The Apex Book of World SF 3 – A Review

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00029] The Apex Book of World SF 3
Lavie Tidhar, Editor

Apex Book Company (June 2014)
science fiction/fantasy/horror

I’m back with another LibraryThing review.

This is the second Apex anthology I’ve read in 2014, thanks to LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program; the first was The Book of Apex: Volume 4 of Apex Magazine. The set-up for both collections is similar: a gorgeous cover and a powerful gathering of recent science fiction, fantasy and horror stories. The one big difference, as you might guess, is that the majority of the contributors to The Apex Book of World SF 3 don’t live in the U.S. They hail from more than a dozen countries ranging from Europe to Africa to Asia to North America.

Their contributions to this book are equally diverse. Sadly, there are no Pandas of Dread (RIP Eugie Foster), but there are dancing astronauts; zombies; and beautiful translations by Ken Liu, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Jim Young, and Tom Clegg.

My favorite stories in this collection of sixteen include Xia Hia’s “A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight” (100 ghosts and one living boy), Ika Koeck’s “Jungle Fever” (a zombie’s firsthand tale on becoming one), Amal El-Mohtar’s “To Follow the Waves” (be careful what you weave into your dreams), and Ange’s “Three Little Children” (a nice and creepy bedtime story). There are many more I like, as well, and the weaker stories are still decent, just not necessarily my cup of tea.

There’s something for everyone in The Apex Book of World SF 3 (fabulously assembled by editor Lavie Tidhar) if you enjoy speculative fiction and want to experience stories not always easy to find or expected to be in the U.S. I was really pleased to see that this collection made NPR’s best book list for 2014.

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