Small publisher p.machinery has just announced the publication of issue #29 of Nova, the magazine for contempory German science fiction stories that I edit together with Michael Haitel. It includes new stories by Tino Falke, T. Elling, Tom Turtschi (this year’s winner of the Deutsche Science Preis/German Science Fiction Award for his story “Don’t Be Evil” in Nova #28), J. A. Hagen, Moritz Greenman, Uwe Post, Frank Hebben, Norbert Stöbe, Peter Stohl and Martin Wambsganß, a guest story by Canadian writer Louis B. Shalako and a nonfiction feature about the so-called simulation hypothesis with, as I think, mind-bending essays by Erfan Kasraie, Fabian Vogt and Wolfgang Mörth.
I have recently added two more electronic ambient pieces to my Ambient Etudes series, hosted on Soundcloud. “Ambient Etude 8” is based on a live performance in Second Life on Asmita Duranyaja’s art sim interstellART. “Ambient Etude 8” was initially the background sound for a unique event that took place in Second Life in 2017, a live staged science fiction machinima movie, utilizing the Second Life infrastructure and live-streamed to Youtube, based on a script by Thorsten Küper aka Kueperpunk Korhonen.
A Romanian translation of my story “The Spirits” has just been published in the Romanian online magazine Galaxia 42. Thanks to my dear fellow Liviu Surugiu who has established the contact to the magazine.
By the way: “Die Speisung”, my German translation of one of Liviu’s own finest stories, published as guest story in Nova #28, edited by Michael Haitel and me, has been well-received by German reviewers and readers.
I have already embarked on what I hope will be the first year of a new Golden Twenties (preferably without a Great Depressions towards the end of the decade). Though it’s a little belated I don’t want to miss, however, to thank a number of people for their help and support in the previous year:
My co-editors of Nova, Dirk Alt, Michael Haitel, Thomas Sieber and Christian Steinbacher, for a smooth and efficient collaboration that couldn’t have been any better; my fellows Wilfried Bienek, Olaf Kemmler, Jacqueline Montemurri, Horst Pukallus, Michael Steinmann and Tomas Juriga for fun and inspirational talks during our regular meetings in Wuppertal; Asmita Duranjaya, Kueperpunk Korhonen (aka Thorsten Küper), Moewe Winkler, Xuemei Yiyuan and the ladies of the Little Yoshiwara for their collaboration and support in Second Life; Frank W. Haubold, Helmuth W. Mommers and my publishers Fabylon and p.machinery for being loyal colleagues; my readers and reviewers for their encouragement; my cousin Martina for another year of mutal support and last not least my lovely Twigg for all the time we were blessed to spend together.
I also like to wish my daughter Juliana all the best for a happy and successful new year. I have no doubt that you will continue to make your way.
Shortly before Christmas me and my co-editors managed to complete our last task of the year and have the latest issue #28 of our award winning science fiction magazine Nova published. It includes new stories Dirk Alt, Marcus Hammerschmitt, Wolfgang Moerth, Tom Turtschi, Uwe Schimunek, Tino Falke, Victor Boden, Paul Sanker and Wolf Welling, a poem by Volly Tanner and a guest story by renowned Romanian science fiction writer Liviu Surugiu. Of special interest for the science fiction community should be, in the nonfiction section, a discussion about the recent renaming of the James Tiptree jr. Award with statements by Dirk Alt, myself and, a special honor for our magazine, Tiptree biographer Julie Philips.
My latest novel Der Moloch, published by Fabylon earlier this year, has received a number of favorable reviews by now. Frank W. Haubold came in an Amazon review to the conclusion that the novel can keep up with the more ambitious works of Anglo-American science fiction. Michael Schmidt called it in his blog one of the most outstanding, unusual and wicked German science fiction books of recent years. Another postive review was published in GEEK! magazine #43.
p.machinery, the small publishing house of my Nova co-editor Michael Haitel, has recently published Von Rhabarber und Feigen (Of Rhabarb and Figs), a collection of modern haikus by Peter Schnell in four languages, German, English, Spanish and Japanese. I was honored to contribute the English translations, an interesting challenge that required me to carefully select each word in order to meet the formal requirements of that constrained 17 syllables form of poerty.
Nova is a magazine for contemporary German language science fiction that I have founded with Helmuth W. Mommers and Ronald M. Hahn in 2002 and continued with varying co-editors scince then. It has recently been announced that Helmuth, Ronald and me and our later co-editors Olaf G. Hilscher, Frank Hebben and Michael Haitel will be awarded with the extra price of the Kurd Laßwitz Preis, the most important German science fiction award, bestowed by the science fiction professionals in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We feel honored by this recognition of 17 years of work that have not always been easy. We also regard it as an encouragement for the current editorial team – comprising Dirk Alt, Michael Haitel, Thomas Sieber, Christian Steinbacher and me – to continue the path taken.
But that’s not all. In the short fiction category my long-term friend and collaborator Thorsten Küper has won with his story “Confinement” from Nova 26, initially written as a script for a live machinima in Second Life. It’s Thorsten’s first accolade and, if you ask me, it was long overdue.
In his worldwide hit “American Pie” from 1971 singer and songwriter Don McLean sang of “the day the music died”, refering to the death of rock’n’roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, in 1959.
April 19th, 2019 could justly be called “the day science fiction died”. With the passing of Gene Wolfe the last of a great influential generation of science fiction writers born in the 1920ies and 1930ies has gone and a founding and shaping era of the genre has finally ended.
The last decade has seen the death of a number of great science fiction writers, among them Brian W. Aldiss, J.G. Ballard, Thomas M. Disch and Ursula K. LeGuin. Gene Wolfe was, in my humble opinion, the greatest of them all, a subtle and refined artist that I admire like no other writer in science fiction and fantasy.
Gene was what you call a writer’s writer, far too little know to a wider audience but revered by a devoted circle of readers and, even more, by his peers who may learn for decades to come from the literary skills that he displayed in his two most important masterpieces, The Fifth Head of Cerberus (1972) and the four volume The Book of the New Sun (1980-1983).
It will be hard to fill the gap that these writers and especially Gene Wolfe have left. The world of imaginative fiction is poorer without him.
The Kurd Laßwitz Preis is the most important German science fiction award, bestowed by the science fiction professional in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. I have received the award three times, in 2000 for the translation of Iain M. Banks’ Feersum Endjinn in collaboration with Horst Pukallus and in 2008 and 2011 for my novellas “Der Moloch” and “Die Schwelle”.
Award trustee Udo Klotz has recently announced the nominations for 2019. I was honored to note that I have been nominated in the special award category, together with Ronald M. Hahn, Helmuth W. Mommers and my subsequent co-editors Olaf G. Hilscher, Frank Hebben and Michael Haitel, for the founding and continuation of the German science fiction magazine Nova which is on the market since 2002.
Nova has fared well on this year’s KLP shortlist. No less than three stories from Nova have been nominated in the best story category: Heidrun Jänchen’s “Baum Baum Baum” and Thomas Sieber’s “Enola in Ewigkeit” (my favorite) from Nova #25 as well es Thorsten Küper’s “Confinement” from Nova #26.