Courttia Newland’s A River Called Time is a piece of speculative fiction that draws on elements of African futurism to create a near-future that is shifted from the real world in a number of ways, both minor and profound.
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In a dystopian version of London, Markriss has grown up in the poor Outer City, but his skills earn him entry to The Ark, the privileged and heavily guarded Inner City.
There he gets a job as a journalist and quickly realises things aren’t as they seem in an oppressive and violent society.
While all this might sound like standard dystopia, Newland subtly and smoothly incorporates elements of Egyptian mythology into his alternative landscape, building an altered history that is entirely believable.
In this world, colonialism and slavery never happened, instead the magical abilities of ancient Africans have grown to become a world religion.