The one thing I often get told when I talk about the US/Anglophone dominance of the spec-fic market is some variant of “good translations are expensive, and the market is stretched so there is no money for it”. I’m sorry, that’s just not a valid reason.
Yes, I fully agree that a good translator is expensive. Translating, say, from French to English is more expensive than taking an English author direct. In this we totally agree. But…
But wanna take a guess as to how much a good translator from English into French costs, and how much cheaper it would be to buy a local author? ‘cos it’s known as a symmetrical problem, and we all have the same problems: the literary market is somewhat small (as opposed to TV, for instance), and overstretched.
Most non-Anglophone publishing houses have a fairly large Foreign Rights/Foreign Acquisitions department, which also handles translations. It’s an accepted part of the budget as much as paying authors for books and paying artists for cover art. Most Western Anglophone houses… don’t exactly seem to have the equivalent department. So the “we don’t have any money for translations” thing? Please don’t try to tell me that. It doesn’t stand.
I’ll accept the “there is no market for translations” as a valid point–but then I’ll ask you to start wondering: why is there no market for translations in the US/UK, and plenty in other countries?
The weather is, er, quantum. Very nice one day out of two, hellish the other one (as in, bucketloads of water). Currently we’re at the watery stage. Which, if everything continues in the proper quantum way, promises semi-decent sunny weather on Saturday. Not guaranteed, of course…
I’m at the stage of wishing all of this was over, too…
Last one, for the road… (the BF/H is playing go, and I’m too tired to do anything else)
So, I just got myself a brand new CD, and I was looking at my playlists. I use music all the time (I pretty much can’t write without a familiar sound in the background), and I’ve got a medium consumption of stuff: once in a while, I’ll buy a new stack of CD to have new songs to add to the rotation. By the looks of it, the last stack of CDs I bought was more than a year ago–so it’s time to look for more. I thought I might share some of my favourites, on the off-chance some of you enjoy the same kind of songs, and could point me out to more artists I ought to be checking out. I mainly listen to female singer-songwriters (don’t ask, I have no idea).
-India Arie. First CD I bought for myself, years ago. I liked the first two albums (India Arie and Voyage to India to bits), but I haven’t been as big a fan of the later ones.
-The Innocence Mission. Karen Peris has such a wonderful voice. I don’t have everything by them: some of the old ones are hard to get hold of, and I stopped buying CDs after being somewhat disappointed by And Now the Day is Over, but the new ones sound good.
-Vienna Teng. Her first album had two songs that floored me (“The Tower”, and “Between”); the second one was pretty good, and I was somewhat disappointed by the third one, but I just got the newish one, Inland Territory, and it looks like a return to top form.
-Dar Williams. The first album I bought was The Beauty of the Rain, which is awesome (especially the atmospheric “Mercy of the Fallen”). I now have pretty much the entire backlist, and I’ve just seen there’s a newish album, Promised Land. Shiny.
-Tracy Spuelher. I downloaded a couple free songs from amazon, “Hummingbird” and “Where do we go now”, which I found pretty good–catchy, with good lyrics and a nice mood. I listened to her newer albums, which are even better–and I gave in and bought an entire album off itunes (which I never do, because I hate not being able to transfer music where I want).
So, any other cool singers in the same vein I ought to know about?
From now until Sept. 5th, I will be mostly off the grid. I might be checking emails sporadically; but this isn’t guaranteed. I might be posting if I get a free minute; but again, not guaranteed. (exceptionally, there won’t an SFnovelists post forthcoming on August 28th, due to major time crunches. Next post due in September).
Also, any good wishes for stellar weather on the 28th in the region of Brittany are much appreciated.
There will be pics when I come back.
H-3 (in this case, H meaning “holidays”, or the closest thing thereof). Arg. Will survive.
Currently reading: my back issues of Asimov’s (haven’t had time to open one all summer long). Really liked Nancy Fulda’s “Backlash”, a story of time-travel and fixing mistakes–a quick romp, but with all-too-believable depths about families, past mistakes (and a particularly nasty and realistic depiction of PTSD). Also, Mary Robinette Kowal’s “For Want of A Nail”, an AI story set on a generation ship, where the protagonists fix one set of problems to find another, worse one behind. Sparse and poignant. And from the July issue, Alice Sola Kim’s “The Other Graces”, a story about a Korean “yellow-trash”, which encompassed a bunch of things about immigration and fitting in.
Currently working on: wedding, wedding and wedding. With a sidedash of blog posts.
Currently making: Murgh Biryani, from Charmaine Solomon’s The Complete Asian Cookbook. Well, almost. Clever substitutions took place, ’cause my shelf spice isn’t that big, and I plain shorted out on saffron, making for rice that was rather whiter than expected. But yum yum.
Via Andy Cox, the title spread for my upcoming “Age of Miracles, Age of Wonders” (forthcoming in Interzone 230, the very next issue).
Er, wow? I am *so* glad Interzone is back to full colour. It looks awesome! (plus, mechanical men. And fallen gods. And Aztecs. You can’t really go wrong with any of those).
The awesome Jenny Barber interviewed me for the British Fantasy Society. You can find excerpts of the interview here at the BFS website: the full interview will be published in the next issue of Dark Horizons (the magazine of the BFS).
Also, if you scroll down to the very bottom of the interview, you’ll see you have a chance to win a copy of Servant of the Underworld–so hop on over there to get yourself some Aztec-y goodness
Mark Harding’s awesome music-themed anthology, Music for Another World, is now available (here on the Mutation Press website, or on amazon). It includes my novelette “Silenced Songs”, as well as contributions from friends like VDer Stephen Gaskell, LJ friend Vaughan Stanger, Neil Williamson, and Jim Steel .
You get discounted shipping if you order via the Mutation Press website, BTW.
Also, Carl Rafala’s The Immersion Book of SF is available for pre-order on amazon. It contains my story “Father’s Last Ride”, aka the one with aurora riders and weird aliens. Sharing a TOC with Tanith Lee (I will not hyperventilate I will not hyperventilate…), Lavie Tidhar, Gord Sellar, Chris Butler, Gareth Owens, Eric James Stone, Jason Erik Lundberg and Al Robertson . (OK, I’ve just realised I know, in one way or another, 70% of the TOC. Wow).
ETA: apparently, The Immersion Book of SF already ships from some booksellers like Barnes & Noble.
ETA2: it would seem the cover is inspired by my story. *speechless*