Bringing The Pieces Together: Three Interviews with Tachyon creators
For CLARKESWORLD, Arley Sorg interviewed the World Fantasy Award winning Tachyon publisher/editor Jacob Weisman about his latest anthology THE NEW VOICES OF SCIENCE FICTION.
You had the successful, World Fantasy Award-winning THE NEW VOICES OF FANTASY in 2017, coedited by Peter S. Beagle. Now you have the November 2019 release THE NEW VOICES OF SCIENCE FICTION coedited with Summerland author Hannu Rajaniemi. How did you pick your coeditors for these anthologies?
The New Voices of Fantasy was created with Peter S. Beagle in mind. I’d published several of his story collections and one anthology, The Secret History of Fantasy,
so we had a very good working relationship. I also felt that this was
the perfect book for Peter. He had very much been one of the loudest new
voices himself back in the early 1960s, just as he is now an elder
statesman. Peter had started his career precociously, selling his
classic novel, A Fine and Private Place, at the age of 19 and publishing it by the time he was 20. I couldn’t imagine a better collaborator for this book.
The decision to work with Hannu Rajaniemi was somewhat different. I
enjoyed working with Peter on the fantasy volume and I knew I wanted to
publish a companion volume dedicated to SF. Hannu had been in the
fantasy volume I’d edited with Peter, I’d recently published Hannu’s
short story collection, and he’d just moved to San Francisco. Everything
with Hannu just fell into place.
Sorg also interviews acclaimed author Susan Palwick at CLARKESWORLD.
Your second collection, All Worlds Are Real,
is due out from Fairwood Press in November 2019. How did the collection
come about, and what was the process of putting it together like for
you? Do you see the collection as thematic, or is it more a “Best Of”?
The book came about because I’d published a bunch of
stories since my first collection came out in 2007. A couple had been
reprinted in “Best Of” anthologies, but I wanted them all in one place,
between covers, so they wouldn’t fade into oblivion. So, while there are
certainly themes that wind through the collection, because they’re
perennial preoccupations of mine—community, faith, loss, existence on
the margins—the collection’s neither consciously thematic nor a “Best
Of.” It’s more of an omnibus (a modest one, because my output’s so
Putting it together involved striving for balance. I tried to
alternate different kinds of narration (voice, gender, POV). I’ve
sometimes been described as a “women’s writer,” a label I loathe—I
certainly address feminist concerns, but I see them more generally as
human concerns—but many of the stories in the collection, almost half,
are narrated by men.
The trickiest thing was producing new material. As I’ve mentioned, I
write very slowly, but I wanted three new stories in the book. I managed
to push out three stories in three months, which is something of a
record. They’re all very short, though!
Meanwhile over at KIRKUS, John DeNardo talks with superstar editor Ellen Datlow about her latest book Echoes.
Photo courtesy of Brent N. Clarke/FilmMagic
Echoes is not the first ghost-themed anthology Datlow has
edited. You might say ghost stories have been part of her entire life.
“I’ve enjoyed all kinds of supernatural stories since I was a child,”
says Datlow, “among them ghost stories. But I only started separating
them out, if you will, from the rest of the supernatural, with my
anthology The Dark [Tor Books, 2003]. Some ghost stories not
only play on our fear of death and what’s beyond, but they can be quite
moving, avoiding what we think of as ‘horror.’ I’d read (and loved) a
few heartbreaking ghost stories in the ’90s, and those stories inspired
me to create an anthology of much darker tales. Hence, The Dark. Then, several years later I edited HAUNTINGS [Tachyon Publications, 2013], a reprint anthology of ghost stories/hauntings originally published between 1982 and 2012.”
Echoes is predominantly founded on new original ghost stories.
It includes stories by Pat Cadigan, Aliette de Bodard, Brian Evenson,
Jeffrey Ford, Seanan McGuire, Garth Nix, Joyce Carol Oates, A. C. Wise,
and others. “I’d been wanting to edit another anthology of original
ghost stories for the past five years or so, and I approached Joe Monti
at Saga about the idea,” she says. “He was interested, I solicited
stories from a host of writers, chose two classics and one other
reprint, and voila!” The result is a massive 800-page anthology offering
30 stories designed to leave you unsettled.
For more info about THE NEW VOICES OF SCIENCE FICTION, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Matt Dixon
Cover design by Elizabeth Story
For more info about THE CUTTING ROOM: DARK REFLECTIONS OF THE SILVER SCREEN, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Josh Beatman