Welcome to issue 76!
I offer my customary welcome with a bit more glee than usual. This is a special month for Apex Magazine as we spotlight one of my favorite things: international SF. To make this happen, I turned to Cristina Jurado, a Spanish author and editor-in-chief of SuperSonic, the first bi-lingual semiprozine for the English and Spanish speaking markets. She did a wonderful job selecting the original fiction this month.
When Lavie Tidhar and I did the first volume of The Apex Book of World SF in 2009, few Anglo readers could name more than a handful of non-Anglo (specifically the United States, Canada, Australia, and Great Britain) genre authors. On the eve of the release of The Apex Book of World SF: Volume 4, it pleases me to report that the scope of the genre has broadened substantially in the last six years. Perhaps the most buzzed about science fiction novel of the year is Chinese writer Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem. The world owes Ken Liu a debt of gratitude for bringing Liu’s work to English readers.
Humanity, on a whole, is a mistrustful bunch. Mistrust feeds into fear and misunderstanding. From there, it isn’t a great leap to racism, bigotry, and hatred. Reading the work of non-Anglo authors makes the foreign seem less foreign to Anglo readers such as myself. It gives non-Anglo readers a chance to say “This is where I come from! Finally, I am represented on the SF stage.” For all of us, it opens our minds to other cultures. Reading well-written works of fiction from non-Anglo authors turns us into miniature cultural anthropologists no matter our background, because no matter where you from there is always the opportunity to discover a story from somewhere else.
Ironically, the sense of engaging with the foreign is one reason I enjoy international SF so much. Reading something from the perspective of a completely different culture is an interesting, entertaining, and mentally rewarding exercise.
I hope you enjoy the work guest editors Cristina Jurado, Lavie Tidhar, and Mahvesh Murad have put into this issue. I know I did.