World Fantasy Award winner Lavie Tidhar has assembled an impressive lineup of voices and stories for the fifth annual Independent Science Fiction Story Bundle. Featured authors come from all over the world, and Tidhar is particularly interested in spotlighting non-American voices to show a wide range of thoughts, ideas, and inspirations. From independent presses to the Big Five, this list includes a global range of authors, creating a wonderful portrait of the future of science fiction.
Pricing is also accessible, with a price tag of US$5 ($7) for four DRM-free ebooks and US$10 ($14) for the full bundle of 10 ebooks.
On a red station, adrift
This short story is the first in the Xuya universe of Aliette de Bodard which embodies a galactic struggle within the personal and intimate distinctions against which the characters fight. It’s an incredible feat of character development in a deft, concise book that takes an expansive look at a tiny corner of the universe. On a red station, adrift was a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula and Locus Awards for Best Short Story.
This book mixes science fiction and horror, introducing a world where taxes are paid in blood, literally. In a trans-humanist Italy of the future, blood donation is a crime, and tax evasion is subject to extremely severe penalties. As a BloodBuster investigates the people around him, he finds himself ensnared in a conspiracy that threatens to turn his entire life upside down.
The future God of love
Drawing on his Ugandan heritage, Dilman Dila creates a world in which Jamaaro, blind storyteller and future god of love, must create a story every full moon or his community will crumble. With a hero like Jamaaro, there’s obviously a romance at the heart of this novella, but the woman he falls in love with may not be human at all.
Collected, translated and edited by Xueting Chrstine Ni, Sinoptic features an impressive roster of talent with stories from 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 had an amazing time, between mainstream movies like Shang Chi and rented series like The three-body problemand Sinoptic takes the coat that Ken Liu left behind after his Invisible planets anthology made waves in 2018.
Last year, Kim Un-Su, an incredibly respected Korean author, finally got an English translation of his 2006 mosaic novel, The wardrobe. This bizarre 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 office workers who simply have to deal with all the paperwork associated with it. to a mass evolutionary event.
In a version of Japan where shoguns engage in political power games against a matriarchal line of empresses, new AI technology emerging from a city-state in the midst of this struggle threatens to topple the delicate structures of power that hold the nation together. A complex political thriller, Rokuro Inui manages to critique our addiction to technology and argues for its immersion in our daily lives.
Gorel and the pot-bellied god
I can’t even fault Tidhar for including his own work here (I would too, frankly), and this one certainly deserves more mention than it does. As Gorel struggles to get home, he runs into all sorts of characters and bad luck, some of which are of his own making. An irreverent and comical dive into sex, drugs and witchcraft, this short story, much like Gorel, is much more than meets the eye.
Wrath of the North
Inspired by Norse mythology, Holdt weaves together her life spent researching Viking warfare in this early apocalyptic. Chosen for its use of vivid prose and gruesomely devastating detail, this book walks the line between history and science fiction, creating a book that becomes its own Edda.
Love. An archeology
Another collection of short stories, this book ranges from space opera to near-future fiction, weaving together stories of people struggling with love in all its forms. This book is about how far people will go for love and how much people care – even after death, even after the end of time.
Wole Talabi’s collection of short stories, novels and novels explores the vastness of human possibility while remaining grounded in the Nigerian experience. There’s folklore, romance, and spaceships woven into this book, creating a sense of expansiveness that people love in science fiction. Take stories seriously Incomplete solutions creates a necessary vacuum, inviting more authors to fill in the blanks.