Tachyon tidbits featuring Brandon Sanderson, John Kessel, Daryl Gregory, and Rebecca Gomez Farrell

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


Brandon_Sanderson (photo: Ceridwen [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons), John Kessel (Fran Wilde), TERRY BISSON will host authors DARYL GREGORY and REBECCA GOMEZ FARRELL. 

At TOR.COM, Martin Cahill explores Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere.

The Cosmere of Brandon Sanderson is a huge, overarching concept driving the narrative structure of his work, and while it may seem fairly straightforward on the surface, the deeper ramifications of these connections are going to be felt all across his books, especially going forward with the rest of his series.

So! Let’s get started. First question: What the heck is a Cosmere?

The origin of the Cosmere goes something like this: a long, long time ago, there was a singular entity that went by the name/title of Adonalsium. From what little we know, it was a celebrated force of life and creation. But something happened and Adonalsium was shattered into sixteen shards, each of them containing a single aspect of Adonalsium’s cosmological DNA and power, with both positive and negative aspects contained within.


The Cosmere is Sanderson’s fictional universe, far larger than just a planet or two; it encompasses solar systems and even galaxies. It’s entirely set apart from Earth, so any books or stories Sanderson sets on any version of Earth, (his Reckoners series, the Rithmatist series, etc.), have nothing to do with the Cosmere.

On a purely cosmological level, this setting is a huge playground, full of potential, where characters from different books can, have, and will end up meeting and interacting with each other across the stars. All of the Cosmere books are set amidst the various planets and systems and galaxies, and through various methods, there have already been some interplanetary crossover between certain characters. As Sanderson continues this epic story, those connections are only going to increase, leading to some interesting results.

On a slightly more abstract note, it’s also important to note that there are three different realms of existence in the Cosmere: the Physical Realm, the Cognitive Realm, and the Spiritual Realm. All things possess an aspect in each realm; Physical is the world you stand on now, Cognitive is the realm of thought and intentionality, and may be a method to allow travel between planets (accounting for some of the aforementioned inter-narrative meet-ups), and Spiritual has only been hinted at, but it seems to be, of course, some sort of afterlife. Not much is known about these realms currently, but as Sanderson’s characters learn more and more, they could hold the key to some very interesting opportunities.


On his popular podcast EATING THE FANTASTIC, Scott Edelman sits down with the award-winning John Kessel.

The second episode of Eating the Fantastic recorded while on a meal break from this year’s Readercon—which occurred the day after my dinner with James Patrick Kelly—was with award-winning science fiction writer John Kessel. We had lunch by the water on a warm sunny day at Bay Pointe Waterfront Restaurant in Quincy, Massachusetts.


(photo: Scott Edleman)

Kessel’s latest novel, The Moon and The Other, was released in April from Saga Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. He’s a two-time Nebula Award winner, first in 1982 for his novella “Another Orphan,” then in 2008 for the novelette “Pride and Prometheus.” He set a new record with that second award, in that the 26 years between the two was (at the time) the longest gap for a winner in Nebula history. His short story “Buffalo”—one of my all-time favorites in or out of genre, and one which I reread often—won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award in 1992.


We discussed why he suddenly has two novels coming out within a year two decades after his last one, how attending the 1969 St. Louis Worldcon changed his life, the ways in which his objections to “The Cold Equations” and Ender’s Game are at their heart the same, his early days attempting to emulate Thomas M. Disch, the time-travel short story he couldn’t whip into shape for Damon Knight, which author broke his 26-year Nebula Awards record for the longest gap between wins, the secret behind the success of his many collaborations with James Patrick Kelly, and more.


SomaFM streams the September SF in SF event.

TERRY BISSON will host authors DARYL GREGORY and REBECCA GOMEZ FARRELL. Tonights discussion theme is: Genre: the restrictions and possibilities that it brings to an author.

DARYL GREGORY is a science fiction, fantasy and comic book author, His new literary speculative novel Spoonbenders was published by Knopf in June.

REBECCA GOMEZ FARRELL writes all the speculative fiction genres she can conjure up. Her debut fantasy novel, Wings Unseen, was published by Meerkat Press in August 2017.


For more on THE EMPEROR’S SOUL, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover art by Alexander Nanitchkov.

Design by Elizabeth Story

For more info about THE SECRET HISTORY OF SCIENCE FICTION, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover by Ann Monn