A monumental speculative fiction story of love, loyalty, politics, and conscience, set in parallel Londons.
Newland...imagines a world where colonialism never happened at all...It's speculative fiction that genuinely made me speculate.
A dystopian multiverse imagined at thrilling scale...Extraordinary...The excitement lies largely in its ideas about power and personal responsibility.
--Times Literary Supplement
Newland has produced a text that piques and provokes, providing a guidebook to worlds both uncomfortably familiar and radically new.
An immersive speculative novel set in a dystopian city that's facing an uprising.
--Foreword Reviews, a Book of the Day selection
What would London be like if the UK had not colonized half the world? That's the question that drives Courttia Newland's A River Called Time. When young Markriss has the opportunity to move into the Ark--a massive structure that promises a utopian existence for the invited--he takes it, only to find that the world of his dreams isn't as idyllic as he was promised.
Part sci-fi, fantasy, and Afro-futurism but not squarely one or the other, A River Called Time transports the reader into a London undone by time, a London of possibility and, necessarily, of new villains.
No one can doubt the sheer energy and verve of Newland's vision.
--The Guardian (UK), Book of the Day selection
This mystical coming-of-age tale...is sure to please fans of thought-provoking speculative fiction.
This is an ambitiously imagined book that, by removing the European lens on African cultures, creates a new reality that allows us to question how we view our own. Complex and multilayered, this novel opens the door to the possibilities of noncolonial worlds.
A River Called Time is ambitious, sprawling, unpredictable and fascinating...A relentlessly imaginative novel about a world where colonialism and slavery never occurred and yet brutal inequality persists.
Courttia Newland is a formidable writer...And his latest work, A River Called Time, is an extraordinary piece of speculative fiction...Newland offers a brilliant remix of history...This may be a work of speculative fiction but its critical lens is present and prescient.
--Financial Times, reviewed by Imani Perry
The Ark was built to save the lives of the many, but rapidly became a refuge for the elite, the entrance closed without warning.
Years after the Ark was cut off from the world--a world much like our own, but in which slavery has never existed--a chance of survival within the Ark's confines is granted to a select few who can prove their worth. Among their number is Markriss Denny, whose path to future excellence is marred only by a closely guarded secret: without warning, his spirit leaves his body, allowing him to see and experience a world far beyond his physical limitations.
Once inside the Ark, Denny learns of another with the same power, whose existence could spell catastrophe for humanity. He is forced into a desperate race to understand his abilities, and in doing so uncovers the truth about the Ark, himself, and the people he thought he once knew.
About the Author
Courttia Newland is the author of seven books including his much-lauded debut, The Scholar. His last novel, The Gospel According to Cane, was published by Akashic in 2013. In 2016 he was awarded the Roland Rees Bursary for playwriting. As a screenwriter, he has co-written two episodes of the Steve McQueen BBC series Small Axe.