Nnedi Okorafor: Science Fiction to Children’s Books | HuffPost – HuffPost

NO: My first published novel was Zahrah the Windseeker, which takes place in a world like Nigeria, except it also has super advanced biotechnology. The main character realizes she can fly and has to enter a wild forbidden jungle that grows beside her town. So the novel was a blend of science fiction and fantasy. When I wrote it, I didn’t categorize it as anything because I don’t naturally feel the urge to label what I write.. It was when editor John Joseph Adams came to me years ago and asked me to write a story for his environmental science fiction anthology Seeds of Change that things…changed. A lot. He specifically asked me to write a science fiction story without any magical elements. Prior to that, I’d never done such a thing. His request seemed really difficult for me; I don’t like writing with any constraints. However, because it was difficult, I felt I should give it a try. The story I wrote, titled “Spider the Artist”, went on to change the direction of my writing. To this day, that story remains one of my best short stories. It was the first story I wrote where I was purposely trying to write science fiction and after I finished and looked at what I wrote, I really really liked it. So I tried writing some more science fiction. Of course, the more of it I wrote, the more the mystical elements came back, but I was hooked, nonetheless. Writing “Spider the Artist” added a major tool to my writer toolbox. So it’s not that I started writing science fiction as much as I added science fiction to what I write.

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