Anomaly 25: Speculative Fiction in Translation by Women

September 2nd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Anomaly 25

The latest issue of Anomaly (formerly Anomalous), guest edited by Rachel Cordasco, is devoted to translated spec fic by women, and features my translation Belgian fabulist Anne Richter’s early story “The Great Beast” among some brilliant work from around the globe!

Rachel runs the site Speculative Fiction in Translation, the go-to clearinghouse for all information on science fiction, fantasy, and everything in between being translated into English.

Anne Richter (1939 – ) is a prominent Belgian author, editor, and scholar of the fantastic. Her first collection, Le fourmi a fait le coup, was written at the age of fifteen and translated as The Blue Dog (Houghton Mifflin, 1956) by Alice B. Toklas, who praised her in the preface. She is known for her twice-reprinted international anthology of female fantastical writers, whose introductory essay she expanded into a study of the genre. She has also edited official anthologies of the fantastical work of Meyrink and de Maupassant. Her four collections have won her such Belgian honors as the Prix Franz De Wever, the Prix Félix Denayer, the Prix du Parlement, and the Prix Robert Duterme. She is a member of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the Association of Belgian Writers, and PEN. My translations of her work have appeared in Ann and Jeff VanderMeers’ anthology of feminist speculative fiction, Sisters of the Revolution (PM Press, 2015), and online at The Collagist.

Here’s an excerpt:

Then they turned to me and said, “It’s settled; you’re the one who’ll be going. Don’t think we made this decision lightly; we had lots of reasons for choosing you. For one, to the victor go the spoils; you’re the one who discovered the beast that washed ashore one morning. Really, all we did was witness your discovery. And so, by law, you should make the most of it. But up until now, you haven’t done a thing. There it lies, inviolate, still as a shipwreck. Can’t you see it mocks us? It’s up to you to unravel this living riddle. That gaping mouth, cool as a mausoleum, is all yours, as is that thick carpet of a tongue of indeterminate color. Think of your parents, your village! Go forth without fear. If the mouth swallows you, too bad. You shouldn’t have been playing hooky on the beach. If it lets you back out safe and sound, so much the better. We’ll know more than we do now. Go! Your parents’ wishes go with you.”

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