- two early works of German science fiction, Kurd Lasswitz's The Distance Learning School and Carl Grunert's The Archaeopteryx Egg;
- two classical works from the 1920s, Alfred Henschke (Klabund)'s The Bear, about the fate of a performing bear in a small town, subject to the privations of war, and Georg Britting's Fratricide in the Backwater;
- two stories from the immediate post-war period, Elizabeth Langgässer's Beginning of the Season, about the erection of an anti-Jewish sign in a mountain village in 1939, and Luise Rinser's The Red Cat, about a young teenager trying to keep his family alive through the starvation winter of 1946/47;
- two works that experiment with language in rather different ways, Peter Bichsel's A Table is a Table, in which an old man's isolation from society is aggravated by his attempt to switch the meanings of words, and Irmtraud Morgner's Beauty and the Beast, an inverted parody of the fairy-tale;
- and five very recent stories, published between 2009 and 2011, by four authors, of whom Gabriele Wohmann is the most notable, the other three — Iris Klockmann, Henry Bienek and Michael Inneberger — having so far achieved only local or subcultural recognition. The closing story is, appropriately, another work of science fiction.
This is a dual language presentation, with the original German on the left facing an English translation on the right. The translations are idiomatic and fluent and, though they occasionally omit entire sentences, work well either for learners of German or by themselves.
Note: the original printing had a disturbing number of typos in the German texts, but these have been corrected in a subsequent reprinting.
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