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    Photo: Tristan Crane


    Writer, editor, and commentator Charlie Jane Anders wrote the Nebula Award-winning and Hugo Award-nominated ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY and the Hugo Award winner “Six Months, Three Days,” which Tachyon published as a chapbook in honor of the publisher’s 20th anniversary. Among her other noteworthy works are CHOIR BOY, winner of the Lambda Literary and Edmund White Awards, and SHE’S SUCH A GEEK: WOMEN WRITE ABOUT SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND OTHER NERDY STUFF (with Annalee Newitz).


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    Alongside Newitz, Anders founded the influential and popular blog IO9 and the OTHER magazine. She has been a juror for the James Tiptree Jr. Award and Lambda Literary Award.  Anders emcees and organizes the San Francisco-based monthly reading series “Writers with Drinks,”


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    Her fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in TOR.COM, STRANGE HORIZONS, FLURB, MCSWEENEY’S, ZYZZYVA, SALON, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN, MOTHER JONES, and SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE.


    All of us at Tachyon, wish the extraordinary Charlie Jane a happy birthday. Take the day off, you deserve it!


    For more info on SIX MONTHS, THREE DAYS, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover design by Elizabeth Story

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

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    Peter S. Beagle (photo: Rina Weisman), Ellen Klages (Scott R. Kline), James Patrick Kelly (Bill Clemente), and Joe R. Lansdale (Karen Lansdale)


    LIFEHASAFUNNYWAYOFSNEAKINGUPONYOU provides the first review of Peter S. Beagle’s forthcoming collection THE OVERNEATH.

    Yet another incredible collection of short stories from world renowned Fantasy Author Peter S Beagle. I was extra excited for THE OVERNEATH because I’d heard it featured a story about our very own Schmendrick the Magician. But imagine my delight when I discovered not one but two Schmendrick stories!!

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    Peter S Beagle just has an incredible skill for putting together both short and full length stories. I have been in love with THE LAST UNICORN my whole life and I continue to adore every single thing Peter writes. THE OVERNEATH is no different. A fantasy lover’s heaven from start to finish. 


    At LIBRARY JOURNAL, Kristi Chadwick praises Ellen Klages’ WICKED WONDERS.

    Klages’s (PORTABLE CHILDHOODS; Scott O’Dell Award–winning THE GREEN GLASS SEA) second collection of short stories highlights a decade of the writer’s work, articulating childhood wonders, supernatural situations, and sometimes the mere spirit of speculative fiction itself. ­

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    VERDICT Klages’s fans won’t be disappointed by these poignant and relatable tales that push the ­barriers of the fantastical realism and beyond.


    GEEK’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY interviews James Patrick Kelly.

    “It’s a truism that the field doesn’t acknowledge that very few, if any, science fiction writers have any idea of economics,” Kelly says in Episode 264 of the GEEK’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY podcast.


    In Kelly’s new novel MOTHER GO, opposition to a colony ship steadily mounts as the launch date approaches because a vocal ‘Earth First’ faction doesn’t want to see so much technology and talent depart the planet forever. Kelly thinks that’s an all-too-plausible scenario.


    “Is that really what Joe Six-Pack is going to want to spend his money on, to make sure that some future, future, future, future generation is going to have a happy life on some world going around Tau Ceti?” Kelly says.

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    Sci-fi often makes interstellar travel look easy, with characters jetting around the galaxy using FTL drives. But such technology will probably never exist. Instead space travel would be slow, dangerous, and grueling. “The galactic cosmic radiation of being exposed in a starship, even a well-shielded starship, is such that it probably is really a problem,” Kelly says. “You’re going to be exposed to galactic cosmic radiation for decades, and that isn’t good for you.”


    SHORT SCARY TALES PUBLICATIONS is publishing the first graphic novel starring Joe R. Lansdale’s iconic characters Hap and Leonard. The hardcover, limited will be followed shortly with a trade paper edition through IDW Publishing.

    A rip-roaring, high-octane, Texas-sized thriller, featuring two friends, one vixen, a crew of washed-up radicals, loads of money, and bloody mayhem.

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    Hap Collins and Leonard Pine are best friends, yet they couldn’t be more different. Hap is an east Texas white-boy with a weakness for Texas women. Leonard is a gay, black Vietnam vet. Together, they steer up more commotion than a fire storm. But that’s just the way they like it. So when an ex-flame of Hap’s returns promising a huge score. Hap lets Leonard in on the scam, and that’s when things get interesting. Chockfull of action and laughs, SAVAGE SEASON is the masterpiece of dark suspense that introduced Hap and Leonard to the thriller scene. It hasn’t been the same since.


    For more info on THE OVERNEATH, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover design by Elizabeth Story


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

    Cover design by Elizabeth Story


  • Bruce Sterling’s took his Sidewise Award-nominated PIRATE UTOPIA on a photo tour of Rijeka.


    The Croatian START reviews the book.

    Right on the track of the storyline of THE DIFFERENCE ENGINE, Sterling in PIRATE UTOPIA prints events in a “temporary free zone” in which the military occupation of the orchestra of Gabriele d'Annunzi did not stop but turned into a permanent technical-art lab that transforms futuristic manifestations and ideas In everyday reality, and residents futurist-soldiers are fighting against all forms of ideology, and engineers and poets collaborate on conceptual anarchist techno-projects. The book is inspired by Italian futurism, and when you get it in your hands you feel like a libretto of authors from the best years of visually-verbal experiments by Marinetti, Depera and others. 

    The book would be interesting to translate into Croatian language and to offer it as a model of interpretative thinking about the past, in a context that is still burdened with discomfort with irreconcilable versions of history. Perhaps this act, and also the translation of other similar literary attempts in the domain of alternative history, could stimulate public opinion on a more proactive social attitude towards past events. Unlike Cohen’s experimental (some hard and first postmodern) novel, Sterling’s traditionally structured, the only elements of the story and the overall concept are very strange, but again typical of his idea of ​​alternative history. 


    The protagonists of one and the other novel are losers, but in Sterling’s novel, they do not know it yet. They know, when they end up in the broader perspective, as insignificant in the overall context of the global forces of political and media power, which nowadays produces alternative facts in real time, not just material for a future alternative history.

    (Translation from Croatian courtesy of Google)


    On his MORE RED INK, Marty Halpern discusses the book’s Sidewise Award nomination.

    From the Awards’ website: “The Sidewise Awards have been presented annually since 1995 to recognize excellence in alternate historical fiction.” This year, Bruce Sterling’s PIRATE UTOPIA is among the six finalists in the Best Short-Form Alternate History category. The award winners will be announced on August 20, 2017.

    Fortunately, PIRATE UTOPIA is still available in hardcover, which is a must-see format for the period-specific (and quite marvelous) illustrations by John Coulthart. I’ve posted some of these illos in my blog posts of June 14, 2016, and July 14, 2016. Keep in mind these few illustrations are only a sampling, but hopefully enough to give you a taste of what’s included in the book. (And let’s not forget that the book also includes an enlightening 1,000-plus-word essay entitled “Reconstructing the Future: A Note on Design” from the illustrator himself.)


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

    Cover and images by John Coulthart

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

    Ellen Klages (photo: Scott R. Kline), James Tiptree Jr., Kage Baker, and Nancy Kress (Ellen Datlow)


    On her eponymous page, A. C. Wise interviews Ellen Klages.

    Congratulations on the publication of WICKED WONDERS! Can you give readers a taste of the type of stories they’ll find in its pages?


    It’s a stew. The stories are a mixture of straight out science fiction, fantasy, some mainstream, and one non-fiction piece. Most of the stories in the collection have one foot in the fantastic, and one in the mainstream world.

    You’ve written novels, but much of your writing seems focused on short fiction. Do you have a preference for one form over another? How does your writing process differ between the two lengths?


    I love short fiction, but I also love the novels I’ve written. I’ve written two novellas as well, which is a lovely length. Short fiction is my first love however. There’s an essay in WICKED WONDERS which explains my writing process, and my frustration before I’d written any novels with constantly being asked “when are you going to write a novel”, as if it’s a natural progression from short fiction. My process for the two lengths is roughly the same, though a novel takes longer, but I treat each novel chapter like a short story.


    Everyone’s writing process is different, and I wouldn’t recommend mine to anyone else. It’s messy, but in the end, the important thing is whether it works for readers. On the other side of that, if I’m not happy with a story, I assume no one else will be. If I’m happy with the result, I figure at least half of the readers will like it. With Wicked Wonders, almost every reviewer differs on their favorite story in the collection, which is a good thing. It means I ended up with a balanced collection, and something to appeal to everyone.


    SFCROWNEST praises James Tiptree, Jr.’s HER SMOKE ROSE UP FOREVER.

    It becomes obvious from the beginning that Tiptree/Sheldon knew how to write a story but the opening stories centring on a population decimating by virus, ‘The Last Flight Of Doctor AIN’, and ‘The Screwfly Solution’ having to survive after a plague, both centred on the lives of either the antagonist or protagonist. What does stand out is Tiptree/Sheldon had a way with titles which acts as enticement to read. ‘I Have Come This Place By Lost Ways’ is her first space story in this collection where a human, after mixing with a cross-culture of alien species suddenly finds himself alone with minimal chances of survival. ‘The Martian’ it ain’t and refreshing not to have a happy ending as the American writers like so much these days.


    Absolute gold is reached with ‘Houston, Houston, Do You Read’ where, set in the future, the wholly female crewed spaceship encounters a spaceship from the past with just men on board. The language and near rape used is probably what led many to think Tiptree had to be a man. The characters are totally realistic and with some pure SF twists that would be spoiler to reveal here but becomes a must read story if you’ve never come across it before.

    Post-apocalypse seems to be a theme of Tiptree/Sheldon here but each is treated different. In ‘Slow Music’, Jakko is looking for his father and, during his trip, he meets Peachthief who needs someone to father her children and decides to accompany him. Although we aren’t told what happened to the population, this is the first early story I’ve come across that describes Viagra in all but name before it was invented. The limited ability of some animals to say a few words and the nativity of the characters makes for a charming story even if the ending seems to jump.


    If you’ve never encountered James Tiptree, Jr. before, she is worth seeking out. Not all of her stories hit their mark but the prose, especially when descriptive, gets into you and you’ll realise why Sheldon was so highly regarded.


    On his eponymous site, Simon Petrie enjoys Kage Baker’s THE HOTEL UNDER THE SAND. 

    The story seems much more strongly reminiscent of British children’s fiction than of any US tradition with which I’m familiar; the setting and the sense of boisterous whimsy show echoes, I think, of Carroll’s THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK as well as, say, Mervyn Peake’s CAPTAIN SLAUGHTERBOARD. Baker’s worldbuilding is intriguing and sprinkled with random bits of fascinating invention, while her gentle characterisation still admits of human foibles: the central character set feels somewhat restrained, but they’re well fleshed-out.

    The book is fairly obviously aimed at a young audience, but it’s sufficiently fast-paced, quirky, and subtle that it also works reasonably well as reading matter for adults. It would have been interesting to see where Baker next took the series, but the book, like its protagonist, is an orphan, alone in its world: Baker died several months after its publication.


    Shana DuBois at B&N SCI-FI & FANTASY BLOG reviews Nancy Kress’ TOMORROW’S KIN which is based on her Nebula-award winning YESTERDAY’S KIN.

    Despite the familiar first contact elements, TOMORROW’S KIN is really a story about humanity—both the lighter side—those inspired to discover that we are not along in the universe, and that we have so much more to lear—and the darker one. The side driven by fear and greed.

    Kress gives us characters who mirror parts of ourselves and those around us. What will motivate us, once our place in the universe is challenged? What move us, in the wake of a world-altering event? It’s the same cultural upheaval we’re witnessing now, in the real world, writ science-fictional. Kress catapults the current conversation into an uncertain future, postulating where we are headed and how we might handle something as seismic as a visit by aliens when coupled with a potentially catastrophic natural event.

    There are two mysteries within TOMORROW’S KIN, one from the stars, and one that starts much closer to home. As we follow Dr. Jenner as she works to solve them both, we find more questions mounting, and not all of them will be easily answered. This is the beginning of a trilogy, after all—book two, IF TOMORROW COMES, arrives in March 2018. Assuming we make it that long…


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

    Cover design by Elizabeth Story


    For more info about HER SMOKE ROSE UP FOREVER, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover by John Picacio


    For more info about THE HOTEL UNDER THE SAND, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover by Ann Monn


    For more info on YESTERDAY’S KIN, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover by Thomas Canty

  • A quartet of fresh reviews for James Morrow’s sumptuous and philosophical THE ASYLUM OF DR. CALIGARI.


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    In a starred review for FOREWORD, Rachel Jagareski praises the novella.

    There are obvious contemporary parallels to Caligari’s megalomaniac charlatan character, who seeks control of the global war machine, and some of the same themes are explored here as in the original Caligari film about the blurred line between sanity and insanity and the perils of totalitarian rule.


    Morrow loves to play with language—several languages, really. The novel displays a gorgeously expansive vocabulary, double entendres, and a running joke involving the constant correction of Ilona’s meaningful malapropisms.


    The writing is often witty and light, but there are also lines of great pithiness and seriousness, as in a description of trench warfare.

    This is an erudite, fun book that can be enjoyed on many levels; it succeeds as a satire of geopolitics and warmongering elites, as a comic fantasy, and as a pastiche of the 1920 film that appears on so many fans’ “best of” lists. 


    At SAN FRANCISCO BOOK REVIEW, J. Aislynn d'Merricksson enjoys the tale.

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    This is a satire for the ages, a skillful blending of the history of World War One and the fantastical realm of alchemy and magic. There’s so much going on in this book, philosophy- and spirituality-wise. With Caligari, Francis, and Ilona, you have both Creator and Destroyer in each. The art they create can incite intense emotion, and it’s a lesson that such power should be handled with care. Art, and creativity itself, in any form is a gift and a chance to give beauty back to the world. Abuse of that gift is tragic. Jedermann is a liminal guardian, and a psychopomp, in a quite literal way for Francis, and for countless soldiers in a more figurative fashion.


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    Madeleine d'Este in her podcast MADELEINE’S SPECULATIVE FICTION REVIEW discusses the book.

    THE ASYLUM OF DR. CALIGARI is sumptuous, philosophical, thought provoking, as well as just good fun.


    SPECULICTION likes the satire.

    THE ASYLUM OF DR. CALIGARI is laugh out loud funny, even as it tosses about ideas surrounding perhaps our most serious and vile aspects of existence: war and indoctrination to war. The narrative darts and twists, perpetually keeping its tongue in cheek while eviscerating the usage of art to bolster belief in mass conflict.  Thus, from a style perspective, Morrow remains a pure pleasure to read.  The lexical precision, one perfectly placed word after another, can be enjoyed unto itself, even as it dissects the absurdity of war.


    For more info on THE ASYLUM OF DR. CALIGARI, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover by Elizabeth Story

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