OUT NOW: Conjunctions 67, Other Aliens!

November 10th, 2016 § 0 comments

conjunctions 67

The science fiction issue of Bard College’s venerable literary mainstay Conjunctions, guest-edited by Elizabeth Hand, features my translation of “Cartoon” by Belgian fabulist Jean Muno, lately featured at The Missing Slate and in Year’s Best Weird Fiction Vol. 2 from Undertow Books, edited by Kathe Koja and Michael Kelly.

A longtime resident of the town of Malaise, Robert Burniaux, writing under the name Jean Muno, is among the best-known of Belgium’s Silver Age fabulists, heir to Jean Ray and Thomas Owen. His ever-wicked humor skewers the absurdity of the suburbs and their spiritual emptiness. The author of nine novels and four story collections, he received Belgium’s top literary prize, the Prix Rossel, in 1979, and was a member of Belgium’s Royal Academy of Languages and Literature. “Cartoon” is taken from his first collection, Histoires singulières. His work has also appeared in English in Kim Connell’s translations in the collection Glove of Passion, Voice of Blood and the anthology The Belgian School of the Strange.

Here’s an excerpt:

ON APRIL 18, 1977, AROUND 8:00 A.M., when Cecile Angenot had drawn the garnet drapes that hid the windows of her dining room, she noticed, in the middle of the lawn, between the red cedars and the edge of the decorative well, something like an oblong splash of light. An illusion, she thought, the sun in my eyes. Error: the irradiation was quite real. It was coming from a small Class 3 UFO, roughly cigar shaped and squamous in appearance; truth to tell, a bit screwball, with its tuft of slender antennae and its three crutch-like struts, one of which was patched up with a crude ligature. But Mrs. Angenot saw none of this: she had mislaid her glasses.

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