The Apex Book of World SF
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Apex Book of World SF

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  55 ratings  ·  18 reviews
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 pa...more
Paperback, 287 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Apex Publications
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 253)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Barry King
A well-rounded collection of tales. While "World SF" would seem to imply a sampling of stories clearly fixed to one region or another, I got the distict feeling that most of these are bridge tales, stories that find a means of crossing cultural gaps by a variety of means. An analogue is in the comparison between ethnographic musical sampling with studio-produced "world music" where fusion of traditional styles with modern global styles of sound production produces a kind of music that transcends...more
Steven
The Apex Book of World SF is an ambitious project that, mostly, succeeds despite its difficulties. [Full disclosure: I read the electronic version, which does not include the story "Compartments", and that I reformatted the ePub version for the publisher immediately prior to reading the anthology.]

Many of the stories suffer from slight translation quirks - unusual turns of phrase, a slight stutter in the flow of words. They are not errors as such, but seem slightly awkward to an ear raised on Un...more
Sean O'Hara
The Apex Book of World SF is a mixed bag. It has a good variety of authors -- much better than the old The World Treasury of Science Fiction, which had a heavy emphasis on Anglophone authors -- but many of the stories fall flat. However, the best stories -- The Bird Catcher, Wizard World, and Into the Night -- make up for the duds.

(Note: The ebook doesn't contain Compartments by Zoran Zivkovic)

S.P. Somtow - The Bird Catcher *****: A young boy in post-War Thailand befriends a serial killer. There...more
David
This is a collection of 15 short stories from non-US/UK writers. While several stories fall into the traditional SF category, some are straight fantasy/horror, and a couple are hard to describe. Reading this collection is sort of like sampling from a buffet of foreign dishes you've never tried before: some of the offerings are familiar, some are unfamiliar but delicious, and a few are just odd and unappealing. There are a couple that probably read much better in the language from which they were...more
Donald
The cover of this one has a quote by Frederik Pohl: “These voices deserve to be heard.” Simply stated and I agree.

I’ve taken my time with this anthology of authors who represent a good many countries and societies. It is not something to read quickly like a paper-wrapped burger, but rather to savor like a high-priced lamb dish. Some highlights follow:

The Bird Catcher by S.P. Somtow introduces the idea that you can buy a bird to release yourself from the cage of karma. But the bird’s wings are cl...more
Julie
I love science fiction but have often lamented the lack of diversity in the field. The genre’s authors, protagonists and subject matter are unremittingly Anglo and western European, at least in terms of works the American audience has easy access to. Therefore when I stumbled upon this short story collection at GenCon last summer, I snatched it up immediately. Science fiction lends itself particularly well to the short story form, so the selection of this format to introduce worthy authors from...more
GUD Magazine
According to author James Gunn, in an essay in World Literature Today, Volume 84, Number 3, May/June 2010, "To consider science fiction in countries other than the United States, one must start from these shores. American science fiction is the base line against which all the other fantastic literatures in languages other than English must be measured."

Gunn justifies this claim by stating that only in 1926 New York did SF become a distinct genre, then, curiously, punctures his own argument by re...more
Tamara
Some of these are better than others, ("The Bird Catcher" and "The Levantine Experiment" are the ones that stay with me as particularly good, though both are horror stories more than anything, which isn't usually my cup of tea,) though none stood out as really awful. A few were overly familiar, perhaps. The collection seems to lean more in the direction of , evocative atmosphere and character pieces than more plot/concept based stories, despite the nominal 'SF' in the title (I guess the S is for...more
Rrain
It's rare I give an anthology more than three stars, just due to averaging out the weak and strong stories, but this one was fairly consistently strong for me, tipping the scales to the upper end. There is a tremendous mix of stories, though most seem to have been originally written in English (with just a few in translation, and of those the majority were translated by the author). If pressed to choose a favourite--okay, let me have two--they would probably be "L’Aquilone du Estrellas (The Kite...more
Rob
...So how successful is this collection? As the editor points out in the introduction the The Apex Book of World SF is geographically speaking incomplete. The focus is mostly on Europe and Asia so there is much more territory to explore. Tidhar has managed to gather a bunch of quality stories though, and he hints that this may be the first part of a larger project. What he has presented so far certainly leads me to believe there are more of such jewels to be uncovered outside the anglophone sphe...more
Kam-Yung Soh
An okay collection of stories, not all SF or Fantasy (some horror thrown in), that attempts to showcase fiction from a non-Anglo (Western) perspective. It partially succeeds, with some stories, like SP Somtow's "The Bird Catcher" having a definite asian (non-Western) feel.

One story that I was delighted to read, although not SF, was Tunku Halim's "Biggest Baddest Bomoh", which dropped me back into Malaysia (my home country) like a good Lat cartoon drawing. (You have to be Malaysian/Singaporean an...more
Catherine Siemann
The idea of an anthology of speculative fiction from all over the world is a vital one; imagining the future from a purely Anglo-American perspective is far too limiting. As with most anthologies, there are stories that are fairly ordinary, but there are also some real standouts. The ones that have stuck with me, as I read this collection slowly over the period of nearly a month, are first and foremost S. P. Somtow's chilling and vivid "The Bird Catcher" (Thailand), Dean Francis Alfar's lovely f...more
Mike McArtor
Some of these stories are really inventive and fun. Some are pretty boring. I wonder if the difference between fun and meh in the translated works are due more to the abilities of the translators rather than of the writers?
Jesse Field
A few free stories available here; the Han Song story is worth the whole book as far as I'm concerned. Yang Ping's, not so much. Still going through the others.
Marsha
Feb 14, 2010 Marsha rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Marsha by: post on boing boing
This is a first rate collection of international science fiction from writers that are rarely experienced in the US. The collection is very creative, and many of these pieces are excellent. Very worth reading.
paula
Oct 29, 2009 paula marked it as to-read
Because it turns out, Israelis can write SF. Arabs can write SF. Filipinos can write SF. And I swear to god, the Low Countries ARE SF. Plus, a story called "Biggest Baddest Bomoh" is something I gotta read.
Lea
Dec 03, 2013 Lea marked it as to-read
Shelves: science-fiction
Another purchase from the Kobo 50% sale.
Michelle
More detailed review to come. :)
Courtney
Courtney marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2014
Trevor
Trevor marked it as to-read
Apr 14, 2014
Vesra (When She Reads)
Vesra (When She Reads) marked it as to-read
Apr 12, 2014
Robert
Robert marked it as to-read
Apr 12, 2014
Tim Walker
Tim Walker marked it as to-read
Apr 09, 2014
Michael
Michael marked it as to-read
Mar 28, 2014
Poeticdemise
Poeticdemise marked it as to-read
Mar 28, 2014
Camilla
Camilla marked it as to-read
Mar 07, 2014
Caitrin
Caitrin marked it as to-read
Feb 27, 2014
Carilu
Carilu marked it as to-read
Feb 26, 2014
Christopher
Christopher marked it as to-read
Feb 24, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Dark Faith
  • Shine: An Anthology of Optimistic SF
  • So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Seeds of Change
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Seventh Annual Collection
  • The Secret History of Science Fiction
  • The Future is Japanese: Science Fiction Futures and Brand New Fantasies from and about Japan.
  • Interfictions: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing
  • Edge of Infinity
  • Poe: 19 New Tales of Suspense, Dark Fantasy, and Horror Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Mammoth Book Of Extreme Science Fiction
  • Filter House
  • A Science Fiction Omnibus
  • The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories
  • The Ant King: And Other Stories
  • Conservation of Shadows
  • The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction
572738
Lavie Tidhar was raised on a kibbutz in Israel. He has travelled extensively since he was a teenager, living in South Africa, the UK, Laos, and the small island nation of Vanuatu.

Tidhar began publishing with a poetry collection in Hebrew in 1998, but soon moved to fiction, becoming a prolific author of short stories early in the 21st century.

Temporal Spiders, Spatial Webs won the 2003 Clarke-Bradb...more
More about Lavie Tidhar...
The Bookman (The Bookman Histories, #1) Osama Camera Obscura (The Bookman Histories, #2) The Violent Century The Great Game (The Bookman Histories, #3)

Share This Book