I’m delighted to say I’ve agreed with Apex Publications for a fourth volume in The Apex Book of World SF series. This unlikely anthology series has occupied me since 2008, when it seemed like just about the most ridiculous thing anyone could ever think of, and I have to give Jason Sizemore of Apex massive kudos for enthusiastically supporting this quixotic endeavour from the start. Together, I think we created something unique and, I hope, long-lasting.
Back in 2008, it seemed impossible to imagine we could get one volume out, let alone three. Yet, marvelously, here we are.
There were two things that concerned me around this time. One was that I wanted the series to continue. The second was that, after three volumes, I felt should no longer be the one to edit them. It occurs to me that the key for the anthologies from the start was diversity, a sort encompassing, global perspective. One rule in editing them was not to repeat writers, but use the space as a showcase for different people. The danger with remaining on is to allow my own possible biases to eventually get in the way. And after 3 volumes and nearly 300,000 words, surely it was time for someone else have their say!
What I needed was that unlikely someone who was so enthusiastic that they’d actually want to take this on – and there my plans kind of floundered…
…Until Mahvesh Murad came along. She had initially interviewed me for her radio show in Pakistan, and I met up with her later in London in August, when she came for the World Science Fiction Convention. She has been super enthusiastic about the anthologies, in a way I’d not seen anyone do before, and she asked if we were going to continue doing them, and if so, did we need any help editing…
At this point, Jason and I have been cautiously floating the idea of a fourth volume, as something that won’t completely ruin Apex or what remained of my sanity. We kept going back and forth but eventually Jason gave me the green light, I asked Mahvesh, she gave me a resounding yes! – and here we are!
I’m really excited about the next volume. I’m remaining on as Series Editor, which is a sort of oversight and support role combined, but the next book is going to be all Mahvesh, and I can’t wait to see it! It’s been fantastic to get this far, and I’m delighted that we are once more moving forward.
The Apex Book of World SF 4, edited by Mahvesh Murad, is tentatively scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2015, in trade paperback and e-book.