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Историята на твоя живот и други разкази – Тед Чанг

На 8 юли излиза сборникът „Историята на твоя живот и други разкази“ (352 стр., цена: 22 лв.) от Тед Чанг, ненапразно спряган като гений на научната фантастика. Преводът е дело на Владимир Полеганов, а заслугата за художествения дизайн е на Росен Дуков.

„Доказателството, че математиката е неконсистентна и че цялата ѝ удивителна красота е просто илюзия, в моите очи би било едно от най-ужасните неща, които може да открие човек“, признава Тед Чанг. Опирайки се на изключителната си ерудиция, черпейки от постиженията на математиката, физиката, езикознанието и психологията, Чанг не се вписва в никаква традиция и заема свое собствено, уникално място в литературата на човешкото въображение. С внушителна изобретателност сборникът „Историята на твоя живот и други разкази” ни приканва да преосмислим нашата вселена и мястото на човека в нея. От извисяващата се Вавилонска кула, която свързва Земята с божествените висини, до свят, в който посещенията на ангелите са колкото бленувано, толкова и ужасяващо всекидневие, от невронната модификация, позволяваща да се погледне отвъд красотата на човешкото лице, до извънземния език, променящ възприятието ни за времето и реалността, книгата покорява читателя и удържа вниманието до финалната страница.

Тед Чанг (р. 1967 г.) е американски автор от китайски произход, завършил компютърни науки в университета „Браун“ в Провидънс, Род Айланд. Докато работи по специалността си, той пише и публикува в различни списания. Неговите общо 18 разкази и новели са спечелили 4 награди „Небюла“, 4 награди „Хюго“, 4 награди „Локус“, наградата „Джон У. Кембъл“ и наградата „Теодор Стърджън“.

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Сърцето на шамана – Алберто Вилолдо

Истории и практики на воина на светлината

  „Сърцето на шамана“ използва истински истории, смайващи видения и древни ритуали, за да ви потопи в свещения свят на шаманите.

 Практиките, изложени в „Сърцето на шамана“, ще ви помогнат да сбъднете своята собствена заветна мечта. Ще ви помогнат да изковете съдба, пропита с кураж и водена от ясна визия. Алберто Вилолдо ще ви поведе по стъпките на воина на светлината, за да разберете как да се освободите от трите кошмара, свързани с любовта, смъртта и чувството за сигурност. Това са кошмари, които държат в плен всеки от нас, докато освобождаването от тях носи свобода, неподвластна на времето. Тази свобода е проявление на мощната креативна сила на Изначалната светлина, използвана от шаманите за изцеляване и създаване на един нов, по-добър свят.

 Когато преодолеете своите кошмари, когато приемете, че животът е безкрайна промяна, а смъртта – неизбежен етап по пътя към следващото прераждане, когато осъзнаете, че никой освен вас не е в състояние да ви освободи от страховете ви, тогава хаосът в живота ви ще се превърне в ред и в него ще се възцарят красотата и хармонията.

 Авторът разкрива практики за въздействие върху материалния свят с помощта на мисълта, а също и за пътуване по „реката на времето“, използвани от шаманите в Андите и Амазония. А. Вилолдо, известен антрополог и психолог, професор в Университета на Сан Франциско, споделя изпитани през вековете техники за сбъдване на „свещения блян“ или „заветната мечта“ – ефимерна, но мощна визия, която притежава потенциала да ни насочи към нашата цел, да ни покаже нашето място във вселената…

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Скеч, писан за тв шоу „Соларис“



Зрителят вижда болнично легло с чаршафи стигащи почти до пода. Медицинската сестра полага млад мъж да седне на кревата. Младежът изглежда леко притеснен, но се опитва да бъде самоуверен.
Сестрата пита със служебен тон:
– Притеснявате ли се?
– Не.
– Казахте, че и друг път сте давал кръв. Колко пъти?
– Веднъж.
– От коя кръвна група казахте че сте?
– Мисля, че съм Б положителна.
Камерата показва в едър план маркуч, в който се стича червена течност.
Сестрата помага на младежа да стане и го изпраща до вратата. Казва:
– Вие отидете в другата стая да си вземете шоколадите, аз ще прибера кръвната банка.
Сестрата се спира на вратата без да се връща, поглежда към леглото и през лицето и пробягва лека усмивка. Медицинското лице излиза в коридора.
Изпод леглото изпълзява мъж с огромни вампирски зъби. Той примлясква и доволно забърсва устни с опакото на ръката си. После се изправя и камерата показва лицето му в много близък план.
Вампирът се усмихва. Единият от зъбите му проблясва.

Stones

The man was sitting on a bench, resting.
The people strolling round the park pretended they did not see him.
Their heads, however, always turned and their eyes kept goggling,
as if they were some of those BEM comics monsters.

You can read the full story in Flying Minds:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/flying-minds-radi-radev/1112754791

A CARING DAUGHTER

On November 14th, 1910, peacefully in his bed, passed away the well-respected graduate of Eton, the Queen’s faithful subject, Dr Nicolas Robert Hunter. For all of his long life, Dr Hunter had practiced his vocation in a humane way, skillfully and honorably. The people who had known him for all of his eighty-four years, which he had spent with dignity, could see the real meaning of the phrase, a decent gentleman. When his private safe was opened, beside the envelope containing his will, another envelope was found. It had been duly sealed with red wax that bore the stamp of a London notary, one Silenius Harvey. Dr Hunter’s close relatives broke the seal, and several leaves written over in the deceased man’s hand fell out of the envelope. Nobody, however, took further interest in them after it was ascertained they had nothing to do with the will itself. Nobody, that is, except the last surviving of Dr Hunter’s seven cousins. His name was Richard Emerson. A London magazine obviously overheard something or other about that envelope’s contents. One of their executives offered Mr. Emerson a generous fee in exchange for his consent to place it at their disposal to publish. He squarely refused. The lines that follow have not been perused by any but Dr Hunter’s closest friends. They are a true transcript of the pages found in the dead man’s safe.

You can read the full story in Flying Minds:

http://www.amazon.com/Flying-Minds-ebook/dp/B0095JXOIM

CONFESSION

My church is small but, in compensation, there is a cemetery close to it. A lot of people, after visiting a relatives’ graves, come to the House of God to light a candle and pray for them. It is not a large cemetery and although I am a priest I take care of it, too. I pluck the weeds, straighten a cross overturned or tilted by the wind. From time to time, I water the flowers on the graves and make lanes among them. I don’t have much work.

I don’t overwork at the church, either.

Especially today. A couple of people made confessions.

You can read the full story in Flying Minds:

http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Flying-Minds/book-uqt-ar1x9EK8AXZIlAku3g/page1.html

Fred Saberhagen

This category is made under the supervision and with the assistance of Joan Saberhagen.

Fred Saberhagen (1930-2007) authored over 70 books of science fiction and fantasy and about the same number of short stories.

Fred is perhaps best known for his science fiction berserker(trademarked) series. Berserkers are robotic space ships programmed to annihilate all life. There are 10 novels and 7 collection of stories in this series. You might want to visit a rather impressive fan site for Fred’s berserkers. http://www.berserkerfan.org/

Among fantasy readers Fred is best known for his Swords and Lost Swords series. The world of Fred’s Swords began with EMPIRE OF THE EAST. Then came the 3 Swords books and the 8 Books of Lost Swords. Fred tied the series together with the short volume ARDNEH’S SWORD (2006).

Fred also authored 10 books in which he tells some of Dracula’s adventures. Fred’s Dracula was well received. With the book, THE DRACULA TAPE, Fred became the first author to tell the vampire story from the vampire point of view. Some fans host a yahoo group for Fred’s Dracula at saberhagensdrac@yahoogroups.com

In fantasy, Fred also authored THE BOOKS OF THE GODS, a series of 5 books that retell and mix some of the classic myths.

Fred wrote 16 books that are not part of any series. Two of these, BLACK THRONE and COILS, were co-authored with Roger Zelazny. The VEILS OF AZLAROC may be the best known of these.

Since Fred’s passing these books have appeared:
OF BERSERKERS, SWORDS, AND VAMPIRES: A SABERHAGEN RETROSPECTIVE (Baen, Jun 2009). This is a collection of Fred’s short stories put together by Joan Saberhagen to represent Fred’s work . Sample stories from the beginning of his career to his last solo short story are included.
A reprint by Tor of the Dracula book OLD FRIEND OF THE FAMILY (Tor, Sep 2009) with more Dracula reprints coming in 2010 and 2011.
GOLDEN REFLECTIONS is under contract with Baen Books. It is an anthology of 7 original stories by leading science fiction authors and a reprinting of Fred’s short novel MASK OF THE SUN. The stories are based on Fred’s novel MASK GOLDEN REFLECTIONS is edited by Joan Saberhagen and Robert E. Vardeman.
SÉANCE FOR A VAMPIRE will be reprinted by Titan Publishers as part of their series The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

For more information on Fred Saberhagen visit his website at:
http://www.fredsaberhagen.com
http://www.berserker.com

http://www.berserkerfan.org
Official fan website of science fiction author Fred Saberhagen’s Berserker series.

Eurocon 2004

By Radi Radev

The European Science Fiction Convention Eurocon 2004
was held from the 5th till 8th August in the city of
Plovdiv. This convention was first created in 1972 in
Triest, Italy. This year it took place in Bulgaria for
the first time.

There were over 360 Bulgarian and about 200 foreign
participants from 17 countries at the event – among
them SF writers, publishers, translators, journalists
and, of course, fans.

Eurocon 2004 was held under the patronage of Plamen
Panajotov – vice-premier of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The main organisers of Eurocon were: Ivan Krumov –
owner of the specialised SF publishing House Kuasar,
Yuri Ilkov – the publisher of Terra Fantastica
magazine and winner of Eurocon for number one fan,
Fantastica Foundation, the municipality of Plovdiv,
the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of
Culture, Club for Science Fiction and heuristics Ivan
Efremov, Club for science fiction – Earthsea, Club for
ecoculture and fantastic art – Uibrobia, Tolkien Club
– Rin Ennor, Society Words, Bulgarian Federation for
electronic sports, Valinor Paladium Ltd.

The greatest person to be present at the festival
undoubtedly was the writer Robert Sheckley. Apart from
him there were Ian Watson – a writer from UK, Andrzei
Sapkowski – the best selling Polish fantasy writer;
Patrick J. Gyger – the director of Maison d’Aillieurs,
a Swiss museum housing one of the world’s largest
collections of Science Fiction. Mr. Gyger also
presently serves as artistic director of the Festival
International de Science-Fiction Utopiales,
Nantes/France/. At Eurocon 2004, also took part was
Roberto Quaglia – one of the most promising Italian
Science Fiction writers.

Unfortunately, the world famous Russian SF&F writer
and winner of many prizes like Strannik/Wanderer/,
Interpresscon, Eurocon 2003 and Aelita, Sergey
Lukyanenko did not visit the Eurocon, although he had
previously confirmed his participation and his name
was on the agenda. However, Eric Simon – one of the
most famous German SF writers, whose works were
published in the former Soviet Union and other
so-called ‘Eastern block’ countries (in the time of
communism!) came to the event to the greatest pleasure
of all participants and fans.

The various activities on Eurocon were held in the
halls of the City House of Culture, Plovdiv.
Sometimes, the activities were on three at the same
time and it was hard to choose which one exactly to
visit.

No doubt the most interesting and exciting event was
the meeting with Robert Sheckley, held on Saturday,
7th August. The second most interesting event was the
meeting with Patrick J. Gyger – the director of Maison
d’Aillieurs – the museum housing one of the world’s
largest collections of Science Fiction. I should not
forget to mention the fact that the first European
performance of the movie ‘I, Robot’, inspired by the
short stories of the immortal Isaac Asimov took place
at Eurocon 2004.

Another thing that attracted the attention was the
nominations for Eurocon 2004. A voting was organised
but the results had not come out at the time this
present article was written. The participants had the
opportunity to see the presentations of Eurocon 2005
and Worldcon 2005.

Lecturers at the festival were Alexander Alexandrov,
Prof. Alexander Nedelikovich, Atanas Slavov, Dr.
Dimitar Kabaivanov, Georgi Ivanov, Grigor Gachev,
Ilina Konakchieva, Ilian Iliev, Ivailo Ivanov, Ivan
Atanasov, Ivan Ivanov, Ivan Popov, Liza Moroz, Dr.
Lachezar Filipov, Lyubomir Nicolov, Martin Kadinov,
Silvia Rasheva, Todor Yalamov, Yuri Ilkov and Zdravko
Georgiev.

It is interesting that at least half of the time, the
participants separated to made contacts between or to
create contacts.

I want to finish my report with the words of Agop
Melkonyan
/ the second most famous Bulgarian SF writer
after Lyuben Dilov/, said at the Meeting with young
Bulgarian SF writers:

‘Write something. If it is liked by at least one more
man except you, then it has been worth writing it! No
man can write for everyone. Write for yourself.’

On July 23, 2006 Agop Melkonian died of cancer at age 57.

Science Fiction fandom in Bulgaria

There are a lot of people who read write or are just interested in the science fiction as a genre in Bulgaria. Unfortunately the poor socio-economic situation greatly restricts the number and circulation of magazines, connected with science fiction. The general impoverishment has also thinned the numbers of fans, their clubs and activities. This short article summerises the current SF societies active in Bulgaria.

Before the changes of 1989 the SF society in Bulgaria was extremely well-developed:there were many more SF magazines and newspapers published than now, sponsored by the state each of them having more than 10000 copies. One could find mainly SF books by Bulgarian and Soviet (Russian) authors in bookstores. However SF literature by English-speaking authors was also available, but these were authors like Robert Shekley, Clifford Simak and E.F.Russel. The books of Joe Haldeman, Fred Saberhagen were not translated and published. After 1990 all kind of SF literature by English-speaking authors is available and it is most popular in Bulgaria at the moment.

At present they are five, but the small number does not prevent them from supporting an overall level of activity that is fairly good. To help maintain communication with each other, and to organize the annual Bulgarian sci fi festival – Bulgacon, the society for science fiction, future studies and heuristics, called Ivan Efremov was founded. It was formed in April 1974 in the country’s capital Sofia. You can find it in Sredets House of Culture. The society organises SF conventions, meetings and fantastic film fests. It has published fanzines and members of Ivan Efremov have participated in European and World SF forums. Taking part in the society is activities are writers, translators (of SF works), artists, and fans. Ivan Efremov is the oldest of the existing Bulgarian SF societies. Its current chairman is Yuri Ilkov who isnalso the editor-in-chief and publisher of Terra Fantastica – the magazine of Bulgarian SF fandom. Yuri Ilkov was also announced Fan Number 1 of Bulgaria at the European SF-festival Eurocon 2002.

The club for ecoculture and SF art Wibrobia was founded in 1999 in the town of Stara Zagora situated some 250 km away from the capital Sofia. The club is the organizer of annual meetings, called Goblinia, orriented toward Bulgarian folklore and mythology. Wibrobia also publishes a page on science fiction and fantasy in a local newspaper. The club A. and B. Strugatski named after the famous Russian authors (but it wasn’t because it would gain favour with the communist regime) in Pazardjik,a town situated in central Bulgaria has existed since 1975. The club has hosted many science fiction conventions, it is a recorder by the number of published fanzines and pioneer at that initiative. An organizer of science fiction film fests, exhibitions and fans meetings. Its founder is again Yuri Ilkov. At that moment its chairman is Peter Kopanov.

The SF club in the city Varna, a famous Bulgarian sea-side resort centre, is named Earthsea. One of its founders is the famous Bulgarian SF writer – Ivailo Ivanov. Recently the club Earthsea has been joined by another Varna’s fantasy society – Tolkien. Earthsea does not have a fixed programme of activities such as Ivan Efremov in Sofia for example. Its members (like many UK) SF societies simply have desire to meet to socialise and talk about SF, to comment authors and literary works, to exchange books, to give SF parties along the sea and take part in meetings, organized since other SF societies. “Earthsea” has been holding regular meetings since February 2002. Its headquarters is Alba alehouse in Varna. The members meet every Monday at 18.30 p.m. Sometimes Earthsea is attended by members of the Writer’s Association in Varna and once even vice-versa.

The society Fantastica was founded in 1997 in the town of Kardjali situated in South Bulgaria. Its creator is one of the greatest Bulgarian SF writers of all times – Nikola Kesarovski (whose most famous book is ‘The Fifth Law of Robotics’). At present its chairman is Kiril Dobrev. The society is officialy registered by the authorities as a society with ideal activity.Its main purpose is: To promote the development of science fiction, to propagate and popularize it. The club has a page in Nov Jivot /New Life/ – the officialy newspaper of Kardjali and currently (spring 2003) has published over 60 issues. The SF page is edited by Nikola Kesarovski. Mr. Kesarovski was also organizer and kind host of the annual Bulgarian SF festival – Bulgacon 2002, which took place in Kardjali last year. The festival was attended by over 90 participants. For the past two years the festival was carried in a town called Sandanski, whereas in 2003 its host will be Pazardjik.

Thanks to Yuri Ilkov – The General, Nikola Kesarovski, Ivailo Ivanov and Kiril Dobrev who provided additional information for this article.

The article has been published in May 2003 in Locus Magazine