Microcosm Blogifesto Independent book and zine publisher based in Portland, Oregon focusing on diy, self empowerment, gender, punk, bicycling, and hidden history. http://microcosmpublishing.com/ PHP/5.4.41 webmaster@microcosmpublishing.com Feminist Sci Fi Analysis: Software Objects and Objectified People <p>We're getting down to the wire with the Pedal Zombies Kickstarter project! </p> <p>One hundred and twenty six worthy souls have backed the project, bringing us to just over half our funding goal. We've got less than six days left to make this happen. So we've added a bunch of new reward levels, featuring custom fun stuff ranging from a letter about the future for your kid to read when they grow up to a custom voicemail greeting from the voice of Zordon of Eltar.</p> <p>Or you can just get the book, which is a pretty sweet deal in its own right!</p> <p>Onward to the most popular custom reward last time around: the feminist analysis of sci fi classics recommended by backers. </p> <p>"The Lifecycle of Software Objects" by Ted Chiang</p> <p>This analysis is at the request of Mason in California (who, based on his avatar, is an actual zombie!). It's a longish story, and you can read the entire thing on the publisher's website. This one was good thinking. The first word of the story is "Her"—referring to a woman named Ana, who plays online warcraft-esque games, is applying for jobs as a software developer, and who goes on throughout the story to navigate a world full of white collar professionals that seems to have gently broken free from any kind of marked expectations or reactions stemming from gender or race. </p> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 12:45:36 PST http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2015/07/feminist-sci-fi-analysis-software-objects-and-objectified-people Sale: Culinary Cyclist original edition! <p>We're making a beautiful new edition of The Culinary Cyclist: A Cookbook and Companion for the Good Life that officially comes out September 15. It'll have a new cover, some light edits, and—most exciting—recipe conversions for Europe. </p> <p>In the meantime, we still have a few dozen copies of the original edition left in stock and are offering them at $6 (that's 40% off!) until we run out or the new one arrives from the printer. Even better wholesale discounts apply. Get 'em before they're gone! </p> Tue, 28 Jul 2015 14:06:19 PST http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2015/07/sale-culinary-cyclist-original-edition Call for submissions: Bikes in Space 4: Utopia / Dystopia <p>Announcing.... a call for submissions for the fourth annual Bikes in Space anthology. </p> <p>Our 2016 theme is: Utopia / Dystopia</p> <p>Bicycle transportation is often seen as a means towards a utopian project. The joy of cycling, the environmental and health benefits, and so on, are spoken of almost evangelically, and many riders and advocates have lain awake imagining a world where the bicycle reigns supreme, or at least roams free. Some of the political backlash against cycling is a reaction to this dream of a bicycling future; a dystopian fantasy of a society where cars are outlawed and the freedoms they represent to many are curtailed. Yet others love bicycling but question dominant visions that often seems exclusionary and class-divided. </p> Mon, 27 Jul 2015 11:27:12 PST http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2015/07/call-for-submissions-bikes-in-space-4s-theme-is-utopias More Feminist Science Fiction Analysis: Genderless Utopias <p>Slowly, but surely, the Pedal Zombies Kickstarter campaign is wending its way to its goal. We got a nice boost yesterday when Cory Doctorow blogged about us on Boing Boing (praising our production values, no less—we swooned). We also found out that some less-enthused Redditors discovered us, but were disappointed that they only assigned the project 4 Oppression Points. Can't win 'em all.</p> <p>As promised, here's another batch of feminist science fiction analyses; both were requested by Bikes in Space 2 backer (and two-time contributor) Emily June Street (keep an eye out for her reproductive apocalypse story "Breeders" in Pedal Zombies): </p> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 12:01:53 PST http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2015/07/more-feminist-science-fiction-analysis-genderless-utopias Strategies Against Amateurs: Four questions for Joshua Ploeg <p>Well, I go from town to town, usually on public transportation or rideshare... I don't really bring any gear, not even my knives lately. I cook often in apartments or homes for dinner parties, sometimes in random facilities for multimedia or art events and presentations, sometimes popups in restaurants, and occasionally a wedding thrown in there. It's pretty ramshackle... the good things are I get to hang out and party with the hosts, I don't have a boss and the trips usually cover themselves as I go along. I'll spend a few days to a few weeks in each town then move on to the next. In a way it's sort of a medieval model crossed with a punk rock touring concept. </p> Sun, 12 Jul 2015 09:42:33 PST http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2015/07/strategies-against-amateurs-four-questions-for-joshua-ploeg Meet the Microcosm workers: An interview with sales director Thea Kuticka <p>It’s not enough to create a good book. Now you’re competing with all of these other forms of entertainment, because for most people, reading is such a commitment (wait! There’s a movie?) that the challenge for publishers is to overcome information overload. Readers think they already know what they want to read until they find the one book on the one subject they haven’t yet discovered. It’s like being the first on your block. It’s what makes you want to share. We’ve become such expert browsers that we may have forgotten that at the heart of all of this is a community, and for a publisher like Microcosm, books are the community that informs and inspires. All of the rest—the social networking, the online gamers, and niche markets is gossip that involves books, so it may as well be Microcosm’s books. There’s so much potential emerging in the industry and that bodes very well for readers and writers alike. </p> Tue, 7 Jul 2015 09:34:56 PST http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2015/07/an-interview-with-thea-kuticka The Business of Publishing: A Moderne DIY Book Tour <p>This is the seventh post in our ongoing Business of Publishing series. This edition tackles one of our most popular questions: "What is the best way to organize a book tour on my own?"</p> <p>Many authors get stars in their eyes and don't understand that with 4,000 new books being published each day, they will not sell thousands of books as a result of a tour, if ever. But when I ran into this article, I was given new pause. And some alarm. </p> Wed, 1 Jul 2015 14:23:28 PST http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2015/07/the-business-of-publishing-a-moderne-diy-book-tour Rampant Media Consumption - June 2014 <p>Here's what we took in during the last month!</p> <p>Taylor</p> <p>Read: Dave Egger's What is the What and White Girls by Hilton Als</p> <p>Listened 2: Lizzie Mercier Descloux, Team Dresch, Gap Dream and a podcast called Expanding Mind on different states of dreaming</p> <p>Tried to watch Black Fish but internet connection was too poor, still recommend everyone check out. </p> Wed, 1 Jul 2015 10:41:12 PST http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2015/07/rampant-media-consumption-june-2014 Aftermath of Forever: Relationships, described through music <p>At its base, this is a collection of short pieces about the author's previous romantic interests. Some lovers, some potentials, and some that she just loved in one way or another. The chapters serve as odes to each of the men that have passed through her life after a fierce divorce in her early twenties.</p> <p>Throughout the book, Natalye is very aware of the effect each man has on her life, both in the moment and long after. That awareness keeps her journey interesting, watching her wants, needs, and general lifestyle change and evolve with each passing beau, from her very open, early exploration of her own sexuality to casual exploits, and even falling for men she'd never expected to love. </p> Tue, 23 Jun 2015 16:15:38 PST http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2015/06/a-review-of-aftermath-of-forever- The Kids are Alright: An Interview with Dawson Barrett <p>In my mind, there are two main audiences for the book. The first is the most obvious. It’s for teenage rebels! I wrote it for young people. It’s their history. So, I hope they find it useful. I think these stories are empowering, and teens are an especially disenfranchised group. My own teen years were an exercise in correctly identifying injustices and then directing my anger almost entirely at the wrong targets. So, I hope young people will read the book and see that it is possible to vent your frustrations in ways that actually make positive changes. The future is in their hands.</p> <p>The second audience for the book includes teachers and other people who work with youth or who are otherwise interested in being their allies. As I think about it, though, this is really just an indirect route to the first group!</p> <p>I’m a history teacher, and all over our country, there are serious efforts to re-write the US history curriculum to downplay inequality and protest and instead promote empty patriotism and respect for authority. Those are the actual stated goals of one such campaign. I would love to counter that. My dream would be for high school teachers around the country to find themselves with a few extra minutes left at the end of class, and maybe talk about something a bit more exciting (like, say, a couple of stories from this book!). They are set up to be conversation starters: Why were the students upset? How did they try to make change? Why did they win or lose? How does this compare to your school experience? </p> Wed, 10 Jun 2015 08:17:50 PST http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2015/06/the-kids-are-alright-an-interview-with-dawson-barrett