Last week, Riot Baby author Tochi Onyebuchi appeared on The Daily Show, speaking to host Trevor Noah about the history of sci-fi and fantasy as a place of social commentary, storytelling as a “vehicle” for engaging with real-life issues, why Riot Baby is not a “dystopian” novel, what superpower he’d have, and more. Check out the clip below!
Onyebuchi previously appeared on Noah’s podcast On Second Thought back in November, which you can listen to here. You can also find an excerpt from the first chapter of Riot Baby over here, as well as the author’s essay on how worldbuilding can’t neglect race.
Available now from Tor.com Publishing, Riot Baby is Onyebuchi’s adult fiction debut. Here’s a full synopsis:
Ella has a Thing. She sees a classmate grow up to become a caring nurse. A neighbor’s son murdered in a drive-by shooting. Things that haven’t happened yet. Kev, born while Los Angeles burned around them, wants to protect his sister from a power that could destroy her. But when Kev is incarcerated, Ella must decide what it means to watch her brother suffer while holding the ability to wreck cities in her hands.
Rooted in the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is as much an intimate family story as a global dystopian narrative. It burns fearlessly toward revolution and has quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience.
Ella and Kev are both shockingly human and immeasurably powerful. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by racism. Their futures might alter the world.