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Published Works

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2015-2021 'Land of Light' : 'Imagine Africa 500' speculative fiction anthology (2015/2016) (Speculative Fiction). 8,000 words. Read more...   (Malawi) 'Veiled ':  2016 'Beneath This Skin' Edition of Aké Review (2016) (Fiction). 1,450 words.  Read here...   (Nigeria) 'Water' : 'The Short Story is Dead, Long Live the Short Story! Vol.2' anthology (2017) (Fiction). 3,100 words.  Available on Amazon  (South Africa) 'Sub Migratio' : the debut edition of Enkare Review (2017) (Speculative Fiction). 3,500 words.  Read here...   (Kenya) 'Inktober' : 2018 edition of 'The Bloody Parchment' (2018) (SF/Horror). 1,250 words.  Available on Amazon .  (South Africa) 'The Girl with Two Bodies' : The Kalahari Review (Nov 2018) (Fantasy). 7,050 words. South Africa.  .  Read here...  (South Africa) 'Journal of a DNA Pirate' : Volume 3 of 'AfroSF' (Dec 2018) (SF). 8,150 words.   Available on Amazon

Young Adult Novel (unpublished) Longlisted in James Currey Prize

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This morning was a shot out of the blue... and I am most grateful for the longlisting of a Young Adult (YA)/New Adult fantasy story I am passionate about telling. Bones and Runes was begun in September 2016 as a short story idea that demanded be told in its entirety, as a novel, and as the first in a trilogy. I spent the next two years researching (and posting my research and interviews on my podcast, cltrSHIFT ) but paused at the end of 2018 with a third of the novel written but the majority plotted out. I also had such fun doing the fantasy world map and accompanying ink illustrations (whether they are ever used or not). Come 2020 – and lockdown from March – I then threw myself into it without any distractions – work was slow. It was the most fun I've had in writing, and writing a novel-length work (considering how long Soul Searching took me writing part time). Find the press release and full list here.

2021 Nommo Award Finalist

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My debut novel, Soul Searching, was shortlisted (finalist) for the 2021 Nommo Awards by the African Speculative Fiction Society (The Ilube Nommo Award for Best Speculative Fiction Novel by an African), in May 2021. 2021 NOVEL SHORT LIST: The Ilube Nommo Award for Best Speculative Fiction Novel by an African THE DEATH OF VIVEK OJI by Akwaeke Emezi CLUB DED by Nikhil Singh SOUL SEARCHING by Stephen Embleton #nommoawards #nommoshortlist #nommos2021 #2021nommos #2021nommoawards Find the full list for all categories here.

Lunar Ascension – ink & brush

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 I began this ink illustration on 28 April 2021 and worked on it off an on until adding the final touches on 28 May 2021.  “Lunar Ascension” Ink and brush on 200gsm A2 paper 👼🏼🖌 For Sale. For more information or pricing requests:  art [at] embleton [dot] co [dot] za #illustration #penandink #penandinkillustration Completed piece Detail wing Detail right hand and wing Detail left hand and wing The Work In Progress: Pencil work. Originally meant to be a solid black sky, I had put down the ink in swooping brushstrokes – but keeping in the direction of the moon and the figure's movement upward – and realised what the streaks added to the upward movement I wanted to have. This led me to simplify the strokes but without losing the "light streaks" altogether. Knowing ink has varying degrees of translucency I decided to use its idiosyncrasies to my advantage and have areas of solid black while others (particularly around the moon) using the lighter ink application to give som

...This Is Not A Review

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  THE MYRIAD DRUMBEATS OF AFROFUTURISM - SEARCHING FOR AN AFRICAN SOUL by Mame Bougouma Diene Appearing in  Strange Horizons 24 May 2021 "…Soul Searching is a hell of a ride. Except there is no Hell, and your ride might come crashing down on you."   "...this is not a review". Using "Soul Searching" and my writing as the backdrop, Mame Bougouma Diene takes an incisive look at what and who is an African (speculative) writer today? #africanfuturism #africansf #nommoawards #nommonominated  "Soul Searching is also a uniquely South African book. A Durbanite book, written by a local who understands its soul." “Jump roping between science and philosophy, Soul Searching applies spirituality to mechanics and crime solving, to healing and recovering our humanity, in the timeless universal that cuts across cultures worldwide, but also in the immediate reality of the multicultural local, where time is running out, and people will die.” Read the full article h

Soul Searching Makes the 2021 Nommo Awards Novel Longlist

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  This is an amazing list to have Soul Searching longlisted in. African speculative fiction at its finest! 2021 NOVEL LONG LIST The Girl with the Louding Voice  by Abi Daré The Death of Vivek Oji  by Akwaeke Emezi Freedom Artist  by Ben Okri King of the Hollow Dark  by Cat Hellisen Claiming T-Mo  by Eugen Bacon The Down Days  by Ilze Hugo The First Woman  by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi Afterland  by Lauren Beukes The Perfect Nine  by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o Water Must Fall  by Nick Wood Club Ded  by Nikhil Singh Soul Searching  by Stephen Embleton The Rosewater Redemption  by Tade Thompson Rebel Sisters  by Tochi Onyebuchi A Trial of Sparks and Kindling  by Yolande Horak

Spot Series

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Being exposed to a lot of wildlife imagery, I've seen a few marine animals whose distinct patterns struck me as being ideal for simple graphic illustrations. One in particular was the eagle ray with its ionic shape and the stark spots. Imagining them cruising through the dark depths, light touching their sky-facing patterns, they were the perfect starting pint for this series. There are many striped or spotted animals in the animal kingdom, but most have dark markings on a light body (think of a leopard or a cheetah) and so the effect would be lost on a light animal on a dark background because their shape would be clear without the markings. With the exception of something like a zebra which is either black or white. And that is what sets these apart. From the original idea of the simple black on white, I was then quickly able to makes some wild colour variations as well as go beyond the markings only and include their body shapes for a different stylised effect with fun results!

MBILO: A Winter Storm

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In 1905, the Colony of Natal was witness to an extraordinary storm during the usually calm winter months of May and June. Through a culmination of events, a calamity would befall and take the lives of the mostly Indian market farmers along the Umbilo/uMbilo River valley from Pinetown to the harbour of the burgeoning town of Durban. INTRODUCTION: All key individuals featured are historical figures, apart from Jodha Singh’s sister Kruti and her son Gulshan who were added for the market farmer perspective (no records or statements were taken, or are no longer available, of those farmers who survived). While all dialogue and domestic life, though historically accurate, is fiction, all key moments and data are based on eyewitness accounts and readings by those featured, and who survived the disaster. While I have endeavoured to focus on the disaster specifically caused by the Pinetown/Umbilo Waterworks collapse, for storytelling purposes, many in the Durban areas – along the Umgeni and Umhl