Franz Rottensteiner

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Franz Rottensteiner (born January 18, 1942 in Waidmannsfeld , Lower Austria ) is an Austrian publicist and critic in the field of science fiction and fantasy .

life and work

Franz Rottensteiner studied journalism , English and history at the University of Vienna and received his doctorate in 1969. After nine months in the armed forces , he worked as a librarian and editor at the Austrian Institute for Building Research in Vienna for around 15 years . In addition, he oversaw the edition of various fantastic book series. From 1971 to 1975 he published authors such as Herbert W. Franke , Stanislaw Lem , Philip K. Dick , Kobo Abe , Cordwainer Smith , Brian W. Aldiss and Arkadi and Boris Strugazki in the book series Fantastic Reality - Science Fiction of the World at Insel-Verlag , often for the first time in German.

In 1973 he published an anthology of European science fiction in New York under the title View From Another Shore , with which the American reader was introduced to authors such as Stanislaw Lem, Josef Nesvadba , Gérard Klein or Jean-Pierre Andrevon for the first time; this compilation appeared in German as a view from the other bank .

The book series Die phantastischen Romane started at Paul-Zsolnay-Verlag in 1975 in order to offer authors such as Leo Perutz and Alexander Lernet-Holenia a possibility of republication; Rottensteiner was in charge of this series until 1982 and published 27 volumes, including reprints by Anatole France , Karel Čapek , Paul Busson and Otto F. Beer , as well as first publications by Max Ehrlich , Guy Endore and Peter Straub . The eighteen-volume H. G. Wells edition by Zsolnay was also supervised by him; from 1979 to 1985 he made six previously untranslated novels by the famous Briton available in this edition.

From 1980 to 1998 he was a consultant for the Fantastic Library at Suhrkamp Verlag , which produced around three hundred and sixty paperbacks. He is the editor of around 50 anthologies , has authored two illustrated books, The Science Fiction Book (1975) and The Fantasy Book (1978), and has worked on numerous science fiction and fantasy dictionaries . From 1973 to 1986 he published the book series Polaris , which brought together fantastic texts and secondary literature in ten episodes, and from 1978 to 1982 collections with ghost stories from Poland, Austria, England, North America and the South Seas. From 1989 to 1997, together with Michael Koseler, he was the editor of the loose-leaf edition of the Werkführer durch die Utopisch-Fantastische Literatur .

An intensive correspondence that began in 1969 with Stanislaw Lem, who was still largely unknown at the time, led to a long-term friendship; Rottensteiner was subsequently Lem's literary agent (except for Germany) until 1995 when the Polish author sued his agent (and lost the case).

Rottensteiner has been the publisher of the literary magazine Quarber Merkur since 1963 , the leading periodical in German-speaking countries for the critical and theoretical examination of fantastic literature. In 1993 he received the German Fantasy Prize for it . On the occasion of the publication of the 100th issue, he was awarded the Kurd-Laßwitz Prize in 2004.

Anthologies (selection)

at Suhrkamp Verlag, unless otherwise noted
  • The rat in the maze. Insel Verlag, 1971.
  • Paths to Infinity. Insel Almanach from 1972. Insel Verlag, 1971.
  • View from the other bank. 1977.
  • The girl on the slope. 1979.
  • The other future. 1982.
  • The big book of fairy tales, sagas and ghosts. Fischer, 1982.
  • Fantastic dreams. 1983.
  • Fantastic worlds. 1984.
  • The murder of the dragon. Insel Verlag, 1985.
  • Fantastic prospects. 1985.
  • Fantastic times. 1986.
  • Strange labyrinths. 1987.
  • The entrance to paradise. 1988.
  • Noah's Ark. 1989.
  • Fantastic encounters. 1990.
  • The siren and other fantastic stories. 1990.
  • Seduction. Eichborn Verlag, 1993.
  • Fantastic from Austria. 1995.
  • Worldsets wholesale. Expiry date 12/31/2000: The Prophecy Trap. Aarachne Verlag, Vienna 1999.
  • Worldsets in detail. Expiry date 12/31/2000: The Prophecy Trap. Aarachne Verlag, Vienna 1999.
  • with Erik Simon : Tolkien's creatures. Heyne Verlag, 2003
  • with Erik Simon : Revenge! War of the future and the return to old power in the German-language science fiction of the interwar period , Lüneburg: Dieter von Reeken, 2019


  • The Science Fiction Book. 1975.
  • The Fantasy Book. 1978.
  • Quarter Mercury. 1979 (selected articles from the literary magazine of the same name)
  • About HP Lovecraft. 1984.
  • (Ed.) The dark side of reality: Essays on the fantastic. 1987.
  • as editor: works guide through the utopian-fantastic literature. Corian, Meitingen 1989 ff, ISBN 3-89048-800-5 . (Loose-leaf edition)
  • The Hermit of Providence. Lovecraft's unusual life. (= Fantastic Library . Volume 290; = Suhrkamp-Taschenbuch 1626). Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1992, ISBN 3-518-38126-1 . (Collection of articles on the subject of HP Lovecraft )
  • HP Lovecraft's cosmic horror. (= Fantastic Library , Volume 344; = Suhrkamp-Taschenbuch 2733). Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1997, ISBN 3-518-39233-6 .
  • Articles in Klaus-Peter Walter (Ed.): Reclams Krimi-Lexikon . Authors and works. Philipp Reclam Jun., Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-15-010509-9 .
  • with Paolo Mantegazza and Dieter von Reeken (eds.): The year 3000. A dream for the future. New edition of the edition of Jena 1897 in the translation by Willy Alexander Kastner. Dieter von Reeken, Lüneburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-940679-67-3 .
  • In the laboratory of visions. Notes on the fantastic literature. 19 articles and lectures from the years 2000–2012. Dieter von Reeken, Lüneburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-940679-72-7 .


Web links