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Clark, Phenderson Djèlí

Entry updated 3 July 2023. Tagged: Author.

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Pseudonym of US author Dexter Gabriel (1971-    ), who began publishing work of genre interest with "Shattering the Spear" in Heroic Fantasy Quarterly for 2011. His work is in general perhaps more usefully thought of as Fantastika rather than pure fantasy, as most of his tales press against and interrogate normal genre boundaries. The Ministry of Alchemy sequence, comprising A Dead Djinn in Cairo (19 May 2016; 2016 ebook), The Haunting of Tram Car 015 (2019) and A Master of Djinn (2021), focuses upon a by-now moderately traditional female detective pursuing cases in an Alternate-World Egypt, where Supernatural Creatures interact with potential Time Paradoxes; A Master of Djinn won a Nebula as best novel and a Locus Award as best first novel. The Steampunk Alternate History world of A Black God's Drums (2018), more ambitiously conceived, provides a challenging Jonbar Point: the late eighteenth-century slave revolution in Haiti has succeeded, and survives in part because the new Free Isles possess a secret Weather Control Weapon, the eponymous Black God's Drums. America remains locked in its suicidal Civil War; a great storm assaults New Orleans; some adventure routines somewhat deflect the tale from its interrogation of politics and race (see Politics; Race in SF), but as a whole A Black God's Drums is bracing. Ring Shout (2020) Equipoisally locates a hunt for Monsters in a 1922 America itself haunted by the continued influence of D W Griffith's film Birth of a Nation (1915) (see Thomas Dixon, Jr).

"The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington" (February 2018 Fireside Magazine) won a Nebula and a Locus Award as best short story; Ring Shout (2020) won a Locus Award and a further Nebula as best novella. Clark was a co-founder of the magazine Fiyah (which see) in 2017. [JC]

Dexter Gabriel

born New York: 11 June 1971



The Ministry of Alchemy

Abeni's Song

  • Abeni's Song (New York: Tor Starscape, 2023) [Abeni's Song: hb/Michael Machira Mwangi]

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