Tachyon tidbits featuring Jo Walton, Peter S. Beagle, Jacob Weisman, Charlie Jane Anders, and Tad Williams
The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
Jo Walton (photo: Ada Palmer), Jacob Weisman & Peter S. Beagle (Jill Roberts), Charlie Jane Anders (Tristan Crane), and Tad Williams
Jo Walton is a freaking amazing author, and I’ve loved everything of hers that I’ve read. She says she’s not good at short stories, though I dispute that, because the short stories contained in STARLINGS are fantastic. Creative, original, and very enjoyable. She calls them prose poems, or writing exercises, and to be honest, I’m not sure how those differ from short stories, but whatever. Call them what you like, they’re still great to read.
This auction is for a copy of THE NEW VOICES IN FANTASY, a cutting-edge anthology of short fiction by up-and-coming fantasy writers. The book is signed by the editors, Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman, as well as by several of the contributors.
Upon leaving io9 in 2016 (a year after her co-founder Annalee Newitz), Charlie Jane Anders penned a thoughtful farewell reflecting on how, since io9’s launch in 2008, we have come to be living in a science fictional era. That sentiment has only grown more true since then, so it’s very fitting that Anders and Newitz are reuniting for a podcast discussing exactly that!
Our Opinions Are Correct, which recently launched, “explor[es] the meaning of science fiction, and how it’s relevant to real-life science and society.” In each episode, Autonomous author Newitz (“a science journalist who writes science fiction”) and All the Birds in the Sky author Anders (“a science fiction writer who is obsessed with science”) delve into science fiction books, movies, TV series, comics, and overall pop culture for considered but concise discussion peppered with plenty of SF references.
Natalie Zutter for TOR.COM mentions Tad Williams’ tetralogy Otherland in Ideal Spaces: Virtual Realities in Cyberpunk Fiction.
Tad Williams’ series envisions a similar Metaverse to Neal Stephenson’s, populated by multiple VR spaces (accessed by implanting Neurocannulas into the back of one’s neck) and overseen by the corporate entities that have outpaced the government in terms of power and control. But while we’re again looking at ownership of VR, it’s not money that these corporations are doling out—it’s lives. Virtual engineering instructor Renie Sulaweyo becomes personally entangled with the darker corners of the Net when she investigates the mysterious Tandagore Syndrome, which sends many of the Net’s young users, including her younger brother, into inexplicable comas. As she investigates deeper, crossing paths with two prolific Net gamers, they stumble upon a conspiracy involving the Grail Brotherhood that gets them cut off from their physical bodies. Trapped in the Net, they can’t log off; if they get killed in VR, they won’t wake up IRL.
The Grail Brotherhood’s agenda taps into fears of the singularity, with one artificial intelligence superseding even the corporations and controlling all of the Net’s citizens. The Otherland series can also serve as a cautionary tale about how immortality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be; unlike Synners’ Mark, who chooses to transcend his physical form, the protagonists searching for the eponymous golden city have no choice but to travel through the digital realm for ages.
For more info on STARLINGS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story
For more info about THE NEW VOICES OF FANTASY, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Camille André
Cover design by Elizabeth Story