First thing for the holidays

Fri 7 Oct 2022 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

The Adventurists cover Woah it is too early for me to get my head around it but Publishers Weekly have published their Holiday Gift Guide and sharp eyes will note Richard Butner’s collection is included:

“This powerhouse fabulist collection melds ghosts, virtual futures, and the intricacies of friendship into 16 breathtaking, intimate stories that will delight readers of Ray Bradbury, John Crowley, and Sally Rooney alike. In these stories, Butner examines a broad range of interests—the aging process, acts of remembering, overreliance on technology—all in elegant prose, unique imagery, and with keen and generous human insight.”

Podcastery Times 1

Wed 21 Sep 2022 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

It’s podcast week — not at Small Beer, phew — or at least podcast day as Richard Butner was just interviewed by Gil Roth on his Virtual Memories show. A couple of weeks ago Gil posted his 500th show, it’s kind of amazing to pick through the archive to see who I could listen to.

This interview took place over some kind of electronic medium — Butner’s the engineer so he would know about that part; it was almost in person in August when Butner was in NYC and NJ for readings but the scheduling did not work out. I am glad they did in the end have a chat as I enjoyed the resulting conversation. Listen to it here.


"1) I posted Episode #505 of The Virtual Memories Show, featuring a conversation with Richard Butner joins the show to celebrate his marvelous first book, The Adventurists and Other Stories (Small Beer Press). We get into the F&SF story that started him on the writing path, his love of the fantastic in fiction, his background in engineering & how he has to throw it out the window when it comes to writing, and the theme of return that runs through his stories and the unfinished business it implies. We also talk about his history with Sycamore Hill Writers Workshop & how he ended up running it, how critiquing others’ stories can teach you more than having your own work critiqued, and his love of the short story as a form. Plus we discuss writing & performing theater"

Heads up NY & NJ

Tue 16 Aug 2022 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

The Adventurists cover -This week Richard Butner is traveling up from his home in Raleigh, NC, for a couple of New York City area readings:

Wednesday, Aug 17, 7 p.m. KGB Fantastic Fiction, KGB Bar, NY
Richard reads with our good friend Veronica Schanoes whose collection Burning Girls is now out in paperback

Thursday, Aug 18, 7 p.m. Little City Books, Hoboken, NJ

The most recent reviews for Richard’s debut collection The Adventurists are from Lyndsie Manusos on Book Riot:

“Richard Butner’s work explores the weird, uncanny corners of everyday life — from a theater kid who becomes the queen, to a tree who talks to just one person, to Death’s Fool, who you really shouldn’t ignore.”

and from rather legendary printer, papermaker, publisher, & poet John Dancy-Jones on his Raleigh Rambles site:

“Richard Butner’s new collection of SF stories is a wonderful look at his long-established but back-burner career as a writer of speculative fiction. Richard is beloved by many in Raleighwood for his quirky and often endearing local theatre roles, his championing of local music and its venues, and (among the cognoscenti) his loyalty to Modernist architecture. This review is overtly from the perspective of a Raleigh native who enjoys the many local references in these stories and the bits and pieces of RB rendered in the protagonists.”

Richard, as the reference to the theatre roles above attests to, is a good reader and I hope you’ll attend these events if you can!

Adventurists and Businesses on the Road

Fri 17 Jun 2022 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

We’re busy with Robert Freeman Wexler setting up readings for his forthcoming novel The Silverberg Business as well as with Richard Butner setting up a couple of NYC area events for The Adventurists.

So far for the very strange historical Texas business book, there are two readings set up — the first at $2 Radio HQ, oh, how I’d love to get there with none other than short story superstar Jeffrey Ford, and ah, now there are 3! A Jo-Beth Cincinnati reading was just finalized. There should be a Chicago reading coming and then, of course, given the Texan nature of the business at hand, events in Austin, Houston, and maybe Galveston. More TK, as I am wont to say.

Aug. 23, 8 p.m. Two Dollar Radio HQ, Columbus, OH — with Jeffrey Ford
Aug. 27, 8 p.m. The Emporium, Yellow Springs, OH
Aug. 29, 7 p.m. Joseph-Beth,  Cincinnati, OH — in conversation with Rebecca Kuder

Richard Butner is leaving North Carolina — but only temporarily! — and will be in NYC at the fabled KGB Bar for the fantastic fiction series with a friend, New York city native, and excellent writer, Veronica Schanoes, and the second over the water (but not very far) in Hoboken, at the outstanding indie bookstore, Little City Books:

Aug 17, 7 p.m. Richard Butner & Veronica Schanoes, KGB Fantastic Fiction, KGB Bar, NYC
Aug 18, 7 p.m. Little City Books, Hoboken, NJ

The Adventurists cover - click to view full size The Silverberg Business cover - click to view full size

Local Boy Makes Good

Fri 25 Mar 2022 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Richard Butner has been localized in the Raleigh area for some years — you can see pictures of him there and even in some other places here — although it’s our local paper here in Western Mass., the Daily Hampshire Gazette, that has a great review of The Adventurists today:

an excellent new collection of short stories . . . Butner, who lives in North Carolina, livens his writing with wry humor and moments of absurdity and surrealism, but his stories also explore the fraying of friendships and the sense of loss that the passage of time can bring.

What also anchors the 16 stories in the collection is Butner’s crisp, understated prose, a style that lets him quickly segue from straightforward descriptions of everyday life to off-kilter narratives.

I recommend the book, mais oui, and also subscribing to your local paper if possible!

So and So

Wed 9 Mar 2022 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

Butner, Kessel, BarnhardtIf you’re in the Raleigh, NC, area, the Triad, North Carolina, the southeastern part of the USA, in other words, somewhat close by, please do plan to head to So and So Books on Saturday, April 2, at 6 p.m. where Richard Butner will be reading from his new story collection, The Adventurists, and will be in conversation with John Kessel. Introductions by Wilton Barnhardt.

Refreshments provided by Anisette.

New Month, New Book

Wed 2 Mar 2022 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Uncanny coverThis month we’ll publish our first title of 2022, Richard Butner’s long awaited debut The Adventurists. We have copies going out to reviewers and so on now and the cover, by Wesley Allsbrook, on the felted paper is is a beautiful thing to behold.

You can get a sneak peak at the book in the new March/April issue of Uncanny Magazine which just went out and among many tasty things includes a new Butner story, Under Green.

Not Entirely Comfortable

Thu 20 Jan 2022 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

AThe Adventurists cover - click to view full sizenother strong trade review came in for Richard Butner’s forthcoming debut collection, The Adventurists, this one from ALA’s Booklist which spotlights a few stories and like all of us who enjoy the book try and capture something of the author’s play with time and memory and then declares it:

“A worthwhile collection of not entirely comfortable stories exploring the past, the present, and the future.”

Caught up in the Supply Chain

Thu 2 Dec 2021 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

The Adventurists cover - click to view full sizeDespite all the warnings I had thought I was in the sweet spot with our next book, Richard Butner’s debut collection, The Adventurists. Little did I know I was walking through the letters p, r, i, d, and e, and what do you know, down I go.

The new date for the book is March 22, 2022, a lovely palindromic date in anywhere the date is sensibly written day/month/year, 22/3/22. Maybe that’ll give us more time for the pandemic to burn itself out as we all get our next boosters and mask up and we can actually get Richard out to some bookstores.

In the meantime, here’s one of Richard’s stories, Circa, on Interfictions.

An Essential Travelers’ Guide

Wed 17 Nov 2021 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Received by packet mail over the internet from a writer who knows a good travel book from the inside out — besides his award-winning fiction he is also the author of Alabama Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff — this note about Richard Butner’s The Adventurists:

The Adventurists cover - click to view full size“Richard Butner has taught me so much about the art of short fiction, and The Adventurists is an essential travelers’ guide to packing a small space with all the wit, craft, invention and heart needed for the journey. Thank you, Richard Butner — once again!”
— Andy Duncan, World Fantasy Award-winning author of An Agent of Utopia

Early Adventurer Says

Thu 21 Oct 2021 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

The Adventurists cover - click to view full sizeHere’s an excuse to post the near-final cover of Richard Butner’s forthcoming collection — John Kessel sent us this report from perusing The Adventurists:

“Richard Butner’s stories are funny, scary, personal, dispassionate, satirical, and heartfelt, if those incompatible adjectives can be assembled to describe the same work. He writes about the subtle losses we suffer (often without noticing) as we get older, about love and loyalty, about how the past is never completely past and can come sweeping back over you at the slightest opportunity like a tidal wave, so you’d better be ready lest you drown.”

Ready to adventure but don’t want to wait until February? There are 10 copies to be had on LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers here.

Beginning the adventure

Thu 23 Sep 2021 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

The Adventurists cover - click to view full sizeNext year we’re looking forward to publishing The Adventurists, a collection of stories by a long time favorite writer, Richard Butner. Butner’s stories have been published in Interfictions, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Crimewave, Crossroads: Southern Stories of the Fantastic, SciFiction, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Intersections: The Sycamore Hill Anthology, When the Music’s Over, and Strange Horizons among others.

We’ve sent advance copies to booksellers and more are going out to a few readers and reviewers every week. For those who like electronic hunting and gathering you can now download or request it on Edelweiss.

I love to hear what other readers think of the books and am happy to share a couple of early reactions:

“A Richard Butner story is an invitation to discovery alongside his characters. It’s a left turn off of reality’s highway and into its old business district: defiantly shabby, casually weird, and occasionally surreal, perfect in every grounding detail. Every story zigs when you expect it to zag. You only think you know where they are going, but it turns out you are on the same adventure as the protagonist, discovering as you go that the world is stranger than it was the minute before, and the minute before that. Well worth the journey.”
— Sarah Pinsker, author of We Are Satellites

“At last, one of the contemporary masters of the uncanny and darkly humorous, Richard Butner, has his stories in one place where we can get at them. With a toe (just a toe) in the literary pool, and the rest of him splashing happily in the spec fic/sci-fi/surreal swimming hole, Butner’s tales deal in the deadly habits of nostalgia, and the surprises waiting for the wistful and the obsessive whose march forward obliges a look backward. Linkean, Barthelmean, Saundersean . . . hm, okay, these guys do NOT lend themselves to sonorous adjectivization but, nonetheless, they’ll have to welcome a new storyteller beside them on the shelf.”
— Wilton Barnhardt, author of Emma Who Saved My Life and Lookaway, Lookaway