The World Science Fiction Bundle Showcases 10 Books You May Have Missed

The World Science Fiction Bundle Showcases 10 Books You May Have Missed
Illustration: Angelica Alzona

World Fantasy Award winner Lavie Tidhar has collected an impressively diverse range of voices and stories for the fifth annual independent Science Fiction Story Bundle. The featured authors come from all across the world, and Tidhar is especially interested in highlighting non-American voices in order to show a wide array of thoughts, ideas, and inspirations. From indie presses to the Big Five, this list has a global range of authors, creating a wonderful portrait of the future of science fiction.

The price is also accessible, with a $US5 ($7) price point for four DRM-free ebooks and $US10 ($14) for the full bundle of 10 ebooks.

On a Red Station, Drifting

Image: Nine Dragons RiverImage: Nine Dragons River

This short novella is the first in Aliette de Bodard’s Xuya universe that embodies a galactic struggle within the personal and intimate distinctions the characters find themselves fighting against. It’s an incredible feat of character development within a deft and concise book that takes an expansive look at a very small corner of the universe. On A Red Station, Drifting was a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards for Best Novella.

Bloodbusters

The World Science Fiction Bundle Showcases 10 Books You May Have Missed

This book blends sci-fi and horror, introducing a world where taxes are paid in blood, literally. In a trans-humanism Italy of the future, donating blood is a crime, and tax evasion carries extremely harsh penalties. As a BloodBuster investigates the people around him, he gets trapped in a conspiracy that threatens to unravel his entire life.

The Future God of Love

Image: Luna Press PublishingImage: Luna Press Publishing

Drawing on his Ugandan heritage, Dilman Dila creates a world in which Jamaaro, a blind storyteller and the future god of love, must create a story every full moon or else his community will collapse. With a hero like Jamaaro, there obviously a romance at the core of this novella, but the woman he falls in love with may not be human at all.

Sinopticon

Image: Simon & SchusterImage: Simon & Schuster

Collected, translated, and edited by Xueting Chrstine Ni, Sinopticon showcases a massively impressive slate of talent with stories by Nian Yu, Zhao HaiHong, Regina Kanyu Wang, Wang JinKang, Tang Fei, Anna Wu, Han Song, Jiang Bo, Bao Shu, A Que, Gu Shi, and Ma Boyong. Chinese sci-fi has been having an incredible moment, in between mainstream movies like Shang-Chi and lauded series like The Three-Body Problem, and Sinopticon takes on the mantle that Ken Liu left after his Invisible Planets anthology made waves in 2018.

The Cabinet

Image: Angry RobotImage: Angry Robot

Last year, Kim Un-Su, an incredibly well-respected Korean author, finally got an English translation of his 2006 mosaic novel, The Cabinet. This strange novel examines what happens when ordinary people gain extraordinary powers, and documents the chaotic emergence of a new human mutation through a satirical and whimsical look at the office workers who just have to deal with all the paperwork associated with a mass evolutionary event.

Automatic Eve

Image: HaikasoruImage: Haikasoru

In a version of Japan that has shoguns engaging in political power plays against a matriarchal line of empresses, a new AI technology that emerges from a city-state in the middle of this struggle threatens to topple the delicate power structures that hold the nation together. An intricate political thriller, Rokuro Inui manages to critique our technology dependence and argue for its immersion into our everyday lives.

Gorel and the Pot-Bellied God

Image: PS PublishingImage: PS Publishing

I can’t even fault Tidhar for including his own work here (I’d do it too, frankly), and this one certainly deserves to be mentioned more than it does. As Gorel struggles to return home, he runs into all kinds of characters and bad luck, some of it of his own making. An irreverent and comic dive into sex, drugs, and sorcery, this novella, much like Gorel, is much more than it seems.

Northern Wrath

Image: SolarisImage: Solaris

Inspired by Norse mythology, Holdt weaves together her lifetime spent researching Viking warfare in this apocalyptic debut. Chosen for her use of vivid prose and devastatingly horrific detail, this book travels the line between history and science fiction, creating a book that becomes its own Edda.

Love. An Archeology

Image: Luna Press PublishingImage: Luna Press Publishing

Another short story collection, this book ranges from space opera to near-future fiction, weaving together stories of people who grapple with love in all its forms. This book deals with how far people will go for love, and how deeply people care — even after death, even after the end of time.

Incomplete Solutions

Image: Luna Press PublishingImage: Luna Press Publishing

Wole Talabi’s collection of short stories, novelettes, and novellas explore the wide vastness of human possibility while remaining grounded in the Nigerian experience. There is folklore, love, and spaceships woven into this book, creating a sense of expansiveness that people love in science fiction. Taking on stories in earnest, Incomplete Solutions creates a necessary vacuum, inviting more authors in to fill in the blanks.