip Crockett. Do you?” (Via Boingster Hall)

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