Charles Tan: Hi Lavie! This will be the third Apex Book of World SF anthology. How is it different from the previous volumes? Is there a specific region or regions you wanted to focus on in this volume?
Lavie Tidhar: It’s a good question – to me, in a way, the three volumes present one continuous project, a single work – a snapshot of international speculative fiction in the last decade or so. That is, my goal was and remains to read widely, to select stories that I liked and that I wanted to share, without any story standing for some half-mythical “representation” of an entire culture or language. They’re individual stories by individual writers from all around the world, and some engage directly with specific cultural questions and some don’t feel the need to do that. If they do constitute an argument at all, it is exactly that, that you can’t narrow down fiction – genre or otherwise – you can’t reduce it to generalities.
Saying all that, it’s been a lot easier since I started editing the series in 2008 or so. One obvious difference in Volume 3 is that the stories are predominantly by women writers – who I think are very much leading the field in short fiction now. The other is that I had more access to more sources, and I’d single out the anthology Afro SF as filling a particularly important niche in that regard. In fact there’s a great range of sources included here.
Other than that, Volume 2 had a lot of shorter stories – here I wanted the freedom to reprint longer works, such as Benjanun Sriduangkaew’s “Courtship in the Country of Machine-Gods”, which opens the book, and is a remarkable debut.