Like Being Big in Japan, Only More Teutonic
Posted on January 11, 2009 Posted by John Scalzi 37 Comments
Hey, look what’s the #1 science fiction novel at Amazon Germany right this very second:
That would be the German version of The Android’s Dream, in case you were wondering. Which makes me sehr glücklich (that’s “very happy”), if you must know. I love TAD to little bits, but it’s had a tendency to be overshadowed by the Old Man’s War books. It’s nice to see it getting its moment in the sun, even if it had to go overseas for it.
I read TAD for the first time two weeks ago, and I really enjoyed it. I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction, but nothing I’ve come across to date can compete in sheer creativeness. Thanks for the great read- I look forward to the rest of your books.
Germans love Hasselscalzi!
There’s a copy in my local Border’s — would you like me to buy it?
obwohl … es wäre vielleicht Spass, das Buch auf Deutsch zu lesen …
… just a shame about your German covers. At least it’s not the spider-thing sitting at the top of Amazon.de. >.>
You know, I’ve always wondered why we English speakers so rarely get good translations of other people’s books.
You’re popular in Chinese and German, but in return we only have Lem and Lukyanenko. And Lukyanenko only has that one trilogy (aren’t we still waiting for the last book?).
I dunno, I like TAD better than the three OMW books I’ve read. Not that I don’t like OMW, but TAD is just more my cup of tea, I suppose. Good to hear they like it over in Germany as well.
I think TAD is a better crossover book. In particular, I tend to push it on the Carl Hiaasen fans I know.
I’d have to agree with the Germans, TAD is my favorite book of yours that I’ve read.
“erfreut” or “freudvoll” might work best for the feeling of being happy about your new translations. “sehr glücklich” has a strong implication of being lucky. “zufreiden” implies contentment. “froelich” may be cognate to English “frolic”, and might also be merry, gleeful, &c. Maybe a real German can help me understand the difference better?
No matter how you say it, Herzliche Glückwunsch!
How does TAD feel about it? I always enjoy hearing TAD’s perspective on things.
No no, “sehr glücklich” is correct (it does mean “very happy”), and “erfreut” is too formal and nobody would use it here.
I’ve read all of your published work so far (you can thank Instapundit). And though I’ve like the Old Man’s series a lot, The Android’s Dream is by far my favorite. FWIW.
Yeah, but they like Hasselhoff, as we all know.
Wait, the joke is supposed to be, “Or so the Germans would have us believe…”
Wait, actually, I liked TAD too. Never mind. >.>
Yup, “sehr glücklich” is just right. Yes, we use “erfreut” in a more formal way like “erfreut Sie zu treffen” (pleased to meet you). One could say “Ich bin darüber sehr erfreut” and it would be ” I am happy about that”, but it would be a very unemotional “happy”. If that makes sense.
Ich bin (sehr) glücklich = I am (very) happy
Ich habe Glück = I am lucky (literally “I have luck”)
Ich bin zufrieden = I am content (but also satisfied, like satisfied with the results of something you accomplished)
“freudvoll” is never ever used in normal conversation. You might find it in old poems or songs.
John, I seem to remember you mentioning that you can read German. If so, have you read (or at least skimmed) your German-translated books? Does the translation do them justice?
While I have greatly enjoyed all four novels of yours I have read (Zoe’s Tale is my favorite of the OMW series), I strongly enjoyed TAD the most. And I was greatly pleased to see in a post you did just a few days ago, that you plan a sequel to it (yay!). I am distressed that you pushed it to NEXT year, but I will try and hold my complaint to myself. So, with all the comments above, and my own personal opinion, I think TAD has been greatly under-appreciated. It might have something to do with there only being one book in that series (hint, hint).
TAD is the Scalzi novel that honed its craft in the fleshpots of the Reeperbahn. “Mak show! Mak show!” the merciless waiters and bartenders cried. And fueled by “pink hearts,” “black berries,” and “peach cobblers,” “mak show” it did. By the time it returned to Ohio, TAD was a well-honed, fine-tuned machine, ready to storm the trans-Atlantic pop charts, usurp Elvis, be more important than Jesus, and get distracted in an inexplicable dalliance with a South Asian guru figure. Then the sun went nova.
Patrick Nielsen Hayden’s canny Hamburg 1961 Bruno Koschmeider/Beatles joke is, indeed, one of the funniest things in the 2009 blogosphere so far;)
TAD’s title in German does sound a bit kewler… Like you’re an industrial musician or something.
I have to say that while I think the OMW universe is more interesting to me, I think I’d pick TAD over any of the books in the OMW series (I say this, having read everything except The Last Colony).
And really, Zoe’s Tale is phenomenal. That’s a tough call.
These are the good kinds of problems, no?
Am I misreading that, or is your book number one, and it’s not even available until the first of February?
It’s a delicately adjusted machine, spread with marmalade.
I gotta say this: it seems every time I visit this site, I learn a new word. I should retake the SAT’s.
Today’s word-of-the-day: Teutonic. Adjective. Displaying characteristics properly attributed to Germans.
John @0: I had to go look for myself, and after finding the page in question all I can say is:
<voice intonation=”Keanu Reaves”> Whoa. </voice>
Can I be first to ask when we’ll see a humorous video short in which other books share their humiliation, pain and self-esteem issues after
being crushed bythe release of Androidenträume? 
Jas @23: I believe you have the gist of it, yes. Google translates “meistgefragten” as “most popular”; IIANM, a more-literal translation might be “most sought-after”.
1. John vs. Rhodan: Battle of the Perrys :-)
So know we know, kids! If you want to top the Teuton Charts, fart someone to death in the first chapter.
*giggles into his coffee*
so, what’s the title in japanese? I can’t find you on amazon.jp
I’ve read your books (and gotten my family too as well)
now I’m living in japan, and i figure if I need to learn some vocabulary, I might as well do it reading something I already know like.
The Android’s Dream has yet to be sold in Japan. Old Man’s War and The Ghost Brigades are available, however.
Spherical Time @7:
“The Last Watch” has been translated into English and published in hardback – but the publishers messed up the translation/editing and missed out an entire (critical) chapter O.o
I personally am waiting for the reprint :(
Scalzi and Perry Rhodan invoked at the same time! Somewhere inside me, a 13 year old cries out. But then I applied more duct tape and he was quiet once again…..
What tickled me most about Android’s Dream was that it was a fitting homage to Philip K. Dick while also being novel and imaginative. Actually, my biggest worry after finishing it for the first time (I have read it more than once, actually) was that people might not fully ‘get it’ without having read any PKD.
It seems I was wrong. That makes me happy.
I know this is off topic a little, but is there a reason i can’t get any of your books on the fictionwise book store for the iPod? I use that as my e-reader and it’d be nice if I could read books from my favorite author on it.
John, What else do you have in common with the HOFF?
Maybe you pull a Jimmy James and have it translated from German back into English and re-release it in the US…
Well, I really enjoyed TAD, maybe in part because it felt like being part of an in joke. If you don’t know about adroids’ dreams, you don’t get the joke. It was that aspect of the book, feeling like I was getting the in jokes, that gave it a special something that makes it different from the Old Man’s series.
Well, truth be told, I am almost done with Ghost Brigades, but I am betting that I continue to love that series. TAD was also more, well, frivolous to me than the Old series. For me, the Old series makes me think more, but TAD made me laugh more!
Just don’t listen to me, it works! Keep it up!