Tachyon tidbits featuring Jo Walton, James Morrow, Nancy Kress, Nalo Hopkinson, and Jacob Weisman

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


Jo Walton (photo: Ada Palmer), James Morrow, Nancy Kress (Ellen Datlow), Nalo Hopkinson (David Findlay), and Jacob Weisman

On her eponymous site, the French author Hélène Louise praises Jo Walton’s STARLINGS.

I really loved this book, which I found astonishingly easy and entertaining to read. (I did not read all the poetry, however, but I did not learn to read poetry in this language. Of course I preferred some stories, but all were good, or very good. And the very good ones were absolutely fantastic! I loved how the characters were immediately likeable and perfectly characterized. As a lot of ideas have been astonishing and frequently funny (even irreverently so!), I’ve been deliciously entertained while reading them from their very beginning and spending some time after their end thinking about them – which is a sure sign of quality stories!

I thank again Netgalley for giving me this opportunity to read a book that I would not have anything spontaneously, even knowing how to author the previously, because of my mistrust of collection of short stories. I very likely will buy the paper book at the first opportunity to re read it. I warmly recommend it to all passionate readers of science-fi and fantasy.

(Translation from French, courtesy of Google)

The winners for the 2018 Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, given to the best science fiction published in French, were recently announced. Tachyon authors James Morrow’s L’Arche de Darwin (Darwin’s Ark) and Nancy Kress’s Danses aériennes both brought home awards. 

Congratulations to all the winners.

At TOR.COM in her History of Black Science Fiction series, Nisi Shawl discusses Nalo Hopkinson’s Midnight Robber.

Using variant speech patterns—the multiple patois of the many different Caribbean islands in her background—Hopkinson creates a honeyed symphony of words redolent of the newly settled world of Toussaint’s imported Island culture. Days after finishing the book, its phrases still ring in my mind: “Born bassourdie…What a way things does grow…Music too sweet!” As the prefacing poem by David Findlay declares, for colonized peoples, telling stories in any form of English is a way of appropriating one of our colonizers’ primary tools of oppression. Telling stories that deprivilege the status quo is a doubly subversive tactic, and that’s how Midnight Robber’s heroine, Tan-Tan, overcomes the awful odds against her.

Cover by Leo and Diane Dillon

Hopkinson accomplishes so many wonders with this novel that it’s worth taking time to enumerate them. First, in case you missed what I said earlier, I’ll mention again the sheer beauty of Hopkinson’s prose. Combining the dancing polyrhythms of a panoply of Caribbean vernaculars with thoughtfully interpolated standard English, her dialogue and her vivid descriptions of character, settings, and action move, groove, charm, and chime together in deepest harmony. The story is sometimes funny, sometimes tense, sometimes tragic, and always utterly involving. My favorite passage in Midnight Robber is when Tan-Tan, tired of the live food and alien housekeeping protocols of a douen village, snarks at her reluctant hosts: “Oonuh keeping well this fine hot day? The maggots growing good in the shit? Eh? It have plenty lizards climbing in your food? Good. I glad.”

LOCUS offers photographic evidence that Tachyon publisher and editor Jacob Weisman attended the annual Rainforest Writers Village retreat on Feb 21-25.

Session One (l to r): back: Manny Frishberg, Patrick Swenson, James Van Pelt, Vickie Saunders, Louise Marley, Di Francis, John Pitts, Charles Walbridge, Lee Hallison, Devon Monk, Bob Brown, Julie McGalliard, Che Gilson, Jacob Weisman; front: Kayt Huggans, Elizabeth Stephan, Debora Reinert, Fonda Lee, Honna Swenson, Barb Galler-Smith, Jayne Fury, David Levine, Julianna Hinckley, Barbara Ferrer; not pictured: Kathy Klein, Alexandra Tillson, Uwanna Thomas, Camille Hansen, Laura Staley, Jennifer Brozek. Photo by Patrick Swenson

For more info on STARLINGS, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover design by Elizabeth Story