2011 SF&F Translation Awards

The winners of the 2011 Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Awards were announced at the 2011 Eurocon in Stockholm:

Long Form 

A Life on Paper: Stories, Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud, translated by Edward Gauvin (Small Beer Press). Original publication in French (1976, ­2005).

Short Form
“Elegy for a Young Elk”, Hannu Rajaniemi, translated by Hannu Rajaniemi (Subterranean Online, Spring 2010). Original publication in Finnish (Portti, 2007).

A special award also was presented to British author and translator Brian Stableford in recognition of the excellence of his translation work.

Each winning author and translator will receive a cash prize of US$350.

This was the inaugural year of the awards, given by the Association for the Recognition of Excellence in Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation (ARESFFT). The winners for 2011 were selected by a jury composed of Terry Harpold, University of Florida, USA (Chair); Abhijit Gupta, Jadavpur University, India; and Dale Knickerbocker, East Carolina University, USA.

The full press release follows the jump.

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The Dog Days of SF

Children of the Sky , sequel to A Fire Upon the Deep, the Vernor Vinge novel debated here not long ago, will be released October 11 by Tor Books. Fans can click here to read an excerpt:

There were posters every few feet, but these were not the advertisements they had seen elsewhere. These were demands and announcements: WASH ALL PAWS BEFORE WORK, NO ADVANCE WAGES, EMPLOYMENT APPLICATIONS AHEAD. This last sign pointed toward a wide pair of doors at the end of the alley. It was all marvelously pompous and silly. And yet . . . as he walked along, Vendacious took a long look at the crenellations above him. Surely that was plaster over wood. But if it was real stone, then this was a fortified castle hidden right in the middle of East Home commercialism….

Expectations are running high because Vinge’s two other novels in the series won the Hugo. A Deepness in the Sky, a prequel set 20,000 years before A Fire Upon the Deep, was voted Best Novel in 2000.

[Via Locus Online.]

Happy 82nd Birthday, George!

Mystery and Imagination Bookstore in Glendale will celebrate George Clayton Johnson’s 82nd birthday with a party on Sunday, July 10. The festivities begin at 2 p.m.

George is responsible for some of science fiction’s most imaginative, historic and memorable scripts, including The Twilight Zone episodes “Nothing in the Dark,” “Kick the Can,” and “A Game of Pool,” and the first Star Trek episode to air, “The Man Trap.” He collaborated with William Nolan on the novel Logan’s Run, later made into an MGM movie. He also wrote the screenplay for the original Ocean’s 11.

Mystery & Imagination is located at 238 N. Brand Bl. in Glendale, California.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story.]

Leinster Text Available

Until the end of Westercon 64, you can download a copy of “The Ethical Equations” here. Thanks to the estate of Murray Leinster and the Virginia Kidd Agency for the permission to offer this copy for a limited time to fans interested in joining the discussion John Hertz will lead at Westercon 64.

“The Ethical Equations,” copyright © 1945, 1973 by the Estate of Murray Leinster; first appeared in Astounding (now known as Analog); used by permission of the author’s Estate and the Estate’s agents, the Virginia Kidd Agency, Inc.  Image from the NESFA Press collection First Contacts (Joe Rico ed.), used by permission.

[Via Westercon 64 website.]

Independent Publishing and the Kindle

Nancy Fulda offers interesting and persuasive advice about self-publishing in “Kindle Starter Kit” on the SFWA Blog.

Fulda analyzes the impact of content (yes, quality writing matters – shock!), covers, reviews, the blurb, Amazon’s “Customers Who Bought” algorithim, promotion and pricing.

For example, she makes a provocative argument in favor of setting a low price:

That purchasing urge gets stronger the lower the price goes. Get down into the $0.99 range, and you are in Happy Impulse Purchase Land. People won’t think twice about buying; if the book looks remotely interesting, they’re likely to just toss it in the shopping cart.

Here’s something I didn’t know a month ago: The kindle market is not primarily populated by early adopters and techno-geeks. The Cheap Book Crowd — the customers who never even made it onto most publishers’ radar because they go to libraries and shop in used book stores — has fallen in love with kindle. Buyers have been known to spend up to $200 per month on $0.99 books.

Price matters.

I Have No Mouth and I Must…

Carl’s Jr. and Hardees are advertising a new fried chicken sandwich:

…the ad features a world-weary yet cute robot who comes home from work eager to try his chicken sandwich. But because he’s a robot, he has no mouth and he can’t eat it. The tagline aims to highlight the handmade nature of the sandwich: “Machines can’t eat it, so machines shouldn’t make it.”

The short version of the commercial is here [YouTube].

A longer version shows the robot losing his cool and blasting his apartment with his laser.

Ah, The Classics!

John Hertz invites fans attending Westercon in San Jose and Renovation in Reno to join in the discussion of selected classics of science fiction.

As John defines it, “A classic is a work that survives its own time. After the currents which might have sustained it have changed, it remains, and is seen to be worthwhile for itself.”

Now’s the time to pull out the copies in your collection or check whether they’re available online, read them and come prepared.

The three works being discussed at Westercon 64 are:

Poul Anderson, Brain Wave (1954): Humankind didn’t invent it; we escaped it. The Solar System suddenly moves out of a cosmic cloud after hundreds of millions of years. It was a suppressor field, so everything that has a brain is about five times smarter – people and animals. Now what?

Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle (1962): This won Dick’s only Hugo. The Allies lost World War II; Nazi Germany controls the east coast of North America, Imperial Japan the west, where most of the story is set. Avram Davidson, who was no dope, said “It’s all here, extrapolation, suspense, action, art philosophy.”

Murray Leinster, “The Ethical Equations” (1945): Here are hostile aliens we can’t take advantage of, astounding technology ditto, bureaucrats who get their noses pulled, neatly and deftly shown. Leinster coined “first contact” for the first meeting of humans and aliens; the Sidewise Award for alternative history is named after a Leinster novella. He was one of s-f’s best craftsmen.

They’ll be discussing three of John’s choices at the Worldcon:

Thursday: The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron. The New York Times said “scientific facts are emphasized in this well-built story,” Mushroom Planet was applauded by Ellen Datlow and Walter Moseley and found on dozens of children’s-book lists, it has strangeness and charm. Discussion led by John Hertz.

Saturday: From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne. We did go to the moon, a century later; we did leave from Cape Canaveral, with a crew of three; the Apollo XI command module was the Columbia, and the command-service module was the size and shape of Verne’s projectile. But never mind; science fiction is not in the prediction business. What a storyteller Verne was! Discussion led by John Hertz.

Sunday: The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber. Here are a host of viewpoints, a first contact with aliens story as we learn a third of the way in, a look at some favorite notions like “Rovers are free and good” and “Love conquers all” and a breathtaking exercise in climax and perspective. Leiber’s second Hugo-winning novel. Discussion led by John Hertz.

[Thanks to John Hertz for the story. Item descriptions, written by John Hertz, have been copied from the convention websites. Thanks to Reno for the added links to Wikipedia entries and participant information.]

Art Focus at 2011 Worldcon

Art @ Renovation is a series of thematic events and opportunities to interact with top sf artists at this year’s Worldcon in Reno. Among the highlights are:

  • Art Night, a visual arts festival throughout the evening of Thursday, August 18. Art Night will kick off with the Chesley Awards, given by the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists (ASFA), recognizing individual artistic works and achievements in science fiction and fantasy, and continue with panels, games, workshops, and demonstrations, along with highlights of the Renovation Film Festival.
  • An Illustration Masterclass led by Chesley and Gaughan Award winner Richard Hescox.
  • Portfolio review opportunities with Guest of Honor Boris Vallejo and leading industry Art Directors including Jon Schindehette, Lou Anders and David Palumbo.
  • A substantial Art Show featuring original artwork and prints from over 80 artists. The Art Show is supported by an online Artist Showcase. There also will be a printed commemorative publication available for purchase at the con.
  • A special exhibit and programming featuring the work of Artist Guest of Honor Boris Vallejo, as well as his wife and partner, Julie Bell, and her sons, fellow artists David and Anthony Palumbo.

The full press release follows the jump.

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Westercon 64 Runneth Over

Westercon 64, coming this Fourth of July weekend to San Jose, has announced more special events to draw the fans.

There will be a performance of a radio-style play written by artist guests of honor Phil and Kaja Foglio, a themed Saturday afternoon tea with writer guest of honor Patricia McKillip, and a focus event on the guests moderated by Terry Bisson from the SF in SF reading series.

But wait, there’s more! The full press release follows the jump.

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