The Apex Book of World SF 2

BOOK: The Apex Book of World SF 2
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The Apex Book of World SF 2
Edited by
Lavie Tidhar
Copyright @ 2012 by Lavie Tidhar
Cover Art "Santa Adela" @ Raúl Cruz
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce the book, or portions thereof, in any form.
Published by Apex Publications, LLC
PO Box 24323
Lexington, KY 40524
First Edition, Auguest 2012
"Alternate Girl's Expatriate Life" @ Rochita Loenen-Ruiz 2010. First published in
"Mr Goop" @ Ivor W. Hartmann 2009. First published in
African Writing
"Trees of Bone" @ Daliso Chaponda 2005. First published in
Apex Digest
"The First Peruvian in Space" @ Daniel Salvo 2005, 2011. Translated by Jose B. Adolph. English publication original to this collection. First published in Spanish as
El Primer Peruano en el Espacio
Ciencia Ficción Perú
"Eyes in the Vastness of Forever" @ Gustavo Bondoni 2010. First published in
Innsmouth Free Press
"The Tomb" @ Chen Qiufan 2004, 2011. Translated by the author. English publication original to this collection. First published in Chinese as
Science Fiction World
"The Sound of Breaking Glass" @ Joyce Chng 2010. First published in
Semaphore Magazine
"A Single Year" @ Csilla Kleinheincz 2009, 2011. Translated by the author. English publication original to this collection. First published in Hungarian in 2009 as
Egyetlen esztendő
in the anthology
Nyulak • Sellők • Viszonyok
"The Secret Origin of Spin-Man" @ Andrew Drilon 2009. First published in
Philippine Speculative Fiction IV
"Borrowed Time" @ Anabel Enríquez Piñeiro 2007, 2011. Translated by Daniel W. Koon. English publication original to this collection. First published in Spanish as
Deuda Temporal
Nada Que Declarar
"Branded" @ Lauren Beukes 2004. First published in
SL Magazine
"December 8th" @ Raúl Flores Iriarte 2006, 2011. Translated by Daniel W. Koon and the author. English publication original to this collection. First published in Spanish as
8 De Diciembre
"Hungry Man" @ Will Elliott 2011. Original to this collection.
"Nira and I" @ Shweta Narayan 2009. First published in
Strange Horizons
"Nothing Happened in 1999" @ Fábio Fernandes 2010. First published in
Everyday Weirdness
"Shadow" @ Tade Thompson 2010. First published in
Expanded Horizons
"Shibuya no Love" @ Hannu Rajaniemi 2004. First published in
"Maquech" @ Silvia Moreno-Garcia 2008. First published in
"The Glory of the World" @ Sergey Gerasimov 2008. First published in
Clarkesworld Magazine
"The New Neighbours" @ Tim Jones 2008. First published in
"From the Lost Diary of TreeFrog7" @ Nnedi Okorafor 2009. First published in
Clarkesworld Magazine
"The Slows" @ Gail Hareven 1999, 2009. Translated by Yaacov Jeffrey Green. First published in Hebrew as "Ha'iti'im" in the collection
Haderech Legan Eden
. First published in English in
The New Yorker
"Zombie Lenin" @ Ekaterina Sedia 2007. First published in
Fantasy Sampler
"Electric Sonalika" @ Samit Basu 2011. Original to this collection.
"The Malady" @ Andrzej Sapkowski 1992, 2006. Translated by Wiesiek Powaga. First published in Polish as "Maladie" in
Nowa Fantastyka
. First published in English at Published by arrangement with literary agency Agence de l'Est.
"A Life Made Possible Behind the Barricades" @ Jacques Barcia 2010. First published in
Steampunk Reloaded Web Annex

Table of Contents
Lavie Tidhar
Alternate Girl's Expatriate Life
Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Philippines
Mr Goop
Ivor W. Hartmann, Zimbabwe
Trees of Bone
Daliso Chaponda, Malawi
The First Peruvian in Space
Daniel Salvo, Peru
Eyes in the Vastness of Forever
Gustavo Bondoni, Argentina
The Tomb
Chen Qiufan, China
The Sound of Breaking Glass
Joyce Chng, Singapore
A Single Year
Csilla Kleinheincz, Hungary/Viet Nam
The Secret Origin of Spin-Man
Andrew Drilon, Philippines
Borrowed Time
Anabel Enríquez Piñeiro, Cuba
Lauren Beukes, South Africa
December 8th
Raúl Flores Iriarte, Cuba
Hungry Man
Will Elliott, Australia
Nira and I
Shweta Narayan, India/Malaysia
Nothing Happened in 1999
Fábio Fernandes, Brazil
Tade Thompson, Nigeria
Shibuya no Love
Hannue Rajaniemi, Finland
Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Mexico
The Glory of the World
Sergey Gerasimov, Ukraine
The New Neighbours
Tim Jones, New Zealand
From the Lost Diary of TreeFrog7
Nnedi Okafor, USA/Nigeria
The Slows
Gail Hareven, USA/Nigeria
Zombie Lenin
Ekaterina Sedia, Russia
Electric Sonalika
Samit Basu, India
The Malady
Andrzej Sapkowski, Poland
A Life Made Possible Behind the Barricades
Jacques Barcia, Brazil
Editor Biography
Artist Biography


By Lavie Tidhar


When we first set out to put together and publish
The Apex Book of World SF,
none of us
thought it would become quite what it became. Success is relative, of course—but
we were in turns amazed and gratified as the anthology took off, receiving
wide-spread exposure in the genre world, initiating conversation—even ending up
on more than one university curriculum!


At the same time as the book came out, I launched the World SF Blog, initially intended to be a
promotional tool for the anthology, but very quickly it took on a life of its
own. The site now publishes a regular stream of articles, essays, interviews
and even short fiction, all on a daily basis (you can find the site here:
Charles Tan joined to help me run it, and somehow, between blog and book, we
seemed to have hit on a new wave of interest in, and enthusiasm for, the
science fiction and fantasy coming from outside of the traditional Anglophone world
of SF. Whether we helped create the wave, or merely rode the top of it, I can't
say—nor does it matter, as long as the wave is there and still going.

To my mind, though, what we are doing simply reflects a wider change in the SF world. In this
volume, for instance, we have a story from Finnish author Hannu Rajaniemi,
whose debut novel—written in English—has done tremendously well on publication.
Here, too, is mega-star in the making Lauren Beukes from South Africa, who I
got the chance to see win the Arthur C. Clarke Award this year in London…

In this volume, too,
we are very lucky to have a story from Polish grandmaster Andrzej Sapkowski,
whose novels are beginning to be translated into English and winning a wider
readership everywhere. And here, too, I have tried to address the imbalance
that was present in the first volume, and which I lamented in my last
introduction—namely, to introduce more African and Latin American writers into
the next volume

I am extremely
grateful to Daniel W. Koon for his help with the two Cuban stories, and much
else, to Wu Yan for his help with securing another Chinese story—this one by
Chen Qiufan—for this volume, and for Charles Tan for services above and beyond
the call of duty. And none of this would have been possible without the support
and enthusiasm of our hard working publisher, Jason Sizemore, whose faith
brought this project alive.

There are more
original stories in this collection than in the last one, and more stories,
period—a whopping twenty-six this time around!—featuring writers from Africa
and Europe, Asia and Latin America, Australia and New Zealand and the Middle
East. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.


Lavie Tidhar


Viet Nam, 2011



Alternate Girl's Expatriate Life
Rochita Loenen-Ruiz
Rochita Loenen-Ruiz is a Filipina writer now based in the Netherlands. Her short stories have appeared
Fantasy Magazine
Weird Tales
, amongst others.


In Springtime, her garden yielded a hundred wisteria blossoms. White English roses climbed the pergola.
, lavender from the South of France, mint and thyme, rosemary and
tarragon, basil and sweet marjoram—they all grew in Alternate Girl's
one-hundred-percent super-qualified housewife garden.


Across the street, excavators dug up large swathes of grass.

"They're building a new complex over there," her neighbour said. "I heard the farmer who owned that
land went off to live the life of a millionaire."

Her neighbour babbled on about yachts and sea voyages and Alternate Girl stood there staring
while the machines went about their business of churning up grass and soil. She
wondered what it would be like to be crushed under those hungry wheels, and she
flinched at her own imagination.

"A pity," her neighbour said. "I sure will miss the view."

Alternate Girl
murmured something vague in reply, and went back to tending her flowers.

She wondered if the
farmer was happier now that he had his millions. Would wealth and sea voyages
make up for severed ties and the erasure of generations of familial history?

She pulled out a stray weed, and scattered coffee grounds to keep the cats from digging up her
crocus bulbs.

She shook her head and headed back indoors. She'd only known two kinds of lives, and in neither of
them had she been a millionaire.


Most expatriates
pursue a model life. This makes them a desired member in their adopted society.
They appear to assimilate quickly, adapting without visible complications to
the customs of the country in which they reside.



On the surface, they
may appear contented, well-adjusted, and happy. However, studies reveal an
underlying sorrow that often manifests itself in dreams. In dreams, the
expatriate experiences no ambivalent feelings. There is only a strong sense of
loss. It isn't uncommon for expats to wake up crying.


On Expatriate Behaviour
, Mackay and Lindon—



In her dreams, Alternate Girl fled from her life as an expat. She sprouted wings and let the
wind take her back to the gates of her hometown.


Even in the
dreamscape, she could smell the exhaust from passing jeepneys. She could taste
the metal dust in the air. The moon shone on the gentle curve of asphalt,
cutting through dusty thoroughfares, creating long dark shadows on the
pavement. Metal tenements jutted up from the land, pointing like fingers at the
night sky.

By day, a constant
stream of drones strove to keep those buildings together. Every bit of scrap
metal, every piece of residual wiring was used to keep the landscape of steel
and concrete from breaking to pieces. For all its frailty, for all its seeming
squalor, there was something dear and familiar about the way the streets met
and turned into each other.

Even if her life was
filled with the cosiness of the here and now, she could not shake off the
longing that thrummed through her dreams in the same way that the thrum of the
equilibrium machine pulsed through this landscape.

Towering above the
tenements was the Remembrance Monument. Made of compressed bits and parts, it
contained all the memories of those gone before. Each year, the monument
reached higher and higher until its apex was lost in the covering of clouds.
When she was younger, she'd often imagined she could hear the voices of the

Above the pulse of
the Equilibrium Machine, above the gentle susurrus of faded ghosts, she heard a
cry. High and shrill, it emitted a hopelessness Alternate Girl remembered

It was the same cry
that pulled her out of her dreams and back into the present. She turned on her
side, pressed her ear against her pillow and stared into the darkness.

This is my home now
, she told herself.
I am happy as I am. We are happy as we are.

Never mind her
personal griefs. Never mind her longing for that lost landscape.

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BOOK: The Apex Book of World SF 2
8.6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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