In Translation

100 Must-Read Works of Speculative Fiction in Translation

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Rachel Cordasco

Staff Writer

Rachel Cordasco has a Ph.D in literary studies and currently works as a developmental editor. When she's not at her day job or chasing three kids, she's writing reviews and translating Italian speculative fiction. She runs the website, and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

There’s a great big world out there, filled with accomplished authors writing in every language. Speculative fiction is an especially vibrant genre, and with works like Cixin Liu’s award-winning Three-Body Problem garnering much-deserved applause here in the U.S., and multiple anthologies of Spanish-language fiction becoming available, there’s never been a better time to build your TBR list.


100 Must-Read Works of Speculative Fiction in Translation




Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges, translated by Anthony Kerrigan.

Kalpa Imperial by Angélica Gorodischer, translated by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Trafalgar by Angélica Gorodischer, translated by Amalia Gladhart.

Memory by Teresa P. Mira de Echeverría, translated by Lawrence Schimel.



The Sphere of Glass by Marianne Gruber, translated by Alexandra Strelka.

The Wall by Marlen Haushofer, translated by Shaun Whiteside.

Awakening to the Great Sleep War by Gert Jonke, translated by Jean M. Snook.



Red Queen by Dirk Draulans, translated by Sam Barrett.

I Who Have Never Known Men by Jacqueline Harpman, translated by Ros Schwartz.

Tonguecat by Peter Verhelst, translated by Sherry Marx.



Sambaqui: A Novel of Pre-History by Stella Carr Ribeiro, translated by Claudia van der Heuvel.


Czech Republic

The Golden Age by Michal Ajvaz, translated by Andrew Oakland.

Other City by Michal Ajvaz, translated by Gerald Turner.

The Absolute at Large by Karel Čapek, translator not credited.

Krakatit by Karel Čapek, translated by Lawrence Hyde.



The Magic Flute of Tianjialin by Tong Enzheng, translated by Shaoxian Wen

Folding Beijing by Hao Jinfang, translated by Ken Liu.

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu.

The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu, translated by Joel Martinsen.

Death’s End by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu.

Cat Country by Lao She, translated by William A. Lyell.



The Island of Eternal Love by Daína Chaviano, translated by Andrea Labinger.

A Legend of the Future by Agustín de Rojas, translated by Nick Caistor.

The Year 200 by Agustín de Rojas, translated by Nick Caistor.

A Planet for Rent by Yoss, translated by David Frye.

Super Extra Grande by Yoss, translated by David Frye.



Virtue and Vice in the Middle Time by Svend Ǻge Madsen, translated by James M Ogler.



The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz, translated by Elisabeth Jaquette.

The Time-Travels of the Man Who Sold Pickles and Sweets by Khairy Shalaby, translated by Michael Cooperson.

Utopia by Ahmed Khaled Towfik, translated by Chip Rossetti.



The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen, translated by Lola M. Rogers.

The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo, translated by Lola Rogers.



In a Thousand Years by Émile Calvet, translated by Brian Stableford.

Please, Mr. Einstein by Jean-Claude Carriere, translated by John Brownjohn.

Texaco by Patrick Chamoiseau, translated by Rose-Myriam Rejouis and Val Vinokurov.

Noir by Olivier Pauvert, translated by Adriana Hunter.

From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne, translated by Lowell Bair.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, translator not credited.



The Elven by Bernhard Hennen and James A. Sullivan, translated by Edwin Miles.

The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach, translated by Doryl Jensen.

Between Earth and Moonby Otfrid von Hanstein, translated by Francis Currier.



1985: A Historical Report by Gyorgy Dalos, translated by Stuart Hood and Estella Schmid.



Travels to Venus by Jagadananda Roy, translated by ?

The Cosmic Explosion by Jayant Narlikar, translated by Sujata Godbole.



Sunburnt Faces by Shimon Adaf, translated by Margalit Rodgers & Anthony Berris.



Black Tea and Other Tales by Samuel Marolla, translated by Andrew Tanzi.

Eternal War: Armies of Saints by Livio Gambarini, translator not credited.

Nexhuman by Francesco Verso, translated by Sally McCorry.

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, translated by William Weaver.



Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe, translated by E. Dale Saunders.

Self-Reference ENGINE by Toh EnJoe, translated by Terry Gallagher.

Gene Mapper by Taiyo Fujii, translated by Jim Hubbert.

We, The Children of Cats by Tomoyuki Hoshino, translated by Brian Bergstrom and Lucy Fraser.

Biogenesis by Tatsuaki Ishiguro, translated by Brian Watson & James Balzer.

Japan Sinks by Sakyo Komatsu, translated by Michael Gallagher.

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami, translated by Alfred Birnbaum.

Dendera by Yuya Sato, translated by Nathan Collins & Edwin Hawkes.

Red Girls: The Legend of the Akakuchibas by Kazuki Sakuraba, translated by Jocelyn Allen.



Anubis: A Libyan Novel by Ibrahim Al-Koni , translated by William M. Hutchins.


The Netherlands

Wedding by the Sea by Abdelkander Benali, translated by Susan Massotty.



The Daughters of Egalia by Gerd Brantenberg, translated by Louis McKay



The Old Axolotl: Hardware Dreams by Jacek Dukaj, translated by Stanley Bill.

On the Hill of Roses by Stefan Grabinski, translated by Miroslaw Lipinski.

The Dark Domain by Stefan Grabinski, translated by Miroslaw Lipinski.

Nest of Worlds by Marek S. Huberath, translated by Michael Kandel.

Solaris by Stanislaw Lem, translated by Joanna Kilmartin and Steve Cox.



Recipearium by Costi Gurgu, translated by the author.

Squaring the Circle: A Pseudotreatise of Urbogomy: Fantastic Tales by Gheorghe Săsărman translated by Ursula le Guin (from the Spanish of Mariano Martín Rodríguez).



The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, translated by Diana Burgin and Katherine O’Connor.

Those Who Survive by Kirill Bulychev, translated by John H. Costello.

In Concert Performance by Nikolai Dezhnev, translated by Mary Ann Szporluk.

Metro 2034 by Dmitry Glukhovsky, translated by Andrew Bromfield.

No Return by Aleksandr Kabakov, translated by Thomas Whitney.

Memories of the Future by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, translated by Joanne Turnbull with Nikolai Formozov.

The Nightwatch by Sergei Lukyanenko, translated by Andrew Bromfield.

S.N.U.F.F. by Victor Pelevin, translated by Andrew Bromfield.

Empire V: The Prince of Hamlet by Victor Pelevin, translated by Anthony Phillips.

Ice by Vladimir Sorokin, translated by Jamey Gambrell.

The Dead Mountaineer’s Inn: One More Last Rite for the Detective Genre by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky, translated by Josh Billings.

Roadside Picnicby Arkady & Boris Strugatsky, translated by Olena Bormashenko.

The Slynx by Tatyana Tolstaia, translated by Jamey Gambrell.

Moscow 2042 by Vladimir Voinovich, translated by Richard Lourie.

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, translated by Natasha S. Randall.


Saudi Arabia

HWJN by Ibraheem Abbas, translated by Yasser Bahjatt.



The Fourth Circle by Zoran Živković, translated by Mary Popovic.

The Library by Zoran Živković, translated by Alice Copple-Tošić.



The Goldsmith’s Secret by Elia Barceló, translated by David Frye.

Heart of Tango by Elia Barceló, translated by David Frye.

Tokyo Doesn’t Love Us Anymore by Ray Loriga, translated by John King.

The Last Passenger by Manel Loureiro, translated by Andrés Alfaro.

The Map of Time by Félix J. Palma, translated by Nick Caistor.

Cold Skin by Albert Sanchez Pinol, translated by Cheryl Leah Morgan.

Zig Zag by José Carlos Somoza, translated by Lisa Dillman.



Telepathy by Amir Tag Elsir, translated by William M. Hutchins.



The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist, translated by Marlaine Delargy.

Jagannath by Karin Tidbeck, translated by the author.

Kallocain by Karin Boye, translated by Gustaf Lannestock.



Nile Gold: a Legend of Modern Egypt by John Knittel, translator unknown



The Book of Madness by Levent Senyurek, translated by Feyza Howell.



Voroshilovgrad by Serhiy Zhadan, translated by Reilly Costigan-Humes and Isaac Wheeler.


For a constantly-updated list, along with related reviews and interviews, check out the Speculative Fiction in Translation site.