The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
Kameron Hurley, Joe R. Lansdale (photo: Karen Lansdale), Patricia A. McKillip (Stephen Gold/Wikimedia Commons), and Jane Yolen (Jason Stemple)
Reviewers and librarians can get their review copies of the acclaimed Kameron Hurley’s APOCALYPSE NYX at NETGALLEY.
At TEXAS MONTHLY, Eric Benson discusses the possible cancellation of SundanceTV’s Hap and Leonard.
Over the past two weeks, fans have been rallying around another show that appears to be on the brink of death: Sundance TV’s East Texas–set Hap and Leonard. The series—a rural noir about a middle-aged crime-fighting odd couple and their battles against murderous preachers, the Ku Klux Klan, and all manner of corrupt and semi-corrupt lawmen—completed its third season on April 11, and despite strong ratings, it has yet to be renewed for a fourth. “A lot of people are nervous about whether it will happen or not,” Joe R. Lansdale, a co-executive producer and the author of the novels upon which the show is based, told me. Lansdale had an idea to try to help Sundance make up its mind. “All of these fans who were writing me or were on my Twitter or my Facebook who were just absolutely fanatic, I wanted them to express how they felt about the show to Sundance,” Lansdale said. So he took to the internet to try to help the network and its executives see just what they’d built.
Michael Kenneth Williams and James Purefoy as the titular characters
Most media outlets stopped covering Hap and Leonard after their initial reviews of the first season, but as the series progressed, writers at more niche entertainment websites like Collider, Den of Geek!, and Black Girl Nerds consistently championed the show. Before the beginning of the third season, Vox, one of the few general-interest publications to stay with Hap and Leonard, called it “one of TV’s best-kept secrets,” a sentiment that has been echoed elsewhere. Hap and Leonard has learned to juggle its many parts—the fights work as fights, the hallucinatory sequences are trippy, and the skewering of racists is fun not preachy, mostly because Leonard as played by Williams is so irresistible. And even though Hap and Leonard closely follows novels written more than two decades ago, was conceived of and premiered during Barack Obama’s presidency, and takes place in the late 1980s, the show has increasingly seemed tailor-made for the Donald Trump years, with its left-behind working-class protagonists, economically disadvantaged setting, and ever-present in-your-face racism.
Lansdale himself has been unsurprised the show has become so topical. “The Aryan Nation, the Klan, all these anti-immigrant groups—they’ve never really disappeared, and if you think they have, then you’ve been living in a bubble,” he says. “I was having a conversation with another producer and he said, ‘I don’t know how we’re going to make this Klan stuff seem relevant,’ and then the next day they had Charlottesville.”
At its best, Lansdale’s work bewitches you with an idea common to all great noir: that behind the walls of every clapboard bungalow and beneath every grassy lawn there’s both a hidden rot and a hidden goodness, and we all need to look a little harder in order to see things as they really are. In its serpentine twists and profound sense of place, Hap and Leonard has begun to offer a tantalizing promise: that clear vision and bold action from a few brave men and women can unmask the hidden order of the world. If it gets a fourth season, there’s little doubt that our protagonists, Hap and Leonard, will confront more evils lurking just beneath the surface, and—at least for a few fleeting moments on-screen—show all of us that noble principles, a few well-timed wise-cracks, and a healthy dose of derring-do can save the day once again.
THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS OF ELD / Patricia A. McKillip / ★★★★★
If you enjoy fantasy with a fairy tale feel to it then I highly recommend checking out this fantastic book. This was my first book by this author so I didn’t really know what to expect but I loved this book. The writing is fantastic, the plot is compelling and the characters are so well written.
Jack Rightmyer for ALBANY TIMES UNION interviews Jane Yolen.
Jane Yolen has often been referred to as the Hans Christian Andersen of America. This year her 365th and 366th books will be published and they range from picture books to poetry collections, graphic novels to books for children, young adults and adults.
“People ask me all the time ‘How are you able to write so much?’ and I wonder why other writers don’t write so much,” she said. “I’m a writer. That’s what I do. I wake up every morning and I have six or seven story ideas all ready to go in my head.”
Her most recent book THE EMERALD CIRCUS (Tachyon Press, 281 pages, $19.95) is a collection of some of her best stories over the past 20-25 years. The stories deal with Dorothy from Oz, Merlin from the King Arthur stories and such writers as Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickinson.
“I wrote most of them for anthologies, magazines and journals. All the stories were about characters from famous fantasies or about writers of fantasy. It was fun to go back and reread many of these stories that I hadn’t read in years.”
For the last twenty-eight years she has lived half the year in Amherst, Mass., and the other half in St. Andrews, Scotland. “I’m an American Jew. My DNA is mostly European Jew, and why I would be interested in Scotland is hard to understand.” Her husband hailed from West Virginia with Scotch Irish origins so years ago they decided to visit Scotland to see where some of his people came from. “When we entered the Highlands I turned to him and said, ‘This makes no sense at all, but I feel at home here.’”
For more info on APOCALYPSE NYX, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Wadim Kashin
Design by Elizabeth Story
For more info about HAP AND LEONARD: BLOOD AND LEMONADE, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Elizabeth Story
For more info on HAP AND LEONARD, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Elizabeth Story
For more info on THE BIG BOOK OF HAP AND LEONARD, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story
For more info about THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS OF ELD, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Thomas Canty
For more info on THE EMERALD CIRCUS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story