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Writer, editor, and publisher Jacob Weisman founded Tachyon Publications in 1995. Originally the goal was to bring back the old masters who were out of print, as evident by Clifford Simak and Mary Shelley collections and novels by Stanley Weinbaum and Robert Nathan. Tachyon published 2-3 titles a year and only sold to specialty bookstores. In 2003, Weisman decided to “start the company over from scratch.” He wisely hired Managing Editor Jill Roberts, secured distribution that brought Tachyon books to mainstream bookstores, and expanded the line to 8-10 books a year. The Tachyon titles have won Nebula, Hugo, World Fantasy, Shirley Jackson, Theodore Sturgeon, John W. Campbell, Neukom Institute Literary Arts, Mythopoeic, and Locus awards. Weisman, himself, garnered World Fantasy Award nominations in 1999, 2009, 2010 and winning the 2018 Best Anthology Award for THE NEW VOICES IN FANTASY (2017 with Peter S. Beagle).
While Weisman oversees all of Tachyon books, he was directly responsible for several anthologies including THE TREASURY OF THE FANTASTIC (2001 with David Sandner), THE SWORD & SORCERY ANTHOLOGY (2012 with David Hartwell), INVADERS: 22 TALES FROM THE OUTER LIMITS OF LITERATURE (2016), the above mentioned THE NEW VOICES IN FANTASY, THE UNICORN ANTHOLOGY (2019 with Beagle), and THE NEW VOICES OF SCIENCE FICTION (2019 with Hannu Rajaniemi).
Prior to Tachyon, Weisman edited and published 14 issues of the quarterly fantasy magazine The Thirteenth Moon and worked for the Seattle SuperSonics. His writings have appeared in The Nation, Realms of Fantasy, The Louisville Courier-Journal, The Seattle Weekly, The Cooper Point Journal, Field of Fantasies, and in the college textbook, Sport in Contemporary Society. He’s responsible (alongside David Sandner) for the acclaimed novelette Mingus Fingers (2019).
Everyone at Tachyon wishes the extraordinary Jacob a happy birthday. And not just because we’re told to.
Tachyon tidbits featuring Nancy Kress, Kimberly Unger, Hannu Rajaniemi, Jacob Weisman, and Nick Mamatas
Rick Klaw blog bibliomama, eating the fantastic, gautam bhatia, hannu rajaniemi, jacob weisman, kimberly unger, moon, Nancy Kress, Nick Mamatas, nucleation, review, scott edelman, sea change, strange horizons, the new voices of science fiction, twitter
The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
SEA CHANGE is a novella that is within the tradition of cli-fi (speculative fiction dealing with the impact of climate change). Kress creates a frighteningly persuasive near-future world—a world that ends not with a bang but with a whimper. Its plausibility lies in the fact that it is not a dystopia where civilization has collapsed (indeed, in SEA CHANGE, Donald Trump is voted out of office in 2020), and bands of scavengers now roam a feral countryside (although those novels are, of course, equally important). Rather, through a step-by-step reconstruction of a ten-year-long period, Kress shows us how a combination of human hubris, human accident, and human folly can bring us to a pass that nobody really wants, and that harms everyone.
Perhaps fittingly, the ending of SEA CHANGE is ambiguous (reminiscent of, perhaps, The Handmaid’s Tale, when Offred wonders if she is walking into darkness or light), telling us that in the near future, while there may be hope, there are no easy—or happy—endings; indeed, there are no endings at all but only a continuing struggle, with losses and uncertain consequences. That is another way in which SEA CHANGE paints a compelling portrait of the times we live in and the times that may be over the horizon.
To be perfectly honest, I cringe when I see a book of short stories come up for these posts, because I suck at making good notes on them and it is really hard to remember details this many months later. I do know that I borrowed this from the library, read it and liked it so much I borrowed and read it again. I have also downloaded and read Strange Waters by Samantha Mills many, many times and it is now among my favourites. It is a time travel story nominally, but is actually about a mother’s determination to get back to her children, and about whether to spending your life in pursuit of a goal at the expense of all else is worthwhile – it’s beautiful and bittersweet. Our Lady of the Open Road [by Sarah Pinsker] is also very good – it relates to the author’s novel which I also coincidentally read this year, and is about the way music connects people and can be a revolutionary force.
On the podcast EATING THE FANTASTIC, hoist Scott Edelman sat down with Nick Mamatas.
We discussed why there’s a generational divide when it comes to what potential readers might think his upcoming novel The Second Shooter is about, our joint Brooklyn heritage and history with professional wrestling, why he threw away the first dozen stories he wrote, the reason Marvel Comics was always better than DC, his encounters with the famed monologuist Brother Theodore, the first bad book he ever read, the way having been a journalist helps him collaborate without killing his co-writers, why work for hire assignments can be difficult, how we feel about our refusal to pick a genre lane, and much more.
Tachyon tidbits featuring Kameron Hurley, Carrie Vaughn, Michael Swanwick, Elly Bangs, Michael Moorcock, and Jacob Weisman
Rick Klaw blog aelita award, black gate, Carrie Vaughn, clare o'beara, clarkesworld, deep music, echoes of an empty mind, elly bangs, flogging babel, fresh fiction, jacob weisman, kameron hurley, karen haber, Locus, meet me in the future, michael moorcock, michael swanwick, odyssey, review, Robert E. Howard Changed My Life, t. e. shaw 0
The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
I must confess that I was not aware of Hurley, or her work, prior to reading this collection of stories, and the fault rests sorely on me. Thankfully, the situation was rectified when I received the KCLS Surprise Book Bag, and Hurley now joins the list of authors whose work I will diligently follow in the future.
Carrie Vaughn is still a compelling writer, and personality shines through each page. She provides a note on her series at the end of the book, and leaves the door open for more Kitty tales in the future. KITTY’S MIX-TAPE is fantastic dip-into reading, each short tale illuminating another corner of the urban fantasy world.
On his blog FLOGGING BABEL, Michael Swanwick reports that he was given the Aelita Award.
Something astonishing happened to me over the weekend.
I was given the Aelita Award.
The Aelita was named after the 1923 science fiction novel Aelita by Alexei Tolstoy and is presented at Aelita, (also named after the novel), Russia’s oldest science fiction convention. The award was created in 1981 to honor a lifetime contribution to Soviet science fiction. Later, this became Russian science fiction and last year it was decided to expand the remit to cover SF globally.
I am gobsmacked, as our British cousins say, to be the first American ever to receive this award. For reasons that are all too familiar to everyone, the Aelita conference was virtual this year so I didn’t get to return to Ekaterinburg, a city I am very fond of, But that didn’t make the honor any less sweet.
CLARKESWORLD in Issue 172, January 2020, offers Ell Bangs’ short story “Deep Music“.
The emergency call came in before the seagulls had even started crying. It found Quinn lying sleepless on the leaky air mattress she’d set up in the back of the shop, balancing an untouched glass of hours-old scotch on her stomach. She fumbled for her phone and raised an eyebrow at the severity rating the user had entered on the online form: it sounded like there had already been some property destruction.
She took solace in her matching pants and suit jacket, clean and well creased, draped over the back of her chair. So what if her head ached and her eyes burned. So what if the world was shit and life was pain: at least she’d meet the day looking sharp. She laced up her high-tops and smoothed down the new growth on her undercut, then walked down the line of shelves as she looped her necktie, checking on each of the five-gallon jars: tapping her fingers on the happier ones, sprinkling salt or mineral solution on those in need. The jar closest to the door jittered and clinked at her approach. “No time to hang out, Digby,” she told it. But when it kept sloshing insistently, she sighed and lowered in the little waterproof keyboard.
YU NIISE DDO IUS KNIDKNIDENSE, the water inside typed. UNDARSTENDD DEP OCEANOIOSE YOOU DO IS GOOOD TOO NOW CEMBBOE ARBA BA BAM ABORMASDRO ADROABER
BLACK GATE shares Michael Moorcock’s contribution to Robert E. Howard Changed My Life.
Robert E. Howard wrote directly in a tradition going back to the first great American hero Natty Bumppo and the first great American novelist, Fenimore Cooper, who shared the same puritanical suspicion of ‘civilization’ and authority with Conan and most of Howard’s other heroes. Based firmly on the legend of Daniel Boone, already fictionalized in broadsheets and shilling shockers published everywhere in America and Europe, the Romantic American was soon established as a popular figure of fiction and folklore. Indeed, on occasions the American ‘noble savage’ often sold better in what would be considered over-civilized European nations than he did in his native land (where the reality might have been at closer proximity to readers in Saint Louis and Memphis than to those in London or Moscow). This explained the massive bestsellers featuring ‘free spirits’ often found in the Gothic novels which were frequently selling at the same time! Romance of this kind would often be pilloried by more sophisticated authors of the day but not by the likes of Robert Louis Stevenson, Alexandre Dumas or Karl May (whose Old Shatterhand continued his career, like the others, in films well into the 20th century).
Also at BLACK GATE, Jacob Weisman discusses his recent purchase of T. E. Shaw’s translation of Homer’s Odyssey.
I bought a book last week from a bookseller on Instagram, the first time I’ve ever done that. It was a copy of T. E. Shaw’s translation of Homer’s Odyssey. Yes, that T. E. Shaw, Lawrence of Arabia.
The book is old, beat, and tired. It’s probably a twelfth printing, depending on how you count such things, but what caught my attention was that the seller had included a photo of the previous owner’s signature, Guy Davenport, Jr., and the signature was dated 1945.
Did this copy of the book belong to Guy Davenport, a minor but very interesting science fiction writer who won a MacArthur fellowship in 1990? I bought the book and then started to research.
I’ve found nothing conclusive, but everything points in that direction. Davenport was named after his father Guy Mattison Davenport and was, in fact, a Junior. Davenport would have been 18 years old in 1945, just the right age to read the book in either his first year of college or his last in high school. He taught for 27 years at the University of Kentucky and lived in Kentucky for another 15 years until his death in 2005, so the book turned up in the correct geographical location.
In Karen Haber’s LOCUS review of The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: An Illuminated Edition by Oscar Wilde & Yuko Shimizu, she name-checks Tachyon.
Historically, small presses have been the refuge of non-mainstream writers and artists, whose work they have nurtured and promoted. In the SFnal field they have provided an important home for many award-winning writers (I’m looking at you, Tachyon). In addition to Tachyon Publications right here in the SF Bay Area, the small press list includes so many important publishers I can’t list them all, but here are a few: Centipede, Arc Manor, 3 Rooms Press. Each of these organizations is deserving of praise. Several – Centipede, Tachyon – focus not merely on text but on book design and illustrations. Beehive Books must be added to the list with its varied, gorgeous, crowdfunded limited editions.
Best and favorite books of 2020 include KITTY’S MIX-TAPE, THE IMMORTAL CONQUISTADOR, MEET ME IN THE FUTURE, THE EMPEROR’S SOUL, THE VERY BEST OF CAITLÍN R. KIERNAN, and THE SWORD & SORCERY ANTHOLOGY
Rick Klaw blog best of 2020, brandon sanderson, Carrie Vaughn, David G. Hartwell, jacob weisman, kameron hurley, kitty's mix tape, leticia toraci, meet me in the future, my writer's journey, polish, poltergeist, r/TrueLit, reddit, the emperor's soul, the immortal conquistador, the sword & sorcery anthology, the very best of caitlin r kiernan, words i write crazy 0
As the new year begins, lists, recounting the best selections from the previous year, emerge.
Leticia Toraci on MY WRITER’S JOURNEY shared their favorite reads of the year.
My Favorite Books Of 2020 Part One: Science fiction starts with Kameron Hurley’s MEET ME IN THE FUTURE.
This was a page-turner, interesting story collection. The stories were very original and I could not put it down. I surely will want to read more books by this author in the near future.
My Favorite Books Of 2020 Part Two: Fantasy And Other Genres mentions Brandon Sanderson’s THE EMPEROR’S SOUL and The Way of Kings.
Sanderson’s books are Epic in every sense, with fascinating story worlds and awesome, multi-layered characters. I plan to read all his books, I repeat, all of them! I hope to read faster than the velocity in which he writes masterpieces, but I probably won’t manage that.
I liked her novels but having this anthology made it clear that while she is happy to present her ‘best’ as working within a pretty narrow range of subject matter and themes – sad lesbians with broken relationships looking out at the sea, symbolic or literal mermaids, Lovecraftian body horror – she has nonetheless shown an ability to do all that in surprisingly different ways over a long career.
Another anthology, this time fantastic. A dozen or so short stories, most of which range from fairly decent to excellent . Howard, Martin, Moorcook (Drakestar – thanks for the note on Chaos – I knew I’d seen that name somewhere) and some others. I didn’t like only two stories, the rest – Cossack.Translation from Polish, courtesy of Google
Tachyon tidbits featuring Daniel Pinkwater, Jane Yolen, Adam Stemple, Jill Roberts, David G. Hartwell, Jacob Weisman, Cory Doctorow, and Joe R. Lansdale
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The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
The comically absurd ending is an enjoyable wrap-up to this fast-paced, unexpected adventure that combines history, folklore, and nonsensical fun.
THE SWORD & SORCERY ANTHOLOGY, edited by David G Hartwell and Jacob Weisman. Has the classics by Robert E Howard, Michael Moorcock, and CL Moore, as well as newer writers, like Caitlyn Kiernan, George RR Martin, and Gene Wolfe.
For TOR.COM, Cory Doctorow pens Beyond Cyberpunk: The Intersection of Technology and Science Fiction.
People with established careers are terrible sources of advice on how to break into their chosen field. When I was a baby writer, I attended numerous panels about getting established, where writers a generation or two older than me explained how to charm John W Campbell into buying a story for Astounding Stories. This was not useful advice. Not only had Campbell died six days before I was born, but he was also a fascist.
I have two careers, one in tech and the other in SF, a peanut-butter-and-chocolate combo that’s got a long history in the field, and I am often asked how to break into both fields. I know an awful lot about how to sell a story to Gardner Dozois, who stopped editing Asimov’s sixteen years ago and died two years ago, but I know nothing about pitching contemporary SF editors.
Likewise: I know an awful lot about breaking into the tech industry circa 1990: first, be born in 1971. Next, be raised in a house with a succession of primitive computers and modems. Enter the field in the midst of a massive investment bubble that creates jobs faster than they can be filled, when credentials are irrelevant.
Another advantage we had in the 1990s tech industry: cyberpunk. Cyberpunk, a literary genre that ruled sf for about two decades, was primarily written by people who knew very little about the inner workings of computers, and who were often barely able to use them.
In THE NEW YORK TIMES, Tina Jordan’s Texas selection in “50 States, 50 Scares” comes unsurprisingly from Joe R. Lansdale.
Ah, October — crisp nights, apple-picking, leaf-peeping, Halloween. To celebrate the spookiest season, we’ve made a list of the scariest novel set in every state.
Joe R. Lansdale, “The Drive-In”
A crowded drive-in movie marathon turns into a B-movie horror-fest all its own, splattering the patrons in a blood-and-gore nightmare.
Tachyon tidbits featuring Nancy Kress, Nalo Hopkinson, Brandon Sanderson, Jacob Weisman, Tim Powers, and Nina Kiriki Hoffman
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The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
At NEW SCIENTIST, Simon Ings’ 11 of the best sci-fi books that transport you to another world includes selections from Nancy Kress and Nalo Hopkinson.
Beggars in Spain
by Nancy Kress
Where science fiction leads, reality follows. Consider the mutation in a gene called ADRB1, which allows some people to get by on just 4 hours’ sleep a night. I would leap at the chance of a gene therapy that freed up my nights – but what would happen if everyone else followed suit?
In 1993, and blissfully unaware that any such mutation would ever make the headlines, Nancy Kress asked herself what would happen if a group of humans were born not needing to sleep. The result was a novella called “Beggars in Spain”. Expanded into a novel, it cemented her reputation as one of the toughest thinkers and slickest writers in science fiction.
Kress’s community of sleepless superheroes are of a very ordinary, picked-upon sort, desperately defending themselves against a world that sees them as a threat to their way of life. They don’t get to compete in the Olympics (the extra hours they put into their training are unfair on others) and some cities have banned them from running 24-hour convenience stores. That the sleepless are congenitally a bit brighter and a lot happier than the rest of us doesn’t promote their integration into society one bit.
It is quite a step from such petty prejudices to looming conflicts in outer space, but that is where we end up, as Kress follows her idea rigorously across the years to its almost-utopian conclusion.
Brown Girl in the Ring
by Nalo Hopkinson
In a decrepit near-future Toronto, teenage single mother Ti-Jeanne must juggle care for her newborn infant with looking after her grandmother, a tiresome traditionalist, always droning on about the old country, an apothecary and spiritualist beset by voodoo visions. But what if the wild powers she claims to control are real?
Ti-Jeanne’s estranged boyfriend Tony, an addict who runs with a powerful criminal posse, is of no help to her whatsoever, and is anyway caught up in the search for a human heart for the Premier of Ontario (no mere Porcine Organ Harvest Program heart for him). Ti-Jeanne is still hopelessly in love with Tony – but she will learn.
Hopkinson’s linguistically dazzling mash-up of Jamaican and Canadian patois and speech rhythms adds grit to her cyberpunk tale of street-smart folk pulling together in the face of City Hall inertia and political collapse. It is a future in which folk tales vie for public credence with far-out technologies, and who is to say, in this most post-factual of all post-factual futures, which things work and which don’t?
Hopkinson’s Brown Girl in the Ring (1998) is riddled with stories, fantasies, ghosts, odd beliefs. It consequently has the most lived-in feel of all the futures gathered here. It is a rattling good tale, too.
Laura Steven for PUBLISHERS WEEKLY interviews Brandon Sanderson about his new novel Rhythm of War.
Sitting in his home office in Utah, Brandon Sanderson is backed by a stunning piece of original artwork commissioned for a leather-bound edition of his Mistborn trilogy. Designed and painted by Steve Argyle, the artwork is painted onto metal—an homage to the metal-based magic system in the series. Sanderson calls Argyle “a good friend who lives just down the street.” They frequently get together to play the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering, which Argyle worked on and Sanderson adores.
Sanderson’s deep love of all things fantasy was spawned at the age of 14, when a teacher handed him a copy of Barbara Hambly’s Dragonsbane. After devouring everything he could find within the genre, he started writing stories of his own. “The very first book idea I came up with when I was 16 was the story of the brother of an assassinated king,” he says. That concept would serve as the foundation for the Stormlight Archive series, whose fourth book, Rhythm of War (Tor), publishes in November.
Dean Wesley Smith on his eponymous site shares a 20 year old group pic which includes a Jacob Weisman, Tim Powers, and Nina Kirki Hoffman.
This is a picture taken by photographer Beth Gwinn of a large group of writers and editors at Westercon in 2000 or 2001. Not sure. About twenty years ago. Looks like some sort of Locus Award ceremony.
Sadly, a lot of the people in this picture are now no longer with us.
And I suck at names, so I am going to miss a few. Very sorry about that.
Starting on the right and going left is Kristine Rusch, Gardner Dozois, Connie Willis, Lucus Shephard, Ursula LeGuin, Tim Powers, Mark Kelly, Steve Barnes, Jacob Weisman, Beth Meachem, Tom Dohorety, Charles Brown, Nina Hoffman, and Janice Gelb.
Some Insights Into My History with Tachyon and the Inimitable Jacob Weisman
by David Sandner
My history with Tachyon (and Jacob) goes back to the beginning…to the first thing he did as an editor and publisher…to the moment I met J and he handed me the initial issue—Vol. 1, No. 1—of Thirteenth Moon, his magazine of fiction, poetry, reviews, and essays. This goes back beyond the 25 years being celebrated—1995? No, this would be Spring of 1982! We were in High School. I changed schools for my Junior year. I came to check out my new school toward the end of Sophomore year. I had friends—mutual friends with J—but all my buddies had to be somewhere else for some reason. J was free (how like him to be in his own orbit!) and agreed to show me around. Our friendship began with him handing me a newly-minted copy of his mimeo-ed sfnal zine, stapled in one corner, with a tiger on the front. He had a stack he was giving out. It was a crazy, ambitious, fantastic rag. Freaking perfect. I loved it. We’ve been lifelong friends ever since. Soon after, his magazine would be the first place I published.
Jacob always hatched plans and made things happen. We did a school project together that involved reading sf and meeting local authors: Poul Anderson being the biggest coup (there’s a story there, the “Frogger story”—I’m reserving that one for the drink you have to buy me), but I remember an entertaining visit with Ray Nelson, too. Jacob got a creative writing class set up taught by Marion Zimmer Bradley that I took (he was one year ahead of me and had already left).
When we were teenage fans, it was a strangely dead scene in San Francisco (at least for us). Our one and only specialty bookstore was the hilarious and wonderful Fantasy, Etc., a small store stacked floor to ceiling with books, residing in one of the worst parts of town, the Tenderloin, a place (then anyway) for drug and sex trafficking of various sorts. Yes, you had to be tough to be a sf fan in our day! I remember walking there with J one afternoon and some guy coming down the sidewalk the other way, shirtless, holding a very long knife, held casually loose in his hand down at his side. Everyone was pretending not to notice him, because he was not out of place there. Luckily, he was headed somewhere else. Other days, we would take BART over to visit Other Change of Hobbit or Dark Carnival to get a fix of sf.
After college, we spent our 20s and early 30s in San Francisco and Thirteenth Moon morphed into the book publisher Tachyon Publications. A group of us circulated around his magazine and what came after, a group sometimes called the “Tach Pach.” Jacob and I collaborated on writing stories, and still do; one of our earliest, “Egyptian Motherlode” in Realms of Fantasy back in the 90s, relates to our most recent, Mingus Fingers, a novelette in book form (that you should definitely check out) published this past November. (Both relate to a funk prophet/wizard figure that has haunted us for a long time. We are finishing a draft of a novel-length work about him we hope to publish soon.) In between that early story and the recent one, Jacob has published gobs of books that have won awards…edited ground-breaking collections (including The Treasury of the Fantastic with me)…and had his publishing work justly celebrated as an award-winning guest of honor at cons.
So, Jacob and I have known each other a long time, and I’ve seen Tachyon grow with pride in and wonder at what my friend has done. But out of all that, let me tell a story about one of Tachyon’s more difficult passages. This is a story I haven’t told it in full in decades, but the time has come for the “Tachyon to Texas Worldcon Debacle.” This was WorldCon 55, LoneStar Con 2, held in the great city of San Antonio some 23 years ago. The Tachyon Publications you know and love was just getting off the ground when J hatched a fabulous money-saving plan. Why ship books to Texas, or fly yourself there, when you can kill two birds with one stone and drive them cross-country yourself (with the help of an idiot friend.) We’re the birds here, you see—Jacob and I. Texas is the stone. I, in case you hadn’t guessed, am also the idiot friend, though the plan was all Jacob’s.
We would drive his stock of books in a reverse cattle-drive to Texas. What can I say? We were young and had little idea just how far it is from Northern California to the Southern border of Texas. In my defense, I thought J might consult a map. So, yes—we broke down—of course—I heard, in fact, some vital part of the engine just fall out, hit the pavement, and skitter away somewhere. We coasted, slowly, to a stop under the blistering Texas sun in the middle of nowhere, West Texas. I mean nowhere—when I hiked (a long way) to the next reststop and called AAA they told me they don’t serve that area. I had no way to contact J (no cell phones), no way to get other help (the pay phone didn’t even have shade cover much less a phone book). J was far away, baking in the car—the only shade for miles—with his sf books to keep him company. So, I begged, and they finally agreed to send someone out of Odessa, a long way back, to come get us. When they asked for any special notes, I said yes: make sure to tell them where I am since Jacob couldn’t know. (No cell phones, remember?) No one ever looked at that note again. Hours in the hot Texas sun later and the tow truck does find me, because J has them check the pull off where the phone was. It is toward evening now—we broke down fairly early in the day. Our Odyssey is only beginning.
For the conclusion to this epic saga, continue onto page 2.
This Saturday, 7PM CST, celebrate Tachyon Publications 25th Anniversary with authors Marie Brennan, Daryl Gregory, Joe R. Lansdale, Michael Swanwick, Kimberly Unger, and Carrie Vaughn plus Tachyonistas Jacob Weisman, Jill Roberts, and Rick Klaw
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In this special Armadillocon 2020 virtual event, Tachyon publisher/founder Jacob Weisman, managing editor Jill Roberts, and consulting editor Rick Klaw team-up with the all-star linuep of acclaimed, award -winning authors (Marie Brennan, Daryl Gregory, Joe R. Lansdale, Michael Swanwick, Kimberly Unger, and Carrie Vaughn) to discuss, in expected Tachyon fashion, the press’s pasts, presents, and futures. This FREE event happens on Saturday, August 28 at 7PM CST. Please RSVP.
One of the things that Josh Mauthe at UMNEY’S ALLEY always loved about Hap and Leonard was the way Lansdale avoided giving the duo an origin story. Understandably, he was a little worried about Joe R. Lansdale’s OF MICE AND MINESTRONE – HAP AND LEONARD: THE EARLY YEARS. As revealed in this 5 star review, his fears were unfounded.
But I shouldn’t have worried, because Lansdale gives us a volume that’s on par with any other entry in the series, with at least one story that ranks among the best the series has ever been.
Now, after the stories end, you’ll see more of the book to come – a collection of recipes of the food mentioned in the stories. You might think, oh, interesting, but inessential. But there you’re wrong, because the recipes are written in the voice of our characters, peppering the recipes with commentary, insights, jokes, and even epilogues to some of the stories. I can’t think of another set of recipes that made me laugh this much, or that brought me this much joy, and I’m so glad I didn’t skip them.
Should you start with OF MICE AND MINESTRONE if you’re new to Hap and Leonard? I’d say probably not; these stories are good, and you’d enjoy them, but they’re richer for knowing these two men and their lives. But they’re every bit as good as basically every other Hap and Leonard writing Lansdale has ever done – and that’s no small thing at all, given how consistently great this series is.
In their podcast, KAZI 88.7 FM Book Review recommends the new collection.
Via Instagram, Jacob Weisman posts an image of Lansdale.
RUE MORGUE shared this exclusive clip from the acclaimed documentary about Lansdale, ALL HAIL THE POPCORN KING.