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The announcement of the inaugural Nommo Awards shortlists, an initiative of the African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS) to honour works of speculative fiction, was received with excitement. It shed light on an often overlooked genre that is now on its way to irreducible relevance.

But here is something even more revelatory: Wole Talabi, a member of the ASFS, has compiled a list of 654 works—short stories, story series, novellas, novels—of speculative fiction. Listed under the “Resources” section of the ASFS Website, this list is as exhaustive as anything. While most writing on it was published in the 2010s and 2000s, there are works from the ’90s, ’80s, ’60s, and ’50s.

Wole Talabi has compiled a list of African speculative fiction writing.

From the novels and short stories of Amos Tutuola to those by Kojo Laing and Ben Okri, from Buchi Emecheta’s The Rape of Shavi (1983) to Ayi Kwei Armah’s Osiris Rising (1995), to works by Rachel Zadok, Doreen Baingana and Henrietta Rose-Innes. Naturally, the list is dominated by contemporary speculative fiction stars—Nnedi Okorafor, Lauren Beukes, Sofia Somatar, Helen Oyeyemi, Diane Awerbuck, Lesley Nneka Arimah—as well as by publications that helped push speculative fiction into the African literary mainstream: the Ivor Hartmann-edited anthologies, AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers (2012) and AfroSF V2: 5 Novellas (2015); the Bill Campell and Edward Austin Hall-edited Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond (2013); Jalada’s Afrofutures anthology (2015); the Margret Helgadottir and Jo Thomas-edited African Monsters (2015); Short Story Day Africa’s Terra Incognita (2015), Water (2016) and Migrations (2017) anthologies; the Billy Kahora-edited Imagine Africa 500 (2016); the speculative fiction magazine Omenana; and Brittle Paper.

Also listed are Jennifer Makumbi’s buzzing novel Kintu (2014), and works by Caine Prize winner Namwali Serpell, Gerald Kraak Award finalist Dilman Dila, and Caine Prize finalists Abdul Adan, Tendai Huchu and Chikodili Emelumadu.

Well done to Wole Talabi.

See the list HERE.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young

Otosirieze Obi-Young was born in Aba, Nigeria, and attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. A finalist for the 2016 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, his short stories include: “A Tenderer Blessing,” which appears in Transition Magazine and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015; “Mulumba,” which appears in The Threepenny Review; and “You Sing of a Longing,” which was shortlisted for the inaugural Gerald Kraak Award and appears in Pride and Prejudice, an anthology by The Jacana Literary Foundation and The Other Foundation. His essays appear in Interdisciplinary Academic Essays and in Brittle Paper where he is Deputy Editor. His interviews appear in Africa in Dialogue, Bakwa Magazine, 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. A postgraduate student of African Studies, he currently teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu, Nigeria. When bored, he blogs pop culture at naijakulture.blogspot.com or just Googles Rihanna.

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  1. Closing All My Tabs Tuesday | Gerry Canavan - 2017/09/12

    […] * Wole Talabi’s Compilation of 654 Works of African Speculative Fiction Should Top Your Reading List… […]

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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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