Tasty Tachyon tidbits featuring Joe R. Lansdale, Ellen Datlow, Nalo Hopkinson, and Alastair Reynolds
The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles from cyberspace.
Over at LITREACTOR, author Max Booth III revealed his insane plan to steal Joe R. Lansdale’s wallet.
Last month, Eryk Pruitt asked me if I’d be willing to attend a book reading in Dallas. I told him I’d heavily consider it, but only if the reading fell on a Saturday. Dallas is a five hour drive from San Antonio, and it’s extremely difficult to get someone to cover my night shifts at the hotel. As it turned out, the only day the reading could possibly take place was a Thursday, so I respectfully declined his offer. Then he told me Joe R. Lansdale would be reading that night, too, so I said, “Well, all right, I guess I don’t have a choice now, but fair warning: I am going to steal Lansdale’s wallet.”
“You weren’t, uh, serious when you told me you planned to steal Joe Lansdale’s wallet…right?”
And I stared him right back down and said, “I was absolutely serious.”
“You do realize he is a martial arts expert, right? He will murder you.”
“I once murdered someone,” Jedidiah Ayres whispered.
“I’m willing to take my chances,” I said. “I didn’t drive all the way down here without any sleep to not steal Lansdale’s wallet.”
Eryk sighed. “Booth, you’re a crazy sonofabitch. I ought to kiss you.”
So we kissed, and it was good.
Meanwhile, Jedidiah continued whispering something that involved “lots of blood” and “loud, agonizing squealing”, but who knows what he meant.
Read about what happened between Booth and Lansdale at LITREACTOR.
Overall, I found this to be an above average collection. Even though I enjoyed the stories of the lesser known (to me) authors the most, there are some excellent works by the powerhouse authors as well-Peter Straub’s “Ashputtle” was a delicious little tale of nastiness, for example.
I believe that Ellen Datlow is one of the finest anthologists around, and when I see her name as editor, I always know I will find some literary goodness within. (Plus, this one has this KILLER cover: I mean look at that thing. It’s freaking COOL!)
Highly recommended for fans of horror and dark fiction short stories!
In an overview of recent short story collections READING WITH HIPPOS discusses Nalo Hopkinson’s really good FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS.
Still, the good stories here are REALLY good. Hopkinson’s characters are refreshingly diverse—black, brown, straight, gay, male, female, teenaged, elderly—and they’re immediately knowable, despite whatever craziness might be happening around them. I don’t often get the feeling that an author had fun writing a book, but I just can’t imagine Hopkinson putting this stuff down on paper with anything but a playful smile on her face.
And lastly, a pair of reviews of Alastair Reynolds’ engaging SLOW BULLETS.
As a standalone work, the pace of Slow Bullets is its biggest asset. Scur moves quickly from realisation to uniting the ship’s inhabitants to tracking down the war criminal who is to blame for her being stuck on the ship to concocting the plan to have her revenge. It hits the reader thick and fast, so much so that too many questions are left unanswered. Scur as the narrator gives little away, although indications that she may not be entirely reliable—her slow bullet malfunctions—keep the reader guessing until the conclusion.
SLOW BULLETS has, at its core, a thoughtful idea about how little things can work big changes over time. Even the ship itself becomes a metaphorical “slow bullet” as it moves through space after being inscribed with thousands and thousands of lines of information. The problem with the book is that it takes that one idea and pounds it so hard that the reader comes away almost suffering from blunt force trauma. One almost wishes that this had been a longer work, so Reynolds could have dealt with the big idea in a more subtle manner, although that may have resulted in trying to stretch too little material into too many pages. As it is,
is a decent story with a well-drawn cast of characters, enough conflict to keep the story moving, and a centerpiece metaphor that is simultaneously perfectly on point, and also overused. But the story is also about how merely surviving – existing from one moment to the next – is not enough, and that is what saves it from being merely ordinary. The will to survive is driven by a cause, whether an intensely selfish and personal cause such as revenge, or an altruistic one like becoming the agent of the resurrection of human civilization. In a way, this story is like Scur: Interesting enough to be engaging, yet deeply flawed at the same time.
For more info on HAP AND LEONARD, visit the Tachyon page.
For more info about HAP AND LEONARD RIDE AGAIN, visit the Tachyon page.
Covers by Elizabeth Story
For more on THE MONSTROUS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Reiko Murakami
Cover design by Elizabeth Story
For more information on FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Chuma Hill
Design by Elizabeth Story
For more info about SLOW BULLETS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Thomas Canty
Design by Elizabeth Story