Tachyon tidbits featuring Alastair Reynolds, Jeff VanderMeer, and Nalo Hopkinson
The latest reviews and mentions of Tachyon titles from around the web.
Alastair Reynolds (Photo: Barbera Bella)/Jeff VanderMeer (Photo: Agave)/Nalo Hopkinson
At IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE RIGHT, Ian Sales reviewed the signed, numbered WSFA Press edition of Alastair Reynolds’ SLOW BULLETS.
This is typical Reynolds – a universe which he perhaps might not have visited before but nonetheless feels like one of his, and a plot predicated on horrible violence which still manages to slingshot off an optimistic and redemptive ending. It is, in fact, pretty much about as Reynolds as you can get and, as a result, your mileage may vary. I enjoyed it, some bits more than others.
WSFA Press limited edition cover by Chris Cold
Shedrick Pittman-Hassett at SERIAL DISTRACTIONS discusses Jeff VanderMeer’s thought-provoking BOOKLIFE: STRATEGIES AND SURVIVAL TIPS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY WRITER.
Most writing books focus on technique–the nuts and bolts of writing. Some even detail the ins and outs of publishing. But what sets BOOKLIFE apart from these other books is its focus on the writing life. It is decidedly not a how-to book, but more of a written coach on the creation and maintenance of, for lack of a better term, your Booklife.
One of the biggest themes of the books is BALANCE. VanderMeer emphasizes repeatedly the need to strike a balance between the public and private Booklife–and to err in favor of the private. This sense of moderation and balance is a through-line for the book. It is also important to note that most of the advice given in the book boils down to common sense approaches to dealing with people. Your Booklife, despite the many hours spent alone churning out words, is a collaborative effort requiring the support of a network of people–treat them shabbily at your peril.
For both novice and experienced writers, BOOKLIFE is highly inspirational, thought-provokingly humane, and highly recommended.
FRODO’S BLOG OF RANDOMNESS followed John Green’s advice and end up enjoying Nalo Hopkinson’s beautiful FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS.
FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS is a love letter to the very idea of fantasy. The characters within experience joy and loss, wonder and dread, the mundane and the amazing, all with fantastical beings and creatures as the vehicles to the extremes and peaks of those emotions and occurrences. Some of the characters are the fantastical beings, others interact with them or bring them to life, and most are seemingly “normal” people that have wondrous thing happen to them, changing their lives in incredible ways. Yet, at the same time, no fantasy element removes the stories from our reality in full, making each story feel more real, more possible, and their worlds approachable and attainable.
FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS then takes those incredible things and uses them to write beautiful short stories that cover a range of very real ideas, examining those ideas, and often flipping many of them on their heads. A few of them are: what growing up is like from the mind of a child, guilt over someone’s death, the afterlife, deprivation of the senses, mental deficiencies and genius, what the life of a god would be like, and the reality that would exist if every person really did have someone meant for them.
I’ll admit, some of this book went over my head, which I did expect being that it was recommended by someone as cerebral as John Green. However, that didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the stories, even if I found a few of them dragging on a bit unnecessarily. Hopkinson’s writing shows that she has a different view of the world than anyone else could, and her Caribbean roots shine in the names, dialogue, and surroundings of the characters she creates. It is a very high level of writing, but never pretentious. I don’t understand every element in all the stories, but I didn’t feel like I needed to in order to enjoy them fully.
For more info about SLOW BULLETS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Thomas Canty
Design by Elizabeth Story
For more info about BOOKLIFE: STRATEGIES AND SURVIVAL TIPS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY WRITER, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by John Coulthart
For more info about FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Chuma Hill
Design by Elizabeth Story