Story reprinted

My story “Das Ende aller Tage” has recently been reprinted in issue #12 of the anthologie series Zwielicht Classic, edited by Michael Schmidt, a regular selection of the best German phantastica and science fiction stories. It’s the German version of my very first story orginally written in English and still available online at InterNova. The German version has initially been published in Exodus #31.

zwielicht-classic-12

 

Advertisements

Live event in Second Life: Confinement

After an extended clinical depression and my recent efforts to improve my situation I wasn’t able to keep this website up-to-date for a while. One major omission was a comment about one of the most extraordinary events in Second Life that I ever had the honor of taking part in. Let me do this now.

Ever since my extraordinary science fiction and virtual world brother-in-arms Thorsten Küper aka Kueperpunk Korhonen has interested me in cultural events (and, I have to admit, all kinds of other activities) in Second Life, I was puzzled by a certain condescension when it comes to virtual worlds. Writing science fiction and especially short science fiction has made us used to being regarded as freaks. The smugness toward Second Life, however, is on another level. We are the first to admit that the platform is, in many regards, still technically insufficient and unreliable. It’s what Thorsten has called the “toy version of a virtual world” and may soon be replaced by more advanced platforms. Considering its pioneering stage, however, it’s remarkable what you already can do with it and the live event Confinement, based on a story by Thorsten Küper, has provided an impressive evidence to back up this claim.

Confinement was kind of a live staged science fiction machinima movie, utilizing the Second Life infrastructure and being live-streamed to Youtube, and as such an extraordinary feat of planing and coordination especially by Thorsten and by virtual cmeraman Seraph Nirvana. The whole setting was created by master builder Barlok Barbosa and my task was to contribute a continuous sound background, which I think I managed quite well. A recording of the complete event can be watched here.

 

What is the World Culture Hub?

My first attempt to realize my idea of a central repository for art and culture from around the world was the creation of a virtual museum and library in the 3d Internet world of Second Life. Though not a complete failure, I never really managed to advance it to the level that I imagined. My main fault has probably been that I overscaled it. I was more busy with paying the tier than with extending the exhibitions and event schedule. It was just too big to be managed and funded by a single person.

When I was forced to heavy-heartedly close my SL site a few months ago, I was already determined to move the whole project to the Web in order to reach a wider audience. For some weeks now the new Web-based World Culture Hub is online.  What it is can probably best be explained with the short description on the About page. Let me quote the main points here:

The goal of the World Culture Hub is, generally spoken, to present the artistic and cultural heritage of mankind in all its richness and diversity, without temporal and geographical limits, not uncritical but as open-minded as possible, including all genres and traditions, forms and media, from ancient cave paintings to digital video art, from Bach to Ligeti, from Rembrandt to Picasso, from romantic poetry to cyberpunk, from John Dowland to Zakir Hussain – as long as they are original artistic achievements and not produced with the sole purpose of fitting into a commercial market. The Hub will not provide another promotion stage for dubious bestsellers such as Dan Brown’s but it may tell something about Munif’s Cities of Salt trilogy, John le Carré’s thrillers or the short stories of Steven King. The Hub is intended to be a source of discovery not just for scholars and specialists but for open-minded lovers of the arts in general, presenting information, works and work samples in a coherent framework with the most flexible and accessible search and browsing interface.

Classic European or contemporary American culture will not be excluded but the focus is on the other, on neglected or unknown works and traditions that are rarely comprehensively and unprejudicedly presented elsewhere. The World Culture Hub is, first of all, an online repository, collecting articles, essays, images, audio, video and other information. But it’s also intended as an event hub, casting its net into various real and virtual worlds. We plan events, among others

  • locally in Germany, also at international locations with the help of local agents whenever the occasion arises
  • in virtual worlds such as Second Life and InWorldz and in coming, more advanced virtual environments such as High Fidelity and Sansar
  • via video live streaming on Youtube or Vimeo
  • via audio live streaming using Shoutcast

And this all is just the beginning. If you have any ideas and like to contribute, your suggestions are warmly welcome by e-mail to WCH@iwoleit.de

 

Interview with Fantasyguide

It’s 12 years ago since I was last interviewed by one of the clever guys from fantasyguide.de who always manage to ask good questions (which can’t be taken for granted when you agree to an interview). After this extended mutual honeymoon period I have been given another chance to embarrass myself and to extend the illustrious community of my mortal enemies. The interview that I hope will satisfy some of my readers’ worst expectations can be read here.

 

Translation of story collection by Aleksandar Žiljak published

Small publisher Begedia has just published Welche Farbe hat der Wind?, the first story collection in German translation by my Croatian fellow writer and occassional collaborator Aleksandar Žiljak who was guest of honour at this year’s European science fiction convention in Dortmund. The book includes my translations of several stories never before published in Germany. I also edited three translations by Tommi Brem that were initially published in the magazine Nova. Aleksander is surely among the best contemporary European science fiction writers. I especially recommend reading the hilarious alternative world story “Die Orgon-Ära” and the much-praised novella “Ultramarin”. The translations, by the way, are based on the English versions that Aleksander has written himself.

Ziljak