cover image Noor


Nnedi Okorafor. DAW, $27 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7564-1609-6

Convenience and comfort come at a cost in this probing, brilliant near-future odyssey from Okorafor (Remote Control). Anwuli Okwudili changed her name to Augmented Organism, or AO, as a nod to the body augmentations she’s used to compensate for her physical and mental disabilities over the years. Now she’s partially robotic, with various cybernetic limbs, organs, and implants produced by the mega company Ultimate Corp—and at times she feels more connected to Ultimate Corp’s machines than to her own people in Abuja, Nigeria. When AO is attacked while at the market, she inadvertently kills her assailants in self-defense, displaying the deadly range of her cybernetically enhanced capabilities. Branded a murderess, she goes on the run with Dangote Nuhu Adamu, or “DNA,” a Fulani herdsman wrongfully accused of terrorism. Together, the fugitives battle never-ending sandstorms and evade both Ultimate Corp’s watchful eye and the Nigerian government’s retribution as they make their way across the desert. Okorafor exposes the cracks in this technology-driven, highly surveilled society as each detour in AO and DNA’s route adds layers of intrigue on the way to a jaw-dropping finale. Frequent instances of suicidal ideation may be triggering to some readers, but Okorafor handles heavy subjects well. This is a must-read. Agent: Donald Maass, Donald Maass Literary. (Nov.)