Catching up

Tue 2 Mar 2021 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We’ve shipped out the boxes and boxes of pre-orders for Isabel Yap’s Never Have I Ever and now it looks like stock of the book is making its way through the system: you can now get copies on Bookshop.org. If you want to wait and get a signed bookplate with one, Isabel will be doing an online event at Book Moon next month — we have all our titles at Book Moon, no matter what the website says. The inventory on the site is tied to our distributor. I’m working to change that later this spring.

In the meantime, Lit Hub has just posted a new essay by Isabel:

MFA vs. MBA? Finding Unlikely Literary Inspiration at Harvard Business School
Isabel Yap on Learning the Art of Storytelling Where She Least Expected It



Shipping updates

Wed 24 Feb 2021 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Never Have I Ever cover - click to view full sizeAnd while I’m posting meh news, here’s more: while we’ve been able to ship some books to the lovely readers who pre-ordered Isabel Yap’s sparkling debut collection Never Have I Ever, we’re waiting on a storm-delayed delivery from our printer before we can ship the rest. We’re sending out a free book — mostly returns from our distributor so occasionally they’re shelf worn and sometimes they’re like new — with each pre-order. We expect to complete shipping preorders on Friday or Monday, depending on the delivery. I’m happy to refund any readers who’d prefer that (email me at info at smallbeerpress).

In the meantime, you can read a story here, follow Isabel on twitter, and read this not-t0-be-missed new interview by Megan Kakimoto posted today at Full Stop.



Their power to unsettle is unmatched

Tue 22 Dec 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Never Have I Ever cover - click to view full sizeTamsyn Muir sent this along after reading Isabel Yap’s forthcoming debut collection, Never Have I Ever:

Never Have I Ever proves Yap the master of both the grand and the everyday. In each of these hard-hitting, incredibly assured stories, Yap shows how deft her hand is by sliding effortlessly from marriages and monsters (‘A Cup of Salt Tears’), to future anxiety and food in a near-future Manila (‘Milagroso’) to the uncertain future of grown-up magical girls (‘Hurricane Heels’); her ghost stories terrify as much as they comfort (‘Asphalt, River, Mother, Child’) and are so woven into the fabric of our real and human lives that their power to unsettle is unmatched; imagine if M.R. James had known the precise 1990s desire to own a Baby G . . . But where Yap consistently dazzles is her unsentimental, tender, evocative and brutal examination of the life and interiority of young women and girls: the innate monstrousness of growing up in the shoes marked ‘woman’. A masterclass collection.” — Tamsyn Muir, author of Gideon the Ninth



Plunging you down into the murkiest depths with the gentlest touch

Mon 21 Dec 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Never Have I Ever cover - click to view full sizeToday’s advance reader of Isabel Yap’s forthcoming collection, Never Have I Ever is Cadwell Turnbull who sent this:

Never Have I Ever is a showcase of Isabel Yap’s many enviable gifts: gorgeous prose, deep characterization, and exquisite ambiguity. Yap moves from humor to despair with easy confidence, plunging you down into the murkiest depths with the gentlest touch. You’ll get lost in these pages and each word will sit heavy in your chest. The best fiction does that.



Sharp and vivid and gritty

Sun 20 Dec 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Never Have I Ever cover - click to view full sizeIn February we’ll publish Isabel Yap’s debut collection, Never Have I Ever, and everyone will have a chance to read everything at once like Sam J. Miller or parcel it out, one story at a time:

“Isabel Yap’s stories are somehow sharp and vivid and gritty at the same time as they’re timeless and mythic; I’ve been a shameless strung-out addict for years now, and I’m so excited to have this splendid overdose in my hands. And to watch as a whole new audience gets hooked on these stories drenched in heartache and salt water, folklore and monsters and gorgeous prose.”  — Sam J. Miller, Nebula-Award-winning author of Blackfish City



Playful weirdness and mind-expanding terror

Sat 19 Dec 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Never Have I Ever cover - click to view full sizeOne of the earliest responses to Isabel Yap’s forthcoming debut collection, Never Have I Ever, was this lovely paragraph from Charlie Jane Anders:

“Isabel Yap’s prose is a constant delight and her characters are endlessly rich and fascinating. I’m in awe of her capacity for playful weirdness and mind-expanding terror. These gorgeous stories will help you to glimpse a world that is both stranger and more immense and varied than any you’ve visited before. My head is just full of images and feelings and ideas after reading these wondrous tales. Isabel Yap is a writer to watch out for, and you need to experience her brilliance for yourself.”
— Charlie Jane Anders, The City in the Middle of the Night



Gossip over the breakfast table

Fri 18 Dec 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Never Have I Ever cover - click to view full sizeIn the third morning of advance reader reaction to Isabel Yap’s debut collection, Never Have I Ever, we have an early reactions from Alyssa Wong, the award-winning author of Doctor Aphra:

Never Have I Ever is a stunning, lyrical debut by one of SFF’s brightest voices. Isabel Yap’s stories are luminous. Intimate and tender, hilarious and cruel, they cut straight to the bone. This collection is full of deft, painful portrayals of Filipino girlhood, queerness, and struggling to find a place in the world. They remind me of being in my lola’s house in Manila, listening to my titas and titos gossip over the breakfast table. Yap’s stories feel like coming home.”



Shy witches, beautiful elementals, bloody and watery monsters

Thu 17 Dec 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

ONever Have I Ever cover - click to view full sizen February 9th everyone will get their chance to read Isabel Yap’s debut collection, Never Have I Ever. This week we have some early reactions:

These stories of shy witches, beautiful elementals, bloody and watery monsters, miracles and tender-hearted machines, are written with color and crisp precision, and all their startling invention is firmly grounded in our own familiar and endlessly surprising world.
Elizabeth Knox, author of The Absolute Book



Weird vitality, crossed by ghosts, monsters, and above all, stories

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

INever Have I Ever cover - click to view full sizen February we’ll publish Isabel Yap’s debut collection, Never Have I Ever. This week we’re going to post some early reactions from those who’ve had a chance to read an early edition:

“Isabel Yap’s fiction channels the wary energy of meeting places: schools, hospitals, offices, hotels. In her work, the spaces of everyday life brim with weird vitality, crossed by ghosts, monsters, and above all, stories.”
— Sofia Samatar, author of Tender



Get Immersed in the Monstrousness

Wed 25 Nov 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Never Have I Ever cover - click to view full sizeWhile we’re a bit transfixed by the ongoing democratic paroxysms of effort to get rid of the monstrous occupants of a certain White House, we’ve been working away on a different, much more enjoyable type of monstrousness: Isabel Yap’s Feb. 2021 collection, Never Have I Ever. A few advance readers have sent us reactions which we’ll share next week and the book just received its first strong trade review from Publishers Weekly:

“Yap’s impressive debut collection of 13 fabulist, sci-fi, and horror shorts explores themes ranging from monstrousness, shared trauma, and systemic violence to friendship and the ambiguity of love. Yap is at home with whatever topic she puts her hand to, easily immersing readers in the perspectives of high schoolers, ancient goddesses, androids, and witches. . . . Yap is a powerful new voice in speculative fiction.”



February’s Gone, But We Already Have Something to Look Forward to Next February

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

Although 2021 seems far away and everything in the future gets blurrier every day we’re still slowly, slowly reading manuscripts for Small Beer Press and so we are already very much looking forward to next February when we will publish Isabel Yap’s as-yet-untitled debut collection of stories in trade paperback and ebook editions.

We’ve long enjoyed Isabel Yap’s fabulous stories and — as you can see from her website — she has published a good number of them over the years. Working with her on putting a collection together has been a joy for the two of us. Good news for all: there will be at least one, perhaps two, new stories in the book.

As time goes by we will add links to more stories (for example: “How to Swallow the Moon” from the Nov/Dec 2018 Uncanny Magazine)  and so on. There will be advance reading copies, reviewers can do their review thing, and at some point we will send a beautiful thing out into the world for you the reader to find.