Science Fiction

Wesleyan University Press @ AWP2016 – Los Angeles


Join Us @ AWP 2016, in Los Angeles!

Booth #1213


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!


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)


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

Williams - Prudence R-150-3

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

BAX featured image

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



250 pp., 6 x 9”

Unjacketed cloth, $40.00 x


Paper, $19.95


eBook, $15.99 Y


Announcing Reality by Other Means from James Morrow

Morrow_Reality featured image

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.


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

eBook, $23.99 Y

#WCW: Sophie Blanchard (1778–1819)

Sophie Blanchard

“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.


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, Have a wonderful conference!

#tbt: Mel Brooks’ dancing alien, from Spaceballs

This week’s throwback Thursday post is dedicated to director Mel Brooks! He is one of many directors interviewed in The Director Within: Storytellers of Stage and Screen by Rose Eichenbaum. The photograph of Brooks, below, is one of many images from the book.


To honor Brooks and his ongoing ability to make us laugh long and hard, we picked a clip from his movie Spaceballs (1987).

Mel Brooks is a master of comedy. From film to theatrical productions, his work has earned him the highest honors bestowed on an entertainer: an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award—to name a few. As Brooks fans know, the filmmaker loves to spoof historic events, popular culture, books, and other films. Such parodies include Young Frankenstein, Dracula: Dead and Loving It, High Anxiety, and Spaceballs. 

When asked why he’s chosen to create so many parodies, Brooks responded:

“All I’m doing is reliving the movies I loved as a little boy. With Young Frankenstein I was reviving the gorgeous films by James Whale, Frankenstein (1931) and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935). High Anxiety is a tribute to Hitchcock. Spaceballs I made for my son, Max Brooks, who loved Star Trek and Star Wars. I dolled them up, of course, with a lot of different themes and feelings.”

Directors featured in the book The Director Within include:

• Michael Apted
• Robert Benton
• Peter Bogdanovich
• James L. Brooks
• Mel Brooks
• James Burrows
• John Carpenter
• Joseph Cedar
• Richard Donner
• Jonathan Frakes
• Lesli Linka Glatter
• Taylor Hackford
• Walter Hill
• Arthur Hiller
• Reginald Hudlin
• Doug Hughes
• Lawrence Kasdan
• John Landis
• Barry Levinson
• Rod Lurie
• Emily Mann
• Kathleen Marshall
• Rob Marshall
• Michael Mayer
• Paul Mazursky
• Mira Nair
• Hal Prince
• Brett Ratner
• Gary Ross
• Mark Rydell
• Jay Sandrich
• Susan Stroman
• Julie Taymor
• Robert Towne
• Tim Van Patten

Rose Eichenbaum will be signing copies of her books, The Director Within and The Dancer Within at Chavelier’s Books in Los Angeles this Saturday. She will be joined by performer-authors Zippora Karz and Victoria Tennant. Read more about the event and participants here.

#UPWeek: AAUP’s Third Annual Blog Tour


It is University Press Week…a time to celebrate all the wonderful work published by scholarly presses! In the spirit of partnership that pervades the university press community, thirty-two presses will unite for the AAUP’s third annual blog tour. This tour will highlight the value of collaboration among the scholarly community. Individual presses will blog on a different theme each day. Today’s theme is “Collaboration.” The following presses are participating. Click on the available links to learn about some of the collaborative efforts initiated by our colleagues at other presses and institutions.

University of California Press

University of Chicago Press

University Press of Colorado

Duke University Press

University of Georgia Press

Project MUSE/Johns Hopkins University Press

McGill-Queen’s University Press

Texas A&M University Press

University of Virginia Press

Yale University Press

Tomorrow’s theme is “Your University Press in Pictures.” Wesleyan University Press is participating on Thursday, November 13th, as part of “Throwback Thursday.” Read more about AAUP, University Presses, and University Press Week here.

Happy Halloween, Happy Samhain & Happy Birthday, Annie Finch

Happy Halloween and Samhain (an ancient Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season)—and happy birthday to one of Wesleyan’s celebrated poets, Annie Finch. Finch was born on October 31st, 1956. She is a Wiccan, and her latest book is Spellspublished by Wesleyan on April 2, 2013. Spells, which brings Finch’s most striking old poems together with new and previously unpublished work, brings readers to “experience poetry not just in the mind, but in the body.”


Annie Finch/Spells


Her other books include poetry collections Eve (1997) and Calendars (2003), and the long poems The Encyclopedia of Scotland (1982) and Among the Goddesses: An Epic Libretto in Seven Dreams (2009), as well as several critical works. Her work has been published in journals including Yale Review, Harvard Review, Partisan Review, and Paris Review, and anthologized in collections like The Penguin Book of Twentieth-Century American Poetry and The Penguin Book of the Sonnet. She is the winner of the Sarasvati Award for Poetry and the Robert Fitzgerald Award, and is currently at work on a memoir, American Witch.

Finch has read and performed her work across the U.S. and in Canada, Europe, and Africa. She is a featured columnist for The Huffington Post, writing on poetry, feminism, and paganism. She teaches in the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast writing program, and as a visiting poet across the country. In the coming year she will head to Arizona to participate in the Tucson Festival of Books, as well as to teach a workshop at the University of Arizona Poetry Center.

Finch has also appeared on the airwaves in KRCB’s WordTemple, which showcases the most interesting work and stories in the world of literature. In November 2013, Finch appeared on the program with fellow Wesleyan author Kazim Ali to discuss their books, Spells and Sky Ward. In March 2014, Finch appeared alongside the influential feminist poet Carolyn Kizer, who passed away on October 9th. In April, an essay of Finch’s about her relationship with Kizer was read on-air. That essay, “Visiting Carolyn Kizer,” can also be found online at the Poetry Foundation.


In honor of Samhain, please enjoy two poems from Spells“Samhain” and “Spider Woman.”


(October 31)

In the season leaves should love,
since it gives them leave to move
through the wind, towards the ground
they were watching while they hung,
legend says there is a seam
stitching darkness like a name.

Now when dying grasses veil
earth from the sky in one last pale
wave, as autumn dies to bring
winter back, and then the spring,
we who die ourselves can peel
back another kind of veil

that hangs among us like thick smoke.
Tonight at last I feel it shake.
I feel the nights stretching away
thousands long behind the days
till they reach the darkness where
all of me is ancestor.

I move my hand and feel a touch
move with me, and when I brush
my own mind across another,
I am with my mother’s mother.
Sure as footsteps in my waiting
self, I find her, and she brings

arms that carry answers for me,
intimate, a waiting bounty.
“Carry me.” She leaves this trail
through a shudder of the veil,
and leaves, like amber where she stays,
a gift for her perpetual gaze.


Spider Woman

Your thoughts in a web have covered the sky.
A thread from the northwest is carrying beads from the rain,
a thread from the southwest is carrying beads from the rain,
a thread from the southeast carries bright beads,
a thread from the northeast is bringing the beads
of the rain that has filled up the sky.
Spider, you have woven a chain
stretching with rain over the sky.

Wesleyan science fiction authors recognized

Congratulations to Dr. Arthur B. Evans on receiving the Prix Cyrano, or Cyrano Prize! Named after the early French science fiction writer Cyrano de Bergerac, the prize is given for lifetime achievements in promoting French science fiction. The award was presented at the 41st annual French National Science Fiction Convention, NEMO 2014, in Amiens, France.


Art accepts Cyrano Award (19Jul14)


Art at NEMO 2014


Dr. Evans is a renowned Jules Verne scholar and a professor of French at DePauw University. He is the general editor of Wesleyan’s Early Classics of Science Fiction series, which features French authors like Albert Robida, Émile Souvestre, R.-H. Rosny aîné, Camille Flammarion, and Jean-Baptiste François Xavier Cousin de Grainville, and managing editor of the journal Science Fiction Studies. He is also coeditor of The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction (2010) and editor of Vintage Visions: Essays on Early Science Fiction (2013).


ReaderCon 2014


Kit Reed was one of the Guests of Honor at the 25th annual ReaderCon this July in Burlington, Massachusetts, along with Andrea Hairston and Memorial Guest of Honor Mary Shelley. Reed is the author of several Wesleyan titles, including Weird Women, Wired Women (1998), Seven for the Apocalypse (1999), and The Story Until Now (2013), which was a 2013 Shirley Jackson Award nominee. Guests of honor for the 2015 ReaderCon will include Gary K. Wolfe, author of Evaporating Genres: Essays of Fantastic Literature (2011); and Memorial Guest of Honor Joanna Russ, author of We Who Are About To (1997) and The Two of Them (1978) and subject of Farah Mendlesohn’s On Joanna Russ (2009).

readercon2014Small  Wesleyan UP’s ReaderCon display, photo courtesy of Matthew Cheney