by Nnedi Okorafor
Sankofa, the Adopted Daughter of Death, is a young girl protected by a green glow from within that can kill all it encompasses. Everyone knows of her, everyone fears her, and the tales told of her are many and varied.
Remote Control takes you through Sankofa’s life, from her youthful bouts of malaria and her conversations with a mysterious seed, through her attempts to live undisturbed in a world that insists on her evilness. This is a tale about perseverance, prejudice, and home.
There’s a lovely metaphor here for all those who have at some point in their lives felt they ruined everything they touched, who have struggled to find a place where they belong, people who could understand them. For those who feel they hurt those closest to them, and try as they might, always seem to destroy good things around them, this tale can be cathartic.
Yet, this story is also for those who have grown stronger because of the thorns on their path. Sankofa might not be who we are, but there’s a piece of her in all of us.
Both of these stories were published this January 2021. They are written in completely different styles, both delightful in their own way, and deal with complicated situations or experiences that must be overcome.
SECRETS OF THE KATH by Fatima Taqvi depicts a play with moving, moving parts that reflect reality. There’s ignorance and there’s silence and one is not an excuse for the other. A beautifully written story with depth of meaning about a character faced with the costs associated with her way of life. Published in Strange Horizons.
THINGS TO BRING, THINGS TO BURN, THINGS BEST LEFT BEHIND by C. E. McGill is about Oz, a man chosen by his town to be the one sacrificed to the mountain. This is his journey, both literal and metaphorical, about climbing that mountain in order to provide the blessings his town requires to survive. This is a tale about the weights we carry and those we overcome. Published in Fantasy Magazine.
Writers of the Future Vol. 28 has been published in ebook format (mmp forthcoming July 21st) with my story, Of Woven Wood, taking the first slot in the anthology.
I’ve recently returned from the workshop week and awards ceremony and will have decently thorough write-ups of my time out on the west coast out in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, I just found out that Publisher’s Weekly reviewed the anthology:
“The 28th installment of this venerable anthology series collects the 13 winners of the Writers of the Future contest for 2011, drawing from the ranks of new authors and artists. Many of the contributors have already seen other success in the field, and it’s not hard to imagine some of them making award lists in the near future. The offerings are thought provoking and varied, with a general trend toward excellence. Standouts include Marie Croke’s “Of Woven Wood,” in which a golem learns to deal with his creator’s death; William Mitchell’s “Contact Authority,” a tale of outer space espionage; and Scott T. Barnes’s lyrical “Insect Sculptor.” The selections are weighted toward science fiction, with several fantasy pieces and some that defy genre, like Nick T. Chan’s “The Command for Love.” The future is in good hands.”
Bolding mine. Yay for good reviews and personal mentions :)