October Books 1) Travelling Towards Epsilon

1) Travelling Towards Epsilon, ed. by Maxim Jakubowski

A collection of sf stories by French (and one Belgian) writer, collected in the mid-1970s; very much feeling like New Wave, plus an added appreciation of sex which somehow feels different from the way an American or British writer of the time would have tackled the subject. The collection wisely starts and finishes with strong pieces – Daniel Walther’s “The Gunboat Dread“, a sort of sfnal riff on “Heart of Darkness”, and Nathalie Henneberg’s “Wings in the Night”, of supernatural goings on in an isolated Polish castle. Some of the others were a bit same-ish; the other standout story for me was Julia Verlanger’s “The Bubbles”, the oldest story of the collection (from 1956), which started off like an after-the-holocaust story but had an almost Philip Dick-like twist at the end.

While the editor’s choices of story seem to have been good, I was not madly impressed either by his commentary or by his translations. It seemed to me that three of the four stories (including the Walther one) translated by Beth Blish (daughter of James) ran more smoothly in English (the fourth, I suspect, was unsalvageable in any language).

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1 Response to October Books 1) Travelling Towards Epsilon

  1. gareth_rees says:

    I don’ really ‘ave an accent

    Your friend has [?] at the end of don’t but [t] at the end of accent?

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