The best books to introduce you to African speculative short fiction

Who am I?

As an African speculative fiction writer who had long hoped to see the development of African speculative fiction being embraced by the larger SFF community, it was a joy to see all these anthologies showcasing the works of Africans and platforming them for a larger audience to see. And it's been a joy as well to contribute to this growth both as an award-winning writer and editor of African speculative short fiction. 


I edited...

Bridging Worlds: Global Conversations on Creating Pan-African Speculative Literature In A Pandemic

By Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki (editor),

Book cover of Bridging Worlds: Global Conversations on Creating Pan-African Speculative Literature In A Pandemic

What is my book about?

Pan-African non-fiction book made up of travelogues, interviews and creative non-fiction pieces chronicling the work of Black and African writers round the world both creating and coping with the pandemic and lockdown in the 2020 year. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Omenana to Infinity

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki Why did I love this book?

Omenana to Infinity is an anthology of collected works formerly published in Omenana Magazine. The anthology is edited by Mazi Nwonwu and Chinelo Onwualu, like the magazine its stories are culled from. The duo also founded and edited the magazine which is the first African, exclusively speculative fiction magazine. It's important to me because it contains some of the earliest works of speculative short fiction by African writers I would read as an issue of a magazine and did a great lot in platforming speculative fiction writers on the continent. 

Book cover of Africanfuturism: An Anthology

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki Why did I love this book?

It contains work by some of the most brilliant speculative fiction writers on the continent and also expands on the title, Africanfuturism, in its Introduction by Nnedi Okorafor. She also happens to have a story in the book. Another of the stories in it, by Motswana writer Tlotlo Tsamaase won the 2021 Nommo award for short story and a number of works in it, like Egoli by Tendai Huchu also made recommended reading lists and Year's Best anthologies. The anthology itself was a finalist in the Locus award for best anthology.

By Wole Talabi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Africanfuturism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

n celebration of our 10-year anniversary, we bring you a collection of Africanfuturist stories. Africanfuturism is a term coined by Nigerian sci-fi/fantasy author Nnedi Okorafor to describe science fiction that is rooted in the African world. Other African writers have since embraced the term as a way of identifying what makes their work distinct from Afrofuturism.

Africanfuturism: An Anthology edited by Wole Talabi is the first anthology to directly engage with the idea of Africanfuturism. The collection of 8 science fiction stories cover various aspects of African life. It features a mix of established and emerging voices in the African sci-fi…


Book cover of AfroSF

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki Why did I love this book?

AfroSF is the first ever anthology of Science Fiction by African writers only open to submissions of original fiction works from Africa and abroad. It was one of the pioneering anthologies of African science fiction and published a number of household names in African speculative fiction in both this and its subsequent volumes. 

By Nnedi Okorafor, Sarah Lotz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked AfroSF as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

AfroSF is the first ever anthology of Science Fiction by African writers only that was open to submissions from across Africa and abroad. It is comprised of original (previously unpublished) works only, from stellar established and upcoming African writers: Nnedi Okorafor, Sarah Lotz, Tendai Huchu, Cristy Zinn, Ashley Jacobs, Nick Wood, Tade Thompson, S.A. Partridge, Chinelo Onwualu, Uko Bendi Udo, Dave de Burgh, Biram Mboob, Sally-Ann Murray, Mandisi Nkomo, Liam Kruger, Chiagozie Fred Nwonwu, Joan De La Haye, Mia Arderne, Rafeeat Aliyu, Martin Stokes, Clifton Gachagua, and Efe Okogu.

Print Edition release March 2013.

'Proposition 23' by Efe Okogu nominated…


Book cover of The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki Why did I love this book?

It's the first of its kind, the first installment in a line of Year's Best African Speculative Fiction anthologies meant to spotlight the works of African writers and writers of African descent. Year's Best anthologies have been a genre thing for over 5 decades. This is an important installment in the development of African speculative short fiction. It was published by the editor as well in a small press he founded, Jembefola Press. The anthology made him the first African editor to be a Hugo award best editor finalist and a Locus award best editor and best anthology finalist.

By Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER BEST ANTHOLOGY, WORLD FANTASY AWARDS

“You are bound to be wonderstruck.”—Lightspeed Magazine
“A must-read.”—Locus Magazine
“Highly recommended.”—The British Fantasy Society


The world's first ever “year’s best” anthology of African speculative fiction. Edited by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction collects twenty-nine stories by twenty-five writers, which the press describes as “some of the most exciting voices, old and new, from Africa and the diaspora, published in the 2020 year.”

The anthology includes stories from Somto O. Ihezue, Pemi Aguda, Russell Nichols, Tamara Jerée, Tlotlo Tsamaase, Sheree Renée Thomas, Tobias S. Buckell, Inegbenoise O. Osagie, Tobi Ogundiran,…


Book cover of Terra Incognita: New Short Speculative Stories from Africa

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki Why did I love this book?

Terra Incognita is an anthology of the Short Story Day Africa Prize. Published in 2015, it contains 19 speculative fiction stories charting the length and breadth of Africa. Its stories touch on folklore, colonialism, and a host of other topics. Published in 2015, it was one of the earlier anthologies along with the AfroSF anthology to check out, that heralded and inspired the new wave of anthologies coming out of the continent. 

By Nerine Dorman (editor), Rachel Zadok, Diane Awerbuck , Sylvia Schlettwein , Kerstin Hall , Dilman Dila , Nick Mulgrew , Mary Ononokpono , Cat Hellisen

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Terra Incognita as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Terra incognita. Uncharted depths. Africa unknowable.

Nineteen new short speculative stories from the fringes and hidden worlds of Africa, from writers both emerged and undiscovered. From past lives to future lives, from modern myths to twisted histories, Terra Incognita exposes the parts of ourselves and our continent hidden beneath."

Terra Incognita is the second collection of short stories to be published by Short Story Day Africa. This carefully curated anthology is harvested from entries to the project’s annual short story competition, which in 2014 called for speculative fiction exploring an ancient cartographic term denoting uncharted territories, Terra Incognita. The collection…


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Deep Roots

By Sung J. Woo,

Book cover of Deep Roots

Sung J. Woo Author Of Deep Roots

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Novelist Tennis fan Cinephile Gamer

Sung's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

After solving her first case, private eye Siobhan O’Brien is hired by Phillip Ahn, an octogenarian billionaire with his own personal island in the Pacific Northwest. Ahn, a genius in artificial intelligence, swears that Duke, his youngest child and only son, is an impostor. Is Ahn crazy, or is Duke really someone else? As Siobhan attempts to arrive at the truth, her biggest challenge will be dealing with Ahn’s family, who all live under the same gilded roof: his current wife, his two ex-wives, and their awful, privileged children.

What is the real reason that Siobhan was brought to this isolated estate? If she can keep her head – literally and figuratively – she’ll learn that family secrets have some very deep roots.

Deep Roots

By Sung J. Woo,

What is this book about?

After solving her first case, Siobhan O’Brien faces her biggest challenge yet – Thanksgiving!  With her lawyer boyfriend Craig in tow, Siobhan travels to Minneapolis to endure small talk with the extended O’Brien clan and chow down on some seriously delicious turkey and dressing.  Everything’s swell until her sister-in-law Gwen tells her about her brother Sven's frequent late-night meetings with his co-workers.  Since Siobhan’s next case is just a ferry ride from their house in Washington state, she asks for Siobhan’s help.
Big sister is happy to oblige, though she’s got her hands full.  Hired by Phillip Ahn, a Korean…


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