NoWP 2022

Thu 24 Mar 2022 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Posted by: Gavin

I’m sorry not to be at AWP (ha) this week.

tl:dr I am out sick

Longer version:

I ladventuristsike tabling. I like talking to people about books, selling some, surprising people with LCRW (a paper zine? What?!), and the accessibility of being right there for people to ask questions about Small Beer/publishing/whatever. I like wandering the book fair and buying books and magazines from publishers new and old. I like going to an occasional panel and some readings — I especially like putting on or being involved with other presses putting on an offsite reading — and I really enjoy catching up with people I know, meeting new people, all that.

If we were there . . . we’d have a stack of Richard Butner’s new collection The Adventurists — it’s so good! It came out this week! We’d have books by Small Beer authors who are at the big show: Sofia Samatar’s world bestriding A Stranger in Olondria and her collection Tender; Juan Martinez’s Best Worst American — one of his stories is soon to be read on Selected Shorts at Symphony Space; and Elwin Cotman’s NPR Best of the Year Dance on Saturday. And we’d have all those pretty books in that picture below that came out oh just quite recently.

We aren’t there for 2 reasons: the first is Covid — which as far as I know I have never had. I have had all 3 of my vaccines. I’m delighted that AWP required vaccinations and masks. Science, FTW! But the idea of being in a book fair with up to 3,000 people is too much for me. Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center (updated 3/24/22) has the US covid fatality rate at 1.2%. The deaths are mostly among the unvaccinated and the immunocompromised — but risking my (and by extension my family’s) life on someone else’s masking choice when there is a 1 in 100 chance we might die is too high for me.

I am sorry not to be at AWP, but: I haven’t even been to the Small Beer office or Book Moon in more than 3 months because the second reason we’re not there is that I am out sick.

I’m writing from my couch where I’ve been laid up since mid-December with something — most likely post-viral fatigue. In the first week of December I had a small cold(?) and had multiple negative Covid results. A week later I was in the ER. I’m improving — at a glacial rate. I have only left the house since then to see the doctor. I lie around all day, do a little work, watch Abbot Elementary and Better Things and sometimes read (including, for my sins, twitter) — although that brain fog made fiction too hard for a bit. So please accept my apologies for being slow at everything, including email. In early December I was running up the stairs from the Book Moon basement carrying boxes of books. Now a zoom conversation leaves me exhausted. (As in: I will lie flat for 3 hours and do nothing.)

Ugh, I did not want to have to write this but since I am missing a very enjoyable event and have been down for 3 months it seemed like time. I am 51 (when did that happen?) and despite having to lie around all the time (walking is a lot; running is woah so very far away) I feel very lucky, very well looked after at home. I’m not really looking for feedback — unless you have a similar experience with post-viral fatigue — and I apologize in advance for not keeping up as I’ve used much of today’s energy to write this. Although my prognosis is unclear, if all goes as it seems it might, it looks like I will be healthy again by summertime. Fingers crossed!

And if you just can’t help yourself and must buy some books, why, stop by here. Or: we have a tiny, mighty bookshop, Book Moon, with fabulous booksellers who can help you out Monday-to-Saturday 10-6.

LCRW Prices Rising in 2021

Mon 7 Dec 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

As announced in November, LCRW print and digital subscription prices will be rising on January 1, 2021, but now I have the actual numbers:

The single issue digital price will be $3.99.
The 4-issue digital subscription price will be $12.99.

The single issue print price will be $6 (USA),  $8 (Canada), and $11 (World).
The 4-issue print subscription price will be $24 (USA),  $32 (Canada), and $44 (World).

Subscribe now to get ahead of the game. Subscribe then for fun. Donate to your fave charity if you can.

Against the man baby’s tantrums

Sun 29 Nov 2020 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

On November 3, 2020, the US held their four year general election and in a relatively easy manner the Biden-Harris administration was voted into the White House. I look forward to having actual humanist leaders, even if I know I will disagree with some of their policies and appointments.

The election would have been all over and done with by the next morning had the mailed and early votes been allowed to be counted in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Michigan. The “result” wasn’t agreed on (by rational beings) until four (very long) days later — and even yet the president, his lackeys, and his republican party are still trying to pretend it is worth dragging out and fighting.

Four years of Tr*mp and his rotating band of corrupt cronies, unelected family members, acting cabinet members, mealy-mouthed mouthpieces, and quiet and not-so-quiet racist and fascist supporters has been awful and I’d like every one one of those acting cabinet members and family and mouthpieces investigated — so many of them are in jail or have done time that I am sure there are a few of the others who should be doing time along with them.

The republican party, led by the nose by Tr*mp and Mitch McConnell, has been as useful a bulwark against Tr*mp’s small-minded bigotry as expected: they did nothing. A few people quit the party and occasionally Mitt Romney or literally one or two others would speak against his rotten ways but for the most part everyone in the party went along with it — the same way for eight years they followed the party’s instructions to obstruct government rather than work with the Obama-Biden administration.

So when members of the republican party start to say they, too, were anti-Tr*mp let them point to their records, let them show where they stood up against Tr*mp’s oh so terrifying twitter feed. The senators and the house members who somehow never saw the news about this terrible thing and that terrible thing and somehow never managed to answer when queried, they can go fly a kite. The world asked them to stand up as adults against a squealing man baby’s tantrums. They refused. And we won’t forget.

It was never the Lovecraft award

Thu 12 Nov 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Dear H.P. Lovecraft fan who are upset that the World Fantasy Award statuette will no longer be Gahan Wilson’s bust of HPL: you have my sympathies. It’s hard to see the cultural assessment of someone you love and respect change as time passes.

But: being rude and insulting writers? That can stop now, thanks.

Winners returning the award seems a bit over the top to me — I just got one and I’m not giving it back! — especially as the HPL publishing biz seems to grow and grow and no one is saying don’t read his books. He’s taught all over the country and there are so many of his books out there that even if all his titles were . . .  by some eldritch and unspeakable pact . . . (sorry) taken out of print right now there are so many copies in used book stores there is no way people would stop reading him.

I’m curious what the new design will be, although I don’t envy the board the choice. But this was never the Lovecraft award, it’s the World Fantasy Award. Who knows: from now on it may change every year, every 40 years.

I’m proud of — and grateful to — everyone in the writing, reading, and publishing community who worked towards this change and for the World Fantasy Convention Board for recognizing the need for change.

Peace in our time!

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 12.29.40 PM


Strange Horizons is 15!

Sun 20 Sep 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Has it really been 15 years? I wasn’t at the Worldcon when Mary Anne Mohanraj kicked things off but I have been a big fan of the site ever since. Sure, they published me (for which, SH editors over the years, many thanks!) but it’s really not that. I sent stories to the magazine — through their submission portal of course — because I was so impressed with it and enjoyed the writing they published and I wanted to be part of that! The whole magazine is such a gift to the world, to the readers and writers of today and for those in the future. That it’s run by a huge staff of volunteers has amazed me for what, fifteen years! I love the tea parties at Wiscon. I am so happy there’s a podcast!

Every year (unless I, er, forget, sorry!) we donate some prizes to the fundraiser and this year we have a couple of bundles of print and ebooks, an LCRW chocolate sub (always fun to send out!), and I think a special something else. I need to check and make sure before I say anything about that!

To support the fund drive, Strange Horizons has a special extra issue that will be published as fundraising thresholds are met. One of those bonuses is Kelly’s newest story, “The Game of Smash and Recovery.” So, I really hope you will go ahead and support the magazine!

Donate Now Through Network for Good


[I think these links will work, if not, please go here.]

Here’s to 15 more years!

Small Beer Press is proud to announce a special themed-issue of the award-winning litzine, LCRW

Mon 27 Jul 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Climate change is one of humanity’s most pressing challenges. Researchers, environmentalists, and writers including Kim Stanley Robinson have called our societal failure to address climate change a problem of the imagination as much as one of economics or the environment. Previous generations of science fiction and fantasy writers provided inspiration for technical innovations ranging from cellphones to robotics to gene therapy. Michael J. DeLuca wanted to ask today’s writers: can speculative fiction help us find new ways to understand and approach the complex issue of global warming?

Stories, poetry, and nonfiction inspired by this question can be found in the new issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet (LCRW), the venerable, much-awarded indie fiction zine from Gavin J. Grant and Kelly Link’s Small Beer Press. LCRW #33, guest edited by Michigan writer Michael J. DeLuca, approaches its theme of humanity’s relationship with the earth with a little humor, a touch of horror, and seventeen different kinds of understanding.

DeLuca spent two months reading hundreds of submissions from all over the world. The table of contents includes writers from California, Florida, Massachusetts, Minneapolis, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, Nova Scotia, Canada, London, U.K., and features stories, poems, essays and art from World Fantasy and Campbell award winner Sofia Samatar, Nebula and Shirley Jackson award nominee Carmen Maria Machado, World Fantasy Award nominee Christopher Brown and many other.

DeLuca says that asking this question of writers is ”not about pointing fingers or shouting down deniers. It’s not about politics. It’s about people, about how our actions affect the earth and how it affects us: physically, emotionally, spiritually. We’re part of the earth and it’s a part of us. I asked for optimism, I expected cynicism, I got both. I tried to find complexity and overlook the easy answers.”

LCRW #33 is now available in print from many independent bookstores or directly from the publisher at and in DRM-free ebook from as well as all the other usual ebookstores.

Michael J. DeLuca is available for interviews and excerpts are available for reprint.

About the Editor

Michael J. DeLuca is a writer, reader, dreamer, designer, brewer, baker, photographer, and philosopher. He produces both virtual and tangible goods in the form of bread, beer, tomatoes, websites, and stories. His fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex, and Interfictions, among others. He can be found online at and

Discarded Titles for LCRW #33

The Humanity Versus the Earth Issue
The Earth Saves Itself from Humanity Issue
The 30% Non-Dead-Tree Issue
The Crying Indian Is Actually Italian Issue
The Women Turning Into Trees Issue
The What the Mushrooms Told Me Issue
The Jellyfish Inherit the Earth Issue
The Critical Mass Issue
The There Is No Such Thing as Critical Mass Issue The Change Is Inevitable Issue
The Inevitability Is Change Issue

July 2015
Magazine / $5.00 / 56 pages
Ebook / $2.99 / ISBN: 9781618731173

Media Contact: Gavin J. Grant, (413) 203-1636, [email protected]
Published by Small Beer Press.
Ebook distributed to the trade by Consortium Book Sales and Distribution.

Valley Gives 2013

Wed 11 Dec 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

As with last year, here in the happy valley tomorrow, 12/12 (a date that works in the UK and here!) is day of giving where local charities and nonprofits all collaborate in a day of fundraising and giving. Everyone has their list of fave organizations they support to whatever degree they can (more in a good year! a little in a bad year!). Here are a few groups we support and recommend:

Our basic recs (from our links) page: Greenpeace | Amnesty | Habitat | Partners in Health | Heifer | Franciscan Hospital for Children | Ronald McDonald Houses (Springfield, MA) | Children’s Hospital Boston | Worldreader | Kiva (great present for kids to see how they can make a difference) | Fistula Foundation

Recommended by GiveWell:

Nurse Family Partnership | Youth Villages | and the fascinating Give Directly

And a few more good local things—feel free to add more in the comments.

Northampton Survival Center

Friends of Northampton Trails and Greenways

WFCR — which is part of NEPR now. You may have heard our ads on WNNZ, the AM station. One of the reasons I love them is their use of Stone Roses, Neko Case, and other great music in between stories.

If you know people with too much stuff (and if they already have all our books), gifts to any of these orgs make great holiday presents!


   Ronald McDonald House Fistula Foundation

Solarize Massachusetts

Wed 8 May 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

I was one of 100+ people at the first Northampton Solarize Massachusetts meeting last night. Woohoo!

Solarize Massachusetts is a state program that uses group buying to bring down the installment cost of solar power. I’ve long wanted to add solar power at home—at work at the Paragon Arts building I don’t choose the electricity provider. But the cost, the cost. We are signed up for Greenstart so we are paying slightly more than the average but are buying into solar, wind, etc.—although it is mostly hydroelectric. (Not as good as the rest, but better than fossil fuels.)

Anyway. The first round of towns in the 2013 Solarize Massachusetts program are Bourne,BrooklineCarlisleChelmsfordLeeMedfordMedwayNewtonNorthampton, and Williamstown. The program selects one solar power installer who does site checks and so on to see if the interested people (me!) can actually have panels installed. The installer offers the town a deal: the more people who buy in by the end of the program (September 30, 2013), the lower the price. The average savings in previous rounds of the program have been 20%. Not bad!


There are also Federal tax credits worth about 25% of the cost, a $1,000 Massachusetts income tax credit, “solar renewable energy credit” (SRECs), net metering (you get a credit if your solar panels generate more power than you need), and the possibility of a few other credits. Overall, if the town gets enough people into the program—and there were 100+ people there last night—the panels usually pay for themselves within 5-7 years.

Any Northamptonites interested in the program should email Susan Lantz at [email protected]. Send that email!

Replacing Goodreads—

Sun 31 Mar 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Goodreads tells me I joined the site in December 2008 and that, weirdly, in 2009, 2011, and 2012, I added 70 books to the read shelf. (If I didn’t know myself better I’d think I was messing with the numbers!) I added older titles and then settled in to mostly keeping it up to date. I friended people I knew, some people I knew and didn’t friended me back, and I was fascinated to see what people were actually reading. I really enjoyed it and I’d been so proud to keep some of the Goodreads books in their database when they stopped using Amazon’s data!

And then last week Goodreads announced that Amazon had bought them. I was completely scunnered by the sale. Like Rob Spillman of Tin House I figure it’s kind of too late, Amazon have just bought the last 5 years of my reading history, but I’m deleting my account this week. (Already added my books to my LibraryThing account as a stopgap) I didn’t do it straight away as I wanted to think through my gut reaction of: “Oh No!” But a couple of days later, it’s still the same. So this week all the Goodreads widgets will be cut from the site. Through our distributor, we sell books through Amazon and in turn they’d like to run us and all other publishers into and under the ground for daring to publish books instead of all authors signing their horrible print contract. So for many years it has been our policy not to link to Amazon or (when I can keep all of them in mind, any of their many subsites, see next para) and the only time I pay for anything through Amazon is for Kickstarter.

Amazon own (bold = book related): Amazon Publishing, Amazon Web Services, Abebooks, Audible, Book Depository, BookSurge, BoxOfficeMojo, Brilliance Audio, CreateSpace,, Goodreads, IMDB, Lexcycle, 40% of Library Thing (through Abebooks—although this is apparently complicated), MobipocketShelfari, Woot, Zappos. Etc.

Wikipedia notes: “In August 2005,[110] Amazon began selling products under its own private label, “Pinzon” . . . . AmazonBasics is a private-label consumer electronics product line.”

Amazon positives: their data mining is intellectually fascinating. They give out tiny halo-effect grants to literary organizations (so that everyone has to pay lip service to them). Their BreakThrough Novel Award (which is now their in house publishing competition). They pay sales tax in a few states now. Jeff Bezos, as millionaires have always done, follows his own weird (Blue Origin) with his investments.

But. Amazon wants to be everything to everyone. Some people have suggested they want to kill off public libraries (because kids need tablets instead of storytime and parents don’t need any free places to take their kids . . .) They want to make the product (cup, book, sheets, cable, movie, whatever) and sell it to you. Instead of inefficient towns and shopping centers, they’d rather everyone ordered online and got stuff delivered to them and in the end it will be Amazon and the delivery company left standing.

Sounds utterly vapid and uninspiring to me.

We spend our time publishing books we love and trying to get them into the indie bookstores we love so that readers can find them there. It mostly works. We expect we’ll be doing it for a while.

And then there is temptation. On Metafilter Open Library was mooted as an alternative user George_Spiggott posted “I would seriously pitch in time and technical effort to building a new site that everyone could simply pick up and move to. Because that would be a frickin’ brilliant outcome. Especially if the ToS at signup committed the site to remain nonprofit and to have no exclusive marketing agreements.”

Which is where temptation lies. I mentioned earlier today on Weightless that Michael and I were tempted to build an alternative to Goodreads:

” … building a new community reading site with books, reviews, comments, forums, all the things we liked about Goodreads, but without the all-encompassing Univac behind it. To keep it independent I figure we should make it a $4.99 annual subscription built along the lines Flickr uses: you could add up to 500 books for free then the oldest ones would disappear (from public view, not to you) unless you subscribed. Maybe there could be other subscriber only features, not sure, the site would do best if people use it for a while for free. If you’re seriously interested in kicking this idea around, email me!”

Kickstarter might be the way to fund it: obviously we’d need to pay for data feeds, storage and usage, and coding, coding, coding. Again, Wikipedia: “In December 2007, the site had over 650,000 members[3] and over 10,000,000 books had been added.[4] As of July 2012, the site reported 10 million members, 20 million monthly visits, and 30 employees.[5]” That’s a lot of data going back and forward.

Goodreads was seven years old, ancient!, and had a lot of bells and whistles and if we do take this on, the new site should get out the gate as an attractive site that’s worth joining early and taking part in.

What I’d love to do is kick the idea around some more, hear what readers want, and see if this seems possible for a small group of underfunded readers. Internets?

VIDA 2012

Tue 5 Mar 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

For those publishers and editors who look at their part of the literary world and see no discrimination, the VIDA Count for 2012 is in. I find myself quickly scrolling down through it just looking at the red and blue shapes, rather than the numbers. It is incredibly effective use of graphics, and incredibly depressing. When I came out of university in 1991 I knew a lot of stuff and expected the world to be different and better than it is now. I knew that women and minorities in this country were paid significantly less than men for the same work. I didn’t expect that to be true 20 years later. Bah.

I was looking at the VIDA count last night with Kelly and we wondered for the first time if we should cancel our subscription to the New Yorker. I love their long articles and who doesn’t love Anthony Lane, Hilton Als (educating me about theater against my will with his great writing, damn him), Emily Nussbaum, et al. But if week after week, month after month, year after year the editors don’t see that what they are producing is a magazine that consistently doesn’t see one half of the world’s population’s experiences, then is it worth our money? Maybe not.

Time to put our money where our mouths are. I don’t expect them to notice one lost subscriber, but I’ll write and tell them why. And then instead of being sad about the imbalanced table to contents each week, I’ll wait and check the VIDA numbers and see if they improve. Oh, New Yorker, how I will miss you.

I’m not exactly up on the state of my subscription (I can check the cover, I think, when I get home) but when renewal time comes around, I think we’re going to pass.

Worldreader: Books for All

Tue 26 Feb 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Just read the Worldreader Annual Report and was fascinated by the results of an external study looking into their impact:

“For girls, one year with Worldreader is like five years of regular schooling.”

This is amazing and an absolute world changer.

We’re very proud to be part of it. Publishers and authors, please donate your ebooks here, thank you!
World Reader Annual Report

Founder of Palm has trouble getting health insurance

Sun 20 Feb 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

This shows precisely why the US needs a new health insurance system. As I’ve said before, “In the USA I don’t know a single person, rich or poor, who doesn’t worry about their health insurance.” And here is a fantastic editorial in the NYTimes from Donna Dubinsky, a co-founder of Palm Computer and Handspring who struggled to find health insurance. And you know if some rich computer exec can’t get covered, what chance do the rest of us (those outside the Great Commonwealth of Massachusetts) have?

THIS isn’t the story of a poor family with a mother who has a dreadful disease that bankrupts them, or with a child who has to go without vital medicines. Unlike many others, my family can afford medical care, with or without insurance.”

At the end she has a superb suggestion:

“If members of Congress feel so strongly about undoing this important legislation, perhaps we should stop providing them with health insurance. Let’s credit their pay for the amount that has been paid by the taxpayers, and let them try to buy health insurance in the individual market. My bet is that they all would be denied. Health insurance reform might suddenly not seem to them like such a bad idea.” In addition, to learn on other insurance services, visit homeowners insurance silverdale wa for more information.

Oh absolutely yes.

Let those senators and congresspeople go out and see how just wonderfully transparent and easy to use the market is. Once they get a taste of that medicine, they’ll be on the reform train in no time.

Wind me up

Thu 3 Feb 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

It’s been a while since I looked at where our electricity company gets its power. The last one I can find is October 2009. I’d stacked up this year’s reports so here is far too much info on the New England GreenStart program’s power source. Looks like we are up to 13.2% power from solar and wind. Which means it has tripled since 2008: not bad. Bummer for me though: they just sent me a note saying the unit cost price for the “green” electricity is tripling (! . . . I think because they can) by about $20 a month. Hmm.

Not sure they can keep increasing the solar and wind power quite as fast—so bring on the the Cape Cod Wind Farm, and as many more as they can build asap.

Our office in Easthampton is 40 miles south of Vermont’s leaky old nuclear power plant, Vermont Yankee (seen here being gently buzzed by Greenpeace’s thermal airship) and here in Boston we’re 40 miles south another nuclear plant in New Hampshire. Eek! Build me a windfarm and coat my building in solar panels now!

March 2018 Update: We have installed solar panels on our roof so this is all going to change!

Update: As far as I can see it’s pretty much always 75% “small hydro” (is that “greener” than “big hydro”? Is there less damage from dams?) and then a mix of mostly wind, then solar, and digester gas.

Update: Vermont Yankee is closing, yay!

Spring 2018

This is where GreenStart have started dropping non-Class 1 hydro power:

  • 33% old hydro
  • 24% wind
  • 5% solar
  • 2% new hydro
  • 36% standard mix:
    • natural gas 40%
    • imported power 19%
    • nuclear 11%
    • oil 9%
    • wind 7%
    • solar 3%
    • hydro 3%
    • municipal trash 3%
    • coal 3%
    • other renewable 2%

Winter 2017/18

This is where GreenStart have started dropping non-Class 1 hydro power:

  • 53% old hydro
  • 21% wind
  • 5% solar
  • 2% biomass
  • 1% new hydro
  • 17% standard mix:
    • natural gas 42%
    • imported power 19%
    • oil 10%
    • nuclear 7%
    • municipal trash 5%
    • wind 5%
    • coal 3%
    • solar 3%
    • hydro 3%
    • biomass 2%
    • other renewable 2%

Fall 2017

  • 71% old hydro
  • 6% new hydro
  • 3% biomass
  • 6% solar
  • 14% wind

Summer 2017

  • 74.9% hydro
  • 3.4% landfill gas
  • 5.4% biomass
  • 4.2% solar
  • 12% wind

Spring 2017

  • 75% hydro
  • 7% digester gas
  • 5% solar
  • 13% wind

Winter 2017 — hydro back to 75%

  • 75% hydro
  • 7% digester gas
  • 6% solar
  • 12% wind

Fall 2016 — first time hydro has dropped 1%

  • 74% hydro
  • 8% biomass
  • 4% solar
  • 14% wind

Summer 2016

  • 75% hydro
  • 8% biomass
  • 2% solar
  • 15% wind

Spring 2016

  • 75% hydro
  • 6% biomass
  • 3% solar
  • 16% wind

Winter 2016

  • 75% hydro
  • 5% biomass
  • 4% solar
  • 16% wind

Autumn 2015

  • 75% “small hydro”
  • 4% gas digester
  • 5% solar
  • 16% wind

Summer 2015

  • 75% “small hydro”
  • 1% digester gas
  • 5% solar
  • 19% wind

Spring 2015:

  • 75% “small hydro”
  • 2% digester gas
  • 7% solar
  • 16% wind

Autumn 2014:

  • 75% “small hydro”
  • 3% digester gas
  • 6% solar
  • 16% wind

Summer 2014 was nearly the same as the previous 2 quarters:

  • 75% “small hydro”
  • 3% digester gas
  • 5% solar
  • 17% wind

It is depressing to look at our supplier, National Grid’s “standard mix” of power. Lot of change to come here:

  • 36% “natural” gas
  • 28% nuclear
  • 15% imported
  • 6% oil
  • 5% coal
  • 5% municipal trash
  • 3% wind
  • 1% biomass
  • 1% hydro

Spring 2014 was exactly the same as:
Winter 2014 (back to “disgester gas”—how is your digestion?)

  • 75% “small hydro”
  • 4% digester gas
  • 6% solar
  • 15% wind

Autumn 2013 (same as spring except with a new title for hydro. But, really, is hydro low impact? Relatively. Maybe.)

  • 75% hydroelectric (now retitled small hydro. hmm)
  • 3% biogas
  • 6% solar
  • 16% wind

Summer 2013 (same as spring except with a new title for hydro. But, really, is hydro low impact? Relatively, maybe.)

  • 74.9% hydroelectric (now retitled low impact hydro. hmm)
  • 14.5% Digester Gas (cow power)
  • 4.1% solar
  • 6.4% wind

Spring 2013

  • 74.9% hydroelectric
  • 14.5% Digester Gas (cow power) [that’s really what it says!]
  • 4.1% solar
  • 6.4% wind

Winter 2013

  • 74.9% hydroelectric
  • 14.5% biomass (“wood, other plant matter, or landfill gas”)
  • 4.1% solar
  • 6.4% wind

Falll 2012

  • 74.9% hydroelectric
  • 16.2% landfill gas
  • 3.3% solar
  • 5.6% wind

Spring 2011

  • 74.9% hydroelectric
  • 9.9% biomass
  • 6.9% solar
  • 8.2% wind

Winter 2010

  • 74.9% hydroelectric
  • 11.8% biomass
  • 7.2% solar
  • 6.0% wind

Read more

Mountains Beyond Mountains

Fri 19 Nov 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

Goodreads has added (maybe it was there all along, who knows?) a thing making it easy to post reviews to other sites. So here’s a book I read recently and thought anyone reading this might enjoy:

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder
5/5 stars

This book has come in and out of our house a couple of times in the last few years and for some reason I never got down to reading it. Which is silly as I think Partners in Health (PIH) is one of the most excellent organizations around. So at some point I picked it up and it was as good as promised. It was fascinating to see how long Tracy Kidder followed Paul Farmer et al around. Sometimes the book was like peeking over PIH’s shoulder into the behind-the-scenes work that’s never shown in the glossy emails (that doesn’t sound right but it gives the right feel I get from some nonprofits’ emails) and print materials.

Reading about Farmer in action, on the plane in his rumpled suit, negotiating with the World Health Organization, working at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, hiking to patients in Haiti, and much more, was humbling. Looking at PIH’s latest updates they recently opened the first NICU in Haiti—where they’re working on the cholera epidemic, too—and they are working in Rwanda, Russia, Lesotho, Haiti, here in Boston, Mexico, Guatemala, Malawi, and Burundi. Farmer must be flying a lot more these days.

This is an excellent read from the Farmer family’s peripatetic beginnings to the inner workings and difficult choices that any organization must face. Read, pass it on.

View all my reviews

Award Season: World Fantasy Award winners

Thu 18 Nov 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Catching up on my ongoing simple male/female count of nominees and winners of awards. First, congratulations to the winners of the of the World Fantasy Awards—especially of course Karen Joy Fowler whose story “The Pelican Bar” received the award.

The awards went 5:4, men to women, but the Life Achievement awards went to 3 guys meaning the final count was:

8 men
4 women

  • 8 USA
  • 1 UK
  • 2 Australia
  • 1 Russia

Of note: there were no women nominees in the art category. Please consider nominating women artists next year either directly to the judges or by voting. Although I’m not suggesting voting in blocks as they are horribly obvious and no fun.

There was one woman (Kelly!) on the jury this year. In the last ten years the jury makeup has been:

15 women, 35 men

2010: 1 woman, 4 men
2009: 3 women, 2 men
2008: 5 men
2007: 5 men
2006: 2 women, 3 men
2005: 2 women, 3 men
2004: 1 woman, 4 men
2003: 2 women, 3 men
2002: 2 women, 3 men
2001: 2 women, 3 men

Award Season: Hugos

Mon 6 Sep 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Congratulations to all the nominees and the winners!

However, once more the mens are the big winners. As with the World Fantasy Awards they need help with finding women artists to even be nominated.

Quick count has the winners as:

  • 20 men
  • 5 women

Award Season: World Fantasy Awards

Mon 30 Aug 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

A little late (but better that than never): huge congratulations to all the World Fantasy Award nominees, those we know and those we don’t. Having been a juror, I know how much a nomination is worth! And, there’s a ton of stuff I haven’t read on here so it makes a good reading list.

I’ve occasionally done gender breakdowns of nominees (i.e. Locus 2009) and winners looking at it from a very simplistic and reductive gender angle: how many men are nominated and how many women? This point of view is the same one that makes looking at the ToC of The New Yorker so depressing every week. Also, even though Kelly is on the jury and is somewhere within hailing distance she has nothing to do with these posts. I like keeping track. When the winners approach a gender balance, I don’t post about that, because that’s not (or shouldn’t be) news.

And, yes, I agree that it is totally possible that in any single year all the best books may have been written by men. 2009 was apparently a year like that, according to the National Book Award winners. However, I don’t believe that year after year all the books by women are apparently not quite good enough. So, enough chuntering. One note: next year, nominators might consider finding some women artists. Here’s this year’s breakdown (from Locus, thanks Mark) and a link to last year’s. (Apologies is anyone has been mischaracterized by gender or nationality in my somewhat quick count.)

  • 37 men
  • 19 women
  • 38 USA
  • 10 UK
  • 3 Australia
  • 3 Canada
  • 1 Japan
  • 1 Russia


  • Blood of Ambrose, James Enge (Pyr)
  • The Red Tree, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Roc)
  • The City & The City, China Miéville (Macmillan UK/ Del Rey)
  • Finch, Jeff VanderMeer (Underland)
  • In Great Waters, Kit Whitfield (Jonathan Cape UK/Del Rey)


  • The Women of Nell Gwynne’s, Kage Baker (Subterranean)
  • “I Needs Must Part, the Policeman Said”, Richard Bowes (F&SF 12/09)
  • “The Lion’s Den”, Steve Duffy (Nemonymous Nine: Cern Zoo)
  • The Night Cache, Andy Duncan (PS)
  • “Sea-Hearts”, Margo Lanagan (X6 )
  • “Everland”, Paul Witcover (Everland and Other Stories)

Short Story

  • “The Pelican Bar”, Karen Joy Fowler (Eclipse Three)
  • “A Journal of Certain Events of Scientific Interest from the First Survey Voyage of the Southern Waters by HMS Ocelot, As Observed by Professor Thaddeus Boswell, DPhil, MSc, or, A Lullaby”, Helen Keeble (Strange Horizons 6/09)
  • “Singing on a Star”, Ellen Klages (Firebirds Soaring)
  • “The Persistence of Memory, or This Space for Sale”, Paul Park (Postscripts 20/21: Edison’s Frankenstein )
  • “In Hiding”, R.B. Russell (Putting the Pieces in Place)
  • “Light on the Water”, Genevieve Valentine (Fantasy 10/09)


  • Poe,  Ellen Datlow, ed. (Solaris)
  • Songs of The Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance, George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, eds. (Subterranean/Voyager)
  • Exotic Gothic 3: Strange Visitations, Danel Olson, ed. (Ash-Tree)
  • Eclipse Three, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Night Shade)
  • American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny: From Poe to the Pulps/From the 1940s to Now, Peter Straub, ed. (Library of America)
  • The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction: Sixtieth Anniversary Anthology, Gordon Van Gelder, ed. (Tachyon)


  • We Never Talk About My Brother, Peter S. Beagle (Tachyon)
  • Fugue State, Brian Evenson (Coffee House)
  • There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried To Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (Penguin)
  • Northwest Passages, Barbara Roden (Prime)
  • Everland and Other Stories, Paul Witcover (PS)
  • The Very Best of Gene Wolfe/The Best of Gene Wolfe, Gene Wolfe (PS /Tor)


  • John Jude Palencar
  • John Picacio
  • Charles Vess
  • Jason Zerrillo
  • Sam Weber

Special Award – Professional

  • Peter & Nicky Crowther for PS Publishing
  • Ellen Datlow for editing anthologies
  • Hayao Miyazaki for Ponyo
  • Barbara & Christopher Roden for Ash-Tree Press
  • Jonathan Strahan for editing anthologies
  • Jacob & Rina Weisman for Tachyon Publications

Special Award – Non-Professional

  • John Berlyne for Powers: Secret Histories
  • Neil Clarke, Cheryl Morgan, & Sean Wallace for Clarkesworld
  • Susan Marie Groppi for Strange Horizons
  • John Klima for Electric Velocipede
  • Bob Colby, B. Diane Martin, David Shaw, and Eric M. Van for Readercon
  • Ray Russell & Rosalie Parker for Tartarus Press

The Life Achievement Awards will be released in the coming weeks in a separate announcement.

Health care, etc.

Mon 22 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

March 20thWhat a relief that some kind of Intro to Health Care bill passed at last. It’s been a national embarrassment that an estimated 15% (say 47 million people—about the equal to the population of Spain or the Ukraine or Colombia) of this country’s people don’t have insurance. It’s hard to be proud of a country that just accepts that that’s the way it is and wants to ignore it. This is the best spending of political capital in a while.

We’ve spent the last year in hospitals with my and Kelly’s daughter, Ursula. Our health insurance, Health New England, has been fantastic and most things they don’t cover Mass Health will. She’s been in three different hospitals for 13 months. We’d be bankrupt if we have to pay, so I recommend Health New England to everyone in their area: Connecticut, Western Mass., and Vermont. All of which doesn’t stop my heart leaping into my throat (ouch) every time I check the mail and there’s an envelope from any of those hospitals, doctors, and god knows who all else. Is this the one going to say my insurance has run out? Is this the one saying my check somehow doesn’t seem to have arrived on time and my insurance has stopped? Will Mass Health pay this ambulance bill? What kind of bad news is this? And so far we have no idea—we’ve received different replies—if the insurance will cover her at-home nurse care. Good times.

I grew up in Scotland and much of my family still lives there. One of the biggest differences in quality of life between there and here is that over there no one worries about their health insurance—because it isn’t insurance, it’s a national health service that automatically covers everyone. Sure, it could be better, but everyone knows it’s there and available. In the USA I don’t know a single person, rich or poor, who doesn’t worry about their health insurance. I am raising a glass of Vermont’s own Long Trail Pale Ale in salute to everyone who put their name on the line and signed us up for a (ok, possibly) better future.

some more men win some more awards

Thu 19 Nov 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Posted by: Gavin

1 guy, 2 guys, 3 guys, 4 guys. Plus: 2 extra guys.

What’s for dinner?

Sat 7 Nov 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Jonathan Safran Foer’s new book Eating Animals is causing a nice ruckus on the Huffington Post — and lots of other places. Nice to see people thinking about their impact on the world. I think it would be a great bookclub pick. For those interested in the numbers, United Poultry Concerns posted a list of the numbers of animals slaughtered for food (US only):

Total number died for food: 8.13 billion (7.67 billion for meat, 458 million for eggs)
Average number killed per American meat-eater: 27.5 (26 for meat, 1.5 for eggs)
Average number consumed per American lifetime: 2,147 (2,028 for meat, 120 for eggs)

Total number died for food: 80 billion
Average number consumed per American meat-eater: 270
Average number consumed per American lifetime: 21,000


Tue 27 Oct 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

In 2008 I was happy to see our home electricity through New England GreenStart came from:

  • 75% hydroelectric power
  • 20.9% biomass
  • 3% solar
  • 1.2% wind

For summer 2009 the figures had improved to:

  • 69.3% hydroelectric
  • 19.9% biomass
  • 4.7% solar
  • 6% wind

So solar and wind now make up more than 10% of our power: a good start! I think the program has changed in some way but as far as I know on it goes, happily charging a little extra to invest in alternative options.

Michael wants to provoke you

Thu 30 Jul 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

Go read this great angry rant by Michael about the choices we all make every day, their ramifications, and the importance of reconsidering them every so often. What’s your footprint? The starving musk oxen of today are the abandoned water-starved cities of tomorrow:

You’ve probably heard by now about the Bush Administration covering up evidence of melting icecaps.

20,000 musk oxen starved to death in the arctic because of a phenomenon called a “rain on snow event”. Rain falls on snow, turns to ice. Oxen come by and try to dig with their hooves for the grass under the snow. But they can’t break the ice. So they die.

Learn the rules of recycling in your town, and follow them, for real, all the time. If you work in a different town than you live in, learn those rules too. Hassle your co-workers about it. If they see you picking their plastic and aluminum out of the trash enough times, they’ll quit throwing it away out of guilt. I’ve seen it happen. No, you should not feel guilty for making other people feel guilty. Guilt is the only thing that’s going to get anybody to change.

Then check out one of Michael’s takes on the future post-collapse: take a trip down the river in  “Starlings” on Abyss and Apex.

How did 100,000,000 women disappear?

Mon 27 Jul 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

From The Star:

How did 100,000,000 women disappear?Two researchers crunching population statistics have confirmed an unsettling reality. Siwan Anderson and Debraj Ray noticed the ratio of women to men in developing regions and in some cultures is suspiciously below the norm

In India, China and sub-Saharan Africa, millions upon millions of women are missing. They are not lost, but dead: victims of violence, discrimination and neglect.

Even if you think you know this story it’s worth reading.

Charles Brown

Wed 15 Jul 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

It has been a long sad couple of days since hearing that Charles Brown had died on the way home from Readercon. Part of that sadness and grief is selfishness: Charles was a character worth knowing and for family reasons we could not go to Readercon this year so we missed our last chance to see him.

Kelly says she fell in love with Charles when she discovered he had put out a Georgette Heyer fanzine. It was probably that that persuaded her to accept Charles’s offer of 2 Hugo Awards for one of her Nebulas. Charles had more Hugos than we’d ever seen in one place but he didn’t have any Nebulas. Suffice to say at some point a box arrived at our house and now we have 2 Locus Hugos and somewhere in the Locus HQ is one of Kelly’s Nebulas.

Charles wasn’t the easiest person to get to know but one of his best qualities was his continued openness what was happening in his sphere of interest. On first meeting, and second and third, he was a odd, gruff, cold, and a bit terrifying. This was a guy who read books by our favorite writers before their editors read them. But he was interested in what we were doing with LCRW and Small Beer and that meant at some point we gained a seat at some of those endless convention tables: eating with Charles and co. was always at the very least fascinating. That continued openness meant that Charles and Locus never stagnated. He wasn’t skipping from new thing to new thing, but he was open to reading and writing about the YA explosion, urban fantasy, and other aspects of his beloved field that achieved new prominence.

A couple of years ago Kelly and I spent the night on the Murphy bed in (beside?) the Locus library. Although before sleeping we spent a long time cranking the shelves back and forward and being awed at the collection, pristine, of course, and the dedications within the books. Going to the Locus house was like going to a tiny museum and being led around it by Charles was always great fun.

In talking to Amelia at Locus she said that his death was a shock but not a surprise which captures it completely for me. He looked terrible over the past couple of years but then, he’d looked terrible over the last couple of years, so we figured he would keep on going for a while yet. Charles tried to be a curmudgeon but his joy in life kept overcoming his curmudgeonliness. It was great fun to eat and drink and talk with Charles whether it was at a fancy restaurant or at a “Locus suite” at a convention.

I love the picture of him that Locus posted and have ganked it for this. He will be missed and we will raise a toast to Charles and what he accomplished whenever we meet friends who miss him too.

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