Tachyon tidbits featuring Bruce Sterling, Nalo Hopkinson, Nancy Springer, and Michael Swanwick

The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.


Bruce Sterling, Nalo Hopkinson (photo: David Findlay), Nancy Springer (Lyla Ellzey), and Michael Swanwick (Beth Gwynn)

Vote Bruce Sterling’s PIRATE UTOPIA for the TQF Awards 2018.

For the next fortnight TQF readers (and non-readers, if they want) can vote in the faintly embarrassing TQF Awards 2018!

Click here to vote. Anyone can vote, and you can vote for as many items in each category as you like.

The longlist consists of everything we reviewed in issues 58, 59, 60 and 61, in the categories that appeared in the Quarterly Review (audio, books, comics, events, films, music and television), plus categories for best TQF story, cover art and issue. If you aren’t sure what to vote for, click the links provided below to find out more.

Voting will continue until midnight, 25 February 2018, with the winners to be announced in TQF62 a few days later.


LIGHTSPEED (Feb. 2018, Issue 93) reprints “Jamaica Ginger” by Nalo Hopkinson and Nisi Shawl.

“Damn and blast it!”

Plaquette let herself in through the showroom door of the watchmaker’s that morning to hear Msieur blistering the air of his shop with his swearing. The hulking clockwork man he’d been working on was high-stepping around the workroom floor in a clumsy lurch. It lifted its knees comically high, its body listing to one side and its feet coming down in the wrong order; toe, then heel. Billy Sumach, who delivered supplies to Msieur, was in the workroom. Through the open doorway he threw her a merry glance with his pretty brown eyes, but he had better sense than to laugh at Msieur’s handiwork with Msieur in the room.

Msieur glared at Plaquette. “You’re late. That’s coming off your pay.”

Plaquette winced. Their family needed every cent of her earnings, but she’d had to wait home till Ma got back from the railroad to take over minding Pa.

The mechanical George staggered tap-click, tap-click across the shop. It crashed into a wall and tumbled with a clank to the floor, then lay there whirring. Msieur swore again, words Ma would be mortified to know that Plaquette had heard. He snatched off one of his own shoes and threw it at the George. Billy Sumach gave a little peep of swallowed laughter. Msieur pointed at the George. “Fix it,” he growled at Plaquette. “I have to present it to the governor the day after tomorrow.”

As though Plaquette didn’t know that. “Yes, Msieur,” she said to his back as he stormed through the door to the showroom.

The second the door slammed shut, Billy let out a whoop. Plaquette found herself smiling along with him, glad of a little amusement. It was scarce in her life nowadays. “My land,” Billy said, “’Pears Old George there has got himself the jake leg!”

The fun blew out of the room like a candle flame. “Don’t you joke,” Plaquette told him, through teeth clamped tight together. “You know ’bout my Pa.”


On his eponymous Spanish-language site, José
Francisco Sastre García profiles Nancy Springer

Within the genre of epic fantasy, one of the great continuators of Tolkien’s work, with a style markedly similar to that of the British author, is Nancy Connor Springer (Montclair, New Jersey, 1948). Not too well known in our country, she works in different genres such as fantasy, mystery, science fiction or juvenile literature.

She studied at the University of Gettysburg, where she got the cum laude graduation in 1970. Later she moved to Pennsylvania, where she will work as a high school teacher in McSherrytown. A couple of years later, in 1972, he will begin his literary work, eventually publishing in 1977 his first book, The Book of Suns, a novel which was later republished under the title The Silver Sun.

According to her own account, her love of writing arises because nobody wrote the books she wanted to read, deciding that she would create them herself. This is how works such as the Island Cycle, the King of the Sea.


In Spain his work has passed in a certain way unnoticed, with hardly transcendence, being published in Castilian two of the stories of the cycle of Island, three of the adventures of Enola Holmes and Apocalypse. However, these stories have been so successful that apparently they are going to take to the movies the adventures of Sherlock’s sister.

In the case of the fantasy of the Island Cycle, his style is reminiscent of Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings: a certain lyricism, a narrative in which the characters are sliding through the plot with a rhythm that can sometimes seem slow but is very addictive, which at times accelerates to generate an action that, far from being hard, is it becomes something softer thanks to that more poetic way of narrating; the melancholic aftertaste, the romance, the epic, are integrated in a whole, in a harmonious whole that drags the reader towards a world in which fantastic creatures roam at their ease, a world in which a certain Celtic touch can be perceived at the same time that medieval, with an aftertaste to troubadour that is very pleasant. In the end, I will say that this author is an excellent option when looking for a good and interesting reading.

(Translation from Spanish courtesy of Google)


For BOSKONE, Brenda Noiseux interviews Michael Swanwick.

If you could relive your first experience with any book or film, which one would you pick? What is it about this book or film that you want to experience again for the “first time?”

Reading The Fellowship of the Ring. I was sixteen and a junior in high school, when I picked it up out of a box of books my sister Patty had sent home from college. It was eleven o’clock at night and I’d just finished my homework, so I thought I’d read a chapter or two before bed. I stayed up all night, reading. I read through breakfast. I read all the mile-long walk to school, and I finished the book just as the home bell rang.

I’ve said this before, but it’s true. That book rang me like a bell. Overnight, it made me determined to become a writer. It’s the reason I’m taking part in this mini-interview right now.

When was the last time you dressed up for Halloween? What costume did you wear?

A friend has a themed costume party, where everyone has to dress up as something beginning with that year’s letter. It was T this year, so I went as Tom Terrific. It’s an easy costume to put together once you locate an enormous white funnel for his Thinking Cap.
On reflection, I probably went as grown-up Tom Terrific. Young Tom didn’t have a beard.

For more info on PIRATE UTOPIA, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover by John Coulthart