#19 = Volume 6, Part 3 = November 1979
Notes and Correspondence
The First Collection of Yugoslav Science-Fiction Stories
Other Worlds, Other Seas, the first anthology of SF from socialist
countries, was presented to the US public in 1970. Its compiler, Darko Suvin, a
fellow Yugoslav, did his job faultlessly — with one, seemingly paradoxical,
exception: he found space in his anthology for SF authors from all the European
socialist countries, save two, Albania and Yugoslavia. While the absence of
Albanian authors caused no perplexity, the complete omission of Yugoslav writers
incited a wave of rumors and insinuations in Yugoslavia, particularly allusions
to political dissidence and a lack of patriotism on Suvin's part. The real
reason, however, was entirely apolitical and sufficient to dispel any suspicion
of ulterior motives. Despite his good intentions, Suvin could not include a
Yugoslav short-story SF writer in his valuable book — for the simple reason
that no such person existed in the 1960s.
Actually, there were two or three authors belonging to an earlier generation
who had been forerunners of Yugoslav SF before World War II and who had written
some excellent but unfortunately almost unnoticed works in the mid-fifties.
However, by the sixties, these authors were already well past their zenith —
indeed, had apparently ceased writing altogether, realizing that the time in
which their SF would be appreciated had disappeared forever.
Various explanations have been advanced concerning the "Yugoslav
vacuum," running the gamut from the absence of individual imaginativeness
to a supposed lack of public interest in the genre. However, all these
speculations proved untenable when the winners of the first Yugoslav SF short-story
contest were announced in the spring of 1977. The moving force in this
initiative was the newly founded annual, Andromeda, edited by the staff
of Galaksija, a popular science magazine. Of the more than 300 contest
entries received, 50-odd satisfied the basic generic and esthetic criteria. It
thus became clear that a huge potential fund of SF writers and readers exists in
Yugoslavia. The only thing needed to draw upon it was a chance offered by the
publishers. However, except for the "Kentaur" series published by the
Jugoslavija Publishing Co. in Beograd, publishers remained insensitive to the
reverberations caused by Andromeda.
The press, on the other hand, was much more enterprising. The Zagreb daily Vjesnik
started publishing the first Yugoslav monthly SF magazine, Sirius, three
years ago. Although Sirius was at first printing only SF translations, it
soon faced the same problem as Andromeda: with ever increasing fervor the
readers demanded to see Yugoslav SF stories, claiming the right to their own and
unique SF expression. As this demand was widespread, reasonable, and not to be
ignored, Sirius began to occasionally publish SF stories penned by
Yugoslav authors. Once the ice had been broken, it was flooded with Yugoslav SF
works. An outlet had to be found, and it was found in a special issue composed
solely of Yugoslav SF offerings.
YU Sirius — as it was called — presented 18 original SF
contributions, the authors ranging from the already-mentioned veterans of
Yugoslav SF to a pair of 16-year-olds. As Zelimir Koscevic stated in the
Preface, it had no pretensions to a representative anthology, it being too early
for such a serious undertaking; therefore, it would be inappropriate to
criticize the selection. It is much more significant that thanks to this
initiative there now exists the first collection of Yugoslav SF, which will
leave no future compiler of anthologies — akin to Other Worlds, Other Seas
— in a position to justify the absence of Yugoslavia by assuming an SF
"vacuum" in this country.
Call for Papers on "Technology and Pessimism"
The Spring 1980 issue of Alternative Futures will be
devoted to the topic "Technology and Pessimism." The nucleus for this
special issue consists of four papers to be delivered in a symposium on this
topic at the University of Michigan on October 31 - November 2.
The editors of Alternative Futures are calling for
other papers on "Technology and Pessimism" for publication along with
the papers of the four principal speakers (Richard Falk, Samuel Florman, Melvin
Kranzberg, and Leo Marx). Papers may take any position or approach and may
represent any discipline, so long as they consider the general problem(s) of why
and/or how technological progress has generated pessimistic response.
Contributors should use the forms of citation usual in their own disciplines,
keep notes to a minimum, and not exceed 7500 words. They should also submit
their manuscripts in duplicate and should enclose return postage.
Inquiries and submissions should be made to Guest Editors,
Dwight Stevenson and Marthalee Barton, Alternative Futures, Department of
Humanities, College of Engineering, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
48109. Deadline for submission is January 15, 1980.
Another Call for Papers
MOSAIC, "A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study
of Literature," will devote its Spring 1980 issue to " 'Other Worlds':
Fantasy and Science Fiction Since 1939." The guest editor, John J.
Teunissen, wants this special issue "to be as representative as possible,
so that important new writers in the genre will take their places beside the
more established figures. No approach to the subject is taboo, but belletristic
studies are not encouraged."
Essays should be approximately 20 typescript pages and should
conform to the latest edition of the MLA Stylesheet. If you have
something that you would like to submit, please send two copies of your paper as
soon as possible — and no later than December 31, 1979 — to John J.
Teunissen, MOSAIC, 208 Tier Building, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
The Canadian Review of American Studies
The CANADIAN REVIEW OF AMERICAN STUDIES, a thrice-yearly
academic journal, publishes articles and review essays within the field of
American Studies; it also publishes on American-Canadian relations and other
such bilateral comparisons. The REVIEW solicits manuscripts (in English or
French) in the above areas, but especially those which are interdisciplinary and
are concerned with American Art, Culture, Economics, Film, or Political Science.
Subscriptions, per annum: Individuals: $15.00 (Membership in the Canadian
Association for American Studies included with the REVIEW), Institutions:
$12.00. The REVIEW is edited by John J. Teunissen (English, University of
Manitoba) and Bruce C. Daniels (History, University of Winnipeg). Submissions
and subscriptions should be addressed to: The Editors, CANADIAN REVIEW OF
AMERICAN STUDIES, c/o Department of English, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg,
Manitoba, R3T 2N2, Canada.
Worthy of Mention
Donald F. Theall, repeatedly a contributor to SFS, has
been an editorial consultant from the day this journal was launched — and
strongly encouraged the launching in his position as Chairman of McGill's
Department of English. We are very pleased to announce his appointment,
effective in 1980, to the Principalship (or Presidency) of Trent University in
Peterborough, Ontario, a prestigious liberal arts institution. We are also very
pleased that he has consented to remain on our Board in spite of the onerous
duties awaiting him. We shall miss his proximate counsel and support; but we
congratulate him warmly and expect his further contributions not only to the
academic community at large but also, and specifically, to the study of SF and
to SFS. We wish him the best of luck. — The Editors
Our fellow-editor, Darko Suvin, has been the recipient of the SFRA Pilgrim
Award for 1979, "in recognition of [his] distinguished contributions to the
study of science fiction." His acceptance speech appears in the July-August
issue of the SFRA Bulletin. We congratulate him on a distinction well —
and long — deserved. — RMP & MA
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