cover image Under African Skies

Under African Skies

. Daw Books, $4.99 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-88677-544-5

Resnick ( Whatdunits ) and Dozois ( Year's Best Science Fiction ) present a kaleidescope of fictional futures for Africans that are both tainted with blood and tinged with optimism. Vernor Vinge shows how Earth's political landscape would shift after a limited nuclear and biochemical war destroys the superpowers: the blacks who stop at nothing to hunt down and murder their white oppressors risk their own humanity by satisfying their lust for revenge. Kim Stanley Robinson manages to redeem a self-centered yuppie who is more concerned with meeting sales quotas than his fellow humans. After the salesman ``bumps'' into the spirit of a brutalized African migrant worker, he is renewed by a sense of compassion and an appreciation for life. Visions of the future of sexual equality are also presented: in a story by Resnick, a gifted young African girl who lives on an artificial recreation of Kenya pesters her village mundumugu (wise man) to teach her to read and write. When he refuses, for fear of white culture again intruding on his society, she takes her own life. (Feb.)