The wonderful online magazine Words Without Borders has just published its December issue, which has the theme of world science fiction. Included are great stories and excerpts from the likes of Stanislaw Lem, and work by writers from Poland to Pakistan. Japan and, indeed, Haikasoru is represented with The Universe on my Hands by Hiroshi Yamamoto. This is one of the seven titular stories in our forthcoming The Stories of Ibis, a novel-in-stories about the rise of true artificial intelligence we’ll be releasing in March.
Things are looking good for what is being called “world SF”, though what precisely that term means is open to interpretation. We’ve seen the launch of the World SF blog, and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Awards, the just released anthology The Apex Book of World SF, four volumes of Philippine Speculative Fiction, and another of other forthcoming books and initiatives.
Why the recent explosion of world SF? Well, you’re soaking. Blogging and the increasing number of publishers that accept email submissions from around the world have built a platform for the publication and discussion of science fiction from around the world. Many novels have hinted at the possibility of a global future, and now we finally seem to be living in one, albeit one with many discontents. One of the great positives though, is that science fiction is emerging as a worldwide genre, and as a worldwide conversation.