Wolfgang Jeschke

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Wolfgang Jeschke (2008)

Wolfgang Jeschke (born November 19, 1936 in Tetschen , Czechoslovakia ; † June 10, 2015 in Munich ) was a German writer , editor and editor of books in the field of science fiction literature at Heyne Verlag . In addition to numerous works, he published over 100 anthologies that helped shape German science fiction literature, as well as the science fiction yearbooks , which, in addition to literary discoveries, primarily contain secondary literary contributions such as essays and interviews on science fiction. He is considered one of the defining figures in German-language science fiction.


Wolfgang Jeschke was born in Tetschen in 1936 and grew up in Asperg near Ludwigsburg after 1945 . After secondary school, he completed an apprenticeship as a toolmaker and worked in mechanical engineering. In 1959 he subsequently obtained his Abitur and then studied German , English and philosophy at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich . This was followed by an internship at the CH Beck'sche publishing house . In 1969 Jeschke got a job as an editorial assistant at “ Kindlers Literatur Lexikon ”, later also as an editor.

When in 1970 Herbert W. Franke , a non-fiction author of the publishing group, offered the house a science fiction novel, they remembered that Jeschke had been dealing with SF for years and asked him for a judgment. This resulted in the series “Science Fiction for Connoisseurs” published by Jeschke at Lichtenberg Verlag , in which not only Franke's novel Zone Null appeared, but also Jeschke's own collection of short stories, Der Zeiter . In the edition, some important authors, such as Robert Silverberg , Thomas M. Disch and Brian W. Aldiss, were made available for the first time in Germany in complete editions that were not reduced to booklet format . When the position of SF editor and editor at Heyne-Verlag became vacant at the end of 1972, Jeschke - initially together with Herbert W. Franke - took on this position, initially as a freelancer.

From the 1970s onwards, Jeschke played a key role in ensuring that important science fiction texts in Germany appeared in full in German translation. He played a major role in establishing the genre, including as the editor of numerous anthologies .

"He took science fiction out of the ghetto of" trash literature ", let it mature and grow up."

- Andreas Brandhorst : The Science Fiction Year 2015

The success of the Heyne Science Fiction and Fantasy series led to an increasing number of titles, so that Jeschke left Kindler in 1978 and only became a lecturer at Heyne. After Frankes left in 1979, he was the sole editor in charge of science fiction at Heyne and remained so until 2002 when he retired. During this time he brought texts of other authors to Germany as The Iron Dream by Norman Spinrad , he also intensively during the dispute because of the indexing supervised the novel.

He lived in Munich until his death and continued to publish Das Science Fiction Jahr , which he founded , together with Sascha Mamczak .

Wolfgang Jeschke died on June 10, 2015 in Munich. In The Science Fiction Year 2015 , 35 obituaries were published on Jeschke, among others by Brian W. Aldiss , Andreas Brandhorst , Dietmar Dath , Andreas Eschbach , Herbert W. Franke , Werner Fuchs , David G. Hartwell , Christopher Priest , Robert Silverberg , Karlheinz Steinmüller and Norman Spinrad.


Jeschke had been interested in science fiction since the 1950s and was one of the first members of the SFCD, which was founded in 1955 . The first short stories appeared in fan magazines and semi-professional publications, and together with Peter Noga, he published his own fanzine with Ad astra . In the years of his activity as an editor and publisher he got little writing, so that his work remained relatively narrow. However, it received a lot of attention and several of its texts were awarded. Characteristic of his SF texts are the atmospheric density of the scenarios described, the psychological dimensions of the protagonists and the theme of "time travel" in all its variations. In doing so, he also leaves the conventions of narration and assembles fictional documents (documents about the state of the country before the devastation) or provides a list that consists of equally fictional historical events (The Cusan Acceleratio) . His first novel, The Last Day of Creation , was translated several times and reprinted again and again; he describes the attempt to correct history and his grandiose failure. Jeschke has also emerged as a radio play writer, although some of these materials are also available as stories.



Translations into foreign languages:

  • French
    • 1981 Le Dernier Jour de la Création (The last day of creation)
    • 2008 Le Jeu de Cuse (The Cusanus Game) - ISBN 2-84172-416-6
  • English
  • Polish
    • 1987 Ostatni dzień stworzenia (The last day of creation)
    • 1990 Pielgrzymi czasu (The Time)
  • Hungarian
    • 1990 A Teremtés utolsó napja (The last day of creation)
    • 1997 Ozirisz országa (Osiris Land)
    • 1999 Midas / Meamone szeme ( Midas or The Resurrection of the Flesh and Meamone's Eye in One Volume)
    • 2008 A Cusanus-játszma ( The Cusanus Game , in two volumes)

Short story collections

selected short stories in three volumes (Shayol Verlag)
  1. 2006 Der Zeiter , revised and expanded new version, with a foreword by Andreas Eschbach - ISBN 978-3-926126-65-8
  2. 2008 Partner fürs Leben , foreword by Franz Rottensteiner , contains Meamone's eye and stories that have not been published in book form - ISBN 978-3-926126-78-8
  3. 2011 Places of Remembrance , foreword by Herbert W. Franke - ISBN 978-3-926126-91-7

Radio plays

  • 1975: The King and the Puppet Maker
  • 1984: We come to you, Mister Smith. Director: Alexander Malachovsky , BR, 9 min.
  • 1985: Sibyls in Hercules, or Instant Beasts
  • 1988: Jonah in the fiery furnace, or The damaged life
  • 1989: Cataract
  • 1991: Midas, or The Resurrection of the Flesh
  • 1993: The forest strikes back
  • 2019: The last day of creation , ear pince-nez, 147 min.

Short stories

  • 1959 Supernova , also Der Riss im Berg , in Utopia Magazin , No. 23
  • 1957 World without horizon , in Thomas Landfinder (Ed.): World without horizon
  • 1957 Der Türmer , in Henry Bings (Ed.): Alluring Future
  • 1958 Twelve minutes and a lot more
  • 1959 The Others , in Jürgen vom Scheidt (Ed.): The Monster in the Park
  • 1960 Sirens on Shores , in: Mario Kwiat (Ed.): Amateur Science Fiction Stories
  • 1960 Not far from Toulouse , also gates to the night
  • 1961 The King and the Puppet Maker , in Munich Round-Up , No. 43 (enclosure)
  • 1961 Father Ramsey's funeral mass , in Munich Round-Up , No. 56 (enclosure)
  • 1974 I Love Bombay 1980 (poem)
  • 1975 models of thought (poem)
  • 1976 Seveso (poem)
  • 1976 stars (poem)
  • 1976 Awakening (poem)
  • 1979 encounter , in mind control (o. Ed., Das Neue Berlin , excerpt from Notweit Toulouse )
  • 1980 Naked to the summit , also Yeti , in Playboy , No. 4/1980
  • 1980 Anachronismen, or The Flute of Saint Veit , in: Frank Flügge (Ed.): Utopia . SFCD special print 2/1980 (excerpt from The Last Day of Creation )
  • 1981 Documents on the State of the Land Before the Desolation , in Science Fiction Story Reader 15
  • 1982 Osiris Land , in Arcane (ed. Together with Helmut Wenske )
  • 1983 We come to you, Mr. Smith , in Dieter Hasselblatt (Ed.)
  • 1984 Sybilles in Hercules or Instant Beasts
  • 1985 Nekyomanteion , in Science Fiction Anniversary Volume - Das Lesebuch
  • 1988 Jonah in the Fiery Furnace or The Damaged Life
  • 1989 News from the living and the dead
  • 1988 The Mississippi Straightforward Society
  • 1993 Long live the forest
  • 1993 Happy Birthday, dear Alice! Happy Birthday, dear Anne!
  • 1993 Bad news from the Vatican
  • 1995 partner for life
  • 1997 The journey of a time machine
  • 1999 The Cusanian Acceleratio , in Erik Simon (Ed.): Alexander's long life, Stalin's early death
  • 2001 Allah akhbar - And So Smart Our NLWs
  • 2004 Das Geschmeide , in: Andreas Eschbach (ed.): One trillion euros
  • 2005 Lucia

Also published in English:

  • 1970 The King and the Dollmaker
  • 1975 A Little More Than Twelve Minutes
  • 1980 Yeti
  • 1983 Haike the Heretic's Writings
  • 1984 Loitering at Death's Door




International science fiction stories

The most beautiful time travel stories :

Library of Science Fiction Literature. Heyne publishing house

More rows

TV appearances (selection)

  • 1999/2000 Science-Fiction and Theology , 160 min, four parts, BR.
  • 2001 Perry Rhodan - A literary fiction of future space travel , 30 min, BR-Alpha.
  • 2001 Science fiction literature - a mirror of modern myths and world views (1):… fantastic? , 30 min, BR-Alpha.
  • 2001 Science Fiction Literature - Mirror of Modern Myths and Worldviews (2):… earthly? , 30 min, BR-Alpha.
  • 2001 Science Fiction Literature - Mirror of Modern Myths and Worldviews (3):… extraterrestrial? , 30 min, BR-Alpha.
  • 2001 Science fiction literature - a mirror of modern myths and world views (4):… neo-mythical? , 30 min, BR-Alpha.
  • 2002 Mene, mene tekel upharsin - the admonishing index finger of science fiction literature , 15 min, BR-Alpha.
  • 2006 The dark rest - blueprint for a universe , 30 min, BR-Alpha.
  • 2006 Arithmetic genius in the cube - federal high-performance computer SGI Altix 4700 , 30 min, BR-Alpha.
  • 2008 Extraterrestrial Physics - Research in Invisible Light , 30 min, BR-Alpha.


Wolfgang Jeschke received the Kurd-Laßwitz-Prize for:

  • Lexicon of Science Fiction Literature . Special award 1980 with Hans Joachim Alpers , Werner Fuchs and Ronald M. Hahn
  • The last day of creation . best novel 1981
  • Midas or The Resurrection of the Flesh . best novel 1989
  • Documents on the state of the land before the devastation . best story 1981
  • Osiris land . best story 1982
  • Nekyomanteion . best story 1984
  • Bad news from the Vatican . best story 1993
  • Partner for life . best short story 1996
  • Jonah in the fiery furnace . best radio play in 1988
  • as a sponsor of the German SF and publisher of the Heyne Science Fiction magazine . Special award 1981
  • The science fiction year . Special award 1987
  • the promotion of the SF short story and its editing of the yearbook Das Science Fiction Jahr . Special award 1996
  • The Cusan Acceleratio . best short story 1999
  • his life's work and his services to the SF in Germany. 2001 special prize as author, editor and promoter of science fiction
  • Allah akbar And So Smart Our NLWs . best short story 2001
  • The jewelery . best short story 2004
  • The Cusanus game . best novel 2006
  • Djiheads . best novel 2014

He received the German Science Fiction Prize for:

  • Nekyomanteion . best short story 1986
  • Bad news from the Vatican . best short story 1993
  • The Cusanus game . best novel 2006
  • Places of remembrance . best short story 2011
  • Djiheads . best novel 2014


“What in the table of contents looks like a straightforward and tense thriller without hooks and eyes turns out to be a subtle novel with a humanistic concern in the literary form, not based on superficial effects. How people are used, how people treat people, is the real issue. Jeschke raises the question of what actually constitutes a 'real' person in the ingenious key scene ... "

- Thomas Tilsner on Midas or The Resurrection of the Flesh

“Romantic in its mixture of exoticism, civilization skepticism and melancholy, but nevertheless comforting symbolism is ultimately the basic mood of the book. Wolfgang Jeschke is one of the few contemporary German authors who are able to evoke the SF-specific sense of wonder, with that trace of escapism that sticks to reality as if with elastic cords. His Osiris Land had a very similar effect at the time - although it was narratively structured differently and probably more optimistic - the same thing can be found in The Last Day of Creation ... such visionary designs and scenes. "

- Erik Simon on Meamone's Eye


  • Hans Joachim Alpers , Werner Fuchs , Ronald M. Hahn : Reclam's science fiction guide. Reclam, Stuttgart 1982, ISBN 3-15-010312-6 , p. 219 f.
  • Hans Joachim Alpers, Werner Fuchs, Ronald M. Hahn, Wolfgang Jeschke: Lexicon of Science Fiction Literature. Heyne, Munich 1991, ISBN 3-453-02453-2 , pp. 582-585.
  • Hartmut Kasper , Alexander Seibold: Why should I make it easy for the reader? A conversation with Wolfgang Jeschke. In: The Science Fiction Year 2006. Munich 2006, ISBN 3-453-52183-8 , pp. 735–769.
  • Waldtraut Lewin : The reproducible person. In: Berlin bookmarks. Volume 4, Issue 7, 1996, ISSN  0945-0106 , pp. 37-39 (about Midas or The Resurrection of the Flesh ).
  • Michael Matzer: Science Fiction from the Inside. In: Fly ash. No. 24, 1987 (interview with Wolfgang Jeschke).
  • Hartmut Panskus: Interview with Wolfgang Jeschke and Rolf Heyne. In: Börsenblatt for the German book trade. No. 37, 1985.
  • Anja Rebhann: From outside and inside. An analysis of contemporary German-language science fiction literature. [To: The Cusanus Game ] Aisthesis, Bielefeld 2013, ISBN 978-3-89528-974-3 .
  • Franz Rottensteiner : Wolfgang Jeschke's short prose. In: Franz Rottensteiner: In the laboratory of visions. Notes on the fantastic literature. 19 articles and lectures from the years 2000–2012. Verlag Dieter van Reeken, Lüneburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-940679-72-7 , pp. 199-204.
  • Franz Rottensteiner: Dschiheads . In: Quarber Mercury . Franz Rottensteiner's literary magazine for science fiction and fantasy. Volume 115, 2014, ISBN 978-3-934273-94-8 , pp. 194-196.
  • Franz Rottensteiner: Jeschke, Wolfgang . In: Lexicon of Science Fiction Literature since 1900. With a look at Eastern Europe , edited by Christoph F. Lorenz, Peter Lang, Frankfurt / Main 2016, ISBN 978-3-63167-236-5 , pp. 359–366.
  • Christina Stange-Fayos: Spécificités et difficultés de la traduction de textes de science-fiction. À l'exemple du roman de Wolfgang Jeschke, The Cusanus Game. In: Traduire, adapter, transposer (= Cahiers d'études germaniques. No. 56). 2009, ISSN  0751-4239 , pp. 153-166 (French).
  • Neal Tringham, John Clute : Jeschke, Wolfgang. In: John Clute, Peter Nicholls : The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction . 3rd edition (online edition), version dated April 4, 2017.

Web links


  1. Wolfgang Jeschke (1936–2015) The great science fiction author and editor is dead . on diezukunft.de
  2. In memory of Wolfgang Jeschke . In: The Science Fiction Year 2015 . S. 15 .
  3. See Erhard Ringer: Interview with Wolfgang Jeschke , in Fantasia , No. 1, 1978.
  4. The Science Fiction Year 2015, p. 30
  5. Norman Spinrad: Obituary . In: The Science Fiction Year 2015 . S. 72 .
  6. Obituary at DieZukunft.de http://diezukunft.de/news/buch/wolfgang-jeschke-1936-2015
  7. http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?544707
  8. Epilog.de: The Cusanian Acceleratio ( Memento of the original from March 9, 2005 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.epilog.de
  9. Epilog.de: Das Geschmeide ( Memento of the original from January 3, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.epilog.de
  10. See The Golem. Yearbook for Fantastic Literature 1989, ed. by Harald Junker, Udo Klotz and Gerd Rottenecker, Freiberg 1990, ISSN  0937-5880 , p. 94.
  11. ^ Cf. Das Science Fiction Jahr 1997 , Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, Munich, ISBN 3-453-11896-0 , p. 786.