But to answer the question properly - what are we missing out on - my own regret is that I don't get to read French steampunk!MIND MELD: Guide to International SF/F (Part I ) (via Beyond the Beyond Discuss Next post
I know there's a lot of it - I did a panel on steampunk a few years ago in Nantes and it was horrible, being surrounded by steampunk writers telling me about their (very cool sounding) books and I can't read any of them! I'd also love to see some of the Chinese SF novels, and at least get a glimpse into the Arabic SF that's being published. I'd love to read some of the Cuban stuff... stop me when you've had enough. Israel has some very interesting home-grown YA fantasy at the moment. To be honest, the way I get to read non-Anglophone writers is mostly in the crime genre, which seems to be a lot more open to translating in the field - so the Cuban or Japanese or French writers I do read are crime writers - check out Detectives Beyond Borders, which is a great introduction. But I think things are changing in science fiction and fantasy a little, too. Certainly, since I started the World SF Blog I've been amazed by how much was out there - in English - translations from Korean and Spanish, writers who occasionally sell an English story but work predominantly in other languages, and a huge amount of articles, blog posts, online communities, a great deal of discussion, from people around the world who are simply passionate about the genre and want others to know about it, too. The problem with the old model of World SF was that it was Anglophone-led, but now it's not! The Internet's been a major catalyst in that regard. A few years ago, three German fans started InterNova, which was meant to be a magazine of international SF. They only managed to do one issue, and it was plagued with distribution problems, but the remarkable thing about it was that the initiative came from the outside, and the contributors, editors, proof-readers, translators - everyone involved - was likewise from the non-English world. And that was quite remarkable to me, this idea that you can do this, you don't need one of the old English writers or editors to do it for you. You can do it yourself. We're seeing more and more of this now, and the Internet's been great in allowing people from all around the world to communicate with each other, talk to each other, exchange ideas - there's a real cross-polination taking place, and it's very exciting and rewarding to be able to do that.