Sciencfikcio en Esperanto (11): International Science Fiction (2)

There were only two issues of International Science Fiction published, in 1967 and 1968.  I will soon report on issue #1, but here are some key pages from issue #2:

International Science-Fiction, No. 2, June 1968: Cover, Contents, Editorial, Vietnam War Controversy

The countries & languages translated into English represented in this volume are: Netherlands, Austria, France, Poland, India, Chile, Italy, USSR, Esperanto.

The table of contents lacks a story printed in this issue, from Dutch: "Der Heisse Kosmonaut" by Gust Gils (pp. 41-42).

The Esperanto contribution is "In 2112" by J. U. Giesy & Junius B. Smith, translated by celebrated science fiction figure and Esperantist Forrest J Ackerman (pp. 93-97). There are two illustrations and a postscript by Ackermann, with a passage in Esperanto and an explanation of the origin of the story, which dates back to the early years of Esperanto, corresponding to the pre-Gernsback era of science fiction.

In his lead editorial, "The Balance of Ideas," Lester del Ray tackles the language barrier, particularly the unevenness in international communication, considering that English-speakers don't learn foreign languages, while the educated class elsewhere has learned English. English-speaking science fiction aficionados should be wary of provincialism. Pioneers of science fiction include not only Englishman H. G. Wells, Frenchman Jules Verne, but also Karel Čapek, who gave the world the "robot."

On my web page you can also find a graphic image of two rosters of science fiction authors lining up in opposing positions on the Vietnam War, which reached a critical point in 1968. The war hawks include John W. Campbell, Robert A. Heinlein, R. A. Lafferty, Larry Niven, Jack Vance, and other famous and not-so-famous authors. Opposing American participation in the Vietnam War are Ackerman, Isaac Asimov, Peter S. Beagle, Ray Bradbury, Samuel R. Delany, Lester del Ray, Philip K. Dick, Thomas Disch, Harlan Ellison, Harry Harrison, Ursula K. LeGuin, Mack Reynolds, Gene Roddenberry, Joanna Russ, Robert Silverberg, and many others.

I should also note, in addition to the fiction, an article (not on my web page) by John R. Isaac, "Coming Age of Soviet Science Fiction" (pp. 35-41). The subject is Ivan Yefremov's Andromeda, which marks the emergence of Soviet science fiction as a serious genre. Isaac details this scenario of a future communist utopia, which is not crudely propagandistic, and could prove as appealing to us in the capitalist world as elsewhere.

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