Jan 18, 2012

Titles, good intentions, (unintentional?) censorship, sci-fi, ]oh my.

I initially attempted to post this as a comment to a blog. After two days and numerous attempts, I am giving up. Either the blog owner(s) are censoring my comment, or there is some weird technical snafu.

Response to  World SF 2011 Retrospective Part 1

I appreciate Kaz's and this blog's attempt to cover Polish market, but if you are going to do something, please, do it properly, or don't mislead the reader with a title that suggests a comprehensive overview ("a recap on Poland", "Overview of recent Polish science-fiction"). State your intentions or biases clearly up front in the blog ("this blog entry will cover some recent releases on the Polish market, with the focus on female writers, and with a disclaimer that the author does not read Polish and relies on secondary sources"). Otherwise, one's good intentions may backfire, as shown by the blog comments, where numerous readers comment in similar vain as I. In fact, I came to that blog through a Polish premier sci-fi and fantasy magazine (Nowa Fantastyka), which commented on Facebook about that blogpost, curtly (and roughly translated) as: "a person who knows little of Polish sci-fi and fantasy is writing weird things about it".

As several others have said, if you want to have a good overview of a specific non-English market, get somebody who reads that language. And if you cannot, then pretty please, don't mislead the readers with claims that you'll do something (comprehensive overview) when this is not your intention (and/or ability, due to lack of literacy in a given language).

Overall, I think that it is a great that somebody is trying to provide the English-speakers with some information on the rich happenings in the rest of the world. I hope that the The World SF Blog keeps trying. It is human to err, after all - but those that don't try, at least, will never succeed.

On a sidenote, any overview o Polish 2011 should wait for the results of various 2011 award ceremonies, most notably, the Zajdel Award. Readers interested in the overview of Polish sci-fi and fantasy up to about 2005 may also want to check the Wikipedia article on the subject. This article could use an update for the last few years (hint!).

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