Note — Jun 02, 2019

How Nnedi Okorafor Is Building the Future of Sci-Fi From Flossmoor

My brain exploded a little bit when I read Binti, I have to read lots more Okorafor, this profile of her journey makes her all the more interesting.

She didn’t read it [I, Robot], not for many years. Instead, she wrote in its margins. She had never written much for fun, but that summer, stuck in bed, wondering if she would walk again, she started to learn how to make up her own stories. […]

She calls her work “Africanfuturism,” as opposed to the more common “Afro-futurism.” The difference, she says, is her books — sometimes with aliens, sometimes with witches, often set in a recognizable, future Africa, with African lineages — are not cultural hybrids but rooted in the history and traditions of the continent, without a desire to look toward Western culture (or even pop culture). […]

[R.R. Martin:] “That’s because this is a world that’s been dominated by Americans and Brits, and we might be talking about alien planets or a 100 years in the future, we might be talking about Middle-earth, or we might be talking Westeros, and as far apart as those may seem, there are similarities, because the people who have written those books came from the same cultures, read the same classics.”