Monday, April 28, 2008

ABCs of Steampunk

Courtesy of the intrepid publicity-machine Matt Staggs, we bring you the download of Jeff VanderMeer being interviewed on Australian public radio! The link on the Aussie Broadcasting Corporation website (now I know my ABCs...) turns out to be to the entire Book Show broadcast, so now you can just enjoy Jeff's Steampunk riffs and go on about your busy Monday. I gotta do that too, darn it.

Friday, April 25, 2008

They're only imaginary dogs

Nancy Kress has just blogged about reviewing the galleys for her new thriller, Dogs. I only have an inkling of how hard it would be rereading your entire book; when I review my own cover or ad or publicity copy it's usually quite the cringefest. Luckily Nancy's a total pro (implying I'm not? Oops.), and knows to resist the urge to rewrite. Inserting substantive edits into copy edited galleys = potential introduction of glaring errors, and only me to catch them since the proofreader is reviewing the galleys simultaneously with the author. I just can't take that kind of pressure. Ask Jacob. No, don't.

However, if we were making major edits, here's a good suggestion from a mysterious poster to Nancy's blog, "cd," as to how to improve the novel: "I just can't believe you kill dogs - dogs! - in this novel. Could you fix that in the galleys? Maybe, you know, make it rats or weasels instead that carry disease? Surely the press wouldn't mind."

Hmmm. I suppose fewer calls from the SPCA would be nice. What's PETA's stance on vermin?

Good luck at the Nebula Awards, Nancy.

and the Locus Award nominations go to...

...Michael Swanwick, for The Dog Said Bow-Wow, and for the story within the collection, "A Small Room in Koboldtown." And Peter S. Beagle for two pieces from his upcoming Tachyon collection We Never Talk about My Brother, the titlular novella and the short story, "The Last and Only, or, Mr. Moscowitz Becomes French." Other folks we've worked with garnering nods include Ted Chiang, Gene Wolfe, Michael Chabon, Charles Stross, Joanna Russ, Cory Doctorow, Kelly Link, Gavin Grant, David G. Hartwell, Michael Whelan, and John Picacio. Check out the full list for details. Good luck everyone, particularly Michael and Peter. Yes, I'm a home team fan. Supposed to be.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Aussies in zeppelins

The Australian Broadcast Company has just broadcast an interview with Jeff VanderMeer about steampunk (and Steampunk). You'll need to skip about halfway through the show, bypassing Isabel Allende (unless you're a fan of hers). The Book Show's interviewer (or as the Aussies say, "presenter"), Ramona Koval, is cool, curious, and irreverent (plus, the cute accent), and Jeff gets to riff (always good) on elfpunk, the subtype of the mad scientist (a.k.a. concerned researcher), and why goths don't appreciate his fashion sense.

Also, if you haven't checked out Jeff, Ann, and the Evil Monkey's Guide to Kosher Imaginary Animals, well, then how will you know if you can eat chupacabras this week? And a happy Passover to you too...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Starred PW review for Steampunk

The nitty gritty:

"The VanderMeers (The New Weird) have assembled another outstanding theme anthology.... This is a superb introduction to one of the most popular and inventive subgenres in science fiction."

Full on:

[STAR] Steampunk
Edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer (Tachyon)

"The VanderMeers (The New Weird) have assembled another outstanding theme anthology, this one featuring stories set in alternate Victorian eras. Michael Moorcock, the godfather of steampunk, is represented by an excerpt from his classic novel The Warlord of the Air. In “Lord Kelvin's Machine,” a fine tale from prolific steampunk author James P. Blaylock, mad scientists plot to throw the Earth into the path of a passing comet, declaring that “science will save us this time, gentlemen, if it doesn't kill us first.” Michael Chabon's vivid and moving “The Martian Agent, a Planetary Romance” recounts the lives of two young brothers in the aftermath of George Custer's mutiny against Queen Victoria, while historical fantasist Mary Gentle describes a classic struggle between safety and progress in “A Sun in the Attic.” This is a superb introduction to one of the most popular and inventive subgenres in science fiction."


Friday, April 18, 2008

Fun over the weekend

Two terrific reading events this weekend that Bay Area sf fans will want to check out:

Peter Beagle reading and signing at Clayton Books

Saturday April 19th, 2 p.m.
Clayton Books
5433 Clayton Road
Clayton, CA (near Walnut Creek. Map it.)
(925) 673-3325

SF in SF - Patricia McKillip and David Lunde

Sunday, April 20th, 6 p.m.
sponsored by Tachyon Publications
SF in SF
Science Fiction. San Francisco.
A perfect fit.

Please join us for a reading, discussion, and signing moderated by Terry Bisson

Variety Children’s Charity
The Variety Preview Room
582 Market St. @ Montgomery
1st floor of The Hobart Bldg.

Cash bar - opens at 5:00PM. Seating is limited, and on a first-come, first-seated basis, so get there early!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dependable Erection for Kessel

Um. OK, the Durham, NC-area blog, Dependable Erection, has announced that Tachyon editor John Kessel (Feeling Very Strange and Rewired) will be doing two readings from his new collection, The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories. John is a fantastic short story writer; kudos to Small Beer Press for publishing his latest work.

Is it my fault that all of these cool blogs have salacious names? Note that the Tachyon blog is PG-13 most of the time. It is!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Steampunk Bookgasm

Taking three minutes out of this hectc, er, I mean hectic, day to direct you to Bookgasm's cool interview by Rod Lott with Ann and Jeff VanderMeer about Steampunk.

Really, is it not fabulous that there's a website called Bookgasm? They do quality work too. Their sf/f/h postings are spot-on - recently they've featured Jeffrey Ford's new novel The Shadow Year, which is getting impressive reviews, including from folks I know.

(Also, I just rejected several Bookgasm-inspired puns/innuendos that you really don't need to be exposed to. Oh, whoops...)

Monday, April 07, 2008

Steampunk von Slatt

Steampunk is featured in a truly hilarious video by steampunk icon Jake von Slatt today on Boing Boing. Von Slatt holds the anthology up for the camera and gives it his personal recommendation: "a great book - I can't put it down."

Really, do take a few minutes out of your day to watch this video. From his steampunk video-blogger glasses on, von Slatt is a great spokesperson for the steampunk world.

There will also be a full review of Steampunk by Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing on May 1st. Somehow despite being downloaded by millions, Cory is still finding time for his reading. Impressive.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Peter S. Beagle world première of
"The Stickball Witch" on Green Man Review

Green Man Review has posted a podcast of Peter S. Beagle's brand new story "The Stickball Witch". This is a delightfully whimsical tale of the perils of boyhood in the Bronx, and you can't read it anywhere else - technically, you can't read it at all, since, remember, it's a *podcast.* So let Peter read it to you - you're in for a real treat. Then you can read for yourself in Tachyon's forthcoming Beagle collection, We Never Talk About My Brother.

GMR also recently posted two thorough and very well-written reviews of our books:

The Dog Said Bow-Wow: "The stories in the collection The Dog Said Bow-Wow are, indeed, polished works, marked by inventive settings and a bent toward the weird. They display a particular richness of invention that seems to be one of the hallmarks - and blessings - of post-genre fiction."

The New Weird: "While the images in these stories strike one as hauntingly familiar with their ruined cities, twisted labyrinthine architectures, macabre rituals, and nightmarish chimeras that are part human, part monster, they also reflect newer anxieties regarding nuclear apocalypse, fascist governments, genetic engineering, and emotional alienation."

While you're there, spend some time checking out GMR; they are really doing some amazing work over there, articulately championing the literary end of the genre.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Kirkus Science Fiction & Fantasy roundup

Kirkus Reviews has published their annual supplement devoted to science fiction and fantasy and we're in it. Twice. In their 4/1 issue (not an April Fool's Day joke as far as we can tell), they featured two Tachyon books. There's a write up and interview with Thomas M. Disch about his forthcoming Tachyon novel, The Word of God, saying, "Thomas M. Disch isn't afraid of backlash for what some might consider the writings of a heretic" and "extraordinarily funny..."

And regarding The New Weird, in a lengthy and very fun inteview: "Ann and Jeff VanderMeer bring their expertise and affection for sci-fi and fantasy to a detailed examination of one of the latest styles to hit this constantly evolving scene - The New Weird."

If you want to see what the *other* hot books in sf/f are, you can read the whole issue. They're talking about a lot of great new books, including Cory Doctorow's new YA novel, Little Brother ("it's hard to imagine the teenager who will remain unmoved by this powerful cautionary tale"). Check it out, true believers - sf/f is the place to be.