Motswanan author Tlotlo Tsamaase has a new science fiction book coming out. The book is called Womb City and will be published, as a part of a three-book deal, in spring 2023 by Erewhon Books.
Erewhon Books is a new independent publisher that publishes “novel-length works of speculative fiction: science fiction, fantasy, and related genres.” Erewhon has a clear mission to support a wide range of authors to offer “thoughtful, groundbreaking, and unforgettable books that go straight to the reader’s heart, effortlessly strange stories that take readers on powerful emotional journeys.”
Tsamaase writes speculative fiction and poetry, and a number of her works have appeared here on Brittle Paper. She has been a Lambda Award finalist for her novella “The Silence of the Wilting Skin” and a Nommo Award-winning author for her short story “Behind Our Irises” published in Brittle Paper’s Africanfuturism Anthology. She was been published in a variety of places including The Best of World SF Volume 1, Futuri uniti d’Africa, Clarkesworld, Terraform, and Strange Horizons.
The first of the three books in the deal, Womb City is set in “a stiflingly sexist Afrofuturist society” where technology intersects with human bodies, allowing for “reproductive technology allows those the government deems worthy to body-swap for newer, younger selves.” The story follows a woman who commits an act of violence and “awakens an ancient monster of folklore in a bid to survive.” In an interview for Gizmodo Magazine Tsamaase connects some of the themes of the novel, like femininity and institutional violence, to issues affecting our world today.
Gender-based violence continues to be a pandemic that impacts both women and nonbinary people, and falling into the latter gender identity offers no immunity from this violence. It’s pervasive and indifferent to human rights. I wanted to explore this dynamic in various ways: in a romantic relationship, a work environment, a family setting, and additionally how this system can be enforced by women, too. Everything about gender nonconforming people’s and women’s personae is policed, and if they rightfully respond with anger or refusal to adhere to oppression, it results in violence against them. I wondered how far that would go with the power of technology
Congratulations to Tsamaase, we’re excited for this new book!