The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
Jo Walton, Nalo Hopkinson (photo: David Findlay), and Lavie Tidhar (Kevin Nixon. © Future Publishing 2013)
Multiple award-winning science fiction and fantasy author Jo Walton’s first short fiction collection is a captivating array of fairy tales, mythology, space fiction, machine sentience, alien encounters, heaven, and more. Easily a third of the stories in this collection are 5-star worthy.
Even the stories that aren’t my favorites are quite memorable, lingering because of their unique subjects. Interestingly, in the introduction Jo Walton mentions that the art of short fiction did not come naturally to her like novel writing. I understand what she means—she has a wide range of intriguing ideas, and she presents them in new and unusual formats, but often the final stroke, the proverbial period at the end of the sentence, does not pack the punch I expect from the set up. In fact, I often wonder if I missed something, that maybe I didn’t quite get it.
It’s a mix, but one I highly recommend. Specifically recommended for fans of literary scifi and fantasy!
I did not know at all Nalo Hopkinson, who has already received several awards in the US (but it seems to me that few of his books are translated into French). And I was conquered from the preface, in which she says that she had to think about what bound the news, written about ten years and for different publishers, and that she realized that it illustrates the progression she has made, from the disillusioned teenager to the adult who decides to believe in man. It is perfectly legible in the collection, which depicts a host of characters, deeply human, in their good and bad, with a dimension of hope and benevolence despite the galleys.
In fact, my favorite is the very first, “The Easthound”, the one that made me immediately adore his style and the construction of his scenarios. I will not risk to make summaries to you, considering the size of the texts, but throughout the collection we bathe in fantastic varied enough, with often Jamaican references (where Nalo originates), a mixture which m has been much appreciated. Of course, the quality is not the same in all news, but overall I am quite impressed with the intelligence of its intrigues and the speed with which it embarks us in his universe.
Another very nice point is the small introductions she put before each of her news, to introduce the context and the reasons that led him to write them. This is a real added value, and a very effective way to get into the story from the first lines. I really like her way of thinking and the ideas she conveys smoothly over the pages.
In the end, I took this collection slowly, without hurry, reading a new one at a time not to change too often atmosphere, and I recommend you to do the same if you have the same problem as me. What is certain is that I really want to discover it in longer texts, because to succeed to convince me just with news is a tour de force and it augurs very beautiful things for the rest of his bibliography! So if you have already read some of his titles or you’ve heard good, I’m taking!
(Translation from French courtesy of Google)
Aliya Whiteley’s The Arrival of Missives was a fascinating piece of fiction, and I should also recommend Lavie Tidhar’s CENTRAL STATION, a clever and thoughtful riff on more traditional sf, and Kij Johnson’s The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, which provided a much-needed antidote to too much Lovecraft.
For more info on STARLINGS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story
For more information on FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Chuma Hill
Design by Elizabeth Story
For more info about CENTRAL STATION, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Sarah Anne Langton