ellenkushner: (TPOTS SmallBeerPress (Clouet))

Oh, look what I just found under the Tree!  Um, a post KD drafted in October that we forgot to put up.....

Fortunately, it now doubles as a New Year's Gift to all.

It fits nicely over the  Small Beer Press hardcover edition of TPOTS currently on big dog sale for $9.95 for all your DIY'ers).  And Taline also says you're welcome to use bits of it for Icons if you like.  (I like!!!)  I adore ever square inch of it - it's like she reached inside my brain & plucked out the pictures!

Thanks again to the gifted Taline Boghosian for this amazing work, and to everyone who participated in the TPOTS Cover Contest, which we created to celebrate the TPOTS audiobook from Neil Gaiman Presents.  I've really appreciated all your reviews & Likes on that page, too.  I'm headed back into the studio this week to continue recording The Fall of the Kings, which should be out in spring.

* *

Attention all The Privilege of the Sword (aka TPOTS) fans! This is Ellen's assistant Katharine, here to present the final version of the winning design from our TPOTS Create Your Own Cover Contest.

Taline Boghosian’s superb and intricate design had many Riverside fans wishing for a dust jacket version of their very own. Taline has graciously obliged, adding a spine so that her cover will fit snugly over the hardcover edition of TPOTS and making the desig available to download and print in two different versions, no less!)

If you don’t already have your own hardcover copy, you can buy one here to use with Taline’s cover (although the Small Beer Press cover is gorgeous as well—maybe trade them out for special occasions?)

Taline also gives her kin permission for everyone to se any part of the cover to make icons (as long as it's for personal use). 

Congratulations again to Taline on her winning design, and many thanks for letting us use your amazing artwork!

ellenkushner: (TPOTS SmallBeerPress (Clouet))

This is Ellen’s assistant Katharine, back to announce the winner of our TPOTS Create Your Own Cover Contest, while Ellen nurses a head cold and gloats over all the art.

I’m glad to see that my rallying cry of “Lace! Leather! Silk and steel!” inspired so many of you to design your own covers for The Privilege of the Sword (aka TPOTS, which Ellen really does pronounce "teapots!") in honor of the release of the new audiobook, and I loved seeing the different covers that came in, from photos to drawings to digital collages.  (You can see all the entries as links in the Comments section of the original Contest post here.)

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest for the time and hard work you put into your designs. Both Ellen and I were impressed by the high quality and originality of the entries, and judging so many excellent covers was no easy feat. That is why, in addition to our Grand Prize winner, Ellen has selected two second-place winners, whose art you can see below.

We are thrilled to announce that the Grand Prize winner of the TPOTS Create Your Own Cover contest is…

         Taline Boghosian!         

TPOTS Winner p1TPOTS Cover Contest winner 2

TPOTS Cover contest winner 3TPOTS Cover contest winner 4

Ellen and I were blown away by Taline's exquisite design and thoughtful layout of the cover, which is for a hardcover with both front, back and side flaps. You can find more of Taline’s work here. In addition to receiving a limited edition copy of The Privilege of the Sword from Small Beer Press, Taline will have her art displayed on the official TPOTS Covers page. We'll announce it when the art goes up, so check back for that post!

And now for our two second-place winners, who will also receive a hardcover copy of The Privilege of the Sword. Well, one of them will, anyway—because one of our two winners, Elizabeth Evans-Gist ([profile] underthewetmoon), was already, by chance, the winner of our "What's your favorite imaginary book?" contest and has a copy of TPOTS on the way!

Here's Liz's subtle and elegant cover:

TPOTS Cover Contest runner-up 1

Tied with Liz for second place, we have this terrific cover art and design from [profile] vaultedthewall:

TPOTS Cover 2

We were especially impressed with the WIP posts she did as she worked on this cover; you can see them here on her Tumblr.  She also managed to get all our favorite characters in.

Congratulations to our winners, and thank you again to everyone who entered!!! Even if you didn't win, you can still perfectly legitimately acquire your own limited edition copy of The Privilege of the Sword here (at a discounted rate) - and/or download the new TPOTS audiobook, narrated by Ellen herself (with a little help from the great Barbara Rosenblat & a cast that includes Felicia Day and Joe Hurley) from Neil Gaiman Presents.

We loved each and every entry, and all the enthusiasm everyone has so kindly shown over the launch of the TPOTS audiobook.  

I think it's time to lock Ellen in a tower and make her write another novel, now, don't you?

She says she has to finish recording The Fall of the Kings first.  But I dunno . . . . 

ellenkushner: (TPOTS SmallBeerPress (Clouet))
I am beside myself with joy at the many gorgeous entries so far! A lot of them are on Tumblr, tho' not all.

To recap: Contest rules are here. --And all Entries are linked in the Comments section, for your viewing pleasure!

You don't have to draw your own art - like my hardcover publishers (Small Beer Press), you can use "found" art (the limited edition, cloth-bound, gold-stamped, sewn binding version which is also the Prize): theirs is a detail from 16th century French painter Francois Clouet's "Portrait of Charles IX."

Creative use of Dolls Divine is also on the table.

All of this is in support of the new audiobook of TPOTS, from Audible/Neil Gaiman Presents. I hope that you will at least listen to the sample 5:00 we have up here, one of our special "Illuminated" scenes, which includes Neil Gaiman as a decadent artist, and Felicia Day as Katherine. All narrated by me.

Please tell your friends about the contest - and if you've already listened to the book, reviews & review-votes are much appreciated.

Thanks! Have a great and creative weekend.
ellenkushner: (TPOTS SmallBeerPress (Clouet))
 Lace! Leather! Silk and steel!

And, of course, Girls with Swords.


tpotsmass    600tpots_japan


Thomas Canty's original painting for the new TPOTS audiobook represents only the latest design in a series of gorgeous covers for The Privilege of the Sword around the world since it was first published in 2006. 

Whether it's high fantasy grace, gypsy punk cool, or stylized manga, all of the TPOTS covers convey the vibrant, complex spirit of Riverside and its denizens in their own distinct, creative way.

Now it's your chance to show us your vision of Katherine, the Mad Duke, and the world they inhabit - as it would appear on the cover of the next edition of the book!


That's right....


We want to see your art and design for a The Privilege of the Sword cover!


Visit Ellen's website to see the existing TPOTS covers, including covers from the Dutch, German, and Spanish editions, then create one of your own, that you think is perfect for your own private or dream edition of The Privilege of the Sword.

Post your cover on Facebook, LiveJournal, DeviantArt, Tumblr or anywhere else we (and your friends!) can see them.

Then post a link to your entry in the comments below by 11:59 p.m. EST (U.S.A. Eastern Time) on Sunday, September 16.

Ellen will judge all entries herself.  The winning entry (and runners-up) will be posted here and on the Covers webpage for all to ogle and enjoy.



An elegant limited edition trade-cloth hardcover of The Privilege of the Swordpublished by Small Beer Press!

So start drawing, painting, or otherwise creating, and spread the word to any artistically-inclined friends you know are just waiting for the chance to design a brilliant, beautiful sword fighting-inspired book cover. Thanks in advance for your entries—we can't wait to see your new TPOTS cover designs!

—Katharine Duckett
Assistant to EK

ellenkushner: (Audiobook Swordspoint)
 Award-winning illustrator Tom Canty created this exclusive cover for the new TPOTS audiobook, shown here without type for your full viewing pleasure. It's a gorgeous design, but the main thought that keeps running through my mind is how much I want those earringsanyone else frequently get the urge to rifle through the wardrobes of fabulously-clad fictional characters?
TPOTS Audiobook Cover Painting only

This, by the way, is still Katharine Duckett, who will be updating in Ellen's stead while she roams the hills, dales, and graveyards of Maine. I'll keep you posted on the lastest TPOTS developments (including several upcoming contests--stay tuned!!!) and generally ensuring Ellen doesn't have to be online any more than absolutely necessary while on Retreat. (If you see her here, tell her to stay away until August! She'll thank you, I promise.) 

You may be wondering how I ended up taking the reins of Ellen's LJ--or you may not, which makes me worry that you're somewhat disturbingly incurious, dear reader, and that I probably wouldn't leave you to watch my house for a weekend. Here's a brief rundown on my history in the world of speculative fiction and fantasy: While studying minotaurs and cannibals (no, but really, though) at Hampshire College, I interned for the fine folks at 
Small Beer Press, which involved drinking a lot of tea and combing through the slush pile, as well as working on great books like Liz Hand's Generation Loss and Poppy Z. Brite's Second Line

After graduating, I interned for 
io9.com, where I compiled the monthly Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy and researched crucial topics like the height of giant robots and the social forces behind increased production of zombie movies. Then I traipsed off to do the Peace Corps in southern Kazakhstan, which, with its abandoned Soviet mining cities, massive trash pit fires, and  packs of wild and occasionally rabid dogs, gave me all the material a writer of dystopian science fiction could ask for.

Now, in addition to my own writing, I work as Ellen & Delia's assistant, weeding the undergrowth of files and navigating the jungle of books at the Riverside apartment, promoting new books and projects like 
Welcome to Bordertown, and attending events with lots of lovely and interesting new people. As I write this, in fact, I'm sitting in Vagabond Café, which tonight will host NYC's monthly IAF Salon
 from 7 to 10 p.m. If you're in the city, come by, have a beer, see art, hear music, and say hello!

ellenkushner: (Default)
 I am hunkered down here in Chateau Riverside, listening to rough mixes of each chapter of THE PRIVILEGE OF THE SWORD (TPOTS) audiobook as they come in from SueMedia, as Sue & David & I prepare the audiobook for release. (They're on Long Island, I'm on Manhattan's Upper West Side . . . and YouSendIt is our new best friend!) We are fussing over every sound and music cue, trying to get the beats exactly right, the emotional tone of everything Just So!  Yes, we are insane. No one should be putting this kind of labor into a 15-hour book. But it's a labor of passion for all of us: Not only am I The Author (and Narrator), but my years of public radio production experience have made me exquisitely sensitive to the nuances of the interplay between text and sound - and I guess that's always been the way I process things anyway. Sue & David are, of course, the consummate professionals in the world of Radio Drama - it's so exciting having them putting that to work in our "illuminated" audiobook: I hope we're setting a new standard for a certain kind of book! Our deepest thanks to Neil Gaiman Presents (not only the great NeilHimself, but the colleagues at Audible who help it along) for encouraging and supporting this second book in the Riverside series.

And huge, GIGANTIC thanks to my friend, the artist Thomas Canty, who did the original U.S. Swordspoint cover for the Arbor House Books hardcover - picked up by Tor - for letting us use it for the Swordspoint audiobook (which came out in November 2011 - and if I've pressed the right buttons, it's the Icon for this post!) . . . and then generously created a NEW image specially for the release of the TPOTS audiobook!

ACXtpotsCover With Type-1

The book is scheduled for release the third week of July - I'll give you the exact date when it's confirmed.

And I'll be posting more thoughts - and some backstage gossip - about TPOTS Audiobook between now and then!
ellenkushner: (TPOTS SmallBeerPress (Clouet))
We are so going to see this movie this week.  Maybe even today.
Michael York, Rutger Hauer & Charlotte Rampling . . . yes.  Doing Breugel, oh yes.
ellenkushner: (gargoyle)
Our very dear Charles Vess has made up 'A Bit of English Magic:’ A Susanna Clarke/Charles Vess Literary Basket for a charity auction to benefit his local library.  The auction runs through Saturday, April 9 at 4:00 PM EST.   Details are up on Facebook here.  If you don't have access to FB, here's the fine print:

Charles Vess writes: )

Remember, the "I"  here is Charles Vess, not me.  Any questions, though, should be e-mailed to the library at the edress provided above.
ellenkushner: (gargoyle)
Terri Windling just posted "Dare to be Foolish," a topsy-turvy cry to arms to help artists "find your voice."  In it she refers to a piece of Cynthia Heimel's that in our youth we dubbed "The Sacred Text."  Since it's still not up online - and I'm not about to diss Heimel's copyright by typing it all in, much as I'd like to - I just put some of my favorite bits into TW's Comments section.  And since I went to all that trouble, I am "reprinting" my comment here for you:

 Ah, the Sacred Text! I can't find it online either, which is annoying as I want to make everyone read it - but happily it was reprinted in Cynthia Heimel's collection GET YOUR TONGUE OUT OF MY MOUTH, I'M KISSING YOU GOODBYE. The essay, "How to Be Creative," opens: "Do you ever get to wondering why certain things are so *bad*? Why movies and TV and magazines don't ...make you sweat with enlightenment? Why everywhere around you people and things seem to be catering to some mythical consumer, some strange beast of a person who is exactly like you only completely stupid?"

And goes on to: "We live in a dark and fearful time, a time of polls and ratings and market research..." (which, I would add, is one reason we founded the Interstitial Arts Foundation - remember?)

But for our purposes here, the next best line is: "Everybody lives in fear. We all think we're incredibly weird and depraved and bonkers, and if people knew the real us they'd ...make us live in a Canadian mental institution....[but] it is that very weirdness, the eccentricities and forbidden lusts in our souls that bind us together....

"There is only one way to be creative, and that is to have the courage to examine all our inner ripples and horrors and jokes and transform them into art....

"You want to create, go out on a limb.... Don't listen to anybody, don't copy anything. Go after that twisted deranged core of your being, wrench it into the light, and you will make one million dollars."


And thank you, Terri, for the reminder.
ellenkushner: (Latvian THOMAS)
Terri Windling's half-price sale of original art ends this week, so if you've been procrastinating, postponing, deliberating, debating or just saving pennies, now is the time to fish or cut bait!

I posted about it originally  here - including my love of my own collection of Terri's work.

Terri's latest update is here.  She has managed to get her dear relative through the worst of the initial crisis, but, as many of you know, it's always a long haul.

I asked Terri (in Comments to her first post) about how people might help even if they couldn't afford an oil painting; she replies:

I'm setting up a Paypal account and people can make donations there, or even send a check. They should just write me care of the Endicott Studio (endicottstudio [@] yahoo.com] for details, since I don't want to list the address publicly.

He is a lovely guy -- one of those hard-working guys who takes care of everyone else, has looked after all the elderly in the family, and finds it incredibly hard to be in a position of needing help himself. Even now he worries more about the effect that possibly homelessness could have on his cat than on him. He worked hard all his life, paid his taxes on time, etc.etc., and this wasn't supposed to happen. (Welcome to health-care American style, where so many of us are just one big injury or illness away from disaster.) On the plus side, he has family and some very dear friends who love him -- and I'm grateful for the way the mythic arts community has been helping
out too.

So yes, donations are welcome, even small amounts. Hey, five bucks will buy some cat food after all!

(Hey - why the hell don't I have a TW art Icon, anyway?)

And if a painting's not in the cards, you can still order fine prints of her work from Endicott Studio (U.S. only)!
ellenkushner: (Bessie McNicol)
Have you been long dreaming of owning some of Terri Windling's original art?   Work from her magnificent Desert Series paintings, and from the newer "Bunny Girls" series are being offered at half-price to benefit a dear family member who's fallen under the wheels of the recession.  Terri writes:

"I'm raising money for a relative recovering from a serious injury. He has no medical insurance, no way to work or pay his bills, and his state is so broke that they don't have enough staff to process disability claims, which are taking many months on average. We're trying to raise some money to help him get by in the meantime, so painting purchases go to a very good cause. He's a lovely man -- one of those hard-working guys who helps everyone else and finds it really hard that he himself needs help now."

I was just in Terri's studio in Devon last month, working like crazy on our new Bordertown book with [livejournal.com profile] blackholly  - a magical place, as you may imagine, with these paintings up on easels and desktops all around us....  These are amazing works - oil on unstretched canvas, sometimes with words scratched into the paint itself . . . the photos don't fully convey the depth and texture. If you're drawn to one, click on the Details. I promise you, you will love it even more when you have it in your hands.

Please feel free to copy any portion this text (ascribing my parts to me, of course) and spread the word widely.
ellenkushner: (SWORDSPINT)
Suzy McKee Charnas' THE VAMPIRE TAPESTRY is my favorite vampire fiction, period: a complex, elegant work for grownups. I was really happy to see [livejournal.com profile] oracne invited her to Guest Post about a new vampire story forthcoming in TEETH (!!! - it's a YA vamp anthology that includes stories I really like by Delia & me & a host of rather intimidating others).

This artwork by [livejournal.com profile] coppervale  makes me swoon.

Oh, and speaking of interviews & YA anthologies:  I just did a nice interview with Charles Tan over at SF Signal site about my story "The Children of Cadmus" in the new (and splendid) Datlow/Windling antho, THE BEASTLY BRIDE:  TALES OF THE ANIMAL PEOPLE *(cover & interior illo's by Charles Vess) - and the SFSignal interview also posted images from the childhood book of mine that inspired the story.  Cool.

Tan is interviewing every single author from that anthology - they're all listed here.

*...Not a single review has mentioned my story so far - I think they must find it baffling or offputting.  But wait!  I see an Amazon reviewer liked it!  Phew.
ellenkushner: (MWK cover)
I guess Temporary Culture's first mailing of pre-orders for my new Riverside short story, "The Man With the Knives," has gone out. Because thank you, friends, for your lovely - and very kind - personal notes about it.  (If you see/post a review, please let me know & I'll pass it on to Henry & Tom.)

The live recording of Delia & me reading the story aloud at NYRSF is still up at WBAI.org Archives under "Hour of the Wolf" - but there are only 3 days left to play it there.  (Tech-savvy folk may know a way to capture it for permanent listening.  HotW producer [livejournal.com profile] jfreund  points out that  it would be terribly, terribly wrong for you to PM and ask about this.)  The show opens with about 45 minutes of music & chitchat (plus short reading of Henry's work-in-progess), and then you hear MWK, which runs about :35.

There are still plenty of books left, so don't hesitate to order if you want one.  I have signed many copies (just my name) of existing stock; if you want me to personalize it for you, I'll be glad to do so when next we meet (or when next I stop by Henry's shop - but given my upcoming schedule, that may not be for some time).

I've also offered an inscribed book at the [livejournal.com profile] debsliverlovers auction, which runs to May 23. In addition,Thomas Canty is offering some of his original art (!!!) from the Subterranean Press limited edition of George R. R. Martin's A Feast for Crows  (hit the tag for Offered:  original art - that way, you'll also see the Vess & Windling pieces, and more!) . . . And Temporary Culture has donated a signed print of the folding plate (not folded) of the MWK art (try Offered:  art prints or Seller:  ellen_kushner).  (If the print goes for the Buy It Now price this week, I will put up another one for auction.)  You can also read mod posts about Deb's potential transplant's progress there.  This auction is really cheering her up - and me, too!
ellenkushner: (CantySwordspoint)
I just put this up over at the [info]debsliverlovers auction,
which is where you'll have to go to bid on it:

Canty picture MWK

This is the folding plate that appears at the beginning of my new chapbook, "The Man with the Knives."  It was commissioned for the book, and drawn by Thomas Canty, whose work has long been associated with mine, beginning with his cover for the original American edition of Swordspoint.

The publisher, Temporary Culture, commissioned a small number of additional copies of the print, and the artist signed copies in preparation for hand bound issue. There are 25 signed copies, never folded, most intended for presentation. Publisher Henry Wessells has kindly made available this one, signed by the artist in pencil at lower right. It is suitable for framing (and will be mailed in a tube to keep it uncreased). Heavy cream paper stock.

Dimensions (paper):  17 1/2 " x 8 3/4"  
It's bigger than it looks from the above jpeg - double-click on the image to see it in more detail.

Then throw you bid into the ring by going straight to the auction page [DO NOT BID HERE!].  Scroll through the many pages & generous donors for a cornucopia of desirable delights..
ellenkushner: (Bordertown)
So I'm editing a new Bordertown story that uses the phrase "feral houses" a bunch of times in the opening pages - and I'm thinking, "Huh? Does this writer know what feral really means? Or is it possible it's a term from a B'town story that I've somehow missed reading?"

Enter: The Internet! I google "feral houses" and find page after page . . . most referring back to these amazing photos of feral houses in Detroit by James D. Griffieon.

My esteemed colleague [livejournal.com profile] ariberk then sent me this awetastic link to entire abandoned town, orphanages, roads, etc: Abandoned Place in the World -- omg, it is PURE BORDERLANDS!
ellenkushner: (DREYDL)
KesselsKramer's New Tapestry is an updated version of the Bayeux Tapestry, a huge medieval work of art showing the current affairs of its time. Where the Bayeux Tapestry told the news stories of 1066, New Tapestry tells the news events of 2009. It's 30 meters long and illustrated by 44 international artists.

"My" artist, Ilene Winn-Lederer, who did the glorious cover & illustrations for my book The Golden Dreydl (see Userpic), is Weeks 14 & 15: "The Blessing of the Sun" and "Galileo Galilei." (And, yeah, I do wish they had run a pop-up of the actual names of the artists who were good enough to contribute art, don't you?)

While we're on the subject, Winn-Lederer's newest book is Between Heaven and Earth: An Illuminated Torah Commentary (Pomengranate Press). Pure glory. Take a look at this Slide Show, and you'll see why it's the perfect wedding/ba(r/t) mitzvah gift forever.

Or maybe you'd prefer her self-published The Alchymical Zoodiac: A Celestial Bestiary ?

I also want to thank her for generously contributing some really nice spot art to the all-new, all-revised IAF website.
ellenkushner: (Default)
For the entire month of January, NYPL is offering you a 20% discount on select New York Public Library prints. This is the perfect opportunity to spruce up your apartment or office. NYPL’s digital gallery offers everything from vintage turn of the century posters to historic prints from our Dress & Fashion collection. To receive your discount, type “January20” in the coupon field at checkout.

Start browsing our collection at digitalgallery.nypl.org
ellenkushner: (Thomas the Rhymer)
Added: DAMMIT! This was actually a post about the Fallen Princesses Project & also Lev Grossman (who pointed it out to me)'s new book The Magicians. Bad, bad, stupid cut-and-paste has failed me. Gone, gone, never to be re-undone. The links alone must suffice.

Here's what got pasted in instead (a comment I made to yesterday's Urban Fantasy post, but you should probably see it here, too):

* This 2008 Library Journal article by Nanette Wargo Donohue - footnoted in the Wiki "Urban Fantasy" listing - is spot on. Poor L. Miller's got no excuse!Read more... )
ellenkushner: (EK/DS wedding band)
Charles Vess's Titania "Midsummer Play{" Fountain is finally up & installed in the Square across from Abingdon's Barter Theatre! We visited Charles & Karen last summer, and got to see the work in progress. Fantastic & unforgettable. Now, Charles is kind enough to post some highlights for all.

Jim Kelso's Japanese metalwork & nature-inflected jewelry. "O, if I had a million dollars..!" I'd buy it all and love it forever. He just wrote to say his only crafts show this year will be at the Smithsonian Craft Show April 23-26, "and will have a variety of work including small boxes in wood and metal, display sculpture and jewelry." If you get there, say Hi for me!
ellenkushner: (Default)
The New York Times offers a recipe for Red Hot Ale made with a hot poker. God, I miss my wood stove (and associated tools!). It caramelizes the sugar in the ale. Burnt Caramel is my favorite flavor (well, top 3, anyway). (If you don't want to sign up for the NYTimes, it's also here.)

Remember the 23-yr-old recent Bryn Mawr grad who mysteriously disappeared from her apt in NYC on August 28th? She was found drifting in New York Harbor on Sept. 16th, and just gave a fascinating interview to the NYTimes: she was suffering from dissociative fugue, a rare form of amnesia that causes people to forget their identity, suddenly and without warning, and can last from a few hours to years. “It’s weird,” Ms. Upp said. . . .“How do you feel guilty for something you didn’t even know you did? It’s not your fault, but it’s still somehow you. So it’s definitely made me reconsider everything. Who was I before? Who was I then — is that part of me? Who am I now?”

Our Boston friend, artist Tabitha Vevers, has a show up at the DeCordova (Lincoln, MA) right now. It just got a great review in the Boston Globe. The mermaid picture in the first paragraph is in fact owned by us; we lent it for the show. Very cool; someone from an art shipping firm came to our house to crate it up. There are 7 more images of her work up online here.

October 2014

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