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.) #SFWAPRO
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
The May 16 issue of Crain’s New York Business Journal ran a profile on me in my capacity as owner and operator of Kings Games. All I have is this thumbnail for now, but I’m expecting some copies in the mail and am looking forward to reading the article.
These are the contributor copies of Informator Gdanskiego Klubu Fantastyki, which has been publishing my Tales of the Elopus mini-stories translated into Polish, one per issue. You can also see the PDF issues online, here. (Click on the magazine cover at top right.)
Editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt shared the cover art of Mission: Tomorrow, his anthology forthcoming from Baen this November which includes my story “The Race for Arcadia.” This will be my second appearance in a Baen anthology, after this summer’s release of the latest Chicks in Chainmail volume.
I was recently invited to participate in one of the coolest writing contest I’ve had the privilege of competing in to date.
SF Comet invites popular Chinese and international authors to write stories (up to 2500 words) based on the prompt they’re provided. The stories are posted (and, in case of international authors, first translated into Chinese) on social media sites such as Weibao and WeChat. Readers are invited to judge the stories and vote — anonymously. Who wrote which story isn’t revealed until the contest is over. All authors are paid professional rates and the winner earns an additional $500.
I participated in the third such contest. I had big shoes to fill–the previous English-speaking authors invited to participate were Mike Resnick and Nancy Kress. The prompt for my contest was “breaking an egg” and my story is linked below:
Although I did not win (the story placed third overall) it was a really fun experience, and I’m quite happy with the resulting story. I’m also excited to have my work translated into Chinese for the first time.
This month’s contest includes Australia’s Aidan Doyle and Great Britain’s Deborah Walker, and the theme is listed as “Part time beggar.” I can’t wait to see what they came up with!
Today’s issue of the Russian language magazine Kosmoport includes a translation of my story “Price of Allegiance,” which originally appeared in Penumbra magazine.
Although it’s always great to see one of my stories appear in translation, this one is special since Russian is my native language. I speak and read it fluently, and translate fiction from Russian into English (though I wouldn’t attempt to translate it from English into Russian; I lack sufficient practice.)
Aliette is an awesome writer. I’d be glad to let her translate my English language stories into better English 😉 So if you are a writer published in French, Spanish, or Vietnamese, this may be a great opportunity for you.
I should also add that I do the same thing with Russian-language stories. I’ve translated a small handful so far, and those translations are selling/getting published. If you are an SF/F author who writes in Russian, please feel free to reach out to me. I’m *very* selective about what I translate (basically, I have to really love the story) and, like Aliette, I will consider for translation only material that has been professionally published and is under 7000 words.