Stitch Gives Away Tochi Onyebuchi’s Riot Baby

Ella has a Thing. She sees a classmate grow up to become a caring nurse. A neighbor’s son murdered in a drive-by shooting. Things that haven’t happened yet. Kev, born while Los Angeles burned around them, wants to protect his sister from a power that could destroy her. But when Kev is incarcerated, Ella must decide what it means to watch her brother suffer while holding the ability to wreck cities in her hands.

Rooted in the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is as much an intimate family story as a global dystopian narrative. It burns fearlessly toward revolution and has quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience.

Ella and Kev are both shockingly human and immeasurably powerful. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by racism. Their futures might alter the world.

It’s only February, but Tochi Onyebuchi’s Riot Baby is already of my favorite books of 2020. This novella is riveting, painful, and above all… full of familiar experiences. I started reading this book and couldn’t put it down even when it got tough. It’s just… incredible.

So I’m giving away two copies.

To enter, leave a comment on this post using a valid email telling me about a work of Black speculative fiction that has moved and/or haunted you!

I’ll choose the winners on the 29th and send you the kindle copies then!


7 thoughts on “Stitch Gives Away Tochi Onyebuchi’s Riot Baby

  1. The absolutely riveting THE HAUNTING OF TRAM CAR 015 by P. Djèlí Clark. Set in his alternate history world of a “A DEAD DJINN IN CAIRO”, it tells the story of two agents in a magical investigation bureau in Cairo that have to deal with a Tram Car that has a very strange being haunting tha. Their investigation must go on while ALSO dealing with a Suffrage movement, a secret society and magical scheming, This all takes place in a richly described and invoked Cairo in an early 1910’s Egypt that is leading the world in the rise of magic.

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  2. Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, particularly for its use of Black American vernacular! Reading it was tantamount to looking at a family photo in a way. It felt so familiar, like coming home despite the fantastical setting. I never imagined I’d read a fantasy work like it, one where the people in it looked AND spoke like me. Wildeeps showed me I don’t have to hesitate putting AAVE in my SFF stories for the sake of white readers. I can put it in there and it will be just as beautiful and brimming with gorgeous language because of it. Reading it felt like a dream come true.

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  3. THE DEEP by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, et al. Builds on Diggs’ amazing music video (nominated for the Hugo), and imagines a race of mer-people descended from the babies of pregnant women thrown overboard from slave ships. If you haven’t read it, I think you’d like it a lot.
    Oh, and you don’t need to count this as a contest entry; I have copies of RIOT BABY in my book order for this weekend’s convention (Foolscap in Seattle), and already allowed for “one for me” in the order quantity… 😀

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  4. The Broken Earth trilogy by N K Jemisin. I hadn’t read anything by her before, but for some reason I preordered the first book, The Fifth Season, and when it released I thought I’d just read a little bit before going to bed. I ended up devouring it instead. Who needs sleep when there’s a book to read that’s so moving and thought-provoking?


  5. I loved An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon. I just picked up a copy of their lastest book, The Deep, and I fully expect to be just as emotionally ripped open and blown away as I was by Ghosts.


  6. Binti discovering her otjize heals the medusae changed the way I relate to my culture. I’ve always seen my South Asian history as something that I drag with me but Binti showed me I can recontextualize it into unforseen connections with others. In a western society a lot of our traditions get deemed backwards, and to see Okafor build a future around a not European culture and then make it vital changed how I see and feel about society and science fiction.


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