SBP @AWP2016

Tue 22 Mar 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Besides our groovy (sorry) reading on Wed. March 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Last Bookstore [with Kelly Link (Get in Trouble), Maureen F. McHugh (After the Apocalypse), Ayize Jama-Everett (The Entropy of Bones), and Sofia Samatar (The Winged Histories)] we have a few other things we’d like to share:

First: we have a table, #1331, in the huge bookfair. Come search us out!
Second: panels and stuff!

Thursday, March 31
11:00 am to 11:30 am
Table 1331, Ayize Jama-Everett (The Entropy of Bones) signing

3:00 pm to 4:15 pm
Room 515 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
R265. Smooth Criminals: What’s at Stake When We Break the Rules? (Juan Martinez, Susan Hubbard, Robin Rozanski, Julie Iromuanya) What writing rule do you hate? Love? We all break a few: We switch POV halfway through a story, we use too many exclamation marks, we don’t write what we know, or we use the wrong form, the wrong genre. The panelists balance the costs and benefits of these misdemeanors. They explore how rules hinge on cultural, ethnic, and social backgrounds. They provide rule-breaking exercises that have helped generate exciting material and talk about how rule-breaking has helped them publish and teach.

Friday, April 1
10:30 am to 11:45 am
Room 513, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
F161. Small Beer Press: 15th Anniversary Reading. (Sofia Samatar, Ayize Jama-Everett, Maureen F. McHugh, Juan Martinez) Fifteen years after Small Beer Press was founded to publish works that cross genre definitions, traditional bookstore shelving options, and academic course descriptions, four authors from different parts of the USA who now all live in California read from their books and then discuss the spaces their books were published into with Small Beer Press publisher and cofounder Gavin J. Grant.

2:00 pm to 2:30 pm
Table 1331, Sofia Samatar (The Winged Histories) signing

4:30 pm to 5:45 pm
Concourse Hall, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One
F271. Kelly Link, Emily St. John Mandel, and Ruth Ozeki: A Reading and Conversation, Sponsored by Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau. (Emily St. John Mandel,  Ruth Ozeki,  Kelly Link) This event brings together three brilliant contemporary female writers—Kelly Link, Emily St. John Mandel, and Ruth Ozeki—to read and discuss their craft and experiences as genre-bending authors. Kelly Link is the recipient of an NEA grant and is the author of Get in Trouble. Emily St. John Mandel is the author of Station Eleven, a finalist for the 2014 National Book Award. Ruth Ozeki is the author of A Tale for the Time Being, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Saturday, April 2
10:00am to 10:30am
Table 1331, Kelly Link (Get in Trouble) signing

11:00am to 11:30am
Table 1331, Maureen F. McHugh (After the Apocalypse)

12:00 pm to 1:15 pm
AWP Bookfair Stage, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One
S171. In the Realms of the Real and the Unreal. (Katharine Beutner, Sofia Samatar, Carmen Machado, Alice Sola Kim, Kelly Link) This panel explores genres of fiction that juxtapose the real and the unreal in experimental ways: historical fiction, literary fantasy/science fiction, weird fiction, and satire. Where do we draw the line between a secondary world and a distorted reflection of our own world’s beauty, violence, and diversity? Can we discern a poetics of the unreal in contemporary fiction? How have the continual debates over generic boundaries—and/or their irrelevance—affected the ways contemporary writers work?

SBP @The Last Bookstore in LA

Thu 17 Mar 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Posted by: Gavin

If you’re in LA — or going there for the AWP conference — I hope you’ll join us on Wednesday, March 30, at 7:30 pm at the Last Bookstore for a reading/party with beer, snackity snacks, and most importantly, excellent short readings from four fabulous authors!

Ayize Jama-Everett, The Entropy of Bones
“. . . consistently resists easy categorization. . . . by setting the book in a weird, if recognizable, Bay Area, ­Jama-Everett captures something about the way it feels to live so close to so much money and yet so far; he traces the differences between postindustrial East Bay towns, the gray melancholy of an older city, the particular feeling of struggling while surrounded by otherworldly wealth. If the book veers among different  approaches . . .  there’s nevertheless a vitality to the voice and a weirdness that, while not always controlled or intentional, is highly appealing for just that reason.”— Charles Yu, New York Times Book Review

Kelly Link, Get in Trouble: Stories
Time Magazine Top 10 Fiction of 2015 · NPR 2015 Great Reads · Slate Laura Miller’s 10 Favorite Books of 2015 · Buzzfeed Books We Loved in 2015 · Book Riot Best of 2015 · io9: Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2015 · Flavorwire: Best Fiction of 2015 · San Francisco Chronicle Best of 2015 · Electric Lit Best Story Collections of 2015 · Washington Post Notable Books of the Year · Kirkus Best Books of the Year · Toronto Star Top 5 Fiction of 2015 · New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice · Los Angeles Times bestseller · Locus Recommended Reading

Maureen F. McHugh, After the Apocalypse: Stories
Shirley Jackson Award winner · Publishers Weekly Top 10 Books of the Year · NPR Best Books of the Year · io9 Best SF&F Books of the Year · Tiptree Award Honor List · Philip K. Dick Award finalist · Story Prize Notable Book

Sofia Samatar, The Winged Histories
“A highly recommended indulgence.” — N. K. Jemisin, New York Times Book Review · “An imaginative, poetic, and dark meditation on how history gets made.” — Hello Beautiful · “Samatar has created characters that you will carry around with you for weeks (months?). If you love strong voices, world-building, and books that tell hard truths with beautiful language, these are for you.” — Jenn Northington, Book Riot · “Samatar’s use of poetic yet unpretentious language makes her one of the best writers of today. Reading her books is like sipping very rich mulled wine. The worldbuilding and characterization is exquisite. This suspenseful and elegiac book discusses the lives of fictional women in a fantasy setting who fear their histories will be lost in a way that is only too resonant with the hidden histories of women in our own age.” — Romantic Times Book Reviews (4.5/5 stars, Top Pick)

Get in Trouble 

On Maureen F. McHugh

Mon 15 Feb 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

In honor of Maureen F. McHugh‘s birthday this month, here’s a piece I wrote for the 2013 Readercon handbook:

Maureen F. McHughWhen I went to the Clarion Writers’ Workshop in East Lansing, Michigan, in the year 2000, Maureen F. McHugh was one of the anchor teachers. She and Greg Frost shook things up on the very first morning by politely and intelligently disagreeing with one another and they showed me — more than a hundred arguing reviewers, workshops, and bar discussions ever had — that stories will always be read differently.

I’ve since had the pleasure and honor of publishing two collections of Maureen’s own stories — which I have always thought compare well to the effect of a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster: “like having your brain smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped around a gold brick.”

Three ideas intersect at the heart of Maureen’s work: family, class, and technology. Family — biological, legal, chosen, or some other combination  —has always been one of Maureen’s main preoccupations. I don’t know if I have read a darker story than the title story of Maureen’s second collection, After the Apocalypse where she examines the mother-daughter bond and the individual’s will to survive. Many readers felt that it made Cormac McCarthy’s The Road seem cheerful.

Her story “Oversite,” published in Asimov’s in 2004 with it’s parental chip trackers and hackers is a cogent and painful analysis of a family.

Maureen’s obsessions all come together in stories such as “Honeymoon,” where a young woman cancels her honeymoon—and her wedding—when she finds her now-ex has gambled away their money. This woman, Kayla, dumps her useless ex but finds it hard to strike out on her own so she signs up to participate in medical studies, ignoring the possible side effects until they can’t be ignored any longer, and affecting her health, and others so this produce some Medical Negligence Solicitors against the investigators.

Maureen’s depictions of the normality of everyday life—people picking up second and third jobs or trying to monetize hobbies—is harrowing in places. Yet it is this unflinching gaze, this refusal to add explosions or go for the easy point but instead paint pictures of our everyday world, sometimes kicked a day or two in the future, are her strength.

In recent years, Maureen has been writing alternate reality games and screenplays for and other websites. But I am happy to see that she is still writing short stories and one of these years, maybe she’ll surprise us all with a new novel.

Some goings on, reviews, &c.

Fri 6 Sep 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

LCRW 29 is out. Must write a prop’r post about that soon. Phew. It is a goody.

Things on the to-be-read pile: Duplex by Kathryn Davis. Alice Kim gave it a thumbs up which is good enough for me. Also, picked it up at Odyssey Books the other night after Holly Black’s reading.

Just came across this great review of Travel Light by Paul Kincaid from 2007 on SF Site.

“The enchantments of Travel Light contain more truth, more straight talking, a grittier, harder-edged view of the world than any of the mundane descriptions of daily life you will find in … science fiction stories.”

Sounds about right to me. We reprinted this book because I found myself buying more and more copies to give to people and now I am very glad we did as now readers have told me they pick up multiple copies to press on friends. Thus a good book is read!

Nerds of a Feather reviewed Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Unreal and the Real: Where on Earth“You’ve probably guessed that I really liked this volume of short stories . . . ” (There’s an earlier review of Outer Space, Inner Lands here.) Nerds of a Feather is a great name.

If you subscribe to F&SF, you may already know this: Angélica Gorodischer’s “By the Light of the Chaste Electronic Moon” appeared in the May/June edition of F&SF.

A while ago Kelly did a podcast interview and reading with Hold That Thought with Rebecca King. Kelly in turn interviewed Readercon guest of honor Maureen F. McHugh and Scott Edelman posted it in two parts. And! Game reviewer VocTer posted a reading of “Magic for Beginners” on YouTube. This is part 1 and is an hour long!


Fri 17 May 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Darn it, haven’t kept up with the Consortium Bookslinger app! Every week they post a new story from one of the Consortium publishers and since we publish a fair number of short story collections, a fair number of those stories are from our books. We’ve got new stories scheduled to go out just about monthly.

Checkkkk it out:

Ray Vukcevich, “Whisper

Maureen F. McHugh, “The Naturalist

Karen Joy Fowler, “The Pelican Bar

Kelly Link, “The Faery Handbag

Benjamin Rosenbaum, “Start the Clock

Maureen F. McHugh, “Ancestor Money

Download the app in the iTunes store.

And watch a video on it here:


Small Beer Press Bestsellers 2012

Mon 7 Jan 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

According to Neilsen BookScan, our top five Small Beer Press bestsellers (excluding ebooks) for 2012 were:

  1. Maureen F. McHugh, After the Apocalypse
  2. 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
  3. Kij Johnson, At the Mouth of the River of Bees
  4. Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others
  5. Eduardo Jiménez Mayo & Chris N. Brown, eds., Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Stories of the Fantastic

All short story collections or anthologies! Our publication dates all crept into the latter half of the year, really the last couple of months, so books such as Errantry and Earth and Air didn’t get much time out there in the world to see how they’d do. Also #6? Stranger Things Happen, #7? The Serial Garden. Short stories!

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.

Low stock warning

Mon 19 Nov 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

As we head into the holiday season, I’m happy to see we have some hit books that will soon be out of stock:

It looks increasingly likely that our two volume Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin will be sold out by publication day (November 27).

We just got copies in of the second printing of Kij Johnson’s At the Mouth of the River of Bees so, it won’t be out of stock but for those who collect first editions, we will keep shipping them out from the office until we run out.

And although it’s now in its third printing, we still have a few first printings of Maureen F. McHugh’s collection, After the Apocalypse

Small Beer Podcast 7: Zombie Plans, Beer & Maureen F. McHugh’s “The Naturalist”

Thu 8 Mar 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , , , , , | Posted by: Julie

the_naturalist_tasting_beersHere at the Small Beer studios we find there’s nothing like  a great book and some damn fine beers to really get the conversation flowing. We’d already read Maureen F. McHugh’s zombie story “The Naturalist” (read | listen) and with the help of  Tru Beer in Easthampton, Massachusetts, we happened upon three beers that go perfectly with just about any zombie apocalypse.

The result? This week’s Small Beer on Beer episode, a podcasting love letter to “The Naturalist,” all things zombie and some very unusual beers.

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t yet read Maureen’s story in her collection, After the Apocalypse, you might want to listen to episode 6, the audio version, before diving into this episode.

Episode 7: In which we talk of  beer,  Reynard the Fox & Maureen F. McHugh’s “The Naturalist.”

On Tap This Week:
Cerveza Cucapa’s Low Rider.
Sierra Nevada’s Ruthless Rye.
Avery Brewing Company’s Mephistopheles’ Stout.

Subscribe to the Small Beer podcast using  iTunes or the service of your choice:

rss feed

Small Beer Podcast 6: In Which Julie reads Maureen F. McHugh’s “The Naturalist”

Mon 20 Feb 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Posted by: Julie

After the Apocalypse cover - click to view full sizeNo, Robert Redford is not in this, neither are baseball games or family farms. This piece is not called The Natural. This story, “The Naturalist,” from Maureen’s collection, After the Apocalypse, is filled with zombies, post-apocalyptic Cleveland and meditations on good, evil, and our human impulse (or lack thereof) toward empathy.

We here at Small Beer loved it so much we decided to devote an entire Small Beer on Beer episode to the sampling of beer and the discussion of this story. So listen, enjoy, and tune back in next week when we broadcast part two: our roundtable discussion of “The Naturalist,” Avery’s Mephistopheles Stout and Sierra Nevada’s Ruthless Rye.

Episode 6: Maureen F. McHugh’s “The Naturalist” as read by Julie Day.

Subscribe to the Small Beer podcast in iTunes or using the service of your choice:

rss feed



Travel, updates

Tue 7 Feb 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

Kelly and I (and our daughter, Ursula) will (fingers crossed) be in Australia and New Zealand from Feb. 8th to March 17th, followed by a trip to Orlando for ICFA (itinerary below the cut). There will be people in the office (Geoff! Dusty! Julie! Jenny! Even Michael!) one or two days a week but shipping will slow down and reading and responding to manuscripts will slow to a halt. Submit work elsewhere or be ready to wait a long time (sorry about that) if you send it our way.

I’m more sad than I can say after hearing that two very different writers I loved have died, John Cristopher and Wislawa Szymborska. I loved John Christopher’s Tripods and Prince in Waiting/Sword of the Spirits books—read in Argyll in the early 1980s, so running away into the mountains or across the moors seemed both possible and desirable. I had no idea he had so many pseudonyms! Then when I worked at Avenue Victor Hugo Bookshop in the mid-90s and met Kelly I think she introduced me to Wislawa Szymborska’s poetry—and then Szymborska received the Nobel Prize (so we sold a lot of her books, yay!). She was so down to earth, so much fun, she was an anecdote to flat writing and a real reminder to enjoy life. She obviously did and I’m glad we have so much of her poetry.

More internety things: Members of the Carol Emshwiller Appreciation Society (me!) are happy to note that Carmen Dog is on this Geekdad/Wired list of books for your ereader.

Maureen McHugh’s After the Apocalypse has a great review by Chris Moriarty in the upcoming issue of F&SF as well as in SF Revu. From now on we will get Maureen to title all our books. Or maybe we will get her to write more stories! One of her stories, “Useless Things” is reprinted in the new issue of Apex Magazine – which also features a story from David J. Schwartz, so yay for that.

It was excellent to see io9 pick up on Nisi Shawl’s Seattle Times lovely review of Three Messages and a Warning. Eduardo and Chris did such a great job with that book! They both had events in their hometowns—San Antonio and Austin, respectively—and from all accounts, a lot of fun was had—and books were sold, so yay for spreading around more weird lit from far away places.

Over on Weightless, Three Messages is doing nicely. Which is a smooooth segue into mentioning that we are excited about adding Locus subscriptions and individual issues to the site today.

What else? Two excellent interviews with Delia Sherman went up this week: the first on SF Signal, the second on the Potomac Review. Now we need to concentrate on New Orleans and get them to choose the book for their One City program or something. (Do they have one of those? And if so, have they done Poppy Brite’s Liquor yet? Hmm?)

Read more

Small Beer &c, 2011

Wed 4 Jan 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Bookscan says our bestsellers were:

1) Kathe Koja, Under the Poppy
2) Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others
3) Kelly Link, Stranger Things Happen
4) Maureen F. McHugh, After the Apocalypse
5) Karen Joy Fowler, What I Didn’t See and Other Stories

I know other things happened this year. We published one issue of LCRW with a lovely cover by Kathleen Jennings:

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 27

A. D. Jameson · Jessy Randall · K. M. Ferebee · Karen Heuler · M. K. Hobson · Carol Emshwiller · David Rowinski · Joan Aiken · Sarah Harris Wallman · Gwenda Bond · David Blair · Sarah Heller · Nicole Kimberling

And here are the books we published.

First Small Beer Press titles:

After the Apocalypse
Maureen F. McHugh

“Incisive, contemporary, and always surprising.”—Publishers WeeklyBest Books 2011: The Top 10

A Slepyng Hound to Wake
Vincent McCaffrey

“Henry is a character cut from Raymond Chandler: a modern knight on a mission to save those, and what, he loves.”—Barbara Peters, The Poisoned Pen

Paradise Tales
Geoff Ryman

* “Often contemplative and subtly ironic, the 16 stories in this outstanding collection work imaginative riffs on a variety of fantasy and SF themes”—Publishers Weekly (*Starred Review*)

The Child Garden
Geoff Ryman

Winner of the John W. Cambell and Arthur C. Clarke Awards.

The Monkey’s Wedding and Other Stories
Joan Aiken

* “Wildly inventive, darkly lyrical, and always surprising . . . a literary treasure.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Solitaire: a novel
Kelley Eskridge
A New York Times Notable Book, Borders Original Voices selection, and Nebula, Endeavour, and Spectrum Award finalist.

And one Big Mouth House title:

The Freedom Maze
Delia Sherman

“Adroit, sympathetic, both clever and smart, The Freedom Maze will entrap young readers and deliver them, at the story’s end, that little bit older and wiser.”
—Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Out of Oz

Maureen McHugh in PW’s Top 10!

Fri 4 Nov 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

After the Apocalypse coverMaureen F. McHugh’s second collection After the Apocalypse is one of PW‘s Top Ten books of the year! The book has two starred reviews and her first collection was a Story Prize finalist. McHugh shares the Top 10 with Jeffrey Eugenides, Ann Patchett, Tina Fey, Chistopher Hitchens, et al.

There will now be a small dance of joy!

You can get a taste of the book here: “The Naturalist.”

Maureen F. McHugh & David Moles in conversation

Wed 26 Oct 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

After the Apocalypse cover - click to view full sizeThis week we’re very proud to publish Maureen F. McHugh’s second collection of short stories, After the Apocalypse.

To celebrate, we asked another of our favorite writers, David Moles, to interview Maureen. The two of them sat down recently in LA and then sent us the results of their chat:

David Moles: So, we’re sitting here in sunny Culver City—

Maureen McHugh: Sunny Culver City. In my little apartment, which I love.

Where should we start? I think we should talk about the book.


At some point.

Let me see, I’ve got a copy—hold on.

Oh, that’s gorgeous.

Isn’t it gorgeous?

That’s really nice.

It’s a thin book, it’s thinner than Mothers and Other Monsters. I think it’s got about the same number of stories, but a couple of the stories were much longer in Mothers and Other Monsters.

So how did this come about?

Read more

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!

We go to Boston!

Fri 14 Oct 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

Tomorrow—god willing and the creek don’t rise—Kelly and I will be at the Boston Book Fair. We have a booth (#12) and will have copies of our new yet-to-be released collection: Maureen F. McHugh’s After the Apocalypse. The  fair runs 10-6 and at 11 a.m., we’ll be off for this:

11:00am Boston Public Library Rabb Auditorium 700 Boylston Street

Is it a literary genre, an aesthetic style, or a way of life? It may be all of the above! Join Kelly Link and Gavin Grant, co-editors of the new Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories, as well as Spiderwick Chronicles co-author Holly Black and steampunk creator Allison DeBlasio (aka Mrs. Grymm) for a discussion of all things steampunk, from goggles to gyrocopters. Wear a costume and you may win a prize or get to see the session while seated on stage. Moderated by Maya Escobar, Teen Librarian at the Cambridge Public Library.

Also attending the book fair: Karen Russell, Kate Beaton (read Kelly’s interview with her here), Francis Moore Lappe, Chris “Charlie Parker Played Be-Bop” Raschka, and, lo, the many more.

Also attending: Drawn & Quarterly, NYRB, Melville House, Godine, NESFA, Zephyr, Barefoot—or, 75 publishers and other groups of interest!

And: you can see Kelly’s panel from last year’s Book Fest (with Maria Tatar, Kate Bernheimer, and Kathryn Davis) here.

Sandstorm day and more

Wed 2 Mar 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Sandstorm: A Forgotten Realms Novel (Forgotten Realms) Cover

Just sneaking this in before the end of . . .

Sandstorm Day!

Woot! And I am not even a player of said game but I sure am going to read that book.

Also: Carrie Frye is the new editor of The Awl! (Ok, so this is last week’s news, but the internets, they don’t always work around here.) Magnificent!

Holy crap: we’ve had bagels for breakfast with an Oscar winner! Congratulations to Shaun Tan et al! ((Locus says: “The film can be viewed in its entirety at”)

Go join Karen Joy Fowler and the Tiptree Bookclub talking about Maureen F. McHugh’s excellent story “Useless Things” from Eclipse 3 (edited by Jonathan Strahan).

A new book award voted on by indie booksellers: could be fun. Also: any suggestions for a name for the award are welcome. Could be more fun!

Two nontraditional places to find our books (and we have a cool announcement about that very thing coming here soon, too): a fundraiser and an awareness raiser!

Con or Bust is expanding and they are having a huge fundraiser. We’re offering Small Beer Sixpacks (if you go up to $200, they come with your own engraved, wooden sixpack holder!), LCRW subscriptions (—Avec chocolat? —Mais oui!) and advanced reading copies of some sekrit yet-to-be-published books! Bid here please!

The Ranting Dragon is running a huge giveaway to encourage/challenge more readers (especially younger readers) to vote in the Locus poll. Seemed like a good idea to us (and to many other publishers!) so there are tons of books being given away including all of our included titles—including 5 copies of LCRW 26. Freebies! Tons of them!

Free Mothers, Other Monsters

Tue 22 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

Mothers & Other Monsters CoverHot on the heels of last week’s Creative Commons release of John Kessel’s collection The Baum Plan for Financial Independence (5,000 downloads and counting—and Entertainment Weekly gave it an A-, yay!) Small Beer Press is proud to announce their third Creative Commons release, Maureen F. McHugh’s collection Mothers & other Monsters.

When we asked Maureen if she was interested in releasing her collection this way she took a moment out from working on Top Secret Gaming Things to say go for it. It is awesome to work with authors like Maureen and John who are so enthusiastic about this.

Come back next week for another CC-release!

The thirteen stories in McHugh’s “gorgeously crafted” (Nancy Pearl, NPR, Morning Edition) collection include her her Hugo Award winner “The Lincoln Train” as well as a reading group guide. Mothers & Other Monsters was a Story Prize finalist and a Book Sense Notable Book.

Although we think our paper editions are of course prettier than these downloads, please pass the word along. The further out these CC-licensed books go (especially from our site where we can count them) the higher chance there is of persuading other authors of doing the same with their books.

Mothers & Other Monsters is licensed under a Creative Commons (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license allowing readers to share the stories with friends and generally have at them. The collection is provided in these formats: low-res PDF, HTML, RTF, and text file. We encourage any and all conversions into other formats.

The paper edition is much nicer, although not free:

Buy the paper edition| Reviews | Maureen F. McHugh’s site
paperback | hardcover | limited edition | ebook

Mother, Day

Thu 3 May 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Mothers & Other Monsters CoverOne day a year say Hello to your m0ther. If the screws will let you. If the warden’s in a good mood.

Everyone whose site we ever as much as peeked at ( is a betting site, honest!) is hitting us up to buy mother a present. As if she needs a box of dead flowers to remind her of how much she is loved.

A book, though. That’d different. That shows not just how smart she is but how smart we are!

Here are a few ideas about Maureen McHugh’s Mothers & Other Monsters from one of our genius interns:

The mother of all Mother’s Day gifts—Mothers & Other Monsters.
Anyone can send Mother’s Day flowers. You’re not anyone.
A book for everyone who has ever had a mother.
Celebrate the little monster in every mom.
Mother’s Day flowers wither; candy melts. But, with proper storage, Mothers & Other Monsters will last forever.

Catch up with Maureen here or here. Or if you can (and it’s worth clearing your schedule) sign up for Maureen’s hilariously titled workshop, THINGS GET WORSE: Plotting in Fiction, at Write-By-the-Lake, Mon, June 18 – Fri, June 22, in beautiful Madison, WI.

Mothers & Other Monsters a Plain Dealer Summer Reading Pick, etc.

Sat 17 Jun 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Maureen F. McHugh’s Mothers & Other Monsters is a Cleveland Plain Dealer Recommended Summer Reading pick: “Unpredictable and poetic work.”

– Updated Alan‘s readings — that man is going to get around! Bring it on, we think he says.

Don’t remember if foreign rights were updated recently (we are horribly behind on contracts — fortunately these ones are done by more competent people than us!). As was mentioned in this story, Magic for Beginners, has sold to the United Kingdom — which is incredibly exciting. It has also sold to Hayakawa, Japan, Donzelli Editore, Italy, Gayatari Publishing, Russia, Harcourt/Harvest, USA pb, Argo, Czech Republic, and Grup Editorial Tritonic, Romania, and Verlagsgruppe Random House GmbH, Germany. This stuff gets updated here.

More rights news to come, yay for readers all over this world.

Mothers & Other Monsters

Thu 1 Jun 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

The Story PrizePublication day for the trade paperback edition of Mothers & Other Monsters. It’s in stores now, as they say, or order early for Father’s Day.

This edition has added material (no extra stories, so no worries there, completists) for book clubs and reading groups (PDF Download). There’ll be an interview with the author, questions, and a reprint of Maureen’s fabulous essay, “The Evil Stepmother.”

You can pre-order this one on Book Sense, Powells, Amazon, etc. or from here. Do not miss!


Mon 22 May 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Book Expo — the annual trade show of the sliced wood imprinted with colored marks — is out of the way for another year. This time Small Beer did not have a booth (rather our distro, SCB, displayed some of our books and stacked up freebies of our catalog, the paperback edition of Mothers & Other Monsters, and Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead. One of the fun things of the show was Alan’s reading guide and drinking game which can be downloaded here: (PDF warning) The Cabana on the Lake of the Dead. Alan signed a ton of copies of his book and carried boxes of them all across our great taxed-but-not-represented capital city. Thanks, Alan!

There were awesome parties (PGW [w/ the Brazilian Girls], Consortium, SCB[!] and others at Madam’s Organ, maybe the one below), a good time was had by most, galleys were picked up, and food was gathered more sparingly than dietitians recommend.

Books at the top of the stack include:

There are tons more but now it is time to empty the suitcases into the washing machine (mustn’t mix up the galley-filled suitcase with the smoke reeking post-party clothes) and get ready to git on the road to WisCon.

Future books

Wed 1 Mar 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

Since we’re talking about the future, two more books: June 1, 2006: Small Beer will publish a trade paperback of Maureen F. McHugh’s Story Prize finalist collection, Mothers & Other Monsters. This will have added material (no extra stories, so no worries there, completists) for book clubs and reading groups. There’ll be an interview with the author, questions, and a reprint of Maureen’s fabulous essay, “The Evil Stepmother.”

You can pre-order this one on Book Sense, Powells, Amazon, etc. or from here. Do not miss!

September 1, 2006: Small Beer is happy to announce that they will publish a small hardcover edition of Ellen Kushner’s new novel The Privilege of the Sword. This edition will complement the Bantam trade paperback edition (available here). The publication date is Sept.1 This one won’t be on Amazon, etc., for a bit, so if you want to make sure you get your copy of the first edition (which by our contract is pretty small), order it here.

Nancy Pearl

Thu 19 Jan 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

On Morning Edition today Nancy Pearl (the action-figure’d Librarian! and author of Book Lust) in her regular NPR feature, “Librarian’s Picks,” chose some “Books for a Rainy Day” including Maureen F. McHugh‘s Mothers & Other Monsters. She called it “fabulous” and so on. Whee!

(Nancy, email us if you want any more books!)