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Last week, we shared the news of Nnedi Okorafor’s forthcoming sci-fi novella.

Titled Remote Control and set in near-future Ghana, the Africanfuturist story tells the story of a girl named Sankofa, who wields enormous power as the adopted daughter of death.

Set for a January 2021 release, the book is still 9 months away from publication. But, we found this little treat for die-hard fans who can’t wait that long to get a taste.

Enjoy!

Excerpt of Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

Chapter 1

Sankofa

“Come at the king, you best not miss.”

– Omar Little, The Wire

The moon was just rising when Sankofa came up the dirt road. Her leather sandals slapped her heels softly as she walked. Small swift steps made with small swift feet. When she passed by, the crickets did not stop singing, the owls did not stop hooting and the aardvark in the bushes beside the road did not stop foraging for termites. Yards behind her, in the darkness, trotted the small red-furred fox rumored to follow her wherever she went. This type of creature wasn’t known to live in Ghana, but stranger things were always afoot when Sankofa was around.

Sankofa was fourteen years old, but her petite frame and chubby cheeks made her look closer to ten. Her outfit was a miniature version of what the older more affluent Mamprusi women of northern Ghana wore– a hand-dyed long yellow skirt, a matching top embroidered with expensive lace and a purple and yellow headband made of twisted cloth. She wore the gold hoop earrings, too. She’d done the head wrap exactly as her mother used to when her mother visited friends. Beneath the head wrap, Sankofa covered her bald head with a shorthaired black wig. She’d slathered her scalp with two extra coats of the thick shea butter she’d recently bought, so the wig wasn’t itchy at all. She also applied a thin layer to her face, taking care to massage it into where her eyebrows used to be. Despite the night’s cloying heat, the shea butter and her elaborate heavy outfit, she felt quite cool…at the moment.

A young man leaned against a mud hut smoking a cigarette in the dark. As he blew out smoke, he spotted her. Choking on the last puff, he cupped his hand over his mouth. “Sankofa is coming,” he hollered in Ewe, grabbing the doorknob and shoving the door open. “Sankofa is coming!”

People peeked out windows, doorways, from around corners and over their shoulders. Nostrils flared, eyes were wide, mouths opened and healthy hearts pounded like crazy.

“Sankofa come, ooooo!” someone shouted in Pidgin English.

Read more here.

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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