The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
Peter S. Beagle (photo: Paul Todisco), Patrica A. McKillip (Stephen Gold/Wikimedia Commons), Jane Yolen (Jason Stemple), and Joe R. Lansdale (Karen Lansdale)
For GEEK WIRE, Frank Catalano profiles Peter S. Beagle.
Looking for a literary tie between Seattle and Pittsburgh? It may seem as hard to find as a unicorn. But it actually involves a unicorn.
When the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America honors its next SFWA Grand Master, that award will go to Peter S. Beagle, author of well-known, and much-loved, fantasy classic, The Last Unicorn. Not only will the honor be bestowed at the SFWA Nebula Conference, which is in Pittsburgh this year, but Beagle himself has connections to both cities.
In addition to being known for the 1968 novel The Last Unicorn, Beagle has won fantasy’s Mythopoeic Award for his books The Folk of the Air and Tamsin, was nominated for a Hugo Award after adapting The Lord of the Rings for Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 animated film, and wrote the screenplay for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Sarek.” He also has won the Hugo and Nebula awards for short fiction.
Beagle, who now resides in California, lived in Seattle and on Bainbridge Island for a half-dozen years starting in 1985. It was while on Bainbridge that he wrote the novel The Innkeeper’s Song and the Star Trek: TNG script. “I liked the Northwest a lot, rain and perpetual overcast and all, and I enjoyed the two quarters that I spent teaching fiction and screenwriting at the University of Washington,” he told GeekWire. “I even had my own sliver of beach, where I dug clams when friends came for dinner.”
Bainbridge later inspired the setting of his 2016 novel SUMMERLONG, which takes place on an island in Puget Sound. Kirkus Reviews described it as “an intimate drama between the members of a family who are slowly blindsided by myth and magic spilling into their ordinary world.” Beagle said his short story “Underbridge” is set on Queen Anne and in Fremont, “where the Troll lives.”
But Pittsburgh? That’s where Beagle got his start as a writer, at least formally.
Beagle said he came to the University of Pittsburgh as a writing student in 1955, when he was 16 years old. “It was the Steel City of legend then: legendary for its griminess, its foul air, its wretched baseball team, the blazing mills along the river going night and day,” he recalled. “Seeing it from an airplane at night (which was my first sight of the city) was truly like being welcomed to hell.”
Yet the city grew on him. “I came to cherish Pittsburgh, as I still do, even though there literally isn’t a brick on a brick remaining of the mid-fifties town I knew,” he said.
For this one I’m picking THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS OF ELD by Patricia A McKillip. This was such a perfect, wonderful story. At 200 pages it a fantastic example of what fantasy can be but I wasn’t ready to leave the world and the characters. I was so attached to them all and although the ending was brilliant, I could read about them forever.
I’d suggest this book as an introduction to a VERY prolific fantasy author, for folks who like fairy tale retellings, for people looking for a set of nice short stories to read one at a time before bed, or for those who’d like a more empowered woman to take the lead in short stories they’re reading.
Hap and Leonard: Mucho Mojo (aka Season Two), the popular SundanceTV show based on Joe R. Lansdale’s acclaimed series, is now available for streaming in the US via Netflix.
For more info on SUMMERLONG, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Magdalena Korzeniewska
Design by Elizabeth Story
For more info about THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS OF ELD, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Thomas Canty
For more info on THE EMERALD CIRCUS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story