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Dilman Dila

Author of A Killing in the Sun

10+ Works 52 Members 4 Reviews


Works by Dilman Dila

A Killing in the Sun (2014) 19 copies, 1 review
The Future God of Love (2021) 16 copies, 1 review
A Fledgling Abiba (2020) 5 copies, 1 review
Where rivers go to die (2023) 3 copies
Flying Man Of Stone (2015) 2 copies
Cranes Crest at Sunset (2013) 1 copy

Associated Works

Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction (2022) — Contributor — 161 copies, 3 reviews
The Apex Book of World SF: Volume 4 (Apex World of Speculative Fiction) (2015) — Contributor — 81 copies, 25 reviews
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 6 (2021) — Contributor — 45 copies, 2 reviews
The Best of World SF: 2 (2022) — Contributor — 34 copies
AfroSFv3 (2018) — Contributor — 26 copies, 1 review
AfroSFv2 (2015) — Contributor — 22 copies, 1 review
The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction (2021): Volume One (2021) — Contributor — 21 copies, 2 reviews
Terra Incognita (2015) — Contributor — 17 copies, 1 review
Imagine Africa 500 (2016) — Contributor — 15 copies, 1 review
African Monsters: Volume 2 (2015) — Contributor — 14 copies
Africanfuturism: An Anthology — Contributor — 13 copies, 1 review
A World of Horror (2018) — Contributor — 11 copies, 1 review
Myriad Lands: Volume 1: Around the World (2016) — Contributor — 8 copies
Vector 287 (2018) — Contributor — 1 copy
Vector 289: African and Afrodiasporic SF (2019) — Contributor — 1 copy
Vector 207: Futures (2023) — Contributor — 1 copy


Common Knowledge

African Speculative Fiction Society



This sadly didn't work for me: choppy and unevenly paced, with shallow characterisation and the kind of ending that makes you flip back a page and say "wait, that's it?" I will admit that it's possible that I bounced off A Fledgling Abiba because I didn't have much pre-existing knowledge of or emotional attachment to the mythology and story-telling of the African Great Lakes region (modern Uganda, Rwanda, etc) and so I'm sure some of the resonances were lost on me. I was also never sure whether Dilman Dila wanted the reader to take some elements of the book in earnest or whether they were supposed to be comical (e.g. the farting/pooping fire parts), or even if the tone was consistent. Those who have a greater grounding in the storytelling rhythms of this part of east Africa may find more to enjoy in this book than I did.… (more)
siriaeve | Jun 29, 2023 |
a wild fantasy novella about the creative impulse.
macha | Apr 10, 2022 |
This is the first published collection by Ugandan writer and filmmaker Dilman Dila and has served as my introduction to both forms of his storytelling. The opening story, "A Leafy Man," impressed me from the get-go but ends abruptly, and I felt others ended prematurely as well. Great idea though! Others that I enjoyed include the title story, which reminded me a bit of Ambrose Bierce's work, and "Okello's Honeymoon," which bears a Nollywood feel. That is not to imply that his work feels derivative because it doesn't. However his own voice spoke to me most clearly in one of the best in the collection, "Lights on Water," and also in a "A Wive and a Slave".

Some stories involve hive-minded alien species that have crash-landed on earth. Some are strictly fantasy, others are a blend of SF with elements of magic. All bear some form of political or social commentary, often turning his themes on their head, or perhaps it's more that they aren't from a western viewpoint, which is the collection's strength.

Though he doesn't seem to subscribe to it, Dilman writes about colorism though inverted such that advantage and acceptance is conferred upon those with darker skin tones. One thing I find profoundly interesting is that he writes of ill-treatment of monolithic Whites or Europeans as a wrong, i.e. the same wrong when people of African descent are monolithically ill-treated by Whites, but other stories feature individual White characters who are decidedly evil. Just as Dilman decries how “Africans” are lumped together by non-Africans, he also takes on Africans who do believe in one “African” culture that is superior to European/White culture, suggesting that doing so is prone to recreating the same bad outcomes perpetrated by Western culture except under the guise of being “African.”

I am on the fence on his depiction of women, suspecting that he does not respect them all the way. Rather they seem to create problems for the men either because they are too-strong willed or too meek and in either case, easily brainwashed. Then he turns around and expresses admiration for Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, Stieg Larsson, Snow Patrol, J-Lo, Janet Jackson, Damien Rice, Missy Elliot, Queen Latifah, and Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, the latter of which tickled me to no end.

The morals of these stories are that people should be judged for who they are not what they are. Do watch out for autocrats, close-minded traditionalists, soldiers, Westerners bearing gifts and women. Believe in magic and witchcraft, art and science, aliens and Africa. And maybe women.

Check out his website www.dilmandila.com for more fascinating insights and exposure to this unique writer.
… (more)
mpho3 | Feb 19, 2022 |
A girl is threatened with an arranged marriage but her courage and magic intervene...
AlanPoulter | Sep 23, 2015 |


Uganda (2)


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½ 3.7

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