Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi
Rooted in foundational loss and the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is both a global dystopian narrative an intimate family story with quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience.
Ella and Kev are brother and sister, both gifted with extraordinary power. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by structural racism and brutality. Their futures might alter the world. When Kev is incarcerated for the crime of being a young black man in America, Ella—through visits both mundane and supernatural—tries to show him the way to a revolution that could burn it all down.
TITLE: Riot Baby
AUTHOR: Tochi Onyebuchi
LENGTH: 176 pages
GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Partial Queer Rep Summary: No canon queer rep.
*I received a review copy as part of the 2021 Hugo voters packet.
It’s told in chunks, creating at feeling of jagged edges and snippets of a story. I liked it at first and then got to the back-to-back descriptions of birth and a stillbirth/miscarriage, which is a hard no for me. Even if the rest of the book is fine I need to stop.
CW for cursing, racism, stillbirth (graphic), pregnancy/birth (graphic), blood (graphic), incarceration, panic attacks, seizures, medical content (graphic), medical trauma (graphic), gun violence, violence, police brutality, animal death, child death, death.