Tachyon tidbits featuring James Patrick Kelly, John Kessel, Nalo Hopkinson, and Daryl Gregory

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


John Kessel, James Patrick Kelly, Nalo Hopkinson (Photo by David Findlay), and Daryl Gregory


As editors James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel admit in the opening line of the introduction to their 2006 anthology FEELING VERY STRANGE, the term ‘slipstream’ may be the most subjective in genre. Working with Bruce Sterling’s initial stab at a definition, as well as some of their own ideas, the pair do, however, come up with a comprehensible set of parameters that may corral the term into a semi-manageable space. Namely a literature of “cognitive dissonance and strangeness triumphant”, they equate the ability to understand two realities within a story to a post-modern cognizance of different levels or perspectives to reality. Selecting fifteen previously published stories they feel representative of the notion, regardless whether the reader agrees with the definition of ‘slipstream’ provided, the stories offered are quality reading material in their own right, even as much as they are dissonantly strange.


In the end, FEELING VERY STRANGE is an anthology whose entries, and attempt at outlining the definition of ‘slipstream,’ can be discussed and argued about ad infinitum. But the bottom line is: do the stories fit within some fuzzy definition of the idea, and perhaps more importantly, are they good stories? The answer to all of this is ‘yes.’ Far more literary fiction than mainstream genre, readers looking for accessible material adhering to certain formulas and tropes will be very disappointed. Even if Kelly-Kessel are ‘wrong’ in their outline of slipstream, the underlying reality of the stories is anything but concrete, making for, at a very minimum, work that is ethereal than tangible, and that, after all, is what brings a lot of readers to the speculative fiction table to begin with. 

In honor of Star Trek’s 50th, Nalo Hopkinson tweeted:

Me dressed as Lt. Uhura at the first con I ever attended, I think in 1978 #StarTrek50 #cosplay #gvstacon

Daryl Gregory, author of the World Fantasy and Shirley Jackson Award winning WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE, is teaching a LOCUS Writers Workshop: single-day intensives, Bay Area on dynamic plotting
and believable characters.

Saturday, September 24, 2016
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Held in the East Bay with easy parking and near BART.
Includes tour of the Locus Magazine offices.

Daryl Gregory’s old acting teacher once told him that you can’t run from a bear—you can only run to what’s going to save you: the tree, the shotgun, or that spot just past your slower brother Louie. In this workshop you’ll learn how to create compelling stories by focusing on the essence of drama: characters who want something specific, and don’t get it until the end (if then). Through exercises and discussion you’ll learn practical techniques for creating dynamic plots, believable characters, and scenes that matter.

Locus Writers Workshops: Locus has been co-running a writing workshop in Seattle around the Locus Awards Weekend for the past few years and is excited to bring the class to the Bay Area. Past instructors include Connie Willis, Stephen Graham Jones, Paul Park, Christopher Barzak, and Daryl Gregory.

Thinking of attending? Please do. We support diversity! We encourage people of color, women, people with disabilities, older people, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to apply. We welcome people of any gender identity or expression, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, age, size, nationality, religion, culture, education level, and self-identification.

For more info about FEELING VERY STRANGE: THE SLIPSTREAM ANTHOLOGY, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover by John Berry

For information on WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover design by Elizabeth Story