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The Sea Wasp (Ryk E. Spoor)
 
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Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Time Event
8:59a
Writer's Block: Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known
Who would you appoint as Earth's ambassador to alien races, and why?

Me, of course, or possibly one of a very few of my friends (such as the real life Carl Edlund). I don't trust ANY politicians to do the job right. I am reasonably well educated, but I don't know enough specifics to give away any secrets (assuming the Earth has any secrets of note to the alien visitors). I'm not particularly squeamish (though if they looked like giant spiders it might give me some difficulty), I'd love to learn anything they care to teach, I don't have any axes to grind for any of the world's more radical groups, and I'd simply be interested in making the contact work for both sides. Unless they turned out to be ravening bug-eyed monsters, in which case I'd have to hope that reading Doc Smith would allow me to transform myself into a Smithian Hero under pressure, because otherwise, hey, we're screwed.  :)
10:21a
Jules Verne Translations?

As some may know, the original translations of Jules Verne's masterpieces -- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Around the World in 80 Days, The Mysterious Island, and others -- were terribly edited, sometimes bowdlerized, and poorly translated; as one example, roughly 25% of the original Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea was REMOVED. Yes, the novel most of us know should have been a third again as long, and the pieces removed, or badly edited, did major damage to the coherence and accuracy of the novel, making Verne look less educated than he actually was. The truly shocking thing is that many of those original translations remain the basis of most published versions to this day. The truly astounding thing is that despite such mangling, they still became enormously popular over here.

Back in (I think) 1993, the Naval Institute Press produced a fully restored and annotated Twenty Thousand Leagues. This is the one I've taken as the gold standard since.

However, at Albacon I spoke with someone who said there is a more recent and even better translation (better not in that it has more restored -- the Naval Institute version did that fine -- but in that it's a better written translation).

This sparked a desire in me to know what Verne novels have had full-length well-done translations to English performed relatively recently (past few decades) and whether they're available. I'd really like to read the full versions if someone's done a good job of translating them.

Any input?


10:37a
Well THAT'S interesting...
... in the last couple of weeks GCA has bounced around between the low hundred thousands and up into the 20s on Amazon.com, and pretty much doing nothing outside of that; but the last few days it went back up to about 80,000 and at about the same time spiked to about 900 on .fr and 1700 on .ca. I wonder if people just happened to be buying then, or if something happened that called a little attention to the book.

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