How African speculative fiction gave birth to itself

Geoff Ryman — the brilliant science fiction author who curated last year's 100 AFRICAN WRITERS OF SFF project, continues to publish and curate excellent, exciting science fiction from across Africa.

His latest project is 21 Today, a special issue of the Manchester Review, containing 21 stories written by African writers since 2003. Ryman notes, "The
aim was to take the stories out of print or behind paywalls which make
them inaccessilbe to Africans in Africa."

An accompanying project, 21 Tomorrow, "which links to stories on African online magazines — so that the role they played in the rise of African SFF is acknowledged."

Meanwhile, Ryman notes that his 100 AFRICAN WRITERS OF SFF project has found a new home, at Strange Horizons.

This is a collection of damn good stories – plus a complete comic and an excerpt from a film script.

They tell tales about how South Africans will market themselves in the future. About how fire came to Uganda. About how two lonely women in the far future can each be writing a novel, one about the other. About how ancient West Africans wrote about the stars. About how superheroes are always political. About how people will in the future mourn their dead.

But each of the 21 stories is also a moment in history, part of the process. It stands for itself. It also stands for other similar stories, or writers who came with them in waves. They stand for the editors who founded venues that gave that story a home.

This is about how African speculative fiction gave birth to itself.

21 Today/The Manchester Review

100 AFRICAN WRITERS OF SFF [Geoff Ryman/Strange Horizons]

(Image: Ziphozakhe Hlobo and Lena Posch)