By Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki: The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction Volume Two anthology is now open to submissions until the end of the year. This next volume of the series is a dual Year’s Best anthology, covering work published in 2021 and 2022. It will be published with a release date of early 2023 under the Caezik SF & Fantasy imprint of Arc Manor, an award-winning press run by Publisher Shahid Mahmud and his Associate Publisher, Lezli Robyn.
GUIDELINES. We welcome submissions of all reprint works of speculative fiction, from any genres and sub genres, including fantasy, dark fantasy, science fiction, horror and genre blends, up to 17,500 words, published by Africans or authors of African descent in 2021 and 2022. This means all flash, short story, and novelette fiction is eligible, if the rest of the parameters are met.
Send your submissions as a Word document file with your name, country of origin, email address, word length, first publication date and venue, to [email protected]
We will be receiving submissions until midnight 31 December 2022, but are already compiling the book—so please get in early so we have more time to consider your work.
If your work is not yet published, but is upcoming this 2022, you can also submit it and tell us the anticipated publication date, so we can consider it early.
This year’s volume will be guest edited by Eugen Bacon and Milton Davis, alongside the series editor, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki.
Authors will be paid 2c per word in USD, up from the past year’s 1c per word for a reprint.
A LITTLE HISTORY. This line of Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction anthologies was created, for the first time in the genre’s decades-long history, to draw attention to the works of Africans and people of African descent. This was intended to address visibility and other marginalizing barriers that exist for Africans and people of African descent on the global stage.
Volume One took on this task, with some critical success, despite the long line of obstacles that came with publishing on and from the African continent. These obstacles included the pandemic and related vaccine-hoarding policies, the Endsars protests and subsequent Lekki Massacre, and a Twitter ban by the Nigerian government. Slur-slinging racists, harassing trolls, Goodreads review-bombing, an Amazon KDP ban and seizure of funds for country of origin, and the same from Smashwords and Draft2Digital, also matched every step forward with another step back.
Despite all these obstacles, Volume One made the Nerds of a Feather and Locus recommended reading lists. The book and stories were well-received and reviewed by venues and reviewers such as Arley Sorg (co-editor of Fantasy Magazine) in Lightspeed, Brandon Crilly of Black Gate, Matthew Cavanagh of Runalong The Shelves, Mark Walter or Ginger Nuts of Horror, Adri Joy of Nerds of a Feather, Sarah Deeming of British Fantasy Society, T.G Shenoy of Locus Magazine, Fiona Moore of the British Science Fiction Association and many more who helped shine a light on the incredible fiction we had showcased.
A heartfelt thanks goes out to them all, and also to our copy editor Joshua Omenga, and the amazing authors in the anthology itself, including Tlotlo Tsamaase, Sheree Renée Thomas, Tobi Ogundiran, Pemi Aguda, Tendai Huchu, Suyi Davies Okungbowa, Craig Laurance Gidney, Eugen Bacon, and everyone else who worked on the project. We are that much closer to our goal for all their efforts.
ACCOLADES FOR VOLUME ONE. The editor for Volume One, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, is a Hugo Award finalist for best editor short form, and is the first Black African finalist for that category. The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction Volume One is also a finalist in the World Fantasy Award, and the first African anthology to be a WFA finalist, in addition to being a finalist in the Locus and British Fantasy awards. The anthology’s cover, by Maria Spada, was a British Science Fiction Award finalist as well.
Volume One is free to download in all formats on the Jembefola Press website. Jembefola Press was founded to publish the first anthology of The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction and other works like it. You can also find the Bridging Worlds Pan-African Non-fiction Anthology free to download in all formats there/here as well.
EDITORS. Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki is an African speculative fiction writer, editor & publisher in Nigeria. He has won the Nommo award twice, and an Otherwise and British Fantasy award. His novelette “02 Arena” won the Nebula award, and is a Hugo award finalist, making him the first African to be a Nebula best novelette winner and Hugo best novelette finalist. The thought-provoking piece was also a finalist for British Science Fiction, British Fantasy and Nommo awards. He edits The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction anthology series, which he’s the first African Hugo award best editor finalist for Volume One. He’s the first BIPOC to be a Hugo award finalists in fiction and editing categories in the same year, and The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction Volume One anthology he edited and published is also a Locus, British Fantasy and World Fantasy award finalist. His works of fiction and non-fiction have appeared, and are forthcoming, in Asimov’s, Tordotcom, Uncanny Magazine, Strange Horizons, Apex Magazine, Galaxy’s Edge, and more. He co-edited the Dominion anthology, Africa Risen anthology, and is a guest of honour at the forthcoming 2022 Cancon and 2023 International Conference for the Fantastic In The Arts (ICFA)
Eugen Bacon is an African Australian author of several novels and fiction collections. She’s a 2022 World Fantasy Award finalist, and was announced in the honor list of the 2022 Otherwise Fellowships for “doing exciting work in gender and speculative fiction.” Eugen’s short story collection, Danged Black Thing by Transit Lounge Publishing was a finalist in the British Science Fiction Association, Foreword Indies, Aurealis and Australian Shadows awards. Her creative work has appeared in literary and speculative fiction publications worldwide, including Award Winning Australian Writing, Fantasy Magazine, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction. Her books in 2022: Mage of Fools (novel), Chasing Whispers (collection) and An Earnest Blackness (essays). Visit her website at eugenbacon.com and Twitter @EugenBacon
Milton Davis is an award winning Black Speculative fiction writer and owner of MVmedia, LLC, a publishing company specializing in science fiction and fantasy based on African/African Diaspora history, culture and traditions. Milton is the author of thirty novels and short story collections: his most recent the Sword and Soul adventure Eda Blessed II. Milton is also a contributing author to Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda, published by Marvel and Titan Books, and coauthor of Hadithi and the State of Black Speculative Fiction with Eugen Bacon. He is the editor and co-editor of ten anthologies; Terminus: Tales of the Black Fantastic from the ATL; Cyberfunk!; The City, Dark Universe and Dark Universe: The Bright Empire with Gene Peterson; Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology and Griot: Sisters of the Spear, with Charles R. Saunders; The Ki Khanga Anthology, the Steamfunk! anthology, and the Dieselfunk! anthology with Balogun Ojetade. Milton’s work had also been featured in Black Power: The Superhero Anthology and Rococoa published by Roaring Lions Productions; Skelos 2: The Journal of Weird Fiction and Dark Fantasy, Steampunk Writers Around the World published by Luna Press; Heroika: Dragoneaters published by First Perseid Press, Bass Reeves Frontier Marshal Volume Two, and Slay: Stories of the Vampire Noire. Milton Davis and Balogun Ojetade won the 2014 Urban Action Showcase Award for Best Script. Milton’s story “The Swarm” was nominated for the 2017 British Science Fiction Association Award for Short Fiction and his story, “Carnival,” has been nominated for the 2020 British Science Fiction Association Award for Short Fiction. His story, “The Monsters of Mena Ngai,” appears in the Marvel Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda anthology. Milton is a 2022 recipient of the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention Lifetime Pioneer Achievement Award.
Submissions Website address: arcmanorbooks.com/yearsbestafricansf