Home On the spot “Planet Europa SF”, SF Story Collection edited by Gloria McMillan (USA)

“Planet Europa SF”, SF Story Collection edited by Gloria McMillan (USA)

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We need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximize corporate profit is not quite the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship.” –  Ursula K.Le Guin

The in-progress table of contents of “Planet Europa SF”, Speculative Fiction Story Collection, edited by Gloria McMillan (USA):

Austria: “The Scent Organ” by Nina Horvath

Belgium: “Ambassadresses” by Yossi Faybish

Bosnia: “The Triglav Complex” and “Oh My God” by Adnadin Jasarević

Croatia:  “Apologue: On Climbing the Mountain of Life” by Darko Suvin and “The Trains Must Keep Running” by Ivan Lutz

Czech Republic: “Toothsome Smile, an Artificial Death” by Eva Hauserová  and “Spirit and Opportunity” by Božena Čechalová

Denmark: “The Lost Thunderegg” by Manfred Christiansen

Estonia:  “Laughter from the Past” by Siim Veskimees

France : “Elsa’s Eyes” by Sylvie Lainé  and “Louvre Moon” by Catherine Dufour

Germany: “The Spirits” by Michael Iwoleit

Greece:  “A Digital Agony” by Alekos Papodopoulos

Hungary: “The Last Writer” by Botond Markovics

Italy: “Midsummer Future” by Francesco Verso

Kosovo: “The Keeper of Dreams” by Fortesa Latifi

The Netherlands: “Agent of Change” by Mike Jansen

Romania: “Love according to ‘Ticks’” by Dănuț Ungureanu and “Navigating through Fog” by Ioana Vișan

Serbia:  “Awakening” by Stevan Šarčević

Slovenia: “The Time Credit,” “Star Child,” „The DVD of Life” by Bojan Ekselenski

Spain: “The Road” by Rodolfo Martinez

Ukraine: “A Taste for Knowledge” by Vladimir Arenev

Yiddish: “A Flying Saucer lands on Temple Emanu-El” by Marleen S. Barr

Science fiction is “out there” flourishing in many places little-known to English-speaking readers. If we make a short investigation, there is much evidence to show that science fiction and the broader speculative fiction has various roots of which the United States variety is but one offshoot.

In Europe speculative themes that touch space travel and automata go back a long way, as well. The classical era, Greek comic playwright Aristophanes penned several plays that carry the seeds of later science fiction, at least the theme of flying to the clouds;  The Clouds (423 BCE), The Birds (414 BCE) and The Peace. The noted science fiction critic L. Sprague de Camp, as well as others authors and critics, cite the Greek writer Lucian of Samosata’s 2nd-century satire True History as a noteworthy precursor of today’s science fiction because the tales include travel to outer space and interplanetary warfare, but in the True History there is no actual science or exploration of current technology. Most ancient sources did not explain their wonders in terms of scientific methods.

Did the European SF and US-based stream begin merging since the dawn of the twentieth Century with improved travel speed and communications? Perhaps the European science fiction branched from the ancient Greeks down to Frankenstein.” – Gloria McMillan

Gloria McMillan, Ph.D. Research Associate, Dept. of English, University of Arizona, U.S.A.

Editor, Orbiting Ray Bradbury’s Mars: Biographical, Anthropological, Literary, Scientific and Other Perspectives (Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy),  McFarland Pub., 2013.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. What were the criteria for choosing the stories? Why are there countries with multiple stories and why were there countries left out? As a Pole I feel particularly bad about being left out.
    And what country is Yiddish? Never heard of it, but maybe my geography teachers had it wrong. (Yes, this is sarcasm!)

  2. Hello, Malgorzata,

    I have included the story with the Yiddish connection due to the fact that Yiddish runs like a river through much of Europe. This is all explained in the introduction.

    As to why there are a few stories from some places–they were very good stories.

    Why not some other places–I tried as many countries as I had time to reach, writing letters and so on. Some countries never sent anything.

    I don’t know what version of the ToC you are referring to. It may be outdated.

    Hope this clarifies.

    Cheers,
    Glo McMillan

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