NOTE: Funding for our primary objective has been reached. There's a whole world of science fiction stories published in other languages. We never intended to stop with China, so we've added stretch goals (below) to help us get started on the other languages. The first goal funds at $12,500 and we're very close!
China has one of the largest science fiction reading populations in the world and has produced a significant body of work that has remained relatively unseen by English-speaking audiences. In recent years, a few stories and novels have made their way to English language publication, but we are unaware of any project to regularly feature Chinese works in a science fiction magazine.
Clarkesworld Magazine has always aspired to publish stories from a global pool. It's our opinion that different perspectives make the genre stronger. We've published authors from all over the world, but quality translations have been few and far between. In recent years, thanks to the efforts of writer/translators Ken Liu and John Chu, it's been our privilege to publish five. These stories include:
- "The Fish of Lijiang" by Chen Qiufan (2013 Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Awards Winner)
- "A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight" by Xia Jia (2013 Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Awards Honorable Mention, 2012 Locus Recommended Reading List selection, and reprinted in The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2013 Edition, Rich Horton ed.)
- "Grave of the Fireflies" by Cheng Jingbo
- "Pepe" by Tang Fei
- "Spring Festival: Happiness, Anger, Love, Sorrow, Joy" by Xia Jia
and we'd like to bring you even more.
I've recently signed an agreement with Weixiang (Storycom International Culture Communication Co., Ltd.) to add a translated Chinese science fiction story to each issue of Clarkesworld. Each month, Storycom's team of experts will send us a list of stories they think would work well for us—much like we use our slush pile to choose our current fiction offerings. I'll select one from that pile and then work with the author and translator to get the story ready for publication. Every story will appear in all editions of Clarkesworld—our free online edition, podcast (audio fiction), ebook and digital subscriptions, print issues, and annual anthologies—and provide these authors with significant English language exposure. (They'll be paid too.)
We believe that providing markets that actively publish translated fiction is good for readers, authors, translators, and the genre as a whole. Our past experience tells us this is something we are qualified to and should do.
I'd like this feature to be a supplement to the existing fiction we're publishing at Clarkesworld. Our goal is to raise the funding we need to launch this feature for the first year: three stories in the first six months—our ramp-up period—and six stories in the following six months. This will provide us with the time we need to make this project self-sustaining through subscriptions and other avenues (such as advertising, ebooks, anthologies, Patreon, etc.)
- $5800 to be paid to authors at our standard pay rates for original fiction.
$450 in increased costs related to creating the audio versions of these stories for our podcast.
- The remaining amount covers the fees and overhead associated with this campaign (Kickstarter and Amazon fees, print reward costs).
- Note: Translation costs have already been covered.
Neil Clarke (neil-clarke.com) is the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Clarkesworld Magazine. He’s a current and three-time Hugo Nominee for Best Editor (Short Form). In 2012, Neil suffered a near-fatal “widow-maker” heart attack which led to the installation of a defibrillator and a new life as a cyborg. Inspired by these events, he edited Upgraded, an all-original anthology of cyborg stories scheduled for publication this month and fully-funded by a Kickstarter campaign. He currently lives in NJ with his wife and two sons.
Clarkesworld (clarkesworldmagazine.com) is a monthly science fiction and fantasy magazine first published in October 2006. Each issue contains interviews, thought-provoking articles and at least three pieces of original fiction. Our fiction is also available in ebook editions/subscriptions, audio podcasts, print issues, and in our annual print/ebook anthologies. We are a three-time winner of the Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine, winner of the 2014 British Fantasy Award for Best Magazine, and a four-time World Fantasy Award nominee. Our fiction has been nominated for or won the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Sturgeon, Locus, Shirley Jackson, Ditmar, WSFA Small Press and Stoker Awards.
The recommendation team at Storycom includes:
- Liu Cixin: the most-famous science fiction writer in China and author of the THREE BODY TRILOGY
- Yao Haijun: Editor-in-Chief of Science Fiction World
- Zhang Zhilu: Scriptwriter at the China Film Group Corporation and one of the pioneering scriptwriters of science fiction movies in China
- Wu Yan: a Doctoral Supervisor for the Science Fiction Literature major at Beijing Normal University and President of World Chinese Science Fiction Association
- Ken Liu: Award-winning American science fiction writer and translator
Stretch Goal #1: $7500-12500
The Clarkesworld Translation Fund: Fiction
We will establish a special fund to help us seek out and translate stories from other regions of the world. Stories acquired through this fund will be published on an irregular schedule as extra content in Clarkesworld Magazine starting in 2015 and continue until the budget is depleted.
Stretch Goal #2a: $15,000
We will publish a digital anthology featuring all the stories funded through this campaign (Chinese and Translation Fund fiction). If we reach this goal, the ebook will be added to ALL reward levels. (Money will used to pay authors, cover artist, Kickstarter fees, and ebook design.)
Stretch Goal #2b: $21,000
We will publish a print edition of the anthology in 2a. If we reach this goal the print edition will be added to all $40 and higher reward levels. Money will be used to pay authors, cover artist, Kickstarter fees, designer, shipping and printing. Note: Additional shipping will be required for international supporters to receive this book.
Stretch Goal #3: $21,000-23,500
The Clarkesworld Translation Fund: Non-Fiction
The translation fund will expand to include translated non-fiction content.
- All ebook rewards will be provided in DRM-free EPUB and MOBI/KINDLE formats.
- Anyone contributing at the $10 or higher level in this campaign will be listed in the annual Clarkesworld Census as a citizen. This list is published in print and digital formats as an appendix in our annual anthology.
- Our plan is to launch this new feature in January 2015, which will be our supersized 100th issue. All reward tiers will receive this issue in digital format.
- Since we're giving you issue 100, we're starting all subscriptions rewards in February 2015, with issue 101. This way you'll get all the stories supported by this campaign.
- All trade paperbacks will be accompanied by the digital edition.
- Signed books will be signed by Neil unless otherwise specified.
- Shipping is included unless otherwise noted. International supporters: Please note the extra fees. Sorry, but international shipping is expensive.
- The Clarkesworld anthologies that are currently available include Realms 1, Realms 2, Clarkesworld: Year Three, Clarkesworld: Year Four, Clarkesworld: Year Five, and Clarkesworld: Year Six. If Clarkesworld: Year Seven is published before this campaign ends, it will be added to the list of titles available as rewards.
- Print and digital awards that are currently available will be delivered in late October. The dates on the rewards reflects when we expect to deliver the Tourist reward that all supporters receive.
- Authors offering Tuckerizations reserve the right to alter names to conform to cultural aspects of their story. Be prepared. Anything can happen to that character.
Risks and challenges
Clarkesworld has been publishing monthly issues since October 2006 and has never missed or been late with a new release.
Our agreement with Storycom has been structured to include a ramp-up period with generous margins for any delays in the translation process. That said, this is a new venture and unforeseen problems could crop up. In the event that a deadline is missed, the story will be pushed to the next issue.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)