Friday, March 11, 2011

Signed, Numbered, Limited, Infinitely Collectable . . . and Free!

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This is all about promoting Dancing With Bears, my fiendishly entertaining new novel.  But stay with me.  It's actually pretty interesting.

I was looking for something I could give away that people would actually want to receive.  If you go to the freebie table at any convention there are lots and lots of postcards, bookmarks, novel excerpts on CDs and the like and hardly anybody picking them up.  Which, considering not only the hard work but the genuine love invested in them by their creators, is a terrible pity.

Fortunately, I am married to self-styled nano publisher Marianne Porter, sole proprietor of Dragonstairs Press, one of the newer and unquestionably smaller publishing houses that are actually worth your attention.  Together we cooked up a series of four small chapbooks (that's them up above), extracted from "Smoke and Mirrors:  Four Scenes from the Postutopian Future," which was a single story made up of four stand-alone (but sequential) short-shorts featuring those dashing rogues, Darger & Surplus.  (Originally published in Live Without a Net, edited by Lou Anders.)

Each booklet is lovingly crafted, hand-sewn, and very nicely designed.  I changed a few words in each of the flash fictions so that this version of the stories will be unique.  And they are issued in a limited edition of one hundred.  They were all numbered sequentially, and then autographed in a color ink coordinated with the cover.

The four short-shorts are:

Song of the Lorelei
American Cigarettes
The Brain-Baron
The Nature of Mirrors

And I'm giving them away.

Starting at Lunacon one week and a day from today.  I'll bring a big handful of the first booklet with me, and anyone can have one simply for the asking.

The next convention or other public appearance I go to, I'll bring a batch of the second.  And so on, until they're all gone.

I think they're wonderfully collectable.  But if you want a complete set . . . well, it's going to take work.


And while we're on the subject of Lunacon . . .

I've got my schedule.  Since I'm only going to be there on Saturday, March 19, I asked them to work me hard.  So they did.  Here's what I'll be on:

10:00 a.m.    Don't Change a Thing!  (on being edited)
12:00 noon   The Biggest Mistakes New Writers Make
1:00 p.m.      Biographies (actually a pretty interesting topic)
2:00 p.m.      When Magic Goes Away (about stories where this happens, not careers, thank God)
3:00 p.m.      Borrowing From the Past (researching & using historical data)
4:00 p.m.      Weapons of Tomorrow
5:00 p.m.      Writing Across Genre Lines
7:00 p.m.       Short Fiction and Its Nine Lives
8:00 p.m.       Is Society Anti-Science?
10:00 p.m.     "Real" Folklore and Mythology in Fantasy World-Building

That's ten panels in thirteen hours -- more than any human being has ever been exposed to before!  Will my brain explode?  Will my body implode?  Show up to find out!

And don't forget to ask for a booklet.

Above:  The first version I shot of that picture had a cat-foot in it.  Miss Helen Hope Mrrlees wandered by to see what was going on.


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8 comments:

Rina Weisman said...

Michael - as one of the pre-eminent collectors of Swanwickian works, Jacob and I would LOVE a complete set. In fact, I'll make a donation to Clarion in your name, if you can save me one. :)

Lawrence Person said...

I don't suppose I could send you, say, some small denomination of federal reserve currency for copies instead.

Or perhaps some back issues of Nova Express....

zamzummim said...

Yes, please, can there be an option for receiving these in exchange for monetary gain for those of us who cannot make it there?

Shawn said...

I too would be interested in getting my mits on one or all of these, but alas! I am stuck in Wisconsin and nowhere near where your going to be.I could send money, or maybe you and/or Marianne would like to do a trade for artwork? I have over 250 pieces in my on-line gallery which can be found here http://longerwaves.deviantart.com/gallery/

Nothing is off-limits.
While we are on the subject of collecting, I recently found myself a First Edition of 'Gravity's Angels'
from Arkham House which, coincidentally enough is based in Wisconsin.

Michael Swanwick said...

These decisions are not mine to make but the publisher's.

I'm not being coy here. Dragonstairs Press is small but serious and it's Marianne's operation from top to bottom. I can propose ideas to her, but she runs the operation.

She checks out the blog occasionally, though. Maybe she can comment?

Bruce said...

Gah! I'm terribly late! If only, if only...

Seriously, I do need need a copy of each and look forward to seeing what entails securing those. Dragonstairs Press, eh? Very cool story behind that name.

mcp said...

Wow. I'm flattered by your enthusiasm.

Dragonstairs Press is not (well, not intentionally) a not-for-profit enterprise. Nevertheless, the Smoke and Mirrors series is intended primarily as a promotional item, so that's where the initial distribution will be ... from Michael's hand to yours at a reading, signing, or convention. But I will be holding some back -- I'm not yet sure how many -- to actually sell.

By midsummer, I'll know how many I have, and how much they'll cost. I'll get Michael to post here when they are available. You all will have precedent, obviously.

Dragonstairs currently has an e-mail account, dragonstairs@gmail.com. If you'd like to get on the future waiting list please send me an e-mail.

I hope to do a lot of interesting projects involving Michael and other writers as well. We'll let you know about them as they materialize.

Marianne

Lou Anders said...

Very nice.