The prestigious Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire have always been friendly to translation into French. This year they gave prizes for translated novels, short fiction and YA novels, and their Bande Dessinée (comic) and Manga winners were also translated. There is even a prize specifically for translators (into French). But they also went further, giving a special prize to Jean-Marc Lofficier and Brian Stableford for their work translating French language science fiction into English and publishing it through Black Coat Press.
Here are a few interesting stories that have turned up in the blogosphere in recent weeks.
– The Independent reviews Best European Fiction 2010, which includes a ghost story by Portugal’s Valter Hugo Mae and a “futuristic tale” by Georgi Gospodinov from Bulgaria.
– Chad W. Post ponders the value of automated translation tools.
– K.E. Semmel reviews Olga Slavnikova’s novel, 2017 (translation by Marian Schwartz) which is set in a near future Russia facing an environmental catastrophe.
– Haikasoru editor Pancha Diaz talks about the Tiptree-winning graphic novel, Ôoku.
– And Nick Mamatas discusses “The anarchy of translation”.
The James Tiptree Jr. Award is one of the most prestigious prizes in science fiction. Given for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender, it has always been friendly to translated fiction. Johanna Sinisalo’s Troll (Not Before Sundown) was a joint winner for works published in 2004. The 2009 selection also features joint winners, one of which is a Japanese manga: Ooku: The Inner Chambers, volumes 1 & 2 by Fumi Yoshinaga.
The possibility to top quality manga translations was taken into account when we drew up the eligibility rules for our awards. We will be taking it into account, as we will for graphic stories translated from other languages.
Chad W. Post has announced the short list for the mainstream translation award. You can find the full list over at Three Percent. We note that a couple of the books we highlighted as having fantastical content have made the final 10: Ghosts by César Aira and Memories of the Future by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky.
Over at Three Percent Chad W. Post is continuing his trip through the long list of the mainstream translation award. The latest book to come under the microscope is In the United States of Africa by Abdourahman Waberi. The book is set in alternate present in which, as Post explains, we are asked to imagine:
what would it be like if Africa were America and the United States and Europe were third world countries where the whiteness of your skin was a disadvantage, a mark of poverty and prejudice
The author is from Djibouti and wrote originally in French. The translation is by David and Nicole Ball.
While the mainstream award run through Three Percent is the primary mainstream we will be tracking, there is another mainstream prize for translation. It is only awarded every three years, but it is worth a whopping $10,000. The Queen Sofia Spanish Institute Translation Prize is intended to foster awareness and appreciation of Spanish literature in the USA. The first ever winner is Edith Grossman, for her translation of Antonio Munoz Molinas novel, A Manuscript of Ashes. Galley Cat has more details.
Continuing his journey through the long list for this year’s mainstream fiction translation award, Chad W. Post has reached Memories of the Future by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky. The title is definitely promising, and Post mentions in his review that the book could be classified as science fiction, so this is definitely eligible material (although again it is a 2009 book so may not get considered).
Over at Three Percent Chad Post is talking about Ghosts, a novel by Argentine author, César Aira. As the book has ghosts in it, it is definitely with our terms of reference. Of course it is a 2009 book, so our jury will only look at it if they think they don’t have a sufficient number of 2010 books to consider, but if it is a candidate for a mainstream translation award it must be quite impressive.
Awards for translating mainstream literature have existed for some time. The Best Translated Book Award is run through the blog Three Percent (named because that’s apparently the proportion of books published in the USA that are translated). Their long list was published last week.
Also in the frame are the Translation Prizes awarded by the Times Literary Supplement in the UK. Their winners were also announced last week. They include a book by Tove Jansson, though not, sadly, one about Moomins.
Although these awards are not specifically for science fiction of fantasy, they do sometimes include books with fantastic themes, and we will keep and eye on them for likely candidates for our awards. If anyone has any specific information about the books listed, please let us know.