The Route of Ice and Salt by José Luis Zárate, translated from the Spanish (Mexico) by David Bowles (Innsmouth Free Press, January 19)
A reimagining of Dracula’s voyage to England, filled with Gothic imagery and queer desire.
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.
Rabbit Island by Elvira Navarro, translated by Christina MacSweeney (Two Lines Press, February 9)
Combining the gritty surrealism of David Lynch with the explosive interior meditations of Clarice Lispector, the stories in Elvira Navarro’s Rabbit Island traverse the fickle, often terrifying terrain between madness and freedom. In the title story, a so-called “non-inventor” conducts an experiment on an island inhabited exclusively by birds and is horrified by what the results portend. “Myotragus” bears witness to a man of privilege’s understanding of the world being violently disrupted by the sight of a creature long thought extinct. Elsewhere, an unsightly “paw” grows from a writer’s earlobe; a grandmother floats silently in the corner of a room.
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.
The High-Rise Diver by Julia von Lucadou, translated from the German by Sharmila Cohen (World Edition, March 2).
Riva is a “high-rise diver,” a top athlete with millions of fans, and a perfectly functioning human on all levels. Suddenly she rebels, breaking her contract and refusing to train. Cameras are everywhere in her world, but she doesn’t know her every move is being watched by Hitomi, the psychologist tasked with reining Riva back in. Unquestionably loyal to the system, Hitomi’s own life is at stake: should she fail to deliver, she will be banned to the “peripheries,” the filthy outskirts of society.
When his beloved only daughter goes missing, millionaire entrepreneur Walter van Dam calls in a team of experts – including free-climbers, a geologist, a parapsychologist, even a medium – to find her . . . for Anna-Lena has disappeared somewhere within a mysterious cave system under the old house the family abandoned years ago. But the rescuers are not the only people on her trail – and there are dangers in the underground labyrinth that no one could ever have foreseen.
Twilight (Doors #2) by Markus Heitz, translated from the German by Charlie Homewood (Jo Fletcher Books, March 4).
Fields of Blood (Doors #3) by Markus Heitz, translated from the German by Charlie Homewood (Jo Fletcher Books, March 4).
Elemental: Earth Stories, various translators (Two Lines Press, March 9)
A family’s heirloom stones unearth a story spanning war, illness, and radioactivity. A pipeline installed to protect a town from flooding results in a howling that disturbs the townspeople. A political prisoner embarks on an epic flight toward freedom, literally blown like a kite in the wind. Is the world ours to make? Or is it the natural world that defines—even controls—us? A whirlwind of fantastic new writing from Japan, Iran, Madagascar, Iraq, Germany, and more, this latest installment of the Calico Series maps the intimate, ongoing relationship between human civilization and the environment. Featuring fiction and reportage from eight authors working in different languages, Elemental is an awesome collection that speaks of climate catastrophe, geological time, and mythology; it’s a global gathering of engaged, innovative eco-lit.
Love: An Archaeology by Fabio Fernandes, translated from the Portuguese (Brazil) by the author (Luna Press Publishing, March 26)
Fourteen stories, ranging from science fiction to weird, mixing future scenarios (on and off-Earth) and alternate realities, but in fact, they are essentially about one thing: love and its malcontents. A man who refuses to let death erase the memories of his loved ones; two time- travellers leaping through the aeons in a literal love-and-death relationship; a murderer in love with the ghost of his prey – and more.
Nova Hellas: Stories From Future Greece edited by Francesca T. Barbini and Francesco Verso (Luna Press Publishing, March 30)
The stories in Nova Hellas take us on a dystopian, harsh journey. Yet their protagonists are resilient, cunning and resourceful. They reflect both the history of Greece itself, always surviving and rebuilding, always claiming a better tomorrow – and, perhaps, to a smaller degree, the stubbornness of Greek science fiction, which insisted on thriving in adverse circumstances and against much opposition
On the Origin of Species and Other Stories by Bo-Young Kim, translated from the Korean by Sora Kim-Russell and Joungmin Lee Comfort (Kaya Press, March 30)
Straddling science fiction, fantasy and myth, the writings of award-winning author Bo-Young Kim have garnered a cult following in South Korea, where she is widely acknowledged as a pioneer and inspiration. On the Origin of Species makes available for the first time in English some of Kim’s most acclaimed stories, as well as an essay on science fiction. Her strikingly original, thought-provoking work teems with human and non-human beings, all of whom are striving to survive through evolution, whether biologically, technologically or socially. Kim’s literature of ideas offers some of the most rigorous and surprisingly poignant reflections on posthuman existence being written today.
I’m Waiting For You and Other Stories by Bo-Young Kim, translated from the Korean by Sophie Bowman (Harper Voyager, April 6)
In this mind-expanding work of speculative fiction, available in English for the first time, one of South Korea’s most treasured writers explores the driving forces of humanity—love, hope, creation, destruction, and the very meaning of existence—in two pairs of thematically interconnected stories.
Mountains Oceans Giants: An Epic of the 27th Century by Alfred Döblin, translated from the German by Chris Godwin (Galileo Publishers, January 21)
The 27th century: beleaguered elites decide to melt the Greenland icecap. Why? – to open up a new continent, for colonisation by the unruly masses. How? – by harvesting the primordial heat of the Earth from Iceland’s volcanoes. Nature fights back, and it all goes horribly wrong…
A Heart Divided (Legends of the Condor Heroes 4) by Jin Yong, translated from the Chinese by Gigi Chang and Shelly Bryant (St. Martin’s Griffin, April 20)
A Heart Divided is the next in the high stakes, tension-filled epic Legends of the Condor Heroes series, where kung fu is magic, kingdoms vie for power and the battle to become the ultimate kung fu master unfolds.
Terminal Boredom: Stories by Izumi Suzuki, translated from the Japanese by Polly Barton, Sam Bett, David Boyd, and Daniel Joseph (Verso Fiction, April 20)
At turns nonchalantly hip and charmingly deranged, Suzuki’s singular slant on speculative fiction would be echoed in countless later works, from Margaret Atwood and Harumi Murakami, to Black Mirror and Ex Machina. In these darkly playful and punky stories, the fantastical elements are always earthed by the universal pettiness of strife between the sexes, and the gritty reality of life on the lower rungs, whatever planet that ladder might be on.
The Best of World SF, edited by Lavie Tidhar (Head of Zeus, June 1)
The Best of World SF draws together stories from across the spectrum of science fiction – expect robots, spaceships and time travel, as well as some really weird stuff – representing twenty-one countries and five continents. Lavie Tidhar has selected stories that range from never-before-seen originals to award winners; from authors at every stage of their career; and a number of translations, including a story translated from Hebrew by Tidhar himself.
Translated stories include:
“Debtless” by Chen Qiufan (trans. from Chinese by Blake Stone-Banks)
‘The Wheel of Samsara’ by Han Song (trans. from Chinese by the author)
‘Prayer’ by Taiyo Fujii (trans. from Japanese by Kamil Spychalski)
‘The Green Ship’ by Francesco Verso (trans. from Italian by Michael Colbert)
‘Dump’ by Cristina Jurado (trans. from Spanish by Steve Redwood)
‘Rue Chair’ by Gerardo Horacio Porcayo (trans. from Spanish by the author)
‘Benjamin Schneider’s Little Greys’ by Nir Yaniv (trans. from Hebrew by Lavie Tidhar)
‘The Cryptid’ by Emil H. Petersen (trans. from Icelandic by the author)
The Membranes by Chi Ta-wei, translated from the Chinese by Ari Larissa Heinrich (Columbia University Press, June 1)
“It is the late twenty-first century, and Momo is the most celebrated dermal care technician in all of T City. Humanity has migrated to domes at the bottom of the sea to escape devastating climate change. The world is dominated by powerful media conglomerates and runs on exploited cyborg labor. Momo prefers to keep to herself, and anyway she’s too busy for other relationships: her clients include some of the city’s best-known media personalities. But after meeting her estranged mother, she begins to explore her true identity, a journey that leads to questioning the bounds of gender, memory, self, and reality.”
Sinopticon: New Chinese Science Fiction, edited and translated from the Chinese by Xueting Christine Ni (Solaris, June 8)
This celebration of Chinese Science Fiction–thirteen stories translated for the first time into English–represents a unique exploration of the nation’s speculative fiction from the late 20th Century onwards, curated and translated by critically acclaimed writer and essayist Xueting Christine Ni.
From the renowned Jiang Bo’s ‘Starship: Library’ to Regina Kanyu Wang’s ‘The Tide of Moon City’, and Anna Wu’s ‘Meisje met de Parel’, this is a collection for all fans of great fiction.
Slipping by Mohamed Kheir, translated from the Arabic by Robin Moger (Two Lines Press, June 8)
Under mysterious circumstances, Seif, a struggling journalist, is introduced to a source for a new story: a former exile with an encyclopedic knowledge of the country’s obscure, magical spaces. Together—as tourist and guide—they step into a world hidden in plain sight. In Alexandria, they wait as trains bear down on them at the intersection of several busy lines; they follow a set of stairs down to the edge of the Nile and cross the water on foot; and down south, they sit before a bare cave wall, a cinema of private visions. What begins as a fantastical excursion through a fractured nation quickly winds its way inward, as Seif begins to piece together the mysteries of his own past, including what happened to Alya, his girlfriend with the gift of “singing sounds.” Seif alone confronts the interconnectedness of his own traumas with Egypt’s following the Arab Spring and its hallucinatory days of revolutionary potential.
Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung, translated from the Korean by Anton Hur (Honford Star, July ?)
Cursed Bunny is a genre-defying collection of short stories by Korean author Bora Chung. Blurring the lines between magical realism, horror, and science-fiction, Chung uses elements of the fantastic and surreal to address the very real horrors and cruelties of patriarchy and capitalism in modern society.
Anton Hur’s translation skilfully captures the way Chung’s prose effortlessly glides from being terrifying to wryly humorous. Winner of a PEN/Heim Grant.
I Am the Tiger by John Ajvide Lindqvist, translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy (Text Publishing, July 2)
A suicide epidemic is haunting Sweden’s underworld, and journalist Tommy T is determined to unmask the shadowy figure, X, who seems to be behind it. Meanwhile, Tommy’s seventeen-year-old nephew, Linus, is slowly being drawn deeper into X’s drug-dealing operation. The closer Tommy gets to the truth, the more dangerous things seem. What is the strange and mysterious force stalking Stockholm’s streets?
Robot by Adam Wisniewski-Snerg, translated from the Polish by ? (Penguin Classics, July 29).
The first English-language publication of one of the greatest Polish science fiction novels of all time. Is BER-64 a human or a machine? As he navigates the corridors and locked rooms of a strange bunker, he must solve the mysteries of murderous doppelgangers, a slow-motion city on the verge of destruction, and ultimately, the all-powerful Mechanism itself…Considered to be one of the most important and original Polish science fiction novels of all time but never before translated into English, Adam Wisniewski-Snerg’s debut novel is a haunting and mind-bending masterpiece of philosophical enquiry that penetrates deep into the heart of what it means to be human.
The Truth and Other Stories by Stanislaw Lem, translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (MIT Press, September).
Of these twelve short stories by science fiction master Stanisław Lem, only three have previously appeared in English, making this the first “new” book of fiction by Lem since the late 1980s. The stories display the full range of Lem’s intense curiosity about scientific ideas as well as his sardonic approach to human nature, presenting as multifarious a collection of mad scientists as any reader could wish for. Many of these stories feature artificial intelligences or artificial life forms, long a Lem preoccupation; some feature quite insane theories of cosmology or evolution. All are thought-provoking and scathingly funny.