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    Photo by Alexandra Renwick


    Born and raised in Montreal, writer and editor Claude Lalumière previously owned and managed the Montreal bookshops Nebula, danger!, and Nemo. In 1998, he left the world of bookselling and began writing reviews and criticism, most notably for January Magazine, The Montreal Gazette, The National Post, The New York Review Of Science Fiction, and Locus Online.

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    Beginning in 2002, with Telling Stories: New English Stories From Quebec, Lalumière has produced 16 acclaimed anthologies including Open Space: New Canadian Fantastic Fiction, Witpunk (with Marty Halpern), Island Dreams: Montreal Writers of the Fantastic, Lust For Life: Tales of Sex and Love, SUPER STORIES OF HEROES & VILLAINS, Masked Mosaic: Canadian Super Stories (with Camille Alexa), The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir (with David Nickle), and Superhero Universe (Tesseracts Nineteen with Mark Shainblum).

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    His many acclaimed short stories have been collected in Objects Of Worship, The Door To Lost Pages, Nocturnes And Other Nocturnes, and Venera Dreams: A Weird Entertainment.

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    All of us at Tachyon wish the multifaceted, fantastic Claude, a super birthday. Don’t forget your cape!


    For more information on SUPER STORIES OF HEROES & VILLAINS, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover by Elizabeth Story

  • The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.

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    Bruce Sterling, Nalo Hopkinson (photo: David Findlay), Nancy Springer (Lyla Ellzey), and Michael Swanwick (Beth Gwynn)


    Vote Bruce Sterling’s PIRATE UTOPIA for the TQF Awards 2018.

    For the next fortnight TQF readers (and non-readers, if they want) can vote in the faintly embarrassing TQF Awards 2018!



    Click here to vote. Anyone can vote, and you can vote for as many items in each category as you like.



    The longlist consists of everything we reviewed in issues 58, 59, 60 and 61, in the categories that appeared in the Quarterly Review (audio, books, comics, events, films, music and television), plus categories for best TQF story, cover art and issue. If you aren’t sure what to vote for, click the links provided below to find out more.



    Voting will continue until midnight, 25 February 2018, with the winners to be announced in TQF62 a few days later.

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    LIGHTSPEED (Feb. 2018, Issue 93) reprints “Jamaica Ginger” by Nalo Hopkinson and Nisi Shawl.

    “Damn and blast it!”


    Plaquette let herself in through the showroom door of the watchmaker’s that morning to hear Msieur blistering the air of his shop with his swearing. The hulking clockwork man he’d been working on was high-stepping around the workroom floor in a clumsy lurch. It lifted its knees comically high, its body listing to one side and its feet coming down in the wrong order; toe, then heel. Billy Sumach, who delivered supplies to Msieur, was in the workroom. Through the open doorway he threw her a merry glance with his pretty brown eyes, but he had better sense than to laugh at Msieur’s handiwork with Msieur in the room.


    Msieur glared at Plaquette. “You’re late. That’s coming off your pay.”


    Plaquette winced. Their family needed every cent of her earnings, but she’d had to wait home till Ma got back from the railroad to take over minding Pa.


    The mechanical George staggered tap-click, tap-click across the shop. It crashed into a wall and tumbled with a clank to the floor, then lay there whirring. Msieur swore again, words Ma would be mortified to know that Plaquette had heard. He snatched off one of his own shoes and threw it at the George. Billy Sumach gave a little peep of swallowed laughter. Msieur pointed at the George. “Fix it,” he growled at Plaquette. “I have to present it to the governor the day after tomorrow.”


    As though Plaquette didn’t know that. “Yes, Msieur,” she said to his back as he stormed through the door to the showroom.


    The second the door slammed shut, Billy let out a whoop. Plaquette found herself smiling along with him, glad of a little amusement. It was scarce in her life nowadays. “My land,” Billy said, “’Pears Old George there has got himself the jake leg!”


    The fun blew out of the room like a candle flame. “Don’t you joke,” Plaquette told him, through teeth clamped tight together. “You know ’bout my Pa.”

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    On his eponymous Spanish-language site, José Francisco Sastre García profiles Nancy Springer.

    Within the genre of epic fantasy, one of the great continuators of Tolkien’s work, with a style markedly similar to that of the British author, is Nancy Connor Springer (Montclair, New Jersey, 1948). Not too well known in our country, she works in different genres such as fantasy, mystery, science fiction or juvenile literature.


    She studied at the University of Gettysburg, where she got the cum laude graduation in 1970. Later she moved to Pennsylvania, where she will work as a high school teacher in McSherrytown. A couple of years later, in 1972, he will begin his literary work, eventually publishing in 1977 his first book, The Book of Suns, a novel which was later republished under the title The Silver Sun.


    According to her own account, her love of writing arises because nobody wrote the books she wanted to read, deciding that she would create them herself. This is how works such as the Island Cycle, the King of the Sea.

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    In Spain his work has passed in a certain way unnoticed, with hardly transcendence, being published in Castilian two of the stories of the cycle of Island, three of the adventures of Enola Holmes and Apocalypse. However, these stories have been so successful that apparently they are going to take to the movies the adventures of Sherlock’s sister.


    In the case of the fantasy of the Island Cycle, his style is reminiscent of Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings: a certain lyricism, a narrative in which the characters are sliding through the plot with a rhythm that can sometimes seem slow but is very addictive, which at times accelerates to generate an action that, far from being hard, is it becomes something softer thanks to that more poetic way of narrating; the melancholic aftertaste, the romance, the epic, are integrated in a whole, in a harmonious whole that drags the reader towards a world in which fantastic creatures roam at their ease, a world in which a certain Celtic touch can be perceived at the same time that medieval, with an aftertaste to troubadour that is very pleasant. In the end, I will say that this author is an excellent option when looking for a good and interesting reading.

    (Translation from Spanish courtesy of Google)


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    For BOSKONE, Brenda Noiseux interviews Michael Swanwick.

    If you could relive your first experience with any book or film, which one would you pick? What is it about this book or film that you want to experience again for the “first time?”


    Reading The Fellowship of the Ring. I was sixteen and a junior in high school, when I picked it up out of a box of books my sister Patty had sent home from college. It was eleven o’clock at night and I’d just finished my homework, so I thought I’d read a chapter or two before bed. I stayed up all night, reading. I read through breakfast. I read all the mile-long walk to school, and I finished the book just as the home bell rang.


    I’ve said this before, but it’s true. That book rang me like a bell. Overnight, it made me determined to become a writer. It’s the reason I’m taking part in this mini-interview right now.


    When was the last time you dressed up for Halloween? What costume did you wear?


    A friend has a themed costume party, where everyone has to dress up as something beginning with that year’s letter. It was T this year, so I went as Tom Terrific. It’s an easy costume to put together once you locate an enormous white funnel for his Thinking Cap.
    On reflection, I probably went as grown-up Tom Terrific. Young Tom didn’t have a beard.


    For more info on PIRATE UTOPIA, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover by John Coulthart

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    In THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF SCIENCE FICTION (January 2018), Sandra Lindow reviews Ellen Klages’ WICKED WONDERS.

    WICKED WONDERS’s fourteen short stories similarly mix the mundane and the magical. An “Introduction” by fellow Motherboard member Karen Joy Fowler describes Klages’s narrative style as “driving alongside, but never into, danger”. The danger is more often than not left to the imagination of her readers. It is a technique that depends upon readers’ cultural and genre literacy, and the process is often facilitated through the use of a naïve viewpoint character. More often than not, her stories are thought experiments that combine unrelated concepts.  “Mrs. Zeno’s Paradox” concerns an intersection in a cafe between a shared brownie, quantum physics, and time travel. “Caligo Lane” combines time travel with cartography and origami. “Goodnight Moons” deftly unites tropes from Andy Weir’s The Martian (2011), Margaret Wise Brown’s picture book, Goodnight Moon (1947), and Robert A. Heinlein’s Podkayne of Mars (1962) (unconstrained by Heinlein’s limited ability to see a meaningful, self-actualized future for Poddy). “Amicae Aeternum” describes the last day two best friends can spend together before one leaves on a generation ship. “Woodsmoke” is neither sf nor fantasy but speculative, a truly gender-bending coming-of-age tale set realistically in a summer camp for girls.

    Klages, whose debut novel, The Green Glass Sea (2006), won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, shows a sensitive grasp of historical change and human development with a particular focus on that childhood time when children have agency but magical events can still be accepted, creating a semi-permeable membrane between the real and the fantastic. These are stories about love and loss but not the expected ones.


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    Photo: Scott R. Klein


    THE LESBIAN HISTORIC MOTIF PODCAST hosts Klages.

    In this episode we talk about


    The long incubation for the ideas that became Passing Strange
    Lesbian culture in mid-century San Francisco and the San Francisco World’s Fair on Treasure Island
    The hidden interconnectedness of Ellen’s novels
    The love of historic objects and texts
    Historical fiction as “time travel” for the reader


    Publications mentioned:


    Passing Strange (tor.com, for signed copies: Borderlands Books, Amazon)
    “Caligo Lane” (originally published in Subterranean Online, Winter 2014, available in the collection WICKED WONDERS Tachyon Publications, 2017, Amazon)
    “Hey Presto” (originally published in the anthology Fearsome Magics by Jonathan Strahan, 2014, available in the collection WICKED WONDERS Tachyon Publications, 2017, Amazon)
    The Green Glass Sea (Viking Children’s Books, 2006, Amazon)
    “Time Gypsy” (originally published in Bending the Landscape: Science Fiction, edited by Nicola Griffith and Stephen Pagel (Overlook Press, 1999), also available in the collection PORTABLE CHILDHOODS Tachyon Publications, 2007, Amazon)

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    For more info on WICKED WONDERS, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover design by Elizabeth Story


    For more info on  PORTABLE CHILDHOODS, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover by Ellen Klages

    Design by John D. Berry


    For more info on TIME GYPSY, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover by Emily Netterfield

    Design by Eleanor Farrell

  • More interest in Jo Walton’s imaginative STARLINGS.

    For GEEK DAD, Robin Brooks shares 5 Reasons to Read STARLINGS.

    I’m a huge Jo Walton fan. Her novel Among Others is one of my all-time favorites. Walton is a wizard with words and a writer whose work takes in a wide range of styles and genres. Nowhere is this more evident than her latest book, Starlings; a collection short fiction, poetry, and a play. Whilst it never reaches the heady heights of Among Others, (nor another one of her greats Her Real Children, reviewed here) Starlings is an entertaining and thoroughly readable assembly.


    Here then are 5 reasons why you should read it. My first 3 are slightly cheating as they refer directly to stories in the book.


    1: The Panda Coin.


    A story reminiscent of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, The Panda Coin follows the path of a coin through a cityscape of the future. We see lives intersect as the coin passes through different hands, but is this a random meander through the city or are their other forces at work? The Panda Coin is a great little short story.


    2: The Sleeper.


    The Sleeper contains two neat ideas in just a few pages. Set in a future world, where historical figures are stored as AIs, that can be interrogated for posterity. In this story, a researcher is writing a biography of a semi-famous television director, who it turns out was a “sleeper” spy at Cambridge University. A contemporary of Burgess and Philby, the character in the book managed to remain undetected and ultimately outlived the Soviet Union. The book takes an interesting twist when we discover the researcher’s motives go beyond the need to write about one of history’s footnotes. The entire story is deeply satisfying, subversive, and artfully executed.

    5: Variety of Texts.


    STARLINGS is little more than 200 pages long, yet is filled with a great variety of works. Not only does it take in many aspects of genre – sci-fi, fantasy, and speculative fiction to name but three, there is also a fabulous short play in here (that, once again, is delightfully subversive). After the play, there is also some poetry. I have to be honest, I’m one of those Philistines who finds it difficult to access poetry, but Walton’s is very engaging.


    I’m not always a huge lover of short story collections, by STARLINGS has a huge amount to recommend it. There is something comfortingly cozy about Walton’s writing, whilst at the same time, it remains sharp, focused, and fresh. She’s one of those authors who makes writing seem like its easy. The reality, of course, is far different

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    If you’ve not read any Jo Walton, then I do thoroughly recommend you do. Starlings is a pretty good place to start. It’s a great introduction to her writing. Do also check out Among Others, you won’t regret it.


    Joel Cunningham at B&N SCI-FI & FANTASY BLOG includes the collection among This Week’s New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books.

    She offers up short stories, poetry, and plays that explore many of her favorite themes in new and interesting ways. From a tale that follows a gold coin as it changes hands on a space station to a story about a phone app that allows you to share in a loved one’s pain and loss, Walton’s lively imagination is the main selling point, as she deluges readers with ideas. Other standouts include a story about a biographer interviewing a simulation of a 20th century subject, three brief vignettes set at a weary inn, and, oh, the poems, which are wonderful whether or not you consider yourself a fan of the form.



    THE MISADVENTURES OF A READER praises the book.

    What I liked: The mix of genres and formats made for different reading experience that I really enjoyed. There was a story that really tugged at my heart as a parent and daughter. I can’t go into detail but if you are a parent it will get you too.  The poems where a pleasure to read; Godzilla poems how can you not love that. It was an intelligent and fun read. Walton’s writing style was a delight to read.


    What I didn’t like: There wasn’t anything that I didn’t like about the book. It ticked all boxes for me.


    Star Rating: 5


    My thoughts: I have lots of thoughts about Starlings the genre mix between sci-if and fantasy was brilliant and well executed. The play didn’t really work for me written out as a play per see but the story behind the play was really good so I can’t fault Walton on that. I’ve only see that done in one other book that I have read lately. The cover art is beautiful and I enjoyed the prologue by Walton.


    Kirstie Ellen at UPSIDE-DOWN BOOKS is looking forward to STARLINGS.

    This is actually a bunch of short stories that straddle the genres of fantasy and sci-fi – but for the sake of not losing sleep over categorisation, here we are in the fantasy section. Walton is an AMAZING author and I’m so excited about this one.


    For more info on STARLINGS, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover design by Elizabeth Story

  • The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.

    Jane Yolen (photo: Jason Stemple) and Patrica A. McKillip (Stephen Gold/Wikimedia Commons)


    In her “In praise of small things,” Terri Windling includes mentions of Jane Yolen’s THE EMERALD CIRCUS and Patricia A. McKillip’s WONDERS OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD.

    Although readers today have a marked preference for novels, there are still many of us who love short stories for their different but equal pleasures, and there are tales inside us “pawing to get out” which belong in that form and no other. “Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams,” Neil Gaiman explains. “They are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner.”  

    The books above (recently read or re-read) contain small gems of mythic fiction, fairy tale retellings, and fantasy literature. They are:The Bitterwood Bible by Angela Slatter; THE EMERALD CIRCUS by Jane Yolen; The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke; WONDERS OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD by Patricia A. McKillip; The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, edited by Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe; On Becoming a Fairy Godmother by Sara Maitland; and Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins by Emma Donoghue.


    SILLY LITTLE MISCHIEF is excited about THE EMERALD CIRCUS.

    Every time I read more Yolen, I say I’m going to read more of her books. I saw this one on the shelf and had to pick it up. 


    For BOSKONE, Brenda Noiseux interviews Yolen.

    What is your favorite Boskone memory or experience?


    Various birthday events since my birthday is February 11 and is always close (if not right ON) the weekend of the con. Getting to see the latest pictures by artists I admire in the art show. Being on a panel (any pane) with Bruce Coville. Winning the Skylark award. And watching son Adam perform with the music guest of honor, Lojo Russo last year.


    In the realm of “truth is stranger than fiction,” what experience from your past would people never believe if it were written into a story?


    First you have to know my married name is Stemple, not a common name in Massachusetts.


    It was 1960. My husband and I had just returned from a year camping in Europe. He got a job at UMass Amherst, we bought our first old house (7 rooms), moved in and had our first baby all within several weeks. But we only owned three pieces of furniture because we’d sold everything else before going on our long camping trip. We had a brass bed, a roll top desk, and a single dresser. It was time to go to homestead auctions where house contents were being sold. At one–new baby in pram–I bid on a bunch of stuff I didn’t get to look at closely since we got there on baby’s schedule–not mine. One was a dresser for our guest room for which I paid $7. When I got it back home and wrestled it out of the VW van, it was too heavy for me to get it into the house alone and up the stairs. Besides, it was UGLY! Probably overpaid. When I checked the drawers, it was filled with the underclothes of the newly-deceased old man who’d owned the house. A bank! Maybe I could recoup some of the money! But it was made of iron and there was no key. When my husband got back from work, he took a chisel and hammer out of the toolbox. (We had a toolbox????) And cracked the bank open. In it were fifteen dollars in one dollar bills and an obituary for someone named Stemple!


    For more info on THE EMERALD CIRCUS, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover design by Elizabeth Story


    For more info on WONDERS OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover by Thomas Canty

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