Nisi Shawl’s steampunk-flavored alternate history of the “Belgian” Congo, Everfair, has taken the science fiction and fantasy world by storm. No surprise there. Their swift, sure, and savvy short stories had already established them as a cutting-edge Afrofuturist icon whose politically charged fiction is in the grand feminist tradition of Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia Butler, and Suzie McKee Charnas.
In these previously uncollected stories, Shawl explores the unexpected possibilities and perils opened up by SF&F’s new intersectionality. In Shawl’s side-slippery world, sex can be both commerce and worship, complete with ancient rites, altars, and ointments (“Women of the Doll”); a virtual reality high school is a proving ground for girlpacks and their unfortunate adversaries (“Walk like a Man”); and a British rock singer finds an image in a mirror that reflects both future hits and ancient horrors (“Something More”). Also included is a presentation at a southern university, in which they patiently (and gleefully) deconstructs the academic and arcane intersections between ancient rites and modern tech. Ifa, anyone?
Our Outspoken Interview with Shawl, in which unapologetics are proffered, riddles are unraveled, and icons are, as always, clasted.
- “Shawl’s keen sense of justice and their adamant anticolonialism always ride just beneath the surface of her stories. Never didactic, Shawl possesses the gift of a true storyteller: the ability to let the warp and weft of plot and character do their moral work for them.” —Brian Charles Clark in Curled Up with a Good Book
- “A talented and distinctive voice.” —Daniel Haeusser of The Skiffy and Fanty Show
- “Nisi Shawl tells stories as if they have just awakened from a vivid and terrifying dream, and they’re intent on relating its details.” —Seattle Times
- “Shawl is brilliant.” —Amal el-Mohtar on NPR
About the Author:
Nisi Shawl is an African American writer, editor, and journalist. They are best known for their science fiction and fantasy stories and novels dealing with race, gender, and sexual orientation. They live in Seattle, where they also write on political and cultural matters for the Seattle Times. Even before Shawl’s steampunk-flavored alternate history of the “Belgian” Congo, Everfair, took the sci-fi world by storm, their short stories had already established them as a cutting-edge black writer whose politically charged fiction is in the grand feminist tradition of Ursula Le Guin, Octavia Butler, and Joanna Russ.
Author: Nisi Shawl
Publisher: PM Press/ Outspoken Authors
Published: December 2019 in Eurpoe (November in the US)
Size: 5 x 7.5
Page count: 128
Subjects: Science Fiction/Alternate History
See and hear author interviews, book reviews, and other news on Nisi Shawl’s page HERE