Beiträge auf

hier meine Beiträge auf Phantastikon, einem der wenigen deutschsprachigen Online-Magazine, die sich wirklichen allen Facetten des Großraums Fantastik und im Besonderen der Spekulativen Literatur widmen, anstatt sich auf einzelne Genres, Verlagsprogramme oder – wie zumeist üblich – lediglich auf Filmbesprechungen zu beschränken.
Meine Ideenliste für mögliche Folgebeiträge umfasst schon einige interessante Einträge (Besprechungen zu Autoren, Einzelwerken und Phänomenen des Fantastischen, …) – da kommt also sicher noch mehr



IF #5


Geheimidentitäten, Masken, Superkräfte. Als erstes deutschsprachiges Literaturmagazin widmet sich IF #5 ganz dem Phänomen literarischer Superhelden. Stories von Christian Weis, Alistair Rennie (BleakWarrior), Marius Kuhle, Markus Kastenholz (Gladium), Nele Sickel, Harald Havas (ASH), Frank Tumele und Tobias Reckermann. Illustrationen von Erik R. Andara (Cover), Münchgesang (Gladium), Peter Mordio und aus der Schmiede von ASH – Austrian Superheroes, außerdem ein ASH-Comic. Interviews mit Weird Fiction-Großmeister Laird Barron und Jörg Buttgereit (Captain Berlin). Zwei Specials lüften Geheimnisse um den White Train und den Magazintitel IF.

zum Shop


The White Train Endeavour

Since we recently published part of Alistair Rennie’s BleakWarrior plus an essay by and an interview with him, he asked us to tell some artsy half lies about our endeavour to his blog’s audience. Humbly we accepted, hence the following words:

There is an infinite rail,
spanning all of the universe.
The Train is on the track
and the track is made of tale.

– so says Dylan’s Song of the Manifold

WhiteTrain is a small press endeavour, born out of a loose writer’s and illustrator’s collective in 2010. At home in all fields of fantastic literature and recurrently grazing philosophy, WT organizes public readings with a slope to scenic enactment and publishes the fiction magazine “IF”, alongside novels and story collections.

Why we do what we do

What do we do?

1. WT celebrates radical fictionalism. That is because there is nothing but fiction. We love the word. We love tales. We are fictionauts.

2. We reject rule of ideology over art. That is because we are literal anarchists.

3. We do publish our own works of fiction and illustration among that of others. That is because we work the fringe and in our prime language, which is German, there are few publishers on the fringe.

4. Even though our work as publishers concentrates on works in German language, we also publish articles, interviews and more in English. That is because we pierced this barrier long ago.

5. We advertise, mostly for free. Yes, we advertise books and publishers, art and artists and projects that we think are worthy to advertise – independents and such enterprises who publish from the backlist, books long out of print and so on. That is, because there are others quite like us, who we like to support and because we know that many of the best books have already been written and should not be forgotten.

6. We publish “IF – Magazin für angewandte Fantastik” (which translates best into “… for the applied fantastic”). IF is a strange pulp thing, thrusting its quill, which is also a javelin, into every matter of fantastic genres, subverting clichés, aiming for the big scope of relevance, not triviality.

Applied is the fantastic mainly in stories and illustrations, but also in every form of imagination, that gives form to the unformed imagination, that is a true virtue of the pure mind. Therefore IF is open for near to every form of text or graphic content, that deals with the previously unformulated, be it social Utopias, architecture, music, metaphysics or civil disobedience.

7. We took the White Train for a sigil. That is because … well there is no short answer to this question.

It is true that there once was a White Train, which also has been called the Armageddon Train, for it did transport nuclear weapons throughout the United States of A. It is also true that Lucius Shepard once wrote a poem called White Trains, which foreshadowed our coming into existence without us even knowing about.

It is true, there have been Black Trains mentioned in works by Grant Morrison, Neal Gaiman and others. All of these carried their passengers to detention camps and were run by evil government officials. This may seem as a derivation of the Black Helicopter myth held alive for a long period of time now by the overseas militia movement, until at last and most oddly it became true. It is all the more true that Woody Guthrie once wrote a song, titled Little Black Train, and that black trains often have been used as a symbol for death. Hence we chose our White Train as a symbol for life and for freedom of art.

WT is an underground train slipping through the holes within its own rail network of flaring synapses, thus piercing the unknown in unforeseen ways. WT carries its passengers to Utopia, but notice: It does so whether their topia it is a good topia or not. That is because after all, truth is a manifold thing.

8. We wrote a manifesto in the form of a tale. That is because story mode is the only mode that can make White Train real. This manifesto even has been translated into English, but said translation still awaits its exact location in spacetime for publication to be revealed.

9. We shape ourselves as seemingly mythic figures. That is because myth is all this is about and we like to live in a dream.

10. We believe WT to be open for everyone decent to come aboard. That is because as yet many decent people have already done so and all have called WT a most gentle being. So, if you like – or need – to step off the station platform, you can do so at any time. Either your work shall be published by us, or you will like to delve into our fiction. Just use one of the portholes we installed in the spiders web: / WhiteTrain on Facebook / furthermore all our books and the magazine, available most easily on

For Alistair Rennie’s contibutions to IF Magazin, check out issue #4, which is all about Sword & Sorcery and has been illustrated magnificently. Rennie’s essay and interview are presented in the original English versions.

After all is said, goodbye.

Author: Tobias Reckermann, WhiteTrain operator, 2016.

originally posted on fellow writer Alistair Rennie’s blog:

IF Magazin #4 – Sword & Sorcery


Sword & Sorcery – IF Magazin #4 widmet sich ganz diesem Zweig der Fantasy-Literatur, mit Stories von Ulf R. Berlin, Simon Heiser, Tobias Reckermann und deutschen Erstveröffentlichungen aus Alistair Rennies Welt der Meta-Krieger.
Illustrationen von Jonathan Myers und Shane Cook und weitere Beiträge rund um das Tragen von Schwertern und Zauberstäben in Welten voller Abenteuer und zweifelhafter Moral, geben einen im deutschen Sprachraum seit langem fälligen zeitgemäßen Ausblick auf das Genre altgedienter Figuren wie Robert E. Howards Conan, Karl Wagners Kane und Michael Moorcocks Elric.
IF #4 ist Sword & Sorcery für das dritte Jahrtausend. Vorübergehend ist IF #4 in zwei Cover-Versionen erhältlich.


für die reguläre Ausgabe hier

für die Variant-Ausgabe hier

Invisible Planets by Ken Liu (Ed.)


Invisible Planets: fortunately these gems have not been invisble for some time now. All of the collected stories have been published (in translation) before in well known periodicals. Now they are one piece. Don’t know, what is to be expected? That’s because this is Sense of Wonder!
For a long time undisclosed to the english speaking readership, there has been a whole world of SF in China, which Ken Liu (The Grace of Kings), translator of all the stories in this book, finally reveals. Want to know what happened in the Year of the Rat, or how to fold a city like Beijing? Take this up and be astounded.
Yet what Liu claims in his foreword to the edition is, that this is not about what makes these SF stories chinese, but what about these chinese stories is worth to be known to non-chinese speaking SF-readers, and the answer is: all of it.
Stories by: Chen Qiufan, Xia Jia, Ma Boyong, Hao Jingfang, Tang Fei, Cheng Jingbo, and, last but not least, the much lauded Cixin Liu (The Three-Body-Problem).
What IS to be expected is the full range of fiction, from the social approach to science and future, up to Hard SF. Also additional nonfiction (namely three essays), which makes this all the more a milestone in global SF history.
And about the hard work, Ken Liu put into this? As they say: it takes a master to translate masters. Liu is a master, quod erat demonstrandum.

Nightmares by Ellen Datlow

For one, I’m new to this review business as a professional reader, but I do know Ellen Datlows anthogies for several years now and this one doesn’t disappoint me one bit. It is not „Darkness“, okay, that is to say, it doesn’t draw from an as of now already classic period of horror fiction – the 80s and 90s -, but from the decade just past, it doesn’t draw from a twenty years time frame and it has not as many heavy weigth authors on board as its predecessor. All this considered, it is still an anthology which shines with masterpieces of as always satisfying Gene Wolfe, Laird Barron, Nathan Ballingrud, John Langan and a long row of authors one may not yet have heard of, but which nevertheless may chill ones bones. Gemma Files contributes a meticulously done and successful experiment, „Sandman Slims“ Richard Kadrey, Garth Nix and Caitlin R. Kiernan are included – well, I think, some years in the future „Nightmares“ could likely have become a classic anthology, representing its decade pretty good.