Kickstart This: Red Star Tales

Here’s a really neat looking Kickstarter: Red Star Tales, an anthology of translated science fiction stories:

For most of the past 100 years, works of Soviet and Russian Science Fiction might as well have existed in a different universe for how well they were known in the West.

What few works did appear in English during the Cold War tended to be wrapped in political agendas. Western publishers singled out Soviet works that contained allegories of political dissidence; Soviet publishing houses offered stilted translations of dry, ideologically-correct fables. While some fine works certainly did get through the Iron Curtain, most that did were hardly representative of the rich tradition of science fiction in Russian literature.

In reality, the last 100 years in Russia has seen an astonishing diversity and depth of literary works in the science fiction genre, by authors with a dizzying array of styles and subject matter.

It’s time for a reboot!

This Kickstarter project will sponsor the publication in 2015 of the first comprehensive edition of truly notable Russian and Soviet science fiction – works chosen for their artistic and scientific merit, not because of any political or ideological agenda.

We’re titling the book Red Star Tales.

The 400+-page volume will include 18 stories, spanning from path-breaking, pre-revolutionary works of the 1890s, through the difficult Stalinist era, to post-Soviet stories published in the 1980s and 90s.

None of the works in this volume has ever been translated into English before, and we are engaging the services of some of the finest translators available to help us produce the sort of quality publication our 25-year-old company is known for.

The works will be richly annotated and introduced, to help the reader appreciate the context in which the stories were published, and how they were received. Among others, there will be works by the founder of Russian rocketry, by the “Soviet Jules Verne,” by the renowned writer Andrei Platonov, and by masters such as Dolgushin and Altov – household names to a significant cross-section of the Russian intelligentsia, but virtually unheard of in the West.

For over 100 years, most of the science fiction produced by the world’s largest country has been beyond the reach of Western readers. This project will bring a large body of influential works into the English orbit.

This looks like an astounding anthology project. They’re looking to raise $16,000 and have a bit more to raise in the next couple of weeks. $18 gets you an eBook edition, while $45 gets you a printed edition. Russian Life is based out of Montpelier, Vermont.

Pledge here.