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Friday, September 24, 2010

Brief Thoughts on The Apex Book of World SF 2 (Table of Contents)

The fine folks over at Apex recently released the table of contents for their upcoming second book in the Apex Book of World SF series.  Before I throw in my thoughts, here is the list:

Rochita Loenen-Ruiz (Philippines)–Alternate Girl’s Expatriate Life
Ivor W. Hartmann (Zimbabwe)–Mr. Goop
Daliso Chaponda (Malawi)–Trees of Bone
Daniel Salvo (Peru)–The First Peruvian in Space
Gustavo Bondoni (Argentina)–Eyes in the Vastness of Forever
Chen Qiufan (China)–The Tomb
Joyce Chng (Singapore)–The Sound of Breaking Glass
Csilla Kleinheincz (Hungary)–A Single Year
Andrew Drilon (Philippines)–The Secret Origin of Spin-man
Anabel Enriquez Piñeiro (Cuba)–Borrowed Time (trans. Daniel W. Koon)
Lauren Beukes (South Africa)–Branded
Raúl Flores Iriarte (Cuba)–December 8
Will Elliott (Australia)–Hungry Man
Shweta Narayan (India)–Nira and I
Fábio Fernandes (Brazil)–Nothing Happened in 1999
Tade Thompson (Nigeria)–Shadow
Hannu Rajaniemi (Finland)–Shibuya no Love
Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Mexico)–Maquech
Sergey Gerasimov (Ukraine)–The Glory of the World
Tim Jones (New Zealand)–The New Neighbours
Nnedi Okorafor (Nigeria/US)–From the Lost Diary of TreeFrog7
Gail Har’even (Israel)–The Slows
Ekaterina Sedia (Russia)–Zombie Lenin
Samit Basu (India)–Electric Sonalika
Andrzej Sapkowski (Poland)–The Malady (trans. Wiesiek Powaga)
Jacques Barcia (Brazil)–A Life Made Possible Behind The Barricades
That's one heck of a diverse list, don't you agree?  The thing that I love about it is that it brings in countries that even by World SF standards are usually not represented (Malawi, for example, although this is based on my admittedly limited exposure to world SF).

I only have one suggestion for future editions.  While I understand that the project is to bring works by people who are traditionally ignored by Western magazines, I do think it would be interesting to see a U.S. and a U.K. story in the mix, not because I want such an anthology to be "fair," but because I think seeing the contrast between all of the cultures presented above would be fascinating.  This is, after all, an anthology of World SF, which says to me that it is occupied by an incredibly broad view of SF across various cultures and perspectives.  One could illustrate a very interesting point by showing the differences and similarities between all of the cultures that have participated in SF, now and in the past.

But that might be a trivial point to bring up, since one could say that Western SF is readily available to those of us in the West (and elsewhere).  So be it.  I just want everything in one convenient package, and I would be willing to pay extra for such a book.

Otherwise, this anthology looks amazing.  I will likely purchase it when it comes out in 2011.  For now, I'll have to look at the first edition!

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