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Contributor Spotlight (Part Three): AfroSF – Science Fiction by African Writers (Edited by Ivor W Hartmann)

Happy Monday! 🙂

I’m back with the third and last part of the AfroSF Contributor’s Spotlight – if you’ve missed the first two posts, check out the first one here and the second one here. And if you’re still wondering just what AfroSF is (which you shouldn’t be!), then check out this post. 🙂 I also interview Ivor Hartmann, the editor and publisher of AfroSF, in that post.

AfroSF is the first ever anthology of Science Fiction by African writers only that was open to submissions from African writers all across Africa and abroad. It will be released in December 2012 in an ebook edition first and later a print edition. AfroSF – Science Fiction by African Writers is edited by Ivor W Hartmann and will be published by StoryTime.

In Part Two of the Contributor’s Spotlight I featured Martin Stokes, Ashley Jacobs, Anthony Gashagua, Nick Wood, Cristy Zinn and Uko Bendi Udo.

Let’s get on with this last post, shall we? 🙂

***

Joan De La Haye

Joan De La Haye writes horror and some very twisted thrillers. She invariably wakes up in the middle of the night, because she’s figured out yet another freaky way to mess with her already screwed up characters. Her novels, Shadows (reviewed by me here) and Requiem in E Sharp, as well as her novella, Oasis, are published by Fox Spirit.
You can find Joan on her website.

Nnedi Okorafor:

Nnedi Okorafor is a novelist of Nigerian descent known for weaving African culture into creative evocative settings and memorable characters. In a profile of Nnedi’s work titled, ‘Weapons of Mass Creation’, The New York Times called Nnedi’s imagination ‘stunning’. Her novels include Who Fears Death (winner of the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel), Akata Witch (an Amazon.com Best Book of the Year), Zahrah the Windseeker (winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature), and The Shadow Speaker (winner of the CBS Parallax Award). Her children’s book Long Juju Man is the winner of the Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa. Her first comic ‘The Elgort’ was featured in the Mystery in Space anthology (DC Comics/Vertigo) and her compilation of short stories, Kabu Kabu (Prime Books) and chapter book Iridessa and the Secret of the Never Mine (Disney Press) are scheduled for release in 2013. Nnedi holds a PhD in Literature and is a professor of creative writing at Chicago State University. Visit Nnedi at www.nnedi.com.


Sally-Anne Murray:

Sally-Ann Murray lives in Durban and lectures at UKZN. Her imagination, however, knows no bounds. In 2010, her novel Small Moving Parts won the MNet Literary Award and the Herman Charles Bosman Prize. She is busy with a second novel, and has published strange stories in English Studies in Africa (2012) and English Inside Out (2011).

Sarah Lotz:

Sarah Lotz is a screenwriter and novelist with a fondness for the macabre and fake names. She writes urban horror novels under the name S.L. Grey with author Louis Greenberg (The Mall reviewed by me here) and a YA pulp fiction zombie series with her daughter, Savannah, under the pseudonym Lily Herne (Deadlands reviewed by me here). Her latest solo novel, The Three, will be published by Hodder in the UK and Reagan Arthur in the US in 2014. She lives in Cape Town with her family and other animals.

Rafeeat Aliyu:

Hello there. I’m Rafeeat Aliyu and I’m an African flying machine. While my home base is located in Abuja, Nigeria, I naturally have the tendency of drifting and after jumping from Abuja to the UK, then to the south of France, then back to Abuja, I am now in East London (but may be in Eastern China the next time you blink). I write for a living, mostly non-fiction essays and opinion pieces for websites and blogs, so this will be my first published piece of fiction. I have a wide variety of interests that are not limited to; listening to Japanese folk metal music; researching on African and world history/ies; picking up new languages; watching Korean historical dramas; reading and watching wuxia, cooking spicy dishes and meditating on the Yoruba cosmos.

My interests in histories, cultures, traditions, reading and music greatly influence my writing. Assorted sources of inspiration roll around in my brain and then I end up writing out a story that is the result of all that action. It may due to this that I always have difficulty summarising what I write, so bear with me as I briefly outline the brain process behind Ofe!, my contribution to the AfroSF anthology. Immediately before I wrote Ofe! I was reading a lot of queer and lesbian speculative fiction, in particular lesbian steampunk. Before that, I read several detective/mystery pulp fiction stories. Then, add to this the fact that as a post-colonial Yoruba woman, I have an ongoing interest in learning more on Yoruba philosophy and cosmology. I also enjoy watching Yoruba movies, especially those that are infused with elements of magic and have humans with powerful abilities. This brings me to main idea behind this story, at the time of writing Ofe! I was plagued with the idea of an Africa with superheroes…superhumans moreso, and I imagined a world where human beings with extraordinary powers existed but lived undercover. What would happen to bring these human beings out of hiding?

Ofe! is also the brainchild of listening to Simphiwe Dana’s albums Zandisile and The One Love Movement on repeat while ruminating on the possibilities of science fiction (and steampunk) present in Dogon, Yoruba and Chinese mythologies. I truly hope you all enjoy reading Ofe!.

Biram Mboob

Biram Mboob was born in The Gambia in 1979. His short stories have appeared in a number of magazines, including Granta and Sable, as well as a number of anthologies including Tell Tales and Dreams, Miracles and Jazz. Biram earns a living as an IT Consultant and lives in South London.

Chinelo Onwualu:

Chinelo Onwualu is former journalist turned writer and editor living in Abuja, Nigeria. She has a BA in English from Calvin College and an MA in journalism from Syracuse University. Her work has appeared in Saraba Magazine, Sentinel Nigeria Magazine and the 2010 Dugwe Anthology of New Writing. Follow her on her blog at www.chineloonwualu.blogspot.com.

Efe Okogu

Efe Okogu is a Nigerian Writer, Anarchist, and Hobo. His publications include “The Train Game” in the anthology Diaspora City, “The Birth of the Blue” in Chimurenga, “Cigarette” in The Ranfurly Review, “Taxi Girl” in Thieves Jargon, “Deathpat” in the anthology Best New Writing 2011, “Restless Nature” in Decades Review, “Sweat and 419” in NigeriansTalk, and “South of the River” in Curbside Splendour.

He’s spent his entire adult life on the road and has witnessed a unifying theme – institutions ranging from governments to the IMF are used by the rich and powerful to steal resources and life from the people. The devastation of the planet is merely a by-product.

Proposition 23 is set a couple of centuries in the future: the earth is dying; artificial intelligences are on the rise; humans are implanted at birth with neuros which they use to interface with technology; the world is run under one system; and anarchists plot revolution from the shadows.

And me. 🙂

And since most of you know me, I’m not going to say much about myself. 🙂 I’ve been blogging and reviewing here since 2008, and most of you know that I’m a bookseller, too, and that I’ve got a great passion for Speculative Fiction. My story in AfroSF is titled ‘Angel Song‘, and is, I guess, a story that brings together war, religion, and SF. I’d like to say that I explore these three subjects a bit in the tale, but that’s for you to decide. 🙂 I hope you’ll dig it, though, just I’m pretty sure you’ll dig the rest of the tales in AfroSF. 🙂 You can follow my writing endeavors over at The Writer’s Life, and if you’d like to check out some of my writing, head on over to eFantasy and check out their Dark Fantasy Special – my story, Twisted, was included and published in that issue. 🙂
***

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

AfroSF will be published in December and available practically everywhere through Amazon, so please spread the word about this sure-to-be-excellent SF anthology! 🙂

Until next time,

Be EPIC!

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Posted by on October 15, 2012 in AfroSF, Spotlight

 

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Contributor Spotlight (Part Two): AfroSF – Science Fiction by African Writers (Edited by Ivor W Hartmann)

Hi everyone, hope your Friday’s been kickass so far. 🙂

I’m back with Part Two of the Contributor’s Spotlight-series of posts. In case you weren’t here for the first post, what I’m doing is introducing you (and in some cases, reminding you of) the authors who’s stories you’ll be reading (and enjoying, hopefully) once AfroSF is published in December. 🙂

What is AfroSF? Check out this post for the details, including an interview I did with AfroSF editor and publisher, Ivor Hartmann. 🙂 AfroSF is the first Science Fiction anthology featuring the work of African Science Fiction writers – ground-breaking in every sense of the word, and definitely something to look forward to! AfroSF will be published in December en eBook format, and some time thereafter in a print-edition.

In part one I featured Liam Kruger (Closing Time), S.A Partridge (Planet X), Chiagozie Fred Nwonwu (Masquerade Stories), Mia Arderne (Brandy City), Mandisi Nkomo (Heresy), and Tade Thompson (Notes from Gethsemane).

Today I’ll be introducing you to more writers and, where possible, allow them to give you a bit of an intro to their stories. 🙂 Let’s get to it, shall we?

***
Martin Stokes

My name is Martin Stokes. I’m a 20 year old BA Communication Sciences student and work as a bartender. I like science fiction and romance… but I have a love of the night and the restless wind and the pawing dead. Horror, in a word. The story that will appear in AfroSF, ‘Claws and Savages’, is my second published short story and concerns itself with a future South Africa that shares vague similarities with today’s one.

I wrote it kind of as an allegory because it just seemed relevant at the time, but it turned out to be a decent story as well.

Ashley Jacobs

My name is Ashley Jacobs, first-time author and scum of the medical world by way of being a young South African doctor, and I blog over at The Urban Eagle. Growing up I was naturally drawn to science fiction and particularly the subgenre of cyberpunk. Science fiction with an international flavour has recently become a passion of mine so being part of the first anthology of original African works is both exciting and inspiring for me.

New Mzansi’ is essentially about a young guy who is forced to find his place in a rather dystopian future South Africa. The idea for the story came from the realization that South Africa and medicine provided the perfect backdrop for the intersection of technology and humanity. I had fun drawing from my medical background for it with a few other geeky interests blended in with a local twist. Hope you enjoy reading it.

Anthony Gashagua

I’m part of the AfroSF writers, my story is called ‘To Gaze At The Sun’. So here is a general idea of how my story unfolds: ‘To Gaze At The Sun‘ is about a couple’s experience as they struggle to adopt a son. When the son finally arrives he is not the exact idea of what they are looking for. Here’s my blog.

Nick Wood

I’m thrilled to be in Afro SF, indeed the first anthology of African writers of science fiction, so kudos to editor Ivor Hartmann for compiling this collection. My own story, ‘Azania‘, is a post-colonial slant on the familiar colonial tropes of planetary colonisation – but with pain, food, culture and sexual tensions thrown in – a typical human story then, despite its otherworldly setting.

Cristy Zinn

I studied a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Drama and English with a minor in Jazz Voice. Despite my degree, a stint teaching high school drama, I somehow ended up as a graphic designer by day and a speculative fiction writer by night. I am naturally inclined to write children’s fiction but when it comes to science-fiction I tend to veer towards short adult fiction (probably inspired by my subscription to Asimov’s). I spend my free time dabbling in song-writing, trying to sketch like Chris Riddell, Googling the latest technological trends, downloading copious amounts of fonts (I’m a collector) and reading voraciously.

Five Sets of Hands‘ is a story set off planet, on a far future Mars. Though it’s not set in Africa it deals with something I think is close to the heart of most Africans – the gift and power of community in spite of hardship.

Cristy Zinn lives in Durban where she works as a graphic designer. She won the 2011 NOVA Science Fiction and Fantasy competition with a story called Inactive but Five Sets of Hands will be her first published work. You can see more of her unpublished stories at www.cristyzinn.com where she also interviews writers and blogs about writing.

Uko Bendi Udo

Identity. It’s a prickly issue that haunts us all on a daily basis. The questions percolate within (who am I?), and without (who are we?). On a micro level, humans are spliced into many groups and sub-groups, and the categorization continues to this day. A hundred years from now, on a macro level, what form of the Homo sapien will walk this earth? Would he/she remain a purebred (strictly human), or would he/she morph into something totally different? How about a mixture of Earthling and Milinian, some yet undiscovered world out there populated with human-like forms? Many questions. ‘The Foreigner‘ tackles the concept head-on with a protagonist whose DNA is Nigerian and other-worldly.

My name is Uko Bendi Udo, and I was born and raised in Nigeria. I currently reside in the USA.
***

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 featuring more AfroSF contributors will be up on Monday, and don’t forget, AfroSF will be published in early December, so you’ve got plenty of time to start making a list of everyone you know who’ll enjoy this anthology. 🙂

Until Monday,

Be EPIC!

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2012 in AfroSF, Spotlight

 

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Contributor Spotlight (Part One): AfroSF – Science Fiction by African Writers (edited by Ivor W Hartmann)

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:

Liam Kruger

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.

S.A. Partridge:

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

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.

Mandisi Nkomo

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.

Tade Thompson:

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!

Until then,
Be EPIC!

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2012 in AfroSF, Spotlight

 

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M.D. Thalmann / Satire and Sci-fi

M.D. Thalmann, a novelist and freelance journalist specializing in satire and science fiction, lives in Phoenix, AZ with his wife, children, and ornery cats, reads too much and sleeps too little.

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