My story “Das Netz der Geächteten”, included in the anthology Gamer (Begedia), edited by André Skora, Armin Rößler and Frank Hebben, has been, rather suprisingly for me, nominated for the Deutscher Science Fiction Preis (German Science Fiction Award) 2017 as best short story of the year. In the past I have won this award four times but so far exclusively for my novellas which are generally considered as my best works. This year’s nominations both in the story and the novel category can be read here.
The story was written at a time when I was still struggeling to get back into writing and I have to admit that I stretched the patience of the three editors to its limit. In the end I was glad that I could submit something to the Gamer anthology at all and regarded the story of one of my mediocre efforts. The story received some favorable reviews and as the nomination shows it may be better than I initially thought.
Christian Dörge, editor of Apex-Verlag, has convinced me to give him permission for a reissue of my first novel Rubikon (initially published by Ullstein in 1984) as an e-book and print on demand. I started this book when I was twenty and – despite some scenes and ideas still interesting today – I think the reader can clearly see that it’s a beginner’s work. I was suprised to note that quite a number of readers seem to remember the novel and asked for a reissue.
Rubikon is going to be published in March. Below the cover by Christian Dörge who is not only an engaged publisher but also a fine graphic artist.
My story “Planck-Zeit” (“Planck Time”) has been published in issue #214 of the Hungarian science fiction magazine Galaktika. It’s the 8th language I have works of mine translated into and I’m honored to note that editor Attila Németh is interested to read and maybe publish further of my short fiction works.
I wish all my readers, friends and fellow writers a happy, successful and healthy new year. After a grim year 2016 that has robbed the art, pop-rock and Nerd communities a number of their idols, things can only get better. 2016 has also been a difficult year for myself but I managed to give it a positive twist toward its end. I hope I have established the preconditions for a much more active and productive year 2017.
A number of people who have supported me over the year deserve to be thanked explicitly: my publishers Uschi Zietsch und Harald Giersche for their understanding and patience, Hannes Riffel and the team of Fischer/Tor online, Sigrun Schmidt and her colleagues of advertising agency Hiller in Duesseldorf, Patrizia Hoffman of Infoman AG, my Second Life companions Thorsten Kueper aka Kueperpunk Korhonen, Moewe Winkler, Harter Fall and Asmita Duranjaya, my fellow writers and regular discussion companions Horst Pukallus, Olaf Kemmler, Michael Steinmann and Wilfried Bienek, my Nova co-editor Olaf G. Hilscher and our publisher Juergen Eglseer of Amrun Verlag, our colleagues of Exodus magazine and especially my cousin and roommate Martina and our awesome cat Minka who has tamed me like no human female ever could.
I send special wishes to my daughter Juliana for a successful continuation and completion of her art history studies and for a happy private life. It has been my best moment of 2016 when I saw a photo of you on the Internet. I know you will make your way.
Aspiring young writer Melanie Ulrike Junge has interviewed me for her book blog Buchelefanten. The talk which is mainly about several general and practical aspects of the craft of writing can be read online here.
It has been noted that an above avarage percentage of writers suffer from depressions and other mental illnesses. The most famous recent example may have been renowned American postmodernist David Foster Wallace, author of Infinite Jest, who after more then twenty years of severe depressions ended his life in 2008. I know of several among my German fellow sf writers who suffer from similar problems in various degrees. I myself have been treated for depressions since a hospital stay in 2009. It has kept me from writing and especially from completing several new writing projects for years.
Last month I’ve finally accomplished a stage victory over the illness and completed my novel Der Moloch. Based on my Kurd Laßwitz Preis winning novella of the same title from 2007, but with completely new plot and characters, it’s going to be published by Fabylon (publisher of my novel Psyhack from 2007). I expect the book to be available not before the second half of 2017 and will announce the exact publishing date here as soon as I have further new. Another as yet unfinished novel is in the making again too.
In 1989 Heyne published the novel Hinter den Mauern der Zeit that I had written in collaboration with my mentor and teacher Horst Pukallus. The book was a tribut to the great American science fiction writer Philip K. Dick and elaborated rumors that Dick had feigned his death in 1982 to live in anonymity from then on. Small publisher Apex, specialized in reissues of older science fiction works, some of them by German writers, has recently republished the novel as a nice ebook edition in mobi/Kindle and epub formats.