Academia and the Advance of African Science Fiction


By Nick Wood 

African SF used to be pretty thin on the ground, although this may be partly down to narrow Western definitions of what exactly SF is – whether it was referring to science fiction or to the broader, more encompassing label of speculative fiction. Certainly, as Nnedi Okorafor (2014) put it in one of her online essays: “African science fiction is still alien.”

Dr. Okorafor’s (2014) essay mentions two important considerations: 1. Africans are (generally) absent from the creative process of global imagining that advances technology through stories. 2. Africans are not yet capitalizing on this literary tool, which is practically made to redress political and social issues. Or as editor Ivor Hartmann phrases it in AfroSF (2012), the first SF anthology by African writers: “If you can’t see and relay an understandable vision of the future, your future will be co-opted by someone else’s vision, one that…

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