Can’t be a great writer without reading, right?
I had the pleasure of being introduced, electronically, to two wonderful writers who have really captured my attention in that last few months. Those writers? Daniel Jose Older and Nnedi Okorafor, PhD. Both of these authors dabble in science fiction/ fantasy which is right up my alley and they both have built a following that I am, for one, jealous of, but extremely proud of.
That pride, mostly associative and thirdly removed, stems from them both being, one, writers in my genre, and two, them being both writers of color.
I discovered Nnedi from a very odd (at the time) but fascinating synopsis of her book, Lagoon.
Three strangers, each isolated by his or her own problems: Adaora, the marine biologist. Anthony, the rapper famous throughout Africa. Agu, the troubled soldier. Wandering Bar Beach in Lagos, Nigeria’s legendary mega-city, they’re more alone than they’ve ever been before. But when something like a meteorite plunges into the ocean and a tidal wave overcomes them, these three people will find themselves bound together in ways they could never imagine. Together with Ayodele, a visitor from beyond the stars, they must race through Lagos and against time itself in order to save the city, the world…and themselves. ‘There was no time to flee. No time to turn. No time to shriek. And there was no pain. It was like being thrown into the stars.’
The rapper part got me and from there I was following her on Twitter, visiting her blog, and just being totally enamored.
I discovered Daniel Older in a completely different way. It was comical and serious and epic all at the same time! During the height of Eric Garner’s protest, Daniel Older was explaining, patiently, and passionately, how the medical team that attended to him were also culpable in his death. A woman, who we famously just called PAULA now, nudged her way into his mentions with a fevered claim of
“WHERE IS YOUR MEDICAL LICENSE???”
Where this happened:
It wasn’t until recently that I connected the dots, that the talented and ultra chill author I was following was indeed that SAME GUY!
So onto their books, right?
For Nnedi, I purchased one of her earlier novels, WHO FEARS DEATH.
The critically-acclaimed novel-now in paperback.
In a far-future, post-apocalyptic Saharan Africa, genocide plagues one region. When the only surviving member of a slain village is brutally raped, she manages to escape, wandering farther into the desert. She gives birth to a baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand, and instinctively knows her daughter is different. She names her daughter Onyesonwu, which means “Who Fears Death?” in an ancient African tongue.
Reared under the tutelage of a mysterious and traditional shaman, Onyesonwu discovers she possesses a remarkable and unique magic. The journey to fulfill her destiny will force her to confront nature, tradition, history, the spiritual mysteries of her culture, and eventually to learn why she was given the unusual name she bears: Who Fears Death?
For Daniel Older, it’s his highly anticipated latest novel, Shadowshaper.
Paint a mural. Start a battle. Change the world.
Sierra Santiago planned an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears… Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.
With the help of a fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one — and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family’s past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for generations to come.
Full of a joyful, defiant spirit and writing as luscious as a Brooklyn summer night, Shadowshaper introduces a heroine and magic unlike anything else in fantasy fiction, and marks the YA debut of a bold new voice.
Sounds interesting right?! I’ll keep you guys updated as I continue to dive into these books!
Release and now relax,