Tachyon tidbits featuring Daniel Pinkwater, Lavie Tidhar, Carrie Vaughn, Bruce Sterling, Peter Watts, and Jaymee Goh

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

For THE NAMELESS ZINE, Stephanie L Bannon enjoys Daniel Pinkwater’s ADVENTURES OF A DWERGISH GIRL.

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.

Andrew Wheeler on THE ANTICK MUSINGS OF G.B.H. HORNSWOGGLER, GENT. praised the future envisioned in Lavie Tidhar’s CENTRAL STATION.

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.

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.

Translation from Italian courtesy of Google

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.”