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The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent Paperback – Bargain Price, April 15, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (April 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765315378
  • ASIN: B0043RTCKU
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,417,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Wondrous worlds await U.S. SF fans in this sensitively chosen, impeccably translated anthology of Continental European science fiction stories, ranging from 1987 to 2005. Offering "emotional satisfaction and cerebral excitement," as James Morrow puts it in his introduction, highlights include Johanna Sinisalo's "Baby Doll," a Finnish denunciation of materialistic exploitation of children; Romanian Lucian Merisca's "Some Earthlings' Adventures on Outrerria," an excruciating political satire; Valerio Angelisti's "Sepultura," which offers a neo-Dantean Infernoscape; and W.J. Maryson's "Verstummte Musik," a Dutch near-future Orwellian nightmare. A French twist on human-machine interface lifts Jean-Claude Dunyach's "Separations" into a meditation on the nature of artistic creativity, while Elena Arsenieva's "A Birch Tree, a White Fox" exquisitely illustrates the quintessential Russian soul. These "disciplined speculations" by European writers and their painstaking translators not only excite the mind, they move the heart. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Except for Stanislaw Lem, contemporary European sf and fantasy writers aren't well represented in English translation. The Morrows, husband and wife, address this long-standing sad situation by teaming top-notch translators and some of today's best European sf and fantasy hands in a superlative anthology. Leading lights of French, Polish, Spanish, and 11 other literatures show their writing chops while employing a very broad range of genre motifs, from time machines to space travel. Jean-Claude Dunyach contributes "Separations," the multidimensional story of a zero-gravity choreographer on an unforgettable space ride with a tormented captain. In "The Fourth Day to Eternity," the Czech Ondrej Neff recounts the fate of a frenzied physicist caught in a confusing time loop. As James Morrow underlines in a witty and literate introduction, a truly representative sampling of European speculative fiction would span volumes. Under the attention-grabbing banner of the SFWA Hall of Fame series, this book tantalizingly introduces English-language readers to Europe's riches and may incite them to clamor for more. Hays, Carl
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Born in 1947, James Morrow has been writing fiction ever since, as a seven-year-old living in the Philadelphia suburbs, he dictated "The Story of the Dog Family" to his mother, who dutifully typed it up and bound the pages with yarn. This three-page, six-chapter fantasy is still in the author's private archives. Upon reaching adulthood, Morrow produced nine novels of speculative fiction, including the critically acclaimed Godhead Trilogy. He has won the World Fantasy Award (for Only Begotten Daughter and Towing Jehovah), the Nebula Award (for "Bible Stories for Adults, No. 17: The Deluge" and the novella City of Truth), and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award (for the novella Shambling Towards Hiroshima). A full-time fiction writer, Morrow makes his home in State College, Pennsylvania, with his wife, his son, an enigmatic sheepdog, and a loopy beagle.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The twenty plus contributors to the original SFWA Hall of Fame were all authors I read previously. However, this European version is quite the opposite having read only one of the sixteen contributors prior to this introduction to these talented writers. This brings a unique freshness as the American audience is introduced to the cross Atlantic writers that the Morrows felt were deserving of wider readership. In the Introduction James Morrow explains the difference between Americans and Europeans as follows: "Europeans think one hundred miles is a long distance, and Americans think one hundred years is a long time". In many ways this sums up the similarities and difference. All the tales were written over the last two decades; none originally in English though translated for this compilation; this adds to the feel of visiting new realms. The authors come from all over Europe: France, Russia, Italy, Czech Republic, Finland, Poland, Spain, Greece, Romania, Germany, Portugal, and Holland. The stories are all well written and obviously translate smoothly into English. They run the gamut from a Dutch Orwell (see W.J. Maryson's "Verstummte Musik") to a "Swift" Finish A Modest Proposal that is a condemnation of free trade that exploits children. These are fabulous entries that belie the fact they are translations. SFWA's European vacation is a terrific collection, which begs to ask other translation anthologies from Asia, South America, and Africa to follow?

Harriet Klausner
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By William A. Spangler on October 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The SFWA European Hall of Fame is worth checking out for at least a couple of reasons. Not only does it give American exposure to authors who deserve it, it's also a good read, pure and simple.
Even if you're not familiar with the writers featured, this is a great way to get a taste of the styles and topics that appear in European sf. The 16 stories range from classic surrealism ("The Fourth Day To Eternity" by Ondrej Neff) to satire ("A Night On the Edge of the Empire " by Joao Barreiros) to near-future extrapolation ("Baby Doll" by Johanna Sinisalo). In addition to "Baby Doll," some of my personal favorites in this volume include "Between the Lines" by Jose Antonio Cotrina and "Athos Emfovos In the Temple of Sound" by Panagiotis Koustas.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By H. Stern on May 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Such a grouping of short stories, many of which will stick in your brain and make you think about them for years later. I can't say enough about this compilation, so I will say this: it's an extremely valued addition to my library, and so great to read literature from other countries!
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Blue Tyson on March 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I suppose the problems with this anthology start with the title, in that there are no Masterpieces to be found, and it isn't all science fiction.

In the introduction the editors talk briefly about the history of European SF, and the semi-chance encounter on a train that got them to talking about translation and how this anthology came about - which includes some help from SFWA, hence the title. Pointing out not having the resources to make a big volume (what would you call that now, Hartwellian?) so just picking some stuff that they could describe with some adjuectives that pleased them.

It would seem pretty strange, apart from on the already translated front so less work, to not be able to find 16 decent SF stories, no matter what editorial hand waving and apologetics might appear next to some of them to argue for inclusion.
Obviously it is much harder, if not in English.

In no universe except perhaps one full of drunken book nerds with lots of cheap wine down them could you call Between the Lines a masterpiece, for example. I would think very few (if any) people would call it science fiction. You can forgive a 'Jeffty' or 'Road Dog', but not something so ordinary.

Picking on that story aside, there are some good (4 star) stories here, and also some of the humorous variety - the editors point, via quote, that surrealism is quite common in Euro-SF. The introductions to each story backgrounding the authors is pretty well done, and probably a bit more important here than in your garden variety yank or pommie book.

However, perhaps a bit too much of please themselves, as opposed to please the what would seem to be the target audience, which is perhaps more understandable if a shoestring-budget type project I suppose.
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