Category Archives: writer

ROSEWATER cover reveal!

I can finally share this.

cover

Cover art by Igor Vitkovskiy.

Cover design by Russell Dickerson.

Pre-orders from later this week.

http://www.apexbookcompany.com/blogs/frontpage/rosewater-by-tade-thompson-cover-reveal

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Myriad Lands Anthology

The Myriad Lands fantasy anthology is out, and it contains my contemporary fantasy story  Household Gods

myr.

Available at all good interwebs.

 

 

 

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Songs with the Liars

“I only said how I want to be there and I would sing my songs with the liars,and my lies with the singers.”
Anne Sexton

inktober 12

Here we are at the start of another year. I’m not going to bother with all that revisionist malarkey that everybody does. Why repeat that when others have done it better?

Instead, let’s look at what’s ahead. What are your plans for 2016?

I sold my science fiction novel ROSEWATER to Apex Books. Tentative release date is September 2016. Watch this space, as there may be a promotional website.

Also in September 2016, Secret Project X, a novella. I’ll discuss this with its real title when the embargo is lifted. All I can say is, I’ve finished the novella, including rewrites and editorial input. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I’m working on two projects, LABOURS, an urban fantasy novel set in London, and painting an internal illustration for a short story collection.

My 2015 novel MAKING WOLF is still getting good reviews. You’ve bought it, right?

“The British Yoruba author Tade Thompson was previously known to me as a creator of speculative fiction, so I was rather surprised to discover this excellent writer’s intriguingly titled debut novel, Making Wolf, is non-spec mystery/suspense.  Set in the fictional West African nation of Alcacia, this is a novel well aware of the Bond mythos, and there’s a moment where I thought Bond’s path was the one the plot would take.  Then Thompson smashed that notion to smithereens, and kept smashing.  I was not only surprised repeatedly, I was made very aware that my ignorance of what goes on in parts of humanity’s home continent was by choice.  Brutal, unsparing, brilliant.  Find Thompson’s work and read it.”

 

wolf

Available at all good interwebs!

 

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Reviews and Stuff

Mike Tyson said everyone has a plan till they’re punched in the face. Or something similar. Been a while since I had anything to say, mostly because life punched me in the face. No tragedy or drama or anything, just regular life stuff that requires time and effort.

Now then.

Locus Online reviews AfroSFV2 in which my novella ‘The Last Pantheon’ co-written with Nick Wood, gets favourable mention.

“It’s overall an entertaining read with occasional political overtones, not a screed, but at its heart a tragedy of two persons who once called each other brothers.”

Read the full review here.

Afrosf2

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My novel MAKING WOLF (which you’ve bought, right?) continues to get favourable reviews.

Here’s one from Val’s Random Comments.

“Thompson has his reasons to tell the story the way he does. He wants the book to be more than a simple fast-paced thriller and succeeds gloriously. It’s a book that hides a lot of food for thought under the surface. I’ve been spoiled with a great many good books this year. Making Wolf is another book I can wholeheartedly recommend.”

Full review here.

wolf

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On the short fiction front, African Monsters ToC and Cover art is ready.

My story “120 Days of Sunlight” is in it.

african

 

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You can read my horror short story “The Monkey House” on Omenana for free. Lots of other fiction there too.

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That’s it for now. Tip your nurses and janitors!

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‘Dangerous Games’ cover reveal

Over at Solaris Books they’ve revealed the cover for the upcoming ‘Dangerous Games’ anthology, edited by Jon Oliver (who just won a British Fantasy Award a few weeks ago), and which contains my story ‘Honourable Mention’. Available Dec 2014.

 

DANGEROUS GAMES BIG

 

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Chekhov: From a Lay Perspective

Anton Chekhov wrote a story called ‘Gooseberries’ in 1898.

It’s available online here. I read it in a collection called ‘About Love and other stories’ translated by Rosamund Bartlett.

Having no training in literary critique, the story appears to be about the relationship between happiness and sadness. Chekhov’s thesis appears to be that happiness exists at the cost of someone else’s unhappiness.  The elements of the story are artfully arranged to support this.

Two friends, Ivan and Burkin, take a walk in the woods, but the weather turns inclement and they seek refuge from rain in their friend Alyokhin’s house. Ivan tells a story and both he and Burkin stay the night since the rain does not let up.

From the opening there are rain clouds. Both Ivan and Burkin are in a good mood while they ramble, but then it starts to rain. Their mood sours, but Alyokhin is upbeat. A significant scene is when they are invited to the bath area while  he washes before going into the house. Alyokhin enjoys the swim and keeps repeating that he hasn’t had a wash in ages. On the first read I could not understand why Chekhov spent so much time on this swim, and I almost cheered when Burkin said: ‘Come on, that’s enough!’ but it demonstrates that Alyokhin’s pleasure is at the expense of his friends.

Ivan tells the story of his brother Nikolay, who always dreamed of a house in the country, thinking this would be the source of his happiness. In fact the title comes from Nikolay’s insistence on having gooseberry bushes in his country home. His dream comes true at the expense of his rich wife, who has to die before the Nikolay can buy his house. When Ivan visits he is served some sour berries from Nikolay’s bushes. Nikolay is content, though, and Ivan reflects that this is at the expense of the peasants who work for him and who suffer when he expounds opinions like “Education is vital, but it is premature for the populace”.

“apparently a happy man only feels so because the unhappy bear their burden in silence, but for which happiness would be impossible. It is a general hypnosis. Every happy man should have some one with a little hammer at his door to knock and remind him that there are unhappy people, and that, however happy he may be, life will sooner or later show its claws, and some misfortune will befall him — illness, poverty, loss, and then no one will see or hear him, just as he now neither sees nor hears others. But there is no man with a hammer, and the happy go on living, just a little fluttered with the petty cares of every day, like an aspen-tree in the wind — and everything is all right.”

It’s an interesting story that bears rereading. Chekhov uses many techniques to keep the reader interested, because ultimately not a lot happens and it’s kind of bleak, but deliberately so. Chekhov even acknowledges this when he writes: “Neither Burkin nor Alyokhin found Ivan Ivanych’s story satisfying.”

It’s as if Chekhov warns us that there is something here, but it won’t be obvious or satisfying if you don’t look deeper. Or there’s some kind of meta-narrative where he’s saying he won’t make the reader happy because to do that would be at the expense of some sadness. Proving his thesis.

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Unfocused Thoughts

I was reminded of something I read a long time ago today.

Ray Bradbury said this:

“Self-consciousness is the enemy of all art, be it acting, writing, painting, or living itself, which is the greatest art of all”

Many other great artists have said something similar. The bare bones of the idea is that you must create something honest and that the honesty in question will expose you but paradoxically save you as a creator. You must not fear the exposure or vulnerability that any creative act brings along with it.

You must not fear the jibe of those who say you are not good enough. You must not fear the pedantic who says you did not get it right.You must not fear the derision of failed artists who consistently tell you that you look like an idiot for trying to do what they could not. You must not fear even though you may not be good enough, may not get it right, and may in fact look like an idiot. 

The trick is not to be perfect the first time out, but to just be out in spite of imperfection. 

Who wants to be perfect anyway? Flaws are much more interesting…

 

 

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