The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
Peter S. Beagle (photo: Rina Weisman), Nalo Hopkinson (David Findlay), and Michael Swanwick (Beth Gwinn)
The Puget Sound setting and mythological overtones of Peter S. Beagle’s new novel, SUMMERLONG, made it sound irresistible to me — and it turned out to be a lovely end-of-summer read.
I really appreciated how Beagle treated the theme of mature love and relationships, a subject not often approached in fantasy fiction these days. He’s brave enough to acknowledge that some hurts cannot easily be healed, that endings in life are often not as tidy as turning the last page of a book. I liked seeing the characters constantly evolve, as old routines die away and new capacities come to light — being retirement age doesn’t mean losing one’s capacity to learn and grow, after all.
I did find that I enjoyed the build-up of the story, characters, and the setting — which is very vividly and accurately evoked — more than the denouement. To me the mythological aspects were more effective when hinted at than when overtly referenced. Still, the world and people of Summerlong will linger in my memory for more than a season, leaving traces of beauty, wisdom, and heartache behind.
For the weekly memes Stacking The Shelves and Mailbox Monday that are about sharing the books that came your way over the past week, and which you’ve added to your shelves, Bob R Milne of BEAUTY IN RUINS includes Peter S. Beagle’s forthcoming novel IN CALABRIA.
While I’ve pretty much cut myself off for new 2016 titles (with one exception below), I couldn’t resist a pair of review titles hitting shelves in the new year:
IN CALABRIA by Peter S. Beagle
THE DEAD SEEKERS by Barb & J.C. Hendee
WISE PHUUL by Daniel Stride
Nalo Hopkinson and Farah Mendlesohn
At FILE 770, Carl Slaughter gets the inside scoop behind Michael Swanwick’s short story collections.
In exclusive for FILE 770, to celebrate the publication of NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT, which came out this summer, Michael Swanwick gives us the inside story on his collections.
MICHAEL SWANWICK: CIGAR-BOX FAUST gathers together pretty much all my flash fiction written to that point, save for the 26 short-shorts in Puck Aleshire’s Abecedary. The title piece was a short drama written in one day for a cigar-box theater and a cast made up of a cigar cutter, a box of matches and, in the title role, the cigar itself.
Marianne came home from work that day and asked, “What’s new?” I sat her down at the kitchen table, placed the cigar box between us, and said, “Watch.
MICHAEL SWANWICK: “I don’t think you understand how many genera of dinosaurs there are,” I replied when my editor at HarperCollins suggested that as a promotional device, I should write a brief story for every genus. But I was happy to write a goodly number, which were serialized on the Web to draw attention to my paleontology novel, BONES OF THE EARTH.
Jacob Weisman, God bless him, liked the series, added “Five British Dinosaurs,” which had appeared in Interzone, and published them all in chapbook form with lovely illustrations by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law.
I had great fun including some of my pals in the paleontologist community in the fictions. Ralph Chapman got to see his Pachycephalosaurus theories tested in the wild. Bob Walters was stranded in the Campanian Age when a hadrosaur crushed his time machine. Tom Holtz got eaten by a tyrannosaur. And Tess Kissinger went for a midnight ride with Ray Harryhausen in a pair of robot theropods.
Never let it be said that I don’t know how to show my friends a good time.
MICHAEL SWANWICK: One story was nominated for the Nebula Award and four for the Hugo Award. Of those four, three won. Introduction by Terry Bisson.
My third decade collection arrived three years early. It was named after “The Dog Said Bow-Wow,” the first Darger & Surplus story and easily one of the most popular stories I ever wrote. At the time the collection came out, there were only three stories in the series, all of which were included. Someday there will be a full collection’s worth. But that day, alas, is not here yet.
For more info on SUMMERLONG, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Magdalena Korzeniewska
Design by Elizabeth Story
For more info about IN CALABRIA, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story
For more info on CIGAR-BOX FAUST AND OTHER MINATURES, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Freddie Baer
For more info on MICHAEL SWANWICK’S
FIELD GUIDE TO THE MESOZOIC MEGAFAUNA, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
For more info on THE DOG SAID BOW-WOW, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Ann Monn