Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Earlyblurbs for Earlybirds -- ''Cli-fi'' novels and reviews

Earlyblurbs for Earlybirds -- ''Cli-fi'' novels and reviews


Kim Stanley Robinson's new cli-fi novel titled "New York 2140" while looking a bit like Nathaniel Rich's "Odds Against Tomorrow" (but in a very different way, of course) is set for publication on March 21, 2017 [Spring Equinox Day] and here is one early bird early blurb:

COVER REVEAL: Cover art likely to change for final edit

''With"New York 2140", Kim Stanley Robinson has turned science fiction upside down and placed the 20th Century genre squarely in the radar sights of the 21st Century sci-fi subgenre of cli-fi. A truly important novel for this century, even the 22nd Century as well, as global warming pushes us all the face reality and stop this space-travel-to-other-planets escape distration, as even Robinson has noted in interviews. With this novel, KSR stands firmly on the SF subgenre of cli-fi and has put his stamp o on it. Bravo! American literature, world literature, has a new visionary, beyond borders, standing on the shoulders of those science fiction giants who came before him."


An early bird early blurb for Ilija Trojanow's ''THE LAMENTATIONS OF ZENO,'' translated from the German novel ''EIS TAU'' [wonderful translation by Philip Boehm in St. Louis]

''Torn between humanist perspective and misanthropy, Ilija Trojanow has created a Trojan horse of a novel, part 'cli-fi,' part global madness, and with Zeno he has cococted a German clown who goes so far as to drive a tourist ship cruising the Antarctic right into a cliff and sinking it, in plain view of the posh passengers who he was kind enough to disembark beforehand. 'The Lamentations of Zeno' is a brief novel, just 175 pages, with a strong climate brief that might be called CAD (climate assured destruction). There is no word for cli-fi in German but Trojanow has weaved a madman's tapestry of angst and anger that points to the larger canvas -- the end of human civilization as we know it in the Anthrocene. Give this man a Nobel, he deserves one.''

Philip Boehm receives $12K to translate German novel about global warming into English
Aug 5, 2015

It’s a frequently shared adage in publishing that only 3 percent of the books published in the United States are translations from books originally written in another language. Although that exact statistic is sometimes debated, the idea that it’s almost impossible to get a translation project published remains. And yet some are able to make it work.
Local theater director and literary translator Philip Boehm, 57, was recently awarded $12,000 from the National Endowment of the Arts to complete his translation of Ilija Trojanow's novel "The Lamentations of Zeno." The book follows the emotional and geographic evolution of the main character as he explores his fascination with glaciers and their disappearance due to global warming. We talked with Boehm about how he came to work in translation and this book in particular.
This interview was edited for clarity.
How did you get started translating?
I was in New York and a friend of mine mentioned they were looking for someone to translate a novel by Ingeborg Bachmann. I contacted the publisher and submitted a sample, and they chose my sample. And that was a very difficult book and a well-known book. Since then I have been fortunate to have a steady stream of offers in the literary translation world.
What interested you about translating this specific book?
I met the author who is a very interesting man. He would go around performing this entire novel by heart, which I’m not going to do in English. The premise of the book is fascinating. There are various books where people go off the deep end but the insight into the mind of this character, this glaciologist, is great and at the same time there’s social commentary that we’re not bludgeoned with. Formally it has complications as there are log entries, there’s smatterings of speech coming in over a marine radio. Imagine you have people coming in from everywhere, somehow I have to reconstitute that speech in English.
So how do you go about translation a story like this?
Translation at this level is really about your ability to write in English. What I do is I read the other book, the original, and I listen for the voices in the original. Then I try to imagine those voices in English. And that’s not dissimilar to what I do as a director in the theater because I’m looking at a script. I’m listening to voices and then I’m trying to reimagine those voices as they’re brought to life on stage by the actors. So much of it depends on how you’re going to write this in English.
The story is described as being about a troubled planet and a troubled soul. What exactly is meant by that?
Well you’ll have to read the book to find out everything! This troubled soul is someone from Bavaria who grew up in the Alps and he’s fascinated with ice and he’s fascinated by glaciers and he’s been looking at this glacier in the Alps ever since he was little. But due to global warming, this glacier has disappeared and a lot of the purpose of his life is challenged at the same time. He winds up in Antarctica as an tour guide, expedition leader. Yet he begins to question the environmental tourism and wonders what can be done and what he should do personally if he’s so committed to the cause. So we have someone who’s on the forefront of the global warming cause. At the same time, he is a troubled soul and we’re taken into different depths of his soul in the book.
What keeps you excited about translating in general?
You’d be amazed at the research you end up doing and for me that’s a lot of fun. For this book, for instance, I’ve had to do a lot of research on Antarctic ice. For other books I’ve had to research what carriages were like in Eastern Europe and the nomenclature used for carriage making. I’ve translated Herta Miller’s "The Hunger Angel," which takes place in the labor camp right after the war in the Soviet Union and these people were forced to shovel coal and there are different grades of coal. You just learn about the oddest things. At the same time it’s a challenge to find ways of reproducing these voices in English.
Boehm’s translation of Trojanow's novel "The Lamentations of Zeno" is expected to be published by New York-based Verso Books in spring 2016.

New York 2140!

Submitted by Kimon

After Aurora, Kim Stanley Robinson's next novel will be "New York 2140" -- to be published in hardback and ebook (and audiobook?) by Orbit Books on March 21, 2017! Paperback for February 13, 2018.
That is still a long way away... but to wait, we have the official synopsis:
A new vision of the future of New York City in the 22nd century, a flooded, but vibrant metropolis, from Kim Stanley Robinson, the New York Times bestselling author of science fiction masterworks such as the Mars trilogy, 2312, and Aurora.
The waters rose, submerging New York City.
But the residents adapted and it remained the bustling, vibrant metropolis it had always been. Though changed forever.
Every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island.
Through the eyes of the varied inhabitants of one building, Kim Stanley Robinson shows us how one of our great cities will change with the rising tides.
And how we too will change.
A Venice-like future New York City, flooded because of climate change, was already featured in 2312. Here it becomes the setting of the entire novel, which will deal with the nuts and bolts of how to address and how to adapt to climate change -- technologically, financially, legally, socially -- as well as giving us a glimpse into what day to day life will feel like in that future society.

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