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Shigidi and the Brass Head of Obalufon

The Nebula Award finalist and gripping magical heist novel

Wole Talabi



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18 June 2024
The British Science Fiction Award-nominated and Nebula Finalist debut novel from Wole Talabi. This contemporary fantasy is filled with the mythos of Nigeria and features Yoruba gods liberating an artefact from the depths of the British Museum.

Shigidi is a disgruntled nightmare god in the Orisha spirit company, reluctantly answering the prayers of his few remaining believers to satisfy the demands of the company board. When he meets Nneoma, a sort-of succubus with a long and secretive past, everything changes.

Together, they attempt to break free of their constraints and live on their owns terms. But the elder gods have other plans for Shigidi, and the Orisha Spirit Company is not so easy to leave. The chairman has a final job for Shigidi and Nneoma, one that will take them to the very heart of the British Museum.

From the boisterous streets of Lagos to the rooftop bars of Singapore and the secret spaces of London, Shigidi and Nneoma will encounter strange creatures, rival gods and manipulative magicians as they are drawn into a spectacular heist that spans two realms . . . and which could turn their own worlds upside down . . .

A magical heist novel featuring gods, monsters, magicians and more. This is a contemporary fantasy perfect for fans of P. Djeli Clark's A Master of Djinn and Neil Gaiman's American Gods.

Here's what readers are saying:

'A fast paced heist story with a Nigerian twist . . . It was super unputdownable'

'Such an interesting look into African mythology and different settings that you don't often see'

'I love the way this book splices together both Nigerian and British myths and legends'

'It has everything: a tricky heist, African gods and succubi, romance. It was just a fun story with interesting characters and great world building'

'It is a fantasy heist book like nothing I have ever read. If American Gods and Oceans 11 had a baby it would be this book'

'This was OH SO SULTRY. There's poly rep with so much African Mythology featuring a Nightmare god and Succubus in a way that very vaguely reminds me of an adult version of Strange the Dreamer'

'This book was so ambitious trying to cram as many African (and even non African!) mystical/religious elements as possible but I think it delivered!'

'Wow - what a ride! I learned much about Yoruba and orishas in this fantastical tale of Shigidi and Nneoma's adventures'

'A fascinating story that is based in Nigerian Yoruba traditional mythos, updated with a very modern twist'
Imprint:   Gollancz
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 238mm,  Width: 160mm,  Spine: 34mm
Weight:   512g
ISBN:   9781399615655
ISBN 10:   1399615653
Pages:   304
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

WOLE TALABI is an engineer, writer, and editor from Nigeria, whose stories have appeared in Asimov's, F&SF, Lightspeed and several other places. He has been a finalist for multiple awards, including the Nebula Award, the Jim Baen Memorial Award and the Locus Award, and he has won the prestigious Caine Prize as well as the Nommo Award. His work has been translated into Spanish, Norwegian, Chinese, Italian, Bengali, and French. In his spare time he likes scuba diving, elegant equations, and oddly shaped things. He currently lives and works in Australia.

Reviews for Shigidi and the Brass Head of Obalufon: The Nebula Award finalist and gripping magical heist novel

Fast and sharp as talons, Shigidi is a high-stakes art heist love story with Nigerian gods and demons and some Succession-level corporate politics and Alan Moore-ish deep dives into occult lore and mythologies. If you thought Killmonger was right or loved American Gods and Akata Witch, this one is very much for you * Lauren Beukes * A high octane thriller that is simply unputdownable. Talabi deftly weaves different mythos spanning centuries across continents and borders to create a truly fantastical story. Gods, demons, magicians, giants, all jostling for power and prestige within an all too human story. This remarkable debut rocked my world * T.L. Huchu, author of The Library of the Dead * Shigidi is a richly written story of love between immortals, a high stakes supernatural heist, and a sweeping adventure across time, space, and perhaps realms of existence. This is godpunk, done with style. And I'm absolutely here for it! * P. Djeli Clark, Nebula Award-winning author of Master of Djinn * For those who feel as if they've been waiting years for a novel by Wole Talabi, Shigidi surpasses expectations. It's fast-paced and fun, clever and beautiful. Filled with characters you want to spend time with in a world that is fresh and exciting. * Temi Oh, author of Do You Dream of Terra-Two * Shigidi is a tale that will excite any lover of contemporary African fantasy. What better thrill than two globetrotting, timetrotting, worldtrotting beings caught between a love story, a heist and a ghastly contract with a spirit company? Talabi's imagination, already obvious in previous works, shines through, offering us a world of deities and monstrosities trading in belief and supplication. An innovative addition to the godpunk roster-if you loved David Mogo, you'll love this! * Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of the Nameless Republic trilogy * A heist caper with sex, violence, and superpowers popping off every technicolor page . . . Readers are in for a rollicking thrill ride * Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) * A captivating and entertaining story of a nightmare god and his succubus lover, Nneoma, pulling a heist across two worlds * Lightspeed Magazine * Shigidi and the Brass Head of Obalufon is an explosion made of other explosions. As soon as I read the opening-taut, rollicking, rooted in physicality and emotion-I was charmed. This book is incantation, a sorcerous working that bound me to its story and drew me along as it sped toward its destination. Wole Talabi is a brilliant short fiction writer, and now he is revealed as a brilliant novelist, as well * Alex Jennings, author of The Ballad of Perilous Graves * [A] delightfully entertaining novel . . . a defiantly ambitious work . . . [and] also an action-packed thrill ride . . . Talabi's snarky narration keeps the tone light, while leaving room for a sweet love story * The Washington Post * Talabi keeps in balance his kinetic mix of noir heist fiction, erotic romance, political intrigue, and supernatural fireworks without distracting too much from the genuinely affecting relationship between Nneoma and Shigidi, who are a pair we wouldn't mind seeing again, and won't forget anytime soon * Locus * Talabi weaves a high-stakes, fast-paced tale of corporate greed, an interdimensional heist, and warring deities entrenched in Yoruba culture. Perfect for fans of the Ocean's film franchise and Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora (2006), this book will have readers holding their breath as Shigidi and Nneoma try to accomplish the impossible * Booklist * A smart, sexy, postcolonial book about two freelance gods running from their past and stealing from the British Museum. I had so much fun with these characters and I can't wait for the next book in the series. Perfect for fans of American Gods * Thomas D. Lee, Sunday Times bestselling author of Perilous Times * [A] debut fantasy novel that's everything at once: love story, adventure story, spirit world story . . . Talabi excites the reader with the beauty of his language * Aurealis * Complex, entertaining, and absolutely *fun* - and beyond that, heartwarming in its characters and in its conclusions. A story which left me wanting to believe in it * Genevieve Cogman, Sunday Times bestselling author of the Invisible Library series * Pure post-colonial magic and huge, heisty fun * Daily Mail * The universe is anchored in African beliefs, but with a global perspective and modern twists * SFX, 5* * Exuberant writing and ebullient imagination made this a lot of fun * K.J. Charles * A thoroughly entertaining read which balances a confident sense of its Nigerian identity with an awareness of contemporary fantasy * ParSec Magazine * A vivid, entertaining tale of love, power and revenge * The Guardian * Wole Talabi treats his readers to a journey steeped in mysticism... The book draws on centuries of African history and legends, as well as Nigeria's modern colonial past * Geek Dad *

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