A Note About Our Haitus

We’re spending this time away wrapping up our previous obligations to our Kickstarter backers and authors, but we’re not going away for good. We hope to have our old business settled by the end of the summer so that we can move forward with new work.

Part of that involves reincorporating Dagan Books — already an LLC — as a not-for-profit. We feel this will better allow us to focus on our mission of producing beautiful and unusual books even when they involve less-commercial subjects. It is time-consuming, though, and we appreciate your patience.

Meanwhile, our magazine of short speculative fiction is now on its second issue and looking good. Please check out Lakeside Circus at www.lakesidecircus.com. With this issue. we’ve added podcasts! Everything posted on the site is free to read, and listen to.

We’ll be back here shortly with more news about our reorganization and future projects.

Thank you.

Carrie Cuinn, Publisher

“The Touch of the Taniwha” by Tracie McBride (Fish) is

“The Touch of the Taniwha” by Tracie McBride is a finalist for the 2013 Aurealis Awards, in the category of “Best Fantasy Short Fiction”. The Aurealis Awards are Australia’s premier speculative fiction awards.

Fish was edited by Carrie Cuinn and KV Taylor, and published in 2013. You can learn more about the anthology here, and read Tracie’s author interview here.

The ceremony will take place April 5, 2014 in Canberra, and we wish Tracie the best of luck!

For Your Consideration: Our 2013 Award-Eligible Contributors List

We published two books in 2013: Fish (edited by Carrie Cuinn and KV Taylor) and Bibliotheca Fantastica (edited by Don Pizarro). We also published a novella, Inedible Sins, and launched the first issue of our new speculative fiction magazine, Lakeside Circus.

Of course, we have to mention that both of our anthology covers for 2013 were drawn by the amazing Galen Dara, who should certainly be nominated for all of the awards this year.

BF FINAL cover_v2_full cover_sm

fish cover_FINAL sm

In addition, the authors we’ve published are eligible for various awards either for the stories we presented to you or for other work. We posted a PDF reading copy of Colleen Anderson’s “The Book With No End” here, since she’s on the Bram Stoker Award Preliminary Ballot in the “Superior Achievement in Short Fiction” category. But there are more!

Polenth Blake, whose story “Thwarting the Fiends” was a favorite from Fish, also has a novelette out: “By Means of Clockwork Selection”. For more details, go here.

Nathan Crowder’s story “Cold Comfort of Silver Lake” is in Blood Rites: an Introduction to Horror, on the preliminary Stoker ballot for anthologies. Crowder can also be found in Cthulhurotica (2011).

Sam Fleming, who wrote the excellent “What the Water Gave Her” for Fish, also wrote “When Shepherds Dream of Electric Sheep” for the Looking Landwards anthology by NewCon Press. Find out more about Fleming here.

Gabrielle Harboway, who appeared in Cthulhurotica, is Nebula-eligible for “Blood Magic,” published in Witches, Stitches & Bitches from Evil Girlfriend Media. The story is online for free in the SFWA short story forum, for the consideration of SFWA members. Read more about her work here.

Ken Liu, who wrote “How Do You Know if a Fish is Happy?” for Fish and ” ” for IN SITU (2012), shares his favorite publications of 2013 and a list of his eligible stories here.

Please also see our list of award-eligible authors from Lakeside Circus, here.

Colleen Anderson’s “The Book With No End”

Colleen Anderson’s “The Book With No End” (from Bibliotheca Fantastica, ed. by Don Pizarro) made the Stoker 2013 preliminary ballot! To celebrate, we’ve made it free to read online for a limited time.

Eligible for the “Superior Achievement in Short Fiction” award, Anderson’s story is definitely horror, yet perfectly fit within the confines of Bibliotheca Fantastica, a book about books. Neon: a Literary Magazine said the story, “Starts innocently enough, but quickly becomes dark and deeply unsettling.”

Yes, it does. Anderson’s titular book is written in blood and sacrifice, ancient and obfuscated, and the secrets it offers up are not to be sought lightly.

Download the PDF here: Anderson.BookWithNoEnd.DaganBooks  (It’s set up in the same format as the print book; we recommend you read it in the “two pages” view for best effect.)

Read an interview with Anderson here.

Neon, A Literary Magazine, Reviews BIBLIOTHECA FANTASTICA

Says reviewer Christopher Frost:

I was initially sceptical of Bibliotheca Fantastica, the recent anthology of short stories published by Dagan Books. The collection is, to put it simply, a book about books. Each of the twenty stories to be found between its covers involves a book, tome, scripture, scroll or tablet of some kind.

Don Pizarro’s introduction does a good job of touching on some of the reasons why books are such a potentially interesting subject – yet it still left me the tiniest bit unconvinced that it would be anything but a dry and interminable read. Thankfully this was not the case. The stories ranged widely, and included some stunningly original takes on the concept of a book.

In fact each story was so wildly unique and intriguing….

Read the rest here.

Find the post on their Facebook page and “like” or tweet it to be entered for a chance to win an ebook of Bibliotheca Fantastica.

The Qwillery ask BIBLIOTHECA FANTASTICA authors about the power of books

When we put together the fantasist anthology, Bibliotheca Fantastica, we asked ourselves, “What’s so magical about books, anyway?” David Sklar, Gord Sellar, Michael J. DeLuca, A.C. Wise,  Garry Kilworth, S.J. Hirons, Ray Vukcevich, Tina Connolly, and Andrew S. Fuller, answered that question for us, over at The Qwillery:

Books are time travel. They’re telepathy. They’re the seance, the ansible, the summoning ritual, the oracle, the visionary dream. Reading makes another person’s ideas our own, for better or worse, as different, far away or long ago as that other person might be. The connection isn’t perfect–what magic is? But what’s lost in the translation from one mind to the page and back into another’s leaves room for the creativity that makes the next book possible, and the next. If only we could read them all. Michael J. DeLuca, author of “Other Palimpsests”

My favorite and most heartbreaking dreams are the ones where I’m in a library or old junk shop and I stumble on a book by a beloved author that I didn’t know existed. I know where this comes from–when I was little I was obsessed with the Wizard of Oz. I thought there was only one book, but then in my Scholastic flyer from school I boggled as I saw an advertisement for #2. In our local bookstore sometime later I found 3, and eventually all the L. Frank Baum ones through 14. Several years later I was in the Topeka library and the same thrilling shock ran through me as I found the ones by Ruth Plumly Thompson. Each of these moments is incised in my memory. The books themselves were magical, but the unexpected discovery that you could, in fact, go back to Oz (or Narnia, or Green Gables, or or or) was always the real magic. Tina Connolly, author of “Paperheart”

We are matter that looks at and thinks about the universe and then tells stories. How that all works and why we should make up stories are deep mysteries, but that’s what we do, and while it might not really be magic, it is wonderful. As we change in the coming ages, if we survive, the way we tell those stories might change, too. When we augment those most complicated of things, our brains, new art forms will probably arise. At some deep level, though, I think it will still be narrative, because that’s who we are. We struggle to make sense of things and then we say stuff. Some of the most interesting things we say are collected in objects called “books.” Ray Vukcevich, author of “The Go-Between”

Read the rest here.

SF Signal interviews Don Pizarro about BIBLIOTHECA FANTASTICA

SF Signal introduces their new interview with author and editor Don Pizarro by calling our latest anthology “the excellent Bibliotheca Fantastica (see their review). With questions that range from the concept of books as an idea to the thrills and dangers of the book-worlds our authors created, the interview explores a little bit of what an editor thinks after the book is put together…

HM: As I read the stories, I could sense an unwritten warning about the power of books. When it comes to books with magical properties, what’s more dangerous – the book or the reader?

DP: That’s a false dichotomy I think, and here’s why. Think about the phrase, “Guns don’t kill people….” There are three ways to finish it: (a) “people do,” (b) “bullets do,” or (c) “Actually no, guns do kill people.” However you answer it, if you take away any one of those elements (Let’s swap: (a) the reader, (b) the book’s content, (c) the book-as-object), there just isn’t as much danger as there is when all the elements are combined.

Combine them, and the danger is practically limitless!

Read the rest here.