Cosmogramma (Hardcover)

Cosmogramma By Courttia Newland Cover Image
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A dark and incisive collection of speculative short stories set in an alternate future of interstellar space travel, robots, mythical creatures, and the uncanny.

“Newland’s second venture into science fictional territories is a rich, diverse collection of short stories.” —The Guardian

“Newland easily engages readers with complex worldbuilding, well-shaded characters, and stories as entertaining as they are meaningful. It’s no small feat to so immediately and repeatedly appeal to readers’ hearts and minds, and Newland’s mastery of short-format storytelling is sure to impress. Speculative fiction fans won’t be able to put this down.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

In his exquisite first collection of speculative fiction, Courttia Newland envisages an alternate future as lived by the African diaspora.

Kill parties roam the streets of a post-apocalyptic world; a matriarchal race of mer creatures depends on interbreeding with mortals to survive; mysterious seeds appear in cities across the world, growing into the likeness of people in their vicinity.

Through transfigured bodies and impossible encounters, Newland brings a sharp, fresh eye to age-old themes of the human capacity for greed, ambition, and self-destruction, but ultimately of our strength and resilience.

About the Author

COURTTIA NEWLAND is the author of seven books including A River Called TimeThe Gospel According to Cane, and his much-lauded debut, The Scholar. In 2016 he was awarded the Roland Rees Bursary for playwriting. As a screenwriter, he has cowritten two episodes of the Steve McQueen BBC series Small Axe. Cosmogramma is his latest book.

Praise For…

Newland’s writing is in league with a host of SF subgenres, from pulpy space opera to N.K. Jemisin–style Afrofuturism to Jeff VanderMeer–esque eco-fiction. But his chief skill is weaving those tropes into stories that are both wildly speculative and on the news . . . Wide-ranging and deeply imaginative; Newland is equally at home in council flats and deep space.
— Kirkus Reviews

The collection’s 16 stories interweave an unsettling familiarity with the strange, tackling themes such as the technological arms race, addiction, racism, state-sanctioned violence, and xenophobia, holding up a mirror to contemporary society and forbidding the reader to look away and take comfort in escapism . . . These visions of largely grim alternate realities and bleak futures will be appreciated by those who prize speculative fiction’s ability to tell uncomfortable truths about our present.
— Booklist

A collection that pushes the edges of sci-fi and Africanfuturism. The stories in Cosmogramma deal with class, race, and power imbalance, and more than one of them ends in regime change and/or mass casualties at the hands of renegade robots and/or mutant children. Sound grim? It can be, but Newland’s cinematic storytelling and sense for justice often leave you feeling like things turned out the way they should.

— Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the Best New Books of November 2021

Product Details
ISBN: 9781617759789
ISBN-10: 1617759783
Publisher: Akashic Books, Ltd.
Publication Date: November 2nd, 2021
Pages: 300
Language: English