Celebrate Tachyon’s 25th anniversary with Nebula Award finalist Dave Smeds

“As far as I can recall, the first time I spoke with Jacob Weisman was at the 1993 worldcon in San Francisco. My Sonoma County science fiction writing workshop, the Spellbinders, had just issued a collection showcasing the fiction various members had produced over the previous couple of decades, and we were putting on a publication-launch party at the con. When Jacob was told that we had produced the trade paperback volume on our own, he began asking what methods we had used, what steps we had taken, what resources we had found essential. Jacob hadn’t yet founded Tachyon, but as he turned Spells Unbound this way and that, I could see the light in his eyes: “I can do something like this. I’M GOING to do something like this.” It was a certainty. The only question in my mind was whether the epiphany was a thing of that very moment, or if he had years earlier made it his goal to someday be a publisher of science fiction. (I assume it was the years-earlier scenario, but I’ve never actually asked him about it.)

Jacob did not overreach. He didn’t sabotage himself with an excess of ambition. He set himself a goal. Something modest and achievable. Project by project, the quality level was better than what came before, sometimes incrementally so and sometimes startlingly so. The quiet determination I saw on display in 1993 is, to my mind, the secret of his success. “Just try.” It’s not ego. It’s not even necessarily self-confidence. He sees the worthiness of each project and then he just doggedly takes care of whatever steps are necessary to make it real.

The very first Tachyon Press productions were very much learning-curve experiments. Nowadays authors brag about being published by Tachyon. It wasn’t luck that brought that about.”
–Dave Smeds