The first review for Thoughts Are Free is in:
There’s a referendum in the offing and the far right is on the rise…. in East Berlin, 1994, the capital of the counter-factual people’s Grassroots Democratic Republic of East Germany, created when the Communist government was dissolved and the people turned down the option of uniting with West Germany. Continue reading “Peace News review for Thoughts Are Free”
For those of you who can’t wait to find out what happens in the second part of the East Berlin Series, here’s the first chapter of Thoughts Are Free. Continue reading “Thoughts Are Free – a preview”
It’s always an exciting moment when my publisher sends me the maps for my next book. I like maps, and I’m pleased that my publishers are prepared to put the effort into making decent maps for the books I write.
For a small publisher like Wolf Press the costs of a professional cartographer and licences for commercial maps would be prohibitive – there just isn’t very much money in publishing any more. So thank goodness for Open Street Maps! Continue reading “Map for Book 2 of the East Berlin Series, Thoughts Are Free”
Enjoyed Deutschland 83? Want to read some stories about East Germany? Here’s a list of contemporary fiction dealing with, or set in East Germany. Updated June 2018 Continue reading “Contemporary fiction set in the GDR”
As the author of various novels set in East Germany I’ve been asked a fair bit about Deutschland 83 over the last few weeks – mostly about whether or not the series is at all realistic. The series is a fun but unreliable witness to both East and West in 1983, but in this post I shall be outlining how Martin Rauch would have been recruited in the real GDR of 1983.
Continue reading “How realistic is Deutschland 83?”
If you enjoyed the difficulties I had with deciding whether to write Westberlin or West Berlin, you might spare a moment to feel sorry for all those who have to deal with German street names. Continue reading “Spelling – how to spell Street Names, Streetnames, Street-names in German”
West Berlin, Westberlin, West-Berlin, Berlin (West), B(W), BW?!?
It wasn’t until I’d finished my first draft of Stealing The Future that I started worrying about how to spell Westberlin (or West Berlin, West-Berlin or even Berlin (West)!). I’d blithely tapped away at my keyboard, using the Eastgerman (East German) vernacular, only realising that this may seem odd to a non-German audience, or even a Westgerman (West German) audience.
In English it’s really not very hard: West Berlin, West Germany, East Berlin, East Germany. But in German the way you spell West Berlin tells the reader something about you, and your politics. Yep, you guessed right, it’s about the Cold War, of course. Continue reading “Spelling – how to spell West Berlin, Westberlin, West-Berlin…”
When I started writing Stealing the Future I didn’t waste much time thinking about spelling and transliteration. Of course, I had some decisions to make quite early on: I decided to leave the umlauts as they were and not make ä into ae, ö into oe and ü into ue – that just looks ugly, and most English language readers, I imagined, would be quite happy to ignore the strange dots over some of the vowels. Continue reading “Spelling – Introduction”