ellenkushner: (MWK cover)
Paul Witcover's review of my story/book The Man with the Knives in the December 2010 issue of Realms of Fantasy (online) is pure poetry.  I really did shed a few tears of joy when I read it.  Paul is himself a fiction writer to be reckoned with, so his approbation is not only exquisite in craft, but the gift of a respected colleague.  (At a recent KGB he read from a work-in-progress that you will all love when it's finished!)

News:  "The Man with the Knives" is going to be making two big appearances soon: on December 1 (tomorrow) the text is going up on Tor.com.  Tom Canty promises me new illustrations, and something extra as well - I'm holding my breath, me.

And Jonathan Strahan has bought it for THE BEST SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY OF THE YEAR: VOLUME 5, which will be published by Night Shade Books (San Francisco) in March 2011.  My respect for Jonathan's editorial judgement knows no bounds; I loved ever story I read in last year's Volume 4, as well as his ECLIPSE 3 (which I also had a story in).

So if you don't own the chapbook, you'll be able to read the story from now on, no problem!  But if you desire the physical artefact, with its heavy, textured, embossed paper cover and Canty foldout art . . . best to get your order in to Temporary Culture right away, as we're afraid the Tor.com post will be a sort of "infomercial" for the last 40 copies still on Henry's shelves.
ellenkushner: (DREYDL)
Chanukah's early this year - first candles will be lit on December 1 - so no point in waiting til after Thanksgiving to let you know that my readaloud/chapter book, The Golden Dreydl, gorgeously illustrated by Ilene Winn-Lederer - is now available in paperback!

I happen to think the original hardcover, with its - deckled paper edges and gold-stamped cover, is a stunning little box of bonbons; but the PB price is right, and latke-stained fingers will do no harm to the paperback. If you do want the HC, though, the publisher tells me they only have a couple hundred left in the warehouse, so grab it now! The next time I see you, I'll autograph it - or you can send me a SASE and I'll sign a bookplate.

The Man with the Knives is also down to about 50 copies left - this is the limited edition chapbook from Temporary Culture, and when it's gone, it's gone. The story will be reprinted online at Tor.com the first week of December, with a link to the chapbook, which may mean that lots more people will see it & want it. Just sayin'. (And, yes, you still can buy it only by mail from Henry Wessell's basement - unless you nip down to St Marks' Books in NYC's East Village, where they have a small cache.)

May all your holiday shopping be painless, and all your candles be bright!
ellenkushner: (MWK cover)
Thanks, everyone, for your lovely notes & comments about the new limited edition chapbook (a "Riverside" story about how Alec met Sofia . . . &  a few other things).  I took several copies with me to Finland, where they made the perfect Thank You gift for some of our generous Finncon hosts; I also sold a few by "subscription" (and if you'll be at the Melbourne Worldcon in a few weeks and want to buy one from me there, please let me know!) . . . the oddest and nicest event around this was a French fan who'd seen from my travel schedule that we'd be in Helsinki around the same time - she was taking her teenage daughter on a high school graduation celebratory trip . . . logistics decreed that we ended up all meeting at Hvittrask - a strangely appropriate (though out-of-the-way) choice - so there we all sat at the little outdoor cafe tables across from the house (this was pretty much our view), fanning ourselves in the record-breaking heat, and talking about books!  She also presented us with baseball caps from her region, the Pyrenees, which was extremely fortuitous as I'd forgotten to pack a hat.

I know there's been some concern about supplies running out . . . While in Finland, I got this note from Henry, which I only just remembered I must put up for you to see:

A report from your publisher that the official available supply of The Man with the Knives is 150 copies. I have noted this on the web page and on the Temporary Culture price list.

You might wish to alert your loyal and polite readers, whose penmanship is almost universally excellent, to this fact.

Henry Wessells


Are you alerted?

You are.
ellenkushner: (MWK cover)
 I am astonished at how many of you have read the Upfield books - I'd never heard of them til Henry thrust a couple into my bag.  Speaking of which, I was just over to his place (on tony Madison Avenue - and on my old rustbucket of a bike, which to my utter amazement, still runs, despite the winter it spent out in the courtyard - I just need to find some duct tape for the split vinyl on the seat, that's all . . . but had a glorious ride through Riverside & Central Parks!! no, Mom, I'm not riding in NYC traffic - not much, anyway) - and am now the proud borrower of his biography, Follow My Dust! (I'm not making this up, you know!).  1 glance at a random sentence makes it perfectly clear that he did, indeed, write it himself.  It's Alice B. Toklas all over again . . . kind of.

All of which is to say:  Went over to Henry's, signed a bunch more The Man with the Knives chapbooks, most of which are going to Readercon, next weekend to be sold at the Small Beer Press table, because Gavin Grant is a real stand-up guy.  Henry also mentioned that he'd left a stack to be sold on commission at St Marks' Bookshop here in NYC (E.Village), and had either sent some or was about to, to McNally Jackson (SoHo). I think there are about 100 left floating around, if you want one.  I'll be taking a handful with me to Finncon (July 18) & Aussiecon (Sept) - if you'll be at either one, and you want one with your name on it, please let me know to reserve (and schlep) for you.
ellenkushner: (MWK cover)
We asked the publisher (chief cook & bottle washer) about the font he used for The Man with the Knives.  Answer:

Type is Centaur MT, with title page & cover set in Caslon Antique

By the way, copies  are still available.  He's bringing some to sell at Readercon (July 8-11) - I won't be there (so sad!  I hate to miss a Readercon! but I must go to Finland that week for Finncon!), but I'm signing all of them (just my name) in advance, and Gavin Grant of Small Beer Press has very kindly offered to host them at his table in the Dealers' Room there.   My thanks to everyone who's ordered a book - Mr. HW continues impressed with the courtesy of my readers.  Classy people, you!

ETA:  You can see what the type looks like on the first page here.
ellenkushner: (MWK cover)
As you all tweet & chirp & post about going to Wiscon, I allow myself the luxury of a single tear.  I will miss the con, and all of you, so very much. But as we will be traveling almost nonstop from June 4 onward through October(!), this was the one that had to give.  Have fun!

Meanwhile, if you're at [livejournal.com profile] wiscon  & would like to buy a copy of The Man with the Knives there,  I'm delighted to say that Greg Ketter of Dreamhaven Books will have copies for sale in the Dealers' Room!  I think they're all signed, too.  And if any are left in Greg's stock after Wiscon, you should be able to mailorder them from Dreamhaven then.

While you're in the Dealers Room, Gavin Grant of Small Beer Press will be there with copies of Laurie J. Marks' Water Logic for sale (and possibly a special raffle for you to win a very cool prize!).  He'll also have copies ofInterfictions 2, and co-editor Christopher Barzak will be happy to sign them there.  Also representing the [livejournal.com profile] interstitialart s will be Interfictions 2 author [livejournal.com profile] shadesong , who will be handing out Cookies & Propaganda at the Gathering on Friday . . . stop by and say Hi for me!
ellenkushner: (NYC: RSD)
I just quite unexpectedly met Alan Rickman, backstage at a performance of Strindberg's Creditors  at BAM, a show he directed. I was the guest of the Welsh Cultural Council (long story) and we had fantastic seats for the show (row B!).  One of the three amazing actors in this tight little drama, Owen Teale, is Welsh, so we were ushered backstage to meet him - and what a great guy he is!  He speaks of Rickman with warmth, and not a little awe.  He is, apparently, a force to be reckoned with.  (Teale also does fabulous imitations of his voice, along wtih Al Pacino's  and other dressing room visitors....Ah, actors!  I could never mimic worth a damn.)  Apparently Rickman comes to every performance, and gives notes (by phone) the next day.  So there he was in the dressing room, being pleasant to everyone who wanted to talk to him.  He obligingly shook hands with all of us. Then I had wine with Teale (who obligingly had brought out plastic cups & opened a bottle) - it did seem a bit Wrong that we were there to see him, but everyone was still clustered around AR.  Then Rickman politely said good bye all, and I realized I had a copy of "The Man with the Knives" in my bag.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained - I mean, it's not like anything bad was going to happen.  So I shook his hand again, and said, "I had no idea you would  be here tonight, but I wonder if I could give you this?  Thank you very much; I really appreciate all the work you've done" or something like that.  And off he went.

I knew you'd kill me if I forgot to mention it.  Especially as I already told my Twitter pals first.  (But you know I love you best, don't you?)
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..

mano a mano

May. 6th, 2010 12:22 am
ellenkushner: (CantySwordspoint)
An early review of "The Man with the Knives":  

A very nice guy, a retired engineer from Queens, is always at the NYRSF readings - so he heard [livejournal.com profile] deliasherman  & me read the story in its public debut there in December '09.  I was at NYRSF last night to hear Greg Frost read (hilarious Donald Westlake homage for Darrell Schweitzer's new Cthulu anthology), and the guy made a point of coming up to me to tell me he'd heard the rebroadcast of the story this past Saturday at 6 a.m. on Hour of the Wolf.  "I liked it even better the second time," he said.  "And there was a lot I missed the first time - for instance I hadn't realized it was mano a mano."

But there was no hand-to-hand combat in that story. "Mano a mano?"   I assumed the look of perky inquiry I assume when baffled but benign.

"You know," he said; "I didn't realize his first lover was, well, another man.  It was good, though.  I really enjoy your writing." 

We proceeded to have a lovely talk about his daughter who's a burlesque artist & costume designer at Coney Island.

The world is a wonderful place.

P. S.  The radio show, complete with our reading of the story, will be up online for another 9 days.  Here's the info on how to hear it.
ellenkushner: (Madame J.)
First of all, thanks to all the lovely wonderful people, old friends & new, who came to celebrate with us on pub day for The Man with the Knives, my new chapbook from Temporary Culture.   (I'm going to get your names/tags wrongs, so please do "sign in" below so I can thank you personally!.)  Here's everyone partaying at the elegant James Cummins Booksellers on Madison Avenue (full of delectable rare books - yes, that is a first edition of Keats' poems under the glass case) while I slave away signing books:


And here is the Thing Itself - the first copy I held in my hand - note the raised type of the cover, which is real embossing [check the back - see? raised!], and the page with the number count  (only numbered in the hand-bound version - note Henry's red fingerprint [one in every book, even the paperbound]!)


There are still plenty of books left, so click here to find ordering information.  

And if you'd like your book signed and/or inscribed, I'll be happy to do that for you if you let Henry know before Saturday noon (when you order), as that's when I'm seeing him next.  I inscribed about 8 of them today to people who'd pre-ordered - you know who you are - and thanks!  If you don't like the story, you can simply enjoy the Beautiful Object you will soon be holding in your hands.  The weight & surface of the paper . . . the texture of the cover . . . the interior illo's . . . . ahhh!  Bliss in 32 pages.
ellenkushner: (Knives cover)
 Lots more photos of the hand-binding process for The Man With the Knives are up now!  Mr H-- W-- has been a busy fellow.  I particularly like the one of all the biggest, heaviest books he could find, weighting down my slender little volume there at the bottom.

The publication party is tomorrow, Monday, in NYC, 5-7 pm.

 All are invited --  but please RSVP to: henry at jamescumminsbookseller dot (com) for a head-count.   I'll be getting there early to sign books to anyone who's pre-ordered (or "subscribed," as the publisher likes to put it) and asked for same.
ellenkushner: (EK:  Twelfth Night)
 [livejournal.com profile] jfreund  asks me to tell you that he does not, in fact, have puppydog eyes.  Must've been thinking of some other early-morning radio host.

He also says that the show we just did this morning live on Hour of the Wolf is now up online on the WBAI Archives page (and will remain there for 13 days):  listen at http://bit.ly/JUpX3 - -look for Hour of the Wolf.

We've got some great music in there, and some great conversation.  Henry Wessells reads an exquisite bit of his novel-in-progress at about :20 minutes into the 2-hour show, and Jim plays Delia's & my December '10 NYRSF performance of "The Man with the Knives" from about :45 - 1:15.

Henry also presented me with the first ever copy of "The Man with the Knives" - here's me in the studio handling it reverently, and here's Henry & me (taken by Jim) showing it off afterwards, and here's what you see when you step out of the on-air studio at 7 a.m.
ellenkushner: (book swords music)
Am I nuts?  Or can I just not resist Jim Freund's puppydog eyes --and constant unwavering support of all sf/f/interstitial writers in the NYC area  (and visitors from the four corners of the world) whom he can corral, induce, persuade & delight to come hobnob with him on Hour of the Wolf on NYC's WBAI 99.5FM every Saturday morning from 5:00-7:00 a.m.*?

So that's where you'll find me, about 12 hours from now.  

I'm only doing it 'cause MWTK publisher Henry Wessells said he'd come, too.

And did I mention it's a CALL-IN show?

And it's streamed live on the interweb here.   So if you're in the UK or Paris, f'rinstance, you can be dipping your croissant in your cafe au lait (don't spill it on your keyboard) & Skype in your questions to me.  That would be so cool!  (And if you're in Seattle or Japan, just stay up late...)

We'll be talking about "The Man with the Knives" (in honor of its pub date this Monday, May 3rd!), playing songs to do with May Day (& animal transformation, in honor of The Beastly Bride, too!) . . . and best of all, Jim is going to broadcast a recording of the reading that [livejournal.com profile] deliasherman  & I did of "The Man with the Knives" back in December at NYRSF! The reading felt like something very special at the time; it was the first time I'd presented the story to the public, and people seemed pretty excited. I hope it sounds as good as it felt.

Better go find those Waterson/Carthy albums, now . . . (And if anyone can suggest a good Animal Transformation song - or non-trite version of "The Great Silkie of Sule Skerrie" - I'm all ears.)

*Not to mention the years he's spent organizing & running the NYRSF readings, and recording all the KGB (and prior) readings every month.  Really, the man's a jewel.  He also recorded our Witches of Lublin reading this week, so I REally Owe Him.
ellenkushner: (Knives cover)
Look, everyone, look!!

Henry has posted photos of  his progress of hand-binding those 20 extra-special copies of The Man with the Knives!

I think this is my favorite one

The Man with the Knives, trial binding about to be assembled, 28 April 10

See? It's even got a scalpel!

I'm not going to post them all here, I'm not I'm not- - but go look!
ellenkushner: (Knives cover)
The official publication date for "The Man with the Knives" is just one week away!  To celebrate & launch the book, Temporary Culture is throwing a small party.  As publisher/designer/chief cook/bottlewasher Henry Wessells says:

Come one, come all!

Monday 3 May
5:00 to 7:00 pm
James Cummins Bookseller
699 Madison Avenue, 7th floor (betwen 62nd & 63rd)
RSVP:  Henry at JamesCumminsBookseller d.o.t. com

There will be brand-new books there for sale:  both the $15 paperbound version, and the $$$$ handbound-cloth-with-marbled-paper, signed by both me & artist Thomas Canty.  Canty's original art for the book will also be on display.  (You don't have to buy a book to come - but you know you want one....)

Only 420 copies are being printed, and when they're gone, they're gone. To order (or reserve - if you know you're coming to the party, just ask him to set one aside for you) yours, send a check or note to Henry at the e/address on the webpage here.

You can also click through to proofs of the Title Page and the First Page from there, with examples of Canty's beautiful text decorations (but not his glorious full-page and pull-out pictures, which I guess will be a Surprise!).

I hope to see some of you at the party, where I will gladly & gratefully sign & personalize books of all kinds (as long as I wrote them)!  And that goes for just about anywhere - if you get a copy but are not in NYC, I'll be happy to sign it for you next time we meet. 

I can sign & personalize pre-ordered (before May 3) copies!  Quoth Henry:
All subscribers can expect to have a copy signed by you (you can come early to the party), I will pour you a glass of wine, and you will sign away. If they send e-mail with name clearly spelled, I will print out the e-mails.

I should also point out that every single book from Temporary Culture really does come with a red thumbprint personally inked by the glorious Publisher.
ellenkushner: (Knives cover)
My chapbook publisher, Henry Wessels of Endless Bookshelf,  pings the first sneak peek:

Trial proof page 1 of The Man with the Knives by Ellen Kushner, ornaments by Thomas Canty
- 25 iii 10 - (forthcoming in May) 
ellenkushner: (Knives cover)
 Oh. My.  My publisher has just sent me blurred snapshots of the art Thomas Canty has just sent him for the The Man with the Knives chapbook (coming May 3, which suddenly doesn't seem all that far away).   It's breathtakingly gorgeous.   I'm not allowed to show anyone - and spots will appear on the webpage when it's ready - but I just wanted to gasp with delight in public right now! 

I'm promised higher resolution pics tonight. 
ellenkushner: (Knives cover)
Progress report on the The Man with the Knives chapbook: I haven't seen any sketches by Tom Canty yet. When I do, you'll probably be able to hear the shrieks of glee in Timbuktu. Tom did ask me to describe the characters, though, so he could work on them. I thought you might enjoy the correspondence:

TOM: I just this afternoon finished reading your BEAUTIFUL story ! ! I was hoping that you had an image in your mind of what Sofia and Campione might look like to you. Maybe just height and body type, hair color (white for Campione) , length etc. and an approximate age for each. I don't want to draw anything that you might feel doesn't represent a possibility, but I also don't want to fully define the two and take away the pleasure that the reader would have in fleshing them out in their own mind. Sort of threading a line I guess . . .

ELLEN: Glad you like it! OK, here goes:

"Campione" is actually Alec, the self-destructive, acid-tongued runaway scholar from Swordspoint - 40 years later. He's now in his late 50s. So he's very tall and lanky, with long white hair pulled back from his forehead (no "bangs") or possibly parted down the middle. Bony, with a very sculptured face - long nose, narrow lips, wide set eyes. Long hands with slender fingers.

Sofia is about 25, of average height (maybe a bit tall but not as tall as he is), with a nicely-shaped woman's body. She has long black hair, which she usually wears in braids coiled on her head like a coronet - like this ("Timoshenko Braid") or like the single braid version of this--or you can just pile it up on her head. . . though of course when she's not, ah, working she might have her hair down.

Sofia has strong Mediterranean features - think Greek, or Italian. Her nose may arc a little. She's the kind of woman men call "handsome." Not delicate, though not without grace. There's something aristocratic and self-assured about her that she's unaware of.

I agree that you don't want to "overdefine" them to the reader - thank you! Though if you can indicate that they are from two different ethnic groups - he's very Northern European, she's Mediterranean - it would be cool.

OK . . . trying not to overthink this, here . . . . I'll shut up now - but if you have any more questions, don't hesitate to give a shout!
ellenkushner: (Knives cover)
Thanks, everyone, for your warm & enthusiastic comments on my rather giddy announcement post last Sunday 'round midnight about the "The Man with the Knives" chapbook!

I continue thrilled beyond belief; publisher Henry Wessells keeps sending little updates on orders, ideas for design . . . feels like every day's my birthday - a great way to get through February!

Before we shook hands on the project, he insisted that I read his Micropublishing: a Short Course blog entry. As you can see, it's a real labor of love for everyone. He claims that the whole reason he does it is so he can have the fun of hand-binding those 20 special collectors' versions . . . and he may well be telling the truth, as he has posted examples of his previous handiwork here - and at lunch last week, we sat in a posh midtown vegan restaurant (Candle 79, if you're interested) oooh-ing and ahh-ing over the "baby pictures" of the entire process of binding Michael Swanwick's Hope-in-the-Mist at Henry's kitchen table - if you're at all interested in bookbinding in all its glory, see here.

To clarify just a few things, now I'm not so breathless:

The story, "The Man with the Knives," is the one I read aloud at NYRSF in December . . . the one that was unexpectedly rejected earlier that month . . . the one where Alec (Swordspoint etc.) meets Sofia (The Fall of the Kings etc.), and the one for which I needed all that help on surgery - oh, hell, it's all here under the tag "The Man with the Knives."

It's quite short, told in alternating viewpoints, Alec's & Sofia's. I love the Wordles I made by separating each one out. I think they give a pretty good sense of each one's narrative, without giving anything away.

Will the chapbook be your only chance to read it? I certainly hope not! It's bound to be reprinted somewhere eventually - one can even dream of a "Year's Best" inclusion somewhere for this one, as I think it's some of my best work . . . . But my handshake with Henry does stipulate that no other edition appear for several months after the Temporary Culture publication in May 2010.

The point of the chapbook, though, is that it's a Beautiful Object. Even if you don't go so far as to score the handbound edition (which costs the same as a small TV!), I can assure you that the $15 item will be a wonderful thing to hold in the hand. Details to come.

And he really is printing only 400 of the "paper" edition. When they're gone, they're gone - I actually had to beg for one of the last 3 copies of Hope-in-the-Mist to give a friend for New Year's (so I hope she loved it!). This shocked me so much that I talked him into printing more of this one. No one should go hungry in my world. But it's a smallish vineyard with only one pressing, this.

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