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Science Fiction, Fantasy Translation Awards

Science Fiction, Fantasy Translation Awards Announced

Two UC Riverside scholars are part of the team creating the new literature awards.

(December 7, 2009)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Two UC Riverside scholars are part of a nationwide team of 10 science fiction experts and authors organizing the new Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Awards. The awards will recognize works of science fiction, fantasy, horror and related literature that is translated from other languages into English.

Melissa Conway, head of Special Collections of UCR Libraries, and Rob Latham, associate professor of English, are part of the team establishing the awards, which will “seek out and reward authors and translators who bring fresh new works created in other languages to the English-speaking world,” according to the announcement made at the World Fantasy Convention in San Jose.

The first awards – one for long-form literature (40,000 words and above) and one for short forms – will be presented at UCR’s Eaton Science Fiction Conference in 2011. The awards will consist of a trophy and a cash prize, which will be presented to both the author and the translator.

Fantastic literature has a long tradition outside the English-speaking world, Conway and Latham noted. One of the world’s best-known writers of science fiction and fantasy literature is 19th century French author Jules Verne, whose work was the subject of the 2009 Eaton Conference.

“The literature of the fantastic is an international phenomenon and has been since Hoffmann, Gogol, and Maupassant in the 19th century. Yet contemporary Anglo-American readers have only a sketchy sense of the global scope of science fiction and fantasy today,” Latham said. “This award will take a big step toward the goal of closing that blind spot. UCR is proud to be associated with this initiative given the wide range of materials gathered in the Eaton Collection, which includes works published in well over a dozen languages.”

Conway said she is proud that this initiative, which was announced at the October convention, originated at UC Riverside and will be associated with the Eaton Collection and Conference. “I myself never realized how terrible the translations of Verne’s works, for example, were until I was able to read them in the original French,” she said.

Members of the organizing team include: Conway; Latham; Rose Fox, speculative fiction reviews editor for Publishers Weekly; Nalo Hopkinson, author of four novels and a short-story collection; Josh Jasper, a Publishers Weekly blogger and director of marketing for Fantasy Magazine; Farah Mendlesohn, president of the International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts and a reader in creative and media writing at Middlesex University; Cheryl Morgan, a director of San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc.; Geoff Ryman, author and creative writing lecturer at the University of Manchester; Kevin Standlee, board secretary for San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc.; and Gary Wolfe, a monthly book review columnist for LOCUS magazine and professor of humanities and English at Roosevelt University.

More information about the awards is available at

UCR is the home of the J. Lloyd Eaton Collection of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Utopian Literature, the largest in the world. The collection embraces every branch of science fiction, plus fantasy and horror, and contains the largest holdings of 16th- to 21st-century utopian and dystopian fiction in North America.

The collection, which attracts scholars from around the world, holds more than 100,000 volumes of English-language science fiction, fantasy and horror published in the 20th century and a wide range of works in Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, German and a dozen other languages.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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