Tachyon tidbits featuring Jane Yolen, Nalo Hopkinson, Peter Watts, Rudy Rucker, and Gregory Norman Bossert
The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
Jane Yolen (photo: Jason Stemple), Nalo Hopkinson (David Findlay), Peter Watts, Rudy Rucker, and Gregory Norman Bossert
Yolen starts off with advice on how to actually fracture a fairy tale, which is useful for writers wishing to try their hand at retelling tales. She then dives into the tales themselves, mainly retellings of folk tales, but with a couple familiar Grimm’s tales among them. The story of Cinderella, for instance, which Yolen reimagines into “The Moon Ribbon,” about a girl who escapes her stepmother with a ribbon from her dead mother, and “Cinder Elephant,” which tells the story from a fat-positive point of view.
Some stories are just straightforward tales that have very little changed in them, such as her telling of Asian folktales “One Ox, Two Ox, Three Ox, and the Dragon King” and “The Foxwife.” Some are rearranged in ways you don’t expect. “Happy Dens or a Day in the Old Wolves Home” has all the wolves in folklore now residing in an Old Wolves Home and tell their own versions on what happened to them. “Sleeping Ugly,” a riff on Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, is a hilarious tale with a testy fairy godmother who deserves her own story.
There are also a couple of tales that draw directly from Yolen’s Jewish heritage. “Slipping Sideways Through Eternity” is a sobering read connecting the Hebrew version of Elijah with the Holocaust, whereas “Granny Rumple” is an actual tale within Yolen’s family told on the framework of Rumpelstiltskin, and it is not a cheerful story. Indeed, several stories in this collection are rather bleak, but so well told that they sit and make you think.
Camille Acker at ELECTRIC LIT includes Nalo Hopkinson’s FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS in A Reading List of Short Story Collections by Black Women Writers.
Rest assured: black women writers aren’t only writing realist fiction. Octavia Butler and Nnedi Okorafor both have bodies of work that include short stories in addition to the speculative worlds of their novels. Likewise, Nalo Hopkinson builds worlds on the large scale of the novel and on the small scale in her short story collections Skin Folk, Report From Planet Midnight, and her 2015 collection FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS. Hopkinson remixes canonical texts, from fairy tales to Shakespeare, and infuses them with an Afro-Caribbean perspective. Adults become monstrous consumers of flesh and a free society of former slaves is infused with magical realism. Samuel Delany once noted that science fiction is particularly important “for those who are oppressed, because if they’re going to change the world we live in, they — and all of us — have to be able to think about a world that works differently.” Hopkinson is doing just that.
1. Hotel Silence, by Auður Ava Olafsdottir
2. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer
3. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
4. The Life We Bury, by Allen Eskens
5. The Drifter, by Nick Petrie
6. Alternate Side, by Anna Quindlen
7. The Cellist of Sarajevo, by Steven Galloway
8. THE FREEZE-FRAME REVOLUTION, by Peter Watts
9. The Music Shop, by Rachel Joyce
10. Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
SOMA FM publishes the podcast of the October SF IN SF with Rudy Rucker and Gregory Norman Bossert.
Readings and discussions with Rudy Rucker and Greg Bossert.
Rudy Rucker is a writer and a mathematician who worked for twenty years as a Silicon Valley computer science professor. He received the Philip K. Dick award for his early cyberpunk novel Software, and again for his Wetware. Software (1982) was perhaps the first SF novel where a human’s personality (the “software”) is transferred into a robot. His forty published books include novels, collections, and non-fiction books on the fourth dimension, infinity, and the meaning of computation. Rucker’s ground-breaking cyberpunk Ware series was republished in 2010 as The Ware Tetralogy, which can also be obtained as a free Creative Commons ebook online. Rucker’s 2007 novel, Postsingular was something of a return to the cyberpunk style.
Gregory Norman Bossert won the World Fantasy Award for his short story “The Telling” in 2012; his story “Bloom” from Asimov’s Science Fiction, December 2013, was a finalist for the 2014 Theodore Sturgeon Award. He lives in Marin County, California and works at Industrial Light & Magic.
For more info on HOW TO FRACTURE A FAIRY TALE, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story
For more information on FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Chuma Hill
Design by Elizabeth Story
For more info on THE FREEZE-FRAME REVOLUTION, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover and design by Elizabeth Story