Nick Wood – August/September 2009

There has been an interesting post by Nnedi Okorafor, who has been mentioned in these pages previously with regards to her African YA sf&f works Zahrah the Windseeker and The Shadow Speaker'. Nnedi is American resident but with strong Nigerian roots and her works so far - yay!- have been invariably African based, in a style which I think she refers to as 'organic fantasy': The post is provocatively entitled 'Is Africa ready for science fiction?' and is on The Nebula Awards website at:

I haven't yet seen District 9 but I believe the portrayal of Nigerians within the film is possibly racist - not good within a country where xenophobic attacks have been ongoing - shameful, really, if so! I wait to see it now with mixed feelings.

Lauren Beukes' book Moxyland has been launched in both the UK and at WorldCon in Montreal just past (August) for North America - good luck to her for hopefully further good sales and reviews! I think the Harper Collins imprint Angry Robot may be offering a short story prize for stories within Lauren's Moxyland universe - which may include publication in Lauren's next book Zoo City, due out in May 2010: So get writing!!

Finally, I would like to thank Adam Roberts for his permission to use an article he wrote, originally published in The Valve, and then in Vector 257, Autumn 2008, the British Science Fiction Association's critical magazine, entitled simply Doris Lessing. Lessing is originally from Zimbabwe, although it was known as (colonial) Southern Rhodesia, in the years that she was born and lived there. Adam - - also offers another interesting take on science fiction in Africa and so I have included the article in the section on Science Fiction in Southern Africa, Part 9. I am compiling an overview article on Science Fiction in South Africa and would be grateful if any of you have information of note you can send me about this. Till October.

Nick Wood - Aug/Sep 2009.