The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
This set of stories was very diverse. Some are fantasy-ish, and some are a little more sci-fi. There’s poetry too, which I don’t normally go in for, but liked nonetheless.
There’s even a letter in the style of Jane Austen writing to her older sister Cassandra, only in this case, the mail gets rerouted accidentally and sent to Cassandra, the daughter of Priam of Troy in the Iliad, and she writes back. Really fascinating idea there.
There was a pretty cool experimental story, which is a little like the beginning of Snow White as told from the POV of the mirror, which I thought was great. There’s a play based on the Irish myth of the Sons of Tuireann, there’s a story about a zero gravity ballet dancer, there’s a really interesting sort of Noir detective story that takes place in a world where we’ve cloned Jesus, and now being Jesus is like an ethnicity in itself. Jesus as a private eye was really unique.
My favorite story overall though was The Panda Coin, which was a really interesting sci-fi story that takes place on a space station. The station is divided into twelve sections, each named after a month of the year, with weather to match. It’s a really interesting world, and we see bits of it as this coin changes hands. As it does, the POV changes with it, so we meet the people of the station, whether they be simple human miners, androids or AIs. I liked the idea quite a lot!
All told, I really liked this collection. It’s one of the most diverse group of stories and poems in different styles and forms that I’ve ever read. Really fun!
What I can write about is my latest project: Back in the day, between 2010 and 2012, I had the opportunity to work on three very unique novels – God’s War(a 2012 Nebula Award nominee for best novel), Infidel, and Rapture: the Bel Dame Apocrypha Trilogy, by new author Kameron Hurley. The three books were published by the original Night Shade Books (NSB) – one of the best (though far from the brightest) indie publishers at the time. NSB was known, and recognized, for publishing new authors, who indeed were the best and the brightest: in addition to Ms. Hurley, other authors included Paolo Bacigalupi, Laird Barron, Bradley P. Beaulieu, Courtney Schafer, and Catherynne M. Valente, just to name five that immediately come to mind.
In 2014, Kameron Hurley sold her trilogy to British publisher DelReyUK. As part of the promotion for the release of these books, she wrote a new, original Nyx story (Nyxnissa so Dasheem, aka Nyx, is the protagonist in all three volumes), which DelReyUK published exclusively on their website. The story, “The Body Project,” was my first opportunity to work with Kameron post-NSB. I wrote about the story in a blog post dated January 22, 2014. I don’t know how long DelReyUK allowed the story to remain online (the link is no longer valid), but if you are a fan of Kameron’s writing and haven’t read this bold, new story, then you’ll have another chance to snag it in the new year.
“The Body Project” is one of five stories that will be included in APOCALYPSE NYX, Kameron Hurley’s story collection, forthcoming from Tachyon Publications in July 2018. The other four stories: “The Heart Is Eaten Last,” “Soulbound,” “Crossroads at Jannah,” and “Paint It Red” were originally published online on Ms. Hurley’s Patreon.
If you’ve read the trilogy, then you are familiar with the members of Nyx’s team: Rhys the magician (sometimes of questionable skills), Taite the com tech, and Anneke (Anneke likes guns, lots of guns) – and they’re present in all of these stories as well. You’ll also meet the newest member of the team: Khos, a shape shifter.
I’ve used a couple blah adjectives like “unique” and “bold” to describe these stories because the stories are so different that I just don’t have the words to describe them!
The Bulgarian site SCIFI.BG delivers a lengthy English language interview with Peter Watts.
And which among the short stories in BEYOND THE RIFT would you recommend the most?
Oh, geez, uhm… ‘The Things’ was another story that I didn’t know if it worked when I first released it and then it really kind of took off. Let’s say ‘The Things’. ‘The Island’ I think is cool, because it’s my first attempt to get into far future deep space opera, but kind of a gritty „Hey, all you lazy assholes who invoke Stargates and stuff, this is what it would really be like“. It’s a good story and I think it does a lot of really excellent world building and it won a Hugo… But ‘The Things’ works on a bunch of different levels. In the first place, the sheer arrogance of trying to retell the story of a movie from the point of view of something that doesn’t actually have a point of view, because it’s continually splitting into different things, right? Just the writing challenge of that was amazing. But it was also fan fiction, because I really love that movie.
So it was an homage to my favorite movie and then halfway through I realized that what it really is, is an allegory on the missionary impulse. The Thing is pretty horrific, what it does to us is pretty horrific, but it thinks it’s doing the right thing, it thinks it’s saving us. It’s faux, it absorbs us and it calls it ‘taking communion’, because it’s communing with us, it’s gifting us with its ability to adapt to new environments. It doesn’t understand the concept of an individual. And that idea of well intentioned evil really, really sums up the whole missionary impulse – that we’re going to beat God into you, we are going to save your soul by essentially conquering you and forcing you into doing these things that you don’t want to do, and we’re all gonna do it for God. That’s pretty close to what the Thing was doing in my interpretation of it.
So what projects are you currently working on?
I’ve just finished up THE FREEZE-FRAME REVOLUTION, which is the novella for tachyon that’s set in ‘The Sunflower’s universe. After that I have to write a quick short story for the X-prize project, because I’m now in the X-prize science fiction committee. And after that I’m basically beginning ‘Intelligent Design’, which is my next novel, a near-future techno thriller.
Ok, my questions are nearly over. Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of SciFi.bg, to your Bulgarian fans?
If I have Bulgarian fans, thank you for being Bulgarian fans! Give away all your copies of my books to your friends and BUY MORE! [laughs] Good enough?
Alex Dueben of CBR interviews Charles Vess about The Book of Ballads: The Original Art Edition.
In comics, he’s best known for his many collaborations with Neil Gaiman including two key issues of Sandman, the series finale #75, and the World Fantasy Award-winning #19 (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). The two have also collaborated on picture books and the beloved, heavily illustrated novel Stardust. Vess drew Rose, the Jeff Smith-written prequel to Bone. Vess has had lengthy collaborations with Charles de Lint [including MEDICINE ROAD], and others. In 2009, Dark Horse published Drawing Down the Moon, an art book celebrating his work.
One of Vess’ most personal project was The Book of Ballads. Originally a series of black and white comics, Gaiman, Smith and De Lint, along with Jane Yolen, Elaine Lee and others, adapted classic ballads to the comics format, illustrated by Vess. This month, Titan Comics has published an The Book of Ballads: The Original Art Edition. The art is presented in an oversize format, in its original black and white (similar to IDW Publishing’s Artist’s Editions).
Vess spoke to CBR about the project, his recent book readers may have missed and how his original art ended up in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress.
CBR: How did this Original Art Edition come about?
Charles Vess: Titan editor Steve Saffel asked. Then we had to get permission from the Library of Congress, where all the art resides in their permanent collection. Martha Kennedy, the head of their Prints and Drawings Division, suggested that Steve come down to Washington D.C. for a few days and scan all the original pages himself, and he did. I don’t know if you’ve ever been there but the holding of the Library of Congress are vast and exciting to see — so I believe that he enjoyed himself, when he wasn’t overseeing the scanning.
I have to ask, how did your original art end up in the Library of Congress?
I had this rather large selection of art, scripts and pencil breakdowns that I knew would be diminished if I were ever to break them up and sell off or give away individual pages. For a number of years I’d been looking for a home for them. I’ve given quite a lot of my art and book/GN collection to my alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University, but for this particular body of work I was looking for a institution where people interested in art or music or ballads themselves could study the work.
I was complaining to two friends of mine who work in the Folklife section of the Library of Congress about my problem, and they looked at each other and said, “How about us?” The thought had never entered my mind before. Have work of mine in the Library of the American People? But it was a perfect fit, and I’m still very chuffed that those pages have a nice home.
For more info on STARLINGS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story
For more info on APOCALYPSE NYX, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Wadim Kashin
Design bv Elizabeth Story
For more info about BEYOND THE RIFT, visit the Tachyon page
Cover art by Hugh Sicotte
Design by Elizabeth Story
THE FREEZE-FRAME REVOLUTION cover by Elizabeth Story
For more info about MEDICINE ROAD, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Charles Vess