Friday, June 28, 2019

Five SFF books set in contemporary African locales

Suyi Davies Okungbowa is a Nigerian author of stories featuring African gods, starships, monsters, detectives and everything in-between. His godpunk novel, David Mogo, Godhunter, is out from Abaddon in July 2019. His internationally published fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Lightspeed, Fireside, Podcastle, The Dark, Mothership Zeta, Omenana, Ozy, Brick Moon Fiction and other periodicals and anthologies. He is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Arizona, where he teaches writing, and has worked in editorial at Podcastle and Sonora Review.

At he tagged five SFF books set in contemporary African locales, including:
Johannesburg, South Africa: Zoo City by Lauren Beukes

Much like [Charlie Human's] Apocalypse Now Now, Beukes’ Zoo City takes place in South Africa, features its invisible undesirables and ventures into noirish territory. Most of the comparisons end there, though. Johannesburg—and Zoo City, the slum where the “animalled” population live (those who’ve committed a crime and have been forced to “carry” an animal, as well as gain a strange magical ability)—is its own world. Zinzi December is a con artist with her own animal—a sloth—and a gift for finding missing things. She’s dragged into a missing persons case that turns out to be much more. There are strong allusions to xenophobia, class segregation and the stigma of conviction (and in a tongue-in-cheek manner, AIDS), all issues plaguing the brick-mortar-and-flesh city outside of the book.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue