This page highlights SF that’s already been (partially or fully) translated into English and is looking for a US/UK publisher. Great stuff here!
Moon Theater (2015)
by Ieva Melgalve
translated from the Latvian by Suzanne McQuade
publisher: Rīga, Zvaigzne ABC
length: 320 pages
Foreign rights: All languages available
Contacts: Mrs. Bārbala Simsone, firstname.lastname@example.org www.zvaigzne.lv
“In an enormous theatre on many stages there are theatre performances all happening at the same time. The actors don’t have their own identity outside of their stage lives, and no other objective than just to get the chance for a better part and try to not get on the playrights’ blacklists. Who are these playwrights, who is the audience, and do they really exist? No one knows (although a few of them – the inquisitive young Lapsa, for example – tries to find out). One of the book’s central roles – an Actor who doesn’t have his own name – desperately tries to take part in the scenarios presented to him, but each time he tries to play his role honestly, it becomes more and more bizarre, tearing down the border between performance and truth. Similarly, the Mime – one of the androids equipped with artificial intelligence who maintains order in the theatre world – tries to play the role of guardian for the actors. However, as the Mime gradually awakens to a consciousness that becomes his own, he can no longer react to what is happening in the theatre without emotion. Perhaps they could continue to play their parts if the planned performances weren’t shaken by a resistance movement trying to realise the Actor’s identity behind the scenes and possibly even do away with the theatre’s power altogether. Yet their road isn’t easy – the idealistic Malda, who’s expecting a child, can no longer separate true love from performed love, and the tricky Gurds, sensing imminent danger to the movement, tries to make a scapegoat out of the egotistical Vladi, who in turn has landed himself a good part, no longer wanting to resist the existing order…”- from Latvian Literature
The Pulldogs (2018) (Part 1 of The Walkers)
by Francesco Verso
translated from the Italian by Jennifer Delare
publisher: Future Fiction
length: ~90,000 words (290 pages)
genre: Contemporary Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Science Fiction
keywords: Technological Unemployment, 3D Printing Revolution, New Lifestyles, Transhumanism, Nanotechnology
Theme: What would happen if 20% of Rome’s population stopped eating, gave up their jobs and left the city? This is the story of a group of rebels, the Pulldogs, at the twilight of Western civilisation, who undergo an anthropological transformation caused by the dissemination of nanites (nanorobots capable of assembling molecules to create matter). This technology changes the way they eat and gives rise to a culture which, while in some aspects reminiscent of an ancient nomadic society, is creative and new.
Plot: Alan loses the use of his legs in a workplace accident. Nicolas only has a few months left to live if he doesn’t lose weight soon. Silvia has to save the Pulldogs community from being evicted from its squat in this near-future Rome: the Garbatella-Testaccio viaduct, which a lobby of building contractors wants to turn into a shopping mall. The solution – though temporary and uncertain – is to escape from the employment system, from the prison created by the need to eat, and from the urban lifestyle. Liberation from the imperative of food, combined with the ability to 3D print objects and use cloud computing, makes it possible for the Pulldogs to make a choice that seems impossible and anachronistic –that of a different life, not devoid of power struggles, human envy or jealousy, but not sedentary or tame either. A new life, but is it really an Arcadia?
Publishing project: The Walkers is composed of two volumes (The Pulldogs & No/Mad/Land), each divided into 3 parts of approximately 100 pages each. It is therefore possible to publish the novellas as single e-books and then combine them in the first print volume. The same method could be applied to the second volume, resulting in: 9 e-books (6 novellas of circa 100 pages each + 2 separate digital novels +complete digital novel) and 3 print novels (2 separate novels + 1 complete novel); 12 products in Italian and 12 in English, totalling 24 products.
Francesco Verso (born in Bologna, 1973) has published: Antidoti umani (2004 Urania Mondadori Award finalist), e-Doll (winner of 2008 Urania Mondadori Award), Livido (2013 Odyssey Award from Delos Books, 2014 Italy Award for Best SF Novel, published in Australia by Xoum and in the USA by Apex Books as Nexhuman) and BloodBusters, (winner of 2014 Urania Mondadori Award, ex-aequo with Sandro Battisti). Francesco’s stories have appeared in various magazines (Robot, iComics, Fantasy Magazine), have been adapted for and performed on stage (The Milky Way) and sold abroad (Chicago Quarterly Review, International Speculative Fiction #5). He lives in Rome with his wife, Elena, and his daughter, Sofia.
Vestiges (Vol 1 of the QuanTika trilogy) (2012)
by Laurence Suhner
translated from the French by Sheryl Curtis
length: 576 pages
“The plot of QuanTika takes place 300 years in the future on a frozen but inhabitable extrasolar planet of the AltaMira binary system: Gemma, a snow-ball Earth, as the astronomers call it.
Ambre Pasquier, a young exobiologist, who has always been attracted by this distant world, finally decides to travel to the colony. She is convinced that her past, which she has forgotten after a trauma at the age of thirteen, is linked to Gemma and, especially, to the strange artefact, the Great Arch, in orbit around the planet and to the ruins that are supposed to be hidden under the ice shield. Soon after she settles there Ambre starts to be haunted by dreams that put her in contact with the traces of the first visitors to Gemma, the Builders.
She organizes a scientific expedition—the Archea mission, whose official aim is to look for primitive forms of life in the ice. In fact, she has a completely different objective—keeping it secret to avoid interference by the militia, a pseudo-military organisation having recently taken control of the colony. A passage has to be cut through the ice by means of a giant tunnelling machine to get to the rock substrata and ruins that Ambre is certain to discover there. Around twenty scientists have been recruited: Glaciologists, geophysicists, exobiologists, geneticists, climatologists, engineers, doctors. Two people have infiltrated the team. One works on behalf of a group of physicists who for over ten years have been studying the particularities of a specific planetary zone affected by fluctuations of the space-time. The other works for the militia which has recently taken control of the colony.
The expedition turns to chaos as scientists of the expedition discover an ancient Entity trapped in a prison built by the Builders, the first visitors of Gemma. They called it the Devourer of Reality. This is also the origin of the mysterious variations of space-time in this area.
The trilogy speaks about science and myths; the way humans understand the universe, compared to a totally different civilization whose technology has been built on intuition and instinct, a civilization based essentially on mythical and poetic thought, a civilization in which science seems useless and for which the notions of mathematics and distance are pure aberrations, yet a technological civilization. A paradox that will lead Ambre back to the mystery of her origins and far beyond human nature, to the land of the Builders: Timhkâ, an ocean planet.”- Strange Horizons