Kabu, Kabu

Kabu Kabu—unregistered, illegal Nigerian taxis—generally get you where you need to go, but Nnedi Okorafor’s Kabu Kabu takes the reader to exciting, fantastic, magical, occasionally dangerous, and always imaginative locations. This debut short story collection by an award-winning author includes notable previously-published short work, a new novella co-written with New York Times bestselling author Alan Dean Foster, and a brief foreword by Whoopi Goldberg.

Locus Award finalist.

About the Author:
Nnedi Okorafor is a novelist of African-based science fiction, fantasy and magical realism. Her award-nominated and -winning novels include Who Fears DeathAkata WitchZahrah the Windseeker, and The Shadow. Her children’s book Long Juju Man is the winner of the Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa. Her science fiction novel Lagoon, and young adult novel Akata Witch 2: Breaking Kola are scheduled for release in 2014. Nnedi holds a PhD in Literature and is a professor of creative writing at Chicago State University. Find Nnedi on facebook, twitter and at nnedi.com.

Praise for Kabi Kabu:
[Starred Review] In this vibrant collection of speculative fiction, Okorafor proves yet again that she is among the 21st century’s most significant and noteworthy Science Fiction authors. The American-born author features her parents’ Nigerian homeland in many of her stories, casting a sympathetic but informed eye on that nation. With such oil-rich land, Nigeria’s mineral wealth continues to attract exploiters. Within these 20 stories we visit various takes on the future of Africa, many of which are equally as bleak as the past. Each story is as carefully crafted as the last; robots serving shadowy foreign interests find common cause with artists, women fall victim to their society’s brutally patriarchal order while others find less bitter fates, and assassins ponder the effects of their efforts to provoke reform. With a knack for dialogue and an ambitious imagination, Okorafor effortlessly blends original characters with fantastical elements into the vivid scenery of Africa to create stories worth reading again and again.—Publishers Weekly

The stories in Kabu Kabu are trippy, fun, far-fetched, laugh-out-loud funny, and enlightening. Okorafor’s writing is a welcome, fresh distraction from much of the fantasy that I tend to read and a reminder that there are writers out there who focus on other mythologies and traditions – that fantasy does not have to be about some blond-haired knight who is stuck between a savage and a cliff to jump off of. (Read the book, you’ll understand.) I don’t know if Kabu Kabu will get the buzz it deserves. I know that I have given out Okorafor’s name more times than I can count to various fantasy lovers. I wish I could force people to read her works – but since I can’t, I’ll just say here in this public setting that Okorafor is an author to be praised and Kabu Kabu is just another strong notch in her belt of great works.—The Lost Wife

I would definitely recommend this book. It’s powerful, emotional and beautifully written… Every story is fun or powerful (or both, which is hard to do) with some strong lessons and some truly amazing emotional impact. And rarely have I come across short stories that so readily and completely transport me to their works.[5/5 stars]—Fangs for the Fantasy

Nnedi Okorafor’s storytelling is constantly engaging, beautiful and evocative, and she’s one of those rare writers who can make you feel like you’re right there in the story without bogging you down in too much detail. Though each of the stories is distinct and a standalone, many relate to other works of hers, and I think nearly all of them have some connection, however small, to each other. She tells stories of magic and death and hope and oil and the past and future all rolled into one wondrous collection. Kabu Kabu gives you insight into a culture and place that’s frequently overlooked in most fiction in general, let alone genre fiction… If you’re a fan of anything else Okorafor has written, then you will like Kabu Kabu. If you’re a fan of speculative short stories, you will like Kabu Kabu. If you’re a fan of expanding your mind and seeing non-white characters in non-Western settings, you will like Kabu Kabu. This is a book that should not be missed, not by anyone who’s reading this review, not by anyone who loves SFF stories. Jump into the worlds that Okorafor creates, and witness the stories woven and told by a master.[5/5 Stars]—Bibliotropic

The twenty-one short stories in this collection tackle some serious subjects: intolerance, genocide, stereotyping, war including the civil war, persecution of the other, and the environmental and social destruction wrought by Western oil companies. Foremost is the treatment of strong women who dare to break with the patriarchal society in which they live… Some of the stories are very definitely magic realism, others are closer to fantasy and/or science fiction… I found Okarafor’s work fascinating. I have only limited knowledge of the African heritage that inspires her work, but I can see how she is forging an African/American approach to magic realism.—Magic Realism

Praise for Nnedi Okorafor

“Okorafor’s imagination is stunning.”—New York Times

“There’s more vivid imagination in a page of Nnedi Okorafor’s work than in whole volumes of ordinary fantasy epics.” -Ursula K. Le Guin

“I love the way Nnedi Okorafor writes, the precise, steely short sentences like blows to the body, the accumulation of experiences that lead to inspired insights, and the strangeness and beauty of an Africa both imagined and real. Perception, courage, and grace illuminate Who Fears Death.”—Peter Straub

“I the tradition of Octavia Butler and Nalo Hopkinson, Okorafor is equally adept at combining that most contemporary of forms, science fiction, with the ancient beliefs and values of non-western cultures that have for too long been underrepresented in modern fantastic literature.”—Locus

“The clear and sometimes lyrical prose pulls the reader along and compels the reading of page after page. To compare author Nnedi Okorafor to the late Octavia E. Butler would be easy to do, but this simple comparison should not detract from Okorafor’s unique storytelling gift.”—The New York Journal of Books, for Who Fears Death

“Nnedi Okorafor is American-born but her Nigerian blood runs strong, lacing her work with fantasy, magic and true African reality.”—Nawal El Saadawi, bestselling and award-winning Egyptian writer and activist, author of Woman at Point Zero

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