Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Suyi Davies Okungbowa (born Osasuyi E. Okungbowa in 1989) is a Nigerian science fiction, fantasy and dark fiction writer. He is the author of The Nameless Republic epic fantasy trilogy, beginning with Son of the Storm (Orbit, May 2021). His debut was the godpunk fantasy novel, David Mogo, Godhunter (Abaddon, July 2019). His work is heavily influenced by the histories and cultures of West Africa and Nigeria, and discusses themes of identity, challenging difference and finding home. WIRED's Peter Rubin referred to him as "one of the most promising new voices coterie of African SFF writers."[1]

Suyi Davies Okungbowa
Okungbowa at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix, AZ (2020).jpg
Okungbowa at Changing Hands bookstore in Phoenix, Arizona. February 2020.
Born1989
Benin City, Nigeria
NationalityNigerian
Alma materUniversity of Benin; University of Arizona
OccupationAuthor & Scholar
Years active2015-present
Known forAfrican fantasy, futurism and general speculative fiction
Notable work
David Mogo, Godhunter; The Nameless Republic (trilogy); Black Panther
AwardsNommo Ilube Award for Best Speculative Novel by an African, 2020
Websitesuyidavies.com

Early lifeEdit

Okungbowa was born and raised in Benin City, Edo State in the southern part of Nigeria. His early life orbited around the University of Benin where his parents worked, and he then went on to obtain a Bachelor's in Civil Engineering from the same university between 2006 and 2011. He later moved to Minna, Niger State and then, Lagos. He went on to study at the University of Arizona in Tucson for an MFA in Creative Writing.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

Okungbowa currently lives and works in Tucson, Arizona.[3] Prior to that, he lived in Lagos, Nigeria and has worked in various fields, from construction engineering to professional services in finance to marketing communications to digital learning in nonprofit. He is married.

David Mogo, Godhunter (Abaddon, 2019)Edit

Suyi Davies Okungbowa's debut novel, David Mogo, Godhunter was released by the Abaddon imprint of Rebellion Publishing in Oxford, UK on July 9, 2019 in the US and two days later in the UK and Europe. The novel follows the titular demigod, who is also a god hunter, as he scours the streets of Okungbowa's native Lagos, Nigeria, in the aftermath of an event called The Falling where thousands of orishas—Yoruba deities—have fallen to the city.

The novel received good reception, with venues like WIRED commenting that, "a number of books have been termed 'godpunk,' but Suyi Davies Okungbowa's novel may be the subgenre's platonic deific ideal,"[4] while Publisher's Weekly mentioned that "this story is captivating, and readers who enjoy non-Western fantasy, mythpunk, and tales of found family will find it delightful."[5] However, there were critical mentions of the story structure, which was a novel in three parts, almost akin to a collection of novellas (F(r)iction's Giancarlo Riccobon called it "three books for the price of one"[6]) and the treatment of some of the minor characters. But overall, the consensus was that the authorial voice was fresh and welcome, especially in a white-dominated sub-genre.

"American urban fantasy, like any established genre, can get predictable," L.E.H Light of BlackNerdProblems said in a lengthy, favourable review.[7] "David Mogo, Godhunter is anything but."

In October 2020, David Mogo, Godhunter was announced as the winner of the 2020 Nommo Award for Best Speculative Novel by an African (the Ilube Award).[8]

The Nameless Republic trilogy (Orbit, 2021-present)Edit

In January 2020, Orbit Books (a science fiction and fantasy imprint of Hachette Book Group, USA and Little, Brown UK) announced the acquisition of "an incredible new epic fantasy series" from Okungbowa. They referred to The Nameless Republic as "an evocative tale of myth and magic [that] invites readers into a rich and vibrant world inspired by West-African empires."[9] Okungbowa himself commented: "This series is my love letter to all of us who know the magic that makes West-Africa tick–the lore and music, the harmattan and petrichor, the jollof rice and fried plantain." The first of these books, Son of the Storm, is slated for release in May 2021.

Partial BibliographyEdit

NovelsEdit

  • Son of the Storm (The Nameless Republic #1), May 2021[9]
  • David Mogo, Godhunter, July 2019[10] (winner of the 2020 Nommo Award for Best Novel)[8]

Selected Short FictionEdit

  • "We Come As Gods," Tor.com/FIYAH Magazine, October 2020
  • "The Haunting of 13 Oluwo Street," Fireside Magazine, October 2019
  • "Dune Song," Apex Magazine, May 2019. (Also: Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, ed by Jonathan Strahan, Saga)
  • "When You Find Such A Thing," PodCastle, November 2017
  • "Can Anything Good Come," The Dark Magazine Issue 21, February 2017

Selected NonfictionEdit

  • "Where Are Our Black Boys on Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Novel Covers?," Tor.com, June 2020
  • "'Post' for Whom? Examining the Socioeconomics of a Post-Apocalypse," Strange Horizons, July 2019
  • "The F-Word Is Here to Stay. Deal With It," Ozy. December 2017.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "WIRED's 14 Must-Read Books of Summer". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2019-09-29.
  2. ^ Reader, Civilian (2019-05-23). "Interview with SUYI DAVIES OKUNGBOWA". Civilian Reader. Retrieved 2019-09-29.
  3. ^ Patrick. "Suyi Davies Okungbowa Interview". Pat's Fantasy Hotlist. Retrieved 2019-09-29.
  4. ^ "WIRED's 14 Must-Read Books of Summer". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  5. ^ www.publishersweekly.com https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-78108-649-0. Retrieved 2019-10-07. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Three Books for the Price of One: A Review of David Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa – F(r)iction". frictionlit.org. Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  7. ^ Editor/Reviewer, L. E. H. Light (2019-07-30). "'David Mogo, Godhunter': African Urban Fantasy and the Gods Among Us". Black Nerd Problems. Retrieved 2019-10-07.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  8. ^ a b locusmag (2020-10-26). "2020 Nommo Awards Winners". Locus Online. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  9. ^ a b Evans, Nivia (2020-01-16). "Acquisition Announcement: THE NAMELESS REPUBLIC by Suyi Davies Okungbowa". Orbit Books. Retrieved 2020-01-20.
  10. ^ David Mogo, Godhunter. 2019-07-09. ISBN 9781781086490.

External linksEdit