SBP BS Bestsellers

Fri 6 Jan 2023 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Posted by: Gavin

2022 was an odd year for the press. I am working at 1/4-speed, we published fewer books and while we did 2 issues of LCRW the mailing has been delayed into the new year as the Book Moon peeps are doing inventory.

In BookScan news — the BS above — here are our top 14 bestsellers of 2022. I imagine many readers of this post will have read a good number of the books on this list. Sometimes our books hit right away (In Other Lands), sometimes they grow and grow (North American Lake Monsters), sometimes they go away and come back (Travel Light). 

2023 will be a good book year. Looking forward to it.

SBP BookScan bestsellers

Brooklyn Book Fest 2019

Thu 19 Sep 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Humans and other inhabitants of this universe and others, on this coming Sunday, September 22, 2019, from 10 a.m. in the morning until 6 p.m. in the balmy early evening please make your way to

Table 649
Brooklyn Book Festival
Borough Hall
Brooklyn, NY

and join us at our booth where you will find: New Books · Old Surprises · Sale books · Zines · and perhaps even: Andy Duncan, author of An Agent of Utopia! (Andy is To Be Confirmed so that’s a solid maybe, actually. Read one of his stories here in the meantime.)

Last year I had a great time, sold tons of books, talked to a lot of people. This year I’m looking forward to having the paperbacks of Sarah Rees Brennan’s In Other Lands and maybe even John Schoffstall’s Half-Witch as last year everyone picked those up.

All Change at the Top

Tue 3 Sep 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

This is the top of our website yesterday:

And this is how it looks today:

Yes, we have 2 new books out today: the North American edition of Kim Scott’s award-winning novel Taboo and the huuuuge paperback edition of Sarah Rees Brennan’s In Other Lands — the latter comes with an extra short story, “Wings in the Morning,” originally published in Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales (also just out in paperback).

Taboo was a lovely surprise, it came to us in January and later came the news that Kim might be attending the Library of Congress Book Fest in DC in August — which he did, this past weekend, that was fun. The novel is immersive, different, and ticks a lot of the boxes that make us and our readers happy. As Kim does events in the next week in Charlottesville, VA, Easthampton, MA, and Brooklyn, NY, I can’t wait to see how North America reacts to it.

In Other Lands went through three printings in hardcover and has already earned out its audio advance. The paperback slipped out early since Sarah’s latest novel, Season of the Witch: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1, came out in July — there’s a second in December — and we wanted to make it easy for readers to find the huge new paperback. So far the paperback is flying off the shelf and more stores are adding it each week. Readers sure like novels so it’s fun to have these two both out today, both so differently brilliant.

In Other Book Clubs

Wed 28 Aug 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

In Other Lands cover - click to view full sizeNext Tuesday is the official paperback publication day for Sarah Rees Brennan’s novel In Other Lands. The book is on the ALA Rainbow Book List, the ABC Best Books for Young Readers and Bank Street College Best Children’s Books of the Year lists, and is a Junior Library Guild selection. It was a nominee for both the Georgia Peach Book Award and the Florida Teens Read Award and a finalist for the Hugo, Locus, and Mythopoeic awards. Not bad!

Now it’s coming out in a huge trade paperback edition — extra big not just because of all the shiny gold on the cover, but also because it includes the story that started it all: “Wings in the Morning.”* Sarah originally wrote the novel on her blog as a prequel to “Wings”(!) and then rewrote it for publication.

It turns out that In Other Lands being a reader fave means it’s also turning up in book club recommendations! One bookstore near us, Annie’s in Worcester, MA, has it down for their Rainbow Readers bookclub on Sat., Sept. 14th, and over there in Columbus, Ohio, the Feminist Sci-Fi Bookclub at the fabulous Two Dollar Radio HQ have it scheduled for their Sept. 24th meeting. How awesome!

I’ll add these two book clubs to our events schedule. Do drop us a line any time your book club is reading any of our books and I’ll add it to the schedule.

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, MA

SPECIAL EVENT: Saturday, September 14, 6PM–8PM – Rainbow Readers Discusses IN OTHER LANDS by Sarah Rees Brennan. The Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts is an LGBTQIA book club that meets once a month. All are welcome!

Feminist Sci-Fi Bookclub: In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
1124 Parsons Ave, Columbus, OH 43206, USA

Hosted by Haley Cowans, Feminist Sci-Fi Bookclub:
Or, “Word After Word: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Book Club” — “Speculative fiction” (science fiction, fantasy, horror) has always been a vehicle for writers to explore identity, social inequality, the strangeness of the world, and the hopes and fears for the future. In this monthly book club we’ll be reading works of speculative fiction by women and nonbinary writers, discussing the ways these works make us think, feel, and reflect on reality. Read more:

This month’s book is In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan

“Four years in the life of an unloved English schoolboy who’s invited to a secret magical school and learns that even in fantasyland, real life is messier than books. . . . But over the course of four years training among child soldiers, Elliot, unsurprisingly, grows up. His slow development into a genuinely kind person is entirely satisfying, as is his awakening to his own bisexuality and to the colonialism, sexism, and racism of Borderlands society. . . . A stellar . . . wholly rewarding journey.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

* Bookclubs are free and open to the public with no signup required. Just read, arrive, and have fun.
* You can find the book at your local library, or available for purchase at Two Dollar Radio HQ and other fine booksellers.
* Our regular food and bar menus will be available.

LOT PARKING: The Columbus Metropolitan Library across the street (1113 Parsons Ave) has generously allowed our use of their parking lot while they are closed only; parking there allowed during the following hours: Tuesday: 8pm – close

*An aside: “Wings in the Morning” was originally published in the anthology Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales edited by Kelly and me, and it too is now coming out in paperback!

Pinsker, Samatar, Marks (x3), Brennan, Schoffstall, Crowley

Wed 16 Jan 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

And Go Like This cover - click to view full sizeNot to bury the lede, but in November we are going to publish John Crowley’s new collection — his first for a long time — And Go Like This: Stories. The book will be published in hardcover and ebook and in a limited edition. We will contact Kickstarter backers from The Chemical Wedding first about the limited edition then make it generally available.

Ok, so 2019: yeah! One aside: it is amazing to see the news reporting on events they reported on before yet now with added shock and horror: the Russian asset AKA the US President had 5 meetings with his boss Vlad P. and no one knows what was said? Yup. That’s why we’ve been, are, and will continue to be upset with the GOP, Mitch McConnell (good argument for him being a fan of Vlad, too; see 2016-present), and those who keep going along to go along with the Idiot Baby-in-Chief. Hoping 2019 will see the Idiot, McConnell, et al, chucked out and maybe imprisoned. Goals!

Another aside: Hope to see you at the Women’s March this coming Saturday either in my hometown of Northampton (12 p.m., Sheldon Field) or wherever you can march.

In the meantime, in the interests of sanity, good reading, and getting tremendous art out into the world, we are going to publish more fab books!

Besides LCRW (subscribe?) and perhaps an omnibus ebook edition of Laurie J. Marks’s Elemental Logic novels and innumerable reprints and possibly one other reprint, here’s what we know we are publishing this year:

  • Jan. 22 — Laurie J. Marks, Fire Logic, Elemental Logic Book 1
    — available now, whoopee!
  • Feb. 19 — Laurie J. Marks, Earth Logic, Elemental Logic Book 2
    — about to ship from the printer!
  • Mar. 19 — Sarah Pinsker, Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea: Stories
    — at the printer!
  • Apr. 9 — Sofia Samatar, Tender: Stories, trade paperback
    — about to go to the printer!
  • Jun. 4 — Laurie J. Marks, Air Logic, Elemental Logic Book 4 . . . !
  • Sep. 3 —  Sarah Rees Brennan, In Other Lands, trade paperback
    — Sarah’s new novel Season of the Witch (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Book 1) comes out from Scholastic on July 9th. That will be fun!
  • Oct. 22 — John Schoffstall, Half-Witch, trade paperback — the sleeper book of the year!
  • Nov. — John Crowley, And Go Like This: Stories


In Other Lands in Teen Vogue

Thu 12 Jul 2018 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

In Other Lands coverTeen Vogue are such a strong voice for justice these days so it is a huge thrill to see In Other Lands on this list: “10 Queer Reads Perfect for Any Time of the Year:”

“Unbeknownst to the majority of mankind, a hidden magical realm populated by fairies, elves, and even mermaids touches the human world. In order to cross over into it, a human must be among the select few who can see the wall straddling both worlds. Snarky and friendless, Elliot unexpectedly discovers he is one of these lucky ones and once he passes over into the magical Borderlands, he kicks off on an adventure that ultimately changes the course of his life, and the world, forever. Told in irreverent, rolicking prose, readers follow Elliot as he enrolls in magical school, befriends humans and magical beings alike, explores his budding bisexuality, and comes of age, finally adding emotional maturity and poise to his considerable smarts. While Elliot’s character can be cluelessly obnoxious when he uses snark and sarcasm as a defense mechanism, he always reads as wholly authentic, a young man learning his place in a quickly changing landscape. Sarah Rees Brennan knows how to engage readers with her fresh prose style and a innovative new take on the fantasy novel.”

In Other Lands in Audio

Tue 3 Apr 2018 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

Today Sarah Rees Brennan’s Hugo finalist (yay!) In Other Lands is released as an audiobook by Tantor Audio. It is read by Matthew Lloyd Davies and is available directly from Tantor (where you can listen to an excerpt) as well as from Audible and wherever else you get your audiobooks. Enjoy!

Sarah Rees Brennan: Audio + Events in Montreal & Boston

Thu 25 Jan 2018 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

I am posting this which I had foolishly left in “drafts” instead of publishing. Argh.

We are delighted to announce that Tantor has picked up audio rights to Sarah Rees Brennan’s In Other Lands and will release their audio edition on April 3.

The second lovely announcement is that Sarah will be over here in North America and will be doing two readings: the first at Argo Bookshop in Montreal & the second at the Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, Boston:


Feb. 1, 4:00 p.m. book club
7:00 p.m. Argo Bookshop, 1915 Rue Sainte-Catherine O, Montréal, QC H3H 1M3, Canada

Feb. 5, 7:00 p.m. 279 Harvard Street Brookline MA 02446-2908 Tel: 617-566-6660 Fax: 617-734-9125
(with Kelly Link, Cassandra Clare, and Holly Black)


Someday My Printz Will Come

Wed 6 Dec 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

In Other Lands coverThere’s a lovely post by Karyn Silverman on School Library Journal‘s Someday My Printz Will Come blog about two books, Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle and Sarah Rees Brennan’s In Other Lands. The post starts with this intro:

Let’s talk about heart books. Because today I want to call your attention to two books that are long shots at best, but which I loved them dearly as a reader. More than that, despite the flaws that I predict will ultimately sink them, these are strong books that deserve close attention.

Oh well, thinks I — as I, of course, think all our books should win all the awardz, all! Well, maybe not. How about just most of them?

And the review begins:

Oh my heart. This book made me happy. It’s laugh out loud funny and also fantasy, which is not exactly a common pairing, and in a dark, miserable year when it seems like the sky really IS falling, this was exactly the breath of fresh air I needed.


If you have not read the book and don’t like spoiler: Don’t Read This Post! But if you have read the book, this is such an enjoyable read. It is real fun thinking of this book being a contender for awards and Karyn lays out the reasons why so well. Either way, winner or not, the book is fab and making more readers happier every day which is a pretty fantastic result.

Love the book on Publishers Weekly‏’s invite!

Tue 28 Nov 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Which book? This one!

Sarah Rees Brennan & Maureen Johnson Chat on EW

Thu 7 Sep 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

I’m delighted to say that Entertainment Weekly just posted a chat between these two friends and New York Times bestselling authors today. They chat about In Other Lands “and Johnson’s forthcoming Truly Devious series, out in January 2018, which centers on a haunted boarding school. Oh — and since Brennan is editing a murder mystery and Johnson is writing a murder mystery, they talk about that grisly but endlessly fascinating subject, too.”

Check out their conversation here:

Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson chat about writing and murder

Seanan McGuire says:

Wed 30 Aug 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

A couple of weeks ago I read this thread on twitter and it has cheered me up ever since:

Welcome to In Other Lands

Tue 15 Aug 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

In Other Lands coverFive years ago Sarah Rees Brennan emailed Kelly her story, “Wings in the Morning,” for our anthology Monstrous Affections. It was long: 17,000+ words in that early draft — although Sarah told us the actual first draft had been 30,000 words. . . . The final published version was about 2,500 words shorter than the first version we saw after a number of rounds of editing between Kelly and our fab Candlewick editor Deb Noyes.

At some point before the anthology was published Sarah decided to write a prequel short story to “Wings in the Morning” to post on her website for free. Said prequel grew like Topsy and before long the short story was 100,000 words . . .  in other words the short story prequel had morphed into a whole novel titled Turn of the Story. (You can read more about it here.)

Fastforward to today, zip!, and a newly edited, rewritten version of that book-of-Sarah’s-heart, now titled In Other Lands, and with a fancy shiny cover with cover and lovely interior illustrations by Carolyn Nowak is being published.

We like it, so do other people:

Deconstructs children’s portal fantasy, but without ever being mean-spirited about it. . . . this is more of a character book, slyly but charmingly and generously and affectionately examining and often turning inside-out all those familiar portal fantasy tropes, while the central focus is firmly on character. It’s funny, and wise, and sometimes heart-breaking, definitely LGBTQ friendly as the three main characters grow into their teens and discover sex and its attendant emotional landmines. Love-starved Elliott is the main POV, but the narrator dips into others’ POVs when necessary, and expertly presents Elliott with hilarious grace notes of free indirect discourse, adding to my delight. . . . There were moments I laughed so hard my nose hurt.
— Sherwood Smith

The novel has received two starred reviews (Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews) and is a Junior Library Guild pick. I really like that PW called it a “glittering contemporary fantasy” — not because of the shiny cover, but rather because of the fantastic characters on the inside: annoying Elliot, badass Serene-Heart-in-the-Chaos-of-Battle, and the golden boy, Luke Sunborn. Each of them is not what might be expected and over the course of the novel they grow up and as they grow they take the reader with them into the pains and joys of friendship and love and the hard truths of learning to live in the world.

And I hope Colleen Mondor’s review of the book in this month’s Locus goes up online as it is amazing.

You can read Chapter One of In Other Lands on as well as read Sarah Rees Brennan’s connected essay: Our Winged Brains: The Appeal of Winged Creatures in Genre Fiction.

If you’d like, you can enter to win one of 10 free signed copies at Shelf Awareness (ends Aug. 26).

Continuing with the irregular events surrounding this book it’s beginning to look like Sarah may be over here in the USA to do some reading in bookstores in January 2018  — some by herself, some accompanied by other writer. We’ll keep you up to date on that. In the meantime, Welcome to  In Other Lands.

Locus Says:

Mon 14 Aug 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Locus August 2017 (#679) coverThis month’s Locus includes reviews of a four-fingered handful of our books! As well as all the usual good stuff: interviews with John Scalzi and Justina Ireland; reviews by Faren Miller, Gardner Dozois, & more; the Locus Survey results, an SF in Finland report, Kameron Hurley’s column [“Did ‘Being a Writer’ Ever Mean. . . Just Writing?”], reports from the Locus Awards and Readercon; & obits (boo!). [Locus is available from Weightless and they’re having a subscription drive this month and there is a Patreon.]

Four-fingered handful? Hmm. Three books are reviewed by the one and only Gary K. Wolfe. The first is Christopher Rowe’s new collection Telling the Map:

“. . . it is no accident that Christopher Rowe dedicates his first story collection Telling the Map to fellow Kentuckians Terry Bisson and Jack Womack. It’s also no accident that Rowe, on the basis of no more than a couple of dozen stories over nearly 20 years (of which 10 are collected here), managed to gain a reputation as one of the most distinctive voices to emerge from this period. This is not only because he writes with lyricism and great precision of style, but because of his firm geographical grounding, which is reflected in all the stories here (as well as in his title), but is a key factor in several (‘Another Word for Map is Faith’, ‘The Voluntary State’, ‘The Border State’). This isn’t the geography of fake world-building, with all those Forbidden Zones and Misty Mountains, but rather the geography of locals who measure distances between towns in hours rather than miles, and who know which bridges you’ll need to cross to get there. It’s also a world in which agriculture and religion are daily behaviors rather than monolithic institutions. As weird as Tennessee gets in Rowe’s most famous story, ‘The Voluntary State’ (and that is very weird) it’s a Tennessee we can map onto the trails and highways that are there now.
“‘The Voluntary State’ and its longer prequel novella ‘The Border State’ (the latter original to this volume), take up well over half of Telling the Map, and together they portray a nanotech-driven non-urban future unlike any other in contemporary SF.”

Gary goes on to write of Sofia Samatar’s debut collection:

Tender: Stories includes two excellent new pieces together with 18 reprints, and one of them, “Fallow”, is not only the longest story in the collection, but also her most complex and accomplished SF story to date. On the basis of her award-winning debut novel A Stranger in Olondria and its sequel The Winged Histories, Samatar’s reputation has been mostly that of a fantasist, and her most famous story, ‘‘Selkie Stories Are For Losers’’ (the lead selection here) seemed to confirm that reputation – although once Samatar establishes the parameters of her fantastic worlds, she works out both her plot details and cultural observations with the discipline of a seasoned SF writer and the psychological insight of a poet.”

and Kij Johnson’s forthcoming The River Bank:

“The familiar figures of Mole, Water Rat, Badger, Mouse, and of course Toad are here, but the story opens with two new figures, a young mole lady named Beryl and her companion the Rabbit, an impressionable young woman described by Mouse as ‘‘right flighty,’’ moving into Sunflower Cottage on the River Bank. Beryl is a successful ‘‘Authoress’’ of potboiling adventure novels, and while Johnson has a good time giving us hints of these novels and of Beryl’s own writing process, her real significance is that she is not only one of the first female characters to move into the village, but one of the first who actually has a clear occupation. Both she and Rabbit are welcomed by the locals, although Mole himself seems oddly reticent to have any dealings with her, for reasons that become clear much later. Most of these residents are familiar in their dispositions, although Toad may if anything be a bit darker and more reckless and impulsive than in Grahame. One of the more intriguing aspects of The Wind in the Willows, maybe especially for SF readers, was the satirical manner in which it introduced technology into the world of the animal fable, and Toad’s famous passion for motorcars is here supplanted by an equally voracious and hilarious lust for the new motorcycles, after he sees a messenger riding one. That, of course, leads to the series of disasters – and attempted interventions on the part of Toad’s friends – that make up Johnson’s fast-moving plot. . . . The delicate balance of challenging the assumptions of a beloved classic while retaining the oracular charm of that classic seems almost effortless in Johnson’s hands, but it’s more of an achievement than it might at first seem.”

And then, turning the page, there is Colleen Mondor’s amazing review of Sarah Rees Brennan’s YA novel, In Other Lands — which comes out this Tuesday! The review begins thusly:

“I have rewritten the first paragraph of this review a half-dozen times, trying to find some way to make clear that Sarah Rees Brennan has created a nearly perfect YA fantasy without gushing. I can’t do it. In Other Lands is brilliantly subversive, assuredly smart, and often laugh-out-loud funny. It combines a magic-world school setting with heaps of snark about everything from teen romance to gender roles, educational systems and serious world diplomacy.”

It is pretty great when a book finds its reader!

Get Your Hands on In Other Lands

Fri 2 Jun 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Goodreads Book Giveaway

In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan

In Other Lands

by Sarah Rees Brennan

Giveaway ends June 10, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Leigh Bardugo says . . . (!)

Mon 1 May 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Leigh Bardugo, bestselling author of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, read an advance copy of Sarah Rees Brennan’s forthcoming In Other Lands and just sent us this:

“Brennan delivers witty, nervy, romantic adventure that fizzes with feeling and giddy imagination.”


Con or Bust

Mon 24 Apr 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

If you’d like to get early copies of some of our books, bid now in the Con or Bust auction!

Sarah Rees Brennan, In Other Lands (hardcover/ebook, August)

Lydia Millet, The Dissenters middle grade trilogy (hardcovers, out now)

Kij Johnson, The River Bank (hardcover/ebook, September)

You can see everything that’s been donated to the auction in the 2017 Auction Index (Google spreadsheet, opens in new window). I am off to check it out now myself!

Free Getaway to Another Land

Mon 6 Feb 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Do you want your first chance at a freebie? We just added Sarah Rees Brennan’s forthcoming YA novel In Other Lands to LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer list.

What’s it all about? Well, Holly Black — author of The Darkest Part of the Forest and many other fabulous books — put it this way: “A subversive, sneaky, glorious tale of magic, longing, and growing into your wings.”

You’re not going to want to miss this!

Boom! New Books for 2017

Wed 7 Dec 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Should democracy survive in this sometimes lovely country in 2017 we will publish these books:

1. Sofia Samatar, Tender: Stories
This is a ridiculously good book. Twenty stories including two new stories which — POP! there goes my mind.

2. Laurie J. Marks, Fire Logic and Earth Logic in paperback. The ebooks are out but these trade paperbacks coming out is us building toward publishing the fourth and final Elemental Logic novel, Air Logic.

3. Kij Johnson, The River Bank: A sequel to Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. Illustrated throughout by Kathleen Jennings.
A book that came to us out of the blue and a reminder that there can be joy in the world.

4. Christopher Rowe, Telling the Map: Stories
Sometimes you wait a long time and then a good thing happens. This book ranges out from now in Kentucky to who knows where or when. And: wow.

5. Sarah Rees Brennan, In Other Lands: a novel
This is the funniest epic-not-epic fantasy you’ll read next year.

None of the covers are 100% final.

And, fingers crossed, there will be more books later in the year.

I owe an apology and a great debt of thanks to the authors for their immense patience as work slowed and stalled during and after this most recent election. Sorry. Putting out a new issue of LCRW helped with getting me back into doing things and not just calling senators and despairing.

I feel silly and melodramatic to be worried about democracy — not perhaps the best form of government, but the best I’ve seen yet — and to think that I and others can work to keep this country from becoming a militarized plutocracy/kleptocracy. This election that among others things was influenced by the Russian government…

…(oh that that were a conspiracy theory), this convulsion away from liberalism and toward a much darker, narrower future is horrifying and must be fought.

For now, we will fight one book at a time.