Friday, March 13, 2015

Final Frontier, the Romanian Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Fair, 4th edition

Two years ago I’ve attended in Bucharest a Romanian book fair, Final Frontier, dedicated to Science Fiction and Fantasy. Although it covered a rather very small niche within the Romanian literature market I was left feeling very optimistic about the local speculative fiction, although Final Frontier was a convention of a miniature scale its cozy and friendly atmosphere, together with a couple of interesting events, expanded this genre book fair beyond its diminutive appearance. Unfortunately, with the 2014 edition suspended my general good feelings died soon after, only to be resurrected again these days when Final Frontier prepares to open the doors of its 4th edition. Between 28th and 29th of March Final Frontier gathers the local genre community for book launches, autograph sessions, debates, panels, writing workshops and contests.

Almost all the specialized publishers are present this year and I am happy to note the birth of another such press, a very rare beast these days in Romania, Crux Publishing. At this edition of Final Frontier Paladin Publishing launches China Miéville’s “Embassytown” and William Gibson’s novels, “Neuromancer”, “Count Zero” and “Mona Lisa Overdrive”, Tritonic Publishing launches Liviu Surugiu’s “Atavic” (Atavic) and “Love and Death Forever” (Iubire şi moarte pentru totdeauna), Lucina Dragoş Bogdan’s “The Wizard from the Inside Cloud” (Vraciul de pe norul interior), Eugen Lenghel's “9 Reused Histories” (9 Istorii reutilizate) and “Countdown” (Numărătoare inversă) and Mircea Naidin’s non-fiction volume, “The Birth of Science Fiction Literature” (Naşterea literaturii Science Fiction), Millennium Books launches Roxana Brînceanu’s “Sharia” (Sharia) and the 6th issue of Galileo Magazine, the newly founded Crux Publishing launches Oliviu Crâznic’s “The Phantoms’ Hour” (Ceasul fantasmelor), Şerban Andrei Mazilu’s “The Season of Daggers” (Anotimpul pumnalelor) and Dan Rădoiu’s “Stories From the Edge of Reality” (Povestiri de la marginea realităţii), while Nemira Publishing inflicts a facelift to its speculative fiction collection (it was about time, in my opinion, since they had some awful book covers until now). The panels feature talks about the state of the Romanian speculative fiction in 2014, Romcon 2015 (The Romanian Science Fiction Convention), 6 years of SRSFF (The Romanian Society of Science Fiction & Fantasy) and the Science & Fiction Festival 2015 due to take place in Rîşnov. Other events include public interviews with Oliviu Crâznic, moderated by Michael Haulică, and Sebastian A. Corn, moderated by Cătălin Badea-Gheracostea, a session of the Wolf’s Pack Literary Circle, comics and speculative writing workshops and a fan fiction writing contest.

I plan to attend Final Frontier, but there is nothing certain at the moment. Still, I believe this edition would leave as optimistic as the previous one did, even watching it from the distance of my home.

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