I trailed Kontakt yesterday, and wasn’t expecting to put it out for a day or two. However, circumstances have conspired to allow me to make it available today, so I am doing so. I wrote a preface for this book. Here it is in full.
In April 2012 the European Science Fiction Convention (Eurocon) took place in Zagreb. I was lucky enough to be invited as a guest, and thus made my first ever visit to Croatia. The English-speaking world knows that country perhaps best for the magnificent city of Dubrovnik whose mediaeval fortifications were used for King’s Landing in the Game of Thrones TV series. Worldcon regulars may also remember that Zagreb has occasionally bid to run the convention, though we had not seen much of Croatian fandom. I had little idea of what to expect, and was blown away by the friendliness, enthusiasm and organizational skills of the people that I met.
One of the best things that the convention did was to put together an anthology of Croatian science fiction and fantasy, translated into English, and gave it away free to all attendees. Sadly that amounted to only a few hundred copies. The book did not go on general sale, so the wider world has been unable to witness the talent on display. Despite that, Zoran Vlahović’s story, “Every Time We Say Goodbye” was shortlisted for the 2013 Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Awards, thereby raising interest in Croatian SF. Thankfully the editors, authors and publishers have allowed me to put together this ebook edition to bring their work to a wider market.
Croatia is an amazing country. The writers whose work you will find in this book have all lived under a Communist government as part of the former Yugoslavia. They have all lived through a War of Independence in the 1990s. In the past Croatia was on the Christian frontier holding back the Ottoman Empire, and was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Like nearby Transylvania, it has a strong tradition of vampire legends. Now it is part of the European Union, and very much looking to the future. All of this informs the fiction you will read here. I’m delighted to be able to bring it to you.
My thanks go to the editors, Darko Macan and Tatjana Jambrišak; to Petra Bulić and her team at SFera who put on the convention and co-published the book; to all of the authors; and to Mihaela Marija Perković and her family who have looked after me so well on my visits to their country.
And here’s the contents list:
- Introduction by Darko Macan
- Bloodhound by Milena Benini
- Hi-Tech Sex Lib by Dalibor Perković
- Give Me the Shuttle Key! by Tatjana Jambrišak
- The Corridor by Darko Macan
- The Dead by Aleksandar Žiljak
- River Fairy by Ivana Delač
- De Cadenza by Danijel Bogdanović
- Every Time We Say Goodbye by Zoran Vlahović
- Avaleon and the Black Feather by Katarina Brbora
- Time Enough, and Space by Goran Konvični
- Fingers by Danilo Brozović
- The Executor by Zoran Krušvar