Thompson, Tade

Tagged: Author

(?   -    ) UK psychologist and author, in Nigeria from around 1976 to 1998; he began publishing work of genre interest with "The McMahon Institute for Unquiet Minds" in Ideomancer for September 2005. His first novel, Making Wolf (2015), which won a Kitschies Golden Tentacle award as best debut, is an intricate gonzo political thriller set apparently in Nigeria, and at points edges surreally into the fantastic. The Murders of Molly Southbourne (2017) is a strongly Equipoisal tale in which a young girl's involuntary creation of Clones of herself, when she has bled, evokes various understandings of what is happening (see Gothic SF; Horror in SF); during the course of the tale Identity crises assault the protagonist savagely.

Thompson is of strong sf interest for the Wormwood sequence beginning with Rosewater (2016), a complexly crafted First Contact/Invasion tale set initially in London, target of a mysterious artefact which may have arrived from space, and buries itself Underground; the central action, several decades into the Near Future, takes place in Lagos, Nigeria, where a sort of Keep appears suddenly from beneath the earth, suggesting it may be organically connected with the earlier visitant. Very occasionally, this Macrostructure opens portals in its intricate carapace, from which come gifts of healing, and which inspire the growth of a ramshackle circumambient City of suffering aspirants: this may evoke echoes of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast; and can plausibly be seen as an extremely vividly presented rendering of Imperialism from the coign of vantage of an adroit Afrofuturism. In the event, the dome also generates a kind of techno-noosphere (see Communications) which both transmits and sucks up information. America having shut itself off from the world 45 years earlier, and remaining trapped in toxic isolation, the complex storyline adheres properly to Africa, where the action of the world is now focused. The motives of the "invaders" remain unclear; the second volume of the sequence, The Rosewater Insurrection (2019), takes place in a debilitated world where Entropy seems literally to have accelerated: but whether this is through alien sapping, or a fate all share, is not yet clear. Already an author of clear significance, Thompson seems at the verge of asserting his full presence. [JC]

Tade Thompson

born London.

died

works

series

Wormwood

individual titles

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