“Terra Rasa” by Anastasia Bookreyeva, translated from the Russian by Ray Nayler (Clarkesworld, February 1).
“There Was No Adderall in the Soviet Union,” by Olga Breininger, translated from the Russian by Hilah Kohen (Words Without Borders, February).
Bug by Giacomo Sartori, translated from the Italian by Frederika Randall (Restless Books, February 2).
With the wicked humor and imagination that made readers fall in love with his novel I Am God, Giacomo Sartori brings us a madcap story of family dysfunction, (dis)ability, intelligent robots, bees, and a family of misfit savants living outside the bounds.
Eleven Sooty Dreams by Manuela Draeger (Antoine Volodine), translated from the French by J. T. Mahany (Open Letter, February 9).
In Manuela Draeger’s poetic “post-exotic” novel, a group of young leftists trapped in a burning building after one year’s Bolcho Pride parade plunge back into their childhood memories, trading them with each other as their lives are engulfed in flames. They remember Granny Holgolde’s stories of the elephant Marta Ashkarot, who travels through the Bardo to find her home and be reincarnated again and again. They remember the Soviet folk singer Lyudmila Zykina and her melancholic, simple songs of unspeakable beauty. They remember the half-human birds Granny Holgolde called strange cormorants, the ones who knew how to live in fire, secrecy, and death, and as the flames grow they hope to become them.
Tower by Bae Myung-hoon, translated from the Korean by Sung Ryu (Honford Star, February 15)
Tower is a series of interconnected stories set in Beanstalk, a 674-story skyscraper and sovereign nation. Each story deals with how citizens living in the hypermodern high-rise deal with various influences of power in their lives: a group of researchers have to tell their boss that a major powerbroker is a dog, a woman uses the power of the internet to rescue a downed fighter pilot abandoned by the government, and an out-of-towner finds himself in charge of training a gentle elephant to break up protests.