We Are All Astronauts – Lecture in Heidelberg

I have never spoken at an Academic conference and have little clue on how to do it. Professor Henry Keazor, art historian at the Institut für europäische Kunstgeschichte (Institute for European Art History) of the University of Heidelberg, was nonetheless willing to take a risk and has invited me to contribute a lecture to the conference We Are All Astronauts – The Image of the Space Traveller in Arts and Media, held at the University of Heidelberg from October 22nd to 25th. On Saturday, October 24th, 10:15 am, I will talk about the subgenre of critical space flight stories that emerged in Anglo-American science fiction in the late sixties and about its major representatives J.G. Ballard and Barry N. Malzberg.

For the full program of the conference have a look at the flyer below.


Second Life event about Sait Faik Abasiyanik

On Saturday, August 18th I will continue my series of literary events in Second Life about major short story writers of 20th century world literature with an evening about the Turkish story teller Sait Faik Abasiyanik (1906-1954), sometimes called “the Turkish Cechov” and generally considered the founding father of modern Turkish short prose. Apart from a short introduction and a lecture about Faik’s life and work, the evening will feature a reading of one of Faik’s finest stories by my fellow Thorsten Küper aka Kueperpunk Korhonen. Thanks to Manesse Verlag for the permission to read from the collection Geschichten aus Istanbul, translated into German by Gerhard Meier.

The evening will be in German language and start about 21:00 CET resp. 12:00 Second Life Time at the World Culture Hub, my international museum, event location and library in Second Life. The location’s SLURL is http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Toivo/45/59/21


Essay collection to be published

Writing extensive analytical essays – especially on major science fiction story writers – has always been one of my key activities as a writer. Recently I’ve settled with small publisher Dieter von Reeken, best known for his careful reprints of classic science fiction and utopian writings, to publish a collection of my best essays that I have written in the course of the last twenty years. We expect to have the manuscript of the book ready by the end of July and it will include essays on David I. Masson, Carter Scholz, Greg Egan, J.G. Ballard, Philip K. Dick, Theodore Sturgeon and Lucius Shepard, with an introduction by Horst Pukallus. Some of the essays have been updated and reworked for the reprint. A publishing date is not yet fixed. I will let my readers know as soon as possible.

Survey of German short science fiction 2014

For more than twenty years I have regularly contributed essays, reviews and scientific articles for the German science fiction yearbook Das Science Fiction Jahr, initially edited by the recently deceased Wolfgang Jeschke – a key figure of science fiction publishing in Germany – at Heyne Verlag. From this year on the yearbook will be published, edited by Sascha Mamczak and Hannes Riffel, by high-quality small publisher Golkonda in Berlin. After an intermission of some years I have been invited to contribute again and I have written a critical survey of German language science fiction short stories published in 2014. Das Science Fiction Jahr 2015 is currently in layout and going to be published in the second half of this year.


Nova 23 published

After some delays, technical problems with the layout file and a hiatus caused by the German postal strike, the issue #23 of Nova –  the German science fiction story magazine that I edit in collaboration with Olaf G. Hilscher – has finally been published by our new publisher Amrun. It’s the first thematic issue we managed to compile after quite some time. Based on an idea by Horst Pukallus, it includes eleven stories about music of the future and/or the future of music by  Marcus Hammerschmitt, Gabriele Behrend, Marc Späni, Karsten Kruschel, Norbert Stöbe, Michael Marrak, Thomas Adam Sieber, Guido Seifert, Frank Hebben and guest writer Stephen Katowych from Canada, with an introduction by Franz Rottensteiner and an essay on science fiction and music by ethno musicologist Martina Claus-Bachmann. Unrelated to the issue’s main topic is a classic reprint by Thomas Ziegler aka Rainer Zubeil, one of the greatest talents of German science fiction who died with just 48 years in 2004 and deserves to be remembered.


Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Juliana

Leider habe ich keine andere Möglichkeit, als meiner Tochter Juliana auf diesem Wege zu ihrem vierundzwanzigsten Geburtstag zu gratulieren. Vielleicht liest Du dies hier irgendwann und erfährst, daß ich Dich nicht vergessen habe. Ich weiß nicht, wo Du bist und was Du tust, aber ich hoffe, daß Du glücklich bist und auf dem Wege, etwas aus Deinem Leben zu machen. Ich hoffe immer noch, daß wir uns irgendwann wiedersehen werden und ich eine Möglichkeit bekomme, Dir die Umstände zu erklären, die dazu geführt haben, daß ich Dich zuletzt in Deinem achten Lebensjahr gesehen habe.

Ich bin jederzeit für Dich da, und wenn Du irgendwann den Wunsch hast, Deinen Vater wiederzusehen, schreib mir einfach an mki@iacd.de oder ruf mich an unter 0202-9738894.

Updates of the World Culture Hub

I’ve recently continued work at the World Culture Hub, my event location, museum and library for world culture in Second Life. Apart from some technical enhancements – visitor counter, maintenance of the teleport system, tip jar and group inviter and some measures for prim saving – I’ve started with slowly building up the collection of cultural artifacts from all over the world, so far some high-resolution reproductions of oriental rugs, Chinese paintings and the first stages of a new Zen garden.

I hope the site is becoming more and more attractive for visitors. If you like to have a look, the SLURL is: