Traduceri din engleză

După cum poate unii dintre voi ați observat, de la sfârșitul anului trecut am început cu Daniel Timariu un proiect, în care lunar la rubrica Meridian SF  din Helion vă aducem câte o povestire străină, tradusă de mine. O  facem din pură pasiune, pentru că vrem să împărtășim cu voi povestiri care ne-au plăcut dar nu-s accesibile în română, precum și pentru o conectare la ”pulsul” a ce se scrie ”pe afară”. Acest ”afară” fiind foarte variat, ne-am împărțit sarcinile și helionii se ocupă de frontul european (mai ales Darius Hupov, căruia cel puțin eu îi mulțumesc), iar subsemnatul de invadarea frontului britano-american.

Lăsându-i deoparte pe cei care deja ne-au înfierat cu dispreț și mânie proletară drept ”jenibili” (și altele pe aceeași linie) pentru acest voluntariat neplătit prin care ne consumăm timpul liber și entuziasmul în folosul SF-ului pur și simplu și, cum se zicea cândva, al ”prieteniei între popoare”, celorlalți vă ofer, ca provocare (la recunoaștere), câte un fragment din următoarele 5 povestiri anglo-saxone pe care le voi traduce. Printre ele vor apărea și creații europene (avem deja 4 în lucru și vor mai sosi), dar pentru acelea îi las pe helioni să primească gloria 🙂

Cei care o să recunoașteți vreuna – premiul e doar mândria proprie, și vă rog să  nu nominalizați textul/autorul ca să lăsăm și altora plăcerea de a ghici!

Ca o observație pentru o vreme când în multe sensuri ne simțim abandonați de lumea civilizată, vreau să adaug că toate aceste povestiri, deși apărute în antologii și reviste americane (deci ”pe bani”), nouă ne-au fost oferite gratuit de autori ca daruri și încurajare pentru comunitatea SF românească – și ne transmit cu toții, de peste Canalul Mânecii sau Atlantic, prietenia lor. Unii dintre ei sunt mai puțin cunoscuți pe aici, alții laureați de Hugo/Nebula; unii bărbați, alții femei; unii caucazieni, alții afro-americani; dar nu asta contează, ci sentimentul că suntem prieteni, pentru că… SF(FH)*!

*nu se aplică și între români, firește. Noi nu putem fi prieteni între noi…

Bun. Deocamdată, situația stă așa:

POVESTIRI DEJA APĂRUTE (toate, indiferent de sursă și de ”obținător”):

1. Jack Skillingstead – What You Are About to See (Helion – aici)
2. Frank Roger – Trial and Error (Helion – aici)
3. William Ledbetter – The Rings of Mars (Helion – aici)
4. Shweta Taneja – The Daughter that Bleeds (Helion – aici)
POVESTIRI ANGLO-SAXONE (în curs de traducere sau apariție):
1. The rain spatters off the pebbles as my boots crunch across the beach. It’s hard to walk with purpose when each step sinks and slides. At the bottom of the rocky incline, the gently lapping waves spread out between the rocks, the water searching out countless paths to follow in its push onto land. Here the pebbles are darker and glisten from the constant wash of the tide.
The body lies slumped on its side, the feet and legs still encircled and released by each ebb and flow. Its posture and pallor resemble the carcass of a beached whale–the flesh bloated and bleached white. I avert my gaze, scanning the promenade for police cruisers conspicuous by their absence.
The APP should be all over this case like flies on a cow’s arse, but instead they’re stuffing their faces with egg McMuffins and cheap coffee. Why should they hurry? They know this case will never be solved.
Maybe I can prove them wrong.
I crouch down and push aside the victim’s shredded shirt with a gloved hand, examining the wounds. I’ve viewed the photos already, of course, but this is the earliest after death I will have a chance to see this. I reach into the inside pocket of the man’s coat, pulling out a sodden pamphlet. I check the faded date, time and place stamped inside, barely readable now. “June 5th, 2017–3:05AM–St James’s Street and Chapel Street, Brighton–Suicide–stepping in front of a bus.”

2. Lonely.To one side of my path Sirius glares insanely bright, a knife in the sky, a mad dog of a star. The stars of Orion are weirdly distorted. Ahead of me, the lesser dog Procyon is waxing brighter every year; behind me, the sun is a fading dot in Aquila.

Of all things, I am lonely. I had not realized that I still had the psychological capacity for loneliness. I examine my brain, and find it. Yes, a tiny knot of loneliness. Now that I see it, I can edit my brain to delete it, if I choose. But yet I hesitate. It is not a bad thing, not something that is crippling my capabilities, and if I edit my brain too much will I not become, in some way, like them?

I leave my brain unedited. I can bear loneliness.


3. For the week before summer school began, Abbie took to swimming behind her house daily, at dusk, safe from the mosquitoes, sinking into her sanctuary.

No one had told her—not the realtor, not the elderly widow she’d only met once when they signed the paperwork at the lawyer’s office downtown, not Graceville Prep’s cheerful headmistress. Even a random first-grader at the grocery store could have told her that one must never, ever go swimming in Graceville’s lakes during the summer. The man-made lakes  were fine, but the natural lakes that had once been swampland were to be avoided by children in particular. And women of childbearing age—which Abbie still was at thirty-six, albeit barely. And men who were prone to quick tempers or alcohol binges.

Further, one must never, ever swim in Graceville’s lakes in summer without clothing, when crevices and weaknesses were most exposed.

In retrospect, she was foolish. But in all fairness, how could she have known?

4. The stars are invisible beyond the great Lunan barrier, the sphere that is tonight dark and swirling. Alien computers control with precision the amount of solar energy reaching the environment within. Today they increased Luna’s albedo by a fraction of a per cent, responding to innumerable data sent by botanic sensors.
The man leans into a dark doorway. Behind the plexi at his side he sees goods from lower sectors: gene therapy kits, portable microbe generators, auxiliary eyes. At his feet a number of black automechs work, digging miniature trenches so that optical cables can be laid. He is tempted to kick them aside, but even in his inebriated state he will not ignore the taboo.
He staggers out into the street. Something shiny and as large as a child flies towards him. He stops.
He has never seen anything like it. Though it is silver metal, reflective as a new mirror, it is shaped like an insect. It hovers a few meters away from him, its wings creating pseudo-patterns from reflected light. There is a chittering noise. Then it strikes.
5. But on that particular night, before it got dark enough for the stars, and I was just watching the bats overhead, circling the treetops and chasing bugs, I saw something up there, hanging in the dark sky, in the distance between the ridge and the mountaintop. At first I thought it was one of them bats, until I calculated in my head how far away it had to be, and that told me that the thing was closer in size to a hang glider than it was to a bat – except that it wasn’t a hang glider, either, because its wings were moving.
I turned the straight chair around so that I could keep an eye on that flying thing until I could figure out what it was I was seeing.
Just for the heck of it, I reached around for my lantern, lit it, and waved it slowly, side to side while I faced that flying thing. I hoped it would come close enough to give me a better look at it. Sure enough, after a second or two, it noticed my signal, because it seemed to wobble for a moment in midair, and then it commenced to fly straight for me. I set down the lantern and waited for my visitor to arrive.
sursa ilustrației: Deviantart, artist Lapec, link aici

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