SCI-FI NEWS FOR 12-08-09

Science Fiction, Fantasy Translation Awards Announced Two UC Riverside scholars are part of a nationwide team of 10 science fiction experts and authors organizing the new Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Awards. The awards will recognize works of science fiction, fantasy, horror and related literature that is translated from other languages into English.

Melissa Conway, head of Special Collections of UCR Libraries, and Rob Latham, associate professor of English, are part of the team establishing the awards, which will “seek out and reward authors and translators who bring fresh new works created in other languages to the English-speaking world,” according to the announcement made at the World Fantasy Convention in San Jose.

The first awards – one for long-form literature (40,000 words and above) and one for short forms – will be presented at UCR’s Eaton Science Fiction Conference in 2011. The awards will consist of a trophy and a cash prize, which will be presented to both the author and the translator.

Fantastic literature has a long tradition outside the English-speaking world, Conway and Latham noted. One of the world’s best-known writers of science fiction and fantasy literature is 19th century French author Jules Verne, whose work was the subject of the 2009 Eaton Conference.

“The literature of the fantastic is an international phenomenon and has been since Hoffmann, Gogol, and Maupassant in the 19th century. Yet contemporary Anglo-American readers have only a sketchy sense of the global scope of science fiction and fantasy today,” Latham said. “This award will take a big step toward the goal of closing that blind spot. UCR is proud to be associated with this initiative given the wide range of materials gathered in the Eaton Collection, which includes works published in well over a dozen languages.”

More here

How Is Media Technology Changing Science Fiction? We know that science fiction is a form of media that changes the future – it’s influenced everyone from scientists to economists. But are new media technologies changing SF? The Small World podcast explores some answers.

This week I was lucky enough to join scifi writers Cory Doctorow and JC Hutchins, along with scifi podcaster Steve Eley, to talk about the future of media – and especially scifi media. Our host was Small World podcaster Bazooka Joe, who asked some great questions. Not only did Doctorow get to describe his ideal ebook reader, but I got to talk about the future of online media. It was a damn good time.

Here’s how Bazooka Joe described the show:

We live in a world that increasingly resembles the science fiction stories of our youth.

For example, nearly all of us have mobile phones that are very much like the communicators that appeared in the Star Trek television series in the late 60s . . . But if we are living in a world that seems straight out of a science fiction novel, then how is our current technology changing science fiction?

You can listen to the podcast here

What do you think?