Dear ISF readers,
It is with great pleasure that the ISF publishes today an interview with Jason Sizemore (Apex Publisher) about a series of books Apex publishes focusing on international SF titled The Apex Book of World SF and The Apex Book of World SF 2, both edited by Lavie Tidhar!
Also, there is a Book Giveaway coming up in cooperation with Apex. We will be offering everybody the opportunity to win a paperback of The Apex Book of World SF and The Apex Book of World SF 2!
And last but not the least, ISF will publish tomorrow the short story “Zombie Lenin” by Ekaterina Sedia, which was published in The Apex Book of World SF 2!
Here is a brief introduction about Apex Publications and The Apex Book of World SF:
Apex Publications is a small press publisher based out of Lexington, KY dedicated to producing exemplary science fiction, horror, fantasy, and nonfiction. Their catalog includes anthologies such as the Dark Faith and The Apex Book of World SF series, novels and novellas like the upcoming What Makes You Die by Tom Piccirilli, nonfiction such as Starve Better by Nick Mamatas, and the Hugo nominated Apex Magazine.
Realizing that there is a vast world of science fiction that many people never get to experience, in 2009, Apex Publications owner and publisher Jason Sizemore and editor Lavie Tidhar came together to launch a series featuring international science fiction. The first volume The Apex Book of World SF features 16 stories from Asia and Eastern Europe. The Apex Book of World SF 2, out in 2012, turns the focus on authors from Africa and Latin America.
To learn more about Apex Publications and The Apex Book of World SF series, visit www.apexbookcompany.com.
A CONVERSATION WITH JASON SIZEMORE BY ROBERTO MENDES
Hi, Jason , first of all, thank you very much for this interview. Could you please present yourself to the ISF readers?
Hi Roberto, thank you for giving me this platform to bring my agenda to your readers!
I am Jason Sizemore. I have owned and operated Apex Publications since 2005, an independent press located out of Lexington, KY. The website: http://www.apexbookcompany.com.
Could you please detail the idea and the reasons behind the launching of a series of Anthologies featuring different perspective from the Anglophone sphere and different authors from many country’s from all around the world?
I blame Lavie Tidhar for most of my questionable and disreputable choices. He can deny it all he wants, but the guy is a bad, bad influence. He did help me make one wonderful and smart decision, and that was to publish The Apex Book of World SF.
When Lavie and I launched the series, it wasn’t so much a political or social statement, but more of an opportunity to expose the average SF/Fantasy/Horror reader to different voices from around the world. The first book did a good job, as it received a lot of positive press and attention. It turned out to be an anthology that both Lavie and I are quite proud of doing.
What are the main intentions of the Apex Book of World SF ?
Lavie and I wanted to showcase some of our favorite international authors (authors not from the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK) and hopefully introduce them to the average spec fic reader.
In your opinion, what can an international approach to speculative fiction offer to all the readers that is so different from the things that an Anglophone approach has been doing?
I liken it to the college experience. I was raised in a tiny community way up a Appalachian hollow in extreme southeast Kentucky. It wasn’t until I was 16 that I saw a black person (that wasn’t on television or in the movies). I had a very insular upbringing.
College was quite an eye-opening experience for me! So many cultures! So many interesting people! I know my upbringing probably was more extreme than most, yet I bet many college freshman has the same experience.
International authors bring a unique voice to their work. There is a different rhythm to their prose. A different worldview. Add these attributes to a great story, and you have something truly wonderful.
What were the main problems that you encountered in the process of creating this anthology?
In a couple of cases, it was finding a quality translator. Other times, simply finding contact information for an author we wanted was hard. Otherwise, the authors were magnificent to work with. They were enthusiastic about the opportunity to expand their audience.
Lavie Tidhar has done a tremendous work promoting International authors, was he an obvious choice to lead the anthologies?
I can’t see anybody else doing a better job. Lavie is possible the most well read individual I know in general. He certainly is the most well read individual of non-Anglo authors that I know. The guy has lived an interesting life, lived in a dozen different cultures, so he has enmeshed himself to find out who the big SF authors are in Viet Nam, or Cambodia, or China, or the South Pacific, so on.
What type of feedback did you get after launching two anthologies ?
After we released the first volume, the near universal feedback went something like this: Great book, but can you include more stories from <insert geographic region>.
We tried to address that in the second volume. Lavie and I wanted to include the work of writers from Latin America and Africa, Of course, we still haven’t hit all the regions because much of the feedback involves requests of more stories from <insert geographic region>.
Who are the best international writers for you ? I mean, Who’s work should everybody be reading?
I’ll limit myself to authors that appeared in the two anthologies. My favorite is Dean Francis Alfar. Other favorites include Guy Hasson, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, S.P. Somtow, Lauren Beukes, Zoran Zivkovic (though I’d imagine most of us have heard of Zoran).
What are the next future plans for Apex Book of World SF?
Lavie and I hope to do at least one last volume to cover the areas of the world we have yet featured. In the meantime, I encourage your readers to check out both volumes of The Apex Book of World SF (the second volume even received a starred review from Publishers Weekly). Both books are available from The Book Depository (free international shipping) and in eBook formats.
Thanks a lot Jason, we wish you and Lavie the best of luck with The Apex Book of World SF Anthologies!
ISF Editor in Chief
The Apex website – http://www.apexbookcompany.com/
The Apex Book of World SF –
The Apex Book of World SF 2 –