Mermaids in Turkey, Meet Me in the Japanese Moon Room

Mon 2 Mar 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

These two lovely books arrived in the office last week courtesy of Ithaki —who just published the Turkish edition of Lydia Millet’s The Fires Beneath the Sea (the first book in her Dissenters series. I’ll have an update on that later this spring) — and Tokyo Sogensha who are publishing the Japanese edition of one of our first titles, Ray Vukcevich’s mindboggling collection Meet Me in the Moon RoomSo great to know these books are out there finding new readers around the world.

Lydia Millet, A Fire Beneath the Seas, Turkish edition Meet Me in the Moon Room, Japanese edition

The Fires Beneath the Sea cover Meet Me in the Moon Room cover


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:


Reading, listen to Kathe, go see Karen

Wed 3 Nov 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

What up? Many things. Visitors, busyness, to and froings in the oncoming weeks. The permanence of change. Catch up, link dump, tab closer, recent reads and more:

A few books are appearing which you may enjoy: Ray Vukcevich‘s new collection Boarding Instructions is just out. Go get from Powells.

Also to get: Sarah Smith‘s first YA novel which is out this week: The Other Side of Dark. It’s about ghosts, treasure, and two teenagers and life, art, madness, love, and more and it’s set it this here fair city of Boston.

One of our great local-ish bookshops, Food for Thought in Amherst—one of those places that just makes you happy to walk into—is in a moneycrunch. If you did you next book buy here, it would be much appreciated. Biased suggestions for starting places: Under the Poppy, Stories of Your Life, What I Didn’t See, The Poison Eaters, Meeks. And, as of this writing, these books are all in stock: what an awesome place!

Another non-local fave bookshop is Subterranean in St. Louis and there’s a lovely little piece in the local student paper about it. They have signed copies in stock of a certain 1,000 page McSweeney’s brick as well as excellent Africa-supporting lit-shirts. It’s a lovely shop from which we walked away with a nice bagful of books. (via)

Really enjoyed the current issue of the Harvard Review. Got it because Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud has a story in it but there were a couple of excellent stories and essays as well as a good range of poetry in it.

Jay Baron Nicorvo has an excellent essay about re-roofing the family house with his two teenage brothers on Guernica.

Apex just published a special Arab/Muslim themed edition.

Chocolate: want. (Difficult to acquire as $$$ and in the UK.) Next time we do have $$$ to burn, maybe we will play fill-a-box-o-chocs here.

How does a book signed by Betty Ann Hull, Fred Pohl, and Gene Wolfe sound? Sounds good!

Thanks to Susan for this. Go read, but not while eating cake.

And Congratulations to Susan and to Niall: we love Strange Horizons and are both selfishly sad and very happy to hear about the transition.

Awards: John Kessel‘s story “The Invisible Empire” received an Ignotus Award, “Spain’s equivalent to the Hugo.” (via)

More on the World Fantasy Awards at some point soon. Mostly: yay!

Reviews. What?

Belletrista looks at What I Didn’t See and likes what they see, “Fowler’s stories are gripping and surprising, with multiple pleasures awaiting the reader.” The San Francisco Chronicle also published a good review: “Fowler understands how disappearances heighten suspense. And she’s equally skilled at weaving mystery from the unknown.”

Karen’s final reading of her mini-California tour is this Friday at 7 PM at Vroman’s in Pasadena.


One of our fave bloggers, The Rejectionist, read Under the Poppy and calls it a winner at

You can see Kathe read in Ann Arbor next Wednesday night at the Blackbird Theatre where there will be delightful and scary sexy puppets. Thanks to Scott Edelman (having more than either of us right now) you can also see her reading on the youtubes. More on those readings TK.

Great review also in the Ann Arbor Chronicle—and Kathe’s on WCBN Ann Arbor radio today at 4:30 PM—listen here.


A couple of readers discover Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others for the first time. The sound of their heads exploding echoes through the intertubes. 1) Ed Park @ the LA Times [“patient but ruthless fascination with the limits of knowledge.”] 2) Dreams & Speculations 3) Stefan @ Fantasy Literature.

Ray Vukcevich at the movies (almost)

Mon 12 Oct 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Meet Me in the Moon RoomA couple of readers have emailed us to ask if the skippy viral thriller-chiller film Paranormal Activity is based on Ray Vukcevich’s incredibly creepy and wonderful story “Whisper” — which was collected in Meet Me in the Moon Room (and originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in January 2001).

The answer: while we haven’t seen the film at the moment we don’t think so. Ray tells us there has been a lot of film interest in “Whisper” over the years (along with a few of his other stories) but even though both “Whisper” and Paranormal Activity feature paranoid people setting up cameras to record themselves sleeping it seems that this is one of those cases of parallel evolution where the a similar idea is interpreted artistically from a couple of different points of view.

Either way, if you like creepy stories and haven’t read “Whisper,” now’s your chance.

Following Ray

Wed 29 Jul 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

Ray Vukcevich, Meet Me in the Moon RoomI emailed Ray Vukcevich recently about another of his stories from Meet Me in the Moon Room selling to a Japanese magazine (“No Comet” will be either the third or fourth, can’t remember) and he mentioned that he’d just had a story published on Smokelong Quarterly (don’t like the name). His story, “A Funny Smell,” is a short blast of displacement, philosophy, faith, and laughs—a typical Vukcevichian moment—and there’s an interview to go with it.

The ToC at the bottom of the page (smart design!) listed a Dan Chaon story, “The Hobblers,” and Dan’s always worth reading so I read that—the time dilation and emotional weight was a little similar in effect to some of Ray’s stories—and then the interview with Dan.

Await Your Reply CoverSince I’d read a couple of stories by two guys I knew I thought I should try some people I didn’t, so I skimmed through a few and liked “Me and Theodore Are Trapped in the Trunk of the Car with Rags in Our Mouths and Tape Around Our Wrists and Ankles, Please Let Us Out” by Mary Hamilton which has a brilliant opening, “I built a bridge and named it Samuel.”, and continues in a mad rush that works and “Rats” by Z. Z. Boone (spoiler: the rats don’t make it).

Then I went back to Dan’s interview which mentions he has a new novel out this September (Await Your Reply) and I would be remiss not to point out here that there is a sort of tuckerization in there that will jump out to people that us and make them laugh.

Lies Will Take You Somewhere CoverIn his interview, though, there’s a link to an essay published on The Rumpus, “What Happened to Sheila.” Which is heartbreaking and should be read. And there there’s a link to Sheila Schwartz’s novel Lies Will Take You Somewhere which came out in April from Etruscan Press and which PW called “a strong debut novel.”

For a taste of Sheila’s work I followed the link (still on Rumpus) to a story by her, “Three Cancer Patients Walk Into a Bar” which is tough and wickedly smart. Sheila’s writing is an acquired taste but it’s good, strong stuff and I recommend you give it a shot.

some reading

Mon 5 Feb 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Interview at Hobart with Ray Vukcevich.

Jacob McMurray, who designed the cover for Elizabeth Hand’s Generation Loss, has a fantastic new blog where he is posting huge amounts of his poster and book work.

Early bloggerly rave for Generation Loss.

Henry Wessells, bookmaker, publisher, and seller extraordinoire, has started a blog.

Not sure what to make of this. Except: my, that’s a big one. How can Burns night be celebrated without whiskey? (That unforgettable line from that forgettable film: “Argh! The haggis! The Haggis!”)

Lone Star Stories has a new story by Gavin, Jenn Reese, and Nina Kiriki Hoffman.

Chris Nakashima-Brown goes nuts on Futurismic.

We are still in the Southron Hemisphroid and interweb access is like unto our teenage years: spotty and unpopular, so: apologies for slow replies and shipping and all that. Back to normal amounts of poor emailng and so forth in mid-month.

Meet Me in the Moon Room – Reviews

Sun 1 Jul 2001 - Filed under: Authors, , , | Posted by: Gavin

Book Magazine
“Eccentric short stories, which frequently give everyday life a loopy twist”

Review of Contemporary Fiction “Ray Vukcevich is a master of the last line. Almost every one of his stories has a zinger at the end, but not the kind of zinger that chocks the reader or causes annoyance. Often it’s a perfect line of dialogue that opens up the whole story…. Vukcevich is ingenious with the short-story form. Although the stories read as playful vignettes, Vukcevich covertly works in ideas of self, identity, destiny, and obsession. And occasionally, the dangers of outer space.”

Hartford Courant
“. . . the 33 brief stories in Meet Me in the Moon Room defy categorization genre. A few toy with the conventions of science fiction; others branch off from trails blazed by Donald Barthelme. Moon Room will delight those who appreciated the risks Don DeLillo took in Ratner’s Star.

“Vukcevich is a master of radical recombinations, drawing from (amongst others) the Brothers Grimm, Dickens, Lewis Carroll, Kafka, O. Henry, Dali, Asimov, pulpish space opera, and the latest in nanotech to produce works that are all his own. Sometimes in as little as four or five pages, he deftly juggles so many ideas, emotions, and perspectives, it produces a curiously refreshing sense of vertigo — a high with no hangover to follow…. It would be…a great mistake to ignore the extraordinary talent of Ray Vukcevich.”

New York Review of Science Fiction
“…Ray Vukcevich is a very slick writer, an authentic sprinter in an era of milers and all-out stayers…. Vukcevich can do punchlines, but he does not rely on them. Indeed, his extraordinarily light touch when it comes to narrative closure is his most distinctive feature. Anyone who considers bizarre surrealism and casual absurdity — the main stocks-in-trade of the fantastic ultrashort story writer — easy clay to mold into narrative form has not given serious consideration to the matter of finishing.”

“These stories niftily propel their characters down the blurred line between fantasy and psychosis, with effects spanning the gamut from melancholy to goofy, from plaintive to outraged…. This is Vukcevich’s gloriously mad world, and we are lucky to share it.”

Publishers Weekly
The same antic spirit that imbued Vukcevich’s mystery novel The Man of Maybe Half-a-Dozen Faces moves playfully through this first collection of fantastic fiction, whose 33 helium-filled stories achieve just the right absurdist life to escape the gravity of their themes. “By the Time We Get to Uranus” offers a peculiarly affecting take on terminal illness: the afflicted grow buoyant spacesuits that force them to leave loved ones behind. The mysteries of parenthood manifest amusingly in “Poop,” about a couple who discover that their newborn’s diaper fills variously with birds, mice, and symphonic music. Though deceptively simple in their pared-down style, the vignettes show meticulous care in the crafting of oddball metaphors to express the moods of their estranged spouses, exasperated lovers, competitive children, and disgruntled employees. The willingness with which the author’s characters accept the incongruity of their situations often yields profoundly moving insights into the human condition. In the poignant title tale, for example, a man does not find it at all strange that a lover from decades past has summoned him to a simulated moon landscape at a theme park, reflecting that the meaning of life really is “nothing more than a couple of people huddling close for comfort in a cold universe.” Inventive and entertaining, these stories yield more emotional truth than much more comparatively realistic fiction. Forecast: With blurbs from Damon Knight, Kate Wilhelm and Jeffrey Ford, this collection is a quality item that should benefit from good word of mouth.

A man pulls the sweater his girlfriend made him over his head and nearly gets lost inside it. Rescued from the arctic ice, the dying Victor (Frankenstein) tells a story that leaves little doubt that the monster is James Joyce or Stephen Dedalus or Finn (again). Tim saves the world from a comet by having his family put paper bags over their heads. What? What?! What?!! Calm down. This is just the world according to Ray Vukcevich, sf-ish enough to get him into The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and Asimov’s, but also resembling the fantastic milieus of Gogol, Kafka, and Looney Toons. Whether you cotton to it depends on how you feel about cartoons made of words and prisons made of logic: are you afraid of amused? Actually, either reaction works for appreciating Vukcevich’s outlandish virtuosity. Sf fans with long memories will note Vukcevich’s deadpan delivery and jokey-creepy aura, recall the wonder-workings of Fredric Brown (see From These Ashes [BKL Ap 15 01] and smile.





Pathetic Caverns


Sun 1 Jul 2001 - Filed under: Free Stuff to Read, Short Stories, | Posted by: Gavin

Meet Me in the Moon RoomAnd then she fired her parting shot. “And not only that,” she said, as if “that” hadn’t been quite enough, “you snore horribly!”

“I do not,” I said. “I definitely do not snore.” I was talking to her back. “You’re making it up!” I was talking to the door. “Someone else would have mentioned it!” I was talking to myself.

Mistakes were made, relationships fell apart, and hurtful things were said. Life was like that. Read more