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Celebrating Carl’s first 90 years (with a sale of course)

Photo of Randy Ray and Carl Dow, seated at a table, with a painting of a teenage boy on the wall between them.
Randy Ray (left) and Carl Dow (right) talk while waiting for the birthday food to arrive on July 15, 2023. Photo by Judy Kwasnica.

July 17, 2023 — A few months shy of the 10th anniversary of the publication of Carl Dow’s first book (the eclectic collection of short fiction, The Old Man’s Last Sauna) came another anniversary: Carl’s 90th birthday, which we celebrated in quiet style at his home on the northern edge of Ottawa’s Centretown this past Saturday.

In attendance were Randy Ray, his longtime friend and sometime publicist, Randy’s partner Judy Kwasnica, Carl’s oldest friend (who he has been trying to catch for about 70 years, but who somehow remains four months older) Nick Aplin, his friend Faduma (who asked not to be pictured nor last-named), and of course, my darling wife (who also chooses to keep her face and name off the internet), and my daughter, “Baobao”, whose face I have decided to keep private, now that she is nearly four.

Photo shows young girl giving Carl Dow a hand-made 90th birthday card.
Carl receives a hand-made card from his grand-daughter, Baobao.

As I said, it was a small celebration of Carl’s first 90 years, but a joyful one.

Though largely confined to the wheelchair you can see in some of the accompanying photos, Carl (who is, yes, my father; the shared last name is no coincidence. His writer’s home at The BumblePuppy Press, on the other hand, has nothing to do with nepotism and everything to do with the fact that, when I read his first novel, Black Grass, in manuscript, I started it in the evening and finished it as the sun was rising the next morning. I founded the company because I really wanted that book to see print) promises to deliver his next novel, Wildflowers: The Women Who Made McCord Chronicle to his publisher, well, any day now.

After that, he says he has a sequel to Black Grass percolating — one that will feature Louis Riel himself, along with the protagonist of Black Grass, Gabriel Dumont. He says he might start work on his memoirs once those two novels are in the proverbial can, but I suspect more fiction will get in the way of that.

While I wait for the new book (and to really bury the lede), to celebrate Carl’s birthday, we are offering both of his existing books — Black Grass and The Old Man’s Last Sauna for a combined price of only $25.00. Click here to buy them now!

Please offer your congratulations to my dad in the best way possible — buy his books! If you need evidence before laying down your hard-earned money, click here to read an excerpt from Black Grass, and here to read the powerful novelette, “O! Ernie … What Have They Done To You?” in its entirety.

Image shows Geoffrey Dow, standing behind Carl Dow, who is holding copies of his books, Black Grass, and The Old Man's Last Sauna, while seated in his wheelchair. Photo by Judy Kwasnica.
Why yes, there is a bit of a family resemblance! Photo by Judy Kwasnica.
Click here to buy Black Grass and The Old Man’s Last Sauna for only $25!

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No picture, because it happened

A father’s love, a publisher’s distaster

Image shows copies of Reprise paperback against a white background.
Well, there is a picture — a repeat, no less — but no un-boxing photo or video.

Monday, June 26, 2023 — Friday saw two things of note happen to your obedient servant.

First, I took my nearly four-year old daughter to a nearby wading pool, where she for the first time ventured into the deep end (nearly neck-high on her) for the first time. I of course, stayed close, while the water lapped at my thighs. Such was my enthusiasm for her pleasure in exploring the waters, that at one point I decided to give her a lesson in basic kicking techniques.

I brought her back to the steps and stretched out, placing my hands on the top steps and kicking up a storm with my legs and feet. And yes, completely forgetting that I was still wearing my phone in that o! so sexy belt holster at my side.

By the time I realized my mistake, the damage was done, and when I returned home to find a box of paper copies of Zilla Novikov’s Reprise on my doorstep, there could be no unboxing video or photo.

Do we now really have paper copies available for sale? You bet we do! But for the moment, you’ll need to order one to see it. Our store is right here: bppress.ca/shop/, and if you’re within cycling distance of downtown Ottawa, contact me first to arrange delivery for only $5.00 (or nothing at all, if you can come to me.

And so, the continue the adventures of a (very) small press. (I can only thank all the gods in which I do not believe that my old phone was already past the point of its planned obsolescence, though that is still small comfort.)

That's me!

Geoff


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Reprise is published!

Image shows copies of Reprise paperback against a white background.
Reprise is now available from your favourite online vendor, or right here at the BPPress store!

June 19, 2023 — It has been, as the song says, a long and winding road, but Zilla Novikov‘s remarkable, and remarkably funny, debut novel, Reprise has been published.

Called “a breakneck journey, a loveletter to being a nerd, and a good time” by the Independent Book Review, Novikov’s post-modern gothic is the novel that might have resulted had Jane Austen and Douglas Adams managed to transcend time and space and produce a child.

To quote Cascade‘s Rachel A. Rosen, “If you like your pop culture nerdy, your queers messy, and your time travel criminally clever, this book is for you.”

Electronic versions of Reprise are available from The BumblePuppy Press Store now, and we expect paperback copies to arrive within the week. If you can’t wait, click here to buy from the online vendor of your choice!

Happy reading, and please remember: if you like this, or any of our books, leave a review! Especially for a small press, reviews are the best way convince a writer you like they should create another book!

That's me!
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One year for Cascade? (Actually, more than one … mea culpa)

Cover of Rachel A. Rosen's Cascade with 1st birthday graphic superimposed on back cover (www.pngarts.com/explore/238839)
Birthday graphic from First Birthday PNG Image Transparent Background.

June 16, 2023 — It’s hard for me to believe, but it has been more than a year since we published Rachel Rosen’s brilliant debut novel, Cascade.

I am embarrassed to admit that I missed the actual anniversary (June 7, 2022), and while I’ll lean a little on my duties as a father, and of getting Zilla Novikov’s equally-brilliant Reprise ready for publication, neither explanation/excuse really lets me off the hook.

But here we are, with a belated celebratory offering.

First, Rachel’s book is on sale, 25% off each version, ebook or print. Please visit our store, if you have somehow not yet bought her book!

Second, if you haven’t read the book and still need convincing, I have collected a lot of reviews here — if these raves don’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

That's me!
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Reprise Kickstarter is off

June 19, 2023: UPDATE — Sadly, this Kickstarter was not a success. No one who backed it will be charged. However, Reprise has now been published, and is available from the usual online vendors as well as in our own store (we expect to have paper copies available by Sunday, June 25th, but ebooks can be had now).

Just launched Kickstarter banner

She’s got a doctorate and nothing to lose
He’s got a time machine and a hot wife
Which is deadlier, love or science?

May 21, 2023 — It’s been a long time coming, but the Kickstarter campaign for Zilla Novikov’s singular debut novel, Reprise: A Post-Modern Comedy of Manners, is here at last!

A caustically funny time-travel romance that blends dark academia with with timey-wimey complexity, D&D with S&M, and leaves the reader wondering if the protagonist is a murderer or victim — or both — Reprise is the novel that would have been written by the love-child of Jane Austen and the Marquis de Sade, had she been raised by Douglas Adams.

Reprise will make you laugh, gasp, and maybe, cheer.

Back and front cover of Zilla Novikov's Reprise

Most people play ‘F**k, Marry, Kill’ as a game of hypotheticals, but Eddy Courant’s life takes an unconventional path when Dr. François Gagnon offers Eddy a postdoc position studying time loops. This unexpected chance to revive her career pulls Eddy from a deep depression. She loses herself to the thrill of science, and to the simpler pleasures in life – like flirting with her boss, seducing his wife, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with their son.

That is, until the men funding the research demand ever-more ground-breaking data to justify keeping her on board – after all, they have a war to start.

Eddy is plunged into ever darker and more violent acts to appease the funders. So long as she’s employed, she doesn’t have to face the consequences of replaying countless deaths – including her own. But keeping track of shifting timelines while her own mental state deteriorates means losing the ability to tell real life from its shadow.

If you like your pop culture nerdy, your queers messy, and your time travel criminally clever, this book is for you.

Please click here to support the campaign, and feel free to share the link with anyone you know who loves time-travel, romance, or any kinky combination of the two: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bppress/reprise-hardcover!

That's me!

Geoffrey Dow, publisher

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News: Cascade audio book coming soon

And a warm welcome to narrator Paul Adamson

Image shows hard-cover copy of Cascade with earphones draped atop it, one earphone covering part of the front cover.

March 17, 2023 — It is with great pleasure that I welcome Paul Adamson to the BumblePuppy Press.

Paul has signed on to launch our — and his — very first foray into audio books, narrating Rachel A. Rosen’s Cascade.

This being our first time working with audio, I’m not ready to provide a precise launch date, but our intention is to publish it in the fall of 2023 (why yes, in time for Christmas). We will also be launching a crowd-sourcing campaign to support it — details to follow soon.

Paul has already made a name for himself as a voice actor in video games and e-learning videos, but Cascade will be his first time working with long-form fiction. I for one have no doubt that this book will be the first of many — I hope, for the BumblePuppy Press, and elsewhere.

Cropped black and white image of Paul Adamson.
Paul Adamson (image provided by Paul)

Below is a very brief excerpt from his audition recording, already very nearly ready for prime time.

Of course, if you prefer to read your fiction with your eyes (or you just can’t wait until the fall), Cascade is now on special at our store, in hard-cover, soft-cover, and all major ebook formats (DRM-free, of course). And if you’re voting in the upcoming Aurora Awards, there is still time to vote for Cascade as this year’s best novel.

Thanks as always for your support,

That's me!

Geoffrey Dow, publisher

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Vote early, vote late! But vote!

Rachel A. Rosen’s Cascade eligible for Aurora Award

Vote early, vote often!
Image courtesy of Rachel A. Rosen

As is only right and proper, Rachel A. Rosen’s debut novel, Cascade, is eligible in the Best Novel category for Canada’s premiere English-language science fiction and fantasy awards, the Auroras (https://www.csffa.ca/members-home/nomination/).

To have a chance to be added to the final Aurora Awards ballot, a work must get at least five nominations, and only members of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (CSFFA) are eligible to vote. The price of that franchise is a pretty affordable $10.00 for an annual membership, and you must be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant in order to join.

If you loved Cascade, or even if you’re just a fan of Canadian SF&F, that seems a small price to pay to support the work creators you like. Membership information is here: https://www.csffa.ca/become-a-member/. CSFFA membership allows you to:

  • nominate your favourite works in any or all of the categories;
  • download e-versions of almost all of the finalist works for free with our voter package; and
  • vote for the for the awards themselves.

To celebrate (and yes, to improve Rachel’s chances, I won’t lie), we’ve reduced the price on all versions of Cascade. DRM-free ebooks in all formats are now only $2.00, the paperback is marked down to $15.00, and the hardcover is only $26.00. A little self-serving, maybe, but a great deal for you if you have not yet had the pleasure of reading what I really do think was the best Canadian SF novel of 2022. You can buy all of our books here.

Cascade has blurbs!

Besides the upcoming Aurora Awards, the BumblePuppy Press will have more news about Cascade (audiobook!), the upcoming novel Reprise, and a new version of A.A. Milne’s classic children’s book, which we will be calling The Inclusive Woke Winnie-the-Pooh. So please come back soon or, better yet, subscribe to our newsletter!

That's me!

Geoff

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Cover Reveal: Reprise, by Zilla Novikov

The wild imagination of Douglas Adams,
The acerbic wit of Jane Austen,
The surreal vision of Emily Brontë

Reprise

In a caustically funny post-modern Gothic, Dr. François Gagnon offers Eddy Courant a postdoc position studying time loops. The chance to revive her stalling research career pulls Eddy from a deep depression. She loses herself to the thrill of science, and to the simpler pleasures in life – like flirting with her boss and seducing his wife. Until the men funding the research demand more ground-breaking data to justify keeping her on board – after all, they have a war to start.

Eddy is plunged into ever darker and more violent acts to appease the funders. So long as she’s employed, she doesn’t have to face the consequences of replaying countless deaths – including her own. But keeping track of shifting timelines while her own mental state deteriorates means losing the ability to tell real life from its shadow.

Can Eddy find loves, stop the arms dealer, and save her sanity – or even one out of three?

Scroll down to see the cover (and find out more)!

Image shows the cover of Zilla Novikov's novel, Reprise.
Cover created by Rachel A. Rosen.

Zilla Novikov’s Reprise, coming April 15, 2023

January 13, 2023 – I am excited and proud to present the cover of The BumblePuppy Press’ next book, Zilla Novikov’s singular time travel romance (and brilliant debut novel), Reprise.

Already available for pre-order as an ebook on Amazon, this coming week will see the launch of a Kickstarter campaign with all sorts of extra goodies available, but for now I just want to share the wonderful cover created by our own Rachel A. Rosen.

And don’t forget to subscribe our newsletter to keep abreast of Reprise news, and news of all of our upcoming books (because there is a lot more to come in 2023).

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Rachel A. Rosen on Nalo Hopkinson

Rachel talks Brown Girl In the Ring and more with CM Lowry

Image advertising This Book I Read ... The Podcast, with Rachel A. Rosen and Brown Girl In the Ring. Image includes cover photo of Nalo Hopkinson's novel, Brown Girl In the Ring.

January 13, 2023 – Cascade (and The Sad Bastard Cookbook) author Rachel A. Rosen was interviewed by C.M. Lowry on Beyond Cataclysm Books‘s podcast This Book I Read … The Podcast, which was uploaded yesterday.

It was a wide-ranging discussion that, while focused on SFWA Grandmaster Nalo Hopkinson’s first novel, Brown Girl In the Ring, covered topics including Canadian literature, Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy, Post-apocalyptic Toronto and Ontario, white flight and inner city decline (or otherwise), the Afro-Caribbean diaspora, and the challenges of predicting the future back in the 1990s.

It might sound like a lot to cover in not much more than 30 minutes, but I (admittedly, a biased listener) thought it was a fascinating discussion.

The full podcast is here: https://beyondcataclysm.co.uk/podcast/brown-girl-in-the-ring-with-rachel-a-rosen or wherever you get your podcasts.

Geoff

That's me!
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The joy of (sending) cash

Rachel A. Rosen’s Cascade earns out advance

Photo of publisher Geoffrey Dow posing with hardcover copy of Rachel A. Rosen's novel Cascade.
Why yes, that is a hard-cover version of Cascade. Available exclusively in our shop for only $25.00!

It’s not often one grins while pressing Send on an e-transfer, but this was one of those times. (Not often?!? Come to think of it, I can’t remember ever feeling delighted about paying money for anything.)

But it was with genuine pleasure that I found myself sending Rachel A. Rosen her first royalty payment for her debut novel, Cascade, amounting to more than 60% of her advance! (There was also a second, much smaller cheque, for sales of her related chapbook, So Human As I Am.)

Yes, I think the exclamation point is warranted. While not quite a bestseller, for the publisher behind a very small press, I consider this a real victory. And I’m confident it won’t be the last.* * *

Not only do we have four really good books currently available for sale now, but this year we have plans for at least another four books, two of them slated for the spring.

Next week we will formally launch a Kickstarter campaign for, and reveal the cover of, Zilla Novikov’s first novel, the very twisted, and very funny, science fiction romance, Reprise, and shortly after that, our Inclusive version of A.A. Milne’s children’s classic, Winnie-the-Pooh.

If you want to avoid the mysterious algorithms of social media, please join our mailing list (link below). We won’t sell your info to anyone else, and you’ll then be the first to know when we have actual news.

Photo of small child reclining in a bouncy chair while holding hard-cover copy of Rachel A. Rosen's novel, Cascade.
Our Director of Promotions and Publicity is as happy about the new year as I am.

I think that’s it for the moment. I hope the new year is starting off as well for you as it is for us!

Signature file of publisher Geoffrey Dow.

Geoff