28 November, 2012

(partial) Review - AfroSF, Edited by Ivor W. Hartmann

AfroSf  is a science fiction anthology solely by African authors and hence from an African perspective. Not only did this spark my interest, but one of the authors, Dave de Burgh, is a fellow blogger and all-around stand up kind of guy. He's the reason I wanted to at least read a couple of the stories in this anthology. 

I feel like if bloggers can make exceptions for their harsh no-indie-published-books rules, it should be for other bloggers (if anything to hold the door open if I ever decide to write my masterpiece *grins*).

I don't have lots of time and I'm already far behind in my review queue for the end of the year, so I figured I'd give at least a couple stories a go and maybe some day I'll have time in the future (yeah, still holding out for the invention of the 33 hour day).

As Goodreads says:

AfroSF is the first ever anthology of Science Fiction by African writers only that was open to submissions from African writers all across Africa and abroad.

"AfroSF is an intense and varied anthology of fresh work. Readers and writers who like to explore new viewpoints will enjoy this book." — Brenda Cooper, author of The Creative Fire.

“This is a book of subtle refractions and phantasmic resonances. The accumulated reading effect is one of deep admiration at the exuberance of the twenty-first century human imagination.” — A. Igoni Barrett, author of Love is Power, Or Something Like That

“The stories in AfroSF feature all the things fans of science fiction expect: deep space travel, dystopian landscapes, alien species, totalitarian bureaucracy, military adventure, neuro-enhanced nightlife, artificial intelligence, futures both to be feared and longed for. At once familiar and disarmingly original, these stories are fascinating for the diversity of voices at play and for the unique perspective each author brings to the genre. This is SF for the Twenty-first Century.” — David Anthony Durham, Campbell Award winning author of The Acacia Trilogy.

“I’d like the repurpose the title of an old anthropological study to describe this fine new anthology: ‘African Genesis.’ The stories in this unprecedented, full-spectrum collection of tales by African writers must surely represent, by virtue of their wit, vigor, daring, and passion, the genesis of a bright new day for Afrocentric science fiction. The contributors here are utterly conversant with all SF subgenres, and employ a full suite of up-to-date concepts and tools to convey their continent-wide, multiplex, idiosyncratic sense of wonder. With the publication of this book, the global web of science fiction is strengthened and invigorated by the inclusion of some hitherto neglected voices.” — Paul Di Filippo, co-author Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985-2010.

Moom! by Nnedi Okorafor - The World Fantasy Award-winning author of Who Fears Death gives us a story from the perspective of a swordfish. I can't say I've ever read a story from this perspective, but I can definitely say she nailed it. I thought I was swimming along, witnessing the destruction of its habitat by those greedy for oil. Very unique and interesting. (4/5 Stars)

Home Affairs by Sarah Lotz - This story really resonated with me. I recently had to make a call and go through what seemed like an infinite set of automated responses while my query was unique enough I knew I needed to talk to someone. After going down so many automated paths I was about to scream, I finally found the number to press for a human, where I was told it was too busy and it hung up on me! Not even a hold. Anyway, that's as frustrated as you'll get reading this story, but it's so well done, and even humorous at times though serious for the most part. I couldn't put this one down, great story. (4.5/5 Stars)

Angel Song by Dave de Burgh - Angel Song is a great burst of military action with a very interesting idea, the angels as beings of light who have begun attacking humanity's distant settlements. Some believe they are actually angels sent from God, hence the name, but not all, especially with the death and destruction they cause. Well done. (4/5 Stars)

AfroSf will be available on December 1, 2012 (this Saturday). Also check out their Facebook page for information and updates. With these few stories alone, it's looking to be a good one, something to come back to when I have time and probably even when I don't.

EDIT: AfroSF is now available on eBook at Amazon. EDIT: I couldn't find the list of contributors the other day, but thanks to David Anthony Durham, I have it:


‘Moom!’ Nnedi Okorafor
‘Home Affairs’ Sarah Lotz
‘Five Sets of Hands’ Cristy Zinn
‘New Mzansi’ Ashley Jacobs
‘Azania’ Nick Wood
‘Notes from Gethsemane’ Tade Thompson
‘Planet X’ Sally Partridge
‘The Gift of Touch’ Chinelo Onwualu
‘The Foreigner’ Uko Bendi Udo
‘Angel Song’ Dave-Brendon Burgh
‘The Rare Earth’ Biram Mboob
‘Terms & Conditions Apply’ Sally-Ann Murray
‘Heresy’ Mandisi Nkomo
‘Closing Time’ Liam Kruger
‘Masquerade Stories’ Chiagozie Fred Nwonwu
‘The Trial’ Joan De La Haye
‘Brandy City’ Mia Arderne
‘Ofe!’ Rafeeat Aliyu
‘Claws and Savages’ Martin Stokes
‘To Gaze at the Sun’ Clifton Gachagua
‘Proposition 23’ (Novelette) Efe Okogu 

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher

4 comments:

SusieBookworm (Susanna) said...

I'm so excited for this anthology! I'm very interested in speculative fiction from outside the U.S. and U.K. Thanks for the partial review!

Bryce L. said...

Hope you enjoy, I think you're in for a treat, but you'll have to let me know.

Dave-Brendon de Burgh said...

Thanks for this review, Bryce, much appreciated! :-) Just posted it on the AfroSF Facebook page and I'll link to it from my blog and FB page, to.

Really hope readers enjoy this, thank you for your review! :-)

Sandy Troupe said...

Thanks for your mini review. Also thanks for supporting Indie Authors! I am an indie author too and just wrote a book How Nicholas became Santa Clause, which is a sci-fi/mythical book looking at how St Nick became Santa. I enjoy reading reviews about sci-fi books and love books that are from different perspectives and view points. I will have to check this one out.