Image by Stephen Embleton

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’s writing has been shortlisted for the 2016 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, the 2017 Gerald Kraak Award, and nominated for a 2015 Pushcart Prize. His fiction has appeared in Transition (“A Tenderer Blessing,” 2015), The Threepenny Review (“Mulumba,” 2016), and Pride and Prejudice: African Perspectives on Gender, Social Justice and Sexuality (“You Sing of a Longing,” 2017), an anthology of The Jacana Literary Foundation and The Other Foundation. His work further appears in Interdisciplinary Academic Essays, Africa in Dialogue, and Brittle Paper, where he is submissions editor. He is the editor of the Art Naija Series: a sequence of concept-based e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness. The first anthology, Enter Naija: The Book of Places (Oct., 2016) focuses on cities. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (June, 2017) focuses on professions. He attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and currently teaches English at another Nigerian university. When bored, he blogs pop culture at naijakulture.blogspot.com or just Googles Rihanna.

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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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