Aurora Awards Anthology

Nanopress, a new publisher based in Quebec, is issuing an anthology of Prix Aurora Award winning stories, some of which are translated from French into English. The Auroras are Canada’s fan-voted awards, and they have traditionally had categories for both English-language and French-language fiction.

The anthology, The Aurora Awards: Thirty Years of Canadian Science Fiction, includes stories by Isaac Szpindel, James Alan Gardner, Eileen Kernaghan, Daniel Sernine, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Élisabeth Vonarburg, Candas Jane Dorsey, Yves Meynard, David Nickle, Karl Schroeder, Edo Van Belkom, Hayden Trenholm, Douglas Smith, and Laurent McAllister, and has an introduction by Jean-Louis Trudel. It will be published in May. Further details here.

As we understand it, none of the translations are new this year, but some were first published last year and therefore may be looked at by our jury.

News From Eastercon

The British National Science Fiction Convention is known as Eastercon, because it always takes place over the Easter holiday weekend. This year it was held in a hotel at Heathrow airport near London, and as a consequence there were many visitors from outside of the UK. Fans and professionals attended from France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Turkey (and possibly a few other non-English-speaking countries we didn’t spot).

The program offered two program items on translation. The first highlighted works that are already available in English. Many of those we have mentioned already, but one we haven’t is the Dwarves series by Markus Heitz. This has sold in huge quantities in Germany, and is now being made available in English by Orbit. The first volume, The Dwarves, was published last year while the second, The War of the Dwarves, has just been released.

The other panel was about works that have not yet been translated. One of the most interesting books mentioned was Karsta by Finnish writer, J. Pekka Mäkelä. A short story, “Thirty More Years”, set in the same world, has just been published in English translation. You can read it here. Mäkelä is a translator as well, and has been responsible for providing Finnish readers with works by Philip K. Dick, Sean Stewart and Brian Francis Slattery.

Some Translation Links

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”.

Translated Manga Wins Tiptree

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.

Thank You, CanSMOF

We are delighted to report that CanSMOF, the parent corporation of Anticipation, the 2009 Worldcon, (which ran programming in both English and French) has granted us CA$500 from the surplus funds of the convention. The money will pay most of the costs of our incorporation on as non-profit organization. Our warmest thanks go out to CanSMOF and our friends in the French-speaking world who have made this possible.

By the way, our incorporation continues to progress slowly, as is the way with bureaucracy. As soon as we have a bank account and tax-exempt status we will let you know.

An Alternate Africa

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.

The Swedes Are Coming!

And they are bringing their comics with them. Top Shelf Productions have recently announced that they will be publishing several top Swedish comics in English translation in the USA this year. Probably not all of them will be speculative fiction, but there’s not much doubt about The Troll King by Kolbeinn Karlsson. The Top Shelf web site has more details.