The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
Caitlín R. Kiernan (photo: Kyle Cassidy), Jane Yolen (Jason Stemple), James Tiptree Jr., and Jaymee Goh
This stellar collection of 20 reprints, drawn solely from Kiernan’s limited-edition publications, showcases her talent for blurring boundaries and creating distinctive sensory experiences.
With lush prose, Kiernan finds strange beauty in terrible tableaus, never failing to unsettle and inspire awe in equal measure. This versatile retrospective offers something for nearly every fan of the strange and macabre, and cements Kiernan’s legacy as the reigning queen of dark fantasy.
But Yolen doesn’t confine herself to offering critical versions of the familiar Western tales. She also draws on Chinese, Japanese and Native American traditions, and, perhaps more important, digs below some of the stories’ innocent surfaces to examine the darker subtexts. A version of Rumpelstiltskin, set in the historical Ukraine, persuasively reveals anti-Semitic undertones, while two of the most moving stories touch upon the Holocaust, in terms of the myth of Lilith and the tradition of Elijah’s cup. A Grimm tale, “Allerleirauh,” is retold in a way that brings its disturbing incest-and-power theme to the forefront. Yolen’s story notes and poems only add to her insights, which invite us to rethink many of our comfortable assumptions.
At ROGEREBERT.COM in an interview with Tomris Laffly, The Babadook director Jennifer Kent discuss Tiptree.
I don’t know where to start. There was this writer of short science fiction stories in ‘60s and ’70s who was very feted, and of the level of Philip K. Dick, or Ursula Le Guin. He was really creating the most powerful stories of gender and of being an outsider. But they were so potent, very prescient; because it’s almost the world we’re living in now. So they were written 50 years ago. They’re incredibly relevant still, and then he was sort of well known. His stories were well known, but no one knew who he was for 10 years, and then eventually someone uncovered his identity to be a woman in her 60s, in I think Virginia. This woman’s story is unbelievable. Unbelievable. And she was a genius. So I want to tell her story.
So you’ll make something episodic at a network?
Yeah, but including her short stories within. It’s not a straight biopic; so aliens from her stories inhabit her true world, and then she will be in the world of her stories, and it’s so exciting to me. It’s science fiction, which I love. I came across that because I was being given a lot of science fiction scripts. And I thought, “Where are the female science fiction stories?” So I Googled “female science fiction”, and I came across her! It was so hard to get the rights. And then I got all the rights to these stories, so it’s just meant to be. I could sit for hours and tell you how we got these rights. I’m working with producer Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, who is wonderful. He’s engaged with a company called Imperative, and so that’s the deal at the moment. But Imperative has thrown some money at the development, but we want to keep control of it. So we didn’t want to go to HBO and have it sit on a shelf and not get made, for example. So, we want to come with a pilot and a bible, so I’m working on that at the moment.
Jaymee Goh’s short story “By the Storytelling Fire” appears in both digital and audio versions in FIRESIDE MAGAZINE (January 2019).
The fire crackled and cast shadows on the trees. They lay on either side of it, watching the fire, but secretly also each other.
It was not the first time they had traveled together, and not the first time they had parted, but there was something about this time, this moment, that made them loathe to say farewell. They suspected that they were in love.
“This feels like a storytelling fire,” she finally said.
“It does,” he agreed. “Will you tell one?”
“If you will as well.”
“By all means.”
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