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Non-English sf

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I continue to be very slow in pursuing my goal of finding out more about sf published in languages other than English. I know there's a lot of it; unfortunately, I'm monolingual, so I can't read any of it unless it's been translated. So I'd like to see more of it translated and submitted to us, but good translations often cost money, and we can't afford to get works translated in hopes that we'll like them; and presumably authors (and non-English publications) generally can't afford to get works translated in hopes that we'll like them either. And unfortunately, sometimes when we do receive submissions that have been translated, the translator isn't entirely fluent in written English. I always feel bad about rejecting those stories; the translator's English in those cases is much better than my use of any other language, and would be plenty good enough for informal communication.

I know a couple of people who've worked as translators of sf, and I've had a couple of brief email conversations with people associated with non-English sf publications, and some day I'll get on the ball and find out more about this stuff.

But in the meantime, I wanted to link to an online sf magazine from Argentina: Axxón: Ciencia Ficción en Bits. For those of you who, like me, don't read Spanish, the site also provides some stories in English and stories in French.

10 Comments

Thanks for the link! Now I can try to de-rust my Spanish ;) (or, more simply, head straight for the translations).

I wish we had anything in France, but the only French-language stories I've read were pretty derivative. Not to mention that 75%, maybe more, of what's on the shelves are translations from English.

You might want to try "Faeries" if you can read French. (http://www.nestiveqnen.com/). They publish a few French authors in addition to the numerous translations they buy. (I've never actually read the magazine, so I can't really vouch for anything, but it's the only speculative fiction magazine I've ever seen in bookshops).


I just saw the "monolingual" bit in your post. You can just skip over what I wrote :(


You reminded me to go and check what was up with Internova. On the downside, Internova is deadd. On the upside, it may rise again.


if you (SH collective you) ever do want something translated from french to english, I could do it.


Aliette, some of Jed's readers (like me) speak and read French, and might be glad (like me) to find out where to read stories in French. So your efforts are not wasted!


Lola, I'm glad I'm not a complete klutz and this was helpful to you :)
Out of sheer curiosity, do you live in France? (it's kind of uncommon for me to happen upon an American who speaks French, but then again my experience of Americans is rather limited :) )


Thanks for all the comments! I meant to reply sooner, but this week got away from me. As so many weeks do.

Aliette: Yeah, I can't read French, but I definitely appreciate the links; I would very much like to see non-English-language sf get more attention, even if I can't read it myself. Sorry to hear about the derivativeness levels, though. ...Not sure whether Lola will see your comment, so in case not, I'll note that she's American, and lives in the US; I think she started taking French in high school.

Niall: Thanks for the Internova link! I'm sorry to hear it's defunct in its former incarnation; I hope it does come back as an online publication. I've heard vaguely about it over the years, but don't think I've ever actually seen it.

Catherine: Thank you! The real problem is that we don't know what we would want translated. I suppose what we SH editors really need is readers that (a) share our tastes very closely, and (b) read sf in other languages, so that they can tell us "story X in language Y is certain to be something you would want to publish, so arrange to get it translated!" But given that even the three of us can't always predict each other's tastes, that's probably unlikely to work well in the real world.


Thanks for the info, Jed. I'm glad some people are still studying/speaking French (which is still, after all my mother tongue) :D


Internova is now an online magazine. Visit http://nova-sf.de/internova/ for more information. Thanks!


Thanks, Sven! Looks interesting.


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