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Onyebuchi, Tochi

(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.

War Girls (2019) is an sf tale 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. The War Girls series continues with Rebel Sisters (2020). [JC]

Tochi Joshua Onyebuchi

born Northampton, Massachusetts: 4 October 1987




War Girls

individual titles


Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 08:57 am on 29 June 2022.