In the future, international divisions and rivalries will be a thing of the past. Or so science fiction often predicts. The bridge of the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek, for instance, is a commendably multiracial place (and not all of those races are from Earth, either); and there are any number of SF novels that prophesy a world government, a kind of super UN with legislative powers. In publishing terms, however, science fiction is not quite so freely cross-cultural. Rights for English-language SF novels are frequently sold abroad in non-English-speaking territories, but the traffic is mostly one-way. Rare is the foreign-language SF novel that is imported into an anglophone country, against the prevailing current.
more from James Lovegrove at the FT here.