1989 -
the fall of the Communistic regime in Czechoslovakia. It was a start of radical changes in Czech society and in SF.

 


Adamovič Ivan
(1967) - the first man in the field of litery theory of SF and horror genre in Bohemia, a collector, encyclopedist, author, publisher and translator. Editor of several magazines, including Ikarie magazine, editor-in-chief of the Živel (Element) style magazine. Author of the unrivalled Slovník české literární fantastiky a science fiction (The Dictionary of Czech literary fantasy and science fiction, 1995) and of regular bibliographical surveys of published books and short stories. Lives in Prague. More information about him you can find here.

 


Academy of SF,F and H
- Academy of science fiction, fantasy and horror. It was founded as a part of Czechoslovak fandom in 1995 and its objective or aim being a support of theoretical work and national literary output in the SF field. Members of the Academy are the founders of Czechoslovak fandom, winners of the Karel Čapek Award and other literary awards, specialists and sponsors. Academy evaluates annualy Czech and foreign SF, announces and presents awards in many cathegories.


Bratislava
- the capital of Slovakia and the second largest town of former Czechoslovakia.

 


Brno
- Moravian metropolis, the second largest town in Czech republic

 


Karel Čapek Award
- the most important Czech and Slovak contest for amateur SF writers with regular participation of several hundreds of authors. It is held annually since 1982. Evaluation of the short stories has two ballot stages and is done by professional authors, critics, editors and theoreticians of SF, members of SF clubs and foremost amateur SF authors. The winners are announced during the Parcon meeting. The grand prize is a statuette of Mlok (The Newt) commemorating the known SF novel by Karel Čapek. This trophy is so traditionally considered as the highest possible appreciation in the field of Czech amateur SF. The winning works are annually published in a book-form collection Mlok (The Newt).

 


con
- an abbreviation from the English convention, an organized meeting of SF fans. The programme usually consists of talks with famous authors, scientists and other interesting guests, lectures, film projections, workshops, book sales, gaming etc. The most important Czech meeting Parcon is held since 1982. The cons have a long tradition abroad, the first of them held in the USA already in the 30s. The first worldwide Worldcon was held in 1939 during the World Exhibition in New York. Since 1971 there is also Eurocon, international meeting of fans from Europe. The number of smaller, regional or specialized cons is very high.

 


Čapek Karel
(1890-1938) - author and thinker of world importance. In connection with the SF genre we should mention at least his plays Věc Makropulos (The Makropoulos Secret) and Bílá nemoc (The White Disease), and novels Krakatit (Krakatit) or Válka s Mloky (The War with the Newts). He gave the world the word "robot" which he used for the first time in his successful play R. U. R. in 1920. His nomination for the Nobel prize was marred by the Nazi occupation and the World War II.

 


České Budějovice
- a South Bohemian metropolis, known abroad especially as the seat of the world-known Budvar beer trademark on which parasitizes the American Bud.

 


Czechoslovakia
- a small country in the middle of Europe which thanks to its geographical location played an important role in European history. In 1918 it extricated itself from German influence but after World War II it was added to the Eastern bloc and under the leadership of the Soviet Union began to build Communism. In 1968 it was forcefully occupied by Soviet army because its striving for this goal was not intense enough (as a protest against the Soviet occupation Jaromír Jágr wears number 68 on his dress). This situation went on to 1989 when an unviolent coup d'état took place. In 1993 was Czechoslovakia against the will of its citizens divided into two even smaller countries - Czechia (Czech Republic) and Slovakia. Both of them are now striving to enter the EU.

 


Czechs and Slovaks in the space -
almost nobody knows that Czechoslovakia is the third state of the world whose citizen went into space (after former Soviet Union and USA) and so overtaking such powerful countries as Germany or France. The first Czechoslovak cosmonaut (and generally 87th cosmonaut of the world) was captain Vladimír Remek, member of the crew of the Soyuz-28 spaceship which was the first international crew of the Interkosmos programme. The flight was made from 2nd to 10th March 1978 and cosmonauts worked also on the board of the legendary orbital complex Salyut-6. Total length of the flight was 190 hours and 18 minutes. But the Czechoslovak flag was taken into space already in 1972 by the American astronaut Eugene Cernan from the Apollo 17 crew because his parents came from Czechoslovakia. This piece of news did not, at its time, pass the Communist censors.

 


Dojiva Radek
(1966) - collector and publisher, the editor of this anthology. Lives and works in Brno. More information about him you can find here.

 


fandom
- here is meant the SF fandom, of course, independent movement of science fiction aficionados. Fandom can be, in general, characterized as a hobby activity manifesting itself by an active approach to reading SF and keeping in contact by the means of magazines and organized meetings (so called cons) on the full scale of levels. The typical symptom of fandom are SF clubs, and fandom is de facto made of them. In their spontaneous origin in the USA at the end of the nineteen-thirties economic depression also played its role - for many, especially young people, they meant a means of an escape from a bitter reality and everyday troubles. Czech fandom was formed under similar conditions at the beginning of the 80s when in former Czechoslovakia began to appear the first SF clubs. SF literature was published at a very limited rate then so one of the basic functions of fandom was exchange of information, lending and borrowing books, or, say, publishing the unavailable books in samizdat. During a couple of years fandom widened its actions to organizing cons, literary contests (such as the Karel Čapek Award), publishing of its own newsletter and many other activities. After the dividing of Czechoslovakia, fandom refused to accept it, and still stayed in its former extent, so now it is, in fact, an international Czech and Slovak fandom. On its grounds was founded the Academy of F, SF and H in 1995.

 


fanzin
- fan magazine (see also samizdat), the indispensable weaponry of fandom. The term fanzin, originally from the English shortening "fanzine" (from "fan magazine") - today accepted even by the authoritative Oxford English Dictionary - originated in the USA and later on grew over the boundaries of SF fandom, so now under this term are understood all amateur printed magazines.

 


Ikarie
- the first and most important Czech SF magazine. It was created in 1990 by professionalization of a fanzine whose name was derived from the famous Czech SF film. Since its origin it is published as a monthly, in its editorial board worked also many authors who are now forming this anthology.

 


Plzeň
- the Western Bohemian metropolis, a seat of a famous brewery and the Škoda concern.

 


Prague
- the capital of Czech Republic and also of Czech SF.

 


samizdat
- illegal publishing of printed stuff. Most of the fanzines and fandom publications appearing before 1989 were published in this form. All printing and copying machines were at that time strictly registered and under a thorough control of the state. Computers nor xeroxes did not exist so the texts were written on simple typewriters and were duplicated by the mimeograph technology which reminds, by its quality of printing, some contemporary substandard faxes. From today's point of view they were amateurish, ugly and many times badly readable publications which had, of course, the unreplaceable information value.

 


Simsa Cyril
(1960) - Cyril Simsa was born and brought up in London, has a degree zoology, and has worked as a librarian, museum curator, mail order distributor, and as the map editor of the new centenary facsimile of Domesday Book. Since 1992 he has lived in Prague, where he runs student exchange programs for the Social Sciences Faculty of Charles University. He has been writing on and off since his mid teens, mostly in and around the science fiction genre, and has contributed reviews and articles to a wide variety of genre publications (Foundation, Locus, The Encyclopedia of Fantasy...). His stories have appeared (or are about to appear) in Weird Tales, Darkness Rising, Ideomancer, Fantasy Tales and Central Europe Review. He has also published translations of Czech writers in Allskin, Fantasy Macabre, Yazzyk, The Thirteenth Moon and Back Brain Recluse. The Lost Tribe of Prague 6, a collection of his short fiction, was recently published in e-book format by Hollow Hills Publishing. More information about him you can find here. He is the co-editor of this anthology.

 


Dictionary of Czech literary fantasy and science fiction (1995)
- encyclopedia of extraordinary qualities by Ivan Adamovič, maps in detail the chosen area. It contains a complete list of Czech fantasy literature, respective authors and many other useful bits of information. The indispensable tool for every researcher and also for an advanced reader.