SF in (South) Africa (31: Afrofuturism V Africanfuturism? May 2020)

Over the recent past few years there has been a debate about the 'correct' terminology of SF texts, as written variously by African Americans V the African diaspora V African 'continental' writers. Nnedi Okorafor is a Nigerian-American SFF writer at the heart of the debate. For an overview, see Vaatanen's "Afro- versus African futurism in Nnedi Okorafor’s “The Magical Negro” and “Mother of Invention” in Vector 289 (2019). Nnedi herself gives a definition on her website, dated October 19th...
Read More

WATER MUST FALL Launch (April 2020)

WATER MUST FALL launches this week - it was supposed to launch at the now cancelled Concentric, i.e. Eastercon 2020, but Covid-19 has had other (much more tragic) ideas for global humanity - these are tough and very sad times for so many! For psychological perspectives on the virus, you can visit The Psychologist Magazine (UK) or, if in South Africa, PsySSA have a response here. As for WATER MUST FALL, the now virtual launch is taking place here, alongside other fine books worthy of your a...
Read More

Blog: The Viral Start to 2020 (Apr 2020)

We now truly live in perilous and Science Fictional times! COVID-19 may indeed continue to wreak its havoc through this year and into 2021, perhaps in several waves. The last great pandemic - the so-called 'Spanish Flu' just over a century ago - had three major waves, the Second being the deadliest. For a local South African history of The Spanish Flu, look no further than Professor Howard Phillips, from the University of Cape Town, with his 'In a Time of Plague: Memories of the ‘Spanish’ ...
Read More

BLOG: Another Year Bites the Dystopian Dust – Onward To 2020!!

My apologies for my absence from here for so long. Health issues and the demands of living have taken their toll, but hey, here I am again, 18 months later…Much news of note to update, for 2019.In September, Luna Press published a collection of my short stories, alongside three essays and three new previously unpublished stories as LEARNING MONKEY AND CROCODILE: (with a glorious cover by Yorkshire artist John Cockshaw) The TOC of LEARNING MONKEY AND CROCODILE is:Of Hearts and Monkeys. First Publ...
Read More

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...
Read More

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, ...
Read More

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...
Read More

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...
Read More

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...
Read More