Lost Ark Dreaming and other affectations
Plus: A Disordered List, Worldbuilding Masochism, Flights of Foundry
Hello and welcome to April! It feels like a world ago since my last letter in February. March was a hell of a ride that, gladly, has now subsided so I can bring you an update or two.
This month, I do not have an essay for you—I’m sorry! Luckily, that means this letter is going to (1) be a quick 9-minute read, and (2) consist mostly of exciting updates and resources. Let’s go!
From the Desk: Lost Ark Dreaming announced!
To the Discord: A list, in lieu of an essay this month
From the Grapevine: Worldbuilding Masochism, forthcoming events & a winner!
For the Road: The Publishing Rodeo
(Psst! If you’d like to ask more questions about anything you see in this letter, come by our water cooler AKA our private Discord and do so!)
From the Desk: Lost Ark Dreaming Announced @ Tor.com!
At long last, my science-fantasy environmental hopepunk novella from Tor.com has been announced! If you missed the d-day, you’ll find my posts on Twitter and Instagram (reshare and boost as you like!) or the original announcement at Tor.
In case you’ve forgotten what the book’s about, here’s how we pitched it to editors:
LOST ARK DREAMING is a post-climate-disaster, science-fantasy hopepunk novella. In 2050, five submerged towers are the last surviving infrastructure in a post-flood community off the West African coast. When a member of a group of undersea-dwelling beings breaks into the highest and most fortified tower, three citizens are drawn into a conflict that may endanger all of the tower’s existence.
Here’s what you can expect, as I explained in an earlier thread:
—A thrilling post-climate disaster tale set on the West African coast, in the vein of Afrocentric Futurisms like DAVID MOGO, GODHUNTER or Rivers Solomon’s THE DEEP.
—Or maybe you just like the idea of a “vertical Snowpiercer,” a thriving tower stuck in the middle of a desolate ocean, kept going by a strict class system. ("A vertical Snowpiercer meets The Deep" was how we pitched the book.)
—Maybe you're interested in hopepunk, and would love a story of unlikely heroes from different walks of life forced to band together to overcome powers larger than they are, if only to wring hope from a world that promises only despair.
—Or maybe you’d just like to see two omniscient beings argue with poetry!
And lastly, in my last Suyiverse report, I expanded on my reasons for writing this story:
This book is me going hard at the hyper-capitalist actions of governments and corporations that have decimated much of the West African coastline to the point where communities living on that strip will completely disappear before 2050. Coastal West-African cities will see much more flooding in the coming years. Fifty years of this, and even the countries themselves might be no more. LOST ARK DREAMING attempts to unpack that future with a speculative, semi-fantastical bent. However, it’s not as dystopian as you’d think—I consider it more hopepunk, even. It’s also the most experimental thing I’ve written, jumping across forms (verse, reportage, omniscient beings rambling, etc). Prepare to be surprised!
Fingers crossed, and let’s go!
To the Discord:
(a list, in lieu of an essay) | (anyone can join our private Discord; it’s free!)
I’ll put down my mic and be real for a second. It’s hard out here for yo boy. Not that my life is anything to complain about, but March in particular was a hell of a mixed bag. I’m writing this to you while looking out the window at snow that is finally melting, and all I can say is that things are looking up.
But everything is still A Lot. And because I don’t wish for the weighty to overwhelm, and because I want light to still prevail, I’m sharing below, in no particular order, all the funny, the frustrating, the baffling, the annoying, the sad, the exciting, the bonkers and the hopeful things that have happened or have been going through my mind in the last month.
Swimming against the tide that is the five-month Canadian winter and its accompanying seasonal affective disorder.
Reading over 100K words of undergrad student writing that made me cry (and not for the reasons you’d think).
Wading through revisions of two books (WOTW and LAD), while outlining [redacted], while nibbling at a side project that is, right now, acting as my guilty pleasure.
The Youngling drooled spittle into my bluetooth keyboard and now I have to buy a new one.
Playing league football twice a week for two teams—one which is performing wonderfully, and one which is not—reminding me that only the team work makes the dream work (and getting my cardio in, of course).
Being a supporter of Tottenham Hotspur football club (I do not recommend).
I read A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid, the only piece of long fiction I’ve read this year outside of books I’ve blurbed, and I was once again reminded of the bliss to be found in digesting something so wonderful just for the fun of it.
Watching Yellowjackets, Ted Lasso and The Power.
Still meeting new people and making new friends in this city two years after moving here.
Looking forward to a summer of sunshine, travel and rejuvenation.
From the Grapevine:
(news from the press & the interwebs)
For their 97th episode, I joined the good folks at the Worldbuilding for Masochists podcasts to talk about “Perfect Pairing - Intersectionality and Worldbuilding.” If you know me, you know this is one of my favourite topics, and Rowenna, Cass and Marshall were such good conversation partners. I didn’t say as much as I typically would on this topic (it was a very cold day with an intense dose of seasonal affective disorder, lol). Regardless, give it a listen and see if you find something useful within. And if you have follow-up questions, you know where to find me!
Ex Marginalia, the essay collection edited by Chinelo Onwualu, released last week, and featured my essay "Exposition Tax: The hidden burden of writing from the margins," alongside 20 other wonderful authors. I did a thread about the essay. It was fire.
We’re about to begin our second iteration of The Literary Laddership for Emerging African Authors. Submissions open soon. Stay tuned!
Forthcoming events this April: Flights of Foundry, virtual (I'm on two panels: Pedagogy Roundtable @ 9-10PM EST on Sat 15, and Opportunities for African Writers @ 3-4PM EST on Sun 16).It’s free! Register to attend.
One last thing: Remember in my January letter, when I urged y'all to apply for the Milford SF UK writing fellowship? Well, at least one of you did, and what do you know, she was awarded one of the bursaries. Congratulations to Ivana Akotowaa Ofori!
For the Road:
(a miscellaneous column for useful takeaways)Last letter's takeaway: Comparing THE LAST OF US and STATION ELEVEN adaptations
The Publishing Rodeo is a new podcast by authors Sunyi Dean and Scott Drakeford that’s doing something a little bit different than all the other podcasts about publishing: they take the kid gloves off. Sunyi and Scott and their guests proceed to blow up everything you thought you know about publishing by offering a no-holds-barred delivery of publishing secrets. They tell you how much their advances and royalties were. They tell you which contracts sucked for them, and which were great. They tell you both their horror and uplifting stories. They name names, not in a cruel or vindictive manner, but as a means to advising up-and-coming writers.
If you’re looking to publish in the US or UK book markets, this podcast might be of help.
If you’d like to ask a question that’ll be featured in a future letter, you can drop them in our private Discord channel. Feel free to share this letter with a friend who may find it useful. See you at the next go-around!
Your friendly neighbourhood author,