This anthology was sooo good it hurt! Lavie Tidhar has compiled an exquisite, exotic collection of short science fiction stories in The Apex Book of World SF, Volume 3.
It was so refreshing to read these stories written by SF writers from throughout the world. Each had their own international slant that felt so fresh and unique.
Courtship in the Country of Machine-Gods by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
This a love story – of sorts. Sriduangkaew has created such an alien society that it was almost hard to follow the concept here. Yet the beings who populate this world were captivating and somehow had human attributes – machine or not – as they battled their arch enemies.
A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight by Xia Jia
Chilling and creepy. Gave me visions of that pale creature with the black soulless eyes and black hair who climbs out of the TV to terrorize the babysitter. Is the main character real or a ghost, like the others? You be the judge.
Act of Faith by Fadzlishah Johanabas
Ok, I’ll admit it. This one had me tearing up. What does it mean to be human and love a father and to love your faith? Can an android do any of these things? Deep, sweet story.
The Foreigner by Uko Bendi Udo
What an awesome blend of crooked civil servants, ethnic bias, and science fiction! This one was written so well as the main character attempts to establish his legitimacy in the face adversity.
The City of Silence by Ma Boyong
Boyong has taken the Internet and oppression to its far extreme. It is big brother tightening down the thumb screws and squeezing out your soul. Makes you want to scream.
Planetfall by Athena Andreadis
This is such a dreamy sort of tale of the establishment of a colony on a new world and the legacy those involved created. Well told with rich description and realization.
Jungle Fever by Ika Koeck
What talent to be able to instill such terror in this really short short about a monster’s metamorphosis! It all starts with a scratch.
To Follow The Waves by Amal El-Mohtar
This tale is actually about a dream weaver who unintentionally invades and controls another’s dream world. She falls in love but, alas, it is unrequited and has an unplanned consequence.
Ahuizotl by Nell Geraldine Garcia-Rosas
A chilling little horror story about a devilish water monster. Very atmospheric and told well.
The Rare Earth by Biram Mboob
Factions fighting in the name of religion. Whether in medieval times or now in the Middle East, tyrants and true believers have all called on religion to back their goals. Mboob has blended this timeless crusade with a modern ruthless twist.
Spider’s Nest by Myra Cakan
Cakan tells the tale of an addict’s descent into madness that leads to his doom.
Waiting With Mortals by Crystal Koo
This is a really hip world where humans host ghosts and ghosts plunge into humans – and it’s all policed by a supernatural police force. But there’s such a nice element of humanity between daughter and father and living up to expectations here as well.
Three Little Children by Ange
Holy crap! Never tell this bedtime story of a child murdering monster to your kids! They will never be the same. Horrors!
Brita’s Holiday Village by Karen Tidbeck
I don’t know why, but this story so reminded me of the movie, Cocoon, where these alien pods are discovered in a swimming pool and when the local aged neighbors go for swims they are suddenly rejuvenated. The main character stays in her aunt’s cabins and encounters curious neighbors and strange pupas hanging from the cabin’s eaves. Is there a connection?
Regressions by Swapna Kishnore
This story is really cool. So deep and layered about a young woman sent back in time to help reshape the world to reshape and change the past to make the future better for women. What happens is definitely not what she had planned.
Dancing on Red Planet by Berit Ellingsen
Fantastic story to round out this collection of short stories as multi-national astronauts prepare to land a first manned mission on Mars. Joyful and hopeful, Ellingsen expresses the wonderful shared elation of the Mars landing.
After reading this book, I really want to read more World SF from Apex publications. Good thing there are more volumes and, I hope, more to come in the future.