ed. by Sheree Renee Thomas, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki and Zelda Knight

2022, 514 pages, $19.99

ISBN 978-1-250-84819-2

Click here to purchase

This anthology counters the collective weight of most of the classic SF stories, written by European white men and women. The editors want to further expand the genre with an Afrocentric ambition, and have carried it off well.

My favorite stories are:

“The Blue House” by Dilman Dila. A cybernetic entity is partially machine and young girl. What can she do to go beyond her internal processor and rediscover life?

“IRL” by Steven Barnes. Shango, lord of the Void Kingdom of Oyo, is ruler of all his surveys in his virtual alt-earth, trying to maintain power and control in the Void Kingdom. He hates his own father in his real teenage life. But there is an accident in the real earth, caused by an arch-enemy of Shango’s in the alt-earth, that Shango must defeat before all is lost.

“The Deification of Igodo” by Joshua Uchema Omengo. This is a story about Oba Igodo and how he has the magics to make him a powerful ruler of Igodomigodo. But a disruptive challenger arrives to battle and suppress Igodo. What results from clashing and absolute, demonic powers?

“Mami Wataworks” by Russell Nichols. Amaya has found a type of water-creating technology that can turn human tears into a freshwater supply. But in the arid, dangerously dry world of 19:28, Amaya is pitted against those who watch for rain and the Nimbus clouds high above the world. Will she be executed for stealing water?

“Rear Mirror” by Nuzo Onoh. Mgboye, wife of a Christian brother who died while giving birth, is put on a Christmas burial that involves cremation. But she is endowed with dark powers and can’t be handled in that fashion, dead or not.

“The Soul Would Have No Rainbow” by Yvette Lisa Ndlovu. Langa’s grandmother, Gogo Mbaba Mwana Waresa, is a rain goddess and shapeshifter, but also a terrible weapon in Zimbabwe’s fight for independence from British imperialism. It’s a lesson that Langa must learn.

“Ruler of the Rear Guard” by Maurice Broaddus. Sylvonne Butcher is headed away from the life she lived in America to land in Ghana, home of her ancestors, her heritage, her life, vying to regain her soul and living while black in America no more. Ghana will be her answer to the great African diaspora.

“The Sugar Mill” by Tobias S. Buckell. A real estate agent in Boston Bay is desperately in need of commission, trying to sell property on an old sugar mill to an enterprising yuppie couple who remain ignorant of the property’s past, a burial site for sugar plantation slaves. Does the agent hide the property’s history from them? Or does he tell the truth, especially when the ghosts of the property haunt him?

“Lady of the Yellow-Painted Library” by Tobi Ogundiran. Wande has a book past due to return to the “librarian from hell.” There are dire consequences for Wande if it isn’t returned, and soon.

“The Taloned Beast” by Chinelo Onwualu. Edim, abused by his uncle, slowly realized his powers as a dragon.

“Biscuit and Milk” by Dare Segun Falowo. A story about a generation ship that makes landfall on a planet with beings that are like waterfalls and vapors.