Everything except time travel

Another great anthology of African speculative fiction, edited by Ivor W. Hartmann. I can just recommend it.

Ivor W. Hartmann (ed.): AfroSFv3. StoryTime Publishing 2018. 233 p. ISBN 978-9198291339.

Since Zimbabwean writer and editor Ivor W. Hartmann started asking for submissions to AfroSFv4, the fourth anthology of African speculative ficiton it was time for me to read the previous antho AfroSFv3. The edition contains stories from a dozen authors, some of whom I am familiar with like T. Huchu, Wole Talabi, or Mazi Nwonwu because I have been reading African SF for a while. The spectrum of stories spans space opera, biohazard, cyberpunk, first contact, more space opera… everything except time travel.

As is not surprising with an anthology, I do not like all stories equally well. Some plots are not convincing. However, I read the book in one go. My favourite story is »Parental Control« by Mazi Nwonwu. It’s about a 16 year old guy, a legendary virtual gamer, who’s mother is an android and who meets his father for the first time. This raises a lot of questions. Another favourite is »Safari Nyota: A Prologue« by Dilman Dila about a generation spaceship in which android doppelgangers watch over their human originals who sleep in cryotanks until one day a fateful decision has to be made by one of them.

My recommendation: grab this book and shorten the waiting time until AfroSFv4 is published. You will not regret it.

Table of Contents
T. L. Huchu ‘Njuzu’
Cristy Zinn ‘The Girl who stared at Mars’
Mandisi Nkomo ‘The Emo Hunter’
Biram Mboob ‘The Luminal Frontier’
Gabriella Muwanga ‘The Far Side’
Wole Talabi ‘Drift Flux’
Stephen Embleton ‘Journal of a DNA Pirate’
Masimba Musodza ‘The Interplanetary Water Company’
Dilman Dila ‘Safari Nyota’
Mazi Nwonwu ‘Parental Control’
Andrew C. Dakalira ‘Inhabitable’
Mame Bougouma Diene ‘Ogotemmeli’s Song’

To the publisher’s website
Omenana is the only speculative fiction magazine in Africa, co-founded and edited by Mazi Nwonwu
Here’s my blog post about Afro SFv1, the first anthology of African speculative fiction ever

Grab this book – AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers


Ivor W. Hartmann (ed.)

AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers (English Edition). Storytime 2016. 406 S.

Paperback – ISBN-13: 978-0987008961

E-Book – ASIN: B00AEUH112

I’ve just finished »AfroSF«, the first ever genuine anthology of science fiction short stories by African writers. The book was published in 2013 by Ivor W. Hartmann, a writer and publisher from Zimbabwe.

»AfroSF« gives us 22 stories from 22 African authors from different countries. It starts with »Moom!« by Nnedi Okorafor, a story with a strong hint of mystery about a swordfish, and ends with »Proposition 23«, a cyberpunk story by Efe Okogu, in which artificial intelligence seeks to dominate and control humanity. Others are space flights, aliens or horror stories covering a wide range of topics.

What impresses me most is the strong African perspective. The stories take place in Africa, have Africans as protagonists, and deal with African affairs and features like corruption, abuse of power, superstition, and so on. You wouldn’t find this so consisently implemented in an European anthology.

If you enjoy reading smart short stories and are ready to broaden your horizons, you should grab this book.

»AfroSF« is available as paperback in many countries. German retailers offer it on their homepages, so your local bookstore should have no problem to order it. But have a look at the prices. They differ between 15,99 and 18,99 Euro. There is also an ebook version, but I’ve found it only at Amazon’s.

Homepage of Ivor W. Hartmann