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Alderman, Naomi

(1974-    ) UK author who began to publish work of genre interest with "The Career of Edward Northam" in New Writings in the Fantastic (anth 2007) edited by John Grant. Later she designed and wrote for the Alternate Reality Game Zombies, Run! (see also Zombies), later collaborating with her 2012 Rolex Mentor Margaret Atwood on The Happy Sunrise Zombie Home (24 October 2012-January 2013 web).

After two well-received nonfantastic novels, Alderman's first sf tale, Borrowed Time (2011) as Naomi A Alderman, is a Tie to the Doctor Who universe, specifically to the Doctor Who New Series subset of that universe. Of perhaps broader interest is The Power (2016), a Near Future Dystopia, or Utopia if its transformations of Homo sapiens can be understood as Satire-laced affirmation (see Feminism); the dedication to Atwood places it firmly in an array of novels mostly by women (see Women SF Writers) with critically ambivalent takes on utopia/dystopia. The Power, which is initially Young Adult, focuses primarily on the lives of three teenage girls after – almost by Magic, though ostensibly via a Psi Power that gives women organic power over electricity – women find themselves able at whim to inflict pain and death upon males. Soon males and females change places, with men suffering through this role reversal the oppressions women had experienced for millennia. The tale darkens, as its protagonists begin to understand the complexities of power, and the costs inherent to any skewed world (such as ours). This book won the non-genre-aligned Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. The Future (2023) modernizes a topos familiar from the prime of the Scientific Romance – a man or group of men attempts to gain protection from the coming End of the World – through mildly Satirical portraits of three contemporary billionaires who injuriously dominate the Media Landscape. The twist that engineers the tale is that they are less concerned with the end of the world through Climate Change – which they assume is inevitable –than in the findings of an AI capable of telling them it's time to strike camp. But to do so, the AI must be able to trip the future as a matter of Prediction, which is to say the future must be so simplified in order that the extremely rich may remain safe. [JC]

Naomi A Alderman

born London: 23 October 1974

works (selected)


Doctor Who New Series

individual titles


Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 16:08 pm on 24 June 2024.