Topside Press

Making books happen and stuff


Sybil Lamb/Lily Butter/Amber Vile drew this sketch of me and her when she sold me her book two days ago in Cambridge. Still amazed that this degenerate queer back from the old days is now a published author and increasingly famous artist, there’s hope for us queer scum yet.

Heading away to the beach? You should take a copy of Ryka Aoki’s He Mele A Hilo (A Hilo Song). It has everything you could want in a good holiday read: romance, beaches dancing, starlit nights and a cast of eccentric but ultimately loveable characters. All this, and also a trenchant critique of colonialism and international philanthropy, a disconcerting ability to use all your assumptions against you, and an ending that will reduce you to tears. He Mele A Hilo: smarter than your average summer read.

#rykaaoki #beachreading #morethanyoubargainedfor

Clearly, Topside loves trans punk (have you read any of our books? If not, why not?) but we also have time for some other genres. Folk Musician Mya Byrne’s first show since going public about her transition is happening next week. It will be very good! Also she is very nice. You should all go if you’re nearby.

There is another trans ladies picnic in NYC this weekend. We hear there might be a barbeque, which sounds… unsafe? Prospect Park Picnic House, Midday, Sunday.

Jeanne Thornton, who read on our Summer Tour, and a bunch of other fabulous writers are launching a new press! Dedicated to pubilshing”personal visions! dreams! unpleasant stories! private passions carried to ludicrous extremes! experiments! and books that traditional publishing finds no utility in publishing because something about the authors upsets them.” It sounds wondeful and if you are NYC you can go to their launch party on the 5th August at The Gallery at LPR, 158 Bleeker Street, 7pm. Also check out their website at for more information and the opportunity to summon a demon of your choice.

Join the revolution.

Join the revolution.

The wonderful (and Lammy-winning) poet Trish Salah is doing a FREE WORKSHOP for trans/two-spirit/generqueer writers at the Feminist Art Gallery (25 Seaforth Avenue) in Toronto this Sunday, 3pm. There are only ten places and several are gone already. Register (quick!) by emailing her at

(Sybil Lamb is going, but said she wouldn’t take up a full space, because she takes so many bathroom breaks!)

Sybil Lamb fan art! (which leaves us questioning the wisdom of sending her on a multi-state book tour this autumn)


It’s Sybil!
Did you know she wrote a book?



This painting is called DIY Surgery. It was painted by Lily Butter. I like this painting very much. The reason I like it is that it is everything this painting, Picasso’s The Dream, is not:image

Shall we compare the two? Picasso’s portrait of Marie-Thèrese Walter was painted in 1932. In it all is passivity. Picasso’s mistress is in somnolent repose, dreaming (some viewers think she is masturbating), content and submissive to whatever her lover wants to make her into.

This is in stark contrast to DIY Surgery, a self-portrait and an illustration for the artist’s recently published novel, I’ve Got A Time Bomb (Topside Press), which she wrote under a different name, Sybil Lamb. In this painting the subject stands alert and intensely focused within her world of objects; of instruments which can be used to act on her or which she can use to change herself and her world. She is above all aware, aware that she is part of. and the maker of, a world of mutability, danger and opportunity. As she takes up one of the tools arrayed around her and goes to work on herself she is both subject and object, engaged in a risky, self-defining act of transformation that is, at the same time, an act of creating a world in which she can live.



Gabriel found a note to me in their copy of Nevada. They didn’t write it, I never got it.