The Naked City Reading at Porter Square Books & Contest!

When I’m wearing my fan-girl hat, I love attending author events like the Naked City reading hosted by Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA. Attending readings like this gives you the chance to *hear* the author’s voice in a way that you just can’t get when reading words on a page, and sometimes you even get a glimpse of the characters as the author sees them. It’s a special experience and one that readers should actively seek out because it gives you a chance to connect more deeply with the story while also supporting some of your favorite authors.

The Naked City reading was fantastic. Not only were several of the anthology’s contributing authors on hand, but there were also a lot of other authors in the audience since they were in the area to attend Readercon over the weekend.

L to R: Ellen Kushner, Kit Reed, John Crowley, Ellen Datlow, Jeffrey Ford, and Matthew Kressel

The evening started with the lovely Ellen Datlow who introduced the anthology and then gave a brief introduction for each reader, including Kit Reed, Jeffrey Ford, Matthew Kressel, John Crowley, Ellen Kushner, and Caitlin Kiernan. Each author read a five minute excerpt of his or her story, which was just enough time to make you want to know what happens next!

Ellen Kushner gave Swordspoint fans a little taste of her story The Duke of Riverside, which will made me flip straight to her story as soon as I got the book home. She’s so expressive. Listening to her read was great fun! Meanwhile, Jeffrey Ford’s piece Daddy Long Legs of the Evening
had me wanting to check all of the closets and dark corners in my house just to make sure there weren’t any multilegged visitors hanging out in places they shouldn’t be “hanging” out.

Caitlín Kiernan

Kit Reed’s story Weston Walks was terrific and definitely had me wanting to visit New York City, but I think I will be staying far away from the abandoned tunnels under Central Park. John Crowley’s piece, And Go Like This, was wonderfully experimental – a definite “must read.” One of the most beautifully written pieces was Matthew Kressel’s The Bricks of Gelecek, which was a treat to hear him read. He’s a new writer and someone to keep your eye on. Caitlín Kiernan read The Colliers’ Venus. She was fantastic as usual, and her prose is simply gorgeous whether you’re reading it on the page or hearing her read it out loud.

In the Q&A session, Datlow explained that one of her goals with Naked City was to bring urban fantasy back to its roots and back to the city where it was born. From what I heard tonight, she succeeded. Naked City should be on the shelf of every urban fantasy lover.

Here’s the best part of the evening. Not only did I get my own copy of Naked City signed by the authors, but I also got a copy signed for you!

This contest is now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered!

Enter the Naked City Contest on Underwords

All you have to do for your chance to win this special copy of Naked Citysigned by Ellen Datlow, Kit Reed, Jeffrey Ford, Matthew Kressel, John Crowley, Ellen Kushner, and Caitlín Kiernan is to post a note in the comments below by midnight on July 20th.

The contest is open worldwide. The winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email for mailing instructions. If you are under 14, please get your parent’s permission to enter the contest.


Table of Contents includes:
Curses – Jim Butcher
How the Pooka Came To New York City – Delia Sherman
On the Slide – Richard Bowes
The Duke of Riverside – Ellen Kushner
Oblivion by Calvin Klein – Christopher Fowler
Fairy Gifts – Patricia Briggs
Picking up the Pieces – Pat Cadigan
Underbridge – Peter S. Beagle
Priced To Sell – Naomi Novik
The Bricks of Gelecek – Matthew Kressel
Weston Walks – Kit Reed
The Projected Girl – Lavie Tidhar
The Way Station – Nathan Ballingrud
Guns for the Dead – Melissa Marr
And Go Like This – John Crowley
Noble Rot – Holly Black
Daddy Long Legs of the Evening – Jeffrey Ford
The Skinny Girl – Lucius Shepard
The Colliers’ Venus – Caitlín R. Kiernan
King Pole, Gallows Pole, Bottle Tree – Elizabeth Bear

Contest Update: E. Zimmerman is our winner! Congratulations!!

About Erin Underwood

BIO: Erin Underwood is the senior event content producer for MIT Technology Review’s emerging technology events. On the side, she reads, writes, and edits SF.
This entry was posted in Books and Literature, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Signal Boost, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to The Naked City Reading at Porter Square Books & Contest!

  1. rstutts says:

    Sounds like it was a great reading, Erin–wish I could have been there!

  2. Alison says:

    Great blog, Erin! It was great to be there with you and meet all of these great writers — a very inspiring reading!

  3. I just heard Jeff Ford read this story and it was fantastic! Sign me up.

  4. wellfedpoet says:

    Wish I’d been there – what a terrific mix of authors!

  5. DeliciouslyGeek says:

    Sorry I missed this! What a fantastic “cast” of authors!

  6. Lizzy Boden says:

    Wish I could have been there! I can’t wait to read “Duke of Riverside”!

  7. I’m so envious that you got to hear all those wonderful writers read their work! Yay!

  8. That’s quite a line-up of writers!

  9. Tod McCoy says:

    Really wish I could have been there.

  10. QuesterMark says:

    Sounds like a great event and a great read!

  11. Ray Garraty says:

    Ellen Datlow’s anthos is always on top!

  12. Pingback: An Unconvincing Narrative » Blog Archive » The Naked City Reading at Porter Square Books |

  13. I was unaware of this book (head in the sand the last few years) but it sounds wonderful, what a great list of names on the TOC. Will definitely have my eye out for it.

  14. I’m game! What an amazing collection of authors.

  15. statmancrothers says:

    Looks great! Fans wishing to get further back to the roots of the urban fantasy genre should search out the original Borderlands anthologies edited by Emma Bull & Will Shetterley. iirc, Kushner & Ford also were contributors, and i wouldn’t be surprised if many of the others were fans.

  16. Julia Rios says:

    I was sorry to miss that reading! It sounds like a really great anthology. I don’t believe we’ve met, Erin, but I’ve seen your name around. Perhaps the next time we’re at the same con we can try to say hello to each other.

    • Hi Julia! Yes, it would be great to meet you in person. I’ve seen your name around too.

      I’m usually the girl who looks like she’s trying to split herself into 3 different bodies to attend multiple panels at the same time. 🙂

  17. CKL says:

    Steven Gould rocks! 🙂 #insidebaseball

  18. Nicole F. says:

    Right on, count me in.

  19. CSSullivan says:

    Fingers crossed! This would be wonderful.

  20. jenphalian says:

    Sounds fantastic!

  21. That is one killer ToC. Thanks for running this! 😀

  22. Sean E. says:

    Totally gutted, I couldn’t make it! But thanks for the lovely write up… I loves me an authorial hootenanny. (with a whole lotta hoot and a little bit of nanny ).

  23. creakyladder says:

    This looks like a great read.

  24. Edward Zimmerman says:

    I’ll either win it or buy it; looks like a fantastic read!

    • I bought a copy at the reading to get signed for myself. Then I bought another one to give away on Underwords because I believe this antho is “that” good. 🙂

  25. A.C. Wise says:

    Sounds fantastic! I wish more Datlow-edited anthologies had group readings in my area!

  26. I’m sorry I missed the reading! I’m looking forward to reading Naked City.

  27. David Hewitt says:

    Wish I could have been there (and at Readercon, for that matter); sounds like an amazing reading!

  28. Katie Ferreira says:

    I saw Ellen’s post on Facebook, and have been watching for this anthology! I’d love to win a copy.

  29. jennifer says:

    I also saw this on Ellen’s Facebook and would love a copy! 🙂

  30. Dawn says:

    Would love to win this book!

  31. I love antho readings with multiple authors. More authors should join forces to get more readers involved and reading. And they need to come to Richmond, VA! 🙂

  32. Katherine says:

    Sounds like a great anthology! I’m sure the reading was great too. I love hearing people read their own work- hearing a voice, even just for 5 minutes of the story, adds so much.

  33. C. Liddle says:

    Erin, you know everybody.

  34. Christy says:

    What a great write-up! I would love to win the special copy. Thanks – Christy

  35. I’m with Adam! Jeff rocked our socks. Also, I love urban fantasy.

  36. Desmond says:

    Count me in, please!

  37. Latesha says:

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