Archive for August, 2012

Book on African phantastic fiction released

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German publisher Shayol recently published Phantastische Literatur aus Afrika by Christian Hoffmann, a groundbraking survey of science fiction and other phantastic writing from all over the African continent, the first study of its kind that tried to find an answer to the question „Is there phantastic fiction in Africa?“. Here’s a press note:

About 15 years ago German author Christian Hoffmann faced this question and started his investigation about that unusual topic. In the course of time he came across nearly 100 writers in 18 African states, whose work can be assigned to the genres of fantasy, horror, science fiction, or speculative fiction.

In his book Phantastische Literatur aus Africa. Eine Bestandsaufnahme (Phantastic Fiction from Africa An Appraisal), which was recently published by Shayol Verlag in Berlin, Hoffmann introduces the most relevant authors and their works in substantial essays. Among the reviewed authors are: Nagib Mahfouz (Egypt), Mohammed Mrabet (Morocco), Amos Tutuola, Ben Okri and D. O. Fagunwa (Nigeria), Nnedi Okorafor (Nigeria/USA), Birago Diop (Senegal), Syl Cheney-Coker (Sierra Leone), Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (Kenia), Abdourahman A. Waberi (Djibouti),Lauren Beukes, Claude Nunes, J. M. Cotzee (South Africa).

Apart from that, Hoffmann takes a look on the history of African literature and its characteristics.

Another central issue which is discussed in detail is whether our western idea of »fantastic« can be applied to other cultures.

Phantastische Literatur aus Africa. Eine Bestandsaufnahme is the first book worldwide to deal with this exciting subject.

Christian Hoffmann is the author of books about Robert Sheckley, Fritz Leiber and John T. Sladek. Besides he wrote lots of stories, reviews and essays for several German magazines. He lives in Munich, Germany.

The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To French Science-Fiction

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by Jean-Claude Dunyach

French SF has a glorious past (remember Jules Verne?) and, hopefully, a bright future. But the present situation is a little more contrasted and difficult to decode. Especially when you try to evaluate it on the same scale than US SF or Anglo-American SF. The definition of the term SF is not exactly the same on both sides of the Atlantic. It is often confused with Sci-Fi in the US (‘Star Trek’, juvenile lite fantasy series or shared universes to name a few commercial examples) while most French authors claim that it is ‘literature at its best’. Disney versus ‘The Louvre’ if you catch my meaning. Of course, both formulations are too narrow to be entirely true but they’re not entirely false, either. Let’s see why. Continue Reading »

The Other Side of the Black Hole

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by Win Lyovarin

Gorian Rain was born on Thorain, a planet in the Thorian stellar system. When he was ten, his father was killed by soldiers of the Davonian Constellation Federation for being the leader of the uprising to liberate Thorain after the planet had been mined for its ores by the Federation for more than a century. After his father’s death, his mother died of grief. Gorian Rain experienced a complete reversal from a gentle and peace-loving boy to one who was fond of arms and violence. He wanted to avenge the death of his father. From that time on no one ever set eyes on the boy Gorian Rain. It was rumored that he had been training for fighting at a guerrilla warfare academy in a secret valley of Dagon. After many years had elapsed, he emerged to fight against the Davonian Federation in the name of the “Thorain rebels.” He was a Staff Officer of the rebels in charge of planning sabotages on the planets of the Davonian Federation. Continue Reading »

Oplan Sanction

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by Alexander Marcos Osias

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It is 08-08-2108, 0715 according to the Terran Standard Chronometer, and the closing act of Oplan Sanction is about to begin.

There, silhouetted against the crimson moon of New Isabella Three, hovering like an angry wasp, in geosynchronous orbit over its target, is a Malyari-class carrier: the R.P.S. Artemis. Continue Reading »