who fears death

Coming Soon: Who Fears Death – A Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series Set in Africa

nnedi okorafor

There seems to be a never ending stream of really good shows to watch on TV as of late.  Sure, there are times when there isn’t anything on that you want to watch.  But over all, there is a lot to choose from.  And how we access that content is ever changing, which makes it that much easier for us to choose.  Which makes you wonder what will be next?  HBO is teaming up with George R.R. Martin to produce the television show Who Fears Death.  Which is a book published by Nigerian-American author Nnedi Okorafor.

I should mention that it’s in early development, so there’s always a chance that it won’t stick around.  But I have high hopes for this show.  George R.R. Martin is serving as executive producer, which is likely to help the show because the books has some Game of Thrones themes in it.  Namely, it has a blend of fantasy, magic and suspense.  The book was first published in 2010, and is kind of like African science fiction.  The book is set in post-apocalyptic Sudan which has been plagued by a civil war.  I won’t get into too many more details with what happens in the book, but let’s just say it’s basically a tribal war.

The novel’s protagonist, Onyesonwu, was born as the result of a rape, which isn’t uncommon during such times.  What’s interesting is that Onyesonwu has magical powers, which makes her a threat to the other tribe.  The name Onyesonwu means “who fears death”, hence where the book got it’s title, and possibly an indication of what is to come within the television show.

who fears death

The book deals a lot with modern day African affairs.  Armed conflict between African tribes is not fictional.  Okorafor has indicated that she actually got her inspiration for this book because of a Washington Post article about children being born from sexual violence in the Congo and Sudan during their civil wars. Which is actually an interesting place for an idea to come from.  But that’s the creative process, I guess.

I like the idea that there is a cross over between fantasy and reality.  Or at least some of the main issues in the book are rooted in reality. Perhaps the story that is told isn’t one of actual truth, but I do think the fact that this story combines fantasy and reality is quite different than what we often see.  I also think that this kind of topic is extremely heavy to write about, nonetheless develop an entire TV series around.

This kind of television show is really going to raise the bar in terms of what kinds of shows we watch.  I often like to turn on a comedy, so I can get lost in it and not have to use my brain in order to watch the show.  But I equally like television shows that stimulate my brain and make me think about the world in a different way.  I have fought against the fantasy genre for so long, but I’m slowly starting to enjoy it.  Which means, this is a definite watch for me when it comes out.

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