When Chinelo Onwualu and I founded the magazine, our major driving force was the need to provide a home for the varied stories of the speculative that were being written across the African continent. We hoped that by giving writers of the speculative a literary magazine, their fear of rejection would be conquered. They would be encouraged to freely explore their gifts and, hopefully, utilise the materials that we know abound in the continent for this.
Well, our wishes have been met and surpassed.
We can’t lay claim to the growing interest in speculative fiction in Africa. We can’t own the movement that is seeing more and more writers drop their shame of loving genre fiction and embrace the sassiness of being a writer of the speculative. We would like to, but we can’t. This is because this acceptance and resultant growth is owned by many people, and we are happy to be a part of the engine that keeps the wheel in motion.
However, Omenana cannot continue to improve in quality, or increase the payments to our contributors, without funding. For the last two years, we have been paying for the design, illustration and maintenance of the site out of our pockets, but this is no longer sustainable.
While the website version of the magazine will continue to be free, this edition will be the last to offer its downloadable PDF without charge. In July, we will be running a fundraising campaign to raise money to cover the costs of running the next two years of the magazine. We also plan to offer subscriptions to the magazine and will be installing a donate button on our site for ongoing funding. Stay tuned for more information.
In the spirit of changes, you might have heard of the buzz coming from the comic book industry in Nigeria? Three of the four works shortlisted for the African Speculative Fiction Society’s upcoming Nommo Awards are by Nigerians. Omenana will be giving you a feel of the industry’s talent by presenting one story in each edition in comic form. For this edition we selected Anne Dafeta’s beautiful coming-of-age story ‘What if I Fall’, with art and lettering by Revolution Media.
This edition also features stories by writers from across the continent. We are happy to see more female voices and more African writers exploring science fiction. We enjoyed working on this edition and hope you will enjoy reading the stories.
Omenana will be back in June 2017.
Thank you for staying with us.
‘Mazi’ Chiagozie Fred Nwonwu