Monday, July 14, 2014

Russian Fantastika reading list -- this is where you start

At Readercon, a couple of folks asked me to point them to good books of Russian fantastika available for reading in the original language or in English translation. Here is my very first list item: start with Strugatsky brothers. Arkady and Boris Strugatsky is where modern Russian fantastika comes of age -- and into her own --  social sciences fiction somewhere in between science fiction and fantasy, surreal like a spaceship chained to a birch-tree, familiar like a voice that says in your ear, There is something wrong with the world as you know it.
Pick up any of these three novels -- as a matter of fact, new and improved translations into English by Olena Bormashenko are available for two of them:

Hard to be a God

Chicago Review Press (IPG, dist.), ISBN 978-1-61374-828-2
What a cool cover!  The image is from the film a prominent Russian director Alexei German made based on the book.

Roadside Picnic
Chicago Review Press, ISBN-13: 9781613743416

The Ugly Swans
only an older edition available -- 1980, Collier/Macmillan, ISBN13: 9780020072409 

If you'd like to read any of these (and any other works) by the Strugatsky brothers in Russian, they are available here 
and are titled, respectively
Трудно быть богом 
Пикник на обочине 
Гадкие лебеди



Sunday, July 6, 2014

Clarion West Write-a-thon

This is the third year I participate in Clarion West's Write-a-thon event that is held during the six-week workshop. What is Clarion West? It is a non-profit organization that is behind the highly competitive annual short story workshop for aspiring writers of speculative fiction genres, held in Seattle, WA. Clarion West also organizes year-round events for writers and readers -- such as the famous Write-a-thon -- and is truly the fabric that connects a community of writers, readers, fans here in Seattle, all across the US, and internationally.
Write-a-thon is a fundraising event and a platform for writers, beginners to professionals, to introduce themselves and show their work, as well as impose writing deadlines and discipline upon themselves, should they still need any. I take part in Write-a-thon because I am a graduate of the Clarion West workshop and because I owe so much to the workshop and the community that makes it possible. Please visit the Write-a-thon page to meet writers like Elizabeth Bear, Eileen Gunn, Andrea Hairston, and many others, including my friends and classmates Randy Henderson, Kris Millering, Emily C. Skaftun, Lucas Johnson, Joel Walsh, D. Elizabeth Wasden, Katrina S. Forrest, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Vicki Saunders. See what they are up to, and sponsor them.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

My Readercon 2014 schedule

Readercon 25 schedule is out! The full schedule can be downloaded from Readercon program
My part of it is as follows:

Friday, July 11

1:00 PM:    The Difference Between Magic and Science  with  Max Gladstone, Lev Grossman, Andrea Hairston, Kenneth Schneyer (leader)
3:00 PM     Russian Traditions of Science Fiction and Fantasy with  Michael Kandel
9:00 PM      Parallels Between the Evolution of Human Language and Genetics.
Reprising my 2013 talk at the Art+Science salon at the Tacoma Art Museum, I will give a popular science-level overview of parallels between evolution of human languages and human genomes/epigenomes as tools of expression and communication. The presentation will be based in serious academic literature on the subject, though will also aim to provoke imagination and just have some intellectual fun.

Sunday July 13

12:00 PM    EM    I will read  from the novel The Age of Ice and unpublished work .