Survey of international science fiction

Writer Jeff VanderMeer solicited recommendations for sf from around the world, compiling it into "An Overview of International Science Fiction/Fantasy in 2009" for Locus magazine. It's a tantalizing glimpse into the sf that us dumb monolingual Anglophones are missing out on.


Finland, recommended by editor/writer Jukka Halme

Tornit (Towers) by Jyrki Vainonen (Tammi)
-- Finnish magical realism at its very best. After dismembering his dead (witch) mother, Henrik is taken by the great flood and carried into fantastical islands. Surrealistic fantasy about sex plants, dead witches and princesses with eyes on their backs. Vainonen dives ever deeper into the fantastical and weird, while coming up with trumps.

Karsta (Soot) by J. Pekka Mäkelä (LIKE)
-- The fourth novel by the man who translates Philip K. Dick into Finnish, is a another quiet masterpiece of bystander-sf. Humanity has lost the interstellar war and aftermath means cleaning up the places. Mäkelä solidifies his place as an important sociopolitical-sf writer.

Valeikkuna (False Window) by Leena Krohn (Teos)
-- In this future, the world is not plagued by overpopulation, but infertility. Many people live in virtual reality and take minute-long space travels. The barrier between dream and reality, possible and fantastical is blurred once more by the masterful language by Krohn.

An Overview of International Science Fiction/Fantasy in 2009

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