The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
Lauren Beukes, Lavie Tidhar (photo: Kevin Nixon. © Future Publishing 2013), Brandon Sanderson (Ceridwen via Wikimedia Commons), and Richard Klaw (Brandy Whitten)
Twenty-one short stories and six essays from a South African writer. Many of the stories are futuristic and/or scifi. In the introductory blurbs Beukes is compared to Stephen King. I don’t know about that because I’ve read very little King. I do know that I liked most of these stories even though several were the sort of thing I don’t usually read (giant menacing hair balls, super powers, weapons gadgetry). In both the fiction and essays, Beukes deals with social issues–particularly those dealing with the status of women. This is one of those books that makes me want to read everything else she has written.
I haven’t read any of Lavie Tidhar’s novels, but I did give one of them, CENTRAL STATION (Tachyon Publications 2016), to a friend for his birthday last October. After reading “The Old Dispensation,” however, I’m tempted to ask if I can borrow the novel for a weekend. This story on Tor is so strange, so engrossing that I was hooked immediately even though I knew basically nothing about what was happening. Reading “Dispensation” was like learning a new language, and it really is for anyone unfamiliar with Exilarchs, Treif, and Ma’ariv. I appreciated Tidhar for telling the story how it needed to be told, however, and not worrying if things were confusing at first. Eventually I adapted to the narration and was able to tease out the meaning of the unfamiliar words. This was no different than the typical science fiction story that pelts its audience with techno-gobbledegook, except this time the foreign words were grounded in reality, and exploring their meaning through the text was challenging and informative at the same time.
I found the whole thing enthralling, even when I was stumbling into undiscovered territory. But that’s what I like about science fiction—discovery. Expect to find this one in a Best of anthology at some point, but read it now on Tor first.
LUIS REVIEWS praises Brandon Sanderson’s THE EMPEROR’S SOUL.
I love the human psychology and the theme of cultural misunderstanding in THE EMPEROR’S SOUL. And, of course, I love the Asian-inspired stamp magic. It ties in with the “form” type magic present in Stormlight Archives, I think, too—or it sounds like it does, anyway. In fact, I love the format and pacing and characters and everything about this story!
Although the novella is set in the same universe as Elantris, the reading order doesn’t matter. In fact, this might be a great introduction to Sanderson’s work, if you’re not ready to jump into The Way of Kings. There’s no fat to trim.
“I also placed another yarn with Strange Tales – ‘The Valley of the Lost’ – a horror tale in an early Texan setting. I’m trying to invest my native regions with spectral atmosphere, etched against a realistic setting.” Robert E. Howard to H.P. Lovecraft, April, 1932
It’s time to shine a light into the dark corners of the Southwest; places like Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexio, where the land is impossibly old, and civilization is new and precarious. The ground in these parts is soaked with blood, with oil, with sweat. There are no tears. They shoot you for wasting water around here.
CHICKEN FRIED CTHULHU pays tribute to the authors who first carved out a place for themselves in the vast, open countryside, and paved the way for new authors to leave their indelible mark on Mythos fiction. But like the outlaws and outsiders who settled in the southwest, they prefer to do it their way: bloody, bawdy, and belligerent. Lovecraftian fiction done the only way we know how to do it: chicken fried!
CHICKEN FRIED CTHULHU is a collection of new and reprint stories set in and around the southwest by southwestern writers. Included in this sensational line-up: Zelia Bishop, Christopher Brown, Stephen Graham Jones, Walter DeBill, Jr., Bradley Denton, Robert E. Howard, Joe Lansdale, Caroline Spector and Don Webb for starters. More authors will be announced during and after the Kickstarter is concluded. Thirteen authors (and more, with your help) with a unique, one-of-a-kind take on the Cthulhu Mythos that is unmistakably Weird. And we’re going to debut the book at this year’s World Fantasy Convention in San Antonio, Texas!
For more information about SLIPPING: STORIES, ESSAYS, & OTHER WRITING, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Clara Bacou
Design by Elizabeth Story
For more info about CENTRAL STATION, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Sarah Anne Langton
For more info on THE EMPEROR’S SOUL, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Alexander Nanitchkov.
Design by Elizabeth Story