Strange Horizons Launches 100 African Writers of SFF Interview Series


Strange Horizons this week publishes the first installment of a new interview series, 100 African Writers of SFF. The series will run through 2017 and 2018, exploring the recent explosion of speculative fiction across the African continent.

Written by the award-winning writer and academic, Geoff Ryman, the project is the result of extensive research and travel to almost a dozen African countries so far, including Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda.

The series will feature interviews with writers such as the Commonwealth Fiction Prize-shortlisted author and filmmaker Dilman Dila; futurist and editor Ayodele Arigbabu; Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, whose novel Kintu won the Kwani Manuscript Prize, and will be published in the U.S. this May; and many more.

As Ryman notes: “There must be a reason why almost the only prose fiction I’m reading comes out of Africa … If a sharp break with traditional culture is one of the things that inspires fantasy and SF writing then Africa might be an epitome of the modern experience of moving through change.”

Tracing both the established tradition of African SFF writing, and providing a window into a thriving and diverse contemporary literary scene (as evidenced by such projects as the Jalada Collective’s 2015 AfroFutures issue, Omenana magazine, and the African Speculative Fiction Society), 100 African Writers of SFF aims to provide a bridge between the featured writers and a broader SF and literary readership.

This week, Strange Horizons will be publishing the first three chapters of 100 African Writers of SFF, covering Nairobi (February 27), diaspora writers in the UK (March 1), and Cape Town (March 3). Further chapters will be published approximately every 2 months.

100 African Writers of SFF is supported and made possible by a grant from the Leverhulme Trust. Parts One and Two were previously published by Tor.com in 2016.

Strange Horizons is a not-for-profit, volunteer-staffed magazine of and about speculative fiction, founded in 2000 with the aim of highlighting new voices and perspectives in speculative fiction and related nonfiction.

Geoff Ryman is Senior Lecturer in School of Arts, Languages and Cultures at the University of Manchester. He is a writer of short stories and novels, and science fiction and literary fiction. His work has won numerous awards including the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award (twice), the James W. Tiptree Memorial Award, the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award, the British Science Fiction Association Award (twice), and the Canadian Sunburst Award (twice). In 2012 he won a Nebula Award for his Nigeria-set novelette “What We Found.”

[Based on a press release.]

6 thoughts on “Strange Horizons Launches 100 African Writers of SFF Interview Series

  1. I’m confused. How is this not just a reprint of the earlier printing on Tor.com?

    I think it’s great that it’s being given another round of visibility and promotion, but it doesn’t look to me as though the content has been significantly augmented.

  2. You’re not confused. The first two installments are reprints. That is acknowledged near the end of the item. I expect the rest of the series will be previously unpublished posts.

  3. Mike Glyer: I expect the rest of the series will be previously unpublished posts.

    I would welcome that. Back when I read it on Tor.com, I thought, “Well, this is very interesting, but it’s such a superficial treatment of a very deep subject, that I’m not sure what the point is.”

    Now that I know what was published was just a teaser, rather than the entirety of the work (something which was not explained on Tor.com), it makes more sense, and I’m looking forward to it.

  4. JJ: and Mike: correct! Tor declined to continue the series, so we’ve taken it over. We’re reprinting the first two* so that the whole thing is in a consistent style and one location. UK is up tomorrow, and then the first new chapter, on Cape Town editors, goes up on Friday; after that there should be a new chapter every couple of months. I think there are eleven planned chapters at the moment, ranging from about 11,00 words to about 30,000 words.

    *There are some minor changes, and there will be a couple of additional writers added to Nairobi in the near future, but as they stand, yes, basically a reprint.

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