Week 3 of Translations Special Month!
This story was originally written in Russian and has been translated into English.
Main Fiction: “White Curtain” by Pavel Amnuel, translated by Anatoly Belilovsky.
Originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, reprinted in The Year’s Best SF 32, edited by Gardner Dozios
Pavel Amnuel was born in 1944 in Baku (Azerbaijan, former USSR.) He is an astrophysicist who predicted (in 1968, with O. Guseynov) the existence of Xray pulsars, later confirmed by the US UHURU satellite. His first SF story appeared in Russian in 1959. Since 1990 he lives in Israel where he taught at Tel Aviv university and edited several newspapers and magazines. His work has won multiple awards, including “Aelita” (Russian equivalent of Hugo) in 2012. “White Curtain” is one of several stories and novellas in the “Multiverse” cycle. It is his first publication in English translation.
Anatoly Belilovsky is a Russian-American author and translator of speculative fiction. He was born in a city that went through six or seven owners in the last century, all of whom used it to do a lot more than drive to church on Sundays; he is old enough to remember tanks rolling through it on their way to Czechoslovakia in 1968. After being traded to the US for a shipload of grain and a defector to be named later (see wikipedia, Jackson-Vanik amendment), he learned English from Star Trek reruns and went on to become a paediatrician in an area of New York where English is only the fourth most commonly used language. His work appeared or will appear in F&SF, Year’s Best SF #32 (edited by Gardner Dozois,) Grimdark, UFO I, Ideomancer, Nature, Stupefying Stories, Daily SF, Podcastle, StarShipSofa, Genius Loci, Cast of Wonders, and Toasted Cake, among others. He blogs about writing at loldoc.net.
Narrated by Tim Maroney
Tim is one of the chosen few maintaining vigilant watch over a genie in a bottle keeping its pent up fury controlled. This chosen watch splits atoms and brings light and wondrous things to the masses.
He honed these skills for 20 years deep beneath the sea in octopus’ gardens and in labyrinths of coral caves on five fast attack submarines in the US Navy. After escaping Davy Jones’ locker he continues in a teaching capacity, honing the skills of future generations charged with containing the genie’s wrath. When not protecting humanity he is an itinerant minstrel that lives the illusion that somebody needs him to play.
His travels have taken him to four of the seven continents and his wanderlust compels him to continue traveling until he has been on them all. Armed with an insatiable curiosity he lives life in a continual state of wonder and amazement at the marvels this world holds.