New Awards For SF&F Translated Into English Launched
At the World Fantasy Convention in San José today a new set of awards for fantastic literature was announced. They will reward and highlight works of science fiction, fantasy, horror and related literature translated into English from other languages.
Two awards will be presented: one for long form literature (40,000 words and above) and the other for short forms. The awards will consist of a trophy and a cash prize. A copy of the trophy and an equal share of the cash prize will be given to both the author and the translator. The awards will seek out and reward authors and translators who bring fresh new works created in other languages to the English-speaking world. For further details see the web site at http://www.sfftwards.org/.
Fantastic literature has a long and honorable tradition outside the English-speaking world. Jules Verne and Stanisław Lem are acknowledged masters of science fiction while writers such as Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino and Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić have created marvelous fantastic works. Some current authors, such as Andreas Eschbach, Maurice Dantec and Andrzej Sapkowski, have had success in translation, but many more wait to be discovered. Our book stores are full of translated Japanese manga. China and Russia have huge local markets for science fiction.
The award is being backed by a number of prominent academics, authors and fans, in particular staff at the University of California at Riverside (UCR), home of the Eaton Collection, one of the world’s largest collections of science fiction and fantasy literature.
For UCR, Professor Rob Latham said, “The literature of the fantastic is an international phenomenon and has been since Hoffmann, Gogol, and Maupassant in the 19th century. Yet contemporary Anglo-American readers have only a sketchy sense of the global scope of science fiction and fantasy today. This award will take a big step towards the goal of closing that blind spot. UCR is proud to be associated with this initiative given the wide range of materials gathered in the Eaton Collection, which includes works published in well over a dozen languages.”
Professor Gary K. Wolfe, former dean and Professor of Humanities at Roosevelt University and a World Fantasy Award winning critic said, “Despite its ancient tradition and continuing popularity as an integral aspect of world literature, contemporary non-English language fantasy and science fiction has become all but invisible to those of us in the English-speaking world. I hope this award will not only recognize outstanding translations, but encourage editors and publishers to seek out more such translations in the future”.
Author Zoran Živković, who won a World Fantasy Award for his novel, The Library, translated from Serbian, commented, “I think it is a great idea. For many authors around the globe it will substantially improve their access to the biggest market for their work. At long last, the international fantasy community gets the equivalent of the Academy Award foreign film category.”
Hugo Award winning blogger and critic, Cheryl Morgan, added, “In running the Science Fiction Awards Watch web site, I see non-English speaking countries all around the world give awards for translated fiction. Only in English-speaking countries are translations not specifically rewarded. We aim to change that.”
The first eligibility period for the awards will be the calendar year 2010. The first awards will be presented in 2011.
The award organizers are in the process of applying to set up a California Non-Profit Corporation to allow tax deductible donations.