Author Nnedi Okorafor took to her Twitter account today to announce that HBO “is now in early development” on a series adaptation of her sci-fi fantasy novel Who Fears Death, with George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones) tapped as executive producer.
Here’s an overview of Who Fears Death from Penguin Random House, who published the novel in 2010 through its DAW imprint:
“In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways; yet in one region genocide between tribes still bloodies the land. A woman who has survived the annihilation of her village and a terrible rape by an enemy general wanders into the desert, hoping to die. Instead, she gives birth to an angry baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand. Gripped by the certainty that her daughter is different—special—she names her Onyesonwu, which means “Who fears death?” in an ancient language.
It doesn’t take long for Onye to understand that she is physically and socially marked by the circumstances of her conception. She is Ewu—a child of rape who is expected to live a life of violence, a half-breed rejected by her community. But Onye is not the average Ewu. Even as a child, she manifests the beginnings of a remarkable and unique magic. As she grows, so do her abilities, and during an inadvertent visit to the spirit realm, she learns something terrifying: someone powerful is trying to kill her.
Desperate to elude her would-be murderer and to understand her own nature, she embarks on a journey in which she grapples with nature, tradition, history, true love, and the spiritual mysteries of her culture, and ultimately learns why she was given the name she bears: Who Fears Death.”
Who Fears Death was met with critical praise from all circles when it was first published. John Green (The Fault In Our Stars) called it “haunting and absolutely brilliant” and Publishers Weekly called Okorafor’s writing “a fantastical, magical blend of grand storytelling.” The novel would go on to receive the 2011 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, as well as the 2010 Carl Brandon Kindred Award “for an outstanding work of speculative fiction dealing with race and ethnicity.”
Okorafor would follow-up the success of Who Fears Death with a prequel novel, The Book of Phoenix, that was published by DAW/Penguin Random House in 2015. She is also the author of 2011’s Akata Witch; with the long-awaited sequel Akata Warrior as well as a short story contribution to From A Certain Point Of View (Star Wars) both scheduled for release in October 2017.
With Game of Thrones wrapping-up its HBO run after its eighth season, Martin is actively involved in the planned GoT spin-offs currently in development at the cable giant; and will also be involved in Syfy’s pilot-ordered adaptation of his novella Nightflyers. In his off-time, Martin likes to dabble in writing, with two novels in the pipeline for publication. His next novel, The Winds of Winter, is tentatively scheduled for a Summer 2047 release; with his follow-up novel, A Dream of Spring, expected to be in the possession of our robot overlords after The Great Upheaval of 2128 though neither Bantam Books nor Martin could confirm.
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