Today’s episode is with one of today’s great writers of science fiction and fantasy, Nnedi Okorafor. Using her new novella Remote Control (Tor Books) as a lens and a frame, we discuss the difference between Afrofuturism and Africanfuturism, questions of hybrid identity and home within her stories, her use of Nigerian, Namibian, and Ghanian cosmologies to build worlds, how she harnesses anger as a fuel and fear as a creative beacon, her pivotal phone call with Octavia Butler, and why LeVar Burton thinks she should be on any team assembled for first contact with an alien species.
As an aside, Nnedi Okorafor, after winning the World Fantasy Award for Who Fears Death, was involved in the successful push to have H.P. Lovecraft removed as the likeness of the statuette. We only touch on this briefly but one could assemble a nice thread of past Between the Covers conversations that either explicitly or implicitly engage with Lovecraft and his legacy. In reverse chronological order the episodes that come to mind are with: N.K. Jemisin, Daniel José Older, Jeff Vandermeer and China Miéville.
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