Everfair: A Novel (Paperback)
From acclaimed short fiction writer Nisi Shawl comes a brilliant alternate history set in the Congo, where heroes strive for a Utopia and endeavor to live together despite their differences.
Now with a beautiful new cover and a foreward from award-winning author Cadwell Turnbull.
In this re-imagining of Belgium's disastrous colonization of the Congo, African American missionaries join forces with British socialists to purchase land from the Congo Free State's "owner," King Leopold II. This land, which they name Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven for native populations of the Congo as well as settlers from around the world, including dream-eyed Europeans attempting to create a better society, formerly enslaved people returning from America, and Chinese railroad builders escaping hard labor. Using the combined knowledge of four continents, Everfair becomes a land of spying cats and gulls, nuclear dirigibles buoyed by barkcloth balloons, and silent pistols that shoot poison knives.
With this technology, Everfair will attempt to defeat the Belgian tyrant Leopold II. But even if they can defeat their great enemy, a looming world war and political infighting may threaten to destroy everything they have built.
“A book with gorgeous sweep, spanning years and continents, loves and hates, histories and fantasies… Everfair is sometimes sad, often luminous, and always original. A wonderful achievement.” — Karen Joy Fowler
About the Author
Nisi Shawl (they/them) is a writer of science fiction and fantasy short stories and a journalist. They are the co-author (with Cynthia Ward) of Writing the Other: Bridging Cultural Differences for Successful Fiction. Their short stories have appeared in Asimov's, Strange Horizons, and numerous other magazines and anthologies.
“A beautifully written and thrillingly ambitious alternate history . . . It's a tribute to Shawl's powerful writing that her intricate, politically and racially charged imaginary world seems as believable—sometimes more believable—than the one we inhabit.”—The Washington Post
"Nisi Shawl’s Everfair is a book with gorgeous sweep, spanning years and continents, loves and hates, histories and fantasies. Set against the big canvas of King Leopold’s horrific rule in the Congo, her engaging, passionate characters struggle to make the right choices in a world that is almost ours, but not quite. Everfair is sometimes sad, often luminous, and always original. A wonderful achievement."—Karen Joy Fowler
“From the exotic, baroque complexities of 'At the Huts of Ajala' to the stark, folktale purity of 'The Beads of Ku,' these fourteen superbly written stories will weave around you a ring of dark, dark magic.”—Ursula K. Le Guin on Filter House