Around the web with Alastair Reynolds, Peter V. Brett, Brandon Sanderson, Nancy Kress, and Daryl Gregory

The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles from cyberspace.

Karen Burnham at SF SIGNAL lavishes praise upon Alastair Reynolds’ strong SLOW BULLETS in particular and Tachyon in general.

Tachyon Press has been reliably putting out interesting work for years now: novels, anthologies, and chapbook novellas that sometimes can’t find another home. With the demise of Subterranean Press’s magazine, we especially need them now for novellas, a format that historically lends itself well to science fiction: enough room for all the worldbuilding and some tight plotting, not enough to get hung up on the fact that the characters maybe aren’t that deep. Tachyon, along with, is helping keep the form alive.

All of which is to say that Tachyon has once again done us a favor by publishing Alastair Reynolds’ SLOW BULLETS. Joining the knockout successes of Nancy Kress’ Yesterday’s Kin and Daryl Gregory’s We Are All Completely Fine (either of which would have dominated the novella awards lists in their year; it was painful to watch them have to compete against each other), SLOW BULLETS reminds us just how versatile Reynolds’ science fiction can be. In a story only a fraction the length of any one of his Revelation Space novels, this novella gestures at Stapledonian time frames seen through a tightly focused lens. (Remember, it’s Olaf Stapledon’s science fictional universe—the rest of us are just playing in it.)


Reynolds isn’t as well known for his short fiction, but he is very strong at the long short lengths, as it were. Although poetry features as a leit motif, SLOW BULLETS won’t win awards for prose styling. But in terms of thoughtfulness and an intense dramatization of several different kinds of estrangement (plus some nicely placed hints at an unreliable narrator), this stands up well in the long history of strong sf novellas.

Bob R Milne at BEAUTY IN RUINS enjoyed Peter V. Brett’s worthy THE GREAT BAZAAR & BRAYAN’S GOLD.

Having said that, they’re certainly worth the read, especially while we wait for Peter V. Brett to drag us down into The Core.

THE GREAT BAZAAR was a fun story, because it hearkens back to an earlier, more innocent time when Arlen was still a messenger. It explores a bit more of the world, exposes some surprising corruption within the messenger ranks, and adds snow demons to our monster repertoire. More importantly, it answers a question I always wondered about regarding thundersticks. It’s refreshing to see Arlen as a young man again, bold and confident, but not yet laboring under the weight of his own destiny.

BRAYAN’S GOLD was less of a stand-alone story, feeling much more like the deleted chapters it really is, but it’s exciting to have some scenes told from Abban’s perspective. Again, this is a story of Arlen’s early years, when he’s already come to Fort Krasian and made an ally of the khaffit, but has yet to make his most important discovery. Here we are reminded of his treasure hunting past, and we understand a bit more of just how it is that he came to make that eventual discovery that would change his world.

Pallabi Dutta at BOOK OVER BROS enjoyed Brandon Sanderson’s highly satisfying THE EMPEROR’S SOUL.

I just love BRANDON SANDERSON books. Though by far not my Favourite but still kept me hooked. Not as adventurous as I am used to in his other works but nonetheless purely enjoyable. Highly satisfying and a very interesting plot.

In his essay “5 Reasons to Read Short Speculative Fiction Anthologies” at KIRKUS, John DeNardo discusses Nancy Kress’ Nebula ward-winning YESTERDAY’S KIN.

Aliens are a mainstay of science fiction, and why not? They make great stand-ins for “monsters” and are the epitome of the unknown. Aliens also make effective mirrors. By portraying “The Other,” authors are really holding up alien cultures as a comparison to our own ways. Sometimes a story about aliens can help us see the best and the worst of humanity.

In “Yesterday’s Kin” by Nancy Kress, for example, mysterious aliens land in New York harbor, supposedly on a mission of peace. A team of scientists are sent in to investigate, wherein readers learn about the value of familial relationships as well as contemplative themes like selfishness vs. cooperation.

Two interesting mentions about Daryl Gregory’s Shirley Jackson award-winning novella WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE.

Over at BOOK RIOT’s Peek Over Our Shoulders: What Rioters Are Reading On October 8, 2015, Liberty Hardy admits:

HARRISON SQUARED by Daryl Gregory: I loved his novel, WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE, so I read AFTERPARTY, which I loved EVEN MORE. So I am now going through the rest of his books because WOW.

And without comment, the Austin Public Library included  WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE among its staff picks.

For more info about SLOW BULLETS, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover art by Thomas Canty

Design by Elizabeth Story

For more info on THE GREAT BAZAAR & BRAYAN’S GOLD, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover design by Elizabeth Story

For more info on THE EMPEROR’S SOUL, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover art by Alexander Nanitchkov

Design by Elizabeth Story

For more info on YESTERDAY’S KIN, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover by Thomas Canty

For information on WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover design by Elizabeth Story