Nick Wood – July 2008

Unfortunately it looks like only the first issue of Escape Velocity is still available as a free download. However, I aim to upload my article on Right and Wrong Stuff: Psychological Factors in Space Flight due out in EV4 in July, after sufficient post-publication time has expired.

What I have been able to obtain - with both thanks and acknowledgement - is a presentation by Professor Ingrid Johnston (a Canadian educationist) delivered at last year's (2007) Cape Town Book Fair. Her article focuses on African Novels in Canadian Schools and was published in Bookbird, an international journal of children's literature: This provides an interesting external perspective on African novels, with some particular and relevant focus on Southern Africa and is uploaded as Part 7 in SF in SA

Regarding Southern Africa, Zimbabwe of course is a current focus of news at the moment, a souring tragedy further unfolding … 'Chimurenga' refers to a Shona word for 'Struggle' - reflecting the Zimbabwean version of the South African political 'Struggle' for independence and human rights against colonialism and white oppressive rule. But does it now also apply to political opposition to the current ruling regime? (ZANU-PF have co-opted or kept the term, depending on your perspective, with regard to their farm invasions or 'land reclamations' agenda.) Chimurenga music as performed by Thomas Mapfumo and at times Oliver Mtukudzi is driving energetic music, associated with previous political struggles against white domination and is well worth seeking out.

Next time I hope to report on the namesake African spec-fic issue of Chimurenga referred to in my May 2008 blog: All I can say, for now at least, is 'to the people of Zimbabwe…'

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