Blog: January to July 2018

I have ‘finished’ WATER MUST FALL, which has turned out to be almost as long as my PhD thesis (94K), so a respectable size, without being overwhelming. Now the edits, though, and trying to whip it into a shape good enough to find a publisher. One of the most difficult parts of the whole writing process, I find. WATER MUST FALL’s central conceit: In a world of disappearing water, who gets to drink? Cape Town’s narrowly averted DAY ZERO almost threatened to take over the book earlier this year...
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SF in SA (29) March 2018: Sticks and Stones

The Sticks and Stones of Becoming ‘Disabled’ by Nick Wood ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones,… But names will never harm me.’ Rhymes and resonances: This traditional English children’s rhyme, used down the ages as a retort to disempower playground name-calling, was apparently first coined by William Kinglakee (1809-1891). In his book EOTHEN(1844), Kinglake actually referred to ‘golden sticks and stones.’ EOTHEN was a recording of Kinglake’s trip through Syria, Palestine and Egypt, ...
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Blog: September to December 2017: Unifying Work and Fiction

Well, AZANIAN BRIDGES (AB) has done well for itself. Shortlisted for FOUR major awards, viz. British Science Fiction Award (BSFA) for Best SF Novel, 2016; Nommo Award for Best African SF Novel 2016; (deservedly won by Tade Thompson’s ROSEWATER); Sidewise Award for Best Alternative History, 2016 and the John W Campbell Award for Best SF Novel in English, 2016. And, as the dust settles on AB, I have completed my next novel, a near future Solarpunk thriller, tentatively titled WATER MUST FAL...
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Blog: May to August 2017 – Brief Update, but with Links in Bold

I'm well into my new novel (WATER MUST FALL, 50K+) and, along with a number of other projects, have admittedly been scarce here recently. A couple of my academic papers have been published, though. One, at the South African Journal of Psychology, on I'm well into my new novel (WATER MUST FALL, 50K+) and, along with a number of other projects, have admittedly been scarce here recently. A couple of my academic papers have been published, though. One, at the South African Journal of Psychology, on...
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Blog: February to April 2017: On Climbing the Jacob’s Ladder of Writing…

Well, I’m finally a full member of the Science Fiction Writers of America, having had three recognised ‘pro sales’ confirmed with them. Woo-hoo! But, beyond the sense of celebration, it’s got me thinking about when is one ever ‘successful’ – when does one ‘arrive’ as an author? I had an interesting twitter exchange some months back with Cat Hellisen and Blaize Kaye on this. Blaize was (understandably) under the misapprehension that given we had been variously published, both Cat and I had ‘a...
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Blog – October 2016 to January 2017: Onwards The African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS)!

Well, it’s been a busy and disturbing 2016 on many levels – I’ll stick mostly with the fiction, although the downturn of Trump and BREXIT are already marginalising the market of dystopian fiction. I mean, how bad can it get, right? ***** all signals down **** Of VERY good news at least is the formation of The African Speculative Fiction Society – kudos to Geoff Ryman for leading on this – and nominations are already open for the Nommo Awards – for novels, short fiction, comics/graphic ...
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SF in SA 28 (October 2016) – Is there such a thing as South African Comics?

As I mentioned some years ago on the South African Comics website, I have been on the search for South African comics for some time - and wrote about Mighty Man, the 1970s black super-hero here - who was ultimately toppled by the Soweto Uprising and the Struggle for freedom. George van der Riet is the proprietor of this website, which is a fantastic nostalgic trawl though the history of South African comics. But what about if you’re looking for new and current South African comics? One grea...
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Redo Mutwa: Time Unraveller

An Ongoing Anxiety In Art Circles About Anything Traditional Has Effectively Writien Credo Mutwa Out Of The Narrative Of South African Art. Ruth Kerkham Simbao Reconsiders The Import Of His Visionary Art And The Dialogue It Establishes With Afrofuturist Thought In a 2003 Daily News article, Farook Khan referred to Credo Mutwa as, “The country’s foremost African traditionalist”.1 As a painter. sculptor. architect. playwright, historian, and sanusi (the highest level of traditional healer, spi...
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Blog: June to September 2016

Just back from WorldCon in Kansas City where I was on a good number of panels, including giving a first reading from AZANIAN BRIDGES I also delivered a well-received workshop on Managing Anxiety and spoke on South African Science Fiction. Big news of this period though is the launch of the African Speculative Fiction Society, with the parallel announcement of the Nommo Awards, for Best African SF. Chinelo Onwualu from Nigeria is the Chief Spokesperson – and Geoff Ryman (more on Geoff late...
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Blog: March to May 2016

Just a brief update this time. I've added another SF in SA (27) Essay, entitled: 'One Language is Never Enough: On Both Harnessing and Resisting the Western Gaze.' (With both a debt and thanks to a wonderful writer, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz - and ongoing warm wishes!) I have a story, Dream-Hunter, in the latest edition of Omenana Magazine. But please read through the entire magazine, which has a wide variety of really good, really interesting African SFF, as well as an excellent article by Wol...
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