“Cousin Entropy” by Michèle Laframboise, translated from the French by N. R. M. Roshak (Future Science Fiction Digest, June 15).
“The Fastener” by Natsumi Tanaka, translated from the Japanese by Toshiya Kamei (Daily Science Fiction, June).
“Zoo Syndrome” by Sadaa al-Daas, translated from the Arabic by Omar Qaqish (World Literature Today, June).
The Great Nocturnal: Tales of Dread by Jean Ray, translated from the French by Scott Nicolay (Wakefield Press, June 2).
“The collection, as its subtitle indicates, consists of tales of fear and dread—a dread evoked not by the standard tropes of horror (though rats, centipedes, and darkness lie waiting in these pages), but in what had now evolved into Ray’s personal brand of fear, drawn from a specifically Belgian notion of the fantastic that lies alongside the banality of everyday life. An aging haberdasher’s monotonous existence opens up to a spiritual fourth dimension (and serial murder); an inebriated young man in a tavern draws cryptic symbols and mutters statements that elicit an inexplicable terror among some sailors and, as he sobers up, himself; three students drink Finnish Kümmel and keep watch over a deceased woman’s apartment, awaiting a horrific transformation. Yet these tales are laced with a mordant humor that bears as much allegiance to Ambrose Bierce as Edgar Allan Poe, and toys as much with the reader’s expectations as they do with their characters.”
“Originally published between 1910 and 1917, and collected in book form in 1923, The Epic of Damarudhar story cycle occupies an important and unique position in the history of Bengali literature. Tackling cosmology and mythology, class and caste abuse, nativist demagoguery and the harsh reality of rural poverty, all by means of unrelentingly fierce black comedy, Trailokyanath Mukhopadhyay’s cycle of seven stories featuring the raconteur Damarudhar remains prescient social commentary to this day.”