Tachyon tidbits featuring Ann & Jeff VanderMeer, Joe R. Lansdale, Nick Mamatas, and Tim Powers

The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.

Tachyon tidbits featuring Ann & Jeff VanderMeer, Joe R. Lansdale (photo: Karen Lansdale), Nick Mamatas, and Tim Powers (Matt Gush)

NEUKOM INSTITUTE announces that Ann and Jeff VanderMeer will judge 2019 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards.

Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, two influential figures in speculative fiction, have been announced as judges for the 2019 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards, presented annually at Dartmouth College to honor and support the spec fic genre.

“I am very honored to be a judge for this important award,” said Ann VanderMeer. “As an editor, it has been my goal to find and promote the best speculative work out there and present it to the widest audience. The Neukom awards program is an opportunity for me to discover and shine a bright light onto the past year’s best fiction and share those stories and writers with everyone.”

“We’re delighted to help support this exciting award,” Jeff VanderMeer said. “It definitely will make a difference in writers’ careers in the years to come.”

William Boyle at CRIME READS proposes Screwball Noir: A Hypothetical Film Festival.

Matt Zoller Seitz, the critic who is one half of the team (along with Alan Sepinwall) behind The Sopranos Sessions, an episode-by-episode analysis of David Chase’s seminal show, recently curated The Sopranos Film Festival at the IFC Center in New York, highlighting “the series’ influences and legacy on the occasion of its 20th anniversary.” Influenced by such inspired programming, I thought it’d be fun to curate a hypothetical film festival for my new novel, A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself. I’ve picked favorite road trip narratives, great New York City stories, screwball noirs that take place in an off-kilter yet plausible world, explorations of friendship and violence, and films that aren’t afraid to blend reality with myth and legend. I’ve split the films into four themed categories: “Live Dogs and Dead Lions,” “A History of Violence,” “Full of Life,” and “Fear and Desire.”

A short history of films that have shaped my sense of violence and action. Three of these are based on books that I love—Jim Thompson’s The Getaway, Barry Gifford’s Wild at Heart, and Joe R. Lansdale’s COLD IN JULY—and they’re successful adaptations that also work on their own terms, marrying balletic action and brutal violence with weirdness and (at least in the case of the latter two) comic elements.

For TOR.COM in The Lovecraft Reread, Ruthanna Emrys and Anne M. Pillsworth discuss Nick Mamatas’s “That of Which We Speak When We Speak of the Unspeakable,” which first appeared in Ellen Datlow’s Lovecraft Unbound.

So this is a very clever story, making clever points about the meaninglessness of existence and of human interaction. It gives the reader—at least, this reader—a sort of Cthulhoid perspective on the protagonists. “Are they worth watching for a few more minutes? Would my existence be made marginally more pleasant if someone ate them five minutes sooner? Should I go back to sleep now?”

Stubby the Rocket, also at TOR.COM, includes Tim Powers’ Anubis Gates in 8 Very Good Time Traveling Doggos.

Tim Powers’ time travel classic features two nods to the canine: one of its villains is Amenophis Fikee, better known as Dog-Face Joe, a body-swapping magician/murderer. So far so good. But he earned his nickname because of a spell gone awry, thick fur to grow on each new body he inhabits. The more dog-like he becomes, them more urgent it is that he murder his host body and move on to the next one.

And of course the Gates themselves—portals to the past that draw on ancient Egyptian magic—are based on the dog-headed god Anubis. He’s the judge of the dead in Egyptian cosmology, and if you think that doesn’t play into the story you need to revisit Chekov’s maxim about Ancient Egyptian Deities appearing in Act One

For more about COLD IN JULY, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover design by Elizabeth Story