Tantalizing Tachyon tidbits featuring Peter S. Beagle, Alastair Reynolds, and Nancy Kress

The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles from cyberspace.


DREAD CENTRAL reports on THE BRIDGE PARTNER, Gabriel Olson’s award winning short film based on Peter S. Beagle’s acclaimed short story.

Word of THE BRIDGE PARTNER, a 14-minute short directed by Gabriel Olson, landed in our inbox; and since it recently won the “Wes Craven Best Horror Film Award” at the Catalina Film Festival, we thought we’d bring it to your attention so you can keep it on your radar as it makes the film fest rounds.

To date, THE BRIDGE PARTNER has screened at 20 festivals worldwide while earning “Best Horror/Suspense Film” at the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival 2015 as well as the “Audience Award” at D.C. Shorts.

With regard to the Catalina fest, Olson’s psychological thriller was selected by legendary horror filmmaker Craven himself prior to his passing.


THE BRIDGE PARTNER is based on a short story by Hugo Award-winning author Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn) and stars Beth Grant (No Country for Old Men, Donnie Darko) as housewife Mattie Whalen, four-time Emmy nominee Sharon Lawrence (“NYPD Blue,” “Desperate Housewives”) as her bridge partner/stalker Olivia Korhonen, and Oscar nominee Robert Forster (The Descendants, Jackie Brown) as her dismissive husband, Don Whalen.

The film explores what human beings do when confronted with real danger — do we trust our own instincts or the advice of those around us? The story uses an allegorical tale told by one character to another. “We had fun tackling the psychological dance between the two characters,” says Olson.“With the allegory of the sheep and dog in the story, the question became: Can a sheep become a dog, and vice versa? Sometimes we play the sheep in life and take a more passive or timid stance. Other times we’re the dog, capable of lashing out and standing up for ourselves. I loved the symbolism here.”


Read the original short story in SLEIGHT OF HAND.


GEEK NATIVE reviews Alastair Reynolds’ approachable SLOW BULLETS.

I’m not all too familiar with Alastair Reynolds works and wonder whether SLOW BULLETS is the first I’ve read of his work (I may have zoomed through a book many years ago in a reading binge) but based on the strength of this novella I predict SLOW BULLETS won’t be last encounter with the author. He creates characters that are believable and which quickly come to life. His universe feels real and expansive and yet the moments that matter are up close and personal. This is approachable sci-fi.

SLOW BULLETS explores questions of identity – are we the sum of our memories or defined by our current actions? What’s more dangerous? Ideas or bullets? Is reform and forgiveness possible? Ultimately, SLOW BULLETS asks whether humanity is doomed or whether there’s a chance to start afresh.

RAYMOND BOLTON interviews one of the all-time masters of sci-fi and fantasy Nancy Kress.

A career such as yours has many turning points, some striven for, others that blind-side the recipient for better or for worse. Would you care to provide two or three of the more pivotal moments?

The first turning point for me came with the writing of the novella “Beggars in Spain,” which won both the Hugo and the Nebula and which would never have been written without a jolt from writer Bruce Sterling. At a critique workshop we both attended, he pointed out that my story was weak because the society I’d created had no believable economic underpinnings. He said this colorfully and at length. After licking my wounds for a few weeks, I thought, “Damn it, he’s right!” In the next thing I wrote, “Beggars in Spain,” I seriously tried to address economic issues: Who controls the resources? What finances are behind what ventures? Why? With what success? My story about people not needing to sleep, which I’d actually been trying to compose for years, finally came alive.

Another big turning point for me was deciding to make my two biothrillers, Oaths And Miracles and Stinger, as realistic as possible. That meant a lot of scientific research. My reward was having both scientists and FBI agents tell me, “I believed every word you wrote.” Very satisfying.

Would you be good enough to describe your path to publication?

I began with three short-story sales to SF magazines. That convinced an agent to look at my first novel, without making any promises of representation. But she liked the book, and so she took me on.

What are you working on now?

I’m writing an SF series based on my novella YESTERDAY’S KIN, which won the 2014 Nebula. Aliens come to Earth—but they are not as alien as we think, and they bring both great tech and bad news. When I finished the novella, I felt that the immediate story was done but not the greater implications. A three-book series will come out from Tor over the next few years.

On September 30 of this year, Subterranean Press is releasing The Best Of Nancy Kress, a collection of twenty-one stories written over thirty-five years. I’m really pleased about this.

What inspires you, not necessarily as pertains to your writing?

Narrative and science both inspire me. I get the narrative from books, movies, and some TV. I love movies and go often. The science I must seek out. In addition, I play a fair amount of chess, but I can’t say that inspires me because, alas, I’m not very good at it. When I was younger, I didn’t think you could really enjoy something you were bad at. Turns out I was wrong.

Which authors do you enjoy—sci-fi and otherwise—and why?

My favorite author is Jane Austen: not an intuitive choice for an SF writer. But her satire on how humans behave is just as fresh, funny, and true today as it was during the Regency. Out of genre, favorites include Somerset Maugham, Anne Tyler, Philippa Gregory, Karen Joy Fowler. In SF and fantasy, a diverse group: Ursula LeGuin, Bruce Sterling, Connie Willis, George Martin’s Game Of Thrones, Daryl Gregory, Fred Pohl. Some new, some old.

Read the rest on the fascinating interview at Bolton’s eponymous site.

For more info about SLEIGHT OF HAND, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover by Ann Monn

For more info about SLOW BULLETS, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover art by Thomas Canty

Design by Elizabeth Story

For more info on YESTERDAY’S KIN, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover by Thomas Canty