The Editor's Word by Mike Resnick
Welcome to the thirtieth issue of Galaxy’s Edge, which is about twenty-seven issues longer than most people expected us to last when we began five full years ago. This issue features some old friends: Mercedes Lackey, Kij Johnson, Orson Scott Card, and Joe Haldeman, new and newer writers Laurie Tom, Nick DiChario, Eric Leif Davin, Sean Patrick Hazlett, David Afsharirad, M. E. Garber, George Nikolopoulos, and David VonAllmen. And of course we’re got our regulars: Recommended Books by Bill Fawcett and Jody Lynn Nye, science by Gregory Benford, and literary matters by Robert J. Sawyer. We’re presenting the fourth segment of Joan Slonczewski’s serialized novel, Daughter of Elysium. And this issue’s Joy Ward Interview features six-time Hugo winner and former Worldcon Guest of Honor Lois McMaster Bujold.
As fifth anniversary issues go, we think it’s a nice one!
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There was a time when science fiction—its fandom, its conventions, its literature—was almost exclusively an English-language sport. Oh, there were a few old exceptions, such as Jules Verne, and a few recent ones, like Stanisław, but the huge majority of it was by and for those who spoke and read English.
In fact, of the first sixty-four Worldcons, Heidelberg was the only one not held in an English-speaking country. As you can tell from recent Worldcons and forthcoming bids, things are changing.
There was a time when, if you won the Hugo and a couple of other awards, you’d covered the field. Not so any longer. Just speaking of my own experiences—and I’m no Heinlein or Asimov—I’ve won awards in France, Spain, Japan, Poland, Croatia, Catalonia, and most recently China, awards that weren’t even a gleam in the eye of the presenting organizations back when I got into the field. And this isn’t a disguised brag. I’m sure there are a number of established science fiction writers who have won awards in even more countries and languages.
These countries have also joined the worldwide fandom scene, which is to say their conventions aren’t insular. I’ve been a guest at conventions in France, China, Slovakia, and I’ll be a guest at CatCon in Spain’s Catalonia five days from when I write this and more than a month before you read it. And again, I know for a fact that a number of writers in the field have been invited abroad as convention guests in many more countries than I have.
Even little old Galaxy’s Edge has gotten into the game, buying stories from France, China, Greece, and elsewhere.
Since science fiction is inextricably tied to the term “extrapolate”, what can we extrapolate from all this?
That science fiction has broken through the language barrier, and now appeals to writers and readers of every language.
That science fiction fandom is truly a worldwide phenomenon.
That conventions will continue to import and introduce writers from other countries to their attendees.
That awards will go to the best stories and novels, and not just the best stories and novels in a particular language.
In sum and in brief, the future that science fiction aficionados have always predicted and hoped for has arrived.