The Apex Book of World SF 4 edited by Mahvesh Murad is coming in late August - the eBook is available on Amazon NOW! Between now and then, we would like to feature some of the contributors in the anthology.

Saad Z Hossain lives in Dhaka, Bangladesh. His debut novel, Escape from Baghdad! was published in the US in 2015.

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Tell us a little about your story in The Apex Book of World SF 4.

I'm writing a novel on djinns, so I've been warming up the world building by doing some short stories. I've been trying to get away from the traditional mythology of djinns by fleshing out their culture, their lore, their politics. When you think about how radically the human world has changed over the past seven thousand years, it's ridiculous to think that djinns would remain the same as folklore.

 Why do you feel it is important to read stories from around the globe?

It's remarkable how different cultures treat sci fi. I recently read some sci fi from Cuba, A Planet for Rent by the great Yoss. The main difference I found compared to Western sci fi was the pessimism around alien contact. This makes sense, given the massive destruction of native populations by European colonialism. As a reader I'm always looking for some twist of perspective that lifts a story out of regular 'genre fiction'. The best chance of finding gems is to range far and wide. Also many people around the world are now writing in English, one of the effects of globalization I suppose, and thus a lot of new stories are available to us.

 If you could tell people to read one author from your home country, who would it be and why?

I could tell you ten great authors who write in English, and hundreds of heavyweights who write in Bangla. Our literary tradition stretches back centuries, but most of it is inaccessible to English speakers. If we focus on the new wave of Bangladeshis writing in English, there are a couple of great new publishers called Bengal Lights and Bengal Publications, who are putting out original work. If we count the diaspora, then I would start with Tahmima Anam, who wrote A Golden Age and The Good Muslim.

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