Wednesday, December 30, 2009

SF in SF movie night - 1/9
Night of Mayhem (Monty Python!)

SF in SF
Science Fiction. San Francisco. A perfect fit.

Saturday, January 9, 2010
6:00pm - 10:00pm
Variety Preview Room Theatre
The Hobart Bldg, 1st Floor, 582 Market St. @ 2nd & Montgomery
San Francisco, CA

Join us for our first film of 2010 - ushering in our 5th year of SF in SF supporting Variety Children's Charity!

Doors and cash bar open at 6:00PM
Films will begin about 6:30PM-ish

MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (aka "Mønti Pythøn ik den Høli Gräilen" ) directed by Terry Gilliam, 91 minutes

LIFE OF BRIAN (play "Spot the Neil Innes") directed by Terry Jones, 94 minutes

This year we are ramping it up folks! In 2009 we raised close to $6k for the charity, and I've sworn to raise $10k in 2010! Come and help fight the good fight, have a drink and some fun laughing, singing, and saying "Ekki-Ekki-Ekki-Ekki-PTANG. Zoom-Boing. Z'nourrwringmm!"

(Free drink to whoever can say that backwards before having said drink.)

And - a special raffle for a Spam-a-lot goodie basket before the first film!!

Join us - no need to RSVP - by simply showing up ready to have fun. Seating is limited, and first-come, first-seated.

Email for more information

Phone night of event only - 415.225.7445.
Invite your friends - and pass this along!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Stories from the Aughts for the Ages

I've been kicking around this idea for a while, so...

Here are some of my must-read stories in the last decade of books from Tachyon.

Note: this is *not* a top ten (as perhaps evidenced by the twelve stories).

"Love Is the Plan, The Plan Is Death" by James Tiptree, Jr. Her Smoke Rose Up Forever. Atypical Tiptree, yet exemplifies her incredible rapid-fire prose with a touching/horrifying love story between...two spiders?

"Minutes of the Last Meeting" by Stepan Chapman. Steampunk. Highly original World War I steampunk with a sentient communist apparatus, a dying Russian czar, and a race toward global annihilation. Fun!

"Journey into the Kingdom" by M. Rickert. The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction: Sixtieth Anniversary Anthology. A young man becomes obsessed with a girl whom he believes might not be alive. This edgy navigation of romantic illusions is perfectly executed and shocking.

"Hell Is the Absence of God" by Ted Chiang. Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology. A grief-stricken man's wife is killed by an errant angel, which triggers an irredeemable crisis of faith. I can't begin to do justice to this devastating story.

"The Rhinoceros Who Quoted Nietzsche" by Peter S. Beagle. The Rhinoceros Who Quoted Nietzsche and Other Odd Acquaintances. The elegantly-told, impossible friendship that inspired Tachyon's logo, a Chesley Award, and my vast personal stakeholdership in the Kleenex corporation. Gets me every time.

"Human Moments in World War III" by Don DeLillo. The Secret History of Science Fiction. This tale of two astronauts trapped together in orbit around a doomed Earth is vintage DeLillo: interior, melancholy, deliciously unsettling. Undeniably genre-breaking too.

"The War of the Worldviews" by James Morrow. The Cat's Pajamas and Other Stories. Morrow's witty tribute to H. G. Wells, philosophy, and the awesome power of music. Also this: "Do you solicit me as head of the Epistemology Committee, or in my capacity as a paranoid schizophrenic?"

"Beauty and the Opera or The Phantom Beast" by Suzy McKee Charnas. Stagestruck Vampires and Other Phantasms. A stark, psychologically complex portrait of a young singer who turns the tables on a seemingly depraved monster. Perhaps the best reinterpretation of a fairy tale I've ever read.

"Daddy's World" by Walter Jon Williams. Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology. A sweet tale of a childhood wonderland that morphs into a private hell for a teenage boy and the family who brutally betrays him. Strange and full of subtle dark humor.

"Stable Strategies" by Eileen Gunn. Stable Strategies and Others. Drones on the corporate ladder, meet Kafka on steroids. Get ahead or lose your head. Literally. (Thank God Eileen and I got out in time.)

"Sorrel's Heart" by Susan Palwick. The Fate of Mice. A young woman is born with her heart outside of her body and struggles to survive in a cruel world. A starkly vulnerable piece that co-mingles beauty and horror in equal measures.

"Letters to the Editor" by Michael Swanwick. Cigar Box-Faust and Other Miniatures. Swanwick's personal bios for Asimov's detail his escapades as the one true Western Bodhisattva, a guest DJ for Snoop Doggy Dogg, and Germany's most beloved cartoon mouse.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Adventures in SciFi Publishing
interviews Jill Roberts

Jonathan Schiefer at Adventures in SciFi Publishing has posted a podcast interview! (Jill) He and I chatted at World Fantasy Convention about Tachyon, what we do, how we work with our authors, and what the future of publishing will be (which, of course, only I know). Many thanks to Jonathan for making me feel at ease and editing me into coherency; who knew being interviewed could be such fun?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Steampunk Reloaded Open for Submissions

Tachyon is very pleased to announce that Ann and Jeff Vandermeer will edit the sequel to one of our favorite anthologies, Steampunk.

If you wish to submit a previously published story for consideration in the anthology, please carefully read the guidelines below.

From the Vanderblog:

STEAMPUNK RELOADED, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer and to be published in fall 2010 by Tachyon Publications, announces an open reading period.

The sequel to the World Fantasy Award finalist anthology Steampunk will read submissions between December 15, 2009, and February 15, 2010. Any English-language story previously published in the past decade on a website or print publication is eligible for consideration. Our definition of Steampunk is fairly broad, so if in doubt, send it. Keep in mind that Steampunk has become much more diverse over the past few years, and we are very interested in non-traditional and multi-cultural points of view.

Submissions between 1,500 and 10,000 words should be sent in a Word or RTF document to steampunkII at We don’t care about margins or format, but please cut-and-paste the first three paragraphs into the body of your email, include prior publication information, but do not include any biographical information about yourself. Alternatively, use snail mail by sending your work to POB 4248, Tallahassee, FL 32315. Snail mail submissions should be marked on the outside of the envelope as for Steampunk Reloaded consideration. No SASE is required if you prefer email response. You can send your email submissions before December 15, but we won’t begin reading them until December 15. All submissions will be responded to no later than February 28; please do not query about a submission prior to that date.

Payment will be on publication, at standard reprint rates of one to two cents per word, against a share of any royalties from the North American or foreign editions, as well as one contributor copy.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Fungal Fantasy of Finch

Or perhaps it’s more like "spore noir," but hey, alliteration is nice too.

Our very own Jeff VanderMeer is getting a flood of much-deserved praise for his fantastic new novel, Finch. Finch is a foray into the fungus-infected city of Ambergris, set about a century after Shriek: An Afterword. Detective John Finch, hard-boiled hero, has a murder case on his hands that leads him on a journey through the science, myths, history, and uncertain future of the Ambergris world. As io9 has it:

"Surreal and at times intoxicating, Finch is ambitious in a way that few genre novels ever are. VanderMeer has tried - and, often, succeeded - in blending fantasy, science fiction, and crime fiction into something delightfully evil and strange...There is a David Cronenberg feel to the universe of Finch, with its gooey guns and spore surveillance devices. But it's also a kind of Lawrence of Arabia story, which is what will keep you reading. You never quite know what sort of weird new narrative path you'll be led down, and that's exciting."

Here are some more excellent reviews for Finch.

Washington Post
Los Angeles Times
Barnes and Noble Review
The Agony Column
SF Signal

As they say, go get your spore on (OK, that's icky but you get the idea).

In 2010 you can look forward to two exciting new Vanderbooks from Tachyon:

In March, Evil Monkey (that's Jeff - sorta) and Ann Vandermeer bring you The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals. Think ABCs and a nice roast of Sasquatch.

In July you'll be able to read all of Jeff's recent short fiction - plus one original story in The Third Bear.

And don't forget our other VanderMeer titles, Booklife, Steampunk, and The New Weird.


Friday, December 04, 2009

Spotlight: Elizabeth Story
Intern of Awesome

Hello! It's me, Elizabeth - the Tachyon intern. You may remember me from such projects as the last few blog posts, or the 2009 Fall catalog that I made. I'm here to tell you a little about myself, and I've decided to do it in the third person.

Ready? OK!

Elizabeth Story has interned at Tachyon since September. In that time she has designed press kits, postcards, and that catalog she just mentioned. She also helped staff Tachyon's trade-show booth. This is aside from doing various intern-y things like filing, making spreadsheets, and stuffing envelopes.

She graduated with honors from the Creative Writing department at UC Santa Cruz. Her past work experience includes creating motivational posters and newsletters for a children's tutoring center, editing a campus literary magazine, and assisting in a perfumery.

Elizabeth's other interests include doing illustration and cartooning (that's her self-portrait you're admiring), 90's TV trivia, comic books, talking to herself at the grocery store, and, of course, science fiction. She now lives in Oakland where she has to cross the [expletive deleted] Bay Bridge to get to work. She is VERY AGAINST the proposed toll increases.

Elizabeth got into publishing after getting sick and tired of everyone asking "What are you gonna do with an English degree? Are you gonna teach English?" She hopes to continue in publishing as a career and is very excited to be working on projects with great authors like Joe R. Lansdale and Charles de Lint.

Also, she has already eaten all of your Oreos. Go ahead and check your pantry, you won't find them. They're gone.

Elizabeth's Art

[Note: We at Tachyon are delighted to have Elizabeth as our intern. She is truly awesome.]

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Spotlight: Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

Here at Tachyon, we work with a lot of wonderful people. In the coming weeks, we are going to shine the spotlight on some of the many folks that make our books so great.

Stephanie Pui-Mun Law is the artist behind the gorgeous illustrations in Kage Baker's The Hotel Under the Sand, Michael Swanwick's Field Guide to the Mesozoic Megafauna, and the cover art for Michael Cadnum's Can't Catch Me. Her specialties are intricate watercolors and flowing inks that capture fantastic landscapes, people, and animals.

Every aspect of her paintings moves in a choreographed flow, and the dancers are not only those with human limbs. What Stephanie tries to convey with her art is not simply fantasy, but the fantastic, the sense of wonder, that which is sacred.

Stephanie started out as a computer programmer, but soon quit to devote herself to her art career, and we are all the better for it. Besides Tachyon, her clients include Wizards of the Coast, HarperCollins, LUNA Books, Alderac Entertainment, and Green Ronin. She is the author and illustrator of Dreamscapes: Creating Magical Angel, Faery & Mermaid Worlds with Watercolor.

Her illustrations for The Hotel Under the Sand were a favorite among the book reviewers.

"Although not in color these pictures pop up at just the right moment and are wonderfully detailed. It helps build the imagery that I had imagined without doing all the work for me."
-Fantasy Book Critic

You can see more of Stephanie's art on her website, Shadowscapes. Her paintings, prints, and books, as well as jewelry, stationary, and greeting cards are also for sale. She is available for commissions, and a joy to work with.

Stephanie's website
Stephanie's etsy store
Stephanie's blog

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

SF in SF movie night on 12/19:
The Princess and the Frog

One last gift for the holidays to you and yours from SF in SF....

We'll be screening Disney's new fantasy movie The Princess and the Frog on Saturday, December 19th.

"Set in the city of New Orleans comes a modern twist on a classic tale, featuring a beautiful girl named Tiana , a frog prince who desperately wants to be human again, and a fateful kiss that leads them both on an adventure through the mystical bayous of Louisiana." (Rated G)

This event includes lunch, cookies, cocoa, coffee & tea for the adults, and a gift bag for each child. The film will begin at 1PM, and is 97 mins. long. We'll also be showing "Fred Claus" afterwards, if you want to stay for the double-feature.

Reservations are a must - cost at the door is $15 for one adult, one child, and $25 for one adult, two children ($10 for each additional child). Seating is limited, hence, you must RSVP for this event as it will sell out.

If you would like to attend, please email Rina Weisman at to assure your place at the event. You must have a child attending with you. :)