“The Go-Slow” — Nnedi Okorafor

Nnedi Okorafor is the author of the novels Zahrah the Windseeker, The Shadow Speaker, and Who Fears Death. Her book for children, Long Juju Man, won the Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa. She is also the winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature and the Carl Brandon Society’s Parallax Award, and has been a finalist for the NAACP Image Award, Andre Norton Award, and the Essence Magazine Literary Award. Forthcoming books include Akata Witch and Iridessa the Fire-Bellied Dragon Frog. Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld, and in anthologies such as Eclipse Three, Seeds of Change, So Long Been Dreaming, and Dark Matter: Reading the Bones

Our next tale is about wizardry in modern-day Africa. Africa is a less common setting for fantasy stories, but there are some notable works out there for readers who are interested in the continent. Among the best known are the adventure tales of H. Rider Haggard, including She and King Solomon’s Mines (starring the character Alan Quatermain, who also appeared in Alan Moore’s graphic novel series League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). Charles Saunders has written a series of sword and sorcery tales starring African characters, beginning with the collection Imaro. Octavia E. Butler’s Wild Seed begins in ancient Africa and follows the lives of two immortals as they attempt to come to terms with their unusual abilities. Alan Dean Foster’s Carnivores of Light and Darkness follows an African tribesman who sets out on a quest to rescue a princess and who faces off against all manner of magical obstacles. And Lion’s Blood by Steven Barnes is an alternate history in which Africa is the most powerful continent on earth.

In addition to her interest in Africa, another of Nnedi Okorafor’s passions is strange creatures. Her work is full of wild and colorful animals, such as the very unusual birds in this next story.