Tachyon tidbits featuring Peter S. Beagle, Jo Walton, and Jeff VanderMeer

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


Peter S. Beagle (photo: Rina Weisman), Jo Walton (Ada Palmer), and Jeff VanderMeer (Kyle Cassidy)

Peter S. Beagle’s IN CALABRIA was named to the NCIBA Book Award Long List.

The NCIBA presents the Northern California Book Awards every Spring. Awards are given in various categories for books published for the first time in the prior year and written by an author residing in Northern California (we make a residency exception for an author whose book is nominated in the Regional Title category).



  • A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, Counterpoint, 9781619029224
  • Sourdough by Robin Sloan, MCD, Macmillan, 9790374203108
  • Artemis by Andy Weir, Crown, 9780553448122
  • Less by Andrew Sean Greer, Lee Boudreaux Books, Hachette, 9780316316125
  • Autonomous by Analee Newitz, Tor Books, Macmillan, 9780765392077
  • New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson, Orbit, Hachette, 9780316262347
  • Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory, Knopf, Penguin Random House, 9781524731823
  • Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9781101982242
  • An Excess Male by Maggie Shen King, Harper Voyager, HarperCollins, 9780062662552
  • Goodbye Vitamin by Rachel Khong, Henry Holt and Co., Macmillan, 9781250109163
  • In this Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear, HarperLuxe, HarperCollins, 9780062644299
  • All the News I Need by Joan Frank, University of Massachusetts Press, 9781625342621
  • IN CALABRIA by Peter S. Beagle, Tachyon Publications, 9781616962487
  • In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende, Atria Books, Simon & Schuster 9781501178139
  • Void Star by Zachary Mason, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Macmillan, 9780374285067
  • Dead on Arrival by Matt Richtel, William Morrow, HarperCollins, 9780062443274

Congrats to all the honorees.

Mike Reeves-McMillan at THE REVIEW CURMUDGEON praises Jo Walton’s STARLINGS.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

By the author’s own admission, several of the “short stories” in this book are not actually stories. They’re exercises in mode, or jokes, or the attempts of someone who knows how novels work but not how short stories work to write a short story


This doesn’t sound promising, but Jo Walton is such a good writer that she mostly gets away with it in any case. In fact, some of the stories have been published in prestigious publications like Strange Horizons and Subterranean. Unfairly, I occasionally thought, “I wish I had the kind of standing in the SFF community that meant I could get published in those publications by writing a story that isn’t a story,” but that’s not the only thing that’s going on. Walton is a deep thinker, a close observer, and a master of language, and all these things shine through, even when her “story” is only an exploration of a clever idea with no real beginning, middle, or (especially) end.


Overall, then, this collection is proof that, if you’re a good enough writer, you can write a successful piece of short fiction in a lot of different ways. Not all of the pieces are excellent or weighty, or even original, but those that are lift the average considerably. 


Art: Armando Veve

TOR.COM shares the original Jeff VanderMeer story “This World Is Full of Monsters.”

I Did Not Recognize What Sought Me

The story that meant the end arrived late one night. A tiny story, covered in green fur or lichen, shaky on its legs. It fit in the palm of my hand. I stared at the story for a long time, trying to understand. The story had large eyes that could see in the dark, and sharp teeth. It purred, and the purr grew louder and louder: a beautiful flower bud opening and opening until I was filled up. I heard the thrush and pull of the darkness, grown so mighty inside my head.

I grew weary.

I grew weary and I fell asleep on the couch holding the story, wondering what it might be and who had delivered it to me. But there was no time left for wonder. As I slept, the story gnawed its way into my belly and then the story crawled up through my body into my head. When I woke, gasping my resistance, the story made me stumble out the door of my house and lurch through the dark down my street, giddy and disoriented, muttering, “Do not stop me. Do not stop me. Story made me this way. Story made me this way.”

I felt a compulsion to turn to the left, and then to turn to the left again. Until the story made me stop at the end of the block, where the last fence meets a forest. By now I knew that the story wasn’t a story at all. It had just made me think it was a story so it could invade my brain.

For more info about IN CALABRIA, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover design by Elizabeth Story

For more info on STARLINGS, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover design by Elizabeth Story