From the excellent Cuban Science Fiction site – Borrowed Time: Women Cuban Science Fiction Writers – a preface to a new anthology, by Raúl Aguiar.
But in the years following 2000, a new wave of Cuban science fiction writers has emerged. Some of them have achieved recognition through the Internet, thanks to the Argentine e-zine, Axxón. This is true for Nora Calas, who has lived in Chile since the 1990s. It is also the case for one of the most important female voices in the field today: Anabel Enríquez Piñeiro. A founder of the “Espiral” group of the fantasy genre, her quarto of stories “Nada que declarer” [Nothing to declare] obtained both the Calendario Prize of SF in 2005 and the magazine Juventud Técnica’s [Technical Youth] first science fiction prize that same year. A little later she won the Che Guevara Memorial scholarship from the AHS for her essay “Mujeres y Literatura Fantástica: los caminos de(l) género” [Women and Fantasy Literature: the paths of gender and genre]. The interesting thing about Anabel Enriquez’ work is that the writer is not afraid to apply scientific speculation or technology in developing her stories. Of course, that is not the principal focus for her, but merely a means to explore social and familial themes, as in her tale “Nada que declarer”, in which she describes a family of space “stowaways” in a somber future that closely resembles an anti-utopian or a cyberpunk style. Or her magnificent short story “Deuda temporal” [Borrowed Time] – from which the title of this anthology is taken – in which we find the classic theme of Einstein’s twin paradox, now seen through a woman’s eyes, in the relation between a daughter and her astronaut mother, as we watch as time, and their lives, spin out of joint before our eyes. – read the rest of the introduction.
Philippines writer Rochita Loenen-Ruiz is attending the American writing workshop Clarion West, and blogging about the experience, with some interesting insights.
Fan News Denmark is "an occasional blog about Danish science fiction fans and their activities. In English for the benefit of an international audience."
Over at SF Signal, there is the first in a multi-part discussion on international SF by various contributors, including Apex Book of World SF editor Lavie Tidhar, all answering the question What is going on right now in the international sf/f scene that anglophone readers might be missing out on?
We’ll be following the discussion and commentary, of course, and plan to offer you some new links to available material. Meanwhile, to add just a little: translator Sue Burke (one of the contributors above) discusses more of the issues surrounding translation and its costs, and for those interested in French writer Pierre Bordage (recommended in the comments), there is a short introduction to his work – including a translation of the first two chapters of Bordage’s novel, Les Guerriers du Silence (The Warriors of Silence).
An article on Japanese SF, with a focus on media and a selected bibliography, by Aidan Doyle at the Internet Review of Science Fiction, written after the Japanese Worldcon.
"Yoshio Kobayashi is a leading translator of foreign SF into Japanese. When asked what the impact of the Worldcon on Japanese SF was, he answered, "Actually not much. There were many programs about American SF in English and many about Japanese SF in Japanese and they didn’t cross over. We couldn’t produce a decent Japanese SF anthology in English except an old one. There weren’t enough foreign fans and writers to cause a great impact." – read the rest of the article
The ever-busy Charles Tanhas a new essay over on his blog – Essay: An Anime Fan’s Take on Japanese Speculative Fiction.
Last week, Nick Mamatas posted a blog entry entitled Japanese SF and English-language original SF. It struck a chord in me because back before I was the "Philippine speculative fiction guy," I was trying to carve myself a niche in the anime/manga industry. I remember scouring local news, attending anime screenings, participating in cosplays, working in a manga shop, and even created a fanzine or two. Until a few weeks ago, I was even writing manga reviews for Comics Village.
While I used to be this big anime/manga geek, what I want to talk about is Japanese prose, specifically speculative fiction… – read the rest of the essay.
Another article on Brazilian SF over at the Shine Anthology blog – Optimism in Literature around the World and SF in Particular, part 5: Brazil, “the Country that Could Have Been and Maybe Will”, by Jacques Barcia.
"Brazil was cyberpunk and it’s becoming post-cyberpunk…" – read the article.
We’re running a multiethnic issue in 2010 and we want your scary, funny, exciting and plain-bizarre stories with a Lovecraftian twist.
- Must have a minority character in a major role. We are trying to produce an issue that showcases diversity in speculative fiction. We get a lot of slush with characters with English backgrounds, and a lot of stuff set in the United States. We are trying to do something different this time around.
- Special attention will be paid to writers submitting from outside of the United States, so mention it in your cover letter. ‘Cause we don’t get that many of them and we really, really want to read Filipino Lovecraft.
- If you’re a Pakistani-Canadian, we’d like to know it. We’re trying to represent different regions of the world, so this is an important factor.
Send only from August 1, 2009 to October 31, 2009. Submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org, Subject line: Multi-issue, Story Title. Read our usual submission guidelines for pay rates, formatting info and tips.
Over at Fantasy Book Critic, Fabio Fernandes has an excellent article on Brazilian Speculative Fiction:
The article you are about to read is a kind of follow-up to a very similar (almost identical, in fact) piece I did last year for Romanian magazine Nautilus. If in that article my tone was very optimistic, I´m afraid things had changed drastically in the twelve months or so since its publication. (Fourteen months, in fact. Just checked.)
The title in Romanian, marile speranţe, means something like "great expectations". Some of them were fulfilled, some not, as it´s supposed to happen normally. In a country as big as Brazil, however, you should think that things already could have developed in a far better way that they did. Sadly, that´s not the case. Below, part of the original article, with (many) additional remarks. - Read the rest of the article.
For anyone with an interest in Latin American SF, there is the incredible (though, sadly, not exactly cheap), Latin American Science Fiction Writers: An A-to-Z Guide [Amazon] [Google Books] edited by Darrell B. Lockhart.
"This volume represents an attempt to provide a comprehensive inventory of Latin American science fiction writing. My interest in such a project stems from at least two primary motivating factors: first ,a personal fondness for a genre that has provided me with a great source of entertainment over the years; and second, the desire to engage in the more intellectual enterprise of literary history and interpretation in relation to the science fiction of Latin America."