Tachyon tidbits with Jane Yolen and Patricia A. McKillip

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

Jane Yolen (photo: Jason Stemple) and Patrica A. McKillip (Stephen Gold/Wikimedia Commons)

In her “In praise of small things,” Terri Windling includes mentions of Jane Yolen’s THE EMERALD CIRCUS and Patricia A. McKillip’s WONDERS OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD.

Although readers today have a marked preference for novels, there are still many of us who love short stories for their different but equal pleasures, and there are tales inside us “pawing to get out” which belong in that form and no other. “Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams,” Neil Gaiman explains. “They are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner.”  

The books above (recently read or re-read) contain small gems of mythic fiction, fairy tale retellings, and fantasy literature. They are:The Bitterwood Bible by Angela Slatter; THE EMERALD CIRCUS by Jane Yolen; The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke; WONDERS OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD by Patricia A. McKillip; The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, edited by Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe; On Becoming a Fairy Godmother by Sara Maitland; and Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins by Emma Donoghue.


Every time I read more Yolen, I say I’m going to read more of her books. I saw this one on the shelf and had to pick it up. 

For BOSKONE, Brenda Noiseux interviews Yolen.

What is your favorite Boskone memory or experience?

Various birthday events since my birthday is February 11 and is always close (if not right ON) the weekend of the con. Getting to see the latest pictures by artists I admire in the art show. Being on a panel (any pane) with Bruce Coville. Winning the Skylark award. And watching son Adam perform with the music guest of honor, Lojo Russo last year.

In the realm of “truth is stranger than fiction,” what experience from your past would people never believe if it were written into a story?

First you have to know my married name is Stemple, not a common name in Massachusetts.

It was 1960. My husband and I had just returned from a year camping in Europe. He got a job at UMass Amherst, we bought our first old house (7 rooms), moved in and had our first baby all within several weeks. But we only owned three pieces of furniture because we’d sold everything else before going on our long camping trip. We had a brass bed, a roll top desk, and a single dresser. It was time to go to homestead auctions where house contents were being sold. At one–new baby in pram–I bid on a bunch of stuff I didn’t get to look at closely since we got there on baby’s schedule–not mine. One was a dresser for our guest room for which I paid $7. When I got it back home and wrestled it out of the VW van, it was too heavy for me to get it into the house alone and up the stairs. Besides, it was UGLY! Probably overpaid. When I checked the drawers, it was filled with the underclothes of the newly-deceased old man who’d owned the house. A bank! Maybe I could recoup some of the money! But it was made of iron and there was no key. When my husband got back from work, he took a chisel and hammer out of the toolbox. (We had a toolbox????) And cracked the bank open. In it were fifteen dollars in one dollar bills and an obituary for someone named Stemple!

For more info on THE EMERALD CIRCUS, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover design by Elizabeth Story

For more info on WONDERS OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover by Thomas Canty