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I’ve always been fascinated by how non-English writers have approached SF. The French have a huge body of SF work from the 1800s and early 1900s, of which Jules Verne is only the smallest tip of a gigantic iceberg. The Soviet-bloc produced some fascinating collections, and authors like Stanisław Lem and the brothers Strugatsky. 2theD over at Tongues of Speculation has done a bang-up job analyzing non-English SF, especially his forays into the vast unknown of Japanese SF. Japan has a long-standing SF tradition, and even has one of the genre’s longest-running prozines: simply titled SF Magazine, it’s been in publication since 1959 (when its “February, 1960” issue first hit newsstands). After offering translations of English SF works, it opened up the market for original Japanese SF stories, though it did move to a bimonthly format earlier this year.

I’m particularly fond of its covers from the late ’60s and early ’70s by Kazuaki Saito, which are similar to the abstractism seen in artists like John Schoenherr, Ed Emsh, Paul Lehr, and especially Richard Powers. If you keep going, the art takes on a harder tone in the late ’70s and early ’80s that echoes the manga of the time, and by the 2000s many of the covers are drawn in a softer manga style.

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