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Adinkra Font & Book Title Design

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It was a real pleasure to be able to create something unique for a friend and Sauúti Collective colleague – Cheryl Ntumy – for her new novella coming out with Atthis Arts press: a custom display typeface and title design. Design & Typography: Stephen Embleton, Illustration: Akintoba Kalejaye Find Atthis Arts here. A latinised version of the Adinkra alphabet from Ghana (because Cheryl is Ghanaian!), it has some fantastic characteristics and a very modular form which made it a fun, yet simple, design to work on. I first focused on the letters needed for Cheryl's book cover, and then fleshed out the other characters, as well as creating a "light" version. One happy accident for the cover design was incorporating the "working" components of each letter in the design itself. i.e. when I work on fonts, I find the common weights (stroke thicknesses) and common shapes, and move these around to exact positions. And by making them separate bright colours enables m

2024 Nommo Award Finalist Twice Over

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  I’m grateful to have both “Bones & Runes” (YA urban fantasy novel) and “Undulation” (my Sauúti novella) as finalists in the African Speculative Fiction (ASFS) 2024 Illube Nommo Awards . And to share the list with Sauúti Collective fam, Cheryl Ntumy, Eugen Bacon, Wole Talabi, Ihezue Somto Rodney and Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki “Bones and Runes” was first acknowledged by the James Currey Prize in 2021, and believed in enough by Abibiman Publishing to publish in the UK in 2022. 🙏🏼📖👀💫 #nommoawards Read the full category lists below, and the full Nommo Awards list here . Novel Bones and Runes by Stephen Embleton, (Abibiman Publishing, 2022) Dazzling by Chikodili Emelumadu (Hachette; Wildifre, Headline Publishing Group, 2023) Don’t answer when they call your name by Ukamaka Olisakwe (Masobe Books, 2023) Shigidi and the Brass Head of Olabufon  by Wole Talabi (Gollancz and DAW Books, 2023) Vagabonds! by Eloghosa Osunde, (Harper Collins; 4th Estate and Riverhead Books, 2022) Warrior o

Nice Fictions Panel June 2024 (Fance)

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Thanks to Mame Bougouma Diene for moderating an excellent panel at Nice Fictions on “The Building Blocks of Worldbuilding”. Mame inviced me to join Michèle Laframboise, Stéphane Arnier and Benjamin Lupu to discuss our experience in creating fictional worlds – in cluding RPG worlds and characters – and  I got to speak about The Sauúti Collective and the world we’ve created. 🪐🚀💫 Gratefully, the panel was in English! Michèle was in Canada, Stéphane Arnier in Finland, Benjamin Lupu in-person at the Nice Fictions event (Nice, France), and Mame in Kinshasa (DRC) and myself in Mézos (France). Watch the panel here.

Reading for Nick Wood

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  In January 2024, the BSFA (British Science Fiction Association), and producer Zoe Mantas, asked if I would record a reading of fellow African SFF writer  Nick Wood's  short story “A Pall of Moondust” – originally published in Fission #1 . Needless to say it was an absolute honour to read our dear departed friend's story! And pleased it was the first episode of the BSFA Pod launching in May 2024. Nick worked tirelessly to bring African SFF voices to the fore and to give us the recognition and access to the world's platforms that we need to be seen outside of the Continent. I hope I did it justice, bru. 🙏🏼 ❤️ Now available to listen.

Cover Illustration & Design – Waypoint Seven

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  Final Cover – Stephen Embleton 2024 It was a pleasure to create the cover for Sauúti colleague Xan van Rooyen's aetherpunk novella "Waypoint Seven" being published by the newly established Mirari Press in South Africa. It gave me the opportunity to explore my digital illustrating to the extreme by incorporating my design and drawing skills – and it would not be the same if I didn't have an understanding of how physical illustrations (brushwork, pencils, paints and textures) really look. It was daunting to start – particularly wanting to deliver Xan something that did their story justice – no pressure. But with Mirari Press' Marius du Plessis having a love and understanding of design, he gave me so much free reign to play. And with each of the phases below, he encouraged and gave feedback (mostly Wow! and keep going). This is very rare with clients. And it was with this collaboration that the illustration and design blossomed over ten days. GET YOUR COPY OF &quo

"Undulation" Makes the 2024 HWA Bram Stoker Award Reading List

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  I'm really pleased to have my 2023 novella, Undulation – from the first Sauúti anthology, Mothersound – included in the HWA Bram Stoker Award Reading List along with 5 others! 6 Sauúti stories, featured in the Mothersound Anthology were included in the 2024 HWA Bram Stoker Award Reading List. Short Fiction: Lost In The Echoes – Xan van Rooyen The Grove’s Lament – Tobias S. Buckell The Way Of Baa’gh – Cheryl S. Ntumy Undulation – Stephen Embleton Xhova – Adelehin Ijasan Long Fiction: A City, A Desert & All Their Dirges – Somto Ihezue & Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki Read the full HWA Bram Stoker Award Reading List here.

COVER REVEAL: Afro-Centered Futurisms in Our Speculative Fiction

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 A huge congrats to all involved, especially Eugen Bacon for pulling it all off🙏🏼❤️💫👏🏼 Pre-order now.  Table of Contents Preface The Structure of This Book Chapter 1. On Afrocentric Futurisms–The Case for an Inclusive Expression Suyi Okungbowa, Nigeria/Canada Chapter 2. Cosmologies and Languages Building Africanfuturism Stephen Embleton, South Africa/UK Chapter 3. An Afrofuturistic Dystopia and the Afro-irreal Eugen Bacon, Tanzania/Australia Chapter 4. The power of African Spirituality in Africanfuturism Nuzo Onoh, Nigeria/UK Chapter 5. Black Futurisms vs. Systems of Domination Shingai Njeri Kagunda, Kenya Chapter 6. Faith and Fantasy–Afrofuturist and Africanfuturist Spirituality Cheryl S. Ntumy, Ghana Chapter 7. Queer Imaginings in Africanfuturism Inspired by African History Xan van Rooyen, South Africa/Finland Chapter 8. Afrofuturism and Exploring Cultural Identity as a Process of Becoming Aline-Mwezi Niyonsenga, Rwanda/Australia Chapter 9. Fabulist Imaginings in Tales of the Da

Side by Side: a Bones & Runes Review

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  Always great to get reviews. A thorough review of Bones & Runes from James Nicholl. ❤️📖👀 SIDE BY SIDE "Embleton’s tale is engaging and fast paced, his South Africa vividly portrayed. The narrative draws on a diverse assortment of traditions. Rather alarmingly for the protagonists, Mlilo’s is predominant and as the gods so kindly point out to him, in his tradition failure is very much an option even for the best of heroes." Read the full review here.

The Celestial Machine – Commission

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 A recent commission: The Celestial Machine This was interesting and fun to create. The client ( seeing some of my recent work ) wanted a type of machine schematic but with specific themes. With their Zimbabwean heritage, they wanted to somehow incorporate the Matsatse/Venus elements from the Dhlo-dhlo monolith – an artefact which records the movement of Venus. I included the pattern-path the planet Venus takes “around” Earth as a design element in the background and expanded from that idea of vectors and movement with other elements from southern African motifs. Some references From the full colour finished art, I gave options for duo tone and black and white versions.

Mothersound Anthology 2023 BSFA Award Finalist

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  The British Science Fiction Association announced the shortlist for the 2023 BSFA Awards, with  Mothersound; The Sauútiverse Anthology  a finalist in the BEST COLLECTIONS category!  The overall nominations is such a great display of work from everyone involved in so many great projects!  #BSFAAwards2023 BEST COLLECTIONS: (FINALIST) Mothersound: The Sauutiverse Anthology , Wole Talabi (ed)   See the full shortlist of fantastic works for 2023. ORIGINAL NOMINATED/LONGLIST: The British Science Fiction Association announced the longlist for the 2023 BSFA Awards, including three of my stories and my artwork ( Mothersound  anthology). And The Sauúti Collective rightly getting a good number of nominations! The overall nominations is such a great display of work from everyone involved in so many great projects!  #BSFAAwards2023 Short Fiction: (LONGLISTED) Soyinka's Memory  – Stephen Embleton –  The Shallow Tales Review  – Nzube Nlebedim (ed) Taking Turns  – Stephen Embleton –  Languages o