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Ashley Jacobs

… is a medical doctor from South Africa currently either studying or teaching at Imperial College in London, and a contributor to the first AfroSF anthology. For most of this period he has been rather hard to get hold of.

Biram Mboob

… declined to be interviewed on the grounds that he had not published sufficiently yet. As evidence of that lack of publication and his modesty: an excerpt from his novel, a story called "Harabella," was published in Granta. His story "The Rare Earth" appeared in the first AfroSF, edited by Ivor Hartmann. His fiction has also appeared in Sable Magazine, The Apex Book of World SF, Tell Tales, Drifting, and Dreams, Miracles and Jazz. He is winner of the Shorelines—First Chapter competition. Originally from the Gambia, he has lived in many places and now works as an IT consultant in London.

Gavin Chait

… is the author of Lament for the Fallen, published in England by Doubleday, set in a West African future of water pumps, AIs where an alien crash lands. The (UK) Guardian of 10 September 2016 called it "A compulsively readable, life-affirming tale and Chait does a masterful job of juxtaposing a traditional African setting with a a convincing depiction of a far-future society." Chait is a South African who is now based in the UK, who takes part in a number of initiatives including Pikhaya Smart Street.

Helen Oyeyemi

… is a international writing star. It never occurred to me that she would want to be interviewed by me, so I didn't ask. She is a literary writer of novels that get long and usually glowing reviews in The New York Times, or The New York Review of Books. Her beautifully written novels are touched with fantasy or magic realism. In her second novel, The Opposite House, there is a building that opens out to either Lagos or London. Vampires trail in and out of White Is for Witching. Transracialiasm and transexuality are compared and contrasted in her retelling of Snow White, Boy Snow Bird. It is set in a brilliantly re-created '50s and '60s USA. Her 2016 collection of short stories What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours contains the story "presence" which is science fiction. She refuses to allow any limitation on who or what she writes about or how she writes it, and the author she most reminds me of is Kelly Link. Her digressiveness and unexpectedness leave some reviewers unsatisfied, as in this review of her second novel in African Writing and this review in Strange Horizons. An audience of young Nigerian SF fans that I spoke to in Lagos in 2015 picked her as one of their favourite authors.

Nii Parkes

… is not interviewed on the justifiable grounds that he is often in Ghana. His novel A Tail of the Blue Bird sends a young Ghanaian back home having been trained in CSI. Though parts of it read like a crime novel, the book starts with a strongly voiced narrative by an aged villager steeped in traditional culture and it is the contrast between diasporan man and traditional man that concerns the novel. It contains an undeniable, and for me, deeply disturbing piece of magic that has this unique, theme-bolstering characteristic: to those outside the culture it stinks; to those who are part of the culture it smells delightful. The novel was a sensation in its French translation as Notre quelque part. In France, it received le prix Mahogany, the prix Charles Baudelaire, and was selected by Lire magazine as the best foreign novel 2014. Evidently deservedly, it was awarded the prix Laure Bataillon for translation. Nii Parkes is also a notable poet, was born in the UK, but was raised in Ghana.

Michael Oshoke Irene

… is a Nigerian scholar and fiction writer in the UK for purposes of his PhD. As external examiner of his PhD for much of the time of writing it would not have been appropriate for me to interview him. His PhD novel The Seeds' Tales is highly unusual in that it is an example of traditional belief fantasy somewhat on the lines of Amos Tutuola—though often with political or satirical purpose. Told using the forms and language of oral literature, the novel concerns the spirits of prematurely dead children accusing both the dead and the living adults who contributed to their deaths. In central sections the spirits of figures from Nigerian history evade answering for their crimes. As Nigerian women wait for the return of the White Witch—a genuine historical figure—they give voice to their stories. Not at all generic, it is certainly a work of fantastika.

Sarah Lotz

… is a South African writer who is frequently in the UK. We were in touch—sheer laziness on my part meant I didn't get an interview with her. She has an extensive bibliography, with many works written under other names. Notable for this article by being a contributor to AfroSF, edited by Ivor Hartmann, but that is only one of many short stories published. Much more information at her own website.

Tosin Coker

I met Tosin after her panel with Tendai Huchu at the Bare Lit Festival in London. She has published many outright far future science-fantasy novels. She also publishes her own children's books in Yoruba. More information from her website.

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Geoff Ryman is Senior Lecturer in School of Arts, Languages and Cultures at the University of Manchester. He is a writer of short stories and novels, and science fiction and literary fiction. His work has won numerous awards including the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award (twice), the James Tiptree Jr. Memorial Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, the British Science Fiction Association Award (twice), and the Canadian Sunburst Award (twice). In 2012 he won a Nebula Award for his Nigeria-set novelette "What We Found." His story "Capitalism in the 22nd Century" is part of Stories for Chip, edited by Bill Campbell and Nisi Shawl and published by Rosarium.
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