Hey, all! How did the holiday go? Hope you had a good time! Well, so much has been said about the genre of science/fantasy fiction in Africa. While some say the genre cannot thrive in Africa, others opine that African writing should be art for life’s sake and nothing more (we posted an article about that sometime ago).
Some awards do not even recognise the genre – science fiction entries were disallowed in Penguin Prize Awards. Well, in the midst of all these, Nnedi Okorafor wrote Zahrah the Windseeker. Of course, it was criticised but more importantly, it won the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature.
Today, although a sizeable number of authors – Tchidi Chikere’s novella, Daughter of the Cave comes to mind – have ventured into fantasy/science fiction(where imagination rules supreme!); many still shy away from the genre. Therefore, it is refreshing when a new kid appears on the block. In this interview with Myne Whitman, Tope Apoola, whose first full length novel, Times of the Supermen, has just been published, shares his experience on writing science fiction. Enjoy!
Please introduce yourself
My name is Tope Apoola, born June 1984 to civil servant parents, Mr.&Mrs. Moses Apoola in Akure. I am last in the family. I was educated mostly in the same place except for the university where I had to move a few more than a hundred kilometres away from home. Times of the supermen is my first full length novel.
Tell us about the book
That is one question I can only hope to answer satisfactorily, the reason being that there is more than one side to the story, different things to stick to and different interpretations.
The book is about a freaky scientist who discovers the use of a symbolic formation that was found on an earthly rock, said to be identical to the one earlier found on the Martian surface. The world is bemused as it is to be established that super-civilized extraterrestrials existed even in the times that was known to be prebiological. The man is being invited to promote his science in Lagos by the ambitious and adventurous Nigerian President mostly because many people, including Olabode, the narrator’s uncle, have plausibly reported to have dreamt about the prehistoric times.
Being the Alternative history Science fiction that it is Times of the supermen hypothesizes the origin of existence, hence the rationale behind the realities that we experience from time to time. Through the lives of the characters, such as Sola Aderomoke, a young, attractive TV presenter girl who worked inadvertently for an esoteric anti-religion group, and Chekhov, a lonely scientist who warned the world against the devices of those unknown beings who were said to have visited the earth even in pre-adamic times, we see how an aged conspiracy by an ancient otherworldly civilization is being played out.
I would have to remind readers that this is only a work of fiction, as some might easily be led into believing that it is not meant to be one but this is not to say that a good round of investigative study did not go into the conceptualization of the story.
To continue reading here.