This is the next step in a project we started at Clarkesworld Magazine. (Not familiar? We're an award-winning science fiction magazine that was founded in 2006.) There, we’ve long-believed that the science fiction field greatly benefits from exposure to varied perspectives, cultures, and ideas found in stories from around the world. An international emphasis is important to what we are.
In 2014, we launched a Kickstarter campaign with the hope of expanding our content to include translated Chinese science fiction in every issue. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and not only did we successfully raise the funds to do so, but (over the next year) we also increased our subscriber base to continue the project indefinitely. With help from Storycom, we now have over forty translated stories under our belt. Recently, we began to wonder if there was more we could do to expand on this important work and create additional opportunities for authors seeking to have their work translated and published in English.
To this end, I plan to launch Clarkesworld Books as a translation-focused imprint of Wyrm Publishing—the nationally-distributed publisher of Clarkesworld Magazine and several books. Building on the strengths and relationships we’ve developed over the last four years, this imprint will focus on the translation and publication of science fiction novellas, anthologies, and short story collections from all over the world.
The focus of this campaign is to help us secure the funding to produce our debut book: A Summer Beyond Your Reach: Stories (originally launched under the working title, A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight and Other Stories--the reward tiers still use this name because Kickstarter edits after pledges have been made), the first English language collection by Xia Jia, an extremely talented author that I’ve had the pleasure of publishing seven times in Clarkesworld and various anthologies, including one of my earlier Kickstarter projects, Upgraded. I couldn’t be more pleased to have her collection serve as the introduction to our new imprint.
Who is Xia Jia?
Xia Jia (aka Wang Yao) is Associate Professor of Chinese Literature at Xi’an Jiaotong University and has been publishing speculative fiction since college. She is a seven-time winner of the Galaxy Award, China's most prestigious science fiction award and has published three science fiction collections (in Chinese): The Demon-Enslaving Flask (2012), A Time Beyond Your Reach (2017), and Xi’an City Is Falling Down (2018). She's also engaged in other science fiction related works, including academic research, translation, screenwriting, and teaching creative writing.
You can read some free samples of her work at Clarkesworld Magazine:
- “A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight”
- “Spring Festival: Happiness, Anger, Love, Sorrow, Joy”
- “Tongtong’s Summer”
- “If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler”
- “Goodnight, Melancholy”
- “The Psychology Game”
And here are a couple of interviews:
A Summer Beyond Your Reach: Stories by Xia Jia
Approximately 90,000 words of fiction by Xia Jia, most of it previously untranslated. Note: Many stories haven't been translated yet, so we don't have an exact word count. This is an estimate based on previous translations.
Contents: (Story titles of currently untranslated works may change. )
- Introduction by Ken Liu
- Tongtong's Summer (translated by Ken Liu)
- Heat Island (translated by Ken Liu)
- Night Journey of the Dragon-Horse (translated by Ken Liu)
- Tick-Tock (translated by Emily Jin)
- Six Views of a Spring Festival (translated by Ken Liu)
- The Psychology Game (translated by Emily Jin and Ken Liu)
- Eternal Summer Dream (translated by Carmen Yiling Yan)
- A Time Beyond Your Reach (translated by Carmen Yiling Yan)
- On Miluo River (translated by Emily Jin)
- Meeting Anna (translated by Emily Jin)
- Up in The Air (translated by Emily Jin)
- Light of Their Days (translated by Emily Jin)
- All You Need Is Love (translated by Emily Jin)
- As Yet Untitled Story (a new story written for this collection & unlocked by our first stretch goal)
This book will be published in late 2019 the following editions.
- A limited edition signed and numbered hardcover (limitation to be determined by Kickstarter pledges plus 100 additional copies to be sold or given away by the publisher).
- Unsigned hardcover.
- Trade paperback
- Ebook (EPUB and MOBI/Kindle will be bundled together for this campaign, but later sold separately). The original Chinese versions of the stories will be included in the ebook edition as a Kickstarter exclusive.
Who's Involved in this Collection?
Xia Jia, obviously.
Neil Clarke is a Hugo and World Fantasy Award-winning editor and publisher. He is the owner of Wyrm Publishing and editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, Forever Magazine, and several anthologies, including the Best Science Fiction of the Year series for Night Shade Books. Neil is also the editor of two bilingual (English/Chinese) anthologies of Chinese SF published in China: Touchable Unreality volumes one and two.
Regina Kanyu Wang is the International PR Manager for Storycom, a bilingual writer from Shanghai, member of Shanghai Writers’ Association, Shanghai Popular Science Writers’ Association, and World Chinese Science Fiction Association. She has won the Xingyun Awards for Global Chinese SF and her stories and articles can be found in Mengya, Science Fiction World, Southern People Weekly, ELLEMEN, Unitas Literary Monthly, Mithila Review, Galaxy’s Edge, Clarkesworld, and more.
Ken Liu is an author of speculative fiction, as well as a translator, lawyer, and programmer. A winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards, he is the author of The Dandelion Dynasty, a silkpunk epic fantasy series (The Grace of Kings (2015), The Wall of Storms (2016), and a forthcoming third volume) and The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories (2016), a collection. He also wrote the Star Wars novel, The Legends of Luke Skywalker (2017). In addition to his original fiction, Ken also translated numerous works from Chinese to English, including The Three-Body Problem (2014), by Liu Cixin, and “Folding Beijing,” by Hao Jingfang, both Hugo winners.
Emily Xueni Jin is a translator of science fiction and fantasy. She graduated from Wellesley College, Massachusetts in 2017 as a comparative literature and psychology double major. In addition to translating several stories into English for Clarkesworld, she has translated Doctor Who: The Story of Martha (novel by Dan Abnett and others, Eight Light Minutes, August 2018) and Kingdom of Clockwork (novel by Billy O’Shea) into Chinese. She is currently aspiring to acquire a PhD in comparative literature, with a focus on cognitive literary studies, translation and world science fiction.
Born in China and schooled in the United States, Carmen Yiling Yan writes code by day and stories by night. Her writing has been published in Daily Science Fiction. Her translations of Chinese short science fiction have been published in Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and Galaxy's Edge, as well as numerous anthologies.
bangqiaoyan, a Chinese artist who has won Golden Dragon Award Original Animation & Comic Competition for Best Illustration and Cyber Sousa Award for Best Picture Book. You can find more of his work at: www.zcool.com.cn/u/13389811
Storycom is the first professional story commercialization agency in China, dedicated to discovering and adapting excellent stories into various media. The Shimmer Program, established by Storycom, aims to enhance the presence of Chinese science fiction in the international community. They have been working with Clarkesworld Magazine as well as other partners to publish excellent Chinese science fiction stories in other languages. They have also initiated fan funds like Worldcon Attending Fund and Mutual-Communication Fund to support communication between Chinese and international fandom.
Where Will the Money Go?
- Xia Jia (author advance)
- Translators (new translations and reprints, as translations are expensive)
- Cover Art
- Design (print and ebook, interior and cover)
- Printer (cost of proofs, review copies, and final print run)
- Misc. (postcards, promotional materials)
- Kickstarter and Credit Card Fees
Author and the translators will receive royalties on further sales of the book.
In addition to the various editions of A Summer Beyond Your Reach: Stories (which is still listed in the rewards our original title--A Hundred Ghosts--because they don't allow text changes to rewards after pledges have been made), a few other items are available in various reward packages.
- Chinese language collections by Xia Jia: The Demon-Enslaving Flask (2012), A Time Beyond Your Reach (2017), and Xi’an City Is Falling Down (2018). Trade paperback.
- Touchable Unreality: A bilingual (Chinese/English) anthology series (two volumes) of Chinese science fiction published in China and edited by Neil Clarke. Neil will sign these and there may be surprise signatures from some of the participating authors in select copies. Volume one is hardcover. Volume two is trade paperback.
- Ebook editions of issues 65, 96, 99, 110, 126, and 133 of Clarkesworld Magazine. Every issue Xia Jia's work has appeared in. (EPUB, MOBI/KINDLE)
Stretch Goals and Future Projects
There are a number of projects in the works for both Clarkesworld Books and Clarkesworld Magazine. At the magazine, for example, we just secured a grant to translate and publish Korean SF. That will likely lead to some opportunities for the imprint. We'd also like to take on some mini-anthologies featuring translations from other regions, but that could take us into 2020.
Should we hit our initial funding goal of $18,500 for this project, the following are potential changes and additions to our 2019 schedule:
Risks and challenges
Translation isn’t easy, but with four years of experience under our belt at Clarkesworld Magazine, we’re confident in our team’s ability to come through on the schedule we’ve set. At worst, if a story can not be included, another of equal or greater length can and will be substituted. One of the reasons we've chosen this project as a starting point for Clarkesworld Books is the solid relationship we have with the author, translators, and Chinese SF community. That simplifies things and with a first project, that helps. As publisher, I have experience producing signed limited editions and nationally distributed trade paperbacks. There’s always the chance that some unforeseen complication (like your printer bumping you from your spot in the schedule) but that would merely delay, not prevent the project from being completed. Surprises or not, we’ll be regularly communicating with our supporters to let them know how things are moving along.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)