A Turkish Sci-Fi Platform: Yerli Bilimkurgu Yükseliyor

Yerli Bilimkurgu Yükseliyor (It means Local Sci-Fi Rises) is a platform and magazine that aims to strengthen the science fiction culture in Turkey. They support science fiction writers with story anthologies, novel promotions and a magazine that publishes a new issue every month online.

There is quite a wealth of content available on their website. All 48 issues published since May 2017 are available on the website. Those who do not follow this admirable and increasing accumulation every month are losing a lot. (Here I leave a note for myself to read the issues I haven’t read yet.)

Issues of the magazine published so far. It can be a nice wallpaper.

They describe themselves as follows: “The aim of the Local Sci-Fi Rises Group (YBKY) is to bring together the fans of the genre, to bring to light our science fiction writers and their ignored books, of which we are unfortunately not aware of, and to bring local science fiction books to the top shelves, to make them visible, and to see what’s happening in this genre in the country, and to show that a great amount of products is given. We wish you a pleasant time on our page…”

In an interview at Fanzin Apartmanı (Fanzine Apartment) , they talk about their work with these words: “YBKY does a lot. It cares about the works of people who are devoted to this genre and do its best to make them visible. It strives to make local works known as well as foreign works, many of which we know by heart. It encourages people to write more by holding short story competitions. The rule in this competition is limited to a thousand words. The topics are determined by the members through a survey and they have a month to write. It is very important to write a story with a limited number of words. Trying to write a story with the most appropriate words and trying to explain the fiction to the reader in the most economical way takes on a very developing task for the author. Be sure, very good science fiction works will be with us very soon. If you follow the competitions, you will understand better what we mean. … YBKY publishes Yerli Bilimkurgu Yükseliyor Magazine. Our magazine, whose eleventh issue will be published in March, was named the “Best e-Magazine of the Year” in the survey organized by Kayıp Rıhtım. It’s hard to describe how happy this makes us. Because we do all these things voluntarily. There are even those who ask us how much money they should pay for promoting their books. Selma Mine, Hasan Önal, Esra Uysal, Burak Fedakar, Arda Tipi, İsmail Şahin, Seyhan Yıldız Yıldırım, Ekin Ertarakçı, Ender Gökçimen… these beautiful people with big hearts make every effort to make our magazine better.”

I would like to add Sezai Özden among the names above, because as far as I know, he is the founder of the group. In addition to his contribution to the genre with his efforts in YBKY, he also has a book called Sentromer – Ötekiler (Sentromer – The Others).

It also has a large archive of science fiction books on the website. An archive that will cheer up your list and library. Books spanning more than a century are included, from Kuyruklu Yıldız Altında Bir İzdivaç (A Marriage Under a Comet) written in 1912 to newly released books in 2021.

The heart of the matter, Yerli Bilimkurgu Yükseliyor is an underrated treasure and awaits its readers.

Science Fiction Story Anthology 2018

YBKY has published three story anthologies so far. The first of them took place on the shelves in 2018. This book, one of the most comprehensive anthologies of short stories with the participation of 47 authors, is dedicated to translator and physicist Özgen Berkol Doğan, who passed away at a young age.

❝Once upon a time, a wise man said:

“Like the soil from which our crops grow, our dreams too sprouts from the stars… The misty garden of dreams, the immortal sky!”

Later, a wise astrophysicist called out to humanity. “We are made from the same star-stuff; that’s why existence is alike all over the universe….”

“Are we writing this life, or is life writing us?” we question, but we know very well that fiction does not come to life without the raw material of science.❞

Book Description

When I read the book in November 2019, I made a small comment: “The stories in this book were quite colorful. There were drama, suspense, philosophical stories, even comedy. I am proud to have such a valuable work in our literature. I believe this book should be in every library. You can say you don’t like sci-fi, but I believe that the stories here will make you love this genre.

I don’t call it “favorite” because I like almost all of the stories, but the five that stay most in my mind are: Derdora Me (Derdora Me), Hasatçılar (Harvesters), Asyalı Gülümseyiş (Asian Smile), Berber Koltuğu Oyunları (Barber Chair Games), Özgür Adam (The Free Man).”

Science Fiction Story Anthology 2019

The second anthology, attended by 41 authors, was dedicated to the writer Orhan Duru, who translated the term science fiction into Turkish as “bilimkurgu”.

❝Are you ready for a journey to the mysterious depths of space at our feet, to the dark corners of the universe glowing at our bedside, to the cells of our minds light years away, to torn pages of the future and unwritten pages of the past?

41 authors, 41 stories… Unknown worlds in time and space… Welcome and have a good trip…

Book Description

The book starts with the biography of Orhan Duru and opens with his story called Harita (Map). Then, stories by 41 writers on a wide variety of topics are presented to you. The lovely illustrations at the beginning of each story help you immerse yourself in the story’s universe.

It was the first book I read from YBKY, in October 2019 I posted a review as follows: “It is very difficult to comment on more than forty stories one by one. But for all the stories, I can say this in common: they are satisfying and of high quality. There has never been a story that I did not like or that fell below a certain level. Just, there were one or two stories that I could interpret as ‘I couldn’t understand it in one reading, it’s complicated.’

As each of the stories in the book carries the dream of a different world, I loved them all. After I finished, I looked into space and thought. I had a hard time choosing a favourite. However, if you ask me which ones I remember the most, I can say these three names: SEHA (SEHA), Zaman Ayracı (Timemark), Veda ya da Bir Şişe Kayısı Şarabı (Farewell or A Bottle of Apricot Wine). I recommend this outstanding book for all readers who love science fiction, those who are trying to love it, and those who doesn’t like it but there is a possibility of loving!”

Science Fiction Story Anthology 2020

The third of the traditional story anthology of the YBKY platform is this book with the participation of 42 authors. This book, which is dedicated to the author Gülten Dayıoğlu, has also two comics apart from the previous two years.

❝We are with you with the third of the traditional story anthology of the Yerli Bilimkurgu Yükseliyor platform. The anthology comes to life with beautiful stories written by 42 authors this year. Also, unlike the others, we have two comics in the book this year.

This year’s guest of honor of the 2020 Science Fiction Selection is Dear Gülten Dayıoğlu, the “Author of Three Generations”! Dayıoğlu crowned every period of her writing career with awards, and this anthology that we dedicate to her. She honored us by coloring our book with the first part of her novel “If Children Had the World”.

“Science fiction is not just a word, it is the future.”

Book Description

I haven’t posted a review for this book yet because I’ve just finished reading it. I started last month but due to my busy schedule it’s over now. Well, then let me post the comment now. Ready, fire!

“Quality stability continues in this year’s anthology. Among the stories that touch on many genres, from psychology to futurism, from drama to action, there are two comics unique to this year: Kolordu (Army Corps) by Kenan Böğürcü and Böcek Tarlaları (Insect Fields) by Sezai Özden.

I really liked Kolordu‘s approach to the phenomenon of war. Böcek Tarlaları, on the other hand, impresses with its fluency and surprisingness, and the quality of its drawings – especially the last page was striking enough to be wallpapered.

I was also intrigued by the fact that many of this year’s stories touched on social issues. Violence against health workers, violence against women, damage to the environment and of course the pandemic process. This is a response to the criticism ‘disconnected from real life’ for science fiction.

I liked all of the stories, but of course some stood out more for me. Here are my favourites: Ekin ve Nesil (Crops and Cattle), Bir Canavar Yaratmak (Creating A Monster), Mavi Fil, Mavi Tavşan, Mavi Önlük, (Blue Elephant, Blue Rabbit, Blue Apron), Hayatın Matematiği (Life’s Math), Sanık 237 (Defendant 237), K=-1 (K=-1).”

There is no anthology for 2021, because they decided to rest. The 2022 collection is coming, and story submissions continue. 2022 collection is out!

Science Fiction Story Anthology 2022

The fourth anthology, attended by 48 writers is dedicated to Turkish cinema workers.

❝“The best Science Fiction is as good as the best fiction in any field.” Because no matter what time you are reading, they offer you a world apart from the current time, place and possibilities and allow you to dream. (Theodore Sturgeon)

Yerli Bilimkurgu Yükseliyor, the meeting ground of science fiction writers, artists and readers, is with you once again with its new story selection.

This year, our book, the fourth in the series, welcomes forty-eight authors with their stories circulating at the limits of imagination and creativity.

As Yerli Bilimkurgu Yükseliyor platform, we dedicate this beautiful meeting to all our writers, directors, artists and workers who have turned to science fiction in our cinemas and televisions.

Book Description

This year’s selection of stories is also very rich, just like the previous ones. In this book, which consists of 46 stories, a comic story and (for the first time, unlike the previous anthologies) a poem, stories touch many sub-branches of science fiction.

Dedicated to the workers of Turkish cinema, the book opens with Utku Uluer’s article on science fiction cinema in Turkey. Science fiction cinema has a sad history in Turkey. Although the first science fiction movie was shot in our cinema in the 1950s, there was no serious development for many years. Lost films, wasted efforts, films that are not taken seriously and ridiculed, finally a few films made after the 70s, albeit stuck in the genre of science fiction-comedy, and finally successful productions after the 2000s, but we have a long way to go…

As for the stories, they are diverse and entertaining. For example, artificial intelligence selling shares… Heroes who decide their future between dimensions with their choices… Those who flit between time zones… Smugglers punished by resetting their minds… Musical notes awakening from hypnosis… Sex robot murders…

Let’s get to my favourites. The story that moved me the most was Kaplumbağanın Gözleri (Eyes of A Turtle). Despite being two and a half pages long, it was a compelling story.

Teknik Destek (Technical Support) was a very successful humorous story in its naturality. I laughed so much while reading it. Even if travel to parallel universes is invented, people’s whims do not change.

Metaverse Çıkışı (Metaverse Exit) was also a good robot story, with events and the narrative technique it has. I got Asimov vibe.

Also, for the first time this year, a story of mine (Miner) was included in the selection. I am very happy for that.

Thanks to the authors, illustrators, organizers and everyone who contributed. Thanks to the book, I had a wonderful reading experience before the end of the year.

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