Posts By: Elly Blue

True Trans Bike Rebel

It’s here! The one and only collection of writing about bicycling by, for, and about transgender and nonbinary cyclists. From touring to racing to advocacy to simply escaping by bike, these stories range from hilarious to poignant to pointedly political. Read it to find yourself reflected in its pages, or to find commonality with others with a shared love of human-powered sports and transportation.

Portland Stair Walks

Why is it so satisfying to walk up and down stairs? Maybe it’s the new layer of discovery with each step up—a new far-off view and a new close-up look at the plants and buildings. Maybe it’s the fleeting proximity one has to passing strangers. Maybe it’s the great feeling of propelling yourself upward and then floating downward. Maybe it’s the best workout you can get without putting on gym clothes. Whatever the reason, stairs are an excellent way to get yourself up or down a landscape, and Portland, Oregon has a whole lot of them built into our public sidewalk and trail infrastructures.

No Apocalypse

War seems to have frazzled the punks. That’s an unusual turn of events considering punk is the subculture that gave us the phrases”let’s have a war,” “let’s start a war,” “war on 45,” “my war,” “wargasm,” “war all the time,” and so on. “Rock n’ roll is war,” said the band Frodus; but you know, it really isn’t. “Rock n’ roll is just rock n’ roll,” assessed AC/DC, somewhat more accurately, and, while not necessarily noise pollution, it is, in the estimation of the Archers of Loaf, “too bad that the music doesn’t matter.” Rock remains rock, war remains war, and, despite everything being subjective and meaning something else entirely from what it appears to under the tenets of post-modernity and end-of-historicism, the fact remains that having a lot of dead people is a terrible, terrible thing and having a lot of people voluntarily self-inducing hearing loss is a less terrible thing. Yes? We are all in agreement here?

Host a Book Emporium!

Remember those book fairs in elementary school? When your sterile school cafeteria or gym was briefly transformed into a book-y wonderland, where you could browse for a whole period and make your careful selections?

We still get a little dreamy remembering those days, so we decided to bring the book fair back, this time for grownups who need a break from work to get lost in books.

If you’re in the Portland area and have at least 30 workers, drop us a line (elly at microcosmpublishing dot com is your person) and ask us about bringing a Microcosm Book Emporium to your workplace for an afternoon.

Our books are mostly nonfiction and they all turn on self-empowerment. We have fun DIY projects, mental health power-ups, hard-hitting histories, inspiration for everything from cooking to bicycling to punk rock, and even books for kids.

We’ll be selling books, but there’s no cost to have us there—we just ask that you provide a few tables, let your staff know about the bookfair, and give them a bit of time to browse and shop. We’re happy to bring requested titles and topics from our catalog.

Bikes Not Rockets

These twelve stories explore a variety of intersections set in distant, outlandish, or disturbingly realistic futures and dimensions—all involving bicycles and the breaking of gender stereotypes. A bicycle race spans a rift between worlds. A teenager learns a valuable lesson from her prepper mom. A young fruit seller gets closer to her dream of becoming an astronaut. An overwhelmed mom finds unexpected solace at a bicycle collective. And much more!

Please Let Me Help

Zack is unemployed, overweight, recently divorced, and lives with his mother. Whilst a lesser man would wither away in emo-laden angst, Zack has found inspiration during this difficult stretch of life. A renaissance man, Zack conjures up brilliant ideas (soap on a rope, a Sammy Davis, Jr. biopic starring Tom Cruise, vases of flowers in Port-a-Potties nationwide), offers services (babysitter for Sophia Coppola, compiler and burner for a Beatles Best-of), and attempts to woo unsuspecting ladies with his lifelike sketches of firearms. Please Let Me Help is a collection of letters Zack has written to companies, actors, directors, his local police department, Hulk Hogan, Canada, and scores of other easy targets. Some write back; most don’t. Please Let Me Help shows how we can turn our weakest moments into creative opportunities and never give up hope!

A People’s Guide to Publishing

Microcosm’s founder, Joe Biel, wrote this book to give you access to his over two decades of publishing experience and skills. Relatable, funny, incredibly detailed, and iconoclastic, this is an essential handbook for anyone who wants to get into the industry or take their small press or zine to the next level.

Unf*ck Your Adulting

Adulting is about sooo much more than making your bed, changing the oil in your car, and understanding your 401k. Actually, it’s not about any of those things at all, argues Dr. Faith—it’s an attitude, a willingness to do the work, to make sure you’re carrying your own baggage as you sort it out, and to carry on with kindness no matter how tough things get.

This is Your Brain on Depression

Let Dr. Faith guide you in her trademark funny, science-y, empathetic way through the ins and outs of depression. This is survivable. You’ve totally got this.