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Out of This World

Speculative Fiction in Translation from the Cold War to the New Millennium

by Edward Gauvin

Out of This Workd anthology
ISBN: 978-0252043987
Pages: 316

The twenty-first century has witnessed an explosion of speculative fiction in translation (SFT). Rachel Cordasco examines speculative fiction published in English translation since 1960, ranging from Soviet-era fiction to the Arabic-language dystopias that emerged following the Iraq War. Individual chapters on SFT from Korean, Czech, Finnish, and eleven other source languages feature an introduction by an expert in the language's speculative fiction tradition and its present-day output. Cordasco then breaks down each chapter by subgenre--including science fiction, fantasy, and horror--to guide readers toward the kinds of works that most interest them. Her discussion of available SFT stands alongside an analysis of how various subgenres emerged and developed in a given language. She also examines the reasons a given subgenre has been translated into English.

An informative and one-of-a-kind guide, Out of This World offers readers and scholars alike a tour of speculative fiction's new globalized era.


Each chapter has an introduction by a translator currently working in that language that gives a brief history of speculative fiction in that language through the 20th and 21st centuries. This is followed by an essay that highlights the authors who have written or are writing in that language and the books that they have contributed. Add in copious notes and resource lists and you’ve got a guidebook to a vast universe of speculative fiction.

Reviews:M.A. Orthofer on The Complete Review wrote:

Out of This World is an excellent survey of the subject-material, and very well presented. . . . She presents a good picture of these various speculative fictions and the different kinds available (in English) from these fourteen languages. . . . A useful reference work for any reader.

Rachel Cordasco founded the website She works as a writer, editor, and translator and is co-translator of Clelia Ferris's Creative Surgery.

A Whole World of SFF: A Conversation with Rachel Cordasco by Arley Sorg

About the Author

Clarion alum Edward Gauvin is the winner of the inaugural Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Award. He spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Brussels, studying the Francophone tradition of supernatural fiction known as The Belgian School of the Bizarre. From 2011-13, he wrote a regular column for Ann and Jeff VanderMeer’s Weird Fiction Review profiling post-Surrealist French fantastical writers, several of whom he went on to resurrect or debut in English, with translations appearing in Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov’s, Pseudopod, Podcastle, and Conjunctions.

A full-time freelancer since 2006, he has made a living from almost exclusively creative work in various fields from film to fiction, with a personal focus on contemporary comics (BD) and post-Surrealist literatures of the fantastic. His translations have appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s, The Guardian, and World Literature Today, and been honored by the British Comparative Literature Association’s John Dryden Translation Competition, the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize, the Albertine Prize, the Best Translated Book Award, the National Translation Award, and the French-American Foundation Translation Prize. He has received fellowships and residencies from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, PEN America, Ledig House, the Lannan Foundation, and the French and Belgian governments.

He has translated over four hundred graphic novels and received multiple Batchelder Honors from the American Library Association and over twenty Eisner Award nominations. From 2016 to 2018, he co-hosted a monthly podcast on European comics with the late Dr. Derek Royal at The Comics Alternative. He is a contributing editor for comics at Words Without Borders.