Fiction Fans: Translating and SFF

It was so lovely to be on the Fiction Fans podcast with hosts Sara and Lilly. The episode was focussed on Sinopticon, the anthology of Chinese science fiction I’ve curated and translated, but we discussed so much more – tea, reading, SFF, the fine techniques of translating. Highlighted stories include Meisje met de Parel by Anna Wu, The Tide of Moon City by Reging Kanyu Wang and The Last Save by Gu Shi. As with most delectable discussions, the conversation meandered into all sorts of topics, but the episode was loosely based on the following questions. Follow the link below.

What are you drinking tonight?

Read anything good lately?

Where did the name of the collection come from?

You talk a little bit about your process for selecting stories in your introduction, but can you tell us more about your criteria and how you decided that you wanted to use a particular short story?

Were there any stories that almost made it, but couldn’t because of space?

You’ve been working as a translator for a number of years–can you tell us a little bit about how you first got into translation?

How does translating sci-fi differ (or not) from translating other genres? Did the authors have any input into the translations or afterwards? How closely did you work with the authors during the translation and publication process? How did you decide which elements needed full explanations/follow ups, vs what the audience could figure out through context clues?

The forward mentions the balance between “chineseness” and universality; did that play a part in your story inclusions?

We have an occasional segment that we call “words are weird,” we were wondering if you came across any specific weirdness since you kept idioms and metaphors as directly translated as possible.

You can listen here.

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