HBO orders new sci-fi series from author Nnedi Okorafor and producer George R.R. Martin

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[Note: The original version of this story featured a headline that failed to name author Nnedi Okorafor. We apologize for this error in judgment, and any implications of lack of authorship or ownership on Okorafor’s part.]

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HBO has officially closed a deal to grab a new TV show from George R.R. Martin, with Deadline reporting that the network has finalized plans to develop a Martin-produced adaptation of Nnedi Okorafor’s 2010 novel Who Fears Death. Set in a post-apocalyptic Africa, the book tells the story of a young girl who seeks to discover the meaning behind her own magical powers, as well as the nature of the powerful forces trying to end her life.

Okorafor first announced that the project was being optioned by the network back in July, although formal deals weren’t finalized until today. Meanwhile, it’s hard not to see the deal as a reaction, at least in part, to the upcoming ending of Martin’s Game Of Thrones. Not only does this new series keep the author in the corporate family as part of his ongoing deal with the network; with its Afrofuturist themes and predominantly black cast and creative team, there’s also a implication buried here that the network is hoping to deflect some of the criticisms that have plagued HBO since it announced its modern-day slavery drama Confederate, the follow-up series from Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss.


But all of that’s obviously a lot of extra, unfair baggage to load onto Okorafor’s celebrated, Nebula finalist novel, which is being adapted to the screen by author and producer Selwyn Seyfu Hinds. Former HBO president Michael Lombardo is also set to produce.


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