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Onyebuchi, Tochi

Entry updated 5 December 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1987-    ) US lawyer and author who began to publish work of genre interest with "Dust to Dust" in Transverse Three (anth 2011) edited by Dario Ciriello. His first novel, the Young Adult Beasts Made of Night (2017) – the first volume of the Taj sequence – explicitly draws on his mother's experience of Nigeria, creating in the City of Kos a recognizable transmutation of Lagos; there is no link to the Greek island of Kos. Much of the tale seems couched in fantasy terms, but (see Afrofuturism; Fantastika; Magic Realism) the proliferating complexities of life in twenty-first century urban Africa are not easily addressable from within the matrices of traditional Western genres. Taj, the protagonist of the tale, is an aki, a clan or grouping bred as sin-eaters bound to the hierarchical priest-ridden culture; a sin, once eaten, manifests in beast form, and must be killed. The plot darkens, the city begins to crumble, losses and savageries mount (see Horror in SF). In the second volume, Crown of Thunder (2018), Taj escapes Kos and discovers synergy with a young woman, to the extent that both may be deemed to possess Superpowers. They may attempt to rebuild the world. The War Girls sequence beginning with War Girls (2019) is an sf narrative set in a more distant Near Future Nigeria devastated by calamitous Climate Change that has left most of the planet uninhabitable. What is left of the land is in dispute between Nigerians and Biagrans; Robots war with Mecha; the main protagonists, who are sisters ripped from one another, finally reunite.

Onyebuchi's first singleton, and first adult tale, Goliath (2022), is set mostly in the Near Future America of 2050, a world devastated by Climate Change and exploitation. The rich have begun to exercise in practical terms the Survivalist rhetoric that has been audible in the real world since the beginning of the twenty-first century, and are emigrating to luxury Space Stations. The poor are left with nothing but themselves in plundered Cities. [JC]

Tochi Joshua Onyebuchi

born Northampton, Massachusetts: 4 October 1987




War Girls

  • War Girls (New York: Penguin/Razorbill, 2019) [War Girls: hb/Nekro]
  • Rebel Sisters (New York: Penguin/Razorbill, 2020) [War Girls: hb/]

individual titles

  • Riot Baby (New York: Tor, 2019) [hb/Jaya Miceli]
  • Goliath (New York: Tordotcom, 2022) [hb/]

collections and stories

  • A Righteous Man (no place given: Amazon Original Stories, 2022) [story: ebook: in the publisher's Trespass Collection series: na/]


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