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Dilman Dila Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

A Killing in the Sun (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Where Rivers Go to Die (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Cranes Crest at Sunset (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Luna Novella Books

Of Fire and Stone (By: Nina Oram) (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Just Add Water (By: John Dodd) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dread and The Broken Witch (By: Andrew Wallace) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Future God of Love (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Skin for Skin (By: Terry Grimwood) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Interference (By: Terry Grimwood) (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Queen of the High Fields (By: Rhiannon A Grist) (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Luca (By: Or Luca) (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Broken Paradise (By: Eugen Bacon) (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ashes of the Ancestors (By: Andrew Knighton) (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Night Begins (By: Abigail F Taylor) (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lies We Tell Ourselves (By: LK Kitney) (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Feast, Famine & Potluck(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ravensmoot(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Terra Incognita(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Apex Book of World SF 4(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
AfroSFv2(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
African Monsters(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Myriad Lands: Volume 1: Around the World(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Uncanny Magazine Issue 24 September/October 2018(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
AfroSFv3(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction(2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Professor Charlatan Bardot’s Travel Anthology to the MostHaunted Buildings in the Weird, Wild World(2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Africa Risen(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Dilman Dila is a Ugandan author, filmmaker, and social activist. He is famously known for A Killing in the Sun- a short story collections and two other novellas, The Terminal Move and Cranes Crest at Sunset. A Killing in the Sun was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2013 and longlisted for the Short Story Day Africa Prize in 2013. In 2008, Dila was nominated for the Million Writers Award for his short story Homecoming. Dila’s film The Felistas Fable won four awards in 2014 at the Uganda Film Festivals. The film also won two nominations at the Africa Movie Academy Awards for Best Make-up Artist and First Feature by a Director. Dila has won and also been nominated for other notable awards.

Dilman was born in Tororo, Uganda, and raised on Bazaar Street, which was a home of diverse cultures and nationalities. His exposure to different cultures at an early age gave him a solid foundation in storytelling, a skill that he would use later in life to write award-winning stories.

As earlier mentioned, A Killing in the Sun short stories effortlessly blend entertainment with deep thematic exploration. Within the realm of speculative fiction, Dila offers fresh perspectives on enduring themes like corruption, power dynamics, Western exploitation, and civil unrest in Africa. The stories traverse various speculative subgenres, introducing elements like aliens, zombies, magical realism, and futuristic technologies. Through these imaginative tales, Dila reminds us that, despite the fantastical trappings, fundamental human dilemmas persist.

In “The Leafy Man,” a tale that resonates in the context of contemporary fears about Zika and the unintended consequences of pesticide use, an entire village faces devastation. Only Japia, a traditional healer, possesses the knowledge to address this catastrophe, and the solution lies in oranges.

“The Healer” delves into the animosity between two tribes, driven by arbitrary reasons. The Twa tribe, once enslaved by the Cuku, has only Benge, a healer, remaining free. Benge conceals himself using magic, and the leaders of the Cuku seek his assistance secretly. When a boy goes missing, the hunt intensifies, drawing upon superstitious beliefs and power struggles reminiscent of genocides seen worldwide.

Set against the backdrop of the Itanda Bridge disaster, “Itanda Bridge” thrusts Obil, a diver, into solving the mystery of three vehicles that crashed into the river and vanished. Forced into this dangerous task, Obil grapples with the poignant decision of what clothes to wear before embarking on his dangerous mission, ultimately revealing startling revelations lurking beneath the water’s surface.

“A Killing in the Sun” unfolds as a court-martial awaits the tardy doctor. Mande, facing the harsh sun, reflects on the tumultuous events that led to his impending sentence—civil war, rebel gangs, and militia that destroyed his life. Throughout, the merciless sun beats down relentlessly.

“Lights on Water” tells a poignant story of a father’s attempt to reconnect with his daughter. Her belief that her tawny-brown skin sets her apart as an outcast has been ingrained in her. The father, a painter who creates demon art for the Emperor, smuggles her onto his spaceship to reveal the truth. This tale touches on themes of identity and acceptance.

“A Wife and a Slave” explores indoctrination, with an Emperor’s vision of returning Africans to their pre-European way of life. Sex is reserved solely for procreation, and wives are expected to bow before their husbands. Any adherence to European culture is viewed with suspicion, and a fugitive white escapee disrupts the established order.

“The Yellow People” introduces a serial killer with a unique twist. Dunningan encounters an older man in an unusual yellow costume buying insecticide, and he fears his secret will be exposed. Societies characterized by weak law and order and rampant corruption become magnets for evil.

In “A Bloodline of Blades,” a man’s musical talent becomes his unique gift, serving as his means to attract a wife. However, he aspires to pass this gift on to his son, who harbors different ambitions as an assassin. This story beautifully explores the themes of loyalty and familial bonds as both father and son secretly strive to protect each other.

What makes these stories remarkable is their ability to unveil the human side of their characters—individuals who love, hate, fear, and yearn. Dila’s boundless imagination propels this collection into an otherworldly yet intimately relatable realm, where the “other” is whimsically dissected and presented.

The Terminal Move unfolds as it traces the journey of a tribe in search of a new homeland. They have lost their previous territory in a conflict with a rival tribe, forcing them into a grueling and arduous journey that not only tests their physical endurance but also challenges the unity of the tribe. Eventually, they discover an idyllic location, but their newfound paradise leads to unforeseen troubles. These challenges not only threaten to destroy the tribe but also drive deep divisions among its members.

The storytelling style employed in this narrative may appear unusual or distinct from what many readers are accustomed to. It carries the essence of a fable or a story that has been passed down through generations with minimal alterations to its rhythm and structure. It does not adhere to a conventional “modern” style of storytelling, but this approach is well-suited to the tale. In fact, if it had been written differently, it might have come across as contrived and could have detracted from the narrative.

The characters in the story are portrayed as archetypal figures, which may make it challenging for readers to connect with them on a profoundly empathetic level. Empathy is often a key goal in storytelling, but in this case, the archetypal characterization aligns with the tone and essence of the tale, enhancing its overall impact.

Regarding world-building, the narrative offers glimpses into the tribe’s culture and beliefs. These elements are presented in a way that maintains reader interest. However, some readers might find a particular creature in the story to be somewhat out of place or a deliberate attempt to bridge the cultural gap between the author’s background and readers from different continents.

In summary, “The Terminal Move” stands out as a remarkably distinctive tale in the anthology. Its uniqueness is a defining feature and contributes to its deserving place in the collection. However, due to its distinctive style and narrative approach, it may not resonate with a broader readership.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Dilman Dila

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