On Monday, Otfried Preußler, writer of many popular German children’s books, died aged 89. Here is a more extensive obituary in German from the Süddeutsche Zeitung. I’m one of the German children and teens who grew up with Preußler’s stories from the delightful Robber Hotzenplotz via The Little Ghost, The Little Witch and The Little Waterman to Krabat, his lone foray into YA fantasy with its uncommon 17th century setting and Sorbian background. If you grew up in Germany sometime between the 1950s and 1980s, the works of Otfried Preußler were often your first and only contact with the fantasy genre. Preußler’s tales faded somewhat in popularity during the later 1980s and 1990s, but were repackaged and reprinted (also in English) for a new generation of readers in the wake of Harry Potter. And a beautiful, if not entirely faithful, film adaption of Krabat was made in 2008. So let’s remember Otfried Preußler who introduced generations of German kids to the fantasy genre.
The nominations for the 2012 Nebula Awards have been announced. Looks like a nicely diverse mix of titles and authors. Lots of women and several writers of colour as well. I’m particularly pleased to see Beasts of the Southern Wild and the unfairly maligned John Carter nominated in the screenplay category, though it’s a pretty sure bet that both will lose out to The Avengers.