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Nigerian-American novelist Nnedi Okorafor.

Nnedi Okorafor, Lauren Beukes and Sofia Somatar have been listed in Entertainment Weekly‘s list of “27 Female Authors Who Rule Sci-Fi and Fantasy Now.” The list is a response to “a much-maligned National Review article, which dismissed the Bechdel Test and wrote off an absence of women in blockbuster films as a result of the lack of women writing blockbuster-worthy stories.” And this is coming after Nnedi recently announced that her novel, Who Fears Death, is being adapted for a HBO series with Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martins as executive producer.

Here is what Entertainment Weekly said about our favourite authors.

Okorafor excels at writing both adult and YA fiction, weaving together science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism in an African setting, heralded for her ability to intertwine that culture into her work. Her first adult novel, Who Fears Deathwon the 2011 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel. Just this week, she announced it’s been optioned by HBO with George R.R. Martin set to executive produce – the network may not have to look very far for the next Game of Thrones.

South African novelist Lauren Beukes.

South African novelist Lauren Beukes nearly defies her genre, having jumped between fantasy, urban thriller, cyberpunk dystopia, and more. Broken Monsters, released in 2014, was described as an “urban Grimm’s fairytale,” while 2013’s The Shining Girls tracks a time-traveling serial killer. If you’re looking for something that stretches the limits of genre, Beukes’ novels are just the thing (and if you need something even more off the beaten path, she’s also written short stories, nonfiction, comics, and more.)

Somali-American novelist Sofia Somatar.

Drawing on her background as a Somali-American and a language scholar, Samatar stunned readers with 2013’s A Stranger in Olandria and its sequel, 2016’s The Winged HistoriesThe sequel follows four women caught up in different sides of a rebellion – using a fantasy lens to examine feminist and anti-colonialist themes. A Stranger in Olandria won the British Fantasy Award and World Fantasy Award, while its sequel was a 2017 Locus Award finalist.

For more on African sci-fi and fantasy, check out the brilliant inaugural Nommo Awards shortlist announced in April, an initiative of the African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS) to recognise the finest fantasy or science fiction works by Africans.

See Entertainment Weekly‘s full list HERE.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, an academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review ("Mulumba," 2016), Transition ("A Tenderer Blessing," 2015), and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award ("You Sing of a Longing," 2017), for which he was shortlisted. His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. His conversations appear in Africa in Dialogue, Bakwa, SPRINNG, and Dwartonline. He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, Enter Naija: The Book of Places (October 2016), focuses on Nigerian cities. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (June 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. He studied history and literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies, and teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. When bored, he just Googles Rihanna.

2 Responses to “Nnedi Okorafor, Lauren Beukes, Sofia Samatar Named in Power List of Top Sci-Fi and Fantasy Authors” Subscribe

  1. Ronald Gibson 2017/07/14 at 11:08 #

    Wait until they read The Chronicles Of Han series. They will have to amend the list. Five books in print, each in excess of 600 pages of nail biting, spine tingling science fiction/indeterminate genre with two more in editing and two partially written, so no excuse not to have something to read for the next year or two.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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