WATER MUST FALL has just been launched virtually by NewCon Press, given the constraints of public spaces under viral attack, right now. Set in 2048, a year before the Blade Runner sequel date, it aims to avoid that pervasive and gloomy dystopia, by focusing on three alternating POV characters and their connections within developing small stories (but of a global groundswell) of community activism, aimed at taking control of the planet for a brighter, fairer solar based future. For surely we’ve all had enough of unmitigated dystopias by now, surely?
So I’m guessing – for those of you interested in pigeon-hole labels – African Solar-Punk may be the best fit. (My latest essay SF in SA, vol 31, looks at the debate over the labels Afro v Africanfuturisms; April 2020.) TOR have a two parter on ‘Afro-Solarpunk‘ here and here.
For those of you interested in the genesis of WATER MUST FALL, it came after a Nine Worlds Panel in 2017 when the wonderful Russell Smith asked me to fill in at short notice on a panel for Tade Thompson. Tade has huge boots to fill and I was already anxious at the prospect – and then I saw my fellow panelists (see photos below). Yes, I got to sit next to the fierce and legendary Pat Cadigan, alongside Adrian Tchaikovsky and Anna Smith-Spark – Russell Smith is speaking to Anna in the first photo, and is himself a fine writer. (In photo 2 that’s a first edition copy of ROSEWATER under my elbow, which I’d showed off to the audience.)
When it got to audience question time, I mentioned that African dystopias tend not to have singular saviour narratives. (The WORMWOOD Trilogy by Tade is a case in point.) But my embarrassed inability to rattle off a further series of examples – (see current African lock-down reading rec’s here )– on being pressed by the audience, meant that afterwards I thought, better write one myself. And so, 30 months later, WATER MUST FALL has been finally launched, on its scary journey into the World!
Post-Covid-19, time to build a better Normal – and thank you, Vincent Sammy, for a wonderful book cover.
Nick Wood, Labour Day, 2020.