At the risk of sounding a little self serving, just a note to say that my latest novel, Martian Sands, is now available from PS Publishing in the UK as an £11.99 hardcover. A signed limited edition of 100 copies is also available.
1941: an hour before the attack on Pearl Harbour, a man from the future materialises in President Roosevelt’s office. His offer of military aid may cut the War and its pending atrocities short, and alter the course of the future . . .
The future: welcome to Mars, where the lives of three ordinary people become entwined in one dingy smokesbar the moment an assassin opens fire. The target: the mysterious Bill Glimmung. But is Glimmung even real? The truth might just be found in the remote FDR Mountains, an empty place, apparently of no significance, but where digital intelligences may be about to bring to fruition a long-held dream of the stars . . .
Mixing mystery and science fiction, the Holocaust and the Mars of both Edgar Rice Burroughs and Philip K. Dick, Martian Sands is a story of both the past and future, of hope, and love, and of finding meaning—no matter where—or when—you are.
Grasping for the wind has just posted a new interview with me about international speculative fiction and editing The Apex Book of World SF 2, with some comments from anthology contributors Rochita Loenen-Ruiz and Silvia Moreno Garcia.
SFFWRTCHT: How long does it take you to edit and assemble these anthologies?
LT: A long time! If you think about it, The Apex Book of World SF came out in 2009, while The Apex Book of World SF 2 came out in 2012–that’s four years between volumes! There are all kinds of reasons for that sort of time difference–and a lot that has changed in SFF in general over that period–but a part of it is certainly that it takes time and patience to put together an anthology of this kind.
SFFWRTCHT: Do you have plans to do more in the future? And what are outlets for readers intrigued by this to find more non-Western SF to read?
LT: Jason and I are very hopeful we get to do at least one more volume in the series. It depends on sales making it worthwhile for Apex, though. I’m keeping my eyes open and flagging interesting stories for consideration. We also have an idea for a separate–but very exciting– anthology with a more specific focus, which I hope we get to do. – read the full interview.
Lavie Tidhar on Masada Shall Not Fall Again: Faux-Realism, Parallel Histories, and the Fiction of Israel
World SF Editor-in-Chief Lavie Tidhar has a lengthy post on his blog entitled Masada Shall Not Fall Again: Faux-Realism, Parallel Histories, and the Fiction of Israel. Here’s an excerpt:
The State of Israel originates out of twin science fictional impulses: the utopian vision of Zionism on the one hand, as embodied in Theodor Hertzl’s the novel-as-manifesto Altenuland (Old New Land), and the dystopian imperative of the Holocaust.
As a State, and as a History, it had, since its inception, embarked on an ambitious and all-encompassing plan of cultural and historical revisionism. Amongst these we can include the eradication of Yiddish in favour of a revived (re-imagined, re-created) Hebrew; an ambitious plan of renaming (re-christening?) the land; the creation of a national and nationalistic sound track (as embodied in, for instance, Jerusalem of Gold, Ha’sela Ha’daom (Petra) but most of all in the national anthem, Hatikva (The Hope); and the creation of a body of mythos, a Matter of Israel, embodied most significantly in the revived image of Masada.
In order to promote the forthcoming release of The Apex Book of World SF 2, we’ve decided to offer a very special edition to anyone pre-ordering the paperback edition. While the trade edition is scheduled for August, anyone ordering a copy by April 30th will receive their copy in May (three months early!) and with unique bonus content.
Pre-order the anthology and it will include, as a special bonus, Nir Yaniv‘s never-before-published-in-English novelette “Undercity” (8800 words) as well as Charles Tan‘s essay, “World SF: Our Possible Future”!
Edited by Lavie Tidhar, The Apex Book of World SF 2 collects works from award-winning SF writers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. Featured authors include Will Elliot, Hannu Rajaniemi, Shweta Narayan, Lauren Beukes, Ekaterina Sedia, Nnedi Okorafor, and Andrzej Sapkowski. Several of the stories are published for the first time in English.
Preorders of the special edition can be placed at http://www.apexbookcompany.com/collections/books/products/the-apex-book-of-world-sf-2-edited-by-lavie-tidhar
We are aiming for 100 pre-orders – please consider supporting Apex and the World SF Blog by pre-ordering!
Lavie Tidhar’s latest book, the picture book Going To The Moon, about a boy with Tourette’s Syndrome who wants to become an astronaut, is now available. Lavie is interviewed over at SF Signal, who also review the book.
Photo (c) Sandy Auden 2012
From Paul Weimer’s review:
Going to the Moon is the story of a young boy named Jimmy who wants to be an astronaut. He wants to go to the Moon. Jimmy also doesn’t want to have to fight his constant, taxing struggle against the Tourette’s syndrome that dominates his life. He doesn’t like the dance-like involuntary movements it causes in him. He’s bullied, in the way young people who are different are often bullied. The corprolaia of Toruette’s syndrome means that he involuntarily uses curse words, even though he doesn’t want to. As such, the book doesn’t shy away from trangressive words. Words I can’t use in this review.
The real heart and soul of the book is found in the pictures by Paul McCaffrey. They are beautifully and colorfully drawn. But there’s more to the book than just Lavie’s words and the pictures. Like the best picture books, the text and the images engage and interpolate with each other, in a dialogue that makes the book stronger for that interaction. The theme of aliens (and Jimmy himself is definitely an alien in some ways) is reflected in the imagery much more than the text. To cite another example, the use of curse words in exclamation in the imagery reminds me of the innovative subtitles in the movie Night Watch.
And the end brought tears to my eyes as the reader figures out what Jimmy and the friend he makes are too young to realize. Curse you, Lavie Tidhar…your audacity strikes me again.
It’s not a book you’d want to read to your children, because of the language. Although its about a young boy and his concerns, its a book for adults. And it moved me. It will move you, too. – read the review, or interview!
We’ll come back next week with a new short story (remember, you can submit!) and, if we can finally get around to doing it, the launch of the World SF Bookshop (beta version).
The World SF Blog showcases science fiction writers from around the world and you recently started the World SF Travel Fund, a charity that helps international members of the science fiction, fantasy, and horror community travel to major genre events. As someone with their eye on authors from around the world, what are you noticing regarding non-Anglo speaking writers?
I think it’s not so much the industry but the Internet – the fact that the means of communication have radically changed – which gives people more access. Translations are still pretty much non-existent – though a particular hat tip to Ken Liu, who’s been doing an amazing job translating Chinese short stories recently. But you know, when I look over the last 3 years (since we launched the World SF Blog and published The Apex Book of World SF) it does feel like something has happened. I’d like to think so, at any rate. - read the full interview.
Just wanted to draw your attention to a short story I published on my blog yesterday: Enter The Dragon. Later, Enter Another – which deals with a future increasingly dominated by the effects of multiple WikiLeaks…
Julian Assange’s Impenetrable Fortress of Ice lies on top of Mount Terror, on Ross Island in Antarctica.
It is a beautiful, icy desolation, hiding inside it the Planet’s Most Wanted Man. His name is Julian.
The Fortress is patrolled at all times by WikiLeaks guerrillas, battle-hardened veterans of the War on Info, the War on Terror, the War for Family Values and the American Way of Life. Behind its sheer ice walls the WikiLord resides in utilitarian splendour, banks of computers broadcasting a continuous digital signal to overhead satellites, spreading the word. The words.
Data. All, as the faithful say, is Data.
Information wants to be free.
They bred me out of the black vats, deep underground, moulded me out of the greatest warriors of all time, General Schwarzkopf and Chuck Norris with a hint of Idi Amin, a touch of Bruce Lee. I am the Dragon. I kill at the speed of thought. I come to Antarctica as men have done over centuries, by sea. A British ice-breaker deposits me on frozen land. Broken icebergs drift across the ocean. I practice by breaking solid ice with my bare hands. I stare up at the frozen volcanoes, at Mount Erebus and Mount Terror. Erebus is a beautiful cone of snow and ice, but the eye is drawn to Terror, where battle drones fly like dark birds in the sky.
I kill a bear with only my knife and wear its hide.
I am ready for this task, as ready as I can ever be.
I reach the volcano.
I begin to climb.
The Iraq War was a computer simulation. Thousands of sentient ghosts died within its cycles of warfare. Viruses of Mass Destruction wrecked havoc on a sculpted landscape, a PR coup d’état for the American infidels. The truth is everywhere you look, just pick up the signal, reality is not what you see, it is what you think it is.
The first Assange I eliminated was in Paris. He was a version 5.02, without the killer instincts as yet, blond almost white-haired, a charismatic, preaching the word on the Rue Saint Michel.
As I ran away from the scene of my crime Mandela-bots chased me, telling me there is another way. I did not want their truth, nor reconciliation. I escaped by speedboat on the Seine, already I was booked for a second job, in Tel Aviv.
On Dizengoff Street I eliminated the Assange preaching sedition, a later model, war programming upgraded, he put up a fight, his knife routines were beautifully choreographed but I am the Dragon, and I completed my mission and flew to Riyadh.
There had been seven Assanges in Riyadh but none when I left.
Lavie Tidhar is currently preoccupied with urgent matters, but you can listen to him in the latest episode of The Skiffy and Fanty Show.
Lavie Tidhar’s Osama Released for the Kindle
Osama, published by PS Publishing in the UK, has been called “intensely moving” by Interzone, and a “powerful and disturbing political fantasy by a talent who deserves the attention of all serious readers” by Strange Horizons.
Osama tells the story of a private detective hired to locate the obscure writer of pulp novels featuring one Osama bin Laden: Vigilante. The detective’s quest takes him from Vientiane to Paris, London, New York and Kabul, across a subtly-changed world where nothing is quite as it seems – including himself.
Locus called the novel “a provocative and fast moving tale that raises good questions not only about the heritage of Al Qaeda, but about the slippage between reality and sensational fiction that sometimes seems to define our own confused and contorted experience of the last couple of decades.”
Tidhar is the author of the popular steampunk novels The Bookman and Camera Obscura, and is a current World Fantasy Award nominee for his work on the World SF Blog.
PS Publishing is the award-winning publisher of limited hardcover editions by the likes of Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, China Mieville and Lawrence Block, among others.
A DRM-free e-book edition of the novel, in mobi and epub formats, is also available directly from PS Publishing, as are the hardcover edition and a signed hardcover edition limited to just 100 copies.
The Portal interviews Lavie Tidhar, about the World SF Blog, nomination for the World Fantasy Award, the World SF Travel Fund, writing and new novel Osama:
Q: What does the blog’s tagline “ideologically suspect” encompass?
A: Well, it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, obviously. Occasionally I’d play with different sub-headings. But I think it has a serious undertone, too: that we’re challenging a lot of the underlying assumptions of “default” sf/f. You know, when James Gunn says, “American science fiction is the base line against which all the other fantastic literatures in languages other than English must be measured”–you know–all other fantastic literature!–then yes, ideologically we’re thousands of miles apart. Physically too, of course! We’re saying, “This isn’t how things are, or should be.” And if it means poking the occasional stick at a bloated and egotistical corpse, then hell, let’s have fun doing it, at least!
Q: What’s the story of the World SF Travel Fund’s genesis?
A: The fund is something I’ve been kicking around for a while, but it was the current list of World Fantasy Awards nominations–particularly, Charles Tan being nominated in the Special Award – Non Professional category – that helped crystallize the idea into a tangible form. I felt–we felt–that Charles deserved to be there for the ceremony, whether he won or lost–and of course he couldn’t go. The stark reality is that he could never afford it.
So we got together–quite a few people–to make this happen. First, to bring Charles over for the World Fantasy Convention and, second, to be able to help other people that way in the future. It’s very exciting being able to do that! - read the full interview.