We here at Cheeky Frawg Books are always trying to expand our customer service to meet our readers’ needs—and readers want Steampunk, and have been telling us that Steampunk covers a wide range of amazing titles. Thus, we have made arrangements to e-publish a new line of Steampunk Classics, set to debut in May. Below you’ll find covers for the first three (by Jeremy Zerfoss) as well as a list of upcoming selections. Something to look forward to!
(For more details on the event above, click here. Poster design by Will Hindmarch. PS–I hope I’ll be posting to facebook during my trip, with a sticky post capturing it all here, but can’t be sure…)
Before hitting Finland, Ann and I will be in Amsterdam to visit family, but I’m veering off over the next weekend to go to Warsaw, Poland, at the invite of the Polish F&SF magazine and Konrad Walewski, who has done a bang-up job of scheduling. Neil Williamson, a writer currently nominated for a BSFA award, and a World Fantasy Award finalist as an editor, will be joining me for most of the festivities—including the panel listed above.
I’ve had several books published in Poland now, all with great designs, and I’ve also enjoyed reading the reactions to the books from the very energetic and knowledgeable Polish fans and reviewers (through the miracle of Google translator). Having done so much research for The Weird antho, too, I’m thrilled to be visiting the country that brought us such fine writers as Stefan Grabinski and Bruno Schulz, among others. (I’m re-reading my Dedalus Book of Polish Fantasy this week, too.) I’m very much looking forward to meeting everyone, including my publishers and the awesome Jan Å»eraÅ„ski.
Saturday, April 2—From 2 to 3pm there’s a signing at Warsaw’s f/sf bookstore. There’s also a party in the evening. A late lunch a bit after the signing will be with the winners of a F&SF contest, and I’m bringing City of Saints and Shriek soundtracks for them, among other things.
Sunday, April 3—At 2pm there will be a panel discussion with Neil Williamson, Robert Walis (my translator), Konrad Walewski, Pawel Matuszek, and me about new trends and everything new in world literature (with a special focus on New Weird and steampunk) entitled “Terra Nova,” along with more book signing.
Monday, April 4—I’ll be interviewed on a morning tv show (7am) called “Tea of Coffee?” on TVP 1, Poland’s national tv station. Later that day, I’ll be recording an interview for a radio station. At 2pm, tune in for a live video Internet chat at this internet address. here.
Alas, so many things are happening this blog has temporarily become a VanderNews site…
One of the major things is VanderCon in Finland. The Finns are bringing us over for a kind of lecture circuit/road trip, which will also definitely function as a cross-cultural exchange. Expects lots of posts on Finland and Finnish writers upon our return—as well as video, since I now have a Flip.
There’s an official VanderCon blog with more specific details, but below the cut find our general itinerary. The schedule does not include some of the more intimate pub meet-and-greets.
We look forward to meeting a lot of amazing people, as well as old friends! Finland is a dynamic and wonderful country.
If you click here you’ll find a page set up for our first Cheeky Frawg e-book releases. The month of “soft splash” lets us see how things work and make any necessary adjustments. Although we already know we’re unique in that we make every one of our e-books by hand on a letterpress, using only the finest, most perfectly formed 00000s and 111111s.
As noted in the text, we’ll have a full-on website and a full-on PR blitz celebration in early May, along with the announcement of new titles. Although we’re focusing on our own content, we will also be putting out e-books of other writers’ work. The flagship of our endeavor in that regard will be the ODD? anthology. In the meantime, enjoy our first selections!
Strange Horizons has posted a great roundtable discussion about Shared Worlds, the teen SF/F writing camp I’m the assistant director for, at Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina. It includes some commentary by one of the students, Megan Jackson, and her father, as well as me, the camp’s director, Jeremy L.C. Jones, former teachers Kathe Koja and Ann VanderMeer.
Every summer since, the camp has offered teenagers ranging from eighth to twelfth grade opportunities to work with top science fiction/fantasy writers and editors like Ann VanderMeer, Will Hindmarch, Holly Black, Kathe Koja, Marly Youmans, and Michael Bishop, on world-building utilized in a fortnight of extensive drafting and writing, as well as group work that promotes team-building and problem solving. The first week, students team up to collaborate on world-building. The second week, they break off to focus solely on their writing. A week after the end of camp, students are rewarded with a high-quality keepsake book of their writing.
This year, the teachers include me, Ann, Will Hindmarch, Nnedi Okorafor, Minister Faust, and Ekaterina Sedia. The camp runs from July 17 through the 31.
There’s still time for students to register, although slots are filling fast.
Here’s an excerpt from the feature:
SJC: Why should a teen attend Shared Worlds?
Jeremy: We provide a safe place for teens to experiment with ideas and develop their imaginations, in ways that are fun and useful. Shared Worlds also offers students an opportunity to get together with other teens who love to read and write speculative fiction. Students at Shared Worlds are bright, creative, and enthusiastic young people who want to make stuff up, to tell stories, to dream big. These teens pride themselves on being readers and writers and artists….Can you imagine? Being fifteen years old and studying writing with Holly Black! That would’ve blown my mind as a teenager.
Jeff: I…wanted to work in something Ann and I believe in deeply: stimulation of the imagination through the kinds of writing exercises and contexts that provide structure but also allow teens to take a leap of faith off into the unknown with their creativity. Structure is so important because it’s the structure that allows them to relax. And I also eventually wanted to institute the one-on-one sessions with students that I’d seen work effectively at Clarion. In a teen writing camp context, those one-on-one sessions are even more valuable, because sometimes it’s the first time a teen writer has had a professional writer listen to them and take their writing goals, dreams, and aspirations seriously. Sometimes you can just see it in their eyes: the sudden realization that they are indeed a writer, they are allowed to be a creative person…
Ann VanderMeer: I’ve spent most of my life working with young people in a variety of venues. Shared Worlds gives students an opportunity to let their imaginations run wild without fear of judgment. We give them permission to fail, so to speak. And in a safe, accepting environment surrounded by other like-minded students and teachers.
Kathe Koja: Because s/he wants to work, write, think, compose, create, make up truly hair-raising private jokes, scream and laugh and meet people who will be close friends by the time s/he leaves. . . . All the good stuff. I know I would have loved to go to a workshop like Shared Worlds as a teen writer, and I bet all the other visiting writers have said the same.
Just a reminder for international readers of this blog that I will be taking a side trip to Warsaw, Poland, for a couple of days, where my friend and awesome writer Neil Williamson (he has a story up for a BFSA award) will be joining me on a panel. There will also be some other events, including a reading/signing and a radio interview. I also assume there will be some informal and quite wonderful discussion in some pub or other. I hope to see you there.
Polish publishers have been kind enough to publish my novels Veniss Underground, City of Saints & Madmen, Shriek: An Afterword, Finch, and our Steampunk anthology.
Thanks to Konrad Walewski, who runs the Polish version of F&SF for setting everything up and getting me over there. (Hopefully, I can update this post with more details about the events soon.)
I’m also going to be in Amsterdam visiting family with Ann. Ann’s coming to Finland with me, but isn’t joining me for the jaunt to Poland.
Ann and I are doing a soft launch of Cheeky Frawg Books soon. Cheeky will specialize in e-books with a few intrusions into the physical world. (Interiors by Neil Clarke.)
Cheeky Frawg believes in the future of books but we don’t want to forget the past. We hand-craft every e-book on a letter press with only the best, most perfectly formed 00000s and 111111s. Our e-binding is hand-rolled by former Cuban cigar makers and our covers, backcovers, logo and wallpapers are painstakingly designed by the Las Vegas Madman, artist Jeremy Zerfoss.
We’ll have a webpage up next week, and the first four books available in their initial formats. Right now, though, you can check out our facebook page at “Cheeky Frawg Books”.
You can enter our first contest there, or in the comments thread here:
Dear Fellow Cheekies: want to win copies of our first four e-books in the format of your choice? Just answer this question: What should Cheeky Frawg’s battle cry be when waging war on other e-book publishers? Deadline April 1. One lucky winner will be chosen and their battle cry will grace the title page of our next four releases.
(Extra cool stuff by Jeremy Zerfoss, for part of the ODD? PR campaign in May, a production of Cheeky Frawg)
Just some flotsam and jetsam…We’re about four days away from launching our first Cheek Frawg e-books, which will include an e-version of the Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals, cover below. You’ll find our approach and branding refreshingly different from the norm. Besides, we, unlike others, make each copy of our e-books by hand, including e-binding by hand and special back cover art by Jeremy Zerfoss.
In addition, my nonfiction collection Monstrous Creatures is well and truly launched into the world, with reviews at SF Signal, Bibliophile Stalker, Popmatters, Tor, and interviews various places. The book is now available via Amazon, and the limited edition is available from the publisher. Of the 100 limiteds, more than 60 are already gone. REMEMBER–my cut of the profits goes toward the Leviathan 5 translation costs. The book includes the best of my nonfiction from the last five years, including reviews from the NYTBR, etc.
It’s going to be a Steampunk summer, with the Steampunk Bible coming out in late April. My coauthor S.J. Chambers will be going on the road, and I’ll be doing a few events in between book deadlines. Just to begin to give you a heads up about events in your area, here’s a partial schedule. In April, we’ll have finalized schedules, more confirmed events, links to relevant sites, and much more.
Austin, Texas â€“ May 1 (Sunday), The US Art Authority â€“ Coauthor S.J. Chambers with special guest Rick Klaw. Book Release Party, books supplied by Austin Books and Comics. Time still TBD. (Chambers will also be attending the World Horror Convention that weekend, and hopes some of the attendee will come to the book release party, which is scheduled after WHC has wound down.)
Waltham, MA â€“ May 6-8 (F-Sun), International Steampunk City â€“ Panel/signing at International Steampunk City, with coauthor S.J. Chambers and contributors Ay-leen the Peacemaker, and Jake Von Slatt, G.D. Falksen and Evelyn Kriete, et al.
Somerset, NJ â€“ May 20-22 (F-Sun), World Steam Fair â€“ Panel appearances by coauthor S.J. Chambers, along with contributors Jake von Slatt, Ay-leen the Peacemaker, Dr. Grymm, Jaymee Goh, etc. Signing TBA.
Cambridge, MA â€“ May 23 (Mon), Porter Square Books, 7pm â€“ Coauthor S.J. Chambers with contributors Jake von Slatt, Mike Libby, and Aleks Sennwald for book discussion, demonstration of mechanical beetles, and more.
New York City – May 26 (Thurs), Barnes & Noble â€“ Coauthors Jeff VanderMeer and S.J. Chambers are joined by contributors Evelyn Kriete, G.D. Falksen, Ay-leen the Peacemaker, Dexter Palmer, Aleks Sennwald, and Jaymee Goh for a lively discussion of steampunk, along with a multi-media presentation, and Q&A.
Philadelphia, PA â€“ May 28, Between Books (Delaware, 25 min from downtown Philly), 6:30pm â€“ Coauthor S.J. Chamber discusses the book along with Steampunk experts Ekaterina Sedia and Ed Pettit, with a possible special appearance by the steampunk band The Absinthe Drinkers.
Richmond, VA â€“ June 2 (Thurs), Fountain Bookstore, 6:30pm â€“ Signing and discussion with coauthor S.J. Chambers discusses the book.
Seattle â€“ June 6, University Bookstore, 7pm â€“ Signing and discussion with Cherie Priest (author) and Libby Bulloff (photographer), major contributors to the book.
Spartanburg, SC â€“ July 17-30, Wofford College auditorium and Hub Bub Books â€“ Ann & Jeff VanderMeer teach at the SF/Fantasy teen writing camp based at Wofford College, including readings and panel discussions at local bookstores and on campus that are open to the public. Including The Steampunk Bible. Special guests, Lambshead Cabinet contributors Minister Faust, Will Hindmarch, and Ekaterina Sedia.
ALSO PLANNED: An event in Washington DC, July 24th event in Asheville, July 30th event near Chapel Hill, release party in Tallahassee, and attendance at Dragon*Con.
As you might imagine, even though we tried hard we wound up acquiring more books while out on the West Coast. Two favorite authors, both picked up at the Tachyon home offices in San Fran (they have a laser gun now and really interesting process flows on post-it notes). The Goldstein doesn’t come out until June—it looks really interesting.
The FOGCon book room, expertly run by Keyan Bowes, had many wonderful dealer tables, but the one that I must confess made my heart flutter a little was PM Press. They’ve got marvelous lines of left-wing nonfiction and, more recently, fiction that includes a lot of edgy or surreal SF/fantasy. I didn’t mean to bring home a cockroach killer, but who the heck could pass up such a fine-looking William Morris bio?! On the right is Crucified Dreams, which looks to be a very cool dark noir/horror antho, from Tachyon.