Neil Clarke on Translations

The new issue of Clarkesworld is now available. It has some excellent content, including stories by Pat Cadigan, Ken Macleod, Robert Reed and Ken Liu. But I want to highlight something that Neil said in his editorial:

Along those lines, a reader asked me why we decided to go with a regular feature over a special issue or anthology. It’s a good question, particularly in light of how fashionable the latter has become in recent years. While I don’t think there is anything wrong with special issues, I’m not a big fan of the one-and-done model of promoting a cause. They might make a big splash and generate some warm fuzzies, but months later, it’s largely forgotten.

I want translations to become something normal. They shouldn’t stand out or be special because of where they originate. Regularly publishing stories from other parts of the world is the best way to do that. If something is important, make it part of who you are.

Much as I love some of the special issues and anthologies that have been created in recent months (and indeed may do something like that myself), I absolutely agree with Neil that one-offs are not enough. If we want lasting change, it has to be a central part of what we do.