Tachyon tidbits featuring Brooke Bolander, Maria Dahvana Headley, Amal El-Mohtar, Jeff VanderMeer, and Alastair Reynolds
The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
Brooke Bolander, Maria Dahvana Headley, and Amal El-Mohtar (photo: Irene Gallo), Jeff VanderMeer (Kyle Cassidy), and Alastair Reynolds (Barbera Bella)
Brooke Bolander, Maria Dahvana Headley, and Amal El-Mohtar came together at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe to discuss Bolander’s new book, The Only Harmless Great Thing, but what began as a book launch became a long, complex discussion of the power of storytelling, the horrors of capitalism, and the power of women who come together to record truth.
The three dug into a theme that features prominently in all of their writing, what Headley termed “what-was-done-to-us.”
Bolander said that she wanted to explore the “consequences” of what was done to the Radium Girls, and to Topsy, and ask, “Who is telling this story? And how are they twisting it?”
The owners of the mine found a vein of pure silica, and decided it would be cheaper to bribe doctors to falsify the miners’ death certificates than it would be to provide protective gear. Let them die. Write it off. And this didn’t come to light until a woman, a social worker, went into the community alone and went house-to-house interviewing the families of survivors. She went to Congress with her findings, and was treated horribly, but then she, the poet Ruykeyser, and a photographer, who was also female, brought this truth to light. And I thought of that the entire time I was reading your book—this communication between women, and the precarious nature of knowledge.
The conversation continued:
Bolander: “It was also a woman, actually, who told the safety inspector that his report [on the dangers of radium poisoning] had been falsified.”
Headley: “And it was part of the job description that you had to lick the brush, right? Reading the book, I just got this sense of…longing for the dial, a longing for time to stop. And then for these women to get into the record. So the deaths would be on the record of history.
El-Mohtar: “It’s a the longing for progress without any concern for who will be hurt by it.”
Headley: “I was thinking too, of testing beauty products on animals—you’re hurting animals to test products so women can glow in the dark, and stop time!”
The New York Times announces Amal El-Mohtar as the new Otherworldly columnist for The New York Times Book Review.
After two stellar (and interstellar) years as the Book Review’s science fiction and fantasy columnist, N.K. Jemisin is leaving to devote more time to her numerous outside projects, including her own books and a guest editorship for the Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy series. Since inaugurating the Otherworldly column in January 2016, Nora has gone on to win consecutive Hugo awards for best novel, and her book “The Fifth Season” (the start of her Broken Earth trilogy) is in development as a television series for TNT. We were delighted to have her.
And we are delighted to announce another Hugo winner as our next Otherworldly columnist: Amal El-Mohtar won the Nebula, Locus and Hugo awards last year for her short story “Seasons of Glass and Iron.” Amal’s speculative fiction and poetry have appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, and she regularly reviews for NPR and other outlets — including the Book Review, where she wrote about Naomi Alderman’s “The Power” last year. Her novella “This Is How You Lose the Time War,” written with Max Gladstone, will be published by Saga Press in 2019.
“I’m especially fascinated by books that don’t want to save the world so much as break or dislocate it further, in order to build something better in its wake,” she told us. “Fantasy and science fiction have long had at their heart the question of how to be good, and the 20th century’s shifting visions from monoliths of Good and Evil to the more complicated battle between individuals and systems has been a wild ride. I’m excited to see it develop further.”
On YOU TUBE, watch the Shimmer Featurette about Annihilation, the film based on the first novel in Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy.
Alistair Reynolds received a Philip K. Dick Award nomination for Revenger.
The judges of the 2018 Philip K. Dick Award and the Philadelphia SF Society, along with the Philip K. Dick Trust, are pleased to announce the seven nominated works that comprise the final ballot for the award:
THE BOOK OF ETTA by Meg Elison (47North)
SIX WAKES by Mur Lafferty (Orbit)
AFTER THE FLARE by Deji Bryce Olukotun (The Unnamed Press)
THE WRONG STARS by Tim Pratt (Angry Robot)
REVENGER Alastair Reynolds (Orbit)
BANNERLESS by Carrie Vaughn (Mariner/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
ALL SYSTEMS RED by Martha Wells (Tor.com)
For more info about THE NEW VOICES OF FANTASY, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Camille André
Cover design by Elizabeth Story