And today?

Wed 8 Jul 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Yesterday was a pretty great day for our books so, you know Wednesday, what are you going to do?

Tuesday started with a bang when the Book Smugglers released a 10/10 review for Archivist Wasp with this great quote”All of sudden, this book Mad-Max-Fury-Roaded me, like a boss.” Then Stephen Burt gave a tiny shout out to LCRW in a great no-really-why-do-people-start-lit-mags piece in the New Yorker (cough). And lastly Kelly posted a picture of the first copy in of our new edition of Geoff Ryman’s killer novel Was featuring cover art by Kathleen Jennings:

Me? I have to run (ok, drive) to Weymouth and back today so go on internet, have your funs!

On Geoff Ryman

Mon 3 Jun 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

Here’s another post I meant to put up at some earlier point. Like, you know, when this fabby book was coming out. But, hey, it’s a fab book so this can go up any time:

Written for Readercon in 2011:

Publishing Geoff Ryman’s books—and reprinting his backlist—has been a fantastic experience, in most senses of the word. But first I should mention: Geoff Ryman is a busy guy which makes his email signature line actually worth reading: there’s always a new project or collaboration or a project he thinks is worth pushing. 

And pushing is what he’s good at. In his writing, he’s pushed across every boundary he’s ever come across from his very first stories right up to the present day, and, with luck, he’ll continue to do so for many more years. There are many of his stories where the reaction I’ve had has been, “No, please don’t go there! Don’t . . . oops.” Which is generally followed by “Wow.” There were readers who could not stand the thought of “Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter,” but once a writer has an idea like that how could he resist writing the story? Forty-nine percent of the readership of “Omnisexual” probably winced along with me when something burst. And let’s not talk about “Birth Days.” Or, rather, let’s. It’s so uncomfortable, but so optimistic; so light to begin with, so huge by the end.

The way he pushes out beyond the comfort zone with his omnivorous gaze for the uncomfortable and telling detail makes for fascinating reading. Two of his recent stories, “The Film-makers of Mars” (first published on and “K is for Kosovo (or, Massimo’s Career)” (first published in Paradise Tales) capture something of the breadth of his writing. The former is a slow burn instant science fiction classic that by the impossible and inevitable end has the audience in the bleacher seats standing up and cheering for more. The latter is an intense, hard-hitting realistic story of a series of post-war interviews with a Kosovar family that could have been background for a piece right out of the New York Times. The story is not at all fantasy or science fiction, but it is pure Ryman: an uncomfortable story aired out with respect for all concerned, a very human weariness at the things we do to one another, and just a touch of humor.

We’re lucky to have someone who isn’t afraid to write such stories who also happens to be a great storyteller and I’m looking forward to reading many more of Geoff’s stories and novels with their unique mix of nitty-gritty human moments and mind-blowing ideas.

Paradise Tales wins the Sunburst Award

Thu 6 Dec 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 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.”

Norton, Nebulas!

Mon 21 May 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Posted by: Gavin

The Freedom Maze cover - click to view full sizeWhat a weekend not to be in Washington, DC! Huge congratulations to Delia Sherman whose novel The Freedom Maze received the Norton Award. You can see a picture of a very happy Delia in this picture on Making Light with the rest of the nights awardees.

We’re very proud to have published this book and elated to see it recognized in this way. The Freedom Maze is also a Prometheus Award finalist and was on the Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011 and Tiptree Award Honor lists. The audio book will come out this autumn from Listening Library; you can listen to an interview with Delia and a reading from The Freedom Maze on our podcast, and read Delia’s guest post on Diversity in YA about the book: “When I began writing The Freedom Maze, back in 1987, I didn’t intend to write a book about race.”

Geoff Ryman was very happy that he came over from the UK for the weekend: his story “What We Found,” from the Sept./Oct. 2011 issue of F&SF received the novelette Nebula. That story is not in his collection Paradise Tales but if you want a taste of his writing you can read the first story, “The Film-makers of Mars,” on

It’s been said that Kij Johnson‘s forthcoming At the Mouth of the River of Bees: Stories is one of the most anticipated debut (print—there was an ebook collection a few years ago) science fiction and fantasy collections in recent years. Her story “The Man Who Bridged the Mist (Asimov’s, Oct./Nov. 2011) is her third in three years to have received the Nebula, which is pretty amazing. You can read a few of her stories on her website and the collection—with a fantastic cover by Jackie Morris—will be out in August.

Also: Delia will be at Wiscon in Madiscon, WI, next weekend. We’re not going (ach!) but David J. Schwartz will be tabling for us, thanks again Dave. He will have a few signed copies of Delia’s book—all we have left are the copies Delia signed when she was up here recently. When the few we have and those sent to Wiscon sell, that’s it until the paperback comes out. Get your copy here. Of course, you can also get the ebook.

Monday: chilly fingers

Mon 24 Oct 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Hmm. The heat is out at our office. Our shabby chic building—the Paragon Arts in Easthampton—has 2 furnaces. One for the 1st and 2nd floor. That one is working. The one for the 3rd floor, where, we, so sensibly are, is not. Boo hoo!

At least the electricity—and therefore the kettle—is working.

Anyway, tomorrow, when the furnace guy comes back and fixes things we’ll be celebrating publication of Maureen McHugh’s new book After the Apocalypse by posting an interview Maureen did with one of our fave writers, David Moles.

Did you see the New York Times this weekend? No? Well the best bit was this. A review by Dana Jennings of three short story collections:

By Geoff Ryman
313 pages. Small Beer Press. $16.

The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan (Volume 1)

576 pages. Subterranean Press. $38.

By Tim Powers
170 pages. Tachyon Publications. $14.95.

Almost lovely enough to warm these little fingers!

Edinburgh book fest & more

Tue 9 Aug 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Stories of Your Life and Others cover - click to view full sizeTime for some updates before we shut down for the August recess. First a few quick reviews:

  1. Gary K. Wolfe in Locus on Geoff Ryman’s Paradise Tales: “In the best of Ryman’s fiction, the world unfolds in ways that are at once astonishing and thoroughly thought out, both radically disorienting and emotionally powerful.”
  2. Ted Gioia on Ted Chiang. (It’s a TedFest!) “The divide between genre fiction and literary fiction is, blurry at best . . . “
  3. Catch-up: Matt Kressel interviews Richard Butner for the Shirley Jackson Award site.
  4. Very sad to read about William Sleator’s death. Many years ago Kelly gave me a copy of his autobiographical collection Oddballs (it’s still one of the books she loves to give people), a hilarious book that only gets more fascinating as I see if from two sides, the child POV and the parental. I haven’t read much of his fiction, but

Ok, so the last two weren’t reviews, but go on, open up some tabs and read them.

Next: a reading! Vincent McCaffrey will read from A Slepyng Hound to Wake at the Brookline Booksmith at 7 PM on Thursday August 25th. We love Vince and we love the Booksmith (and their reading series, they have Lev Grossman there this week) so we are very sad we won’t be there. Slepying Hound is shipping out very nicely. If you want a signed copy, the Booksmith, Poison Pen, or Avenue Victor Hugo are your choices. (On AVH’s site on you can see what else Vincent has published . . . )

august coverNext: Locus! The August issue has:

  • an interview with Karen Lord—who can be heard on the Locus roundtable podcast here.
  • a review of Geoff Ryman’s collection (ok, that one’s linked above, but I liked having all this stuff together)
  • a review by Rich Horton of The Monkey’s Wedding and Other Stories
  • and includes Lydia Millet’s The Fires Beneath the Sea in the Notable Books
  • and at some point soon, Locus will become available on Weightless

Next: travel! Next week Kelly will be at the Edinburgh Book Festival—apparently their website is down due to a lightning strike on their servers in Ireland!—where she and Audrey Niffenegger will have a lively chat at 8:30 PM on Tuesday, August 16th, and then Kelly will be part of what sounds like a great shindig of a night from 9 PM onward on Thursday the 18th. And since they are very sensibly headquartered in Edinburgh, we also get to go visit Kelly’s UK publisher for Pretty Monsters, Canongate!

Last! Clarion West. Kelly and I are excited to be among next year’s instructor’s at Seattle’s Clarion West:

We are very happy to announce that our instructors for the 2012 Clarion West Writers Workshop are Mary Rosenblum, Hiromi Goto, George R.R. Martin, Connie Willis, Kelly Link and Gavin Grant, and Chuck Palahniuk, the 2012 Susan C. Petrey Fellow.

Although with that line-up, we might just see if we can sit in from week one . . .

Bye! We’re also off to visit family in Scotland, so will be offline for most of this month. We’ll be back—and starting to do events for Steampunk!—at the start of September.

Hell of a week

Mon 11 Jul 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Paradise Tales coverFirst: a new interview with Karen Joy Fowler! That is one smart person. (Two, since Charles Tan did the interview.)

This week we have a new book out. What? You didn’t know? It’s true that Geoff Ryman’s Paradise Tales was delayed a couple of times, but, Bam! Here it is. What a book. More on that later. Later this week, that is. Later this month, two series books (from me, who loves standalone titles!), Hound 2, as we call A Slepyng Hound to Wake and the first book in Lydia Millet’s new series for kids, The Fires Beneath the Sea.

Geoff’s one of the Guests of Honor at Readercon so we’re going to give him a beer and get him to sign a ton of books. If you would like them personalized, we;ll see what we can do.

Readercon begins for us on Friday when we take some books &c* in to the dealer’s room where we get to catch up with some friends—and buy some books from them. Should be a busy time as, yes, we are bringing our daughter Ursula, so we’ll see how well this works.

Here’s my tiny Readercon Schedule:

LCRW Stainless Water Bottle 0.6L2:00 PM NH    Three Messages and a Warning group reading. Chris N. Brown, Michael J. DeLuca, Gavin J. Grant. Gavin Grant (publisher), Chris N. Brown (editor) and Michael J. DeLuca (translator) read from the anthology Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Short Stories of the Fantastic, forthcoming from Small Beer Press.

3:00 PM Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. Gavin J. Grant, Kelly Link.

And I will post Kelly’s when I’m more sure of it.

* What can the &c be? We’ve heard tell of t-shirts. Maybe. Water bottles? No. Drinkables? Surely not?

Waiting around for Borders to live, &c.

Thu 13 Jan 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Borders StoresBorders have about 3,500 copies of our books in stock. Hmm. Selfish wonderings: if they go under, will we get those books back? Will we get paid for the lovely numbers of Under the Poppy, Stories of Your Life, The Poison Eaters, and some backlist books such as Poppy Brite’s Second Line, they’ve been selling? I really hope they don’t close. I can’t imagine all those booksellers and so on being chucked out of work right now. Yes, ebooks are the future, but we need all kinds of bricks and mortar (or mall and strip mall) in the meantime to remind people that there are books out there to be read, not just shoes and gadgets and food court lunches.

So, we, along with all the other publishers who have shipped books to them, await the outcome of today’s meetings with baited breath!

Besides wondering about that we’ve been enjoying the lovely busyness of Weightless and adding new titles for the next season—Fall 2011! I’ve hardly wrapped my head around last year never mind this spring or summer—we have tons of new books to publish before Fall comes rolling around. But that’s the book biz, so we’re adding away. What are we adding? Some of the books are Super Sekrit (as in: we have no contracts yet) but others . . . ok, this isn’t the place for that.

But I did sign two contracts today: the first was a contract for Turkish rights for Couch. It will no doubt be an age until the book comes in, so something to look forward to. And the second was for the audio rights to Redemption in Indigo. Although that contract still needs to come back to me countersigned, so maybe those chickens should not yet be counted.

And we heard from the printer that the second printing of Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others will ship at the end of the month—go Ted! It’s such a fabulous book and we are so happy to see it being picked up by a whole new generation of readers.

We haven’t managed to send Paradise Tales to the printer yet so it looks very doubtful that that will be out on time. Boo! Is it our most complicated book yet? (That anthology we’re doing later this year might give it a run for its money.) Geoff did let slip that he’s just finished a new novel. Not sure if we’ll get a peek at or not. Of course we want!

The latest LCRW (#26) received a couple of nice reviews recently on  SF Revu & Rise Reviews, although, come on, since when was LCRW (or Small Beer) noncommercial?

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is certainly a horse of a different color. I can’t think of where else I’d be able to read and assembly of stories so diverse. Though some were not to my particular taste, I applaud the editors for their fearless inclusion of some pieces that would otherwise not see the light of day simply due to their noncommercial nature. Any fan of speculative fiction, or simply good writing, will find something to like in LCRW.

Reviews of our new edition of Solitaire are popping up everywhere including Future Fire which has reminders that this is SF, not contemporary literature, “Questions concerning sexual equality and sexuality are not discussed and this invisibility is genuinely innovative and refreshing.” Can’t wait for the day when sexual equality and sexuality not being discussed is run of the mill rather than innovative.

What else? The Working Writer’s Daily Planner is our bestseller so far this year—that should last until the end of the month. It’s now $7.95.

And Paolo Bacigalupi’s Ship Breaker won the Printz Award. Wow. That guy is unstoppable! And now’s a good time to pimp last year’s most excellent winner, Going Bovine.

BTW, we’re giving away copies of Solitaire on both Library Thing and Goodreads. Of course, you or your friend may neeeed a copy for yourself, too.

2011 looks good from here

Sun 5 Dec 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Lydia Millet, FiresSpread the word! We have added a bunch (A BUNCH!) of new books to the site. These are the books we’ve been secretly working on this year—well, the ones we’re telling you about. We’ve got contracts going on a few more by authors familiar and not so much and they all share one thing: they are Awesome.

In what way Awesome? Don’t you just want them all now? Yes!

How about Lydia Millet‘s first kid’s book?—and it’s the first of a series! It’s set on Cape Cod where nothing  is quite what it seems. Not to be a spoiler, but it has a killer last line. And, we are so proud to be publishing a new Joan Aiken collection! (We have an excellent competition coming with this.) Joan’s stories are unique, they’re so amusing, so unexpected. She’s a little along the lines of Roald Dahl, I suppose. Oh, what an odd and excellent book. And, the cover is by one of our faves, Shelley Jackson.

We’re going to be doing another Planner and this one has fabby art by Kathleen Jennings. Email us if there’s something you’d like to see in it—or if you have something to pitch for it.

Also: more Geoff Ryman: The Child Garden is even weirder than you remember. Biopunk London, polar bears, viruses, and more. Wowee. New cover coming on that, too.

Good news for fans of Boston bookhound Henry Sullivan, The Second Hound, aka Hound2, or, A Slepyng Hound to Wake, is even better than the first!

Annnnnnnnd, there’s a chapbook from your friend and mine, Hal Duncan!

New Geoff Ryman + new editions

Wed 15 Sep 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

We are very proud and happy to announce that in November we will publish Geoff Ryman’s new collection of stories, Paradise Tales. It is a huge, excellent book of short (and long!) stories collected from 20+ years of Geoff’s career. You can readShould be one of the best, most thought provoking collections of the year. The cover that you might have seen on Powell’s or Indiebound isn’t final: we’ll have that to unveil in the coming weeks.

We’ll also announce a blog giveaway for advance copies to those who might be inspired to write about the book (we’ll make sure to send a copy to the Rev. Jones in Gainesville!) and there should be a few stories appearing on the web to whet your appetite. Geoff’s stories are fantastic explorations of what it means to be human and we can’t wait to get them out there.

You can see the Table of Contents here. We’ve just added Paradise Tales to the preorder page—at some point soon we’re going to shift all our ebook links to Weightless which will mean we can use the shipping widget in Paypal. In the meantime, continued apologies to international readers: please remember to add shipping.

This is the second Geoff Ryman book we’re going to publish—but it won’t be the last! We just signed contracts to bring three of Geoff’s books back into print: The Child Garden, a biopunk future London novel with a love story between a woman and a piano playing polar bear(!), Was, which explores the book and the writing of The Wizard of Oz from many angles, and lastly Geoff’s previous novella collection, The Unconquered Country. Look for one of these every six months or so—which means The Child Garden will be out in May!

Are you a Geoff Ryman superfan?

Mon 21 Jun 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

We’d love to hear from you!

books, whisky, and cards

Fri 5 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Catching up on the open tabs: be gone before the weekend!

Geoff Ryman is interviewed at The Short Review—which is an awesome site that only reviews that most commercial of forms, the short story!

Lois Ava-Matthews and friends have a great new(ish) online zine, Belletrista, whose mission is to Celebrate Women Writers Around the World. Issue 4 just went up and in it Tim Jones reviews Kalpa Imperial:

it stands in the distinguished tradition of fabulation of authors such as Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino, and it is arguably not a novel at all, but a collection of linked stories. As translated by Ursula K. Le Guin from the 1983 original, it reminded me most of a humanist equivalent of Gene Wolfe’s science fiction series The Book Of The New Sun.

Diagram has a 10 year antho which is a set of cards. Buy now.

An excellent review of Interfictions 2 by Sue Bond is up at Australian site MC Reviews with a lovely line (at least for interstitial enthusiasts):

I am still left puzzled as to what the deciding factor was for the choice and placement of the stories that are included in this anthology. It doesn’t seem to be restricted to particular themes, or to stories that contain an element of fantasy, or even stories that are unusual narratively.

And Erin asks are there interstitial writers in (between) other genres?

inverarity_12Speaking of (potentially) interstitial stuff, our Alasdair Gray book is at the printer and fingers crossed all will go well with all that pretty blue art on the inside. Here’s that bottle of whisky that he did the art for. Must try!

Our friends at Zygote games posted about an 11,000 year old site in Turkey.

When the Great Pyramid was built in Egypt, those stones in Turkey were older than the Pyramids are today.

Phew. Also, while you’re at it, pick up both their games for only $20!

Zine World reviews LCRW 23 and 24. 23 gets the better response:

Long-running, reliably good lit-zine. . . . There are stories from just about every genre, from fairy tales, surreal stories, and even an essay on logic problems. I enjoyed the bizarre surprise ending of “The LoveSling” and the engrossing story of “The Girl with No Hands. Truly something for everyone.

24 gets a light lambasting:

The bulk of the zine is the fiction pieces. They all seem to have the exact same style.

Eek! But they go on to say “Those who like to discover new writers, check this out.”


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….”

Cats, Cosmocopia, reviews

Thu 8 Jan 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Sightings of big cats are growing – among them this one in Oxfordshire Picture: Clive PostlethwaiteEveryone know they’re out there and now there’s photographic proof: “‘Big cats’ caught on camera prowling forest.”

A couple of days ago we opened a box from Seattle to discover the latest wonder from Payseur & Schmidt: at last, someone has sent us a jigsaw puzzle. Oh yeah, and a book, too. You can read more about the genesis of the project on Jacob McMurray’s blog or go find out more about Paul DiFilippo’s novel, Cosmocopia or see the puzzle in it’s finished state.

The King’s Last Song gets the once-over from Rain Taxi:

Ryman weaves together ancient legend with a gritty view of modern Cambodian life, and the pattern that emerges is surprising. The novel conveys not merely a story, but the light and darkness, despair and hope, tradition and Westernization that is Cambodia itself.

and on S. Skrishna’s Books:

Richly layered, comparing past and present day Cambodia and is full of details and tidbits about Cambodian life that any reader will enjoy. It’s definitely piqued my interest in the country and I will be trying to find more books about it in the future.

White gibes with something Geoff told us: that the book was selling well at airports in Cambodia. How did he find out? He was told by readers. So maybe it will spur further reading about Cambodia and maybe get some more people over there.

Couch gets reviewed on SF Site:

The story gets stranger and stranger as the adventurers find themselves riding the rails on an electric cart, drifting on the couch in the Pacific Ocean, stowaways on a freighter bound for the Ecuador, and carrying the couch through the jungles of South America on a cart with a fog propeller. In between there is action, philosophy, violence, sex, drinking, fishing, terrorists, shadowy cabals, fishing and gluten intolerance.

The New Podler Review on The Ant King:

A surrealist masterpiece of fantasy that’s hilarious and macabre, reflecting our strange reality in its mind-bending world, The Ant King is filled with soul-shuddering wisdom. This brilliant collection is about integrity, love, belonging, the loss of place of the male in the social order, Jewish Diaspora, God, good and evil, and being alone in a universe that is ambivalent, unavailable, incomprehensible and filled with suffering. Rosenbaum begins in fantastic places, then adds on more layers of fantasy besides and before long you seem to lose your footing, carried along on a fun house ride through the absurd landscape of the human experience

catch all

Tue 30 Dec 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

It’s pre-tax madness around here. Who didn’t make those estimated payments? Oops. Ok, must go fix that now. In the meantime, these:

Geoff Ryman and Kim Stanley Robinson

Tue 2 Dec 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

are reading tonight at a fantastic-sounding event at UC San Diego. Bit far for us to go. Tell us how it is if you do go.

Tue, December 2, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Atkinson Building Auditorium, University of California, San Diego, CA (map)

Geoff Ryman reads with Kim Stanley Robinson
The Auditorium features one the world’s most massive digital screens. This state-of-the-art facility will be used to show a version of a digital artwork Cal IT2’s Artist in Residence, Sheldon Brown. The new artwork installation, Scalable Cities is an interactive artwork. Geoff Ryman, Writer in Residence at Cal IT2, has written a new short story, ‘Care’ set in the world of Scalable Cities, which will be premiered during the reading. He’ll also be reading from his latest novel just published The King’s Last Song. Distinguished SF Author Kim Stanley Robinson, a graduate of UC San Diego will be reading from his Orange County trilogy, also to a background of early digitial artwork from Sheldon Brown. Geoff Ryman and Kim Stanley Robinson will also be reading from a selection of their work. Both are skilled performers of their own writing, but in this case , they will also read selections from each other’s fiction. “I’ve long admired Kim Stanley Robinson’s fiction, and we’ve been friends for years, so this will be a treat,” said Geoff Ryman. “I can’t wait to read aloud the selection I’ve made from his novel THE YEARS OF RICE AND SALT. For years Stan was known as a humanist SF writer, partly because of the depth of his characters. They’re very actable, performable.” Ryman is also known for creating one of the earliest online hypertext novels, 253, winner of the Philip K Dick Award, and still available at As Writer in Residence at Cal IT2 he’s also taking part in a collaborative multimedia/online opera project with Shlomo Dubnov. For more infor on that go to or . As a visiting professor from the United Kingdom, he is currently teaching a workshop for the UCSD Liteature Department on irrealistic fiction. Sheldon Brown will also be on the main stage, discussing his digital artwork, and the liaison between digital and literary art. For more information about Scalable Cities project, visit This breathtakingly visual project has been installed in Sao Paulo and in the Epcot Centre as well as the CalIT 2 gallery.

Likes teaching, traveling.

Thu 23 Oct 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Geoff Ryman, The King's Last SongGeoff Ryman has been blogging, or so, through the magic of Jeff VanderMeer on Amazon’s Omnivoracious. “Or So” because Geoff isn’t sure about blogging. He wonders if it’s just self promotion — and inspired a great conversation between Gwenda and Ted about the thing itself — and says he’ll stay quiet until he has something to say.

Don’t miss his engrossing pieces on visiting Cambodia (“It gets in your blood, Cambodia, I say. It’s the stories, he says, everybody has a story.”) that partially inspired The King’s Last Song.

This semester Geoff is teaching at UC San Diego (lucky students!) and his latest essay (post?) is on arriving in San Diego (“A tall woman in jeans and fluttery print shirt walks my way, smiling. Her face says both You can’t fool me and Isn’t this fun? It is the face of my generation”) and finding it worryingly enjoyable.

Check out the book on Google Books.

Get eaten

Tue 21 Oct 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

which is Latin for Omnivoracious—or the other way around. Anyway, Geoff Ryman is writing there. More on this later but for now go read!

Thu 16 Oct 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Whined yesterday about the lack of reviews for The King’s Last Song; a fantastic review popped up today in the Boston Globe:

Ryman’s brilliant new novel, “The King’s Last Song,” is permeated by the theme of salvation through destruction. In parallel narratives, Ryman reveals the (imagined) memoir of 12th-century ruler and Cambodia’s greatest king, Jayavarman VII, and presents the history of 20th-century Cambodia, a story of endless and eviscerating civil war. In so doing, he vividly creates a portrait of individuals whose souls are fused with that of their country, both ravaged and beautiful…. Ryman – best known as a fantasy writer but one who proved his power as an author of nuanced, rich historical fiction in the unsung novel “Was” – has not so much created as revealed a world in which the promise of redemption takes seed even in horror.

Thu 16 Oct 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Whined yesterday about the lack of reviews for The King’s Last Song; a fantastic review popped up today in the Boston Globe:

Ryman’s brilliant new novel, “The King’s Last Song,” is permeated by the theme of salvation through destruction. In parallel narratives, Ryman reveals the (imagined) memoir of 12th-century ruler and Cambodia’s greatest king, Jayavarman VII, and presents the history of 20th-century Cambodia, a story of endless and eviscerating civil war. In so doing, he vividly creates a portrait of individuals whose souls are fused with that of their country, both ravaged and beautiful…. Ryman – best known as a fantasy writer but one who proved his power as an author of nuanced, rich historical fiction in the unsung novel “Was” – has not so much created as revealed a world in which the promise of redemption takes seed even in horror.

Publication day

Tue 9 Sep 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Geoff Ryman, The King's Last SongGeoff Ryman’s The King’s Last Song comes out today: send us pictures when you see it in the shops!

Or you can buy the ebook right now at Fictionwise—and there’s a 15% discount this week—or from us.

You could get carried away: Laura’s Book Group from Edinburgh, who just won the 2008 Penguin/Orange Broadband Readers’ Group Prize, dined on deep fried crickets while reading it. (If you do that, definitely send us pictures!) 

new covers: Ryman

Thu 4 Sep 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Here’s a first look at final or near final covers for our Sept/Oct/November books. (Covers link to larger versions.)

Geoff Ryman, The King's Last Song

The cover of Geoff Ryman’s The King’s Last Song is made up of two photos, one by Pablo Carral Vega (from Corbis) and one by Jeremy Horner (Panos). Our cover is a variation on the UK HarperCollins edition with a new typeface, new text, and so on. The files we got from HarperCollins were complicated, quite beautiful, and fascinating to work with.

This book sold pretty well in the UK so we are sending it out far and wide to try and generate some good reviews and word of mouth. There aren’t many novels set in Cambodia (either modern day or historical) so this one fills a gap. Booklist gave it a starred review and Library Journal gave it a strong recommendation. We, of course, do too! It’s a gobsmackingly-large canvas novel to dive into—very much autumn out on the hammock reading.

Geoff is teaching this semester at UC San Diego (where he just taught at the Clarion Workshop, too), so if you’re in the area look out for possible readings.

SF in SF header image 1One confirmed reading already: Saturday, November 15 (with Ellen Klages) as part of the SF in SF series.

“Ryman’s knack for depicting characters; his ability to tell multiple, interrelated stories; and his knowledge of Cambodian history create a rich narrative that looks at Cambodia’s “killing fields”—both recent and ancient—and Buddhist belief with its desire for transcendence. Recommended for all literary fiction collections.—Library Journal

* “An unforgettably vivid portrait of Cambodian culture past and present.”
Booklist (starred review)

The King’s Last Song has shipped from the printer so pre-orders will be sent out soon and it will arrive in stores within a week or so.

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