The Apex Book of World SF: Volume 4, ed. Mahvesh Murad

Second paragraph of third story (“The Gift of Touch”, by Chinelo Onwualu):

Bringing passengers on board always set him on edge; they had a tendency to poke about in places they didn’t belong. But running a haulage freighter doesn’t pay much when there isn’t much to haul. Now that the technology for instant matter transportation had improved movement between the five planets of the star system, work was becoming rarer. Bruno needed the money and he had to know that his ship, The Lady’s Gift, was in perfect shape.

I got this at the end of last year, when I had vain hopes that I might be able to read enough short sff to make a reasoned and helpful contribution to this year’s Hugo nominations process, but didn’t get around to reading it until now. As I expected, it’s a collection of mostly excellent short stories by non-native English speakers; the two that particularly grabbed me by the brain were the very first one, “The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family” by Usman T. Malik, and “How My Father Became a God” by Dilman Dila, both of which might have made it to my Hugo short list if I had read them in time (also assuming that they had no disqualifying previous publication, which I haven’t checked). It also includes Thomas Olde Heuvelt’s “The Boy Who Cast No Shadow” which was already a Hugo nominee in 2013. Glad I got it, sorry I didn’t read it sooner.

This was the top book on my list edited or written by a non-white writer. Next up is vol 1 of Paper Girls, by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang.

One thought on “The Apex Book of World SF: Volume 4, ed. Mahvesh Murad

  1. My favorite is the Dalek sequence (Manhattan/Evolution).

    Overall, this is the weakest of 10’s seasons IMCGO. It managed to cram three of my least-liked episodes ever into a single sequence (Human Nature, Family of Blood, and Blink) and several of the other eps were nothing to write home about. I think this was also my least-enjoyed finale of the New Who, but if I have to choose a “worst”, it’s “Blink”. Gave us the ludicrous Weeping Angels, whose every appearance fills me with nerd rage at their stupidity and munchkinism, and whose episodes are exercises in Idiot-Ball carrying either by the Angels or by the characters.

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