Science Fiktion by Franz Fühmann, translated by Andrew B. B. Hamilton and Claire Y. Van Der Broek
Paperback – Seagull Books – Feb 2023 – 280 pages
In seven interlocking stories, Science Fiktion offers a steampunk takedown of the logic of the Cold War. In this imagined future, two nations compete for global dominance: Uniterr, an exaggeration of the Eastern Bloc, in which personal freedom is curtailed and life regulated with cartoonish strictness; and Libroterr, in which the decadence of the West has been pushed beyond all reason.
As the reader is swept up in the madness of Libroterr’s predator ads (which grab you on the street) and Uniterr’s mandatory mind readings, Fühmann’s dark comedy from the last century comes to seem all the prescient in ours. A German twist on an Anglophone tradition, Science Fiktion provides a disturbing vision of the future from the other side of the Berlin Wall