Interviews, short stories, CENTRAL STATION, and more with Lavie Tidhar
It’s become abundantly obvious that this is Lavie Tidhar’s reality and we’re all just living it.
Tidhar was interviewed in FROM EARTH TO THE STARS, the ASIMOV’S author and editor blog, about his short story “Neom.”
Asimov’s Editor: What is the story behind “Neom”?
LT: I’ve been visiting the Red Sea for twenty years now (on the Egyptian side), and I was always struck by looking just across the water to the Arabian Peninsula, and that huge stretch of desert along the Red Sea coast is, of course, Saudi Arabia. Then I came across crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS)’s plan to build this sort of cyberpunk utopia called Neom there! I mean it has a promotional Youtube video and everything … And I’ve been recently very interested in the idea of future cities, and I knew I had to write about it. If only because I find the idea of a cyberpunk utopia so very terrifying …
And by Michele Chiappetta at RECURSOR.
Your novel CENTRAL STATION has received much acclaim. What inspired you to write it?
I was living in Tel Aviv back in 2010, and I became kind of obsessed with the old Central Bus Station area, as well as the new station itself, which is this crazy, enormous place with its own nuclear fallout shelter, if you can believe it. And, you know, most of my novels fall into this weird, political, alternate history, noir sort of thing, and I wanted to do something completely different — just write about these people and this place.
And I always loved mosaic novels, especially in science fiction. That’s where a lot of the classics are. But it always struck me as quite a difficult thing to do, from a technical point of view. So, that was the challenge.
I wrote it now and then over the next five years or so. Some of the stories got into various Year’s Best anthologies. A few got translated into various languages. And then one day it was done. I just didn’t expect anyone would actually read it.
On The Italian site STAY NERD, Andrea Viscusi views Tidhar’s work through the lens of CENTRAL STATION and the short story collection Terminale Terra.
The strength of Lavie Tidhar’s stories lies precisely in this: not originality, understood as the innovative power of ideas, but the work of unification with which the author drew the constituent elements of science fiction and made it a playground. in which a multiplicity of actors and situations collide. CENTRAL STATION and Terminale Terra are not to be read for the research of mindblowing ideas, but for the naturalness with which the ideas are treated. Those who follow and know science fiction (above all literary, but not only) will be able to recognize dozens of citations and references, but those who are more distant can still appreciate the constant unfolding of stories of normal people in exceptional contexts. The enthusiast and the neophyte can therefore be considered both satisfied, even if for different reasons.
Translation courtesy of Google
Massimo Luciani on the Italian site NETMASSIO reviews the short story "The Memcordist.“
"The Memcordist” is set in the same narrative universe as the novel CENTRAL STATION: the two works are autonomous but Pym is explicitly mentioned in the novel therefore among the stories of Lavie Tidhar is perhaps the one that most completes the novel. The various contrasts created by the author in my opinion give the story its emotional strength which is why I believe it is worth reading.
Translation courtesy of Google
Rich Horton’s “Memories of 2018″ for LOCUS includes Tidhar’s “The Buried Giant.”
“The Buried Giant”, by Lavie Tidhar (Robots vs Fairies) tells (literally – it’s an expertly framed story) of the dangerous adventures of a boy in a post-apocalyptic world who wants to be a “real boy” (i.e. robot), and in the process encounters a robot cat and a robot fox, and a dead girl and a manshonyagger. Powerful work.
Two new Tidhar stories appeared recently: “Venus in Bloom” (CLARKESWORLD ISSUE 148, JANUARY 2019) and “Dem Bones” (STRANGE HORIZONS 18 FEBRUARY 2019).
At TOR.COM, K Chess’ Five Fictional Books Inside of Real Books includes The Osama Bin Laden: Vigilante series.
The Osama Bin Laden: Vigilante series (from Osama by Lavie Tidhar)
Joe, a private investigator in an alternate reality, loves to read novels that detail the planning and execution of terrorist attacks—because global terrorism does not exist beyond their pages. A client who hires him to track down the series’ author sends Joe across the globe from Laos to Paris, London and New York, while shadowy operatives who want to keep the realities apart tail, assail, and finally imprison him. The Osama Bin Laden: Vigilante books are popular trade paperbacks with garish covers, released by an imprint that also publishes porn, but as Joe points out, they “read like the lab reports of a morgue, full of facts and figures all concerned with death.” The clinical excerpts Tidher includes from the books made me think about the chance casualties of these real attacks; it is Joe’s world that feels like a pulp.
And perhaps the most unexpected Tidhar sighting comes from the Stan Lee Wikipedia page under Fiction Portrayals.
In Lavie Tidhar’s 2013 THE VIOLENT CENTURY , Lee appears – as Stanley Martin Lieber – as a historian of superhumans.
For more info about CENTRAL STATION, visit the Tachyon page.
For more info about THE VIOLENT CENTURY, visit the Tachyon page.
Covers by Sarah Anne Langton