Lauren Beukes


We were at Stones, playing pool, drinking, goofing around, maybe hoping to score a little sugar, when Kendra arrived, all moffied up and gloaming like an Aito/329. “Ahoy, Special K, where you been, girl, so juiced to kill?” Tendeka asked while he racked up the balls, all click-clack in their white plastic triangle. Old school […]

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Ayodele Arigbabu


The time warp occurred at exactly 12 noon. It was perfect timing. A labour strike in protest against fuel price increase had just been called off. Lagos was trying to find its feet. Three different convoys with ‘about to wed’ covering the number plates of their lead cars sped past me while I awaited my […]

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Doreen Baingana

Eden’s Burning

The first angry woman spat at her world. Kazi read the brilliant faces of the stars and found that the past was not empty: it could be explored. Amazed by the revelation, she ran through the Circle, shaking everyone awake and shouting excitedly into their sleepy faces: “We belong to the sky!” They laughed at […]

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Pete Kalu


Tunde is back from hospital. It’s a miracle. He kissed me and said I was the only person who ever mattered to him and I was why he pulled through. Then he broke down and cried and me with him, so help me God. He’s quite unsteady on his feet. I didn’t sleep all night […]

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Irenosen Okojie

Please Feed Motion

On the third Thursday of each month, Nesrine Malik, prisoner 2212 pulled skin from the thing living in her throat before writing to Eros. She performed this ritual without fail and had done for four years since landing at Woodowns prison on drug charges as an accessory with intent to supply. Nesrine had arrived with […]

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Nnedi Okorafor

How Nnedi Got Her Curved Spine

In a forest of South Eastern Nigeria lived a tribe of large baboons called the Idiok. They were regal creatures with thick brown fur, black ears, careful hands and golden eyes. They were wise and peaceful, and at night when the moon was high and full, they could easily find each other because their eyes […]

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Jonathan Dotse

The Writing in the Stars

The Guardian spurred his horse on to a full gallop through the narrow, winding streets of the old city, followed closely by five companions, leaving behind the chaotic sounds of iron clashing in vain against the thundering fire of the invaders. The four raced towards the outskirts of the city, to the edge of the […]

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Dayo Ntwari

Mother’s Love

“Force-feed the heretics! The monotheists, the abominations, all of them! Let them know the taste of freedom!”           The Archbishop’s thunderous voice shook Anointing Square, his words slightly out of sync with the movement of his lips and the rest of his face, as it glared down from the video screen that covered the entire north […]

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Nick Wood and Tade Thompson

The Last Pantheon, part 1

Prologue February 18, 1979 Sahara Desert, Africa My hands are deep in sand, and there is blood on the snow.           He did not know why there was snow.           He tried to rise, but it was not time. His breath came in ragged gasps, a death rattle? His ribs grated on each other when he inspired. […]

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Nick Wood and Tade Thompson

The Last Pantheon, part 2

Chapter Six 2015 South Africa Black-Power wrapped his cape around him, feeling all the more fearsome for it.           The two men facing him didn’t take their cues, one clicking the safety off his pistol, the other steadying his automatic rifle.           He waved Thembeka behind him, so that she was completely hidden behind his massive bulk. […]

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Nick Wood and Tade Thompson

The Last Pantheon, part 3

Chapter Eleven 1978 Lagos, Nigeria Space.           He was not really here. This was a memory or a dream. Hanging there was a space station, spiky, crystalline almost. The hull was grown by a layer of bacteria genetically modified to produce the bulkhead. It was constantly sheared off and constantly regrown. Inside, there were hundreds of […]

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Ziphozakhe Hlobo and Lena Posch

Khazimla’s Adventures

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Nick Mulgrew


I I was alive. I was dead. That’s as much as I knew.           I want to tell you I woke, but I don’t think I was ever asleep. I had passed through. Or something. There’s no way to explain it, unless it were to happen to you.           I was disappointed at first that I couldn’t […]

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Nerine Dorman


“It’s a dead dog, for Christ’s sake, Thulani. I don’t know why –”           Thulani brings the car to a halt far too fast for the gravel road, and we slew sideways as we come to a standstill. I can tell he’s being stubborn from the way he juts out his chin. Mulish, I’ve called him, […]

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Clifton Gachagua

No Kissing the Dolls Unless Jimi Hendrix is Playing

Posters with the face of a grinning girl with red hair are all over the city’s walls. A family of three who have found a home outside an Indian café stitch the posters together into a curtain, her face watching over them. Her name has become infamous. Seventeen murders in the ghettos, no MO, no […]

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Mehul Gohil

Elephants Chained to Big Kennels

Cephas stands on the roof, where streaming warmth catches his face and seeps into his cheeks. There is a race in the sky between the rising sun and the cloudwall of the Kenyan monsoon. The cool and fast wind blows south-west and not even a drizzle to breathe in yet. It’s the rare moment when […]

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Shadreck Chikoti


It’s either the northern raven or the girl. In the case of the raven, he is resting his hands on the balcony railing and looking down Avenue 6 Drive when the passerine bird, large-bodied, long graduated tail, huge black bill, all-dark, not the white-necked pied crow known in these regions, flies by and perches on […]

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Stephen Embleton

Land of Light

The monorail snaked upriver through the thick teak forest canopy and occasionally out into the daylight. The bursts of sunlight grew more frequent but less harsh as the day faded into the west. Rather than an end to the day, the night was about to bring Paula to the beginning of the real journey.           For […]

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Tiseke Chilima

Women are from Venus

GENESIS GENETICS: Malawi Headquarters Service to women only           That signpost…it gave me the hovers. That’s what my mother called it when I hovered, unable to take the final step over the precipice and into my decision. I had it bad; my feathers were quivering something awful. It was a horrible childhood habit but even mother […]

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Muthi Nhlema

One Wit’ This Place

Whenever she dreamed, it was always the same dream. But this time, it was different. It was always the day before he left for the war. They were together on the white shores of Neo-Dar before the floods came. They were standing at their favorite spot, his arms wrapped around her waist, her back against […]

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Dilman Dila

Her Broken Shadow

An Excerpt from the Shooting Script SCENE 1: INT. ADONGO’S HOME Extreme close up of a hand turning a key, locking a door. The hand then throws the key into a toilet, and flashes. SCENE 2: INT. ADONGO’S OFFICE Adongo sits at a desk, typing. She is of nondescript age, her hair nappy, uncombed in […]

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Wole Talabi

The Regression Test

The conference room is white, spacious, and ugly.           Not ugly in any particular sort of way: it doesn’t have garish furniture or out-of-place art or vomit-colored walls or anything like that. It’s actually quite plain. It’s just that everything in it looks furfuraceous, like the skin of some diseased albino animal, as if everything is […]

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Masima Musodza

Herbert Wants to Return Home

‘It’s my boy; it’s Herbert!’ she cried, struggling mechanically. ‘I forgot it was two miles away. What are you holding me for? Let go. I must open the door.’ ‘For God’s sake, don’t let it in,’ cried the old man trembling. ‘You’re afraid of your own son,’ she cried, struggling. – W.W. Jacobs, The Monkey’s […]

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Masima Musodza

Herbert Anoda Kudzoka Kumusha

‘Mwana wangu; ndiHerbert!’ akaidzira, achikakaritsa. ‘Ndange ndakoshiwa kuti zvinhambwe mbiri kubva pano. Uri kundibatirei? Ndisiye. Ndinofanira kuzarura musuo.’ ‘Ndapota hangu, usachirega chichipinda,’ harawa iya yakadaro, ichibvunda. ‘Unotya mwana wako wekubereka,’ akadaro, achikakaritsa. – W.W. Jacobs, The Monkey’s Paw DHAYARI RATOBIAS MUTSEPESHI 18 Gumiguru 2011 Zvedhayari ndakapedzisira kuzviita ndichirikuchikoro chaiko, apo ndakazvitangira mushure mekuverenga nezvemumwe murume […]

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Kofi Nyameye

The Old Man with The Third Hand

The old man with the third hand sat on the beach and watched the waves wash over the sand. I’d seen him before. Everyone had. Some people assumed he was crazy. Others thought he was just lonely, sitting out there by himself day after day, staring at where the ocean seemed to merge with the […]

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