The Apex Book of World SF
by Lavie Tidhar
Review by Mel Jacob
Apex Publications Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780982159637
Date: 01 November 2009 List Price $18.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
The Apex Book of World SF features writers of speculative fiction from outside the U.S. Some have been published in the U.S., while others have appeared primarily in their countries of origin. The stories are mixed, but generally dark in tone and some verge on horror. A few authors have either written in English or translated their work, others used translators. The editor Lavie Tidhar notes a lack of material from South America, Africa and parts of Asia although the Philippines and Fiji are represented. Russian writers are missing, although Eastern Europeans and some Middle Easterners appear.
Like most anthologies, the collection is uneven. Some themes have appeared many times elsewhere, but overall, the writing holds it own. Aliens, fantasy, surrealism, and even a fairy tale or two all appear. Among the more enjoyable ones: an alternative history detective story in a noir style, "The Lost Bride of Xuyan"; an alien horror story with cyber elements, "An Evening in the City Coffeehouse, With Lydia on My Mind"; a sort of fable with interesting Big Bang overtones, "The Wheel of Samsara"; a child's imagination does strange things and ends in justice of a sort, "The Allah Stairs"
. Jamil Nasir and Mélanie Fasir may be familiar to U.S. readers since their work has appeared in U.S. publications while others may not. Nasir has a number of novels including The Houses of Time. Apex and Lavie Tidhar are to be congratulated on bringing these stories to a broader audience.