Hear Ukrainian Fantastic Stories Read Aloud

I love hearing authors read their own work, especially when those authors are good readers. The first time I ever heard a “real live author” read their work was when I was in high school and went to see Anne Rice read in a bookstore in downtown Chicago. It blew my mind that I could actually talk with (well, shyly say hello to) the person who wrote it. That may have been the day authors became real people for me, watching Anne Rice sitting at a table talking to her fans.

I would not be introduced to conventions or fandom for another 20 years, but I did discover Stars Our Destination bookstore in college, which had a schedule of authors coming in to read and sign. Chicago was a frequent stop, and I was finally able to meet a few of my favorite authors in various bookstores around the city.

Today, thanks to the internet, we can watch readings from all over the world—live and recorded—and now I’m delighted to enjoy readings by writer-friends and colleagues who live in other cities and countries. It helps to hold me over until the next time I get to travel or attend a conference, where I can see and hug them in person.

Українсько-англійські читання ~ A Reading in Ukrainian and English

This weekend, Atthis Arts hosted a reading on YouTube, featuring our publisher, Emily Bell, as well as two of the authors and two of the translators from Embroidered Worlds: Fantastic Fiction from Ukraine and the Diaspora: 

“The Rainbow Bridge” by Iryna Pasko,
translated by Hanna Leliv

“The Bike Shadow” by Yaryna Katorozh,
translated by Kateryna Darchyk

I was celebrating my birthday with my family when the reading was live on the air, so I watched the entire video the next day, grinning at the screen the entire time.

Translator Kateryna Darchyk hosted and did a wonderful job addressing both English and Ukrainian audiences. The two stories were read in their original Ukrainian by the authors; then Hanna read her translation of “The Rainbow Bridge” and Emily read Kateryna’s translation of “The Bike Shadow.”

It was SO good! Such a joy to listen to the stories read aloud after having read and worked with them while editing the anthology.  I invite you to check it out here:

The reading was free, but they were also raising money to help the Hospitallers in Ukraine, a volunteer organization of paramedics founded by Yana Zinkevich at the beginning of hostilities in Ukraine in 2014. The slogan of the Hospitallers is “Заради кожного життя” (“For the sake of every life”).

As we approach the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of February 24, 2022, organizations like the Hospitallers are doing such important work to help the people of Ukraine. You can donate at their website: https://www.hospitallers.life/ 

The physical books are still in customs in Kyiv on their way to our  authors and editors in Ukraine. They have not yet had the chance to hold Embroidered Worlds in their hands, but we are hoping that they soon will.

Thank you once more to everyone who helped us to make and share Embroidered Worlds. As Emily mentioned during the reading, if there are book clubs, libraries, or schools who are interested in reading Embroidered Worlds, they can get in touch with Atthis Arts.

The Embroidered Worlds Kickstarter project is eligible to be nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Related Work, and I’m eligible as one of the editors for Best Editor, Short Form. The following is from the Atthis Arts website:

We are asking you to consider “The Embroidered Worlds Funding Campaign” by Valya Dudycz Lupescu and E.D.E. Bell for Best Related Work. This includes our work securing an international grant after the already received grant was rescinded, and our community and culture celebrating crowdfunding campaign at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/atthisarts/embroidered-worlds/ featuring guest writers from around the world. Because of the grant requirements, the entire process from the start of crowdfunding through translation, editing, sensitivity reading, typesetting, and production, to full publication was done within eleven weeks starting 01 September 2023. This late-in-the-year release was therefore necessary after previous external delays, but put us in a difficult position for awards visibility.

The website also lists short stories from the collection that are eligible, as well as several other authors, editors, and stories that are eligible and were published by Atthis Arts. I am honored to be in such good company.

British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) longlist for Best Collection

Last week, the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) released their longlist of nominees for the BSFA Awards, for work published in 2023. Embroidered Worlds: Fantastic Fiction from Ukraine and the Diaspora was among those listed for Best Collections! I am honored that we were included; I’m also so excited to see Ukrainian fiction on a list like this.
When I was a young reader in the 80s and 90s, I dreamed of such an opportunity; and I am heartened to know that readers are enjoying and discussing these stories by writers in Ukraine and the Diaspora.
There are so many thoughtful collections and fantastic stories on this list, and I encourage you to take a look. Congratulations to my incredible co-editors, Olha Brylova & Iryna Pasko and to all the nominees.

Embroidered Worlds Release Day!!!

Today is the official release day for Embroidered Worlds: Fantastic Fiction from Ukraine and the Diaspora!!!

A desperate trek through the icy canyons of Mars, a doll-sized family with giant-sized opinions, a defiant princess whose fate must remain a secret… Welcome to the wild, colorful, and ever-blossoming landscapes of the Ukrainian imagination. Embroidered Worlds presents a bold glimpse into fantastic storytelling throughout Ukrainian culture, from science fiction, fantasy, and horror to slipstream, fairy tales, and more.

This collection gathers 30 short stories from writers living in wartime Ukraine, their work translated into English for the very first time, as well as from international authors of Ukrainian heritage. Come, now, and experience the magic, the terror, and the wonder-filled surprises of the worlds they’ve brought to life.

It’s a beautiful book, put together by a team of talented and dedicated people. I’m so excited that it’s out in the world, and soon physical copies will be in the hands of readers. Thank you to our publisher, Atthis Arts, for making this all possible.

As soon as the Kickstarter campaign successfully funded, the translators, publishers, and editorial team hit the ground running to get Embroidered Worlds ready for print to meet our deadlinelong days and nights spent communicating over time zones, hundreds of emails, dozens of messages, so many drafts, each one improving upon the previous version. We did it! This creative community came together to verify words, edit content, fine-tune intention, and review all the many details.

AND as we were doing that, Ukrainian pysanka artist Anna Chychula was at work crafting this beautiful, one-of-a-kind fantastic Embroidered Worlds pysanka!

I love seeing the energy of this project manifest in this beautiful pysanka. You can read more in Anna’s Embroidered Worlds Kickstarter guest post here.

AND here’s a peek at our limited edition Embroidered Worlds bookplates being printed at Bookplate Ink, in Yellow Springs Ohio!

I have more to share about the process of editing this anthology and the stories and writers and translators, and I’m hoping that things can slow down a little during the end of this year so that I have time to catch up with writing and posts and upcoming projects! This is Mother Christmas season after all….

Blessings of peace and love during this season.