1st and last 2013, 2014

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    What sold first? What sold last? I was looking at the 2013 bestsellers and realized I’d meant to post these:

    2013 First:

    Lightspeed Magazine Annual Subscription

    2013 Last:

    Desirina Boskovich (ed.), It Came from the North: An Anthology of Finnish Speculative Fiction
    Rich Horton (ed.),  The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy
    New York Review of Science Fiction #303

    2014 First:

    Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet #29

    Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet 29 cover - click to view full size It Came from the North: An Anthology of Finnish Speculative Fiction cover - click to view full size  The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy: 2013 cover - click to view full size  

    Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet Author Interview: Nicole Kimberling

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    LCRW Issue 29 CoverAuthor Nicole Kimberling, a columnist for Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, answers a few questions for Weightless Books.

    Q: Your non-fiction piece, “How to Seduce a Vegetarian”, appears in the new issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet Issue (#29, September 2013). How successful are the vegetarian capture methods you describe?

    Kimberling: They are madly successful. Through use of my simple plan, I was personally able to snag a full time vegetarian that I have been cooking for for 27 years now.

    Q: What was it like to win the 2008 Lambda Literary Award for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror for your novel Turnskin?

    Kimberling: Well, I was really surprised. I hadn’t even considered the notion that I would win so I didn’t work out a speech or anything and had to resort to stammering out a cute, but incoherent string of “Thank Yous” to random people. I think I also did a little dancey on the stage.

    In terms of how it affected me as a writer–I felt a lot more sure of myself after being presented with a glass brick with my name etched into it. Since that time, I haven’t ever suffered from that sort of crippling angst and frustration that afflicts young writers who still feel like they have to prove themselves. So it was really nice. Freed up a lot of mental space.

    Q: You write in several formats and genres. Do you have a favorite?

    Kimberling: Not really. Each length and genre is fulfilling in different ways. The column I write for LCRW lets me play with language and be philosophical, which is great fun.

    The mysteries and romances are interesting to build and execute. Because they’re largely contemporaries, they allow for the sort of observation-based commentary that doesn’t fit well into SF/F writing. (What I mean to say here is that you can’t riff on people’s relationships to their cars in a world that has no cars…and maybe no people.)

    And the SF/F stuff allows me to work at the highest degree of difficulty and also to express ideas that are hard to address directly in a contemporary setting without alienating a reader. (I’m talking about big issues here, like race and animal cruelty and things like that.)

    Q: Can you offer any advice to people writing novels in a series?

    Kimberling: Speaking as an editor who reads a lot of slush–do not plan for a book to be a series. Plan for a book to be a standalone. You can always find a sequel if you really need one.

    But if you’re really dead set on writing a series (that is not based on a protagonist who lends herself to episodic storytelling like a detective or mercenary or something) you must have a very explicit plan for how to execute the plot over the intended number of volumes. Otherwise the stories get mushy and indistinguishable from each other–like listening to too many MUSE songs in a row.

    I would also suggest that authors intending to write an episodic series have some specific direction for the protagonist to grow so that the intrepid detective (or mercenary or star captain) doesn’t appear to just have had some sort of reset button pushed on her memory directly before the start of every story. Characters who appear to have no capacity to learn from experience get old pretty fast.

    Q: Who’s your favorite author?

    Kimberling: My favorite author of all time is Douglas Adams. I also really love anything written and drawn by Fumi Yoshinaga. And, of course, I adore all the authors I choose for Blind Eye Books.

    Q: What are you working on now?

    Kimberling: I’m writing the sixth story in the Bellingham Mysteries, which is a series of contemporary gay comedy-romance novellas set in the town where I live.

    In addition to successfully feeding many vegetarians sandwiches in her personal life, Nicole Kimberling specializes in formulating this very same item at the restaurant where she now cooks. A current DRM-free subscription to Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet (including Issue 29) can be purchased on Weightless Books.

    ChiZine books coming next week

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    Drawn to New York: An Illustrated Chronicle of Three Decades in New York City cover - click to view full sizeGood news! We’re happy to announce that next week—Tuesday if things go well, Thursday is the sickness-that-is-infecting-the-whole-world gets us—we will be adding all the ChiZine Publications books that we can. Readers rejoice! Some of their ebooks are on a delayed schedule for contract reasons but as per usual we will post every book as soon as we can.

    More DRM-free ebooks for the world!

    There’s a good profile of James Currier, founder of Chelsea Station Editions, and author of The Wolf at the Door, etc., at the Lambda Literary Review.

    You probably noticed that this week we released a new issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. This issue has the second of Nicole Kimberling‘s cooking columns. I love these. Tell me what you think. She just handed in her column for the next issue and it is hilarious.

    Also this week saw the third and final issue of Fireside Magazine. Subscriptions will be refunded by next week. We were very sorry to hear that this is the last one but we’ll be watching with interest to see what’s next as Brian says on his site: “It looks like we will be launching the Kickstarter for the revamped Fireside early next month. We are still working on a lot of things, but we think we have a sustainable long-term plan, along with a whole bunch of kick-ass writers lined up. We’ll let you know more as we close in on launching.”

    And I wanted to point readers towards Peter Kuper’s Drawn to New York: An Illustrated Chronicle of Three Decades in New York City, which looks pretty amazing.

    And don’t forget: Tuesday = ChiZine Day!

    New Fireside today, new LCRW tomorrow!

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    The new issue of Fireside Magazine with new stories from Elizabeth Bear, Daniel Abraham, and others, just went out.

    And, tomorrow the new issue of LCRW, #28, the 4 x 7 issue (or the two fortnights, or the February issue, argh, help me stop going on about 28s) goes out to subscribers and others.

    We should also have some more new books from the ever popular Prime Books. See you tomorrow—

    New Rifter, Clarkesworld, what’s coming

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    Part 7, Enemies and Shadows cover - click to view full sizeHey, it’s the second Tuesday of the month. Don’t we have a deadline . . . oh wait! It’s time to release the latest installment of The Rifter!  Ok people: start your readers! Rifter 7: Enemies and Shadows is now live.

    Speaking of subscriptions: Clarkesworld is having a “sort of” subscription drive. There isn’t a discount, but if they reach 500 esubscribers by the end of this month, they will add an extra story to each issue. I think that’s a pretty great reason to subscribe and you can do so here.

    In the next couple of weeks we have a few new titles from Small Beer: at last (sorry!) we’ll have the latest issue of LCRW as well as the first ebook (in English, not sure whether they’re available in Spanish) of Argentinean writer Angélica Gorodischer’s to be released in the US: Kalpa Imperial (translated by Ursula K. Le Guin).

    Angélica is one of two authors chosen to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Fantasy Convention at the end of October (yay!).

    LCRW esubs!

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    They’re here! We’ve been working on this and promising them forever so we’re very excited to offer our first subscription on Weightless—the first, we think, of many!

    The LCRW subscription gets you 4 issues (usually 2 years, as we do two issues per year) which will go out to you as soon as they’re available.The subscriptions are available in the format of your choice (at least, if the format of your choice is one of: PDF, epub, mobi, and lit). We expect to keep offering those formats in the future (unless there’s no uptake on one—it’s like American Idol for ebook formats!).

    Subscribe now and get 4 issues in your inbox right as they emerge hot from the virtual presses of Small Beer Press. The subscription will begin with the current issue, No. 26—the paper edition is mailing now.

    A paper subscription is $20.

    The regular price of the esubscription edition will be $11.99.

    But to celebrate our first subscription and to get things going with a bang we’re offering a 4 issue subscription for . . . $9.95

    Get it while it’s hot!

    Joy Williams, LCRW, esubs TK

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    Today we’re proud to announce that we are the exclusive publisher of the first ebook edition of The Changeling by Joy Williams. The Changeling, Williams’s second novel, was out of print for 30 years before Fairy Tale Review Press brought it back into circulation.

    This edition is the full 256-page Fairy Tale Review Press edition with an introduction by by Rick Moody.

    Also today we have the new ish of LCRW. The paper edition is going out later this week and electronic subscriptions should be available next week—unless we go nuts and do them tomorrow or something. Michael, who made it all happen, will get beer for this.The new issue is excellent and is available in pdf, epub, etc. This esub machine that Michael has built means we’ll be talking to other serial publishers (i.e. zinesters, magazines, Ginn Hale[!]), about releasing their books/zines/magazines on here.

    And, horn tootle, don’t miss last week’s title at the excellent price of 99 cents: a short story by me and Kelly Link originally published in the Australian magazine Altair, “Sea, Ship, Mountain, Sky.”

    Next week: we expect to have interesting news about adding another energetic indie press!

    More new LCRWs and many Small Beer epubs

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    Hey, did you see that story on Slate about how “Digital publishing levels the playing field for small publishers“? We had fun talking with Jill Priluck and it was great that she gave a shout out to Featherproof, Small Beer, and, yay!, Weightless.

    And to celebrate we added a few things that readers have been asking for—but not everything, otherwise what would we do next week? First there were a bunch of improvements that Michael did on Friday: pages have shorter line-lenghs for increased visibility, there’s a new featured title, we started tagging posts for easier findability, and we did some technical jiggery pokery stuff as well. And we talked to a couple more indie presses whose books we hope to add. We’re hoping to build a tempting palace of wonder made of electrons and indie presses. We’re on our way!

    In the meantime, today’s (Tuesday’s, just) update just went up*. First we added four issues of our zine, LCRW, (12, 13, 14, 15). These are all epub/mobi/lit files—but, in a reversal of the normal, no PDF! We also added epubs to most of the rest of the LCRWs: 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24. So now you can get many versions of those issues going back to 2003—It’s old back there!

    We also added multiformat (epub/mobi/lit) files to many Small Beer titles including Couch, Meeks, Trash Sex Magic—not going to list all of them, but many, I tell you, many! More TK, but slowly, you know how it is.

    And finally (at last!) we added Carol Emshwiller‘s first novel (which is fantastically funny and weirder than ever) Carmen Dog in multiformat (again, no PDFs—maybe later). As with Travel Light, we’ve put Carmen Dog up at a lovely low introductory price of $5.95.

    Next week might be the week we get Fairy Tale Review (books and mags) up here—they are amazing, and the pricing is irresistible. The paper edition of the journal is $10-$20 (depends on who’s selling it). Suffice to say the ebooks will be much less. Much! They’re going to be PDFs and I’m not sure if there will be more formats because as with the Featherproof books (have you seen them, they are crazy wonderful designed!) the pages are part of the package. We’ll see. After Fairy Tale, we have more more more. Come back. Tell your friends. Tell us what you think. Thanks for reading!

    * Apologies for the delay. I’d love to say it was Scott Pilgrim related, but, sadly, haven’t seen it yet (darn it!). It’s just that the baby is too too much and insists on being played with. Apparently baby trumps computer every time!

    Grooming time