Hey everyone, hope this Monday’s been good to you so far. I’d tell you how late I slept but I’m not here to make you jealous.
I am here, today, with the first post in the series that will spotlight the authors who’s stories will be appearing in AfroSF – in case you missed Friday’s post, AfroSF is the first Science Fiction Anthology comprised of stories from African writers, and with the interest already shown in the anthology AfroSF is not only already ground-breaking but sure to be one of this years not-to-be-missed Science Fiction publishing events.
AfroSF features authors that have already been making names for themselves in the Speculative Fiction field -Nnedi Okorafor, Sarah Lotz, Sally Partridge, Joan De La Haye, Tade Thompson, to name but a few- but also writers with stories that Ivor Hartmann knew he couldn’t pass up.
So, let’s get into it, shall we? In no particular order:
I’m a 22-year-old student and writer, currently living in Cape Town; I’ve done stuff for Itch, New Contrast, FHM and 2oceansvibe – and I won the ‘Bloody Parchment’ short story competition in 2010, so I’m pretty excited to see the other genres coming up locally with AfroSF. My story, ‘Closing Time’ is narrated by a fairly unpleasant, unreliable alcoholic who has begun to discover that *his* blackout drunk isn’t anything like *your* blackout drunk. It’s about identity and fate and the kind of stuff you get to play with in SF that looks sort of obvious in realist prose.
As a writer of predominantly youth fiction I was surprisingly excited about the AfroSF concept. I grew up on a diet of science fiction, mostly the satirical stuff like Terry Pratchett, Robert Rankin and Douglas Adams, but I’ve never actually explored the medium myself. My imagination was instantly captured by ideas about parallel worlds, and extraterrestrial visitors. Its a lot tougher than it looks and it took a forest’s worth of scrap paper till I found an idea that stuck. Funnily enough, instead of going the deep space route I decided to stick with what I knew – setting the story in the real world, and focusing the action around the human cast. As tempting as a race of vampiric space invaders was, I’ve always found human beings to be the most devilish of villains, which is why in my story, Planet X, I play on the fear of my characters. Fear is a weapon far worse than anything our would be invaders can hit us with. I hope this doesn’t give too much away.
Interests: Cats. Books. Cooking. Procrastinating
Bio: S.A Partridge is the author of the award-winning youth novels The Goblet Club, Fuse and Dark Poppy’s Demise. Sally has been the recipient of the MER Prize for Youth Fiction, the SABC I am a writer competition and is an IBBY Honour list author. She was named one of the Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans in 2011 and is one of Women 24’s hottest up and coming South African authors.
Chiagozie Fred Nwonwu
My name is Chiagozie Fred Nwonwu. I am Igbo, then Nigerian. I introduce myself as Mazi Nwonwu and I am very saddened by the fact that I have to explain to people, even my fellow Igbos, that Mazi is equivalent to English Mr, a title not a name. The reason I have to explain at all is not far fetched: my culture is fading, fast, eroded by modernity. I write to capture as much as I can of this culture, to save as much as I can. I am a writer of prose, poetry and everything else in between, minus drama. I used to work as a magazine editor, now I am a freelance writer–until the next steady job comes that is. My greatest peeve is that I have to hang on to the name “Fred” because my body of work before December 2012 carried that Germanic name as my first name. I am a PAN-Africanist.
My story “Masquerade Stories” is an attempt to play with my culture and bring it to for again using an unlikely medium: science fiction. In Igbo tradition, masquerades represent the spirits of ancestors and the earthly representatives of the gods of my fathers–but, what if these masquerades are modeled after aliens? what if these aliens still walk among men? So you have teen boys boys in a far future, a cultural revival, and of course, omniscient aliens in a tale where the past meets the future.
Mia Arderne is a fiction writer and artist. Her subject matter, in both visual and literary fields, interfaces the erotic and the magical. She is currently studying towards a Masters degree in Creative Writing at the University of Cape Town.
My story paints a vision of futuristic erotica. It is a tragedy set a century from now in an era of excess, desperation and collective alcoholism. The town under my microscope is Bellville. The narrative explores the commoditisation of human beings, alternate currencies and the reduction of women to culinary delights.
Bio: Mandisi Nkomo is a budding (hopefully) writer, musician, and arranger. He is a class A nerd, who enjoys beer and live music. Being a class A nerd, he is obsessed with anything that stimulates his vast imagination; from books, to manga, to games, to Melodic Death Metal bands who growl about Norse Mythology. He currently resides in Cape Town South Africa, where he completed his Honours Degree, in Justice and Transformation, with a specialization in Conflict Resolution, at the University of Cape Town in 2011. After a ‘slight’ change of heart, he decided to pursue a Specialist Certificate in Arranging, through the Berklee College of Music’s Online School. Mandisi spends most of his time pondering ways to get a steady income, while writing fiction, music, and drumming in local bands.
Feel free to follow Mandisi’s profane and rude musings (you have been warned) on twitter, or at his blog. Also don’t be shy to check out his latest compositions and like his current Cape Town based band Callout.
About Heresy: Heresy is part Sci-Fi, part political satire, with a light sprinkling of fantasy. It takes place in a near future where South Africa has risen to Super Power status, and is engaged in a space race with China. The space race results in some dire or not so dire consequences, depending on your views. It was actually a departure from the type of stuff I have written before, which is ironic, since it’s my first accepted short story. Somewhere in my head, I’m hoping it reads like a Coen Brothers movie: funny on the outside, with serious, haunting undertones. Eitherway, I hope it’s enjoyed, and I’m extremely excited to be a part of the AfroSF team.
My name is Tade Thompson and my roots are in Western Nigeria and South London. I live and work in South England and I’m old enough to remember watching Captain Scarlet on TV. I read everything and it’s difficult to say which writers influence me. I tend to work under a unified influence field which comprises books, music, theatre, comics, art, movies, gourmet coffee and amala. We’re talking about Kurt Vonnegut, Chuck Palahniuk, Haruki Murakami, D.O. Fagunwa, Stephen Baxter, John Cassaday, Frank Quitely, Hanif Kureishi, Moebius, John Lindqvist, Salvador Dali, Eric Berne and so on. I have been known to haunt bookshops and libraries. I love drum ‘n bass, jazz and Vivaldi.
My story in the AfroSF anthology is called ‘Notes from Gethsemane’. The title comes from one of the two great traitors in Western philosophy (Judas and Brutus), but the story is really about brotherhood, family and making do under difficult circumstances. It’s a near-future story and as such the world is recognizable but alien at the same time. It’s set in Lagos, Nigeria, but you don’t have to have been there to appreciate what’s going on.
Here’s a list of the authors and stories that will be appearing in AfroSF:
‘Moom!’ Nnedi Okorafor
‘Home Affairs’ Sarah Lotz
‘Five Sets of Hands’ Cristy Zinn
‘New Mzansi’ Ashley Jacobs
‘Azania’ Nick Wood
‘Notes from Gethsemane’ Tade Thompson
‘Planet X’ S.A. Partridge
‘The Gift of Touch’ Chinelo Onwualu
‘The Foreigner’ Uko Bendi Udo
‘Angel Song’ Dave de Burgh
‘The Rare Earth’ Biram Mboob
‘Terms & Conditions Apply’ Sally-Ann Murray
‘Heresy’ Mandisi Nkomo
‘Closing Time’ Liam Kruger
‘Masquerade Stories’ Chiagozie Fred Nwonwu
‘The Trial’ Joan De La Haye
‘Brandy City’ Mia Arderne
‘Ofe!’ Rafeeat Aliyu
‘Claws and Savages’ Martin Stokes
‘To Gaze at the Sun’ Clifton Gachagua
‘Proposition 23’ (Novelette) Efe Okogu
The next post spotlighting the AfroSF contributors will be up on Friday. Don’t forget, AfroSF will be published in early December! Hit up Ivor Hartmann for any further info!