Tachyon tidbits featuring Lisa Goldstein, Eileen Gunn, Terry Bisson, and Nancy Springer

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


Lisa Goldstein (photo: Doug Asherman), Eileen Gunn (Scott Edelman), Terry Bisson (Rosalie Winard), and Nancy Springer (Bob O’Lary)

At TOR.COM, James Davis Nicoll discusses both Lisa Goldstein and Eileen Gunn in Fighting Erasure: Women SF Writers of the 1970s, Part II.


A better-read reviewer than I would almost certainly recommend reading Lisa Goldstein’s award-winning The Red Magician. However, I have not yet gotten around to it; the book has been living in my Everest-emulating Mount Tsundoku since it came out in 1983. I can, however, recommend A Mask for the General, which relates an artist’s unconventional struggle against the brutal autocrat who has ruled America ever since an economic crisis undermined American faith in democratic institutions.


Gunn’s fiction has thus far been of the short variety; the trick with such authors in this collection-and anthology unfriendly world—curse you, Roger Elwood!— can be to find something still in print. Happily with Gunn, this is no problem. Her 2004 collection STABLE STRATEGIES AND OTHERS contains (among other works) the 1989 Hugo Award Finalist “Stable Strategies for Middle Management,” the 1990 Hugo Award Finalist “Computer Friendly,” the 2004 Nebula Award winner “Coming to Terms,” and the 2006 Nebula Award Nominee and James Tiptree Jr. Award Shortlisted novelette (co-written with Leslie What) “Nirvana High.”


In honor of Terry Bisson’s birthday, Steven H Silver at BLACK GATE reviews the short story “Scout’s Honor.”

“Scout’s Honor” was first purchased by Ellen Datlow for the online ‘zine Sci Fiction, where it appeared in the January 28, 2004 issue. It was reprinted the next year in both the Hartwell/Cramer and the Dozois Year’s Best anthologies. Bisson included the story in his collection GREETINGS AND OTHER STORIES and the story was translated into Italian in 2008. It was short-listed for the Theodore Sturgeon Award.

The majority of “Scout’s Honor” is told in the form of brief reports apparently sent from a time traveler who is performing an anthropological study of Neanderthals. Interspersed with these reports, the narrator writes about his own life, or at least the parts of it related to the reports, which he initially suspects is a prank played by his friend, Ron, who is also a science fiction writer. Ron denies his involvement and eventually comes to believe, based on internal evidence from the e-mails, that the narrator is playing a prank on him.

One of the problems with reading a science fiction story can be that the reader can expect certain things to happen, and “Scout’s Honor” does follow those tropes. While the modern cry of “Spoiler” is all too common, “Scout’s Honor” provides its own internal spoilers.

However, there is much more to a story than simple plot points and the intriguing thing in this tale isn’t what is happening, but rather how Bisson manages his reveal, both to the narrator and to the reader. Bisson handles it in a clever and subtle manner.

Via Twitter, Severn House‏ revealed the cover to Nancy Springer’s forthcoming GrandGhost.


For more info about STABLE STRATEGIES AND OTHERS, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover by John D. Berry

For more information on GREETINGS AND OTHER STORIES, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover by John Picacio