Everfair by Nisi Shawl, with an introduction by Cadwell Turnbull
Trade Paperback – Tor Books – Jun 2023 – 361 pages
In this re-imagining of Belgium’s disastrous colonization of the Congo, African American missionaries join forces with British socialists to purchase land from the Congo Free State’s “owner,” King Leopold II. This land, which they name Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven for native populations of the Congo as well as settlers from around the world, including dream-eyed Europeans attempting to create a better society, formerly enslaved people returning from America, and Chinese railroad builders escaping hard labor. Using the combined knowledge of four continents, Everfair becomes a land of spying cats and gulls, nuclear dirigibles buoyed by barkcloth balloons, and silent pistols that shoot poison knives.
With this technology, Everfair will attempt to defeat the Belgian tyrant Leopold II. But even if they can defeat their great enemy, a looming world war and political infighting may threaten to destroy everything they have built.