Excited about International SF

The Apex Book of World SFThe Apex Book of World SF has just been released, and I’m excited. It’s been a long time in the making – from conception, to convincing the venerable Secret Masters of Apex Books to take it on, to the reading and the soliciting and the selection, and putting it all together – but it’s finally out, and I’m excited.

It’s an exciting time for international SF in English. Zoran Živković was the Guest of Honour at this year’s World Fantasy Convention – an incredibly rare honour for a non-English language writer. Aliette de Bodard signed a three book deal with Angry Robot, the new genre imprint from publishing giant HarperCollins. Jetse de Vries is editing an anthology for Solaris. Andrzej Sapkowski won the inaugural David Gemmel Award. Sergey Lukyanenko’s Night Watch novels are selling all over, and DAW have recently announced an original anthology of Chinese writers from the Chinese diaspora. Israeli writer Gail Hareven had an SF story published in no less a place than the New Yorker. And then there’s Haikasoru, the new Viz imprint dedicated to publishing Japanese genre fiction in English. A new award for translated SF has just been announced.


Why is that?

I personally think it’s because international SF is cool. I love the stories in the Apex Book of World SF – from S.P. Somtow’s haunting tale of post-World War II Thailand and its most notorious serial killer in The Bird Catcher, to Aleksandar Žiljak’s crazy Men in Black-meets-Boogie Nights story An Evening In The City Coffehouse, With Lydia On My Mind, to Anil Menon’s melancholy mundane SF story, Into the Night to Aliette de Bodard’s kick-ass alternative history/noir The Lost Xuyan Bride. I like them all.

This month, you can sample three of the contributors – including a story from the anthology itself – over at Apex Magazine. You can also follow everything to do with international SF over at the World SF News Blog – from Thai disaster movies to Arabic science fiction and everything in between. You can follow Charles Tan’s series of interviews with the contributors over on SF Signal, and learn more about the diversity and excitement of international SF.

Yes, excitement is the word right now, I think! Or maybe, just maybe, I had too much coffee?

Lavie Tidhar is the author of linked-story collection HebrewPunk (2007), novellas An Occupation of Angels (2005), Cloud Permutations (2009) and Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God (2010) and, with Nir Yaniv, of The Tel Aviv Dossier (2009). He’s lived on three continents and one island-nation, and currently lives in South East Asia. His first novel, The Bookman, will be published by HarperCollins’ new Angry Robot imprint in 2010, and will be followed by two more.