Ignite the Future: Revealing Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi

Riot Baby bursts at the seams of story with so much fire, passion and power that in the end it turns what we call a narrative into something different altogether.”—Marlon James

We’re excited to show you the cover for Tochi Onyebuchi’s Riot Baby, coming January 2020 from Tor.com Publishing.

Rooted in foundational loss and the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is both a global dystopian narrative an intimate family story with quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience.

Ella and Kev are brother and sister, both gifted with extraordinary power. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by structural racism and brutality. Their futures might alter the world. When Kev is incarcerated for the crime of being a young black man in America, Ella—through visits both mundane and supernatural—tries to show him the way to a revolution that could burn it all down.

Cover design by Jaya Miceli; Cover photo © Getty Images/Aaron Ansarov; art direction by Christine Foltzer

Here’s what author Tochi Onyebuchi had to say about the cover:

It’s the kind of cover you stare at. The kind of cover you peer into, as I felt Ella’s gaze peer into me. I’d never seen anything like it: this beautiful black woman with this “don’t fuck with me” look—far past glaring—aimed right at me. A look pregnant with pain, heavy with history. That face was on this cover. And my name was on it. In all the bookstores and libraries through which I’ve roamed, I’d never seen the like. And, at the same time, when I opened the package and I saw what they had done for my story, it looked like the most familiar sight in the world. I knew her. Not just because I’d spent years living with her in my head. No, I knew this person. I’d seen her before, loved her. This was the first book cover to ever make me feel that. To ever make me feel truly seen. Spoiler alert: I cried.


Praise for Riot Baby

“Onyebuchi has woven a story as uplifting as it is heartbreaking, an epic ode to the future and past, tiny acts of resistance, love, and the wild unstoppable sweep of revolution.”—Daniel José Older

“Stunningly original, brutal, and electric. Onyebuchi’s prose scorches. It’s hard to put this book down, and when you do, it stays with you.”—R. F. Kuang

Riot Baby is the burning embers of a revolution. . . the quiet rage of generations of people who have been told they are lesser than others. It’s the flash of accelerant in a genre that needs the burn.”—Mark Oshiro




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