Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Nigerian-American SF novelist Nnedi Okorafor asks, "Is Africa Ready for Science Fiction?"


Quoting from Okorafor's article:

Naunihal Singh, a professor of comparative politics specializing in conflict, civil-military relations, and the politics of Sub-Saharan Africa at Notre Dame University (and a fan of speculative fiction), had some similar comments about science fiction in Africa.

“Science-fiction will have to adapt itself to the local market,” Singh said. “I don’t think there’s the sensibility for it right now. I remember seeing the Matrix in a mixed crowd of Ghanaians and Americans, this was in Ghana. Even though the room was dark, and there were some 40 plus people there, I could tell who was from where by their reactions to the movie.


“The Ghanaians just weren’t connecting to it. Bring The Terminator to West Africa, and he’d stop running in a day. He’d sit there and glitch. It’ll be hard to make people afraid of a future where computers take over the world when they can’t manage to keep the computers on their desk running.

"These are very western stories. On the other hand, classic science fiction, like space exploration stories, would probably work better… assuming it was adapted for the audience. Africans would love to see stories about Africans on a space ship. The idea that Africans might be dominant in the future would resonate so well with nationalism.”

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