It’s finally here: 2018. Many people seemed very eager for 2017 to end, and I’m not surprised, though you can’t cheat a calendar (unless you’re a pope some centuries before our time), and besides, the number doesn’t really change much apart from our perceptions and dates in history books. I could write a lot of the same as I’ve written a year before (calling 2016 a “split personality year”), and if anything, 2017 only continued the same trends. I’m happy about how we continue battling poverty, increasing access to education, medical care, clean water and more, and I’m also very worried about the behavior of many world leaders, big talks of nuclear weapons… Things are getting better and worse at the same time, as I suspect it’s been in one or another way for most of our history.
So I’ll, perhaps cowardly, skip the rest of this and focus on a more personal take on 2017. Most of all, it was a very successful year for translations. “Terra Nullius” and “Hexagrammaton”, two wonderful stories by Czech author Hanuš Seiner in my translation, were published in Strange Horizons and Tor.com, respectively. My anthology Dreams From Beyond appeared in a print edition to be launched at the Manila International Book Fair last September. That means I visited the Philippines – and I loved it very much; more on traveling later.
In overall, translations from various languages came up a lot in more and more Anglophone magazines throughout 2017, and I’m very pleased about that! It’s all thanks to the effort of editors, translators, reviewers and bloggers who care about bringing more world SFF on the English-speaking world. I want to thank them all for that! If you want to follow translated SFF, a good place to start is Rachel Cordasco’s blog and social media. She provides an excellent overview of new SF in translation!
I published one short story (“Étude for An Extraordinary Mind”, in Futuristica Vol. 2) and two novelettes (“To See The Elephant” in Analog 5-6/2017, and “The Wagner Trouble” in GigaNotoSaurus 4/2017) last year, and sold some more to be published in 2018. Together with Tomas Petrasek, I also wrote a nonfiction article on the Fermi Paradox for Clarkesworld, and my article about Venus (“Hell Is Other Planets”) was published just before Christmas in the latest issue of Analog. I also had several short publications in my native Czech.
But – traveling! An astrobiology meeting followed by a popular science festival in Sweden. Eurocon in Dortmund, Germany. Worldcon in Helsinki, Finland. And then, in September, the Philippines, Latvia and the Azores. Prague-Beijing-Manila-Shanghai-St. Petersburg-Riga-London-Ponta Delgada-Lisbon-Prague within one month. I’m a bit behind with sorting through the pictures, and I wanted to write a special blogpost about that, so please be a tiny bit more patient with me. It’s coming (in the meantime, see the travel and work collages below!).
The reason for this delay is that I’ve been very busy for the last few months with two new part-time jobs, co-organizing an exhibition and many educational activities (effectively making it a third part-time job), all the while trying to keep up my PhD studies, writing, editing and translating. I rarely seek jobs (I only applied for one of these), but they seem to have an uncanny ability to find me and persuade me that there’s still time for one more… 2017 was a busy year, a bit too busy to my taste. I’ve recently limited my activities in several ways and I want to focus more on writing, translation and my scientific work (plus popular science writing), while having one not so demanding but interesting part-time job. I really have to ignore the vacancy at the Czech Space Office to stay sane!
So, fast forward to this year…
- I want to finish a novel I did not finish last year.
- Write at least 12 short stories/novelettes, same as last year.
- Finish at least two scientific papers (one last year).
- Exercise regularly (right?).
- Otherwise, keep up the good work.
I hope you enjoy 2018. I certainly plan to!