Tag Archives: sff

In Which I Waffle on About Aliens…

Over at Fantasy Literature.com I say a few things about aliens. There’s a giveaway too, so scurry on over, you might get a bonus.

I say:

“The oldest known narrative featuring outer space and aliens was written in the second century. Yep. You read that right. Vera Historia (“true stories”) by Lucian of Samosata. It even has war on the moon. Arguably, War of the Worlds (1897-1898) is the most well-known alien invasion narrative in modern times. Either way, if you’re reading this, humanity has been telling stories about aliens since before you were born. That’s a lot of stories, man, and a lot of tropes. If you’re going to dip your toe into this you should have some idea of what’s gone before and where you want to position yourself in relation to them.”

Read the full post here.

You’ve preordered ROSEWATER right?

 

 

 

 

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Afro SF 2 Anthology cover art, Table of Contents and Release Date

Yeah, this:

Afrosf2

A novella I wrote with Nick Wood (‘The Last Pantheon’) is in this anthology. It comes out 1st December, 2015.

The Last Pantheon is a science fiction novella where two superheroes come to terms with their conflicts. It’s the second time I’ve collaborated on a story, and I enjoyed the process immensely.

The table of contents:

‘The Last Pantheon’
Tade Thompson & Nick Wood
An epic superhero face-off thousands of years in the making.
‘Hell Freezes Over’
Mame Bougouma Diene
Long after the last skyscraper has drowned who remains and how will they survive?
‘The Flying Man of Stone’
Dilman Dila
When ancient technology seems like magic legends live again in the midst of war and sides will be chosen.
‘VIII’
Andrew Dakalira
A space shuttle crash, the numeral eight, serial murders, what connects them all could end humanity.

‘Paradise City’
Efe Tokunbo Okogo
Change is coming to Paradise city and it won’t be pretty, but if this is paradise then heaven must be hell in need of a revolution.

Editor: Ivor W. Hartmann
Title: AfroSFv2
Publisher: StoryTime
Release: 1st December 2015

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“Haunting on multiple levels”

DANGEROUS GAMES BIG

 

Very kind comments from The Skiffy and Fanty Show about my story Honourable Mention in the anthology Dangerous Games.

“Tade Thompson’s “Honourable Mention,” which is haunting on multiple levels, is also a monster story. It’s also about the horrors of an entirely different form of consumption — the victims of exploitative labor systems, slavery as well as others. An emigrant to Britain, Tito plays the Nigerian game ayo, and Thompson adds to the historical game higher stakes, sleep deprivation, and what one man’s desperation will drive him to do to win. This was both the game I found most interesting and the story I found to be most thought-provoking.”

Dangerous Games is out now in all good and evil bookshops.

 

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“I too am not a bit tamed…I too am untranslatable”

(The title is from Walt Whitman, by the way)

I’ve been away, busy at the SAFE blog.

I wrote this essay: Emic, Etic, and the Depiction of Otherness in SFF

(Yes, it’s an Oxford comma. That’s how I roll)

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Dangerous Games edited by Uber-editor Jon Oliver is out. Go buy it.

It contains my story Honourable Mention which got this feedback:

‘“Honourable Mention” by Tade Thompson was the most promising story in the anthology. I still want to know more. A recent immigrant turns to the underworld(s) in a last attempt to make ends meet.’

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Finally, I’ve more or less finished my book Rosewater. Beta readers have got back to me and I’m doing final tweaks before sending out.

I’ve also just about finished my story Household Gods. Still waiting on some beta readers for this.

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Yes, I know. This isn’t  a post. It’s a list of boring stuff I’m up to, but I’ll be back soon to bore you with other stuff, I promise.

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Review: A Killing in the Sun by Dilman Dila

Short version: 4/5 stars. I recommend that you read it.

 A Killing in the Sun is a speculative fiction collection by Dilman Dila, published by Black Letter Media. The titular story was shortlisted for the 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

This anthology includes ten short stories and I read them in sequence. I found the copyrights page confusing because it refers to a story that is not actually in the collection (Fragments of Canvas). As in most collections the quality is uneven. To my mind the first six stories were enjoyable, but I struggled through the last four.

sun_001

The best story appears to be A Killing in the Sun. It is the most consistent and the most polished. It opens on the day of an execution by firing squad. The condemned man, Mande, appears to have been convicted for something he did not do, but finds his salvation to be almost as bitter as his previous fate. It also touches on one of the themes that run through the whole collection: being taken by authorities and somehow harmed. The other theme that runs through is that of the protagonist somehow changing state. The Leafy Man is an imaginative science fiction tale about artificially mutated mosquitoes nicknamed Miss Doe and is Promethean, with unintended consequences of innovation. The Healer is a fantasy story with magic and themes of loss. Itanda Bridge is a science fiction piece about extraterrestrials and while Diba does not show as much control of the material as he did in other stories it is creepy and enjoyable.

With The Doctor’s Truck flaws begin to show. This story is reminiscent of Christine by King in some parts. The explanation is satisfactory enough, however I found the motivation of the doctor difficult to accept in some parts. The ending appears too pat, slightly rushed and perhaps is a revenge fantasy. Lights over Water has an interesting premise, but as in most of the rest of the stories appears to need more work. A Wife and a Slave for example, builds up well, but the ending is again too neat. Things go too well for the protagonist and there is easy wish fulfilment.

The Yellow People had genuinely macabre moments and is a first class sci-fi horror story. It uses the image of the moving of a stone slab away from a cave, which has Biblical resonance for resurrection. The removal of thumbs makes one think of dehumanization since opposable thumbs are essentially what makes us human. The problem here is that the protagonists appear to be moving like chess pieces. It’s a story of alien contact and a serial killer. This story has great potential, but all the explanation seems rushed towards the end, which is disappointing.

Reading this anthology was frustrating, and not because Dila can’t write elegant prose. He can. Generally, I found the book poorly edited. The mistakes were annoying tense problems, syntax problems, unintentional repetitions etc. All avoidable if more care was taken. Apart from the copy editing issues, many of the later stories could benefit from continuity and story editing. Dila has good material and can clearly write brilliant speculative fiction. I just do not understand what the editors at Black Letter Media were thinking.

That said, I did enjoy reading the book. As speculative fiction and as a snapshot of life in sub-Saharan Africa it succeeds. I expect great things from Mr Dila.

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Ectoplasm (Progress shot 2)

ectoplasm 2

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September 8, 2013 · 22:19

100 Diverse Speculative Authors

“So here are a hundred speculative fiction authors with some work in English. They are diverse in various ways including (but not limited to) sex, gender, class, sexuality, race, religion, country of origin, disability and neurotypicality.”

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September 6, 2013 · 03:33