Odds and Ends from Exotic Environs

You may remember a while back that Blindflug was on the final ballot for some prestigious German Award. Turns out I didn’t get it (I keep getting beat out by some guy named Charlie Stross, whoever he is) but Sara Riffel— the lady who translated Blindsight into Blindflugdid, for “Best Translation”. And let’s face it, anyone who can take a book that so many found incomprehensible even in its native language and render it comprehensible in some other, deserves an award far more than I. So: heartfelt congratulations to Sara on a job which, as it turned out, was not quite so thankless as one might have expected.

Not that I don’t have a perk or two to console me in my own loserhood, mind you. I just signed a contract with ERUM Publishing for a Korean edition of Blindsight, which must push up to around a dozen the number of languages in which that book appears (or will appear). It’s nowhere near Harry Potter or the Bible in terms of total translations of course, but at least it’s more adult. Oh, and apparently Fleuve Noir is planning to put Starfish out in French next year (under a different title, I’m hoping, than the too-obvious Poissons de l’Étoile).

But perhaps the most cockle-warming item on today’s agenda is the discovery (albeit belated) that io9 The Site Which Never Tires of Posting About Science-Fiction Vampires While Never Mentioning Blindsight — has mentioned Blindsight in a post about science-fiction vampires. Coming late upon that item, I did not see said posting in its original form, which judging by one of the comments completely misdescribed Blindsight‘s plot. That mistake had been corrected by the time I stumbled onto the scene. But hey: at least they’re not outright ignoring me any more.

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Wednesday July 22 2009at 11:07 am , filed under writing news . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

5 Responses to “Odds and Ends from Exotic Environs”

  1. Is that North or South Korea?

    There are just too many comparisons I can make between Blindsight and KimJung Il.

  2. I know how to make io9 take notice in the future. Look at the other entries in the space vampire article: they all have some linked video or image. All you need is to take the vampire presentation and somehow convert it to a video and upload to Youtube.

  3. I actually did find Blindsight incomprehensible, but in a really good way. I bought it 3 weeks ago and just finished reading it for a second consecutive time a few days ago because I didn’t understand a lot of it on the first pass. Like a good progressive rock album, it takes a lot of effort to digest and comprehend (Speaking of prog: I love the Jethro Tull refrences in your books! This As A Brick kicks ass!) More than any other work of fiction (Science or otherwise), the ideas presented in it really got my brain going! Like, for example, the Chinese Room and how the Scramblers adjusted their chromatophores to match human nerve impulses. Incredible!

    I would be interested in reading the German translation, but I only know how to swear and say rude/sexually explicit sentences. Good that it won an award, though! Hopefully this will help shift some books or maybe generate more interest among retailers. I’m sick of walking into bookstores and seeing five ceiling high cases of Robert Jordan and Forgotten Realms shit, but nothing of quality!

    Can’t wait for the sequel!

  4. Chris J.
    Read it again. The first time I read Blindsight my head just about exploded from overload of ideas, but the second time around they became a lot more manageable, having some knowledge of the stuff that is going to happen. It is probably the best sci-fi book I’ve read in a long long time…

    On a different note, a friend of mine is working on this: http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4036
    And I don’t know enough about PHD level computer science to know if Living Program is just a cool name, but it really made me wonder how far away we are from Starfish style digital ecologies and when they’ll start taking over the world…

  5. Theyis, like I said, I did read it twice. Even a third time would tie up some more loose ends. I think the hardest part for me (And a lot of others, it seems) is the fact that there isn’t an “omniscient” narrator. You really have to read between the lines because what you are reading is viewed and interpreted by someone else (Siri). On the second pass, I still couldn’t figure out if Theseus’s kamikaze dive worked. It’s not like a Peter F. Hamilton novel where an entire page is devoted to describing a single object. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    Maybe I’ll go for round three after I finish Axis (Not Robert Charles WIlson’s finest moment…)