But first of all, I also want to point you to my latest article at Galactic Journey, where I talk about the Lufthansa flight 005 crash which happened at Bremen airport on January 28, 1966, only approximately five kilometres from where I live. All 46 people aboard Lufthansa flight 005 died, the worst disaster to befall the Lufthansa until then and still the second worst today.
Today’s featured fanzine is Speculative Fiction in Translation, which made the longlist for the Hugo for Best Fanzine in 2019 and 2020. Since I’m a translator myself (though rarely of fiction except for my own), the mission of this site is near and dear to my heart.
Therefore, I’m thrilled to welcome Rachel Cordasco of Speculative Fiction in Translation.
Tell us about your site or zine.
I started SFinTranslation.com in 2016 when I couldn’t find any websites that focused on tracking speculative fiction in English translation. Having reviewed a few works of SFT for SF Signal (before it closed a few years ago), I decided to learn more about the science fiction, fantasy, and horror that was being written around the world and then translated for Anglophone readers. Since 2016, I’ve reviewed several dozen works of short- and long-form SFT (both for my site and for World Literature Today, Strange Horizons, and other publications), written essays spotlighting regional SFT, and used social media to bring SFT to the attention of more readers. Among other things, I publish a regular “Out this Month” post to help readers find new SFT releases and I update a linked list of SFT that’s freely-available on the web.
Who are the people behind your site or zine?
I created SFinTranslation.com and regularly update it with content, but I also welcome guest posts, which often come in the form of reviews. Daniel Haeusser, my co-host on the 16-episode SFT podcast (2018-19), frequently sends me reviews to post on the site. I’ve also welcomed reviews from Andrea Johnson, Graham Oliver, Emily Balistrieri, and others.
What format do you use for your site or zine (blog, e-mail newsletter, PDF zine, paper zine) and why did you choose this format?
I use WordPress for my site because it’s easy to use and my site looks good whether you’re looking at it on your desktop, laptop, or cell phone. I’m thinking of adding an email newsletter in the future when my kids are older and I have more time to devote to SFT work!
The fanzine category at the Hugos is one of the oldest, but also the category which consistently gets the lowest number of votes and nominations. So why do you think fanzines and sites are important?
Fanzines and fansites are important because they’re often created and maintained by people who (like myself) do the work purely for the love of it. We maintain these publications because we want other people to share our love for a particular kind of art or medium. Several people have told me that they always wanted to read more in translation but didn’t know where to look and my site helped them find what they were looking for. It’s comments like that that help fuel SFinTranslation.com.
In the past twenty years, fanzines have increasingly moved online. What do you think the future of fanzines looks like?
Like the whole “print books are dead!” canard of the early 2000s when ebooks became popular, I think print fanzines will always exist, even though many have migrated online. In some ways, it’s easier to maintain a fanzine online because you don’t have to deal with having it printed and mailed, though you do have to pay to use certain content management systems. Perhaps we’ll see a resurgence of print zines in the coming years, since many people still crave the physical and tangible. I myself print out an SFT catalog (in color) each year to bring to WisCon, which I hand out freely to anyone who comes to one of my SFT panels.
Where can people find you?
Thanks, Rachel, for stopping by and answering my questions.
Do check out Speculative Fiction in Translation, cause it’s a great blog.
Do you have a Hugo eligible fanzine/-site or fancast and want it featured? Contact me or leave a comment.