Check out who we’ve signed for Spring 2021! We’re so excited for you to read the work of all these talented writers, including an essay collection on Black millennial womanhood, a satirical novel on the ways in which we relate to each other, and a new collected works of some of the best science fiction around. And take a look at these awesome covers too!
Vanessa Baden Kelly is an Emmy Award-winning actress and writer, who currently lives in California and works on the web series Giants, on which she has starred, co-written, and co-produced. Her forthcoming essay collection, FAR AWAY FROM CLOSE TO HOME, explores the meaning of and search for home, security, and justice for a millennial Black woman.
The emergence of white girls jogging down Crenshaw was the first sign of trouble.
We had lived in Hyde Park, an area of South Los Angeles that bordered Inglewood, for about two years at that time. I was pregnant. We had every intention of staying in the area, raising our son there, and planting roots. But those damn joggers.
I remember the first time we saw one. Her white earbuds visible as the strawberry blonde ponytail swayed with every counted step, blissfully unaware of the number of Black and brown faces watching her from their driveways or windows or porches. Maybe she wasn’t blissfully unaware. Maybe she was hyper-aware, the headphones a purposeful distraction from what she felt were unwelcoming faces. Perhaps she feared what we all were thinking. Her running in the Crenshaw District would be considered dangerous to anyone who knew her, but maybe she was determined to not let fear of the unknown and preconceived notions of “neighborhoods like this” deter her. And good for her if that were the case. Of course, we are not allowed that same privilege.
Gina Yates, daughter of celebrated novelist Richard Yates, is herself the author of two novels and several short stories, having honed her craft through an unconventional path of world travel and entrepreneurship. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where in addition to writing she is the sole proprietor of an eclectic vintage clothing store. Her forthcoming novel, NARCISSUS NOBODY, is a satirical exploration of intimacy and all its discontents.
San Lazaro, California had an impressive ratio of health food stores to people. Hope’s favorite place to buy groceries was a cute little mom-and-pop operation called Fern & Feather: not as cheap as the various co-ops scattered around town but a lot less cult-like and pretentious. She could find just about everything she needed there, so she rarely had to set foot in a price-gouging corporate chain like Full Circle Foods (which Nathan liked to call “Empty Wallet Foods”) or Health Max (“Credit Card Max”).
But procuring necessities isn’t always the primary objective of grocery shopping. There are times when the urge to blow seven dollars on a three-ounce artichoke salad from the deli comes on like sudden gravity. And this was one of those times. She dug out the biggest backpack she owned while formulating the indulgent self-soothing list in her mind; a two-liter box of mango coconut water, some high concentrated rose oil, a colorful box of exotic tea, a CD with a name like “Totally Stress Free” or “Zen Focus.”
She chose Health Max instead of Full Circle Foods, mainly because the Birch Avenue bus happened to come by first. At the double automatic door, a blast of cleansed air welcomed her in like an old friend. Come in my child, it said. Listen to my coffeehouse jazz and sample my zucchini and hummus sticks.
Robert Silverberg is a multiple winner of both Hugo and Nebula Awards, a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, and a Grand Master of SF. His latest collection, VOYAGERS: Twelve Journeys Through Space and Time, spans 60 years of work by Silverberg, traveling from one end of the universe to the other, from the dawn of time to its final hours.
Every science-fiction story is a voyage of some kind—to a world of a far-off galaxy, to our own world of the distant future or the remote past, to some interior corner of the human soul. That’s the point of science fiction: to envision the unknown, the previously unexplored, what Gulliver’s Houyhnhnms would call the thing which is not. . . .
In my fiction, I have taken my characters from one end of the universe to the other, from the dawn of time to its final hours. I have made a fair sampling of my tales of imaginary voyagers here: time-travelers from the future coming back to witness a catastrophe of our own time, Spanish conquistadores looking for—and finding—the Fountain of Youth, a tourist in Mexico stepping into an alternative universe, spacefarers going among the stars to make a surprising discovery, and a good many more. The range of these stories, the kinds of voyages they describe, just begins to demonstrate the scope of science fiction; for, as writers from Verne and Wells on up through Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury to last month’s newest novelist, nothing can limit its infinite variety.