Tachyon tidbits featuring Daniel Pinkwater, Lavie Tidhar, Carrie Vaughn, Bruce Sterling, Peter Watts, and Jaymee Goh
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The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
Aimed at middle school readers this is a delightful story that will please both the young and adult reader. I look forward to more of Molly’s adventures.
This is a wonderful book, full of life and nuance. Each story is a separate gem, but together they combine to show a more complete picture of this world and these people. Tidhar never says how far in the future this is, though some hints imply “centuries” is the low bound. And he’s never quite clear on how long these people can or do live — though, in at least some cases, centuries would also be a low bound. Tidhar’s cast is large and interesting, and their world is equally so: this is the kind of book that implies vastly more than it says, and lives in your head for a long time afterward.
On FILLING THE WELL, Carrie Vaughn delivers her traditional recap of her yearly publications.
THE IMMORTAL CONQUISTADOR, March 2020, Tachyon Publications. This is mostly reprints of stories about Rick the vampire, but it also includes a novella, “El Conquistador del Tiempo,” which tells about that one time Rick was the Master of Santa Fe and met the Devil on the crossroads.
KITTY’S MIX-TAPE, October 2020, Tachyon Publications. Again, mostly reprints of stories from the Kitty series, but it also includes four new stories: “Kitty Walks on By, Calls Your Name,” “Kitty and Cormac’s Excellent Adventure,” “What Happened to Ben in Vegas,” and “Kitty Busts the Feds.”
These two collect most of the Kitty stories post-2010 or so, and I had a lot of fun revisiting that world. They also mean Kitty is eligible for the Best Series Hugo in 2020, if you’re so inclined to nominate.
The Italian LA STAMPA interviews Bruce Sterling about cyberpunk, just prior to the release of the much anticipated Cyberpunk 2077.
From the point of view of the technological Galapagos, cyberpunk seems to belong to another era, probably many of the guys who will play the title of CD Projekt RED have not read the novels that helped define the genre, but for Bruce Sterling it is not a problem and he doesn’t think it makes much difference. He says, “It’s kind of like watching a vampire movie without reading Bram Stoker’s original Dracula. Forty years have passed since Cyberpunk was a novelty, now it has simply become part of the collective imagination, of pop culture, perhaps it is even a cultural heritage.Translation from Italian courtesy of Google
Pop culture, however, proved to be the lifeblood for video games, its literary genres have illuminated works for PC and consoles, even if Bruce Sterling tells us: “Video games are not the best for storytelling, their real antagonist, however, are not books, but cinema.
The video game industry is doing much, much better than the film industry, kicked by Covid, I would say that the future of the medium looks rosy. I very much hope Cyberpunk 2077 is successful as I really like the idea that cultural operators from Eastern Europe make a lot of money. One of the greatest science fiction writers of all time was Stanislaw Lem, Polish, I learned a lot from him.
Bruce Sterling will return in spring 2021 with the voice of his alter-ego Bruno Argento, master of Italian science fiction, with ROBOT ARTISTS & BLACK SWANS, a collection of fantasy and science fiction stories set in Italy. The text presents the introduction of Neal Stephenson, another sacred monster of what was once literary cyberpunk.
At REDDIT r/printSF, Peter Watt’s THE FREEZE-FRAME REVOLUTION is recommended in Books about living/surviving in remote, isolated conditions (outposts, settlements etc.) and fighting against some kind of threat.
For space mutinies try THE FREEZE-FRAME REVOLUTION by Peter Watts or Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold
FIRESIDE publishes Jayme Goh’s short story “In the Glass Hall of Supreme Women.”
The moment she stepped into the Glass Hall, she felt a brief shudder, but she chided herself and was still. She was here for her husband. He had married her with pride, and she would do her utmost to ensure that his pride in her was justified.
The Glass Hall was not all glass; only the walls were glass, as were the skylights. Past the processing lab were hallways with cots, some empty, some occupied. Through the glass walls, the residents could see the bamboo forests outside the lab, a calming environment for their last days in service.
She had brought nothing in with her, only what she wore: a simple short sleeveless dress. She would need nothing else. Her fingers twisted in her lap as she walked in, the doctors in their masks and full body suits behind her. The decontamination chamber they had passed through hissed as it ran a spore check. She wondered if the chamber was where the first spores took root, since the doctors wore their suits, but passing through the airtight doors, she shook her head.
There was some ventilation with a little oxygen that the facility pumped in, but the air felt musty, thick. Of course it was, she told herself, what with the spores drifting about.
Doctor Feng gestured to the cots. “Pick any empty one you like. You can sleep anywhere, really. Some women move from bed to bed until they take root, as it were.”
The best-selling ADVENTURES OF A DWERGISH GIRL is Daniel Pinkwater at his best, most charming and delightful
OBLONG BOOKS & MUSIC includes Daniel Pinkwater’s ADVENTURES OF A DWERGISH GIRL among their best-selling titles. (This along with all the rest of the 2020 titles, is currently 20% off with free media mail shipping on the Tachyon site)
Deborah J. Ross, on her eponymous blog, loves the book.
Daniel Pinkwater is at his best, most charming and delightful in this tale of a girl from the Dwerg people – you know, the “little men” responsible for Rip Van Winkle sleeping for twenty years? The ones you can never find, no matter how hard you look? The ones who mine gold in the Catskills, can run unbelievably fast, practice domesticity on a level capable of boring any young person to tears? Such is Molly Van Dwerg’s world until she decides to leave home, armed with a couple of Dwergish gold coins and irrepressible self-confidence.
For DO THE M@TH, Ethan Iverson recommends this new classic.
Kids still read! On the YA tip, the great Daniel Pinkwater has a new book out, ADVENTURES OF A DWERGISH GIRL. It’s classic Pinkwater, one of his best. Yes! God bless Daniel Pinkwater. When I was a kid, I treated Alan Mendelsohn, Boy From Mars and Lizard Music as manuals of style. I will always owe Pinkwater a great debt.
Cory Doctorow, at PLURALISTIC, revisits the title in his All the books I reviewed in 2020.
Like every Pinkwater novel, it defies description, it is brilliant, and it is his best to date. Ghosts, Revolutionary War fleshbots, papaya juice, and supernatural beings from the Catskills!
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Throughout 2020, Tachyon Publications took readers on many adventures and to familiar and strange worlds with the unknown beginnings of beloved characters (OF MICE AND MINESTRONE – HAP AND LEONARD: THE EARLY YEARS by Joe R. Lansdale and THE IMMORTAL CONQUISTADOR by Carrie Vaughn), the boundaries of science (SEA CHANGE by Nancy Kress and NUCLEATION by Kimberly Unger), fantastic uncharted realities (DRIFTWOOD by Marie Brennan and THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES by R. B. Lemberg), werewolves and other creepy imaginings (KITTY’S MIX-TAPE by Carrie Vaughn and THE MIDNIGHT CIRCUS by Jane Yolen), and inexplicable journeys (ADVENTURES OF A DWERGISH GIRL by Daniel Pinkwater).
All these amazing, acclaimed titles are currently 20% off!
(And as always, free Media Mail shipping on U. S. orders)
And watch for these exciting titles, coming your way in 2021!
Daniel Pinkwater’s ADVENTURES OF A DWERGISH GIRL is a fine book by one of America’s most wonderful writers
But it’s got a wonderful voice in Molly, and a clear point of view and a sequence of interesting people and places to look at. It’s a fine book by one of America’s most wonderful writers, and it’s hugely welcome after such a long absence.
And, perhaps best of all, there’s room for a sequel, or another novel about someone else that takes place after this one. Let’s hope that happens.
Wheeler also created two posts, each featuring different quotes from the book.
And when I talk about how boring it is to live there, and how I wanted to leave, that is not to say that, while boring, life there is not sweet. And I love all the Dwergs. It turns out you can love persons or a place and still find them or it boring, to the point of unbearable.Quote of the Week: We Gotta Get Out While We’re Young
The idea of getting something to eat in the subway, which is filthy and foul-smelling, struck me as insane, but I suppose if you are a New Yorker in a hurry, and do not care if you live or die, or perhaps do not believe in the germ theory, it’s something you might do.Quote of the Week: Culinary Standards
On CATS COFFEE BREAK, Rita King and Bonnie Bensur interview Pinkwater.
Happy birthday to the beloved and iconic writer, illustrator, and occasional NPR commentator Daniel Pinkwater
The author and sometimes illustrator of over 80 (and counting) wildly popular books, Daniel Pinkwater is also an occasional commentator on National Public Radio’s All Thing Considered and appears regularly on Weekend Edition Saturday. His acclaimed books (many illustrated by him) include The Terrible Roar (1970), Blue Moose (1975), Lizard Music (1976), The Big Orange Splot (1977), The Wuggie Norple Story (1980), The Snarkout Boys series (The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death  and The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror ), Young Adult Novel (1982), Fish Whistle (1989), Chicago Days, Hoboken Nights (1991), The Education of Robert Nifkin (1999), Irving and Muktuk stories (Bad Bears Go Visiting , Two Bad Bears (2002), Bad Bears in the Big City ,Bad Bears and a Bunny , and Bad Bear Detectives ), The Werewolf Club series (The Magic Pretzel , The Lunchroom of Doom , Meets Dorkula , Meets the Hound of the Basketballs , and Meets Oliver Twit ), Bushman Lives (2012), Mrs. Noodlekugel series (Mrs. Noodlekugel , Mrs. Noodlekugel and Four Blind Mice , and Mrs. Noodlekugel and Drooly the Bear ), Bear and Bunny (2015), ADVENTURES OF A DWERGISH GIRL (2020), and Vampires of Blinsh (2020). In 1989, Pinkwater along with artist Tony Auth produced the syndicated strip Norb for 52 weeks. The praised cartoon was collected by MU Press in 1992.
Pinkwater’s frequent NPR appearances include reviewing children’s books on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, “random” phone calls to Car Talk, and in the early 2000s, co-hosting (with Charity Nebbe) Chinwag Theater. In the early 1990s, he voiced a series of humorous Ford radio advertisements. Pinkwater has also contributed to New York Times Magazine, OMNI, Wondertime, and numerous other outlets.
He lives in upstate New York with his wife and frequent collaborator, writer/artist Jill Pinkwater,
All of us at Tachyon wish Daniel, everybody’s favorite lovable curmudgeon, a happy birthday. May it be full of snark, fun, and games! Lots of snark.
Tachyon tidbits featuring Daniel Pinkwater, Jane Yolen, Adam Stemple, Jill Roberts, David G. Hartwell, Jacob Weisman, Cory Doctorow, and Joe R. Lansdale
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The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
The comically absurd ending is an enjoyable wrap-up to this fast-paced, unexpected adventure that combines history, folklore, and nonsensical fun.
THE SWORD & SORCERY ANTHOLOGY, edited by David G Hartwell and Jacob Weisman. Has the classics by Robert E Howard, Michael Moorcock, and CL Moore, as well as newer writers, like Caitlyn Kiernan, George RR Martin, and Gene Wolfe.
For TOR.COM, Cory Doctorow pens Beyond Cyberpunk: The Intersection of Technology and Science Fiction.
People with established careers are terrible sources of advice on how to break into their chosen field. When I was a baby writer, I attended numerous panels about getting established, where writers a generation or two older than me explained how to charm John W Campbell into buying a story for Astounding Stories. This was not useful advice. Not only had Campbell died six days before I was born, but he was also a fascist.
I have two careers, one in tech and the other in SF, a peanut-butter-and-chocolate combo that’s got a long history in the field, and I am often asked how to break into both fields. I know an awful lot about how to sell a story to Gardner Dozois, who stopped editing Asimov’s sixteen years ago and died two years ago, but I know nothing about pitching contemporary SF editors.
Likewise: I know an awful lot about breaking into the tech industry circa 1990: first, be born in 1971. Next, be raised in a house with a succession of primitive computers and modems. Enter the field in the midst of a massive investment bubble that creates jobs faster than they can be filled, when credentials are irrelevant.
Another advantage we had in the 1990s tech industry: cyberpunk. Cyberpunk, a literary genre that ruled sf for about two decades, was primarily written by people who knew very little about the inner workings of computers, and who were often barely able to use them.
In THE NEW YORK TIMES, Tina Jordan’s Texas selection in “50 States, 50 Scares” comes unsurprisingly from Joe R. Lansdale.
Ah, October — crisp nights, apple-picking, leaf-peeping, Halloween. To celebrate the spookiest season, we’ve made a list of the scariest novel set in every state.
Joe R. Lansdale, “The Drive-In”
A crowded drive-in movie marathon turns into a B-movie horror-fest all its own, splattering the patrons in a blood-and-gore nightmare.
Tachyon tidbits featuring Daniel Pinkwater, Peter S. Beagle, Nalo Hopkinson, Brandon Sanderson, Charlie Jane Anders, Michael Swanwick, and Cory Doctorow
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The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
I think that people ages from seven to one hundred and one could read ADVENTURES OF A DWERGISH GIRL. It is a great book for everybody! Also, if you like fun adventure books, along with some humor and fun facts! I would definitely recommend this book, so go buy it!!
TIME’s The 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time includes Peter S. Beagle, Nalo Hopkinson, Brandon Sanderson, and Charlie Jane Anders.
With a panel of leading fantasy authors—N.K. Jemisin, Neil Gaiman, Sabaa Tahir, Tomi Adeyemi, Diana Gabaldon, George R.R. Martin, Cassandra Clare and Marlon James—TIME presents the most engaging, inventive and influential works of fantasy fiction, in chronological order beginning in the 9th century
Tais Teng for MYTHAXIS REVIEW interviews Michael Swanwick.
TT: Some blockbuster fantasy writers are clearly paladins of Tolkien. I get the impression that you belong to a quite different tribe, harkening back to a time when each fantasy novel was one of a kind. Hope-in-the-Mist (which I read recently thanks to your glowing recommendation), The Night Lands, Gormenghast, A Voyage to Arcturus and The Gods of Pegana come to mind.
What are the novels and authors that inspired you when you just had started writing? Or better, when you yearned to become a writer but hadn’t sold a word yet?
MS: As a boy, I was determined to be a scientist. Nothing could be surer. Then, at age sixteen, Tolkien turned me into a writer. I read The Fellowship of the Ring over one long, sleepless night and that was it, I knew what I was going to be. This was before commercial fantasy was a genre, so I had to hunt out fantasy works, which were few and far between. So I read everything from E. R. Eddison’s Mistress of Mistresses to John Jakes’ Brak the Barbarian (very highly not recommended), the books you mention most definitely included. This imprinted on me the idea that great fantasy must necessarily be different from everything else and written in imitation of nobody.
I’ve never gotten over this conviction.
Also, back in the 1980s, I was on the Nebula Award Jury, which was, for reasons that made sense at the time, tasked with adding a single worthy but neglected work to every category on the final award ballot. We made a valiant but futile attempt to read everything published in genre that year and in so doing I read so much fantasy written in lockstep with the common expectation of what it should be that I developed a revulsion for it.
To sum it all up, I love fantasy the way you love your firstborn. You have such high expectations for it that any failure to live up to them is a disappointment. If it’s not astonishingly good, I’m not going to much like it.
For TORFORGE via YOUTUBE, Cory Doctorow discusses writing.
Celebrate Tachyon’s 25th anniversary with the iconic writer, illustrator, and occasional NPR commentator Daniel Pinkwater
“I’ve only just begun to deal with Tachyon, so I’m just beginning to collect impressions….but here’s what I’ve observed so far: It’s an actual old-fashioned publisher. By that I mean the sort of outfit I dealt with years ago when I was just starting out. In those days, publishing houses were less corporate, or not corporate at all. The people were interesting–ranging to weird, pleasant to deal with. They liked books! They had sympathy for writers. Younger writers may not know what I’m talking about, but many aspects of writing for publication permitted one to feel comfortable and keep one’s dignity. Tachyon is in that tradition.”
– Daniel Pinkwater
Today is the big day as Daniel Pinkwater’s ADVENTURES OF A DWERGISH GIRL is finally available from all finer booksellers.
At TUMBLR, Cory Doctorow remarks on Pinkwater in general and his latest in particular.
Few authors have had as much influence on my progress as a human being – to say nothing of my writing – as Daniel Pinkwater. The course of my life was profoundly altered by reading Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy From Mars in middle school, and I have read dozens of his books since.
I find that many distinctive authors circle themes and plots, like a cannoneer rangefinding with artillery, trying to bullseye some impossible-to-define perfect target. I county myself in that group, and I definitely count Pinkwater there.
I can’t tell you exactly what it is he’s trying to hit, but every book seems to come closer to some irreducible Pinkwaterian ideal, and his latest, Adventures of a Dwergish Girl, is the closest he’s come yet.
I take him to mean that he’s describing the world as he perceives it, not adding any weirdness. We live in a weird place. 2020 certainly proves that hypothesis.
I think there’s something to this – the thing that makes Pinkwater’s work so great is his ability to describe the everyday absurdity in terms that make it clear how weird normalcy is (and vice-versa).
That’s definitely Dwergish Girl’s charm. I read this to my 12 year old, who is way too cool to be getting bedtime stories of her old, irrelevant father’s favorite weird writers.
Every night, she insisted that she didn’t want me to read from it. Every night, she begged for another chapter when I was done (and interrupted repeatedly to ask incisive questions about the Revolutionary war, papaya juice, ghosts, radio announcers, etc).
Pinkwater’s got The Magic (whatever that is) and he keeps getting better at it.
Over at the Tachyon Publications Channel on YouTube, check out the trailer to the book.