The stunning, new collection from the Ugandan master of Africanfuturism.
A young teen, haunted by the ghost of his father, takes it upon himself to save his brother and his people from a warlord's marauding army. A frustrated detective is driven to the brink, confronting the vengeful spirit killing grooms on their wedding night. What happens when British colonials find Martians in Africa, a brash warrior battles his elders and ancient horrors in order to secure paradise for his people, or an exiled abiba is stolen away to find his true destiny?
Emerging Africanfuturist writer/director, Dilman Dila, brings us Where Rivers Go to Die, a startling collection of eight wonderful tales full of imagination, wonder, sorrow, power, and hope that weave Uganda's wonderful myth and reality with its past, present, and possible future as only he can.
Dilman Dila is a writer, filmmaker, all round storyteller, and author of a critically acclaimed collection of short stories, A Killing in the Sun. He has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize (2013) and for the Nommo Awards for Best Novella (2017), and long listed for the BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition (2014), among many accolades. His short fiction have featured in several anthologies, including African Monsters, Myriad Lands, AfroSF v2, and the Apex Book of World SF 4. His digital art has been on exhibition in the US and in Uganda, and his films include the masterpiece What Happened in Room 13 (2007), and The Felistas Fable (2013), which was nominated for Best First Feature by a Director at AMAA (2014) and winner of four major awards at Uganda Film Festival (2014).
Bizhan Khodabandeh (The Day the Klan Came to Town) is a visual
communicator who moves freely across the professional boundaries as
designer, illustrator, artist, and activist. His works vary from
small graphic art projects to major public campaigns. Khodabandeh is
particularly fascinated by how art and design can catalyze social
change. He has received numerous international and national awards
for his work, including: a silver medal from the Society of
Illustrators, a silver medal from the International Design Awards, a
finalist in the Cross-Cultural Design Competition, and best in show
through the American Institute of Graphic Arts. He has received
numerous international and national awards for his work as both an
illustration and designer through various institutions such as: The
American Institute of Graphic Arts, Creativity International,
Adbusters, and Creative Quarterly. Khodabandeh has had work featured
in publications such as Print, Creativity
International, Adbusters, and Comic Bastards among
others. Currently Khodabandeh teaches full-time at VCU’s Robertson
School of Media & Culture and freelances under the name, Mended
"The stories of Dilman Dila leap
from the page and grab you by the throat with intrigue and urgent
imagination. An impressive American debut!"
Due, American Book Award winner
“Get ready for strange truths written
in pure, powerful words. Frightened and curious, hopeful and
brave, the heroes of Dila’s stories lead his readers through razor
sharp dangers to the rewards gleaming at every one of his stories’
surprising and satisfying ends. From sheer delight in the
futuristic flight of Ugandan ornithopters, to sweetly nasty certainty
as to the alien identity of the “savages” bedeviling clueless
white colonizers, Dila delivers pleasure after pleasure to minds
eager for fiction’s freshest glories.”
—Nisi Shawl, award-winning editor of
New Suns and author of Everfair
“A book filled with spirits,
monsters, resource wars, techno organic horrors, trans dimensional
beings, wondrous machines, and so much more. Where Rivers Go to
Die reads like literary episodes of Love, Death, and
Robots meets Black Mirror, doused in African fantasy,
folklore, and futurism. Dilman Dila shines here as one of the most
creative storytellers of our age, weaving together an impressive set
of imaginative, character driven, and reality-bending tales examining
issues of everyday life, gender, spiritualism, politics, war, and
exploitation through the lens of the strange, the bizarre, and the
otherworldly. The genre needs more like this!”
Djèlí Clark, author of A Master of Djinn and Ring Shout
"Amongst contemporary storytellers of the Afrocentric speculative, Dilman Dila's work inhabits a locus occupied by few others. Every tale thins the border between the is and the could-be: boosted by straospheric imagination while grounding you in the concerns of the contemporary African. I never pass up an opportunity to read a Dilman Dila story."
—Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of Son of the Storm
"Dilman Dila deals in dualities.
This collection by one of Africa's most consistent
speculative fiction authors is an excellent showcase of his
ability to defy genre and effortlessly blend superstition and
science, fear and fascination, reality and unreality, uniqueness and
universality, into wonderful, exciting stories steeped in culture.
Full of immersive worldbuilding and a persistent horror sensibility
rendered in sharp, efficient prose, Where Rivers Go to
Die is a highly enjoyable read."
Talabi, award-winning author of Incomplete Solutions and
editor of Africanfuturism:
''Dilman Dila is a well-established
figure in the African Speculative scene. His various disciplines
-film-making, animation, writing etc - inform all aspects of his work
holistically. Among the results are thoughtful, deep-reaching tales,
constructed upon a firmament of rounded research and experiential
detail. His sparse, journalistic style amplifies the strangeness of
his narratives and at times his voice resembles a slightly
—Nikhil Singh, author of Taty Went
West and Club Ded