Nigerian writer and Caine Prize finalist Wole Talabi is set to release his debut novel. Titled Shigidi, the 320-page novel is “a mythic tale of disgruntled gods, revenge, and a heist across two worlds.” It will be published in August 2023 by DAW Books, a fantasy imprint of Penguin Random House.

The novel synopsis reads:

Shigidi is a disgruntled and demotivated nightmare god in the Orisha spirit company, reluctantly answering prayers of his few remaining believers to maintain his existence long enough to find his next drink. When he meets Nneoma, a sort-of succubus with a long and secretive past, everything changes for him.

Together, they attempt to break free of his obligations and the restrictions that have bound him to his godhood and navigate the parameters of their new relationship in the shadow of her past. But the elder gods that run the Orisha spirit company have other plans for Shigidi, and they are not all aligned—or good.

From the boisterous streets of Lagos to the swanky rooftop bars of Singapore and the secret spaces of London, Shigidi and Nneoma will encounter old acquaintances, rival gods, strange creatures, and manipulative magicians as they are drawn into a web of revenge, spirit business, and a spectacular heist across two worlds that will change Shigidi’s understanding of himself forever and determine the fate of the Orisha spirit company.

Talabi recently announced the news about his debut novel on Twitter. He said:

In a Twitter conversation with Brittle Paper, Talabi talked about the inspiration behind his novel:

The novel is inspired by my fascination with Yoruba mythology, with underdogs and antiheroes, with history and religion and the style is partly inspired by cinema. Especially action cinema. It takes place across Africa, Asia and Europe, across a wide swath of time. Above all, I wanted to write something fun and exciting and I hope readers enjoy it. I also have more publishing news soon so readers can expect more from me in the coming years. Its an exciting time.

Wole Talabi is an engineer, writer, and editor from Nigeria. His stories have appeared in Asimov’sF&SF, Lightspeed, and several other publications. He has edited three anthologies: Brittle Paper’s Africanfuturism, which was nominated for the Locus Award in 2021, Lights Out: Resurrection, and These Words Expose Us. His fiction has been a finalist for multiple awards including the prestigious Caine Prize, the Locus Award, the Jim Baen Memorial Award, and the Nommo Award, which he won in 2018 and 2020. His collection Incomplete Solutions has been published by Luna Press.

Pre-order Shigidi here.