The Apex Book of World SF: Volume 1 (Apex World of Speculative Fiction)
The Apex Book of World SF edited by Lavie Tidhar, features award-winning science fiction and fantasy short stories from Asia, Eastern Europe and around the world.
The world of speculative fiction is expansive; it covers more than one country, one continent, one culture. Collected here are sixteen stories penned by authors from Thailand, the Philippines, China, Israel, Pakistan, Serbia, Croatia, Malaysia, and other countries across the globe. Each one tells a tale breathtakingly vast and varied, whether caught in the ghosts of the past or entangled in a postmodern age.
Among the spirits, technology, and deep recesses of the human mind, stories abound. Kites sail to the stars, technology transcends physics, and wheels cry out in the night. Memories come and go like fading echoes and a train carries its passengers through more than simple space and time. Dark and bright, beautiful and haunting, the stories herein represent speculative fiction from a sampling of the finest authors from around the world.
Table of Contents:
S.P. Somtow(Thailand) — “The Bird Catcher”
Jetse de Vries(Netherlands) — “Transcendence Express”
Guy Hasson (Israel) — “The Levantine Experiments”
Han Song (China) — “The Wheel of Samsara”
Kaaron Warren (Australia/Fiji) — “Ghost Jail”
Yang Ping (China) — “Wizard World”
Dean Francis Alfar (Philippines) — “L’Aquilone du Estrellas (The Kite of Stars)”
Nir Yaniv (Israel) — “Cinderers”
Jamil Nasir (Palestine) — “The Allah Stairs”
Tunku Halim (Malaysia) — “Biggest Baddest Bomoh”
Aliette de Bodard (France) — “The Lost Xuyan Bride”
Kristin Mandigma (Philippines) — “Excerpt from a Letter by a Social-realist Aswang”
Aleksandar Žiljak (Croatia) — “An Evening In The City Coffehouse, With Lydia on My Mind”
Anil Menon (India) — “Into the Night”
Mélanie Fazi (France, translated by Christopher Priest) — “Elegy”
Zoran Živković (Serbia, translated by Alice Copple-Tošić)—“Compartments”
(Note: Digital edition does not contain the Zoran Živković's story)
Cover art and design by Sarah Anne Langton.
toward the light. The figure moved its head and then moved its body, letting her pass. She took another step toward the light. And now she could see something in that room. There was more than light. There was an inside. And there was another side. She was upon the new crack in her world, and there was light beyond it, not darkness. She bent down to fit inside the crack and walked through it into the light. And suddenly she was in a new place, a round place and not a square place. She was
in the original age of MUD, the system was designed like that. At that time, the system wouldn’t delete the account, just decrease the user’s parameters. There was no real danger, and the account stayed on indefinitely unless a user manually deleted it. On the other side, Wizards usually set themselves as undead. Even if they didn’t—like you—” I scowled. “—still the possibility of someone else signing in with your account name, in the period between your dying and trying to sign in again, is
had indeed blossomed there. “Why did you come here?” she asked. “Why did you?” She shrugged. “You know why. I had no choice. I will not marry a man like him.” “And this was your solution?” I asked. “To be some whore in a stylish brothel?” I realised I was unfair, but I could not care anymore. I felt used—knowing all I had done in finding her was bringing the White Lotus here. She smiled, in a slow, secret way that reminded me of the effigies of Buddha in the temples. “I am no whore. I am
to determine where it came from, and then I see smoke billowing into the sky and realise they blew my place up. They want to erase me thoroughly, as if I never existed. � The rest of the day is a long, cold, and exhausting chase. Whatever they were, and now I’m certain they weren’t human, they were real good. I tried every trick in the book, changing buses, taking cabs, getting lost in the crowd, everything I know. But they were always one step in front of me. Every time I thought I finally got
passage of time, I would recognise them. Only Benjamin would hide his face, deny the loss—he thinks they are gone for good. Two years in which he gave up hope of ever seeing them again. Resigning yourself to the worst is much easier than my way, than going on with the struggle. Hope saps the will more surely than a lapse of memory. He has wasted two years playing at being deaf and blind, making me look like the village idiot. I tried to explain to Benjamin, but he did not want to know anything.