German SF

Jun 21, 17:31 by John Frost
Comments on "Diminishing Returns"
Jun 22, 03:26 by Michael Kirchner
The big publishers are still cautious, some are complaining that no really good new material from German writers is forthcoming.

While I agree that the commercial success is low, could you comment on the quality? Is there "no good material" or is is all hidden treasures waiting to be uncovered?
Jun 22, 20:53 by Dirk van den Boom
That's an excellent question. The editors I spoke with say that they receive plentiful material but they can't use anything. Others complain that the editors don't take contributions especially from new German writers seriously and prefer to sell anglo-american SF which they claim, sells better. In the area of Fantasy, an increasing number of German authors - including many newcomers - is published. And I personally cannot believe that the likes of Andreas Eschbach are "single phenomena". My guess is that many German authors are just discouraged, and those who are not are either truly bad or prefer to publish with small presses, where schedules tend to be more reliable and access to the responsible editors is easier.
Jun 23, 05:05 by Lavie Tidhar
Interesting article, clearly a broad overview, though it would have been nice to have more detail - names of some of the German authors (surely Mr. Eschbach is not the only writer?) and of relevant publications - but nevertheless a useful introduction.

Sitting in London, it seems to me many of the writers here do quite well in London - Neal Asher, for example, has sold German rights to all his novels to date, as far as I know, and he is not alone in that.

Also, what about conventions and general fandom?

Apropo of nothing, I met Andreas Eschbach briefly in France last year. He also said there were no real magazines or short story outlets in Germany, but what really impressed me was that he'd written a Perry Rhodan novel! It really is a legendary series, and unique in the world of science fiction.

A note to the proof readers: isn't the apostrophe S incorrect when used after a year? that is, don't you write 80s, rather than 80's?
Jun 23, 08:21 by Dirk van den Boom
Hi Lavie. As always with these introductory articles, there are details you leave out but surely are of interest. Anyway, if you want some names of German SF-authors beside Eschbach - he is currently the undisputed no. 1 - look for people like Andreas Brandhorst, Michael Marrak and Wolfgang Hohlbein (who is extremely successfull, but more in the Horror/Fantasy area, but he writes SF occasionally).
In regard to relevant publications, as I said, in the area of periodicals there is not much to say. The two major magazines are "phantastisch!" ( and "Nova" (, but they are mere quarterlies. I would have problems to make them relevant just because they are the only ones.
General fandom is active, but comparatively small. There are normally 3-4 "general" conventions in a year, the 16th ColoniaCon has just taken place. If 200 fans are coming, it's already a big event. There are some clubs around - the biggest is still the German SF Club SFCD with about 400 members. Of course, we have our portion of the Trekkie-Fandom (with much bigger conventions), a small Stargate-Fandom and such. But they normally do not intermingle much. If I should guess, I wouldn't count more than 500 active "general" SF-Fans in Germany.
Of course, there is always the Perry-Rhodan-Fandom, but that's another story. It's the birthplace of the average fan anyway...
I hope I could help you with these additional info. Feel free to ask for more, that's what John paid me for :o)
Jun 24, 04:42 by Lavie Tidhar
Thanks Dirk, a useful addition to the article!

I wanted to add that I hope this is the first in many articles on non-English SF in IROSF. A valuable addition to the review.

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