Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tachyons Proven To No Longer Be Imaginary

According to Wikipedia:
A tachyon is a hypothetical particle that always moves faster than light. Most physicists think that such particles cannot exist because they are not consistent with the known laws of physics....Today, "tachyon" often refers instead to imaginary mass fields, which cannot exceed the speed of light and have come to play an important role in modern physics.

Sword and SorceryThis past week I visited the newly remodeled and greatly enlarged office of Tachyon Publications in San Francisco. Of course, the remodeled office was only new to me as I haven't visited in the past year due to familial issues, now resolved, which I previously blogged about. But my lateness doesn't detract from the beauty of the new office: the bay windows, the wood flooring, the unique cinder block walls toward the back half of the office space, the openness -- and the fact that the rear two-thirds of the office is tunneled into the side of a hill (thus the cinder blocks)!

I detest driving in the city of San Francisco, so I have to rely on public transportation. This means I take the CalTrain commuter from the San Jose station to the San Francisco 22nd Street station, whereupon I am then chauffeured to the office in the Tachyonmobile. Unlike tachyons, though, CalTrain does not move at superluminal speed. In fact, the trip each way takes approximately one and a half hours, with a myriad of mind-numbing stops in between. But before one can even consider boarding a train at the San Jose station, one must first find a parking space! I circled all three parking lots, and then re-circled the last parking lot to its very edges and found what I still believe to be the very last available slot in all of stationdom. Then, once a parking spot is found, one must pay tribute to the god of parking.

I was graciously met at the 22nd Street station by Jacob Weisman, editor and publisher, and Jill Roberts, managing editor. I communicate with Jill regularly via email, and Jacob and I chat occasionally on the telephone, so an opportunity to get together -- and also share a lunchtime meal -- is always welcome.

The day prior to my visit, cases of Tachyon's newest book, The Sword & Sorcery Anthology, edited by David G. Hartwell and Jacob Weisman, had arrived at the office; following our lunch, Jacob dutifully packed up review copies and comp copies, later to be shipped out. In fact, since I had worked on this book as well, I was able to take a couple comp copies home with me, thus saving Jacob a wee bit of packing time and postage.

I took this first photograph with the front of the office (street side) to my back. Jill is pictured here, diligently working at her desk (or, at least, attempting to look busy) amidst all my chatter and picture-taking. You'll note the step along the floor in the far right portion of the photo. This marks the start of the back two-thirds of the office space -- the darker portion -- wherein the room is tunnelled into the hillside. If you follow along the wall past Jill's desk, you will see where the gray cinder blocks begin as well.

This second, and final, photograph was taken from atop that step and aiming ye olde camera toward the front of the office. That incredibly bright glare at the back of the photo is actually the front bay windows, as they appear on a typical sunny San Francisco day. Pictured to the left in the photograph is Elizabeth Story, associate editor responsible for layout and covers; Jill is to the far right; and editor and publisher Jacob Weisman is to the far left. The white door immediately behind Jacob leads to the entrance way, and the front door. Not pictured here, unfortunately, is Rachel Fagundes, Tachyon intern, who was seated at her desk to my immediate left and thus didn't appear in the photo. [Sorry, Rachel!]

Note: I didn't take any close-ups of the staff. I'm personally not fond of having my picture taken, so I simply assume everyone else feels the same way and I act accordingly.

As I said, I joined Jacob and Jill for lunch, and we had a pleasant chat, mostly biz-related, over sandwiches and pasta -- during which time I learned the secret to having one's book accepted by Tachyon Publications. But even were you to prove that a tachyon does not violate causality, thus rendering the Grandfather Paradox null and void, I still would never utter this secret revealed to me during this otherwise uneventful lunch.

At about 2:45pm, Rina Weisman (also not pictured) left the house with Clyde the cat (at least I assume that was Clyde pitifully meowing in his carrier), on their way to the vet -- with me in tow, on my way back to the train station. Rina, by the way, runs the popular SF in SF reading series and movie nights, which I have had the occasional opportunity to partake in.

The return CalTrain trip to San Jose was just as boring as the earlier trip that day, albeit a lot noisier what with all the students on the train returning home from various schools. I arrived home just after 5:00pm, but that wasn't quite the end of my day. After emptying my briefcase I immediately got back to work on my current project: proof reading and copyediting anthology EPIC (in caps!), edited by John Joseph Adams, and forthcoming from Tachyon Publications later this year.


  1. I want their office suite!! :)

  2. Hi, Dario... I visited Tachyon at some point prior to the renovation, and the "office" ended shortly after the step that's visible in the first photograph. The desks were bumping up against one another, too. So yes, this new office is some awesome space. And I enjoyed sitting in one of the comfortable chairs in front of the bay window, reading back issues of Locus...

    - marty