ঢাকা শহরের প্রবীণ অধিবাসীরা স্মরণ করতে পারে যে, বহুদিন পূর্বে ঢাকা শহর একবার কাকশূন্য হয়ে পড়ে, তখন এই ঘটনা অথবা ঘটনাবলি পাঁচ বৎসর ধরে সংঘটিত হয় এবং এর সূচনা হয় বৈকুণ্ঠপুর নামক এক গ্রামে। যমুনা নদীর পশ্চিম পারে সিরাজগঞ্জ শহরের এবং সিরাজগঞ্জ শহরের ছয় মাইল পশ্চিমে একটি ছোট্ট গ্রাম, সেই গ্রামের নাম বৈকুণ্ঠপুর। বৈকুণ্ঠপুরের দক্ষিণ-পশ্চিম প্রান্ত ঘেঁষে বয়ে গেছে একটি খাল, শুকনোর দিনে গাঁয়ের ছেলেরা এখানে ফুটবল খেলে, বর্ষার সময় পানি কোমরসমান হলে কলার ভেলায় করে লোকজন পারাপার হয়। এই খালের পাড় থেকে পঞ্চাশ হাতের ভেতর গাছপালায় ঘেরা এক পোড়ো ভিটায় ঝুপড়ি বেঁধে বাস করে এক কাঠুরে, তার নাম আকালু,
Every time I fall asleep, the blue horse enters my dream and summons me to go. I follow it, and we run together; for this old body of mine to feel that light, floating step is exhilarating almost to the point of terror.
Read in Italian here
People who know me know that for some years I have been involved in an almost impossible mission: to promote and spread not much the concept of SF “diversity” (a positive idea that hides, in my opinion, a fundamental error, that is diversity from a common standard; from a normality that has become a benchmark for evaluating any phenomenon, yet which doesn’t exist in reality) but instead a fairer distribution of “the future” and therefore of opportunities between dominant cultures and languages and those ones considered minor for the only reason of being “other”.
Fortunately, as a small publisher and SF writer, in five years of translations from at least six languages, and with a catalogue of over seventy stories published from around the world I can affirm:
Quality has no colour,
Quality has no nation,
Quality has no language,
Quality belongs to everyone.…
Read in English here
Le persone che mi conoscono sanno che da alcuni anni sono impegnato in una missione quasi impossibile: promuovere e diffondere non tanto il concetto di “diversità” – un’idea positiva ma che nasconde, a mio giudizio, un errore di fondo, la diversità cioè da uno standard comune, da una normalità diventata metro di valutazione di qualsiasi fenomeno, il quale tuttavia nelle realtà delle cose non esiste – bensì una più equa ripartizione di futuro e quindi di opportunità tra la cultura e la lingua dominanti e quelle ritenute minori per il solo fatto di essere “altro”.
Per fortuna, da piccolo editore e divulgatore di fantascienza, in 5 anni di traduzioni da almeno 6 lingue e con un catalogo di oltre 70 storie pubblicate da ogni angolo del mondo posso affermare quella che, pur sembrando una banalità, è tuttavia il presupposto di quanto sta avvenendo nel genere dalla SF nonostante non se ne tenga conto:
La qualità non ha colore,
La qualità non ha nazione,
La qualità non ha lingua,
La qualità appartiene a tutti.…
Cagliari, my city, reaches out to the sea, but it's built on several hills. I imagined how it would be transformed following a rise in sea level, with people taking refuge on hills and on the roofs of the highest buildings, but, all in all, life would continue.
For our latest author interview we're excited to welcome Maria Haskins, author of 'Balawats portar' 'The Gates of Balawat', reprinted in our September issue, to talk to us about short fiction, museums and her favourite reads of 2017.
When you really love something, it's not enough to enjoy it only through other people's work. I think it is unavoidable that at some point you will try to engage with it, to become something more than a spectator.