Magic, strange powers, futuristic tech, the great unknown—all a prerequisite of what makes a great fantasy/sci-fi story. Sometimes, you just want to get out of the real world and explore the imaginative worlds others have made. Of course, the fantastical is hinged to reality but hey, we all love a magical display. Well, it’s closer to home now, as more African writers are stepping into this genre and doing awesome things with it. Here are some fantasy/sci-fi books that were published this year. Who knows, they may be picked up for film adaptations and then you can boast about having read the book.
Remote Control – Nnedi Okorafor
Remote Control is an African futuristic novel in which Fatima finds herself thrust into the role of the Adopted Daughter of Death. She has no memories, even of her name, so she goes by a new one: Sankofa. Sankofa is on a journey to uncover the truth behind her dreadful new powers. All she knows is, it involved a one-eyed man, a seed in a box and that her family is gone forever.
The Gilded Ones – Namina Forna
Set in a fictional West African country, Otera, The Gilded Ones features 16-year old Deka. In Otera, women are required to bleed to prove their purity and Deka bleeds gold, the color of impurity. About to meet a gruesome fate, she is approached by a strange woman who gives her an option to join an army of girls like her. Deka discovers the alaki, who are near immortals and gifted. She leaves Otera to join them in fighting the emperor’s war. Upon leaving, she’ll begin to discover that there’s more to everything than meets the eye, even her.
Descendants of the First – Reni. K. Amayo
The sequel to Daughters of Nri, Descendants of the First begins with the death of the king. There’s an ongoing rift in the kingdom of Nri and talk of deadly successors. Naala and Sinai, reunited twin goddesses, seem to have the biggest rift of all but they have to put their differences aside to save the kingdom. Only they have the power to restore peace to their world but as dangerous foes arise all over the kingdom, can they get the job done?
The Library of the Dead – T. L. Huchu
The Library of the Dead follows Ropa, a young girl who drops out of school to earn a living as a ghost talker. The job is harmless and she doesn’t mind it until one of the ghosts tells her that someone is bewitching children and she decides to investigate. Unknown to her, she’ll be stepping into the world of magic, dark ones at that. Set in post-catastrophe Edinburgh, Ropa will have to combine Zimbabwean magic and Scottish pragmatism to win.
Alien Stories – E. C. Osondu
Alien Stories is a collection of 18 short stories about…aliens. The word “alien” is used to mean both foreigner and extraterrestrial beings in different stories. The stories are set in Africa, America, and Space. It explores the concept of foreignness and what brings the human race together despite all the differences.
Peaces – Helen Oyeyemi
Peaces takes us on a journey with a couple, Otto and Xavier. They receive train tickets as a sort of honeymoon present from a wealthy aunt. The train is called The Lucky Day and it contains increasingly strange mysteries. Otto and Xavier move through various narratives, uncovering the past that made their present possible.