On Publishing Angélica Gorodischer

Mon 7 Feb 2022 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Angélica GorodischerOn Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022 I was incredibly sorry to read in an email from Amalia Gladhart, who translated Trafalgar for us as well as Jaguars’ Tomb for Vanderbilt UP, that Argentinean author Angélica Gorodischer had died at her home in Rosario at the age of 93. Here’s a link to the obituary Amalia sent.

We published the first three of Angélica’s books to be translated into English: Kalpa Imperial (translated by Ursula K. Le Guin) in 2003, followed by Trafalgar (translated by Amalia Gladhart) in 2013, and Prodigies (translated by Sue Burke) in 2015.

Publishing Angélica’s books — and meeting her when she came up to the WisCon conference in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2003 — have been one of the highlights of our work here at the press. Kelly and I publishing Angélica’s books in our third season put Small Beer onto a different plane and meant that we could from our early years use Kalpa Imperial to show that we had very broad horizons in our sights. Angélica was exceedingly generous to share her books with us and we very appreciative. The story of how we came to publish the books, while not as interesting as any of Angélica’s own wide ranging stories, shows a little of how publishing works, with a drop of luck, much hard work and juggling, and a little of being in the right place at the right time.

In 1998 Kelly read and admired a section of Kalpa Imperial, The End of a Dynasty, or The Natural History of Ferrets, in the anthology Starlight 2, edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden, which had been translated by Ursula K. Le Guin. This was not the first translation of Angélica’s work into English. According to this useful site, Alberto Manguel translated “Man’s Dwelling Place” for his anthology Other Fires: Short Fiction by Latin American Women (Three Rivers, 1985); four of her stories were translated (by Monica Bruno, Mary G. Berg, and two by Lorraine Elena Roses) for the 1991 White Pine Press anthology, Secret Weavers, edited by Marjorie Agosin; and Diana L. Vélez translated “Camera Obscura” for Latin American Literary Review, 19 (37).

At some point after reading Starlight 2, Kelly wondered if Ursula had translated more of Angélica’s work. We had met Ursula once or twice at WisCon, an annual feminist science-fiction convention in Madison, Wisconsin, which we all loved and so we sent her a letter. I am still amazed at the response.

At this point, the two of us had published four books through Small Beer: in 2001, Kelly’s first collection, Stranger Things Happen and Ray Vukcevich’s collection Meet Me in the Moon Room, and in 2002, two books by Carol Emshwiller, a novel, The Mount, and a collection, Report to the Men’s Club. While talking to Carol we found out that Ursula was a big fan of Carol’s books and asked Ursula if she would blurb one of Carol’s books — Ursula said she could not . . . because she admired Carol (here’s her review of Ledoyt) so much that she had just asked Carol to blurb one of her books. So when we wrote, rather out of the blue, asking about Kalpa Imperial we had at least corresponded a little and at some point I’d been brave enough to buy her a bourbon in Madison. (Ursula and Angélica were both smart, no nonsense, and more than a little bit terrifying.)

Ursula’s agent at the time was the late Linn Prentis of the Virginia Kidd Agency — who was a mixed blessing. She was willing to work with our tiny press but between her office having work done on it and not everyone being on the same computer system it took three months for the manuscript to be sent to us and the final deal — our first translation contracts — wasn’t concluded until January 2003. Here’s the Publishers Lunch announcement:

Angélica Gorodischer’s KALPA IMPERIAL, a history of an empire that never was, translated by Ursula K. Le Guin, to Gavin Grant at Small Beer Press, in a nice deal, by Linn Prentiss at the Virginia Kidd Agency (NA).

Kalpa Imperial coverWe were planning on publishing in August of that year — as we’d done for our first two seasons — but then an unmissable opportunity came up: the possibility that Angélica could attend WisCon on the Memorial Day weekend in May 2003. Suddenly everything was moving very fast. Fortunately for my monolingual self, Angélica’s English was strong: “I can make myself understood and I can understand your Scotch English. Je parle Français aussi.” (I read in the one of the obituaries that her 1988 Fulbright Scholarship allowed her to participate in the University of Iowa International Writing Program and she also taught at the University of Northern Colorado.)

She could do more than make herself understood. She was sharp and funny and sometimes returned emailed after trips to Ecuador or Bolivia (“where I thought I was going to die: 4,500m above sea level!”) and I learned that she too loved Carol’s books — I had mailed her our first four books and we were both delighted they arrived. The mail to Argentina then seemed to be about as reliable as the present day USPS.

And then the US started another war and we were all thrown for a loop (again).

On Mar 20, 2003, at 8:04 AM, Angelica Gorodischer wrote: Dear Gavin: I was pepared to write you a letter about Kelly Link's book. But I am so scared, horrified; so angry and annoyed by this war, that all I can say is that I love it! God help us, if He is up there looking down at this madness. Love Angelica

However she was worried at the speed we were working.

She was right.

Our proofreader turned in a workmanlike job and after all the changes had been entered I sent the book to the printer. There’s nothing quite like having an internationally acclaimed award-winning author fly in from Argentina and when you meet for the first time she sits you down in an empty ballroom to show you the typos in her first book translated into English that you have just published.

Our printer also shifted the ship date at the last minute without telling us and we almost didn’t get books to the convention. For some reason they also individually shrink wrapped every copy. Ugh. It was both a fantastic and miserably stressful weekend and I learned that all that “extra time” in publishing schedules is very necessary.

By a happy coincidence in 2003 another of Angélica’s short stories, “The Violet Embryos” translated by Sara Irausquin, was published in the anthology Cosmos Latinos: An Anthology of Science Fiction from Latin America and Spain (Wesleyan UP).

In the run up to the actual publication date of Kalpa Imperial, a bilingual friend of ours from the KGB Bar Fantastic Fiction reading series, Gabriel Mesa, offered to interview Angélica for the website Fantastic Metropolis. You can read the interview here which captures some of Angélica’s vivacity.

The book found many friends at independent bookshops and a few months later it was reviewed in the New York Times Book Review. It was easy to be enthusiastic about, as I loved it so much.

Angélica GorodischerBeing a very small press, I struggled with how we could afford more translations of Angélica’s work. I knew I wanted to read them but I didn’t know enough about the industry to even know where to begin. So I put a tiny line on our website saying that we were always looking for more translations of Angélica’s work. A couple of people contacted us over the years, usually grad students, to see if we had any funding or if they could work with us. My (ongoing) problem was that I have to read the full book before I can tell if I’m going to publish it so I could not read just a chapter or two. Early as 2003, two books were especially recommended to me: a short story collection, Trafalgar, and a novel, Prodigies. Both of them were said to be very different from Kalpa Imperial which only deepened my interest.

In 2011 I discovered something which made it much less likely that we would be able to publish another of Angélica’s books. All the checks we had sent to her agent from 2004 – 2011 had been cashed but none of the money had been sent on. I was truly horrified — I can still hardly believe it. I can see how easily it happened — many international editions don’t earn out their advances and I trusted the agent, of course, so I never checked with Angélica to see if she was receiving the money.

When I found out from the agent by email she replied saying how expensive it was (as it still is) to send money to Argentina, but that was no excuse. Despite my pushing, nothing happened until the agent retired and someone else took over that we were able to make any headway. I had given up on the agent by then and the Argentinean government had made it easier to send money into the country so I was able to send everything owed to Angélica. At some later time, the agency paid the press back for the unsent royalties — minus their percentage. Anyway, she was a good agent for a lot of people for many years and had done good work for Angélica at first.

Then, as I was trying to get information from the agent about the unpaid royalties, came the news that Angélica was going to be awarded a Life Achievement Award from the World Fantasy Awards at their November 2011 convention — a lovely prize for a writer who had dipped in and out of many genres and who received many awards: here are a few from her extended bio:

1964 “Vea & Lea” award, III contest of detective stories
1965 “Club del Orden” award
1984 “Más Allá” award; “Poblet” award, “Premoi Konex”
1984-85 Emecé award
1985 “Sigfried Radaelli Club de los Trece”
1986 Gilgamesh (Spain)
1991 Gilgamesh (Spain)
1994 “Platinum Konex”
1996 “Dignity” award granted by the Permanent Assembly for Human Rights for works and activity in women’s rights
1998 Silvina Bullrich award, granted by the Argentina Writers’ Society to the best novel written by a woman during the three precedent years
2000: “Esteban Echeverría”
2007: Premio ILCH, California
2014: Konex Career Award
2017: Honorary Doctorate, National University of Cuyo
2018: Prix Imaginales for Kalpa Imperial
2018: Grand Prize for Artistic Career from the National Fund for the Arts for her contribution to Argentine culture.

At first it seemed the organization was going to bring Angélica in to receive the award in person but it did not work out. Another translator, Edward Gauvin, who had translated French author Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud’s stories in a collection, A Life on Paper, was good enough to collect the award in her place. This is the speech Angélica sent:

As you may see, I am not here, but just now, at this exact moment I am in Rosario, very far away from here but thinking of you all, and I wonder: what are they thinking now? Are they happy to be here? Yes. I know you are, and then, of course, I am happy too. And I feel immensely grateful. This Award is very important to me. It comes to my hands at the right moment. At eighty-three years old, I can count so many blessings: my husband, my sons, my daughter, my grandsons and my granddaughter, and my accomplices: the words I put in my thirty books of narrative. As Jorge Luis Borges said once I am condemned to the Spanish words. And I am trying to say in my poor English that I feel happy and joyful and that I send you my love and my gratitude. Thank you.

And here is Gauvin’s speech on accepting the award:

Any committee (or convention) that gives a prize like this to a person like this needs no reminder of the kind I’m about to give, so let me position this as preaching to the choir rather as a pat on its back, or a collective prayer. Angélica Gorodischer has been given a tremendous honor but one that I hope will serve to take her a step further down the trail first blazed eight years ago by the publication of Ursula K. Le Guin’s translation of Kalpa Imperial by Small Beer Press, Angélica’s publisher and mine.

Giving her this award is a little like hanging a medal round the tip of the iceberg whose other nine-tenths I hope one see the light of English day. By a curious metonymy of publishing economies, single books sometimes stand in for entire bodies of work. In the worst cases, single authors are allowed to stand in for entire countries or languages, as if the attention span of English-speaking readers were not enough to hold more than one complicated, funny-sounding name in its mind at a time. Or, as if with such an award, we Anglophones deigned to notice the rest of a world with a nod and now owed no more. We in this room know better.

Let fantasy, which draws already from so many folkloric world traditions, truly become world fantasy. Thank you.

Trafalgar coverAt yet the same time, I received an email from a writer and translator, Amalia Gladhart, an Associate Professor of Spanish Department of Romance Languages. Amalia had translated two books by Ecuadorian writer Alicia Yánez Cossío (The Potbellied Virgin, UT Press, 2006, and Beyond the Islands, UNO Press, 2011) and after reading Kalpa Imperial and finding the note on our website, she contacted us about translating Trafalgar. She had been in touch with Angélica, had begun translating Trafalgar, and was heading to Rosario to teach so would be able to go over her translation directly. I was delighted and when she sent me the translation I was enamored of the strangeness of the book in which an intergalactic salesman tells stories of his travels to his friends back in a coffeeshop in Rosario.

We placed some of the stories in magazines (The Sense of the Circle [interview],  The Best Day of the Year, Trafalgar and Josefina) and published the book in 2013. The colors in the cover came out muddier than the sharp piece of art we had selected. Our then printer didn’t agree with us and would not reprint so we did not work with them again. Despite the muddy cover, much to my relief, Angélica was very pleased and Amalia translated her letter on receipt of the books:

Dear Gavin: I received the copies of Trafalgar, just marvelous. The first thing I did was to caress them, because they are so beautiful that they call to the hand and the eye. What a fine object, so attractive, so precious. Afterwards, of course, with great feeling I began to turn the pages and, as always, I was stunned by Amalia’s expert translation. Well, everything is perfect, and I am very happy, very moved, and Amalia and I are planning public presentations and dialogues in bookstores, the College of Translators, etc., here in Rosario, to make the book known. Many thanks for everything and let’s keep in touch as in the past.
With warm greetings,
hugs,
Angélica

TrafalgarIn 2020 Trafalgar was reprinted in the UK as part of a new Penguin Classics line and I very much like the presentation and the quotes they’ve used:

“A novel that is unlike anything I’ve ever read, one part pulp adventure to one part realistic depiction of the affluent, nearly-idle bourgeoisie, but always leaning more towards the former in its inventiveness and pure sense of fun.” — Los Angeles Review of Books

In an email in 2004, Ursula had said she was reading Prodigies and found it “fascinating and extremely difficult.” In his 2003 interview, Gabriel Mesa had asked Angélica:

Q. If after KALPA you had to choose another of your novels to be translated into English, which would it be?

A: PRODIGIOS, always PRODIGIOS which I believe is the best thing I have ever written in my life. Of course no one would read it because it is a difficult text.

A few months after Trafalgar came out we were approached by another writer translator, Sue Burke, to see if we were still interested in a translation of that very novel, Prodigies. An American, she was then living in Madrid and her most recent translation was Terra Nova: An Anthology of Contemporary Science Fiction (Sportula, 2013). Given that Angélica thought it was the best thing she had written, how could I resist? I may have ignored the last line in her answer above.

Prodigies cover - click to view full sizeProdigies is as promised, a slim, fabulous, somewhat difficult novel. We placed excerpts in the journals Eleven Eleven and Spolia Magazine. Reading it is like diving into a dream, with sentences and paragraphs that leave no room for coming up for air so the reader has to go with it or drown.

Angélica wrote around thirty books and so far Prodigies is the last translation of her work we’ve published — but never say never. Amalia Gladhart translated the dark, recursive, and fascinatingly structured Jaguars’ Tomb for Vanderbilt UP and Angélica’s name is now well enough known in the Anglophone world that I expect there will be more translations, perhaps published by us, perhaps elsewhere. Having more than one publisher means there is more than one team of publicists and editors talking up the books and there is more chance the books will find readers.

We were incredibly fortunate to work with Angélica — and her three translators — on these three books. I send my sympathies and condolences to Angélica’s family and those who knew and loved her and I am grateful that we have her books.

More

website

El Pais obituary

Locus obituary

Sofia Samatar on Kalpa Imperial



Friday night: Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin

Thu 1 Aug 2019 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

You might remember the Kickstarter for Arwen Curry’s documentary Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin. It’s been shown at festivals around the world for the past few months and on Friday August 2nd at 8 p.m. it will premiere on PBS American Masters then be available to stream for 28 days. Do not miss.



Literary Arts Tribute

Fri 15 Jun 2018 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Just in case you missed it and would like to watch or listen, here is the video from Literary Arts Tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin that was held on Wednesday evening at the beautiful Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon. Kelly was one of the speakers and since I tagged along as husband I’d like to take a moment to thank Theodore Downs-Le Guin and the whole Le Guin family and everyone at Literary Arts whose grace in these circumstances was a model to aspire to.

It was a . . . lovely? evening. All through the hall people were catching up with one another and sometimes exchanging their favorite Le Guin stories — or stories about Le Guin. (Stories about Le Guin welcome in the comments!) She lived in Portland for fifty years or so and brought together so many disparate strands of the city it was a joy to see so many people there to remember her. I took one photo before they asked attendees not to take photos or films and I was happy to sit in the darkness and try and take in what I am still having trouble taking in: this world is missing a person I loved. Ursula K. Le Guin was generous and fierce and her emails and wordplay usually made me laugh — on not liking a blue variant of the Words Are My Matter cover, “Yes, textbooky, zackly. Anyhow blue is not my hue.” — as well as sit up straighter. I miss her more than I can say.

Ursula K. Le Guin – Broadcast from Henry V Live on Vimeo.



Donations in Memory of Ursula K. Le Guin

Fri 26 Jan 2018 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Ursula K. Le Guin loved this world — among others! — and rather than flowers, we are making a donation in her name to the non-profit closest to her heart, the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

We also decided that for each print copy of her books sold through our website in the first three months of this year we will donate:

—  $10 from each print copy of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Words Are My Matter

—  $5 from each print copy of her translation of Angélica Gorodischer’s Kalpa Imperial

We will send the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge a check in April and will include any reader’s name who bought books and would like to be listed.

Direct donations in Ursula’s name can also be made here: Malheur Field Station or here: Audubon Society of Portland (specify that the donation is for Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and Harney County).

Further reading: I took heart from this Metafilter thread and some of the tributes gathered here.



Her Words: the Best Words

Tue 23 Jan 2018 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

“This is the truth. They stood on the stones in the lightly falling snow and listened to the silvery, trembling sound of thousands of keys being shaken, unlocking the air, once upon a time.”

Later on maybe I will have more to say and be able to post more of Ursula K. Le Guin’s words. Right now I am too sad and so I am only posting these last few lines from the late, damn it all, Ursula K. Le Guin’s story “Unlocking the Air,” one of many stories and novels of hers that I love.

Ursula K. Le Guin, 21 October 1929–22 January 2018. Much admired, much missed.



The End of a Dynasty or The Natural History of Ferrets

Fri 20 Oct 2017 - Filed under: Free Stuff to Read, Short Stories, , | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

The storyteller said: He was a sorrowful prince, young Livna’lams, seven years old and full of sorrow. It wasn’t just that he had sad moments, the way any kid does, prince or commoner, or that in the middle of a phrase or something going on his mind would wander, or that he’d waake up with a heaviness in his chest or burst into tears for no apparent reason. All that happens to everybody, whatever their age or condition of life. No, now listen to what I’m telling you, and don’t get distracted and then say I didn’t explain it well enough. If anybody here isn’t interested in what I’m saying, they can leave. Go. Just try not to bother the others. This tent’s open to the south and north, and the roads are broad and lead to green lands and black lands and there’s plenty to do in the world—sift flour, hammer iron, beat rugs, plow furrows, gossip about the neighbors, cast fishing nets—but what there is to do here is listen. You can shut your eyes and cross your hands on your belly if you like, but shut your mouth and open your ears to what I’m telling you: This young prince was sad all the time, sad the way people are when they’re old and alone and death won’t come to them. His days were all dreary, grey, and empty, however full they were.
And they were full, for these were the years of the Hehvrontes dynasty, those proud, rigid rulers, tall and handsome, with white skin and very black eyes and hair, who walked without swinging their shoulders or hips, head high, gaze fixed somewhere beyond the horizon, not looking aside even to see their own mother in her death-agony, not looking down even if the path was rough and rocky, falling into a well if it was in the way and standing erect down inside the well, maintaining the dignity of the lords of the world. That’s what they were like, I’m telling you, I who’ve read the old histories till my poor eyes are nearly blind. That’s what they were like. Read more



Words Are My Matter wins a Hugo!

Sat 12 Aug 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Words Are My Matter cover - click to view full sizeWe are delighted to hear that Ursula K. Le Guin’s nonfiction collection Words Are My Matter won the “Best Related Work” Hugo Award last night at the Worldcon in Finland!

This year’s Hugo sits “on a base designed and produced for Worldcon 75 by local Helsinki artist and Science Fiction fan, Eeva Jokinen” and we will post a picture of it if we can at some point later. In the meantime, congratulations to the fabulous list of winners and nominees!



Manana

Mon 10 Apr 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We publish Sofia Samatar’s collection Tender: Stories tomorrow. Many, many people are going to be very happy about this.

Also: next week there will be a giveaway for Lydia Millet’s final Dissenters novel, The Bodies of the Ancients, on Goodreads.

The above giveaway is for readers in the USA only due to mailing costs, but: right now readers worldwide can sign up to receive a free advance copy of Christopher Rowe’s forthcoming collection Telling the Map on LibraryThing.

Edelweiss users: this morning we posted Kij Johnson’s The River Bank.

Juan Martinez will be at 2 upcoming literary festivals: in Arkansas on April 29 and much closer to home at the Evanston Literary Festival on May 8,In Celebration of the Short Story with Christine Sneed at Bookends & Beginnings.

Did you hear that Ursula K. Le Guin’s Words Are My Matter is a finalist for the Hugo Award? How wonderful! I also really like Ursula’s new publicity photo by Rod Searcey.



We Will Know You By Your Friday Afternoon Executive Orders

Fri 3 Feb 2017 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

And will be unimpressed with your chaos, bombast, and moral weakness. That the Democratic Party are not impeaching this President yet is astounding. That the “Republican Party” accept their “President’s” actions: his racist Executive Orders, his racist and lying advisor and press secretary, his not recording his calls to Vladimir Putin, his insulting of allies, his emolument-clause twisting actions show that they are power hungry dogs willing to tear the country to pieces if only they can hold on to power for a moment longer.

Our town was supposed to get 51 refugees this year. There has been so much prepwork done for these 51 people — out of 60,000,000 displaced people. This anti-humanist “government” is a disgrace.

Here’s to the people who have been, are, and will continue to volunteer, march, and fight for actual freedom and the welcoming principles this country has (at least supposedly) espoused.

As well as all that: we publish extremely good books and here are a few spots in the world where they are being enjoyed:

— We published but five books last year and four of them are on the Locus Recommended Reading List. No stories from LCRW, which I’d disagree with, as would be expected of any editor. But I tend to think LCRW is one of the best zines out there and one I consistently read (for), so there’s my 2 cents.

— Over on Tor.com Juan Martinez writes about George Saunders’s CivilWarLand in Bad Decline for “The One Book That Unstuck My Writing

“I owe so much of my writing life to George Saunders that even this introductory bit is lifted from him, I just realized, even as I started writing it. Because I was going to begin by sharing how often I fantasized about meeting writers I admired, and it’s super common, this fantasy—writers meeting their idols, and then the idol recognizes your genius and you become best buds, and the idol lifts you from whatever dire circumstances you happen to be in, and your life is perfect from then on. I totally wanted to start with that—with confessing how often I thought of meeting Saunders—before I realized why I wanted to start with that.”

— a profile of the indomitable Ursula K. Le Guin by David Larsen in New Zealand’s The Listener:

Words Are My Matter demonstrates, among other things, the difference between a hectoring sermon and a ­memorable oration – notably in the text of her instantly viral 2014 speech on freedom, in which she lambasts profit-driven corporate publishing. ‘Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings.'”

       



Happy New Year

Sat 31 Dec 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

On the last day of the year: a quick fly-by on Small Beer books. In 2016 we (on purpose) published the fewest number of books we’ve done for a while and an unusual ratio of hardcovers to paperbacks — it’s also hard to properly count them. We published two trade paperbacks (Jeffrey Ford’s A Natural History of Hell and John Crowley’s The Chemical Wedding) but did we put out three hardcovers (Joan Aiken’s The People in the Castle, Sofia Samatar’s The Winged Histories, and Ursula K. Le Guin’s Words Are My Matter*) . . . or four or seven — including the Kickstarter there were three hardcover editions of The Chemical Wedding. . . .
All but The Chemical Wedding received starred reviews and ended up on Best of the Year lists and I toast each and every author. (Or, I will tonight!)

* A moment to celebrate: Words Are My Matter was our third title with Ursula K. Le Guin after her translation of Angélica Gorodischer’s Kalpa Imperial and her two volume The Unreal and the Real.

And even though we only published five titles (plus that fun but total time sink Kickstarter) I manage to be behind with so many things. Even when I reduced the number of books we published, I’m still behind. But! There are so many things to fill me with despair! So many interesting people on twitter! So many leaves to pick up on the walk to school. So many books to reprint — sneaked that last one in. I don’t think I’ve ever gathered in one place which books we reprinted in one year so here goes:

Nathan Ballingrud’s first collecton, North American Lake Monsters. Third printing — this book has legs! (Horrible things happen to those legs in at least one of the stories, but, still, legs!) The good news: Nathan is working on his next collection.

Naomi Mitchison’s novel Travel Light. Second printing. I read the first part of this to our 7-year-old who is part dragon herself and she really enjoyed all the parts with Uggi and the other dragons. She has the proper disregard for heroes, at least sometimes.

Ursula K. Le Guin, Words Are My Matter. The first printing was in October and the second in December — could I have increased the first print run? Yes. But I am so good at overprinting, so ordering a print run that was 220+% of the initial orders seemed like a solid call. Ordering another 50% of that first run was fun.
— A reprint not of our own: The Unreal and the Real in one volume, not two, with one extra story by Joe Monti at Simon & Schuster/Saga as part of a raft of Le Guin titles that they will publish including at some point a Charles Vess illustrated Complete Earthsea book I am very much looking forward to.

Another reprint not our own: Ted Chiang’s collection Stories of Your Life and Others (aka Arrival) by Vintage. The movie of the title story has made $90 million in the USA alone and the paperback edition was on the New York Times bestseller lists for four weeks which translates into thousands and thousands more readers for Ted’s fabulous stories. Sometimes, no, wait, very infrequently, things go right.

Nicole Kornher-Stace’s YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults 2016 novel Archivist Wasp. Third printing, May 2016. A book that blew out the door and keeps on going. As with Nathan above, Nicole is working on her next book.

Greer Gilman, Cry Murder! in a Small Voice. Second printing, March 2016. The first of Greer Gilman’s Ben Jonson, Detective novellas. Dense, bloody, funny, fantastic. Wait, I see a pattern here: Greer is also working on her next book. Writers write!

I think that’s it: five new titles and five reprints plus the de rigueur two issues of LCRW — thank you writers, subscribers, and booksellers for getting behind the only zine named after a Brooklyn girl who moved to London, married a Lord who probably had the syph, and published her own fancy fancy literary journal.

Sometimes in the past I’ve posted year end Small Beer bestseller lists but I find them oddly hard to do: should I list books shipped from our lovely distributor, Consortium (now owned by Ingram)? But what about website and bookfair sales? Books shipped out from Consortium, can and will be returned, sometimes months later. Should I post Bookscan rankings? Bookscan only seems to capture about 30-50% of actual sales — which I always forget when I look at their reports, oops, but is very clear when I look at sales/return numbers from Consortium.

Either way, we sold a lot of books in 2016: thank you. In 2017 we have many books planned and — if all goes well — more reprints. No Kickstarter, at least, I don’t think so right at this moment in the middle of inventory and preparing for 1099s and so on. There is a Howard Waldrop project kicking around…. We’ll see. Two more issues of LCRW FTW. We will go to AWP in Washington, DC, in February and Kelly is teaching at Tin House in Portland in July. I just received an update (no real movement, but the possibility of movement) on a secret project we’ve been slowly trying to make work for at least five years — it may not work, c’est la vie in publishing: try and make something happen for years, sometimes it flames out, disappears, or ends up elsewhere but if it ever did come together, wow, what fun.

And at the very end of this year I signed a contract and sent of a check for a short story collection that has been a long time in the making — but more on that in the new year: more books, more cheer, and of course: more fighting for freedom, equality, and justice for all. Happy new year to you and yours.



Shipping Going Well

Mon 19 Dec 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

At least, it’s going well from here — thank you! It’s busy as all get out but we are up to date to Thursday’s orders and by the end of today will have caught up again — unless there are too many orders to ship, woohoo, bring it! The post office says that US Priority Mail orders will still arrive by Christmas if ordered by 12/21, go for it!

Want some last minute present ideas? (OK, these are all going to be Small Beer books, I think.) Nothing here will stop the howling void of despair and depression taking over all from the electoral shenanigans but they will distract for various amounts of time:

Margaret Atwood selected Ursula K. Le Guin’s Words Are My Matter as one of her favorite books of the year in the Walrus:

It was a pleasure to encounter renowned SF and fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin’s book of essays, Words Are My Matter, and to hear her wise, informed, elegant, and occasionally testy voice discussing such joys as the early H.G. Wells classics such as The Time Machine and China Miéville’s Embassytown—which surely owes a debt to Le Guin’s own The Left Hand of Darkness, now out in a sumptuous new Penguin Galaxy edition.

And Nora Jemisin recommended the book in the New York Times Book Review. Also: there was an Ursula K. Le Guin symposium at the University of Oregon.

Sit back (or go jog, or shovel some snow) and listen to David Naimon and Sofia Samatar chat about The Winged Histories on the Between the Covers podcast. The Winged Histories was chosen as one of the best books of the year by NPR — yay!

The Valley Advocate ran a 3-page spread on John Crowley’s The Chemical Wedding which included interviews with Crowley, illustrator Theo Fadel, and designer Jacob McMurrary. The paper edition had many illustrations. Meanwhile the book was reviewed on Tor.com.

See the Elephant ran a review of Joan Aiken’s The People in the Castle, which was also selected as one of the year’s best books by the Washington Post. Double yay!

See the Elephant had previously run a review of Jeffrey Ford’s A Natural History of Hell which much to my enjoyment began “Hellishly Good Stories.” Jim Sallis revelled in Ford’s collection in F&SF (“Formally Ford’s stories are object lessons in how to stage a narrative.”) Alvaro Zinos-Amaro reviewed it on IGMS and DF Lewis wrote reaction posts while reading the stories. Hazel and Wren also liked the book. What can I say? It struck a chord.

There is a new issue of LCRW and meanwhile the previous issue received a strong review in Fantastic Stories of the Imagination and another in New Pages.

And Mary Rickert’s collection, You Have Never Been Here, came out so late in 2015 that a lot of people read it this year, i.e. Sallis (“Reading a Mary Rickert story quite often is like sinking through layers of such worlds. We begin in one place, blink, and open our eyes to somewhere—something—else.”) in F&SF and William Grabowski in See the Elephant: “Rickert’s work, its superbly subtle handling of deepest human yearning for something to heal the howling void behind our increasingly demythologized world, shows the ineffable power—and value—of fantastical storytelling.”

Quickshots:
— Afrofuturism? The Liminal War
— Density? Prodigies
— The underworld? Archivist Wasp
— Digging a hole? Secession? Sherwood Nation
— Middle grade ecothrillers? The Fires Beneath the Sea

screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-11-45-03-am

Toodles!



Words Are My Matter Publication Day & Interview

Tue 18 Oct 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Words Are My Matter cover - click to view full sizeThere is an interview with the excellent Ursula K. Le Guin by Bryan Hood in the Guardian today (I love all the recent photos of her here [and in The Nation], what joy there is there, what sharpness) in which, among all the other survey works recently published, Words Are My Matter gets a mention:

Rounding out the quartet is Words Are My Matter, a collection of the writer’s recent nonfiction. Le Guin may not have written a novel since 2008’s Lavinia, but the always sharp, frequently funny, and unfailingly confident compilation of essays, lectures and book reviews show she hasn’t stopped working.

No she hasn’t stopped! What a joy it is to publish this book — ok, yes, it’s a joy to publish aalll of our books, otherwise, what’s the point?! — and to see it read out in the world. There is something about having all the words between two covers that gives them a weight and a consequence. We can see all (some!) of the authors through their work and arguments. And here Le Guin is arguing for a broad inclusive world where walls are not what we’re erecting, rather, we see the differences and live with each other. It’s a hard task, but we might even be up to it. We have these handy units of communication that we can use with each other to try and understand, these words, so many words. And Le Guin, she uses them to well. Words are indeed her matter and she shows as well as tells us that Words Matter.



Ursula K. Le Guin in profile & ToC

Thu 6 Oct 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Words Are My Matter cover There’s just under two weeks to go until the official publication date* of our forthcoming collection of Ursula K. Le Guin’s recent nonfiction, Words Are My Matterand in the run-up to that and celebrating the recent Library of America collection, The Complete Orsinia, and the two huge collections of short fiction (one of which may be very familiar to readers here) from Saga, The Unreal and the Real and The Found and the Lost, there’s an article on Le Guin in the Nation

“The collection articulates Le Guin’s belief in the social and political value of storytelling, as well as her fear that corporatization has made the publishing landscape increasingly inhospitable to risk-takers, to those who insist on other ways. This is a real problem, particularly if we can’t count on fresh water from the well of Le Guin’s imagination. In a year stalked by the long shadows of authoritarianism, ecological collapse, and perpetual war, her writing feels more urgent than ever.”

as well as one in the Washington Post by Michael Dirda where he writes the book

“Spills over with insight, outrage and humor. In ‘Making Up Stories,’ Le Guin implores her audience not to ask where she gets her ideas: ‘I have managed to keep the address of the company where I buy my ideas a secret all these years, and I’m not about to let people in on it now.’ Of Dr. Zhivago, Le Guin confesses that ‘I now realize how much I learned about how to write a novel from [Boris] Pasternak: how you can leap across miles and years so long as you land in the right place; how accuracy of detail embodies emotion; how by leaving more out you can get more in.’”

And: there’s a long profile by Julie Phillips coming up in the New Yorker. In the meantime, here’s the final Table of Contents for Words — some of these reviews are online and we will be adding links soon:

Table of Contents

Foreword
Talks, Essays, and Occasional Pieces

The Operating Instructions
What It Was Like
Genre: A Word Only a Frenchman Could Love
“Things Not Actually Present”
A Response, by Ansible, from Tau Ceti
The Beast in the Book
Inventing Languages
How to Read a Poem: “Gray Goose and Gander”
On David Hensel’s Submission to the Royal Academy of Art
On Serious Literature
Teasing Myself Out of Thought
Living in a Work of Art
Staying Awake
Great Nature’s Second Course
What Women Know
Disappearing Grandmothers
Learning to Write Science Fiction from Virginia Woolf
The Death of the Book
Le Guin’s Hypothesis
Making Up Stories
Freedom

Book Introductions and Notes on Writers

A Very Good American Novel: H. L. Davis’s Honey in the Horn
Philip K. Dick: The Man in the High Castle
Huxley’s Bad Trip
Stanislaw Lem: Solaris
George MacDonald: The Princess and the Goblin
The Wild Winds of Possibility: Vonda McIntyre’s Dreamsnake
Getting It Right: Charles L. McNichols’s Crazy Weather
On Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago
Examples of Dignity: Thoughts on the Work of José Saramago
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky: Roadside Picnic
Jack Vance: The Languages of Pao
H. G. Wells: The First Men in the Moon
H. G. Wells: The Time Machine
Wells’s Worlds

Book Reviews

Margaret Atwood: Moral Disorder
Margaret Atwood: The Year of the Flood
Margaret Atwood: Stone Mattress
J. G. Ballard: Kingdom Come
Roberto Bolaño: Monsieur Pain
T. C. Boyle: When the Killing’s Done
Geraldine Brooks: People of the Book
Italo Calvino: The Complete Cosmicomics
Margaret Drabble: The Sea Lady
Carol Emshwiller: Ledoyt
Alan Garner: Boneland
Kent Haruf: Benediction
Kent Haruf: Our Souls at Night
Tove Jansson: The True Deceiver
Barbara Kingsolver: Flight Behavior
Chang-Rae Lee: On Such a Full Sea
Doris Lessing: The Cleft
Donna Leon: Suffer the Little Children
Yann Martel: The High Mountains of Portugal
China Miéville: Embassytown
China Miéville: Three Moments of an Explosion
David Mitchell: The Bone Clocks
Jan Morris: Hav
Julie Otsuka: The Buddha in the Attic
Salman Rushdie: The Enchantress of Florence
Salman Rushdie: Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights
José Saramago: Raised from the Ground
José Saramago: Skylight
Sylvia Townsend Warner: Dorset Stories
Jo Walton: Among Others
Jeanette Winterson: The Stone Gods
Stefan Zweig: The Post Office Girl

The Hope of Rabbits: A Journal of a Writer’s Week

* We are shipping copies out and the ebook is now available on Weightless.



Holiday Gift Guide … Which Holiday?

Mon 3 Oct 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

A Natural History of Hell cover - click to view full sizePerhaps you and your family and/or friends exchange horrible gifts and favors on Halloween? Perhaps you’ve been wondering what to give your demonic friends who seem to have all the slavering zombie tchotchkes in the world? Publishers Weekly says Jeffrey Ford’s A Natural History of Hell is:

This is the perfect reader-who-has-everything gift for fantasy fans with a literary bent or vice versa. Ford brilliantly cross-pollinates the grim suburban settings of literary fiction with fantastical elements, adding dashes of humor and empathy to provide some light in dark days.

Also on the sf&f part of the Holiday Gift Guide are the new one-volume hardcover edition of Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Unreal and the Real as well as the huge new book of collected novellas, The Found and the Lost, Nisi Shawl’s Everfair, and N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season.

Anyone who received all five books would be a lucky reader indeed!



PW Fall 2016 Adult Announcements: Essays & Literary Criticism Top 10

Tue 21 Jun 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

In between the things I’m not doing here is something good about a book coming sooner than soon! (This is not Jeff Ford’s book which comes out next month!)

Words Are My Matter is in the top 10 of the Publishers Weekly Fall 2016 Adult Announcements: Essays & Literary Criticism. Yay!

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Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin

Mon 1 Feb 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Hope you will consider backing this if you can!



David Mitchell on Ursula K. Le Guin

Fri 23 Oct 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

“Adulthood brings more demanding critical standards and many a childhood favourite has been booted off my podium of most cherished books, but my admiration for Le Guin’s artistry has only grown with every rereading.”

I imagine that many people I know feel the same way.

Read the whole thing on the Guardian.



The Unreal and the Real wins the Oregon Book Award!

Tue 18 Mar 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Lovely news from Ben Parzybok on twitter from Oregon last night. Among the winners (congrats to all!) of the Oregon Book Award, was Ursula K. Le Guin, whose two-volume Selected Stories received the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction.

Even better, Luis Alberto Urrea (who posted the accompanying photo yesterday) was the the master of ceremonies and, well, Jeff Baker gave it a lovely write up for the Oregonian:

“. . . Le Guin won the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction for “The Unreal and The Real: Collected Stories Vol. 1 and 2.” At 84 Le Guin is perhaps the most decorated author in the state; her many honors include a National Book Award, every major science fiction award and an Oregon Book Award in 1992 for “Searoad.”

Luis Alberto Urrea, the master of ceremonies, began the evening with a humorous, heartfelt tribute to Le Guin. Urrea said he was “a poor boy from Tijuana” who wrote a story based on a family experience that somehow made its way to Le Guin, who asked him to join a workshop she was teaching and befriended him. She chose the story for an anthology she was editing, Urrea’s first sale, and his friends all bought the book and asked him to sign it. Urrea said Le Guin “smoked a pipe back then” and he accompanied her to her first viewing of “Star Wars,” during which she explained all the science errors to him.

“Everything good in my life comes from writing,” Urrea said. “Everything good in my life comes from Ursula. I’m here tonight for Ursula, the queen of America.”

Le Guin accepted her award graciously and first cautioned the audience that they should pay attention to Urrea when he’s writing, maybe not so much when he’s speaking. She remembered that in 1987, the year the Oregon Book Awards began, the award she received was named for H.L. Davis and she presented it to the winner. She touted Davis’ novel “Honey in the Horn” as the best written about Oregon and rued that it is out of print. She remembered the founders of Literary Arts, the organization that sponsors the Oregon Book Awards, particularly Brian Booth, and talked about her feeling for the state.

“I came to Oregon by luck,” Le Guin said, “and lasted 55 years. No plan can beat good luck.”



Bestsellers & Locus Rec Reading 2013

Mon 3 Feb 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Here are two different views of 2013 in SBP books. What will 2014 bring? Droughts! Witches! Yetis! More and more weird fun!

Congratulations to all the authors on the 2013 Locus recommended reading list. It’s always fun to peruse the list and see, for whatever reasons, what rose up and what didn’t. It’s especially nice to have links to all the online short stories and novellas and so on, thanks Mark et al!

In 2013, we published 2 Peter Dickinson reprints, one chapbook, and six new titles, and of those six, four titles are on the list:

  1. Sofia Samatar, A Stranger in Olondria
  2. Nathan Ballingrud, North American Lake Monsters: Stories
  3. Angelica Gorodischer (trans. Amalia Gladhart), Trafalgar
  4. Howard Waldrop, Horse of a Different Color: Stories

And you can go and vote in the Locus awards poll here. I have some reading to do before I vote. Votes for Small Beer authors and titles are always appreciated, thank you!

In sales, once again our celebration of Ursula K. Le Guin’s fantastic short stories were our best sellers for the year. However, if we split the two volumes into separate sales, Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others would climb a notch to #2. But! Counting them as one means we get another title into the top 5: Elizabeth Hand’s late 2012 collection Errantry: Strange Stories. We really should release more books at the start of the year, as those released at the end have much less chance of getting into the top 5.

According to Neilsen BookScan (i.e. not including bookfairs, our website, etc.), our top five bestsellers (excluding ebooks) for 2013 were:

  1. Ursula K. Le Guin, The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin
    Ursula K. Le Guin, The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin
  2. Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others
  3. Kij Johnson, At the Mouth of the River of Bees
  4. Susan Stinson, Spider in a Tree
  5. Elizabeth Hand, Errantry: Strange Stories

Last year it was all short stories all the time, this year Susan Stinson’s historical novel Spider in a Tree jumped in (I’d have said sneaked in if it was #5, but since it’s at #4, that’s a jump!). Susan’s book is still getting great reviews, as with this from the Historical Novel Review which just came out this week:

“The book is billed as “a novel of the First Great Awakening,” and Stinson tries to do just that, presenting us with a host of viewpoints from colonists to slaves and even insects. She gives an honest imagining of everyday people caught up in extraordinary times, where ecstatic faith, town politics and human nature make contentious bedfellows. Although the novel was slow to pull me in, by the end I felt I had an intimate glance into the disparate lives of these 18th-century residents of Northampton, Massachusetts.”

As ever, thanks are due to the writers for writing their books, all the people who worked on the books with us, the great support we received from the independent bookstores all across the USA and Canada, and of course, the readers. We love these books and are so happy to find so many readers do, too: thank you!

    



Unreal and the Real: Oregon Book Award finalist

Fri 10 Jan 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The Unreal and the Real: Where on Earth cover - click to view full sizeLovely news this week, Ursula K. Le Guin’s selected stories, The Unreal and the Real, is one of 2014 Oregon Book Award Finalists for the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction. All of the finalists for the various categories are here and the award ceremony (hosted by the excellent Luis Alberto Urrea!) is on March 17 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $10 – $50.

And here is the list of fiction finalists: congrats one and all!

Ursula K. Le Guin of Portland, The Unreal and The Real: Collected Stories: Volume 1 and 2 (Small Beer Press)
Whitney Otto of Portland, Eight Girls Taking Pictures (Scribner)
Amanda Coplin of Portland, The Orchardist (Harper Perennial)
Roger Hobbs of Portland, Ghostman (Knopf)

27th Annual Oregon Book Awards Ceremony
Gerding Theater at The Armory (View)
128 NW Eleventh Avenue
Portland, OR 97209


Some goings on, reviews, &c.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Locus awards & this month’s Locus

Thu 9 May 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

LocusLovely news from Locus that 2 (or 3, depending on how you count) Small Beer books are finalists for this year’s Best Collection Award. Any time something like this happens, I remember what an honor it is to be nominated. It is excellent and reassuring to know that there are readers finding these books. Congratulations to Kij Johnson, Ursula K. Le Guin, and all the nominees in all the categories. (Er, one note: come on world, there are some excellent women artists out there.)

When this month’s issue of Locus came in the mail I forgot to say that they have a fascinating indie publishing section where they asked the same couple of questions of many independent presses. I answered for Small Beer and am glad I did because it is awesome to be included with some of my favorite indies out there.  And, for a Locus trifecta, Rich Horton reviews Angélica Gorodischer’s Trafalgar and picks “Trafalgar and Josefina” as his favorite. (For instant gratification, you can pick up Locus from Weightless.)

COLLECTION

THE SMALL & INDEPENDENT PRESS 

Introduction • Small Beer Press • Lethe Press • PS Publishing • Earthling Publications • Cheeky Frawg Books • Fairwood Press • ChiZine Publications • Twelfth Planet Press • EDGE Books • Prime Books • Aqueduct Press • Tachyon Publications • Ticonderoga Publications • Subterranean Press • Night Shade Books


Small Beer Press Bestsellers 2012

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

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

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

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



Ursula K. Le Guin @ Powell’s, Sunday, Jan. 6

Fri 4 Jan 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Ursula K. Le Guin will be at Powell’s City of Books this Sunday evening at 7:30 PM. Would that we could be there!  But this is your chance to order your signed copy:

 Upcoming Event

Sunday, January 06, 2013 07:30 PM
In The Unreal and the Real (Small Beer), a two-volume selection of Ursula K. Le Guin‘s best short stories, readers will be delighted, provoked, amused, and faced with the sharp, satirical voice of one of the best short-story writers of the present day. Volume One, Where on Earth, explores Le Guin’s satirical, risky, political, and experimental earthbound stories, while the companion volume, Outer Space, Inner Lands, includes her best-known fantastical stories.


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