The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles from around the web.
Funny, thrilling, revelatory and heartbreaking, there isn’t one weak story in this selection, although if we were forced to choose our favourites they would be The Gorgon in the Cupboard, Which Witch and Something Rich and Strange, which is more a novella than a short story. But hold on, Mer is fantastic and what about Edith and Henry Go Motoring… and you can’t forget Alien!? You see what we mean? And, at the back of the book, McKillip shares some of her thoughts about writing high fantasy, which is a great bonus (although way too brief!) Absolutely spellbinding. It has been a very long time since we read a gathering of short stories as perfect and beguiling as these.
10. FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS by Nalo Hopkinson
This story collection brims with magical realism, light sci-fi, and fantasy. Zombies, ghosts, and chickens take center stage in Nalo Hopkinson’s eclectic fiction mix.
I’m a huge fan of horror and when I go too long without reading any I start getting antsy. (It’s been too long.) I just came across this upcoming horror anthology and it sounds spectacular. There are a total of 24 stories from various authors. A few authors to note: Dan Chaon (Await Your Reply), Margo Lanagan (Tender Morsels), Caitlín R. Kiernan (The Drowning Girl), Garth Nix (Sabriel), and Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim). Here’s a complete list of authors if you’re interested.
At TABLET, Liel Leibovitz discusses Max Beerbohm’s classic short story “Enoch Soames” in the article “The Century-Old Science Fiction Story That Predicted Our Current Cultural Malaise.” Beerbohm’s tale was included in David Sandner and Jacob Weisman’s THE TREASURY OF THE FANTASTIC.
Sometimes, when the particular moment in time into which you happened to have been born seems dumb beyond relief, time travel is the only option. Watching what we understand to be our civilization tumbling into a bottomless pit of despair, we may be forgiven for wondering if this is just a passing phase and if the future, bless it, is likely to be any better.
The answer, of course, is no.
This is the lesson delivered one hundred years ago by Max Beerbohm—caricaturist, humorist, sharp dresser, repressed homosexual, closeted Jew—in a short story called “Enoch Soames.” Its protagonist, the titular Enoch, is a miserable wretch: The only thing more inelegant than his misshapen waterproof black cape is his prose, which, to the modern reader, may evoke the assaults against elegance perpetrated daily at any of our college campuses. Soames, tragically, fancies himself one of the greats, a mind so towering as to gaze down on Shelley and find him wanting. He totters about London, always at the side of whatever smart set happens to be congregating at galleries or cafés or parties, attempting to assert some prominence.
Every human pursuit worth a damn depends on these men, on these forgotten Enochs. Journalism needs them to be diligent enough to tap every source and check every statement. Criticism calls on them to embody ancient aesthetic arguments and relive them anew. Art commands them to inflame their hearts and minds until, feverish, they radiate truth and beauty. Government expects them to toil in perpetuity, forever standing just outside the circles of men and women who matter. These Enochs are forever forgotten, but never insignificant; they’re the servants who make culture possible.
And for the past one hundred years, at the very least, they’ve been disappearing at an alarming rate. Today, no one would take the same trouble as Soames and wrestle with Shelley; instead, we share our own solipsistic thoughts and tastes and passions on Snapchat and Tumblr and Instagram. We are always peering at the present, seldom at the past and almost never at the future. Soames grew invisible as he strove to serve culture at large; we, on the other hand, became permanently visible by obliterating it. Traditions, institutions, and the thankless labor required to uphold them struck us as ludicrous as seeing a visitor from the nineteenth century popping by for a spell in the twenty-first. We’d rather doff our hats and just walk on by to the next engagement, the next distraction, the next fun. But we need the Enochs; without them we’re just the hoard, swaying along to its own desires. Thank God, then, we still have one Soames, even if he’s just an immajnari karrakter.
For more info on DREAMS OF DISTANT SHORES, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Thomas Canty
For more info on FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Chuma Hill
Design by Elizabeth Story
For more info about NIGHTMARES: A NEW DECADE OF MODERN HORROR, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Nihil
Design by Elizabeth Story
Cover art and design by Thomas Canty