The best books to introduce you to African speculative short fiction

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki Author Of Bridging Worlds: Global Conversations on Creating Pan-African Speculative Literature In A Pandemic
By Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki

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. 

The books I picked & why

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Omenana to Infinity

By Mazi Nwonwu (editor), Chinelo Onwualu (editor),

Book cover of Omenana to Infinity

Why 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. 

Omenana to Infinity

By Mazi Nwonwu (editor), Chinelo Onwualu (editor),

Why should I read it?

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


Africanfuturism: An Anthology

By Wole Talabi,

Book cover of Africanfuturism: An Anthology

Why 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.

Africanfuturism: An 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.


AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers

By Nnedi Okorafor, Sarah Lotz,

Book cover of AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers

Why 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. 

AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers

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…


The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction

By Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki (editor),

Book cover of The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction

Why 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.

The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction

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,…


Terra Incognita: New Short Speculative Stories from Africa

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

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

Why 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. 

Terra Incognita: New Short Speculative Stories from Africa

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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