X is for xenophilia

Love of the other. That’s why I read and write science fiction and fantasy — whether the other is an alternate version of our own world, a might-have-been, a might-yet-be, or someplace so fantastic a human could never survive. Other cultures on our own world. Other races we could meet. Other.

That said, what makes a story resonate with us is the recognition of people we know, of feelings we have, of things we have seen. It’s love and hate and jealousy and the adventure of the unknown. It’s feeling left out and the triumph of winning. It’s running into a new situation and being confused, then using our own skills to solve the problem. It’s life.

But one of the lacunae in my reading has been works from other cultures on our world. I’m trying to correct that: I just purchased The Apex Book of World SF, and I try to keep up with The World SF Blog. I’ve also recently discovered InterNova. I’d also like to read some of the books pointed out by Jeff VanderMeer in An Overview of International Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2010, but I don’t know when I’ll get to them in my immense TBR pile.

Have you read anything from outside your own culture recently? Any recommendations?

As always, thanks for stopping by and reading!

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  1. Nice post, I like your topic. I’m currently reading Chekhov’s short stories, which are interesting. I haven’t read much Russian literature so this is new for me. His prose and style are nice though some of the stories I wasn’t as into. (He has some social commentary, I think I’m just not in a mood for topics of a more depressing nature).

    • Are there any Russians who are not depressing?

      Actually, on the shelf downstairs, I have a book of Russian SF, selected by Asimov, that I haven’t read yet. I hope to get to it this year . . . although it’s certainly not current. 😉

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