Songs of Chaos Sings Again

1515410161Fantastic Books is excited to announce the republication of S.N. Lewitt’s classic novel of social injustice and artistic meaning, Songs of Chaos. Long out of print, but more relevant than ever to today’s world, Songs of Chaos is set in a future where everyone is genetically designed to be perfect. Dante, however, is a throwback, kept in a government-run complex for his unusual senses of sight and hearing. When a suspicious fire kills his fellow outcasts, he is targeted in a plot to finally rid the planet of “misfits.” Stowing away on a trader ship, he winds up in a strange world of space pirates where his artistic talents are valued, and where he may find his place within the pattern of life.

Praise for Songs of Chaos:

“The best book yet by one of SF’s hottest and hippest writers.” —Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo-, Nebula-, and 14-time Aurora Award winner

Songs of Chaos has “color and verve and momentum and a serious point having to do with the undesirability of social stasis.” —Analog Science Fiction and Fact
“SF fans looking for less emphasis upon high-tech gadgetry and more upon a future culture will be rewarded by this effort.” —Booklist
Songs of Chaos is a “melange of intrigue, revolutionary politics, and fast-paced action. Lewitt keeps the story moving, leavens it with interesting detail and a sympathetic protagonist, and makes her social and psychological points incisively. Songs of Chaos is an excellent read with more to it than most sf action-adventure novels. It’s a throwback to days when sf adventure novels had to be about something other than running around the cosmos with bad guys chasing you.” —Locus
“The author has managed to take themes that everybody is using and still come up with a book that is fresh and different.” —SF Commentary

Songs of Chaos is now available as a 226-page trade paperback ($14.99; ISBN: 978-1-5154-1016-4), and will soon be available in a variety of ebook formats. Songs of Chaos—and all Fantastic Books publications—are distributed through Ingram, and available through all major online retailers and specialty sf shops via direct order from Fantastic Books.

Review copies available upon request.

Fantastic Books Publishing Koscienski & Pisano’s New Novel The Biggest Bounty

Fiore is the (chemically enhanced) muscle; Zeus is the (super-genius) brains. Together, they’re out to become the greatest interstellar bounty hunters ever. But along the path to fame and fortune, they’ll accumulate contacts, partners, and enemies without even meaning to. It’s all part of the job, when you’re chasing the biggest bounty ever, and picking up the strangest milks in the galaxy.

Brian Koscienski and Chris Pisano are the drunken comic book monkeys behind Fortress Publishing, and the authors of Scary Tales of Scariness and Sciency Tales of Science Fiction. For a quicker taste of who they are and what they do, check out

Fantastic Books, an imprint of Gray Rabbit Publications, is thrilled to be publishing Brian Koscienski & Chris Pisano’s new novel in May 2017. The Biggest Bounty—and all Fantastic Books publications—are distributed through Ingram, and available through all major online retailers and specialty sf shops via direct order from the publisher.

Review copies are available upon request.

The Biggest Bounty: A Zeus and the Pink Flower Novel
by Brian Koscienski & Chris Pisano
Fantastic Books, $14.99, 250 pages, trade paperback, ISBN: 978-1-5154-1015-7.
Publication date: May 30, 2017

Fantastic Books Publishes Bud Sparhawk’s New Collection

Fantastic Books is thrilled to announce the publication of Bud Sparhawk’s new short story collection, Non-Parallel Universes, in May 2017.

Bud Sparhawk’s stories accept no limits, from the edges of the galaxy to the inner recesses of the human heart, from the very beginnings of life to the very end of time. All that range, and more, is on display in this collection of 19 stories. We meet space pirates and bounty hunters, baseball pitchers and intelligent toilets. From a pair of buddies brewing beer on Jupiter, to a couple of old friends reconnecting at an environmental rally, the people living these incredible lives in unbelievable situations are relatable and human. But whether it’s a starship pilot skipping through the centuries as he travels the universe, or a boy trying to not alienate his loving father, we recognize ourselves in each of them.

Pre-publication praise:

“Bud Sparhawk is a writer of clarity, wit, and insight. His stories provoke wonder, will sometimes give you a good laugh, and always make you think. I enjoy his work, and believe you will, too.” —Allen Steele, three-time Hugo Award-winner

“Bud Sparhawk’s imagination knows no limits. A dazzling collection.” —Jack McDevitt, Nebula Award-winner

“In today’s science fiction field, if I hear these three descriptors—‘one of the living masters of the short form,’ ‘humor and pathos in equal measure,’ and ‘universally accessible,’—I know whose work is being discussed: Bud Sparhawk’s. And you hold the very finest of that work in your hands.” —Charles E. Gannon, author of the Tales of the Terran Republic series

“A collection of Bud Sparhawk’s work is as diverse and mind-blowing as an anthology of a dozen other writers. His stories can span the breadth of the Universe, or the distance between a man and his son. He can even unlock the heart of a crusty curmudgeon (like you, perhaps) and find a world of hope and wonder.” —Robert R. Chase, author of The Game of Fox and Lion

Non-Parallel Universes—and all Fantastic Books publications—are distributed through Ingram, and available through all major online retailers and specialty sf shops via direct order from Fantastic Books.

Review copies are available upon request.

Non-Parallel Universes
by Bud Sparhawk
Fantastic Books, $14.99, 268 pages, trade paperback, ISBN: 978-1-5154-1020-1
Publication date: May 30, 2017

The Complete Book of Presidential Inaugural Speeches

1515410234I’m pleased to announce the newest book from Gray Rabbit Publications: the latest edition of The Complete Book of Presidential Inaugural Speeches. I’ve updated it to include the 59th, delivered last month by 45th President Donald Trump. As with the previous editions, the book also includes notes about the elections and inaugurations that preceded each of the speeches.

The odd thing about these books that I’m trying to figure out (though not spending too much time on it) is that even though I released the second edition, which included President Obama’s second inaugural speech, in 2013, the first edition (from 2010, which only has Obama’s first speech) continues out outsell the second. So I haven’t taken either of those out of print, and now I’ll watch to see which of the three editions does best.

Boskone this weekend

This coming weekend is another science fiction convention. I’ll be at Boskone in Boston. My programming schedule includes:

Friday at 4pm in Lewis: “Temperament and the Writer” with Leigh Perry, Esther Friesner, Richard Shealy, and Steve Davidson

Saturday at 3pm in Burroughs: “Earth 2.0: Manned Space Flight in the 21st Century” with Allen M. Steele, Jordin T. Kare, Janet Catherine Johnston, and N.A. Ratnayake

Saturday at 6:30pm in the Galleria, “Boskone Book Party”

Sunday at 12n in Marina 4: “Brick and Mortar: Bookstores Then, Now, and Tomorrow” with Joe Siclari, Maryelizabeth Yturralde, Robert Howard, and Lauren Roy

And of course, I’ll be at the Fantastic Books table in the dealers’ room, where we’re open Friday 5-8pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, and Sunday 10am-3pm. Hope to see some of you there!

A couple of Mensa updates

It occurs to me that I haven’t provided an update recently. Last weekend, while I was at Glimmerdark (a convention in New Jersey), I got word that I’ll be speaking at Central New Jersey Mensa’s Snowball Regional Gathering on Saturday, March 4th. My topic will be “Any President but Donald Trump,” because I realized I haven’t spoken on the Presidents at Snowball in about eight years. And no, this will not be a partisan talk bashing any particular President(s). The write-up is: “When writing The Presidential Book of Lists, Ian Randal Strock calculated the “average President” and the extremes. But the election of Donald Trump apparently broke the mold… or did it? While it’s true that President Trump is very far from the average set out by his 43 predecessors, in many respects he may not be as unique as you might think. This look at how Donald Trump compares to other 43 men we’ve called President will be non-partisan, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see the Presidents in a new light, or have some of your preconceived notions confirmed.”

The farther-reaching news is that the petitioning season has ended, and since I had no opponents, I have been declared the winner of this year’s American Mensa election, and will be the next Regional Vice Chairman for Region 1. For those not in the know, I describe the position as a cross between governor and a Cabinet member (in a parliamentary form of government). Region 1 includes all of New England, New York State except for Western New York, and Northern New Jersey. There are ten Regions in American Mensa, and all of those RVCs plus the five national officers constitute the American Mensa Committee (board of directors); we take office July 1st for a two-year term. Thanks, everyone, for your support.

Larry Smith, bookseller

I’m seeing from several sources, so I’m taking it as true that Larry Smith died today. Larry is the man behind Larry Smith Bookseller, the specialty sf shop who’s fixed location was every science fiction convention on the East Coast of the United States. Larry and his wife, Sally Kobee, have been running the business for a quarter of a century, and they’ve been a fixture for all of us who attend sf cons. They have been great friends to me and great assistance to my business. And though Larry presented a crotchety, curmudgeonly face to the world, he was much more than that, and I will miss him. And these are my very public condolences to Sally and to Ralph. I’ll share more with them privately.

I’m scheduled to run out the door for a weekend of limited online connectivity in a few minutes, but I’ll post more if/when I hear it, or check pretty much any other sf person on the web for more news.

Arisia this weekend

transparent_full_logoThis weekend is Arisia, one of my favorite conventions of the year, and I hope some (many) of you will be there with me. My schedule, for those who are looking for me (and really, I’m not that hard to find):

Friday at 10pm in the Alcott room: “How To Use Real Science In Your SciFantasy Story” with Deborah Kaminski, Timothy Goyette, Nalin Ratnayake, and Stephen R Wilk.

Saturday at 11:30am in the Faneuil room: “Self-Publishing 101: Become an Authorpreneur” with Anna Erishkigal, Kate Kaynak, Mike Luoma, and Ursula Vernon.

1515400522Saturday at 10:00pm in the Alcott room (again): “Pitch Mania! A Competition For Your Story” – a chance for authors to present their stories (or at least, pitches for their stories) to several editors at once. With Dianna Sanchez, Inanna Arthen, Genevieve Iseult Eldredge, and Hildy Silverman.

Monday at 11:30am in the Hale room: “Just the Facts: Abundance!” with Mark L Amidon, Amy Chused, James Meickle, and Richard Moore.

Beyond those four panels, I’ll be spending most of my waking hours at the Fantastic Books table in the dealers’ room (5-9pm Friday, 10am-7pm Saturday and Sunday, and 10am-2:30pm Monday).

And the big event this weekend: the launch party for Daniel M. Kimmel’s new novel, Time On My Hands, at the Fantastic Books table in the dealers’ room on Sunday from 5 to 6 pm. We’ll have sweet things and a raffle and books! Hope to see you there.

Presidents Who Won Election While Losing the Electoral Votes of Their Home States

Congress is scheduled to count the electoral votes for the election of 2016 today, and then officially announce the winner of the election (assumed to be Donald Trump), who will take office on January 20th. Since today is the day electoral votes truly count, I offer the following:

Presidents Who Won Election While Losing the Electoral Votes of Their Home States

The election of 2016 was the 58th quadrennial election of a President of the United States. In those 58 elections, it is a rarity for someone to win the election while losing the electoral votes of his home state.

1844: James Polk defeated Henry Clay, 170-105. Clay won the votes of his home state of Kentucky and Polk’s home state of Tennessee.

1916: Sitting President Woodrow Wilson re-elected over Charles Evans Hughes, 277-254. Wilson lost his home state of New Jersey and Hughes’s home state of New York (both of which he’d won four years earlier).

1968: Former Vice President Richard Nixon defeats sitting Vice President Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace: Nixon, 301; Humphrey, 191; Wallace, 46. Nixon was a Californian, but had been living in New York since 1962. Nixon won California, but Humphrey won New York.

2016: Donald Trump defeats Hillary Clinton, 304-227. Both lived in New York at the time of the election, but only Trump was born in the state. Clinton won New York and her birth state of Illinois; Trump won Arkansas, where Clinton had been living when her husband was elected President in 1992.

Other Presidents Who Lost the Electoral Votes of Their Home States

1840: Martin Van Buren lost his bid for re-election to William Henry Harrison, 234-60. Van Buren lost his home state of New York, which he’d won four years earlier. In 1848, Van Buren ran again, receiving no electoral votes to Zachary Taylor’s 163 and Lewis Cass’s 127. New York voted for Taylor.

1856: Former President Millard Fillmore won 8 electoral votes, coming in third, behind James Buchanan (174 electoral votes) and John C. Fremont (114). Fillmore won the votes of Maryland, but lost his home state of New York (which voted for Fremont).

1888: Sitting President Grover Cleveland lost his bid for re-election to Benjamin Harrison, 233-168. Cleveland lost his home state of New York, which he’d won four years earlier.

1892: Sitting President Benjamin Harrison lost his bid for re-election to former President Grover Cleveland, 277-145 (with 22 electoral votes going to James B. Weaver). Harrison lost his home state of Indiana, which he’d won four years earlier. Cleveland also won back New York.

1912: Woodrow Wilson defeated sitting President William Howard Taft and former President Theodore Roosevelt (Wilson, 435; Roosevelt, 88; Taft, 8). Wilson won his home state of New Jersey, Roosevelt’s home state of New York, and Taft’s home state of Ohio.