Science Fiction

Announcing “Letters from Amherst”

Entertaining and informative letters written from 1984 to 1991

In these personal and pointed letters written between 1984 and 1991, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning writer Samuel Delany comments on literature, art, politics, aging, academia, his family’s history in Harlem, and black and white social life in another century. He details a visit from science fiction writer and critic Judith Merrill and reflects on his colleague and former student Octavia E. Butler.

Samuel R. Delany is a science fiction author and a retired professor at Temple University. After winning four Nebula Awards and two Hugo Awards, he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2002. Visit samueldelany.com for more author news.

Nalo Hopkinson was born in Jamaica. She is the author of six novels and numerous short stories. She has received the Campbell and Locus Awards, the World Fantasy Award, and the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Award for her contributions to science fiction and fantasy. Currently she teaches creative writing at the University of California at Riverside.

Letters from Amherst gives readers insight into the personal and professional life and aesthetic assessments of the author, Samuel R. Delany, one of the most important literary figures of our time.”—Nisi Shawl, author of the Nebula Award Finalist novel Everfair, and the James Tiptree Jr. Award-winning story collection Filter House

“Letters from Amherst is significant and important…Delany provides unseen glimpses into his important familial lineages, personal friendship and partnership, his assessment of universities and their politics, and a general joy in anything that has to do with intellectual culture.” —L.H. Stallings, author of Funk the Erotic: Transaesthetics and Black Sexual Cultures

June 4, 2019
160 pp., 9 x 6″
Paperback, $17.95 9780819578518
Cloth, $45.00 9780819578204

Heading Outdoors in Connecticut Summer

The flowers are blossoming, grass growing greener by the day, and sunrise is before 5:30am; it’s summer in Connecticut and at Wesleyan University Press, we’re celebrating with some of our favorite outdoors books and field guides.

 

Why not kick of your summer with an excursion on foot—whether it be a leisurely stroll or vigorous hike? The newly redesigned 20th edition of The Connecticut Walk Book by Connecticut Forest and Park Association (CFPA) is now available to inspire and guide you through your summer jaunts.

Every summer, CFPA offers local hikes and other events. Most are free. Here are this season’s events:

June 2-3, 2018 (All Day): CT Trails Day – LARGEST National Trails Day in the nation; Celebration of 50th anniversary of the National Trail System, follow on Twitter with #CTTrailsDay FREE

June 3, 2018 (9:00am): 2017 Goodwin Forest Trail Run 10k/30k, $20-33 registration fee

June 12, 2018 (10:00am-12:30pm): June Senior Walk at CFPA, FREE

June 13 & 14, 2018 (10:00am-12:30pm & 12:00pm-2:30pm): Senior Walks at Hampton, FREE

July 10, 2018 (10:00am-12:00pm): July Senior Walk at CFPA, FREE

August 14, 2018 (10:00am-12:00pm): August Senior Walk at CFPA, FREE

September 11, 2018 (10:00am-12:00pm): September Senior Walk at CFPA, FREE

 

With its release coinciding with National Geographic’s #YearOfTheBird,  look to the skies for Birding in Connecticut, by Frank Gallo, will help those of you looking to the skies to capture

Some local birding and #YearoftheBird events to watch out for:

June 3, 2018 (9am-1pm): First Sunday Bird Walk at Greenwich Point Park (Every first Sunday) FREE

June 3, 2018 (10am-11:30am): Connecticut Bird Atlas – Training Workshop, Audubon Center, Southbury, CT, FREE

June 5, 2018 (7:30pm-9pm): “Saving Seabirds” at National Geographic Campus, Gilbert H. Grosvenor Auditorium, 1600 M St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036, $25 admission

June 9-10, 2018: Summer Bird Count; various locations (Hartford, New Haven, Greenwich); Every weekend of June, FREE

June 30, 2018 (11am-1pm): Audubon Greenwich – LGBT – Let’s Go Birding Together!, Pride Month birding event, $5 Audubon members, $8 non-members

August 25, 2018 (7:30pm-9pm): Creatures of the Night… Hike! at the New Canaan Nature Center, FREE

 

Following the flow of the river, and the trout, fishermen and would-be fishermen might consider picking up a copy of Fly Fishing in Connecticut: A Beginner’s Guide by Kevin Murphy.

Why not brush up on your fishing skills at one of these fun events?

May 26-June 15, 2018: 2018 CT Fishing Tournament/Derby; various locations

June 2, 2018 (5am-3:30pm): Bass-A-Palooza, Norwalk, CT (registration for fishers has passed)

June 16, 2018 (12pm-4:30pm): Hooks for Heroes Fishing Tournament, Stamford, CT, $35 admission (registration for fishers has passed)

July 15-24, 2018: Three Belles Outfitters Trifecta Challenge Kayak Tournament, Niantic, CT, $100 registration

August 4-5 & 11-12, 2018: The Federal Bass Federation of Connecticut (CT-TBF) 2-Day Events

 

 

After hiking the trails, fishing, or birdwatching, one can delve into Connecticut’s multitude of small towns and rural structures in Hidden In Plain Sight: A Deep Traveler Explores Connecticut by Hartford Courant essayist, David K. Leff and look to the night sky with Under the Dark Sky: Life int he Thames River Basin by Steven G. Smith.

 

Keeping up with Samuel Delany, finalist for a Locus Award & honored by CHOICE

Samuel Delany’s In Search of Silence,The Journals of Samuel R. Delany, 1957–1969 was recently honored by Choice as a 2017 Outstanding Academic Titles

Choice presents this title to award “outstanding works for their excellence in presentation and scholarship, the significance of their contribution to the field, their originality and value as an essential treatment of their subject, and significance in building undergraduate collections.”

In Search of Silence was also selected as a finalist for the 2018 Locus Award for Non-Fiction. Winners will be announced during the Locus Awards Weekend in Seattle, WA June 22-24, 2018 according to Locus Magazine.

For more by Samuel Delany, check out his newest title, The Atheist in the Attic in the Outspoken Authors series from PM Press. The book is a “suspenseful and vivid historical narrative, recreating the top-secret meeting between the mathematical genius Leibniz and the philosopher Spinoza caught between the horrors of the cannibalistic Dutch Rampjaar and the brilliant ‘big bang’ of the Enlightenment.” (from publisher) You will also find more Delany coming from Wesleyan in the Spring of 2019, a collection of never before published letters from between 1988–1991: Letters from Amherst. The book will collect five letters written to close friends, covering such topics as the San Francisco arts community, writing practices and story development, and his family history.

Gearing up for Halloween: Ishiro Honda Tribute Nights at the Egyptian Theatre

As Halloween lurks on the horizon, people are looking to sate their appetites for the spooky, supernatural, and fantastic. For the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, California, embracing the uncanny means “The Soul of Godzilla: An Ishiro Honda Tribute”: a two-day celebration of the sci-fi creations of director Ishiro Honda. Over the course of this sci-fi celebration, the theater will show four of Honda’s most famous and action-packed films. Honda’s biographers, Steven Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski, will also be in attendance, signing copies of their book Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film from Godzilla to Kurosawa.

Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film from Godzilla to Kurosawa is an exploration of the accomplishments of the Japanese director who is considered to be the most internationally successful Japanese director of his generation. Famous for bringing creatures like Godzilla and Mothra to the silver screen, Honda played with the idea of the kaiju (“strange creatures”) that are still a staple in sci-fi productions.

This weekend, the Egyptian Theatre will be reintroducing these strange creatures to the public through the screenings of Mothra (1961), Battle in Outer Space (1959), Godzilla: The Japanese Original (1954), and The H-Man (1958). The Egyptian Theatre, built in 1922, has been a cultural landmark in Hollywood for generations. The theater first was a venue where early Hollywood blockbusters premiered, like The Ten Commandments, BEN-HUR, and My Fair Lady, but since the 1990s, it has been owned and operated by the American Cinematheque. Today, the Egyptian Theatre celebrates cinematic history and public program.

This Friday, the Egyptian Theatre will start of the sci-fi bash with Mothra and Battle in Outer Space, and on Saturday, the celebration continues with Godzilla: The Japanese Original and The H-Man will be shown. A discussion between each film will be led by Steven Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski.

Wesleyan University Press @ AWP2016 – Los Angeles

Join Us @ AWP 2016, in Los Angeles!

Booth #1213

AWP-16EventsImage

Don’t miss these events:

A Lunch Time Reading at Ace Hotel

Thursday, 3/31: Noon–2PM 
Ace Hotel, 929 South Broadway, Los Angeles
1913 Press, Sidebrow & Wesleyan University Press present:

Rae Armantrout
Fred Moten
Ben Doller
Sandra Doller
Amaranth Borsuk
Kate Durbin
Lily Hoang
Mathias Svalina

Just Saying: A Tribute to Rae Armantrout

Thursday, 3/31: 3-4:15pm
Room 502 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level R255

Stephen Burt
Amy Catanzano
Catherine Wagner
Monica Youn
Rae Armantrout

Four author-critics approach Armantrout’s work from a variety of angles, including her association with Language poetry, her exploration of science through verse, her treatment of pop culture and current events, and her merging of everyday experience with epistemological questions about perceptions. Read more here.

Friday Afternoon Cocktail Celebration for BAX 2015

Friday, 4/1: 4-5pm, AWP Booth #1213
Purchase a copy of Best American Experimental Writing, 2015 for $10 (50% off cover price) & enjoy a free Moscow Mule!

Book Signings @ Booth #1213

Rae Armantrout (Itself)–Thursday, 3/31, 4:30PM

Robert Fernandez (Scarecrow)–Friday, 4/1: 10AM

Ben Doller (Fauxhawk) –Friday, 4/1, 12PM

 

Stop by check out our new books!

fiction

Treaty Shirts: October 2034—A Familiar Treatise on the White Earth Nation (Gerald Vizenor)

Reality by Other Means: The Best Short Fiction of James Morrow (James Morrow)

poetry

Common Sense (Ted Greenwald)

Age of Reasons: Uncollected Poems 1969–1982 (Ted Greenwald)

Azure: Poems and Selections from the “Livre” (Stéphane Mallarmé)

Fauxhawk (Ben Doller)

Scarecrow (Robert Fernandez)

The Book of Landings (Mark McMorris)

A Sulfur Anthology (edited by Clayton Eshleman)

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Today, March 8th, is International Women’s Day! A great way to commemorate a day—and womens’ history month—is to read a book written by or about a woman. Here are just a few of our favorite books by or about our favorite females.

Williams - Prudence R-150-3In its new paperback edition, Connecticut state senator Donald E. Williams’s Prudence Crandall: The Fight for Equality in the 1830s, Dred Scott, and Brown v. Board of Education is a necessity to read. Crandall was a Connecticut school teacher dedicated to the education of African-American girls who ignited a firestorm of controversy when she opened Miss Crandall’s School for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color, in Canterbury. The town’s residents retaliated—Crandall couldn’t find anyone willing to supply her with goods necessary for running the school, and even the school’s well water was poisoned. Crandall herself faced ridicule all over town, was arrested, and yet did not close the school until her girls’ safety was threatened. Williams tells of Crandall’s push for justice and how her struggles helped to set legal precedent. He explains the relationship between three trials brought against Crandall, for her violation of Connecticut’s “Black Law,” and other notable legal cases: the Amistad case, the Dred Scott decision, and Brown v. Board of Education. Williams also discusses how Crandall v. State impacts our modern interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

 

 

Basinger - Womans-R-72-3 In A Woman’s View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women 1930-1960, Jeanine Basinger highlights the incredibly contradictory messages sent to female moviegoers—films about women’s lives constantly displayed both conformity and righteous freedom. Where women’s film has often been dismissed as another instrument in female oppression, Basinger brings an understanding of both film and women’s lives to parse out the complexities in films sometimes dismissed as “sheer trash.” Films from across genres, from melodramas to westerns to musicals, are examined under Basinger’s discerning eye for traces of subversive rebellion against the “proper” idealized role of women. As the New York Times Book Review said, “Ms. basinger analyzes Hollywood’s view with affectionate wit and verve…Her book is a timely reminder that female rebellion didn’t start with Thelma and Louise.”

 

 

Reed - Weird R-300-9 In humorous, ironic prose, acclaimed Science Fiction writer Kit Reed explores women’s lives and feminist issues in the twenty stories inside Weird Women, Wired Women. Spanning across the years of the women’s movement to more contemporary years in American history, Reed’s writing in Weird Women, Wired Women deals in her usual darkly comic speculative fiction at its best. Reed uses her expertise in science fiction to further cast a subversive spell over these depictions of predominantly-believed women’s roles. The collection of short stories with provocative, clever titles such as “The Bride of Bigfoot” and “Mommy Nearest” takes worn-out suburban subjects and gives them a fresh coat of paint—if that paint is moving, eerie, sharp social criticism, that is.

 

 

0819565474Inside American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Lyric Meets Language, readers can find indispensably valuable poetry and prose from women’s points of view. Each section of the book is devoted to a single poet and contains new poems; a brief “statement of poetics” by the poet herself in which she explores the forces—personal, aesthetic, political—informing her creative work; a critical essay on the poet’s work; a biographical statement; and a bibliography listing works by and about the poet. With highly acclaimed poets selected-among them Rae Armantrout, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Jorie Graham, Barbara Guest, Susan Howe, and Harryette Mullen—this collection forces us to redefine lyric poetry. Underscoring the dynamic give and take between poets and the culture at large, this anthology is indispensable for anyone interested in poetry, gender and the creative process.

 

 

McGee_Some_R_72_2Women and jazz have been intricately involved with one another since the genre’s conception, but so often the men of jazz stole the spotlight away from the many acclaimed ladies. Some Liked It Hot looks at all-girl bands and jazz women from the 1920s through the 1950s and how they fit into the nascent mass culture, particularly film and television. G.A. Foster from Choice says, “A remarkable book in every respect. Although one can find several other books on this topic, this study stands above the rest for its accuracy, scholarly discipline, thoroughness of research, and detailed analysis… A stunning achievement. Essential.”

 

 

Announcing “Bax 2015” from Seth Abramson

An annual anthology of the best new experimental writing

 

BAX 2015 is the second volume of an annual literary anthology compiling the best experimental writing in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. This year’s volume, guest edited by Douglas Kearney, features seventy-five works by some of the most exciting American poets and writers today, including established authors—like Dodie Bellamy, Anselm Berrigan, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Cathy Park Hong, Bhanu Kapil, Aaron Kunin, Joyelle McSweeney, and Fred Moten—as well as emerging voices. Best American Experimental Writing is also an important literary anthology for classroom settings, as individual selections are intended to provoke lively conversation and debate. The series coeditors are Seth Abramson and Jesse Damiani.

Abrahamson_BAX 2015

DOUGLAS KEARNEY is a poet, performer, and librettist. He is the author of Patter and The Black Automaton. He lives in Los Angeles. SETH ABRAMSON is a doctoral candidate at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and author of five books, including Thievery, winner of the Akron Poetry Prize, and Northerners, winner of the Green Rose Prize. He will join the University of New Hampshire as an assistant professor of English in August, 2015. JESSE DAMIANI was the 2013–2014 Halls Emerging Artist Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and has received awards from the Academy of American Poets and the Fulbright Commission. He also lives in Los Angeles.

 

“The permission is on every page here. The best annual experience where space is held for radical experimentation is in this book. Thanks to the editors for really keeping it real.”

—CA Conrad, author of Ecodeviance

“Whether oath, tweet, conspiracy simile, or tour of Hummeltopia, this anthology swings with verve and nerve from CM Burroughs’s ‘juncture of almost’ to Roberto Harrison’s ‘contaminate network of paradise.’ The experiment lives! It exists, Lance Olsen writes, ‘the same way, say, future dictionaries exist.’”

—Elizabeth Robinson, author of On Ghosts

 

“harriot + harriott + sound +”

 

The pitch and time of luters

bring atlantic situations

all the way across. the moon

thing is a water thing at

midnight and the table

burst with variation.

the beautiful riot say

I’m not like this and

walk away embrace and

dig up under normandie.

what’s a black singing body

got to do with it? look at

my shoes. the setting partly frees

the dissonance in compensation

and tsitsi ella jaji frees the rest.

frayed means are a thingly

jingly nette; you can’t help

yourself if you take too much.

—by Fred Moten

 

November

250 pp., 6 x 9”

Unjacketed cloth, $40.00 x

978-0-8195-7607-1

Paper, $19.95

978-0-8195-7608-8

eBook, $15.99 Y

978-0-8195-7609-5

Announcing “Reality by Other Means” from James Morrow

Seventeen stories from the award-winning author of the Godhead Trilogy

Join the Abominable Snowman as, determined to transcend his cannibalistic past, he studies Tibetan Buddhism under the Dalai Lama. Pace the walls of Ilium with fair Helen as she tries to convince both sides to abandon their absurd Trojan War. Visit the nursery of Zenobia Garber, born to a Pennsylvania farm couple that accept her for the uncanny little biosphere she is. Scramble aboard the raft built by the passengers and crew of the sinking Titanic—and don’t be surprised when the vessel transmutes into a world even more astonishing than the original Ship of Dreams. Reality by Other Means offers readers the most celebrated results from James Morrow’s thirty-five-year career designing fictive thought experiments. Anchored by seven previously uncollected stories, this omnibus ranges from social satire to theological hijinks, steampunk escapades to philosophical antics.

Morrow_Reality

JAMES MORROW has written ten critically acclaimed novels of satire and speculation, including Towing Jehovah, The Last Witchfinder, and Galápagos Regained. He lives in State College, Pennsylvania.

 

“No matter where—or when—he sets his stories, Morrow’s a clean stylist with an accurate grip on the diction, the character, and the metabolic rate of the narrator. Intelligent and funny, this is the best kind of mind candy.”

—Kit Reed, author of The Story Until Now

“In these angrily compassionate tales, Morrow ventriloquizes Dante and Swift in writing as cutting as freshly strung barbed wire. Each posits an astonishing otherness that debunks a menacing human folly while also eliciting gasps or guffaws of outraged delight.”

—Michael Bishop, author of A Funeral for the Eyes of Fire

“Here’s undeniable proof that James Morrow is our Jonathan Swift—a funnier, more fantastical Swift. Morrow can be brainy and absurd, hilarious and profound, scatological and philosophical—all on the same page. After you stop laughing, you keep thinking, and that’s when you realize you’re in the hands of a master. No one else sounds like him, and no one else has sharper satirical knives.”

—Daryl Gregory, author of Afterparty

“James Morrow, a master of the reductio ad absurdum, is a thoughtful satirist whose sharp but never gratuitous wit takes aim at serious issues in beautifully crafted prose that is always a pleasure to read.”

—Pamela Sargent, author of The Shore of Women

“Even as Reality by Other Means points out what is wrong with society, James Morrow never lets us forget that society is made up of individuals who matter, be they a soldier on the battlefield, a hitchhiker on the Ark, or our daughter the Earth. No one has ever used the devices of satire and science fiction to give us literature this smart, this elegant, this compassionate. I hope that Morrow, who understands that the only way out is for us to reason together, will forgive me for saying that I admire his work beyond all reason.”

—F. Brett Cox, coeditor of Crossroads: Tales of the Southern Literary Fantastic

“James Morrow is an amusing and important writer. Collecting all his serious work, Reality by Other Means adds to his reputation by virtue of its completeness”

–Joe Haldeman, author of The Forever War

 

November 2015
360 pp., 6 x 9-1/2”
Jacketed Cloth, $30.00
978-0-8195-7594-4

eBook, $23.99 Y
978-0-8195-7575-3

#WCW: Sophie Blanchard (1778–1819)

“The higher we go, the more glorious our death will be!”

Everyone’s heard of Amelia Earheart, the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic. But have you heard of Sophie Blanchard, our Woman Crush Wednesday honoree?

 Sophie Blanchard

This French balloonist was the profession’s first female flyer, who carried off sixty-seven successful ascensions. Her daring contributions to ballooning did not go unnoticed—she was appreciated by Napoleon Bonaparte and Louis XVIII, and she was known throughout the country as a world-class aeronaut. Madame Blanchard was immortalized in Jules Verne’s Five Weeks in A Balloon, and she is rightfully included in the “Gallery of Heroes” found in Wesleyan University Press’s edition of the classic novel. In the book, her unfortunate death was described as follows: “her balloon caught on fire while she was setting of fireworks, but she didn’t fall out of the sky, and she probably wouldn’t have been killed if her gondola hadn’t banged into a chimney and thrown her to the ground.”

 Verne - Five-wRule-R-72-3

Five Weeks in a Balloon was Jules Verne’s first published novel, and is often praised as one of his best. It was among his most popular, bestselling books—cashing in on the French craze of ballooning and public interest in African exploration. Verne offers a fantastical story based on the realities of aeronautical technology and geographical exploration of his day. As one would imagine, Verne had a love for geography and exploration, and he was knowledgable about both subjects. He also worked contemporary politics into his stories. Issues of race and slavery are touched on in Five Weeks in a Balloon, set at the dawn of European imperialistic aggressions on the continent of Africa, as exploration shifted to violent colonization.

Verne’s weaving of scientific discovery, speculation, and adventure is what earned him the moniker “Father of Science Fiction.” In addition to touching on the technology and politics of the day, and thinking about the future, Verne also tells a good story. Five Weeks in a Balloon gives a fictional account early air-adventures, touching on some real events and people of the day, including Sophie Blanchard.

Enter a drawing to win a free copy of Five Weeks in a Balloon here!

Readercon Weekend–win a book!

Readercon 26 is taking place this weekend, July9–12, in Burlington, Massachusetts. Returning conference-goers will be used to seeing Leslie Starr at our booth. Alas, Leslie is retiring! Our wonderful new marketing manager, Jaclyn Wilson, is on hand at our booth to answer questions. Please stop by to introduce yourself and check out our new books, including Five Weeks in a Balloon. You can watch a trailer about the book and enter to win a free copy here.

 readercon2015

This year, two of Readercon’s three Guests of Honor were published by Wesleyan: Gary K. Wolfe (who is sharing honors with Nicola Griffith) and Memorial Guest of Honor Joanna Russ.

Wolfe is the author of Evaporating Genres: Essays on Fantastic Literature and contributed the introduction to our forthcoming book, Reality by Other Means: The Best Short Fiction of James Morrow. Wesleyan reissued two of Russ’s novels in 2005: We Who Are About To… (with an introduction by Samuel R. Delany) and The Two of Them (with a foreword by Sarah LaFanu). In addition, we published the critical volume On Joanna Russ, edited by Farah Mendlesohn, with contributors Andrew M. Butler, Brian Charles Clark, Samuel R. Delany, Edward James , Sandra Lindow, Keridwen Luis, Paul March-Russell, Helen Merrick, Dianne Newell, Graham Sleight, Jenéa Tallentire, Jason Vest, Sherryl Vint, Pat Wheeler, Tess Williams, Gary K. Wolfe, and Lisa Yaszek.

ReaderCon is full of useful panels and presentations for writers, scholars, editors, and readers. Day passes are available. To read more, please be sure to visit their website, http://readercon.org/. Have a wonderful conference!