Autopilotting
Nnedi's Wahala Zone Blog
by Nnedi Okorafor, PhD
3w ago
I have a month of free "Full Self-Driving capability" on my Tesla Model 3 (I *only* like small cars). Confession, I'm terrified of autopilot and I never even use my basic autopilot. But the last few days, I've been testing it out, but only late at night when there are barely any cars on the road (around 2AM, haha). Full autopilot includes Auto Lane Change, Autopark, Smart Summon, Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control, etc. I'm interested in the technology and I'm most interested in what vehicle autonomy can do for people with disabilities. But I just can't trust it. Yes, as a whole, with all mod ..read more
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Legs by Nnedi
Nnedi's Wahala Zone Blog
by Nnedi Okorafor, PhD
1M ago
For the last two weeks, I’ve been doing physical therapy to work on the proprioception (the body's ability to sense movement, action, and location) in my legs. I have very poor proprioception in my legs after what happened (for context, see my memoir specifically about what happened and how it made me a writer, BROKEN PLACES & OUTER SPACES). Thus, my balance is poor in a specific way…it feels like my legs disappear when I’m not looking at them. When I walk, it’s robotic, down to me being conscious of every command I give to them. I haven’t tried since that first year it all happened back i ..read more
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On a Dark Desert Highway from Comic-Con
Nnedi's Wahala Zone Blog
by Nnedi Okorafor, PhD
8M ago
My day at San Diego Comic-Con was cool, but I want to talk about the crazy thing my daughter Anyaugo and I did that night. I didn’t like our hotel, so after a lovely dinner with my agent, we decided to dip. We drove from San Diego to Phoenix, starting the trip at 10PM. It was…surreal, terrifying at times, beautiful at other times. You ever driven in total darkness through desert (“On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair…”), nothing around you for miles, no other cars on the road, and it looks like something large is running beside your car in the night? Yeah. I won’t be forgetting that ..read more
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View from a Mountain
Nnedi's Wahala Zone Blog
by Nnedi Okorafor, PhD
8M ago
Original image used for the first edition of WHO FEARS DEATH Ever since my sister Ngozi passed on November 23rd, 2021 and then my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, I’ve been feeling really...high up. That I am high up on this beautiful mountain and looking down and I'm afraid of how high I’ve climbed. I've been trying to figure out what this meant. And I realized that what I was contemplating was the concept of aging. No one wants to talk about it because talking about it signals to people that you must be "old" and to be "old" is to be marked as irrelevant, undesirable, to be primed fo ..read more
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"THE KEY": A short story written by Nnedi Okorafor
Nnedi's Wahala Zone Blog
by Nnedi Okorafor, PhD
8M ago
The Key By Nnedi Okorafor  It was due to a stupid thing done in a fit of panic that Fwadausi Bello altered her life forever. It’s amazing how sometimes the things we worry about most don’t happen and what we should worry about are often those very things we never imagine. So was the case with Fwadausi. For the last few months, she’d been losing little things, including her favorite pencil from school, the plastic bracelet one of her friends had given her, and her lip gloss. It was infuriating, because her auntie and uncle rarely gave her money, so she couldn’t replace anything. This fa ..read more
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Africanfuturism Defined
Nnedi's Wahala Zone Blog
by Nnedi Okorafor, PhD
8M ago
I started using the term africanfuturism (a term I coined) because I felt…  1. The term afrofuturism had several definitions and some of the most prominent ones didn't describe what I was doing.   2. I was being called this word [an afrofuturist] whether I agreed or not (no matter how much I publicly resisted it) and because most definitions were off, my work was therefore being read wrongly.   3. I needed to regain control of how I was being defined.  For a while I tried to embrace the term (which is why I used it in my TED Talk), but over a year ago, I ..read more
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The Word "Akata" and the Pain Behind It
Nnedi's Wahala Zone Blog
by Nnedi Okorafor, PhD
8M ago
There has been a lot of talk about the word “akata” the last two weeks and there’s been a lot of talk about the schism and conversation between Africans currently on the continent of Africa and African Americans (Africans in the country of America).  This isn’t a new conversation to me, both concerning the word and the greater issue. It’s one I’ve dealt with all my life, being an American-born Igbo, a Nigerian American, Naijamerican. I’m not going to get into that today. What I am going to leave here is a poignant scene from my novel Akata Warrior. It’s one that I rarely see any revie ..read more
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WHO FEARS DEATH: Chapter 1
Nnedi's Wahala Zone Blog
by Nnedi Okorafor, PhD
8M ago
-Winner of the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel  -Optioned by HBO and now in early development as a TV series with George R. R. Martin as executive producer. “Dear friends, are you afraid of death?”  —Patrice Lumumba, first and only elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo Part I Becoming Chapter 1 My Father's Face My life fell apart when I was sixteen. Papa died. He had such a strong heart. Yet he died. Was it the heat and smoke from his blacksmithing shop? It’s true that nothing could take him from his work, his art. He loved to make the metal bend and ..read more
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Interview with Nigerian Newspaper, the Daily Trust
Nnedi's Wahala Zone Blog
by Nnedi Okorafor, PhD
8M ago
I don't normally do things like this, but I am this time. I did an interview with Nigerian newspaper called Daily Trust and the questions were great and really pushed me to think. I worked hard on answering them. However, when the print edition of the story was run, instead of using the photo I sent, they used two photos pulled from the internet and these two photos happened to be the two I seriously detest. The online edition only had one photo but it was one of those two photos.  I laugh because in my private life, I regularly rant about how these two photos won’t go away and keep get ..read more
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On that Rabid Puppies thing and my Hugo Award-winning novella Binti
Nnedi's Wahala Zone Blog
by Nnedi Okorafor, PhD
8M ago
Himba women  So my novella Binti, which won a Nebula earlier this summer for Best Novella (two days after I drove from Buffalo, NY to Chicago), won the Hugo for Best Novella (and I drove from Chicago to Buffalo, NY two days later). Wow, wow, just wow.  Because I had to get back to Buffalo to start the semester (I'm a professor  at the University at Buffalo), I couldn't be at the ceremony at WorldCon in Kansas City, Missouri. Here is my acceptance speech: I started writing science fiction because I wasn’t seeing stories featuring the Nigeria that I k ..read more
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