In recent weeks three projects were brought to my attention (OK: I knew about one quite a bit longer, but it’s only been made public early this year) that are either optimistic or try to be more inclusive of SF outside the western world, or both.
- First of all, there’s The Apex Book of World SF, edited by Lavie Tidhar. Caveat: my story “Transcendence Express” (lead story in Hub #2 — the last print version — and reprinted online in Hub #44 and as a podcast on Escape Pod episode #122) will be reprinted there. Lavie approached me last year, so I knew about this project a while back. It’s full of stories both set in locales around the world, and written by writers from around the world (OK: predominantly from Europe and Asia/Oceania. I hope Lavie can do a second one that incorporates writers from Africa and Latin America). It’s slated for a September 1 release, but you can pre-order it here. Check it out!
- Following that, on February 26, Lavie started the World SF News Blog. I’m not sure if Lavie is aware of the ‘Optimism in Literature around the World and SF in particular’ series I’m doing right here on the Shine blog (next installment will be posted tomorrow!), so I’ll inform him about it.
- Ahmed A. Kahn — writer and editor of, amongst other things, SF Waxes Philosophical and A Mosque Amongst the Stars — has announced two new anthologies: Cheer Up, Universe and Fun Times in Strange Lands. The former looks for original SF/F that makes us feel good; the latter will be fully illustrated, and is aimed at pre-teens (“precocious kids between the ages of 10 – 12”).
I certainly don’t see the above projects as competition, but rather the contrary: that there is a growing undercurrent in SF that looks both for a truly more worldwide representation, and that looks for a more positive approach. Thanks to tireless people like Lavie Tidhar, Charles A. Tan — check out his mini-directory of SFF people on Twitter — Gord Sellar (check out his piece on Korean SF which I will post tomorrow), Fabio Fernandes and Jacques Barcia (and I realise I’m forgetting quite a few people here: apologies and do feel free to correct and/or inform me) non-Western SF is getting more attention. Also, as Matt Staggs noted earlier in the year, maybe the time has come for a post-snark era.