A private gift to Ursula K. Le Guin becomes a gift to all readers, an exciting chance to enjoy someone else's birthday present. In 2009, for the momentous occasion of Ursula K. Le Guin's 80th birthday, Karen Joy Fowler and Debbie Notkin put together a volume of tributes and appreciations, as a birthday present. The project, known in academic circles as a ''festschrift,'' or ''celebration book,'' resulted in a single copy, handbound in green leather, which Karen presented to Ursula a few days after her birthday in October. The original idea came from Kim Stanley Robinson, who also contributed an essay to the book. With Ms. Le Guin's kind agreement, Aqueduct Press is delighted to share this unique celebration with Le Guin's readers and fans. The book contains poetry, personal essays, academic essays, biographical information about Le Guin, as well as fiction, including previously unpublished fiction by Andrea Hairston and John Kessel. Publication will coincide with Le Guin's 81st birthday. Contributors include Eleanor Arnason, Brian Attebery, Richard Chwedyk, Karen Joy Fowler, Molly Gloss, Eileen Gunn, Andrea Hairston, Jed Hartman, Gwyneth Jones, John Kessel, Ellen Kushner, Nancy Kress, Sarah LeFanu, Vonda N. McIntyre, Pat Murphy, Julie Phillips, Paul Preuss, Kim Stanley Robinson, Nisi Shawl, Lisa Tuttle, Ã‰lisabeth Vonarburg, and Jo Walton, among others.
Karen Joy Fowler is the author of five novels and three short story collections. Her recent novel, The Jane Austen Book Club, spent thirteen weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list and was a New York Times Notable Book. Fowler's previous novel, Sister Noon, was a finalist for the 2001 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. Her debut novel, Sarah Canary, was a New York Times Notable Book, as was her second novel, The Sweetheart Season. Fowler's short story collection Black Glass won the World Fantasy Award in 1999. She is a founding member of the James Tiptree Jr. Award and is president of the Clarion Foundation. She lives in Santa Cruz, California. Debbie Notkin has been a science-fiction and fantasy acquisitions editor (Tor Books), a science-fiction and fantasy bookstore owner (The Other Change of Hobbit, Berkeley, California), as well as a reviewer, essayist, and appreciator of the field. She is active in helping run WisCon, the world's largest feminist science-fiction convention. She is the chair of the James Tiptree Award motherboard. She wrote the text for Women En Large: Images of Fat Nudes, and Familiar Men: A Book of Nudes, both with photography by Laurie Toby Edison. She blogs about body image and related topics at Body Impolitic.