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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Thursday, January 08, 2004 - 07:05 pm:   

Here's where you'll be able to hear about the latest developments of Two Cranes Press, the small press revived after sixty years by me and my lovely fiancée, Janet Jia-Ee Chui. The press has its own lovely official website, with ordering information for our first publishing venture, Four Seasons in One Day. To whet your apetite, here's the somewhat true history of the press:

***


In 1925, Barton Bjorn Lundberg met Ka-Hsien Tsui at a speakeasy in Chicago, and the two men instantly became friends. Lundberg, a fixture in the silent film world, was known for his rambunctious lifestyle, his tolerance for drink, and his generous support of the arts. Tsui, an up-and-coming architect in New York high society, was known for his surrealist leanings and silent temperament, as well as his virtuosity on the trumpet. Lundberg and Tsui were drawn to Chicago for different reasons: Lundberg to scout locations and Tsui to vacation and discover new forms of jazz. It is not known what forces brought them together to that underground bar, nor what they talked about, but after that one night, they were rarely seen apart again.

Despite scandalous rumors of an intimate relationship between the two, they lived together in a three-bedroom apartment on New York’s East Side for over ten years. Lundberg’s passion for cinema waned as silent films gave way to talkies, and Tsui burned out designing buildings. Sensing the lack of and need for cheaply made chapbooks as city guides, collections of poetry, philosophical treatises, or inked artwork, the duo decided to try their hand at publishing and formed Two Cranes Press. They chose the crane as the Chinese symbol of longevity, long life, wisdom, and good luck.

Their first publication, A Walking Tour of East Egg, was well-received, going back to print seven times. The wealthy elite who lived in New York’s East Egg enjoyed reading about their surroundings and discovering the histories of their neighbors, while the growing middle-class enjoyed experiencing the rich lifestyle vicariously through the written word. With the success of Walking Tour, Lundberg and Tsui then printed Trumpet Tales, a collection of Tsui’s poetry, which documented his time in Chicago and gave future historians a rare insight into his character. To his disappointment, the poetry chapbook only did moderately well, though it was highly praised by critics.

Over the years, the duo produced twenty-seven other chapbooks of various types, during which time Lundberg married socialite Terri Day. It is unclear whether this marriage produced a rift in the friendship of the two men, though Tsui continued to live with the newlyweds for a number of years. Day died of pneumonia in 1938, and Lundberg was said to not have been the same afterward. He died three months later of unknown causes, though some have speculated it was from a broken heart. Tsui, now alone and bereft of his most important friendship, left New York and was never heard from again. Unconfirmed reports claim a person of his description roaming the Alaskan wilderness years afterward.

And so, over sixty years later, the direct descendants of these two men, Jason Erik Lundberg and Janet Jia-Ee Chui, were brought together via the Clarion Writers’ Workshop in 2002. Star-crossed lovers joined by fate and tremendous good luck. They decided to resurrect the small press of their ancestors in 2003, collaborating in their first effort to produce Four Seasons in One Day, a chapbook of fiction, art, and poetry. The title, taken from the Australian expression for the unpredictable weather of that continent, also refers to the fact that all four written pieces in the chapbook can be read in one sitting. It is unclear whether this also refers to Terri Day, who was known to have been unpredictable herself, though both J. Lundberg and J. Chui have denied it. They say no one person will ever get between them.

***


To see the previous TCP QuickTopic discussion, click on the Guestbook
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Monday, February 09, 2004 - 10:38 am:   

Okay, as of right now, we only have about 35 copies of the chapbook left, so order yours today! I'm hoping to take some to WisCon, and also to Trinoc*coN, so they're going fast.

Here are some early reviews:

From Andrew Nicolle:

"Four Seasons in One Day features three short stories and one poem, with each related to a different season. The illustrations are well done and complement the stories perfectly.

The first story, entitled 'Night Off,' shows us one possible scenario when a certain jolly fellow cannot make his Christmas deliveries and must find someone to take his place. Rather than present us with another variation on a well-worn idea, Lundberg instead comes up with a novel twist which is similar in theme to his story in the recent Intracities collection.

This is followed by the Spring-themed story, 'Ghost Dancing.' Stephan has an 'imaginary' friend named Fiona who claims to be looking out for him, but often ends up causing trouble. This causes conflict between Stephan and his mother, and leads to Stephan coming to a new understanding of what happened to his father.

In 'The Sleepers,' Janet Jia-Ee Chui brings us the tale of a Singaporean family in Australia during a typically hot Summer in Melbourne. May wants to stay, but her mother insists they move in order to cater for May's disruptive younger brother, Jinn. 'The Sleepers' is filled with rich imagery and as far as I could tell, the Australian aspects were pretty much spot-on.

The chapbook wraps up with a short poem, entitled 'Scarlet.' I really enjoyed this one and the way it described the changing colours of Autumn. In summary, Four Seasons in One Day is a quick but enjoyable read, whatever the season."

From Trent Walters: "This baby is gorgeous. I don't think I've ever seen a chapbook this beautiful. Seriously. Most large small presses don't even pass near the same universe. Catch Chui and Lundberg, now, before they become too famous for you to afford such beauty."

From Gwenda Bond: "Jason Erik Lundberg has a talented girlfriend and is a good reader! [The chapbook] truly does look fabulous."

From Jon Hansen: "Ooh, pretty pretty! Very cool, and certainly THE nicest [chapbook] I've ever seen...Looking forward to reading it."
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Monday, February 09, 2004 - 10:46 am:   

Also, as is posted elsewhere, two of the stories in the chapbook have been/will be reprinted. "Night Off" is available right now for free at the very cool online magazine Fantastic Metropolis (sandwiched between stories by Ted Chiang and Angélica Gorodischer). And "Ghost Dancing" will be coming out in the Serbian SF magazine Znak Sagite sometime in the near future. The very kind and generous Zoran Zivkovic originally accepted it, but because sales of the last issue of his Polaris were less than he hoped, the next issue (where my story was supposed to appear) has been delayed. So Zoran spoke to the other publisher on my behalf and got it accepted there, so it'll be coming out in one or the other fairly soon. I'm very jazzed to be translated into Serbian.
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J. Erik Lundberg
Posted on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 08:00 am:   

Some recent news:

"Night Off" and "Ghost Dancing" were both chosen for AndyHat's annual recommended reading list of speculative fiction from 2003. Andy reads a metric ton of fiction every year, and I'm glad he liked my stories.

Copies of the chapbook are now available at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, NC. The Regulator is a great little independent bookstore not far from the Duke campus, and they sell local zines along with the literary journals and slick magazines every bookstore carries.

Special offer: Expectant Mother 50% Discount for Four Seasons. Offer valid until September 18, limit 1 per person, quantities extremely limited. This offer was started to help out Haddayr Copley-Woods, who is pregnant with her second child. (Check out Haddayr's very cool story in the second Ratbastards chapbook). Please email me at jelundberg@nc.rr.com for details.

Janet and I were at WisCon last weekend, and had a fantastic time. (My con report is at my online journal.) We sold four copies of the chapbook at the Speculative Literature Foundation Small Press Co-op table, which means we now have less than twenty copies remaining. Get yours now before they're all gone!
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Wednesday, July 14, 2004 - 03:00 pm:   

See this thread for the open call for submissions for the new Two Cranes Press anthology Scattered, Covered, Smothered.
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Brendan
Posted on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 08:02 am:   

Sounds like an interesting anthology idea . . . I would submit, but all my food stories have been previously gobbled up.
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J. Erik Lundberg
Posted on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 11:02 am:   

But Brendan, you could cook up something small, a morsel, an amuse-bouche for us to chew on...
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Brendan
Posted on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 11:49 am:   

Well, I am so slow...I have been working on my first installments for Lives of Great Chefs for a while now, but have yet to finish one of them. If I manage to though, I will send it your way. . . . Though maybe that is not exactly the sort of thing you are looking for?
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 05:57 pm:   

Brendan, sorry about the late response; you slipped under my radar there.

I would say if you have something, go ahead and send it, and I'll let you know if it's appropriate.
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J. Erik Lundberg
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 05:59 pm:   

The Two Cranes Press website has recently undergone an overhaul, and looks better than ever. Graphics have been added, and new buttons (with corresponding Chinese lettering) added. Go take a peek!
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Kathy S.
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 08:24 pm:   

Nice!!! Have you considered adding a list of things that piss editors off any time soon? Some of us get nervous thinking of all the travesties we have possibly commited...
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Saturday, August 28, 2004 - 03:30 pm:   

I think I'll post that after the reading period is over, so that people won't think I'm speaking individually about them, that it might have been another person who committed the act of pissing-off. Most of it's common-sense stuff.
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J. Erik Lundberg
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2004 - 11:16 am:   

See this thread to find out more about Two Cranes Press's newest publishing venture: a four-story chapbook of short fiction by Big Fish author Daniel Wallace.
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J. Erik Lundberg
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2004 - 07:44 pm:   

I have just announced the table of contents for Scattered, Covered, Smothered. Go forth and be full.
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Two Cranes Press
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 01:05 pm:   

The copies of Scattered, Covered, Smothered are all done, and all preorders have been sent out. So if you order a copy now, you won't get it for Christmas, but you could get it in time for New Year's, and at the stroke of midnight you could throw it high into the air and scream, "Happy New Anthology!" Or you could be more subdued and just read it. Either way, it's up to you.
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J. Erik Lundberg
Posted on Monday, January 03, 2005 - 10:10 am:   

I really nice early review of SCS from Rick Kleffel at The Agony Column:

"This is one of those rockin' really weird Rick-books that you simply must run out and buy. Wave it in the face of your roommate/partner/significant other/co-workers. Buy two and wear one like a hat. It's that's good."
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Your Friendly Neighborhood Editor-Man
Posted on Thursday, January 06, 2005 - 07:05 am:   

Ooh, and Matt Cheney has some nice early things to say about SCS over at The Mumpsimus.

We're now down to only about 40 copies. If we do sell out (and it's fairly certain now that we will), we'll be going back to press for a second printing, so make sure to get a first edition copy today!
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Your Humble Editor
Posted on Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 09:48 am:   

The Two Cranes Press website has just been updated. We've added new information about upcoming readings, as well as a new page for Off the Map, the new four-story chapbook by Big Fish author Daniel Wallace, which includes preordering information for the book.

We also have announced that we're temporarily out of stock of Four Seasons in One Day. All our copies have sold out, and we're waiting on a batch of about 10 to get to us from Chicago. After those 10 sell out, they're gone, since we won't be going back to press.

We're also now down to about 25 copies of Scattered, Covered, Smothered, so get yours today. We will be going back to press when these sell out, though you know you want a first edition, right?
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Two Cranes Press
Posted on Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 10:58 am:   

We are also putting together a newsletter. If you would like to be put on the list, please email twocranes@nc.rr.com and write "Add me to the TCP newsletter list" in the body of the email. (Anyone who orders our books is automatically added to the list.)
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Your Humble Editor
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 09:17 am:   

Two Cranes Press will be participating in the Carrboro Book Fair on Saturday, May 7. The event is sponsored by Internationalist Books in Chapel Hill, and it will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The ArtsCenter, located at 300 East Main St. in Carrboro, North Carolina.

Here's the skinny:

Participating book and zine publishers, writers and friends from across the country will converge on Carrboro for a day of reading, information exchange, community strengthening and of course, the buying, selling and trading of books.

Thirty-odd local and national organizations will be tabling with books and magazines for sale, including Two Cranes Press, Small Beer Press, Daylight Magazine, Garrett County Press, Ivory Bell Books, John F. Blair Books, Ms. Film Festival, Crimethinc, Parcell Press, Ugly Duckling Presse, The Drama, Winged Willow Press, Longleaf Books, Carolina Wren Press, AK Press and others.

Events during the day will include a screening of "Wizard People, Dear Readers" and other films, presentations from Daylight Magazine and Crimethinc, a hands-on zine workshop, readings by local authors and poets and more! All events are free and open to the public.


We'll have a table set up with all our books (I'll be gathering up some consigned copies of Off the Map next week), as well as some used books. If you're in the area, please come and see us.

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