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...
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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...
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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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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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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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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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SF in SA (23) African SF Rec List from Nine Worlds (August 2014)

African SF (9 Worlds) Panel Rec List Marguerite Abouet – Aya De Yopougon Ayodele Arigbabu - Lagos 2060 Lauren Beukes – Moxyland Lauren Beukes - Zoo City Dilman Dila - A Killing in the Sun D. O Fagunwa, 'Forest of a Thousand Daemons' (translated by Wole Soyinka) Louis Greenberg - Dark Windows Milumbe Haimbe - Ananiya the Revolutionist (not out yet) Lily Herne – Deadlands Trilogy Ivor Hartmann (ed.) - AfroSF (Vols 1 & 2) Tendai Huchu - The Hairdresser of Harare Charlie Human - Apoc...
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