The OF Blog: International SF Poll

Friday, November 13, 2009

International SF Poll

After several false starts (and health/work scares thrown in), I'm going to be working on a lengthy article this weekend on international SF.  In the meantime, thought it might be interesting to post a poll seeing which countries people here might view as having a vibrant SF/F scene(s).  I know I left off several countries, but I hope I managed to get most of the ones of interest out there.  If I failed to do so, feel free to leave a comment here in this post, for my (and others') edification.

Now back to grumbling about waking up two hours early...

9 comments:

Jen said...

Sadly, since I am myself in Foreign... my interest in foreign SFF is very low. Maybe my lack of trust in translations has something to do with it, maybe it's my lack of cultural knowledge about other places... I tend to stick to American and British things, with some rare Romanian stuff thrown in. I just can't make myself be interested in something else.

Terry Weyna said...

I can't say much about the "scene" in SF elsewhere, but it sure seems to me that there's an awful lot of great stuff coming out lately that was originally published in Spanish -- not from a single country, actually from Spain and from several places in South America. I don't know if this is just because there are lately some good Spanish translators out there or what, but I've been bowled over by some of what I've read lately that was originally published in Spanish.

Cheryl said...

In terms of quantity published Russia and China have to be in the lead. In terms of influence on the English-speaking world Japan is way ahead. But Dude, what about Finland?

Droidprogrammer said...

Why wasn't there a Canada tab, or did I miss it? R Scott Baker, Steven Erickson, Ian Esselmont, William Gibson to name a few... Damn imperialists!

Sofie Bird said...

I think China/Japan would have to have the lead, but - no love for Australia? We have Margo Lanagan, Trudi Canavan, John Marsden, Brian Caswell, and a host of emerge-lings at the moment, and quite a few SFF conventions springing up here and there. Although for short stories, sadly, there isn't much of a paying scene except Aurealis.

Crotchety Old Fan said...

To be completely science fictional, you should have added Luna, Venusburg, Ganymede and the Second Trans-Neptunian Expedition

marco said...

I wouldn't say the Italian Sf/f scene is exactly thriving, but with the likes of Evangelisti and Wu Ming, the alternate histories of Genna and Altieri as well as numerous less known others I think it deserved inclusion in the poll.

Larry said...

Jen,

I sometimes wonder if the Anglophone countries have been blessed by having enough money to pay for the best translators. I should try reading more translations of English-language works in the future to see if I'm correct. Looks like I'll be having to refine my rudimentary French in order to read some of Moorcock's stories, since he's releasing some new Elric stories in French first.

Terry,

You have only seen the tip of the iceberg. Have you ever tried reading Edmundo Paz Soldán? Albert Fuguet? Ignacio Padilla? Jorge Volpi? If not, much good reading ahead for you.

Cheryl,

I almost put Finland there, since I know there is a very active SF scene there, but I'm not aware of many translations being available (I'm talking about more than just English translation). Also, I didn't want to seem like I was weighting this too heavily to European countries.

Droidprogrammer,

Canada is a (mostly) Anglophone country, plus its writers typically are first published in UK/US markets and not in a separate Canadian one.

Sofie,

Pretty much what I said above applies to Australia. Do love Margo Lanagan's work, by the way.

Steve,

I know! I guess it was those Orion Slave Girls that bewitched me there ;)

Marco,

I almost put Italy on there (it was between that and Serbia for the final slot for the European countries), but I wasn't as aware of native works being produced in Italy, so that's what led to it being excluded from what still was a monster list.

S.M.D. said...

I'm curious about something, and maybe you'll touch on this in the post you're cooking up, Larry...

The poll shows that most of the folks voting thought that Japan has the most vibrant SF/F scene. While I voted that way, I wonder how much of that has to do with the relative prominence of Japanese SF/F (in film and graphic novel form) in the U.S. Maybe the reason for the percentage on the poll is due to exposure rather than an actual assessment of the strength of SF/F markets in foreign countries.

Or am I off the mark? I just know that looking at my own choice of Japan, it has to do with the fact that of all the countries on that list, Japan is the one that I've had the most exposure to, and is probably the easiest to find information on...

Anyway...

 
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