2022 Zsoldos Péter Award

The winners of the Zsoldos Péter Award for 2022 were announced April 20.

The juried award was established in 1997 to preserve the memory of Zsoldos Péter, the most prominent Hungarian science fiction writer of the last century.

BEST NOVEL

  • Baráth Katalin: Afázia (Agave Könyvek)

In accomplished crime writer Katalin Baráth’s first science fiction novel after the destruction of Earth the Solar System is in a Cold War. The two sides are empires, one capitalist (Democracy), one communist (Network Empire), but both of them forgot to use language and communicate the way we do now. Instead, they use visual feeds.

Enter the Moyers, a tiny nation of formidable warriors descended from Hungarian survivors of the Earth’s destruction, who preserved their literature and spoken language… A language, which affects citizens of the two empires as a drug, so they are bound to subdue and use them against the other side.

As the two empires prepare for war, the Moyers have to navigate between them to protect their independence. They send a genetically manipulated asexual supersoldier, and a burned-out spy to retrieve a superweapon created by the Founding Father of their colony, before their enemies can find it.

Baráth’s work is a highly inventive novel, which is using the best classic sci-fi, cyberpunk and space opera tropes to explore and criticise Hungarian ideas about our place in the world.

BEST SHORT STORY

  • Juhász Viktor: Az Eigengrau (Az év magyar science fiction és fantasynovellái 2021, GABO Könyvkiadó)

“Az Eigengrau” is a maze-like story about labyrinths, set in a prison colony at the edge of the known world, where an authoritarian city-state sends its disgraced sorcerers. These once mighty servants of the state, who used to uphold the law, now trawl the still lethal, magically active battlefields for ancient weapons of war. The story focuses on one of the convicts – deprived of his shadow and his powers – and the state agent sent to fetch him, as their pursuit on the borderland leads to places where identity, topography and time is broken and blurred.

BEST TRANSLATION

  • William Gibson: Neuromancer (translated by Farkas Veronika, Agave Könyvek)

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNER

  • Baráth Katalin: Afázia (Agave Könyvek)

[Thanks to Bence Pintér for the story synopses.]

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