07 September 2007

Tachyon's Superluminal Velocity

We are lucky to live in a world with some very fine small and independent presses. Despite all of the woeful news about how few people read books these days, and how difficult life can be for publishers and writers, and how difficult it is to get books noticed -- despite all this, individual and determined publishers continue to issue extraordinary books.

Recently, I've been continually impressed by Tachyon Publications, and I realized I haven't really said much here about Tachyon -- in many ways, I've just taken them for granted. Taking them for granted is a terrible thing to do, though, especially since they have a particular commitment to short story collections and anthologies, the sort of books that bigger publishers often consider anathema, but that devoted readers (like all of us, of course!) feast upon. (Mmmm, good paper, tasty book...)

I was looking around for some information on Jim Kelly and John Kessel's upcoming book, Re-wired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology, and I saw an offer from way back in May on the Tachyon blog for free shipping in the U.S. on all pre-orders (the book will be published in October). I wondered if the deal was still good, so I contacted Jill Roberts, and she said, indeed, it is -- for all forthcoming books, not just Re-wired. Just email Jill. (It may not apply to Shatterday and The Dog Said Bow-Wow, since those were just released a few days ago.)

Much of what is upcoming is pretty spectacular -- take a look at the just-announced spring list: the VanderMeers' steampunk anthology, a new novel by Thomas M. Disch, Year's Best Fantasy 8, a new Nancy Kress thriller, and a reprint of Tim Powers's The Stress of Her Regard.

I'm very curious about Tachyon's past and future, and so am preparing an interview with Jill, who is managing editor, and with Jacob Weisman, who is publisher and editor-in-chief. Cheryl Morgan published an interview with Jacob almost exactly three years ago, and it will be interesting to see what has changed and what hasn't in that time.


  1. Much as I love Harlan Ellison*, Shatterday doesn't look so great. The back cover, however, is hilarious. Ellison writes about how great the book is, pointing readers to a few key pages. Fun gimmick. Unfortunately, I did turn to those pages and was severely underwhelmed. Tachyon's anthologies are great though. Their Tiptree and Best Fantasy annuals are, of course, extremely well done, but when I opened their slipstream anth. and saw reprints of messageboard discussions of the phrase I may have squee-ed a little bit.

    Quick and shameless promotion: we carry the best of their catalogue at McNally Robinson in NY.

    *Imagine that that asterisk is actually Ellison's ridiculous Restricted symbol. Also, if one footnote can be made to serve double duty, I don't actually love Ellison. He's almost as over-hyped as Bradbury.

  2. Also, cute post title.

  3. I don't really care for much of Ellison's work, with the exception of a few stories (most of which are in Deathbird Stories), but I can recognize that a lot of other people do like his work immensely, and will value having one of his older collections back in print in an affordable edition. I'm a big fan of the Hartwell/Cramer fantasy annuals, and was thrilled to see Tachyon pick them up and save them from oblivion. I'm still perplexed by the editing of the Tiptree anthologies, but now that a bunch of them are out and most of the Tiptree-winning and -nominated short fiction is back in print, I think they're hugely important. And I love Feeling Very Strange, especially the pieces from David Moles's blog, because that gives such a sense of the conversation happening among some of the writers who are playing around with the idea of "slipstream" or whatever (INFERNOKRUSHER!!!!). So much of that sort of discussion from the past has been lost, I'm all for preserving at least a little bit of it now, and letting the book contextualize those arguments and help spark more. I just got a galley of ReWired, and it includes some letters between John Kessel and Bruce Sterling that are fascinating and in some ways tantalizing -- I wish there were a lot more of them!

    Thanks for getting the post title, too!