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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SF in SA (27) One Language is Never Enough: On Both Harnessing and Resisting the Western Gaze (May 2016)

Why do we write? And, perhaps even more importantly, for whom do we write? We certainly would not write if there was no reader, even if that reader remains just us. So writing appears to form an act of communication, often with our selves, but we may also write with a reading audience in mind. The problem I've found though is, what happens if you try and target (at least two), quite radically disparate audiences? But then that's been a constant tension I've faced, growing up white in Africa. Wh...
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Blog – Jan/Feb 2016 – Azanian Bridges

Soon to be launched, my debut novel 'Azanian Bridges' via the excellent NewCon Press. You can read the opening chapter via Books Live SA here. Two reviews of 'AZANIAN BRIDGES' have come out to date, the first on the SFBook Review site here.  Yes, 'Azanian Bridges is the kind of science fiction we need...!' (Not surprising I'd agree, of course!) The second is by Dr. Mark Bould here. Given the centrality of a current existing apartheid within the narrative counterfactual, I have also felt ...
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Blog – September to December 2015

2015, Best Of (and More) Sorry for several months’ silence, but now is an ideal time for both looking back (2015) and looking ahead (2016). There are many and various 'best of' SFF lists for 2015, but few better - and Afrocentric too! - than Wole Talabi's list of best African SFF. A more generic list is compiled on Nina Allan's website, herself a wonderful writer too - in which she focuses on works to recommend for the 2015 British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Awards. Firstly, she f...
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SF in SA (25): Academia and the Advance of African SF (August 2015)

African SF used to be pretty thin on the ground, although this may be partly down to narrow Western definitions of what exactly SF is - whether it was referring to science fiction or to the broader, more encompassing label of speculative fiction. Certainly, as Nnedi Okorafor (2014) put it in one of her online essays: “African science fiction is still alien.” Dr. Okorafor's (2014) essay mentions two important considerations: 1. Africans are (generally) absent from the creative process of global ...
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