New translation of Roadside Picnic?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by square_25, Sep 3, 2011.

?

How many people would be interested in an excerpt of Roadside Picnic?

  1. I'd take a look

    4 vote(s)
    80.0%
  2. Not my kind of thing

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
  1. square_25

    square_25 Registered User

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    Hey all,

    There's going to be a new translation of Roadside Picnic (the Strugatsky novel -- not sure how many people have read it, but here's a link: http://www.sffworld.com/book/2210.html). It's going to be released in April in North America -- anyone interested?
     
  2. square_25

    square_25 Registered User

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    I also have a copy of the cover, but apparently I can't post it yet :(.
     
  3. Werthead

    Werthead Registered User

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    Interesting!

    I've seen interest in the West in this novel pick up a lot since the STALKER computer games (which are - very loosely - inspired by it) came out and were a huge success.
     
  4. square_25

    square_25 Registered User

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    I've heard of those games, but I've never played them! Were they released recently, and are they good?

    Regardless -- I think "Roadside Picnic" is an awesome book! Have you read it?
     
  5. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    I read it maybe 30 years ago in Romanian translation and i was impressed but it's unclear how well it held up since sf changed and expanded considerably since then; I will take a look - should have a copy somewhere.

    The movie was also pretty impressive, but like with the book I saw it decades ago and I am unsure how well it holds today
     
  6. square_25

    square_25 Registered User

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    It's one of my childhood favorites, actually -- and the people I've shown it to have really enjoyed it, so I'd guess that it holds up reasonably well. But I am really not fond of the current English translation.

    I should mention that the new translation they are going to publish is mine (which, of course, is very exciting for me!) So I suppose that's both a disclaimer of personal interest, and a note that I can give samples if anyone is interested :).
     
  7. livens

    livens Registered User

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    I would be interested in a sample of this. Though Ive never heard of the book, I swear I have read a story very similar.
     
  8. algernoninc

    algernoninc Now I'm an axolotl

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    I have also read probably the same translation as Suciul, and I remember it wasn't very long. I initially picked it up because of the buzz around the Tarkovsky movie one of our professors made us discuss in highschool. I liked the text, but I found the movie a little pretentious, albeit with striking imagery.
     
  9. square_25

    square_25 Registered User

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    If you haven't read the book, and you're interested in the story, a good place to start might be the old translation: http://www.rusf.ru/abs/english/ (there's a link on this page to a zip file of the book -- I was just going to link to that, but then I realized that'd seem kind of suspicious.)

    Actually, I would love to hear what people think of the old English translation! I, personally, find it somewhere very close to unreadable, but that may be because I'm spoiled by original Russian version. So, please let me know: do you find the old translation well-written or hard to read?
     
  10. livens

    livens Registered User

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    Thanks for the link. Ill check it out.
     
  11. square_25

    square_25 Registered User

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    On an unrelated note... do you know how long it takes to be allowed to post attachments? It'd be fun to post the new cover page.
     
  12. Werthead

    Werthead Registered User

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    There are three games:

    STALKER: Shadows of Chernobyl (2007)
    STALKER: Clear Sky (2008), a prequel to the first game
    STALKER: Call of Pripyat (2009), a sequel to the first game

    There's also a forthcoming STALKER 2, due in 2012, which apparently is a much bigger step forward in technology and story.

    The relationship between the games and book is down more to atmosphere and the use of some terms; in the novel, for example, the zones are the creation of aliens, whilst in the games the zones were created by a series of inexplicable events surrounding the ruined Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine. The games also take some inspiration - and the name - from the movie Stalker, which was written by the same guys as Roadside Picnic and also reuses some terms (but not much else) from the book.

    The games are pretty good, but the first two are somewhat bugged and require some significant patching and fiddling around with fan mods to make them work properly. The third game is very good and works straight out of the box. They're very atmospheric and quite hardcore: think of a much more serious type of Fallout 3 but with real attention paid to survival in the wilderness.

    Not yet. It's been hard to get hold of, so I'll check out the new edition :)
     
  13. square_25

    square_25 Registered User

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    Ah, the games sound interesting! I haven't played that sort of thing in a while, but it sounds enjoyable.

    Werthead, are you in the UK or in the US? Because I think the UK has had a new release of Roadside Picnic fairly recently...
     
  14. Hobbit

    Hobbit Now.. A Seriously Likeable Administrator Staff Member

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    Yes, square (Wert's in the UK, btw).

    We had the Gollancz SF Masterworks edition recently (Amazon says 2007.)

    But this won't be a new translation, will it?

    Seems to be something happening much more at the moment. Been hearing about Stanislaw Lem's Solaris, recently gone through the same process.

    Mark
     
  15. square_25

    square_25 Registered User

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    Hey Mark,

    Yeah, I was referring to the Gollancz edition, which is not a new translation... The new translation will only be published in North America (I guess Gollancz currently has the copyright for the translation in the UK.)

    It's interesting that a number of new translations seem to be coming out -- there must be a critical mass of people dissatisfied with the old ones...
     
  16. Hobbit

    Hobbit Now.. A Seriously Likeable Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for that, square: looks like we might have to look to those international shipping companies when it appears....

    And you're right: new versions of Jules Verne, new translation of War and Peace and the Dumas Last Cavalier (Not genre but perhaps part of the pattern...)

    I was told that a lot of translations don't happen, because of the expense... but we may be seeing something new, perhaps.

    Mark
     
  17. square_25

    square_25 Registered User

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    All right, I decided to put the new cover up online. Here it is:


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2011
  18. square_25

    square_25 Registered User

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    Interesting! Do you mean because of the expense to the publisher? As far as I can tell, translators get paid peanuts... but perhaps given the fact that most books don't make any money at all, that does add to the overall cost.
     
  19. livens

    livens Registered User

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    Nice looking cover. Shame they couldn't have popped your name in under where it says "A NEW TRANSLATION".

    I think Ill wait for your translation to come out before reading this. If I really like the book I can always go back and read the older trans, and compare the two.
     
  20. Hobbit

    Hobbit Now.. A Seriously Likeable Administrator Staff Member

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    Nice cover, square.

    I've added it direct, rather than as a link, so everyone can see it.

    Yes that was part of it. The other thing is when translating from English to other languages, the foreign language version often takes up more pages/print/space, so a lot of publishers feel the cost isn't worth it.


    Mark
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011