The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
Peter Watts, Joe R. Lansdale (photo: Karen Lansdale), Kameron Hurley, and Lavie Tidhar (Kevin Nixon. © Future Publishing 2013)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is some classy hard-hard SF. 🙂 Black hole/worm hole drive using new and real theories? Hell yeah.
But beyond that, I love the whole idea of short periods of wakefulness during a single trip that takes 65 million years.
Add a rebellion against IBM… I mean HAL… I mean CHIMP, without expecting anything to go quite the way that 2001 went, or even remotely like it, and we’ve got a really fascinating story.
Watts knows how to build really fascinating locations and situations… maybe better than almost any other writer. He never rests on a single awesome idea but adds to it and introduces even more interesting wrinkles such as watching an AI dance, or truly alien intelligences, or maybe just freaking out because the rest of humanity must necessarily be dead during the scope of your mission.
But add a complicated revolution among sleepers using old D&D manuals? Adding jarring notes during a musical composition?
Oh yeah, the devil is in the details. 🙂
But its stories wade into territory Americans still would rather
refrain from confronting, and its status as a period piece only
sharpens the discomfort of knowing that bigotry is still as alive now
as it was in the late ‘80s, when Hap and Leonard’s adventures
With each new round of episodes, showrunner John Wirth and his
fellow executive producers and writers display our fractured race
relations more plainly. In its first season we could take comfort in
the notion that the
epithet-spewing antagonists were psychotic outsiders. Season
2 moved it closer to center stage, as Hap and Leonard
contended with the racism of a local justice system rigged by a
corrupt judge and local sheriff content to allow a plague of
disappeared black boys to go unchecked.
In these six new episodes pit the duo against the Ku Klux Klan, a
hate group that only a couple of years ago naively was presumed to be
a relic of the pre-Civil Rights era. Reports indicate that they’re
openly recruiting again, and shortly after Donald Trump was
elected president, we came close to getting an
unscripted series about the KKK. This season of “Hap and
Leonard” takes place in a version of a 1989 that feels very much
like the present, and this is a coincidence… to a degree.
Grovetown’s racist reputation is renowned enough that friends
warn Hap to go it alone this time, which longtime viewers know is
impossible. Depicting small towns as breeding grounds for evil is a
go-to for TV series and movies, a fact the writers acknowledge by
having the characters name-check “The Twilight Zone” as they
drive into the center of town. “Two-Bear Mambo” takes place at
Christmas time, leading the heroes to observe straightaway how
much the place resembles a Hallmark card, right down to its blinding
whiteness. They also notice that everybody is staring at them, and
not a one is smiling.
Any person of color that’s taken a road trip has likely
experienced such a moment, and knows that the best course of action
is to fill the tank and keep driving. Hap, however, presumes his
whiteness will protect Leonard in Grovetown. It did before to a
certain extent. The peril they face this time around is much more
“Hap and Leonard” has a knack for nodding in increasingly
unsubtle ways to our society’s lack of evolution in matters of race
and sexual orientation. The nature of this season’s conflict means
that we spend less time witnessing Leonard’s tribulations as a gay
man and much more about his crisis of confidence in America itself.
One moment in an upcoming episode leads him to question whether his
service in Vietnam, a life chapter in which he takes intense pride, means anything if he can’t safely walk down a street in his own country. Hap went to jail instead of going to Vietnam and draws a similar sense of esteem in his participation in the anti-war movement. The violence of this enemy tries those beliefs as well.ce in Vietnam, a life chapter in which he takes intense pride,
means anything if he can’t safely walk down a street in his own
country. Hap went to jail instead of going to Vietnam and draws a
similar sense of esteem in his participation in the anti-war
movement. The violence of this enemy tries those beliefs as well.
Someone had to be imperfect, or there was nothing to strive for in that big worshipful love letter to God.
Nyx didn’t mind being the broken piece.
Cover image by Sarah Anne Langton
For more info on THE FREEZE-FRAME REVOLUTION, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Elizabeth Story
For more info on APOCALYPSE NYX, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Wadim Kashin
Design by Elizabeth Story