Awards, Deaths and a Trailer

I have been somewhat busy in the past few days, because three different translation clients suddenly needed something translated very urgently over the same long holiday weekend. Plus a random “I should write this some time” short fiction idea has decided to take over my brain, which means that I’ve been writing a lot (when I’m not translating).

Still, I have some links and a new book trailer for you today.

The 2012 Nebula Awards have been given out this weekend. All in all, this looks like a very good list of winners. Among Others, The Freedom Maze and The Doctor’s Wife are all excellent choices. I can’t say anything about the various short fiction choices, since I have read none of the winners.

There are were a bunch of notable deaths in the past few days:

Robin Gibb, one third of the Bee Gees, died of cancer aged 62. Now there’s only one Gibb brother left.

On Thursday, singer Donna Summer died aged 63, also of cancer. It is rather eerie that two musical icons of the disco era died in the same week of the same disease.

From disco to classical music and to an artist of whom I own more recordings than either of Donna Summer or Robin Gibb, namely German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who died Friday a few days from his 87th birthday. Most obituaries mainly focus on his rendition of Franz Schubert songs (It feels weird calling them “Lieder” in English) such as the Winterreise cycle, though I mainly associate him his appearances on the many opera and operetta recordings I collected in my teens (on vinyl, how else?), when I projected the image of the highminded teen who did not wear jeans and only listened to opera. In truth, I did like pop music, too, though I didn’t admit it in public (I had an image to maintain after all)and I liked Robin Gibb, Donna Summers and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau equally.

On Wednesday, Swiss television entertainer Kurt Felix died aged 71, also of cancer. If you’re German and over thirty, you will probably have watched Verstehen Sie Spaß? (Do you have a sense of humour?), the Candid Camera type show that Kurt Felix hosted together with his wife Paola, at least once. Along with Wetten Dass?, Verstehen Sie Spaß? was probably the last of the grand Saturday night variety shows on German TV, that everybody (i.a. twenty or thirty million people) watched in its heyday in the early 1980s. Verstehen Sie Spaß? survived the departure of Kurt Felix and Paola and limped along under a variety of more or less famous hosts until a few years ago. For all I know, it might still be on the air – I stopped watching Saturday night shows around the same time Frank Elsner left Wetten Dass? and Kurt Felix and Paola left Verstehen Sie Spaß? Still, those shows were a part of my childhood.

Finally, romance writer Monica Jackson died from complications of surgery. There are tributes at All About Romance, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and Teach Me Tonight.

Last but not least, I also made a new book trailer, this time for The Apocalypse Protocol. You can watch it below the cut or on my videos page.

How I almost brought about the apocalypse and lost my job
by: CoraBuhlert

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4 Responses to Awards, Deaths and a Trailer

  1. Marie-Thérèse says:

    There’s no reason to feel odd using the term “Lieder” in English as it’s what all of Fi-Di’s English speaking fans would use, regardless of which Anglophone nation they live in. (I have very young American singer friends who frequently send me invites to their college’s “Liederabend” and no one attending London’s Wigmore Hall would blink at the use of the term.)

    I don’t actually care for Fischer-Dieskau’s operatic or operetta recordings (to my mind, his voice, even in his youth when his high-toned baritone was fresh and relatively juicy, was too small and too dry for the many Verdi and Mozart roles he assayed) but he was a very fine singer of Lieder, a stalwart champion of new music and obscure repertoire, a decent if not especially talented conductor, and a much admired teacher. There are many baritones contemporary with Fi-Di that I prefer for different reasons (Prey and Souzay being the most famous) but none of them had his ambition or his range of interests. He made an enormous impact on the world of classical music and he will be greatly missed.

    • Cora says:

      I have seen “Lieder” used specifically for what we would called “Kunstlieder” in English language texts, though it would still feel weird to me to use the German word “Lied” in this context, because “Lied” simply means “song” in German and can refer to anything from Schubert to Lady Gaga.

      Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau appears on a lot of my opera and operetta recordings (including some very offbeat role choices such as Fischer-Dieskau as Danilo in The Merry Widow), because those were the recordings that were available to me in the 1980s. Just as a lot of them also involved Anneliese Rotenberger and Rudolf Schock (both of whom are gone now as well). Classical and opera recordings were pricey at the time, so I mostly got them via the book and record club to which my Mom belonged or sometimes from East Germany, where classical recordings were plentiful and comparatively cheap.

  2. Marie-Thérèse says:

    Oops! I also meant to mention that I thought the Nebula winners were good choices overall. Seeing Jo Walton, Geoff Ryman, Kij Johnson and Delia Sherman top the list really made my day!

    • Cora says:

      It’s definitely a good list, particularly since last year’s Nebula selection was rather disappointing.

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