SON OF THE STORM author Suyi Davies Okungbowa talks about writing his African-inspired fantasy novel, world-building using cultural ideas unfamiliar to American / western audiences, and his "waypoints" approach to plotting.

Fictitious author interview with Suyi Davies Okungbowa

I’m joined in this episode by Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of SON OF THE STORM. In the thriving but socially stratified city of Bassa, a young scholar named Danso struggles with family expectations and cultural pressures. Worse, he’s discovered lost historical lore at odds with the approved political narrative—knowledge he’s sworn to forget, but cannot let go of.

The course of his life alters when he encounters a skin-changing warrior who, by all accounts, shouldn’t exist. The journey that follows sets Danso against an enormous conspiracy, of violently suppressed histories, elicit magic, and forbidden lands. Their efforts could reshape an empire—or cost them everything.

SON OF THE STORM by Suyi Davies Okungbowa book cover

The first book in THE NAMELESS REPUBLIC fantasy series, SON OF THE STORM arrives May 11th from Orbit Books:

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Mentioned in this Interview

Read Suyi’s Goodreads post about terms used in this story and their cultural origins.

About Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Suyi Davies Okungbowa is a Nigerian author of fantasy, science fiction and general speculative fiction inspired by his West-African origins. His godpunk fantasy debut novel David Mogo, Godhunter (Abaddon, 2019), won the 2020 Nommo Ilube Award for Best Speculative Novel by an African. His shorter fiction and nonfiction have appeared internationally in periodicals like, Lightspeed, Nightmare, Strange Horizons, and anthologies like Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda (Marvel/Titan, 2021) and Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy (Saga, 2020).

As a speaker and instructor, Suyi teaches college-level writing, earning his MFA at the University of Arizona. He has guest-lectured public workshops at venues like the Piper Writing Centre at ASU and the Tucson Festival of Books, as well as appeared at various conferences, conventions, readings and school visits, including at the University of Washington and the University of Chicago. His work has earned him features in the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR and a Carl Brandon Society scholarship.

Follow Suyi Davies Okungbowa


From one of the most exciting new storytellers in epic fantasy, Son of the Storm is a sweeping tale of violent conquest and forgotten magic set in a world inspired by the pre-colonial empires of West Africa.

In the ancient. city of Bassa, Danso is a clever scholar on the cusp of achieving greatness—only he doesn’t want it. Instead, he prefers to chase forbidden stories about what lies outside the city walls. The Bassai elite claim there is nothing of interest. The city’s immigrants are sworn to secrecy.

But when Danso stumbles across a warrior wielding magic that shouldn’t exist, he’s put on a collision course with Bassa’s darkest secrets. Drawn into the city’s hidden history, he sets out on a journey beyond its borders. And the chaos left in the wake of his discovery threatens to destroy the empire.



FICTITIOUS is a YouTube show and podcast that delves into the craft of Science Fiction & Fantasy storytelling through interviews with authors and other professional writers. Hosted & produced by Adron Buske.

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