Reading in Berlin

November 14th, 2021

This weekend I’ll be in Berlin. I have a reading there on Friday evening at Kulturbremse, Jagowstr. 29 in Berlin Moabit. I’m sharing the reading with Bernhard Stäber. The organiser has called it the “Welten” (=Worlds) reading, because our books each have the word “Welten” in the title.

Ju Honisch „Weltendiebe“

In the cellar of an old villa in Munich there is an interdimensional weak spot. Every few decades, nefarious world-jumpers seek to open it from the outside to steal into our world. The last opening happened in 1952, and just now it has been opened again.

Anne’s grandmother is horrified when she finds out that her granddaughter works in the very house where she experienced unbelievably terrible things back then. She remembers, but won’t speak.

So Anne has no idea how dangerous the men are who suddenly appear in her life. Only when her sister Ev disappears and ominous strangers pursue Anne does it become clear that there is more behind Granny’s silence than the odd mood of an old woman.

Anne is determined to find her sister again, even if she doesn’t know where. She only knows: jumping into a strange, alien world is a sacrilege that is punishable by death in every dimension. The enforcers of dimensional integrity know no mercy.


Bernhard Stäber „Wächter der Weltenschlange

After the death of her mother, 17-year-old Malin spends the summer holidays with her younger brother Rune at their grandfather’s house in southern Norway. When Rune takes his boat out on Lake Seljord despite a storm warning, fate takes its course: Rune capsizes and is rescued by the water spirit Nyk ‑ but at a high price. He must bring the last egg of the world serpent Jormungand into the Arctic Ocean. Should he fail, he will die. Together, the siblings set out for the North Cape. But their long journey through Norway quickly turns into a deadly chase through the Disen, for ever since the Norns disappeared, the Nine Worlds have been in turmoil. It is said that the serpent in Rune’s egg will cause the world to burn. Torn between their own destiny and that of the world, Malin and Rune have the adventure of a lifetime in the realm of the Norse sagas.

Two very different books. So it won’t be boring!

Of course, we are worried whether the plague will even allow the event to take place. We can thank a certain section of the population, which in my opinion is completely antisocial, for the fact that the number of people falling ill is shooting up like crazy again.

But we haven’t given up yet.


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Stay home and read a book

May 2nd, 2020

So. Since I don’t want to start each one of my entries with an excuse for not having posted anything for such a long time, I’ll start without further ado.

My polar bear was to be presented at Leipzig Book Fair, which unfortunately didn’t take place due to Covid19. “Elgar Polar Bear and Civilisation” . This somewhat episodic book describes the adventures of polar bear Elgar whose ice floe completely melted from under his furry posterior, and who – since he does not want to die out yet –has come to live in our human civilisation. In his endeavour to learn more about civilised urban life he watches and comments our civilisation from his ursine perspective.


I have been asked whether this is fantasy since it pretty much consists of satirical elements.

Well, it is satire,  and it is speculative fiction. Science fiction and  fantasy have always been close to satire. For these genres, you have to know reality in order to determine the strangeness, the otherness and its possible more or less hidden reflection on your own time and space. It is also not  new to have an “outsider” describe a civilization from their point of view. There is “Stranger in a strange land” by Heinlein or “Letters from the Chinese past” by Rosendorfer. Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels” certainly belongs to this group. Perhaps one can even add Tacitus’ “Germania”, as this fellow never had been in Germania and wrote his moralizing work less as a study of the Teutonic tribal life and more as a moral stimulus to a Roman civilisation that seemed to him just a trifle depraved.

But back to Elgar Polar Bear. Elgar is no longer small and cute. Both the polar bear and the manuscript are a bit older. The first chapter of Elgar was once spontaneously written on Livejournal. The rest was written later and adapted to the here and now. It was published too early to bite those people in the ass that ignore the dangers of a worldwide pandemic which remains blithely unimpressed when some social cowards wave their weapons about.

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Frankfurt Book Fair

October 16th, 2014

The main event of last week was Frankfurt Book Fair and, successively, BuCon, the Book Fair Convention. The actual fair saw me only for one day. But this was enough to show my face and to meet some nice people. Towards the evening it was getting even more interesting. After the traditional fantasy authors’ Chinese food run, we continued to party at the Galactic Forum. This promising name has been given to the annual Perry Rhodan Publisher’s Party. It was the second time they invited me – Thank you, I hope you will invite me again, folks!)

I’m not really an ardent party goer and tend to feel lost and overwhelmed very quickly at big dos. But this party is really nice: cozy enough to feel welcome and frequented enough to meet everyone who is someone in this scene and in this genre. I won’t go into name-dropping mode here. Favourable result: a new and interesting short story project did come my way, because at this meeting you have more direct contact with your “peers” than at the huge trade fair itself.

As always, the Saturday belonged to BuCon the “Buchmesse (=Book Fair) Convent”. If you are used to calling this type of event a convention, please be advised by veteran German SF fans that this is all wrong (in German). At this point I will refrain from joining a time-worn (and very boring) discussion about grammar and etymology. Whoever organises the event is free to decide what it should be called. However, the term “Convent” to me always tends to convey the image of colourful young men in full 19th century student union regalia or non-colourful old women with a pious mien.

Neither of the aforementioned were present, though. Gathered here was the speculative fiction family for their very own kind of autumn rite. If I started name-dropping at this point, I would have to expand this blog post by several pages. Let’s try a different approach. Had Noah wanted to save all German speculative fiction writers from the flood he would have been able to tick off his list here without having to hunt around for stray specimens. And he would not even miss out on the dinosaurs.

I did a reading at lunch time and enjoyed it quite a bit. So, I hope, did the audience. Well, they bought quite a number of my books afterwards, so one can assume that they might not have been too bored.

Eventually I lost track of the event a little. I still had fun, though. Mind you, maybe I should plan my conversations a tiny bit more diligently in the future, because for some reason I obviously succeeded in NOT making it onto a single photograph or video clip, let alone managed to engage the media people for an interview or article (newspaper or blog). I am still a little miffed at that – or rather at me for my sudden PR-unawareness. Obviously I am good at being invisible. Should I need to establish an alibi for Saturday the police would scan the photos and report material and not find any hint that I was there at all. So: go to jail, directly.

But I was there. Honest.

The highlight of the evening was, as always, the German Speculative Fiction Award (Deutscher Phantastik Preis) Ceremony. The winners are listed here . I congratulate all those who won and of course all the final nominees.

As an additional event Tom Finn got awarded the “BuCon Preis”, which was given out for the first time this year. It is a kind of general creativity award for lifetime achievement (to date. We hope Tom Finn goes on being creative many more years.).

Later that evening I went out to dinner with the short story authors of “Eis & Dampf” (Ice & Steam), who I would like to again congratulate for winning the German Speculative Fiction Award for the best anthology. Nice people. Nice food. Dreadful drive home.

Now it is over again, that fifth season for book lovers. So now we can once again focus on the aspect of book-biz which is closest to our hearts: the actual writing.

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Interview at the Leipzig Book Fair

April 2nd, 2014

When I was at the Leipzig Book Fair, I met two very nicebloggers who quite without a previous plan did an interview with me. None of us had prepared anything, so both the questions and the answers were as impromptu as you get them. I think we did not do too badly for that. – The interview is in German.

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… and the winner is … me …

March 18th, 2014

And what was it like? It was great. Exhausting, but quite overwhelming.

Last week, I went to Leipzig Book Fair. I only tend to go to big fairs, when I have something to do there. Just strolling from booth to booth would be a little too tedious for me. But this year, I really could not complain. Four readings. A Meet & Greet with literary bloggers at the Heyne (Random House) stand. An interview with a nice blogger couple. And several visits to my agent, who this time had his own booth.

The big news, however, is: I won the SERAPH – Best Book 2014 !


Together with Oliver Plaschka , who was also was nominated, I sat in the audience and waited for the decision. I really did not believe I would win the award. Accordingly, I was pretty speechless when “Schwingen aus Stein” (Wings of Stone) was announced to be the winner. A book set in the Bavarian forest – that was a bit weird and unusual, but it may just have helped to make “Schwingen aus Stein” the winner.
I probably spouted a lot of nonsensical blather as I accepted the trophy handed over by Kai Meyer. I truly don’t remember what I said. At least I did not shed any tears, but I truly hope my ramblings will not make the rounds on YouTube.

Anyway, I was happy and overwhelmed and – ah – not speechless although I somehow wish I had been. The pretty statuette now lives on my shelf together with the Deutsche Phantastik Preis (German Speculative Fiction Award) which I got back in 2009 for ” Obsidianherz” (Obsidian Heart), flanked by a SAM and a Pegasus Award, which I got for filk songs I wrote.

The award for the best newcomer novel went to Catherine Hartwell “Das fremde Meer“ (The alien sea).

After the ceremony we went into the city. The special Seraph reading was to take place at the Stadtwerke Leipzig, who had sponsored the newcomer award. It took us a long time to get there after the show because there were traffic jams all around the fair. I was scared that we would never get there. But we somehow managed and the event was very enjoyable. I was rather tired – if you get up at 04:30 clock , travel and run around all day at the show, you are no longer fresh as a daisy – but sleep is for the weak and sickly.

There was a second SERAPH winners’ reading on Saturday morning at the fair. Here we had a really humungous amount of listeners, a fact we probably have to thank Kai Meyer for, who was on before us and sort of shared his numerous fans with us (they were waiting for the signing). Thank you, Kai!

The utter disinterest of the “traditional” press was not precisely a surprise. They either completely forgot about the event or decided not to grace it with their culturally superior attendance. The so called “quality journalism” only reported about those events they predictably feature every single year. NEWS looks much better when it is a little dusty and people know what to expect.

My last reading was at the RPG Exhibitors’ Party. The RPG people always offer gaming rounds at the Leipzig Book Fair. The party was held in the premises of a very cozy student pub – in Leipzig readings are always distributed all across the city. Very nice people. I read from “Die Quellen der Malicorn” (The wells of the Malicorn). I believe the role players liked it.

On the way home on the train on Sunday, I really wanted to work on my new book, but I fear I was wrestled down by Mr. Sandman who had rather convincing arguments.


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March 3rd, 2014

And here is a small preview of my endeavours planned for the Leipzig Book Fair:

I shall have my first reading on Thursday, March 13, at 12:30 a.m.
reading from “Schwingen aus Stein” (Wings of Stone)
Fantasy Reading Island , Hall 2, Stand H309/K309

Also, on the same day there will be the SEARPH award ceremony with a (surprise) reading by the two winners. Since I made it to the shortlist, I will of course be there, sitting around nervously. You may keep your fingers crossed.

SERAPH Awards Ceremony 2014
13 March 2014 | 17:00 – 18:00 h
Awards for the best fantasy novels and novel newcomer of the year and awarding the SERAPH
Location : Reading island Fantasy hall 2, booth H309/K309

SERAPH Award winner reading at Stadtwerke Leipzig
13 March 2014 | 20:00
Location: Stadtwerke, Energie- und Umweltzentrum , Katharinenstraße 17 , 04109 , Leipzig ( center )

And then I shall read again on Saturday night, but this will be at a private functin.

Friday at 17:00 clock you may find me at the Heyne stand.
All in all, I’m going to haunt the fair for three days, wandering around and gracing this or that stand with my presence. And I should be glad to see you there, perhaps for a chat or a coffee.

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Ju Honisch



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