Science Fiction and Political Fantasy
Astronauts by Lina Theorodou

If the literatures of minority cultures are by definition marginal to the English-speaking world, then the genres of science fiction and political fantasy written in lesser-spoken languages stand at a further remove from the mainstream. They offer an enormous challenge to translators and readers everywhere: a truly adventurous mind is required. A work of political fantasy or sci-fi, which turns the received ideas of its own culture on their head, offers many interpretive hurdles for the general reader. This is why we attempt where possible in this issue to set the writing presented in its cultural context.

We are delighted to publish here new writing from Catalonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Finland, Portugal, Croatia and Wales. From Fflur Dafydd’s Welsh assassin librarians to Lajos Parti Nagy’s three outsize homeless people who sit towering over Budapest’s Freedom Square, from Viken Berberian’s moral bombs to Antoni Munné-Jordà’s Venetian mirror, which projects as well as reflects, the worlds explored by these writers are so strange precisely because they are both like and unlike our lived realities, and therefore challenge the very limits of our perceived existence.

Interviews with Fflur Dafydd and Croatian author Tatjana Jambrišak give a unique insight into their ongoing dialogue with their respective cultures. Essays on Finnish author Leena Krohn and Catalan writer Antoni Munné-Jordà, on the other hand, provide deeply researched and accessibly argued introductions which, for readers new to their work, will add greatly to their understanding of it.

The imaginative freedoms explored here have political consequences. As one of Lithuanian writer Jaroslavas Melnikas’ characters claims: ‘We cannot reject the impossible, if we consider ourselves free. Why should we limit our fantasy?’

Thanks to our contributors, we have been able in this issue of Transcript to bring you a wonderful selection of sci-fi and political fantasy in English, French and German translation, in a precious satellite report from this brave new world. We hope you enjoy it. Remember to let us know if you do!

Francesca Rhydderch, francesca@lit-across-frontiers.org

© University of Wales, Aberystwyth 2002-2009       home  |  e-mail us  |  back to top
site by CHL