Tachyon tidbits featuring Peter S. Beagle, Max Gladstone, Joe R. Lansdale, Kameron Hurley, and Tad Williams
The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
Peter S. Beagle (photo: Rina Weisman), Max Gladstone, Joe R. Lansdale (Karen Lansdale), Kameron Hurley, and Tad Williams
On the B&N SCI-FI & FANTASY BLOG, Maria Haskins includes Peter S. Beagle’s THE OVERNEATH among 10 Recent SFF Short Story Collections to Read from Cover-to-Cover.
Beagle is revered as the author of The Last Unicorn, an iconic fantasy novel, and this collection includes an appearance by Schmendrick the Magician, one of the characters from that beloved book. Elsewhere inside it, there are plenty of mythical beasts, including a unicorn, a karkadann, and dragons in the employ of drug dealers. It’s a book full of wit, whimsy, wisdom, and glorious flights of fantasy, featuring many previously uncollected and never-before-published works. It’s a must-read for both old and new fans of the author.
The thing I love about how this story works is that he only adds details in the sparest possible way.
Because it’s Joe Fucking Lansdale.
That really should be the end of this article. If you don’t know the work of Joe R. Lansdale, Hap & Leonard is a wonderful introduction to his most popular books. If you already enjoy his work, watching the series on Sundance is like reading the books for the first time again. They capture the tone and spirit perfectly and bring the characters to life, right down to Hap’s hippie soul and Leonard’s irascible, rugged individualism (and Nilla wafers). Which is quite a feat because, while Joe is a champion storyteller, his voice is a large part of what makes his work so enjoyable. Like Robert Parker, Walter Mosley, and Laura Lippman, he can write about something mundane and make it as gripping as a thriller because he writes with a voice that we follow like the little bouncing red ball over song lyrics, if you’re old enough to remember those.
And somehow, director Jim Mickle and Lansdale himself have translated that to the small screen. They’ve taken the first three books—Savage Season, Mucho Mojo and The Two-Bear Mambo—and made each one a short (savage) season, which has worked wonderfully so far. And if you are behind, you can catch up quickly by watching them on the Sundance TV website or on demand from your cable provider. The current season has them poking their noses into a quaint-looking Texas town that is run by the Klan, after a young black woman journalist disappears. She just happens to be Hap’s ex-girlfriend, and she was on the trail of a supposedly cursed bluesman’s lost tapes.
Illustrated by Adrienne Valdes
B&N SCI-FI & FANTASY BLOG shares the original Kameron Hurley story “Garda.”
Dead young men kept washing up on the crooked sandbar that abutted the black ruins of the palace on the pier. The body lying now at the feet of Inspector Abijah Olivia was positioned face down in the sharp black glass of the beach. Abijah wore heavy boots to protect her from the sand, but the body was not so lucky. Barefoot and mostly naked, thousands of tiny lacerations peppered its sallow grayish skin. Tattered remnants of black and gray clothing still clung to it in places, giving the impression that the corpse was an old, ancient fish that had fought throughout its ascent into the air, then was abandoned here in the ruin of some net. Its lower half lay at an awkward angle, as if the torso and legs had been twisted in opposite directions. Clumps of black hair still clung to the head, but Abijah noted two chunks of scalp missing just above the neck, as if the hair had been yanked so hard that it had come free. The great hooked-beak birds patrolling the coast could have done that after the body washed up, she supposed, hoping to snag the long hair for their nests. More answers would come from the medical examiner.
“Sorry catch, you are,” Abijah muttered, squatting next to the body. She poked at the left wrist with a stylus, pulling up a necklace of pink kelp to reveal a work tattoo. Like the other dead men she had seen on this sandbar, this young man appeared to have been employed at the wight factory upriver, which was run by the last of the operations that accepted off-world labor. Being off-world would account for the body’s tall, slender frame and weak bones. The twist to the lower body could have just as easily happened post-mortem, when the corpse hit the water. If he’d already been a corpse, at that point. One of the previous young men had actually drowned; the others had been dead hours before meeting the salty water.
Dragonsteel art director Isaac here. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me post about the maps for the latest Osten Ard books by Tad Williams: The Heart of What Was Lost and The Witchwood Crown. The original trilogy was what hooked me on epic fantasy in the late 80s/early 90s, and the maps for the series were part of what got me into cartography. So to be able to create new maps of Osten Ard has been something of a dream project.
These books were also foundational in Brandon’s early reading in the genre. He gave the newest books this quote:
“Tad Williams is a master storyteller, and the Osten Ard books are his masterpiece. Williams’ return to Osten Ard is every bit as compelling, deep, and fully-rendered as the first trilogy, and he continues to write with the experience and polish of an author at the top of his game.”
I was thrilled when Brandon supported the Indiegogo campaign for merchandise based on Tad’s worlds by buying the map of Osten Ard. I’ve tried to make this the essential map for the series. Remember those foil Middle Earth maps from when the movies were big? Well, I was able to get a hold of the original supplier, and that’s who’s printing the Osten Ard map. It’s going to be gorgeous, and the only way to get it is through Tad’s Indiegogo campaign. We might have a few left over after that, but I wouldn’t risk it if you really want one. There’s only a little over a week left.
For more info on THE OVERNEATH, 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