The first collection of short stories by Kelly Link, "Stranger Things Happen," will be issued in a special edition this fall by Subterranean Press. Link, alongside Southern California's Aimee Bender, is a leading voice in the emergent genre of literary surrealist, speculative fiction.
"I'm assuming I'm not the only writer out there who loves both [H.P.] Lovecraft and Lorrie Moore," Link told the Times in 2008. "What I get when I write is some Lovecraft, plus some Lorrie Moore, hopefully plus a little of me in there as well. So it's about infinite recombinations."
"Stranger Things Happen" was initially released in 2001 by Small Beer Press, the publishing house founded by Link and her husband Gavin Grant, and it put both the writer and publisher on the map, and remains Small Beer's bestselling title. It's still in print, but as always, Small Beer Press sells it in paperback.
That will change with the new Subterranean Press edition of "Stranger Things Happen," which will be in hardcover. It will also feature new illustrations, by the artist Kathleen Jennings; that's her work on the cover, above.
The limited hardcover edition, a run of just 500 copies, will be $75. It comes with an 80-page hardcover chapbook with two previously uncollected short stories by Link. All special edition copies will be autographed by Link, and those ordered here can be personalized.
It's an interesting project -- readers can certainly pick up the more affordable paperback edition for $11.95, or the e-book for just $6.99. The new edition is for collectors, people who value the stories and want to see them in hardcover form, and who see value in a signed and numbered edition that is limited to 500 copies.
This is one of the ways that publishers can distinguish the print work they do from the e-books they issue, focusing on creating an object that's worth having. And Link's work seems a great place to start.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Images: The cover of the new edition of "Stranger Things Happen" and Kelly Link. Credit: Small Beer Press