Tachyon tidbits featuring Elly Bangs, David Ebenbach, Jane Yolen, Peter S. Beagle, Richard Lupoff, and Brian Aldiss
The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles and authors from around the web.
This sounds crazy! I love the Mad Max comparison, and it’s got a road trip kind of vibe to it. Can’t wait!
This sounds like it has a bunch of elements I love in my fiction, and the quirky cover and title definitely get me excited to check this out!
Yolen is often dubbed “the Hans Christian Andersen of America,” but that should not be misunderstood. Her work is not Andersen Americanized: sanitized, watered-down, Disney-fied. It is true to the real tradition of Andersen: mesmerizing, haunting, and often not for the faint of heart. This collection teems with Yolen’s weird, folkloric verve. Her menagerie of stories is distilled from a cauldron of fairytales, legends, and history, featuring everything from selkies to shapeshifters; witches, weavers, and warriors; and angels murderous to ravenous. Her foreword and endnotes offer additional context for the work, creating a satisfying — if often unsettling — reading experience.
Overall this made me want to go and read Beagle’s other books. It is beautifully written and magical in a gentle way. Beagle does an amazing job with description and with creating very human characters that are easy to care about.
As for the comics-oriented material in Xero, that was the product more of impulse than planning. I’d been out of the army for a while, and Pat had just got her college degree. We were starting to move through the science fiction world in New York, and a number of our friends were publishing fanzines. This looked like fun, and we decided to create one of our own. We didn’t have many connections to call upon for material, so we wound up creating most of the first issue ourselves.
I remember Pat writing two fine pieces. One was a book review of Brood of the Witch Queen, a fantasy novel by Sax Rohmer. The other was a survey of the career and works of Mervyn Peake, author of the Gormenghast novels. Our only outside contribution was a review of the film of Psycho, based on the novel by Robert Bloch. The reviewer was Harlan Ellison.
At which point I felt that I needed to write something, too. I had a certain nostalgic feeling about the comic books I’d enjoyed so much in my childhood — especially the adventures of Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family. So I wrote a memoir of my days as a fan of Captain Marvel. Called the essay “The Big Red Cheese” after a term applied to Captain Marvel by his arch-foe, Dr. Thaddeus Bodog Sivana.
Xero 1 had a circulation of less than one hundred copies, but we received enthusiastic letters of comment, and many readers offered to write memoirs of their own, about their favorite comics. Human Torch, Sub-Mariner, Captain America, Bulletman, Spy Smasher, Tarzan, the inhabitants of The Lost World . . . Eventually this series grew into two volumes, All in Color for a Dime and The Comic-Book Book. My friend Don Thomson co-edited these books with me, and we had planned on a third volume, to be called The Best Comics Ever, but Don’s untimely death prevented our completing the project.
Documentary photographer Wendy Aldiss is running a KICKSTARTER campaign for My Father’s Things, the photo essay that began the day after the influential Brian Aldiss died.
The pictures create a portrait of the person and prompts thoughts of our own possessions, what we keep and what we dispose of.
Possessions are a universal theme. Separated from their surroundings these objects lead us to contemplate the intrinsic value of design and the singular virtues of everyday things, and to consider the importance that we attach to our own material possessions, and what will become of them after our passing. For those who have already had to deal with the disposal of a relative’s things it will resonate with their own experience.
My Dad (he was my Dad as well as my father) was Brian Aldiss, one of the most important voices in science fiction, writer, poet and artist, and so some of the photos in the book reflect this; not least his awards, early science fiction magazines and many, many books. Plenty there for Science Fiction fans to enjoy. There is also all the everyday stuff of life; playing cards, soap, family snaps and tea bags.