The OF Blog: Forget the incessant bickering about Anglo-American spec fic awards. I'm curious about non-Anglophone "Best of 2011" releases

Monday, April 02, 2012

Forget the incessant bickering about Anglo-American spec fic awards. I'm curious about non-Anglophone "Best of 2011" releases

I know a significant percentage of the viewers of this blog do not come from an Anglophone country.  I also know that there are annual awards in Spain, Germany, Brazil, and elsewhere that honor the best speculative fiction (from various fantasy types to SF to horror to weird fiction).  I even know that in a few, sadly rare cases, some of these award-winning works are translated into English.  What I would like to hear, if the readers here have anything to suggest, what are the works written in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Romanian, Russian, and other divers languages (not necessarily an Indo-European language, although I can only read the first four listed with comfort and three others with a dictionary at hand) that are considered to be among particular nations' best for the 2011 publishing year?

I am aware of a few.  I am awaiting the arrival of Portuguese writer David Soares' Batalha (his previous works are very, very good).  I know several Brazilian writers have recently had short fiction of theirs made available in the Kindle Store.  But on the whole, I am not as aware as I would like of what is out there and considered to be very good.

If you happen to know of a recent award (even if it's pre-2011 releases) in a particular country and can list some of the shortlisted titles/winners, I would greatly appreciate it, as I might be able to start buying at least some of the recommended titles in the coming months and mentioning them here on this blog or on Twitter.  All suggestions are welcome (well, the serious ones) and thanks!


Aliette de Bodard said...

I'm not plugged into the French scene, but Roland C Wagner's Rêves de Gloire is highly spoken of (picked up a few awards already, and is being shortlisted for more). It's an alternate history in which de Gaulle dies and Algeria remains French (it's also about music and a lot of other things besides, hard book to summarise).

RobB said...

This might be helpful:

SF Awards Watch

Lsrry said...


Rêves de Gloire looks very, very promising based on the description I read of it. I went ahead and placed an order. Might take a month and cost me $40, but I think it'll be worth it :D


I was going to be checking that shortly, but it is a good resource. I'm just hoping to get more than just shortlisted titles, like those who might be up for consideration later in the year and so forth. One can never have too many recommendations or books to be read :D

Ludwig Van said...

Contemporary German speculative fiction is a mess. Utterly forgettable.

Next Friday said...

The was a book in Russian - one of the 'Big Book' award finalists in 2009 - "Dom v kotorom..." by Mariam Petrosyan.

It definitely can be classified as weird fiction, and people who are at home with weird usually love it. It's also quite long, so by the end of it you won't need a dictionary anymore.

e-book is available everywhere -> here, for instance: (I paid about $50 for the hardcover version.)

Si said...

Could you direct me to some of the stories by Brazillian/Portuguese writers now avaliable at amazon that you mentioned? I can speak a bit of Portuguese and would love to check out their work...

Lsrry said...

Sure! I'm linking by the editor they all have in common.

Tudor said...

Hello Larry,

I’m one of your faithful readers from Romania; I’m greatly enjoying your posts on this blog, on Gogol’s Overcoat (there is almost a Gogol cult in Romania :) ) and on Weird Review.

So, one of the most important literary awards in Romania are those given by a cultural magazine “Observatorul Cultural”. This is the shortlist for 2011 (the links are for the ebooks Romanian version) :
•Magda Cârneci, FEM
•Marta Petreu, Acasă, pe Cîmpia Armaghedonului
•Octavian Soviany, Viaţa lui Kostas Venetis
•Stelian Tănase, Moartea unui dansator de tango
•Lucian Dan Teodorovici, Matei Brunul - winner
•Alexandru Vlad, Ploile amare - winner

Even if it is much older than 2011, I can recommend to you – Dimineata pierduta (translated as Wasted Morning) by Gabriela Adamesteanu – one of the most important novel’s from the Romania’s under communism period.
•ebook Romanian version
•dead-tree book English version with an excellent review by Liviu Suciu

Probably the most awarded Romanian novel in the last three years (including 2011) was Cartea Soaptelor (The Book of Whispers) by Varujan Vosganian, about the soul of Armenians in the 20th Century
•ebook Romanian version!prettyPhoto
•Spanish version

A genre writer that I would recommend is Marian Coman, but you already read “Fingers and other fantastic stories” and Doru Stoica with Intre Bariere (Between the Barriers) – ebook Romanian version -

Best regards

Lsrry said...


Thanks so much for those links! I can understand some Romanian with difficulty (I do have a bilingual dictionary), so I very well may check those out in the coming weeks. Again, thanks :D

Add to Technorati Favorites