WHO WE ARE:
Aner Welten is an webzine / fanzine about Luxembourgish speculative fiction.
Aner Welten publishes fiction, poetry, and non-fiction about the subject of speculative fiction, written by young Luxembourgish authors.
Aner Welten tries to establish a speculative fiction tradition within Luxembourg.
SPECULATIVE FICTION IN LUXEMBOURG?
“Science fiction is a literary genre which in Luxembourg counts few followers,” say Henzig, Lesch, and Letsch in Hugo Gernsback: An Amazing Story; a book in catalog form that appeared as a supplement to the Hugo Gernsback exposition in 2010 at the Centre national de littérature, and they are, sadly, not wrong.
However, the past twelve years have furthered speculative fiction within the Luxembourgish literature scene. Authors such as Claude Peiffer, Luc François, Jean Bürlesk, Kiara Roth, and Maxime Weber have contributed to the local speculative fiction scene.
Moreover, the increase of sf (speculative fiction, not science fiction) in mainstream popular fiction and media (see Marvel, Dune) as a leading genre in the industry, has further brought sf to the limelight.
And even international literature is slowly but surely distancing itself from the perception of sf literature as something that could not compete with real literature (whatever that is). Nobel prize winner, such as Kazuo Ishiguro, or writers such as Margaret Atwood and Ursula K. LeGuin are representatives of this change (even if both have had a yearlong debate about what the difference between fantasy, science fiction, and speculative fiction even is), only to name a few. It seems as if speculative fiction and all its sub-genres are allowed to leave their “literary ghetto”, as LeGuin names it.
It is therefore only logical that Luxembourg would follow suit. This is what Aner Welten wants to accomplish.
Aner Welten is an online magazine, focused on speculative fiction from Luxembourg. It is a platform that has as aim to establish a sf tradition within Luxembourg. While the outside and international stage seem to accept the prevalence of sf in literature, and many sf cultures from other countries start to star on a world level, Luxembourg doesn’t have a well-documented sf tradition to speak of.
Aner Welten wants to change this.
WHY WOULD LUXEMBOURG NEED THIS?
The creation story of Luxembourg features a mermaid that is said to be the mother of Luxembourg.
National author, Edmond de la Fontaine, wrote down legends and fairy tales, which have previously only been passed down through oral tradition, in his Luxemburger Sagen und Legenden (1882). A book filled with a talking cat king, magicians, witches, elves, and a golden cow. Simultaneously, Nikolaus Gredt did the same, and a year later, his Sagenschatz des Luxemburger Landes (1883) was published. Rumors are, both authors knew what each other were doing and they tried to sabotage each other’s research.
Furthermore, one of the most symbolic figures of Luxembourg’s literary tradition is a speaking fox.
And, of course, let’s not forget Hugo Gernsback, also known as Hugo Gernsbacher; a young man who grew up in Luxembourg, but as many do when passion takes reign, they travel, trying to make a name for themselves, which he, arguably achieved. At nineteen years, young Hugo travels to America, where he starts his career as an inventor and editor, eventually creating the term scientification, which later became the word we all know: science fiction.
So, much of Luxembourgish literary culture is influenced by things we would categorize today as speculative fiction, and yet we are not able to show any of it off. Textual production of sf is minimal, almost non-existent, compared to our neighbors.
That is not to say that some haven’t tried to change this and took initiative. Robert ‘Gollo’ Steffen, who is the founder of Luxembourgish publisher Op der Lay published an anthology in 1979 called Der Himmel auf Erden: Science Fiction aus Luxemburg, where (now) established writers wrote science fiction short stories and poetry, in an unconventional and experimental way, which was accompanied by impressive black and white illustrations. It was an experiment, to perhaps do exactly what Aner Welten tries to do: establish a sf tradition, but sadly nothing came of it. It’s only in the 2010s that things started to change with the already mentioned names above.
And it is a slow growth.
Luxembourg needs an outlet, or point of gathering, for sf.
WHY A WEBZINE?
Growth also means adaptation. The internet is a daily, prevalent part of our modern existence, and accessible. It is perhaps science fiction in nature. Aner Welten is proud of its voluntary approach and prides itself as a movement, close to that of a Grassroot organization.
Additionally, if we look at the current magazines, which are contributing to the international growth of sf, all of them have a massive online presence. The market is driven by them. Hugo (think: Pulitzer for sf) winners come from those magazines and publishers. Tor.com, Strange Horizon, Uncanny Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Clarkesworld and so on…
It is thus only logical to imitate, or at least be inspired by the big ones, is it not?
WHO ARE YOU?
Aner Welten currently consists of two members. While Aner Welten is the brainchild of Cosimo Suglia, his lovely girlfriend Sandy Heep helps him when it comes to editorial decisions, as well as correcting his and other people’s German.
Cosimo (he / him) is a young author — think twenty-seven-year-old, tattooed student — who loves sf and giving feedback, as well as having studied English (Bachelor) and Luxembourgish (Master), currently doing his PhD in Luxembourgish literature. He sometimes says things out loud and people laugh, much to his surprise.
Sandy (she / her) — not Sally, not Candy, not Sandra — is a fantasy and sf enthusiast since childhood. Reading, commenting, and giving criticism without being asked are a few of her hobbies, as well as event planning for Luxcon. She is currently doing a Master’s degree at the University of Luxembourg, in a program with a name so long, it would have whole paragraphs on its own. With her ego and Cosimo’s talent (her words), they make a pretty good team.
Both of them are doing this on their own, voluntarily, without financial help currently.
This is also their first literary and editorial project together.
CAN I CONTACT YOU?
Sure, just send us a mail at: email@example.com
Please don’t use this e-mail for submissions. Got to the submit page, read through it, and follow the instructions, thank you!
We generally are not open to advertisement, unless we truly believe in the product and do it on our free will.
Some of the art you see on the website is public domain and we can therefore use it without restraints. However, we believe that artists should receive recognition (even if they are dead) and you can therefore find most, if not all of the used pictures, in this gallery on artvee.com
Why do we do this? Because we have no budget and are a fanzine, we cannot pay for commissions, although we would really like to, and we will do, as soon as we have a budget for it.