Short Story Day Africa (SSDA) first came to the attention to some of us when it was won by Kenyan writer Okwiri Oduor in 2013. She went on to be shortlisted for the Caine Prize with fellow SSDA Efemia Chela(Zambia) and she won. With such a glorious starting it became quickly evident that you wanted to take whatever the folks from SSDA brought out seriously.
SSDA, a brainchild of South African Rachel Zadok, ran another competition in 2014 and from the nineteen best stories they fashioned an anthology they called Terra Incognita edited by Nerine Dorman and published by Modjaji Books. It encompasses all forms of speculative fiction, from literary magical realism to science fiction to dark horror and pulsing through each is a new African paradigm. They include vampires, tokoloshi, ghosts, unnatural obsessions and the unspeakable things that lurk beneath land and in the water. It included contributions from folks like Caine Prize nominated writer Diane Awerbuck, Toby Bennett, Tiah Beautement, Gail Dendy, Dilman Dila, Nick Mulgrew, Chinelo Onwualu and Phillip Steyn.
The book make a world debut at the Book Lounge in Cape Town, South Africa on Thursday evening. The evening was a double launch as it was joined in the African Literary scene by Follow The Road. This anthology also published by Modjaji Books edited by Marie Fischer and Tiah Beautement is a collection of stories by Africa’s younger writers pushing against the grain of right vs wrong.
The two books were unveiled with featuring readings from Toby Bennett, Tiah Beautement, Diane Awerbuck, Cat Hellisen, Nick Mulgrew, Phillip Steyn and Jason Mykl Snyman – as well as many of our younger writers. Here are a few images from the launch in Africa’s most Southernmost city.
P.S Terra Incognita is available in all good bookstores now and on Amazon. Follow the Road is now in good stores and Amazon as well. If you can please get yourself a copy.