cover image The Best of World SF, Vol. 2

The Best of World SF, Vol. 2

Edited by Lavie Tidhar. Head of Zeus, $39.95 (608p) ISBN 978-1-80328-031-8

World Fantasy Award winner Tidhar brings together another outstanding assortment of international sci-fi shorts, showcasing 29 thought-provoking stories written during the past 10 years. His claim that these tales represent the “cutting edge of science fiction” rings true throughout, in selections that range from the near to the far future and cover a wide swath of subgenres. “The Ten-Percent Thief” by Indian author Lavanya Lakshminarayan, transports readers to a relatively gentle dystopia that’s technologically and politically divided between exploitative Virtuals and downtrodden Analogs. From China, “Your Multicolored Life” by Xing He, translated by Andy Dudak, sees disaster strike a society built on slave labor and machine-made materialism. “The Next Move” by Bolivian author Edmundo Paz Soldán, translated by Jessica Sequeira, stingingly denounces dehumanized modern warfare, while in “The Regression Test,” Nigerian author Wole Talabi smartly explores the moral and emotional implications of artificial intelligence. “The Mighty Slinger” by Tobias S. Buckell and Karen Lord, from Barbados and Granada, stands out as a rare optimistic vision, about a futuristic calypso band that “sings truth right to power’s face.” This sweeping survey rewards the time it demands of its readers with a bold and powerful argument for non-Anglophone SF’s potential to push the genre’s boundaries. (Nov.)