Three New Publications

November 2, 2021

I have two new story and a translation out this week!

“Lajos and his Bees” by K.A. Teryna is out in the November/December issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. It’s an excellent secondary-world fantasy and it found a great home in this storied publication.

My own story, “Winner Takes All” is part of the new anthology of space westerns, out today from Baen books. Gunfight on Europa Station (edited by David Boop) ebook is available now while the paperbacks have been temporarily delayed and should be releasing soon.

Last but not least, “The Going Rate” is a funny and snarky short story in the current issue of Galaxy’s Edge which is temporarily FREE to read online. It’ll only remain free for a couple of months, so don’t wait to read it.

Here’s a brief sample:

The reckoning was overdue, and if it took dark magic to serve Alfred his just desserts, so be it. Besides, the book on witchcraft Karen had been reading was due back at the library on the following Tuesday. Before her rational side could take over, she grabbed the paperback, flipped to the earmarked page, and marched into her empty garage.

Karen quickly discovered that spell books were similar to cookbooks in that the recipe always required ingredients an average person would never keep in their pantry. Armed with her years of experience cooking with dried bouillon cubes instead of homemade chicken stock, Karen was certain she could cast a perfectly serviceable spell by working with reasonable substitutions.

Since she was neither an old-timey schoolteacher nor a hopscotch-playing preteen, Karen owned zero pieces of chalk. She also didn’t relish ruining a perfectly serviceable garage floor, and so Karen found a disused dry-erase board, placed it onto the ground, and drew the pentagram with an erasable pink marker.

Karen paused to admire her handiwork, then winced as she read the next paragraph from her book. Who could possibly be expected to possess a flask of virgin blood collected during the vernal equinox, even if the recipe called for only a small flask? After some deliberation, she poured two fingers of room-temperature Bloody Mary mix into five souvenir NASCAR shot glasses and placed one at each point of the pentagram.


Announcing the Rosetta Archive

October 28, 2021

I’ll be co-editing an anthology with Tarryn Thomas. Press release copied from Future SF

Announcing The Rosetta Archive

UFO Publishing and Future Affairs Administration team up to produce an anthology to celebrate the Rosetta Awards and promote translated fiction.

The Rosetta Archive: Notable SF/F Short Fiction in Translation, edited by Alex Shvartsman and Tarryn Thomas, will contain approximately 100,000 words of translated fiction originally published in English during the year 2020.

Pending author and translator approval, the anthology will include the stories shortlisted for the Rosetta Awards in 2021, translations published in Future Science Fiction Digest in 2020, and a number of additional translations selected by the editors.

The editors will also acquire Chinese language rights on behalf of the Future Affairs Administration whenever possible. FAA will feature those stories on their apps and social media, and seek a potential partnership to publish a version of the anthology in China.

“If the inaugural anthology is well-received, we’ll consider publishing annual editions, with the 2023 volume featuring translations from 2021, and so forth,” said Shvartsman.

The book will be published in February, 2022 in trade paperback and ebook formats.

UFO Publishing (USA) is a Brooklyn, NY-based small press and a publisher of Future Science Fiction Digest.

The Future Affairs Administration (China) is a technological/cultural brand focusing on the future, producing original content with a futuristic vision for a Golden Age of Chinese science fiction.

Alex Shvartsman (USA) is the editor of over a dozen anthologies and of Future Science Fiction Digest. He’s the author of two novels and over 120 short stories, and a Russian to English translator.

Tarryn Thomas (South Africa) is a professional copy editor. She’s an associate editor at Future Science Fiction Digest and an editor at Nightshade and Moonlight Publishing.


Future SF Issue 12 Cover and TOC

September 6, 2021

Issue 12 launches on September 15. Buy it on all major ebook platforms or subscribe to our Patreon to get the issue early, for as little as $1 per month!

“Old People’s Folly” by Nora Schinnerl (Austria)
“The Life Cycle of a Cyber-Bar” by Arthur Liu (China) translated by Nathan Faries (USA)
“When a Sleeping Seed Blooms” by Alexandra Seidel (Germany)
“Nobel Prize Speech Draft of Paul Winterhoeven, with Personal Notes” by Jane Espenson (USA)
“When the Mujna Begins” by Oleg Divov (Russia) translated by Alex Shvartsman (USA)

Cover art: Tithi Luadthong
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New publication: “I’m Feeling Lucky” by Leonid Kaganov at Clarkesworld

July 14, 2021

The latest translation of mine from Russian has been accepted at this wonderful market, which I’ve been trying to crack for a decade. (Clarkesworld was the first magazine I ever submitted a short story to, back in 2010.) Very glad to share this first with Leonid Kaganov, a brilliant and popular writer from St. Petersburg for whom this is his first English language publication!

Read the story here.

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Publication: “The Chartreuse Sky” in Asimov’s

April 27, 2021

My translation of “The Chartreuse Sky” by K.A. Teryna and Alexander Bachilo is live in the May/June 2021 issue of Asimov’s.

Future (and past) Moscow, augmented reality, and architecture meld into a unique story. Pick up a copy and check it out!

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Traitor for a Living: The Craft of Literary Translation

January 31, 2021

Last year I was the translator guest of honor at the Flights of Foundry virtual convention, and I delivered this thirty-minute talk on the subject. I’ve given versions of this talk in the past, at the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and elsewhere, but now it’s available online for anyone who might be interested in such. (It’s completely unedited/unebridged, so pardon the virtual dust.)
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RusTrans Grant

June 19, 2020

I’m pleased as punch to announce that I’m one of the winners of the RusTrans translation grant from the University of Exeter. Here are the details, in their own words:

EARLY IN 2020, RUSTRANS RAN A COMPETITION FOR TRANSLATORS OF CONTEMPORARY LITERARY FICTION FROM RUSSIAN TO ENGLISH. WE OFFERED SUPPORT (UP TO THE VALUE OF £1,000 PER PROJECT) TO A TOTAL OF 12 PROJECTS IN ORDER TO HELP THE TRANSLATOR PRODUCE UP TO 10,000 WORDS OF A NEW TRANSLATION. IN RETURN, WE ASKED SUCCESSFUL TRANSLATORS TO UPDATE US OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS OR SO (UNTIL JUNE 2022) ON THEIR PUBLICATION JOURNEY – THEIR SUCCESSES AND REJECTIONS, READER RESPONSES, EDITORIAL DECISIONS AND SO ON. WELL, WE HAVE OUR WINNERS!

The complete list of winners is posted here, and the description of the winning projects is available here. There are some serious heavy hitters, including Viktor Pelevin and Dmitry Bykov.

As to my project, it will be with the long-time translation collaborator K. A. Teryna. I’ll be translating her novella The Factrory (see book cover, above) which can be best described as an M. C. Escher painting in words and will be seriously difficult to translate. But, that’s how I like ’em! Challenging translations are fun translations.

We’re both thrilled to have our science fiction project included alongside all these other works.

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January 2019 Story Sales

January 14, 2019

Although I haven’t been focusing on short fiction in recent months, 2019 is already off to a great start with two pro sales this week.

My translation of “The Slave” by Andrej Kokoulin will be published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. “The Slave” won the FantLab contest in Russia, where I was one of the judges. Some readers and participants took issue with the relatively minor amount of fantastical elements in this story (it’s a really good and disturbing mix of magical realism and psychological horror), but I insisted the story fell firmly within the bounds of genre, and the other judges agreed. I suppose nothing vindicates our decision like the English translation of it selling to the magazine whose title is literally F&SF.

My second sale is a science fiction flash story “Gifts of Prometheus” — a throwback to Golden Age sci-fi which also manages to critique golden age SF tropes in a roundabout way — which will appear in Nature Futures. This will be my 12th story published in this excellent magazine.

My short fiction sales are bound to slow down in coming months. I’m not writing a lot of short stories, and I don’t currently owe stories to any invitation anthologies — a position I find myself in for the first time in a few years. So if you’re editing a pro paying anthology, this may be a good time to reach out. 🙂 I continue to focus on editing Future SF and on my novels in the meantime.

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Reprint: Untilted at Samovar

September 24, 2018

My translation of “Untilted” by K. A. Teryna has been reprinted at Samovar today. Samovar publishes translation and international fiction, and although the English text of the story has previously appeared (originally at Apex magazine), Samovar provides a Russian language text as well, and also a podcasted version.

You can read and/or listen by clicking here.

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Publication: “Untilted” by K. A. Teryna

November 14, 2017

My translation of “Untilted” by K. A. Teryna is live and free to read at Apex magazine today.

This is the most challenging translation I ever undertook. The story relies on intentional misspellings and linguistic cues to work. Even the title is a pun! In Russian the title is “Бес Названия” which literally means “The Demon of the Name” but is also one letter off from “Untitled.” My friend, himself a translator of considerable skill, declared this story “untranslatable.” So I’m extremely proud of having not only translated it, but helped it find a home at such a wonderful market.

Please, go read it!

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