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Eurocon 2013 – Day Three

Viktoriya and Patrice Lajoye
Viktoriya and Patrice Lajoye

Viktoriya and Patrice Lajoye are two specialists on the rusophone SF&F (russian and ukrainian ones), translators, editors and owners of the Russkaya Fantastika french speaking blog, a remarkable instrument dedicated to the analysis and discusssion of the russian, ukrainian fantastika and also of the eastern-european science fiction. They had received the 2013 ESFS Award for Best European Translators in Kiev, the 2013th  Eurocon ! Congratulations, Viktoriya and Patrice !

Third and final day!

Back to Expo Plaza, and the return to the noise. But never mind, we take advantage of the many stands disposed around to buy some Lviv (Lvov/Lwow/Lemberg) chocolates and a nice little straw domovoi (house spirit in Slavic folklore). But nevermind.

Today was the Children’s Day: The main hall was quasi-fully dedicated to them: so we first had the right to a friendly choir, and then a facilitator took the responsible for all the little ones making them play a „history” punctuated by small scenography. It was cute. All around this, was organized an exhibition of surprising, very funny and imaginative sculptures.

And we set to work. Alas, Leonid Kaganov was suddenly sick last night, it was impossible to interview him as planned, also Andrey Valentinov, him too, sick and absent.

However, we found Dmitry Kolodan, a young promising Russian author. We agreed to interview him in the coming days.
Then we get into conversations with various members of the Laboratoriya Fantastiki (Fantlab) site, a group of aficionados who have managed to build a great tool.

However, we must abandon them to attend the conference of Sergey Dyachenko who’s communicating his vision of science fiction from today and tomorrow. A very pessimistic one, because during his lecture, Sergey Diachenko admits that himself and his wife Marina will write less and less to be published, as they work more and more as writers for television and cinema … a much more profitable profession, it’s true.

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Then was our turn to sustain our conference on the promotion of Russian and Ukrainian science fiction and fantasy in France. The room that we had been allocated was not equipped with a video projector, so we had to move to another … Unfortunately, as the public was poorly informed, it had not followed this trend to the last minute. Too bad, the twelve or so people present, however, were a lot interested by what is happening in France.
The afternoon ends with the traditional awards related to the European Science Fiction Convention. First, the countries proposals, then those of the ESFS (European Science Fiction Society).

We crossed Yana Botsman and Dmitry Gordevski alias Alexander Zorich, their pen name. Similarly, we could not fail to salute Christopher Priest.

Unfortunately we can not give the full list of the awardees, because we couldn’t note everything: it was a festive atmosphere, and as we have said, the location was quite noisy, especially as there was a lot of people.
All that we can say for now is that Andrey Valentinov received the Best European Author Award, that Leonid Kaganov received an Encouragement Award, Europa SF has received the Best European Website Award … and we are the Best European Translators!
In short, we returned to the hotel, tired but happy.

But we can not help thinking to some dark clouds that darken the landscape of the Russian language SF and Fantasy. First, the announcement of Sergey Diachenko, coupled with what Leonid Kaganov said a few months ago in an interview, that he thinks to stop writing because of the massive piracy of his works, which prevents him to make a living.
So it seems that the Russian publishing system get carried away. While a few years ago a speculative fiction novelty pulled 5.000 copies, today, because of overproduction, it’s no more than 2.000 or 3.000 copies. An author can not survive out of this.

And the we learn, with a delay due to the fact that we’re no longer subscribing to the Russian SF& journals because of their international costs, that Esli (Если) SF magazine, so far the most important, had closed, presumably for financial reasons. Similarly, Noon, 21st Century (Polden’. XXI Vek / Полдень. XXI век) SF magazine has been discontinued in January this year: it was Boris Strugatsky’s magazine and his death resulted in the arrest of his SF concept. The landscape of Russian SF&F magazines is now particularly damaged.

However, we hope that the next generation will come soon and that the situation will improve.

   © Viktoriya and Patrice Lajoye (France)

   Photos © Viktoriya and Patrice Lajoye (France)


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