More stories by Filipino writers of science fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction are garnering success with Czech publishers, disclosed by Czech Ambassador to Manila Jaroslav Olša Jr. at the launch of Best Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol. 10 held at Shangri-La Plaza Mall in Ortigas, Mandaluyong City.
He said, “I am really pleased to announce that an anthology of South East Asian steampunk stories entitled SEA Is Ours that was published only last November will see its Czech edition this month.”
Not only is the Czech edition the very first translation of this important book, but it will also be the debut of five Filipino writers in Czech translations.
Three of these authors—regularly featured in the Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction volumes—whose works are included in the Czech translation are Kate Osias, author of The Unmaking of Cuadro Amoroso; Timothy Dimacali, who wrote On the Consequence of Sound; and Paolo Chikiamco, author of Between Severed Souls. The Czech edition published by Gorgona publishing house is titled Krocení sopek, after the story Chasing the Volcanoes written by US-based Filipina Marilag Angway.
Furthermore, Czech readers also have the chance to learn a bit more about Philippine mythical creatures with Alessa Hinlo´s story The Last Aswang.
Gorgona publishing house editor Hana Fruhwirtová said that she “loved that though every story was totally different, the anthology itself is very well balanced and compact. Volcanic energy, primeval forests´ monsters, mechanical insects and heroines full of energy create an extraordinary and fantastic mix.”
It is not the first time that Philippine speculative fiction writers have seen Czech translation.
Last year the special issue of the Czech translated literature monthly Plav entitled Literatura ng Pilipinas published two stories from Philippine spec-fic writers, namely Rochita Loenen-Ruiz and Crystal Koo.
The forthcoming issue of Plav, which will present the selection of Asian science fiction in translation, will also carry stories by Andrew Drillon and most likely a short piece by internationally acclaimed writer from Mindanao Kristine Ong Muslim as well.
One of the oldest existing European science fiction monthlies, XB-1, which has been running since 1990, will have a short story by Francis Dean Alfar translated into Czech later this year by well-known Czech writer Ondej Neff, who visited the Philippines last year.
With these works in the pipeline, the number of Philippine speculative fiction writers whose works have seen Czech translations will rise to 10 in just a span of one year.
And perhaps this number is not final yet, as Jan Kravík, translator, mentioned, “while translating the book I have discovered the whole new world—fascinating and captivating world of Philippine mythology.”
“I am sure this is not my last encounter with Philippine fantastic literature,” ended the translator.