lawrence magazine / winter 2020
“KNOWING B YOU ARE HERE— YOU SHALL REMAIN” For Lawrence resident Bogi Takács, prestigious international science fiction awards validate a long international journey Story by Haines Eason Photography by Jason Dailey
orn in Hungary in 1983, Bogi Takács grew up in a transitional society where the legacy of decades of Communist rule was eroding and young students like themselves would be offered opportunities unavailable to their parents. Not inconsequently, it was also a period when the nation’s field of literature would see enormous transformations. Takács grew up in a household where science fiction, particularly the rich Eastern European tradition, was revered. As a young person, they remember seeing their parents’ magazines and books about the house, picking them up, flipping through the pages and encountering works by legendary writers such as Theodore Sturgeon and Ursula K. Le Guin. During the earlier parts of their childhood, Takács could find both U.S. and Soviet titles, both censored, at the local bookstores. From home to the shops and back again, Takács fell in love with the genre. Soon, reading alone was not enough for Takács, and the idea of sharing their thoughts on the titles they read was planted by a teacher in need of content for the student newspaper. “I’m not sure if it was fifth or sixth grade, but my literature teacher asked, ‘Do you want to write about books?’ And I was like, ‘Well, sure,” Takács says, clearly fond of the memory. “But then it ended up as a major scandal because I praised a book which was about kids making fun of their parents, and this was deemed inappropriate and the reviews column was canceled very abruptly.” Debates of what was or was not inappropriate for literature were themes beyond the classrooms at the time. Shortly after
ABOVE Bogi Takács creates award-winning science fiction writing from their home in Lawrence.