Nnedi Okorafor has revealed that her novel, Who Fears Death, has been optioned by HBO.
She tweeted that it is in early development at the network as a television series and that Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin would be executive producing.
— Nnedi Okorafor, PhD (@Nnedi) July 10, 2017
The novel was first optioned way back in 2010 by producer Kisha Cameron-Dingle. At the time she was the program director for Focus Features’ Africa First Film Program, which no longer exists. At that time, Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu was attached to direct.
The full synopsis of the book reads: In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways, yet in one region genocide between tribes still bloodies the land. After years of enslaving the Okeke people, the Nuru tribe has decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke tribe for good. An Okeke woman who has survived the annihilation of her village and a terrible rape by an enemy gen-eral 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 child Onyesonwu, which means ―Who Fears Death? in an ancient tongue.
If you’ve never read any of her work, if only for comparison, the name that often comes up in write-ups about Nnedi’s novels is Octavia Butler, if only because they both write in similar genres (speculative fiction – fantasy, sci-fi, etc), they’re both black and female, and both weave African-ness into their fantastical tales. Nnedi does list Butler as an influence.
This is super exciting news and we can’t wait to hear more.