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Solomon, Rivers

Entry updated 23 January 2023. Tagged: Author.

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(1989-    ) US author whose first novel, An Unkindness of Ghosts (2017), is set in a Generation Starship many years into its journey. The SF Megatext provides a generous range of likelihoods for this setting to illuminate, some of which Solomon duly invokes: the ritualized maintenance procedures designed to keep the ship and its inhabitants in order; the hierarchized society, whose ruler may be a figurehead and whose Secret Masters may only be uncovered late in the action; the rebel teenager; the fact that the destination is now unknown, and may have always been hoax (see Ship of Fools). But Solomon makes deft use of this material. Their Black female protagonist, though reminiscent of Robert A Heinlein's competent man, is at the same time luminous with interactive presence as she mediates between the Black underclass (see Race in SF; Slavery). Sorrowland (2021), though set in a familiar Dystopian world where young girls are raised in coercive Keeps, can also be understood as the origin story of a Black female Superhero (see again Race in SF; Women in SF); this novel won an Otherwise Award (formerly the James Tiptree Jr Award).

Solomon is a knowledgeable writer, who honours tradition while significantly re-using older topoi for new purposes. [JC]

Rivers Solomon

born California: 1989


  • An Unkindness of Ghosts (New York: Akashic Books, 2017) [pb/]
  • The Deep (New York: Simon and Schuster/Saga Press, 2019) with Daveed Diggs, William Hulson & Jonathan Snipes [hb/Sonia Chaghatzbanian]
  • Sorrowland (New York: MCD, 2021) [hb/]


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