In his exhilarating adult fiction debut Goliath, author Tochi Onyebuchi stages a futuristic biblical epic through disparate yet interwoven narratives. In 2050, as the earth crumbles and the privileged depart for space colonies, Onyebuchi follows those left behind, tackling themes of race, class, gentrification, and the sinister underbelly of an idealistic future. To celebrate the novel’s launch, we hosted a dramatic reading of excerpts from the novel by actor Siddiq Saunderson followed by a discussion between Onyebuchi and author Ken Liu (The Hidden Girl and Other Stories).
By Tochi Onyebuchi
Published by Tor
In the 2050s, Earth has begun to empty. Those with the means and the privilege have departed the great cities of the United States for the more comfortable confines of space colonies. Those left behind salvage what they can from the collapsing infrastructure. As they eke out an existence, their neighborhoods are being cannibalized. Brick by brick, their houses are sent to the colonies, what was once a home now a quaint reminder for the colonists of the world that they wrecked.
A primal biblical epic flung into the future, Goliath weaves together disparate narratives—a space-dweller looking at New Haven, Connecticut as a chance to reconnect with his spiraling lover; a group of laborers attempting to renew the promises of Earth’s crumbling cities; a journalist attempting to capture the violence of the streets; a marshal trying to solve a kidnapping—into a richly urgent mosaic about race, class, gentrification, and who is allowed to be the hero of any history.
Tochi Onyebuchi is the author of the young adult novel Beasts Made of Night, which won the Ilube Nommo Award for Best Speculative Fiction Novel by an African; its sequel, Crown of Thunder; and War Girls. His novella Riot Baby, a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Ignyte, and NAACP Image Awards, won the New England Book Award for Fiction, the World Fantasy Award, and an Alex Award. He holds a B.A. from Yale, an M.F.A. in screenwriting from the Tisch School of the Arts, a master’s degree in economic law from Sciences Po, and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. His fiction has appeared in Panverse Three, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Obsidian, Omenana, Uncanny, and Lightspeed. His nonfiction has appeared on Tor.com and in Nowhere, the Oxford University Press blog, and the Harvard Journal of African American Policy, among other places.
Ken Liu is an American author of speculative fiction. He has won the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards, as well as top genre honors in Japan, Spain, and France, among other countries. Liu’s debut novel, The Grace of Kings, is the first volume in a silkpunk epic fantasy series, The Dandelion Dynasty, in which engineers play the role of wizards. His debut collection, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, has been published in more than a dozen languages. A second collection, The Hidden Girl and Other Stories, followed. He also wrote the Star Wars novel, The Legends of Luke Skywalker. He has been involved in multiple media adaptations of his work. The most recent projects include The Message, under development by 21 Laps and FilmNation Entertainment; Good Hunting, adapted as an episode in season one of Netflix’s breakout adult animated series Love, Death + Robots; and AMC’s Pantheon, with Craig Silverstein as executive producer, adapted from an interconnected series of short stories by Liu.
Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Liu worked as a software engineer, corporate lawyer, and litigation consultant. He frequently speaks at conferences and universities on a variety of topics, including futurism, cryptocurrency, history of technology, bookmaking, narrative futures, and the mathematics of origami. Liu lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts.
Siddiq Saunderson currently stars in the Hulu series Wu-Tang: An American Saga, which is airing its third and final season. In the drama, he portrays Dennis Coles, a loving 19-year-old who would do anything to protect his friends and family. Dennis, aka “D-Love,” also has an untapped talent that helps him grow into the artist Ghostface Killah. Earlier this year, Saunderson starred in the indie drama R#J and received rave reviews for his performance as Mercutio. The “Gen Z” version of Romeo & Juliet premiered at Sundance and was adapted by Timur Bekmambetov and directed by Carey Williams. Saunderson’s additional television credits include BET’s Boomerang and Netflix’s Messiah. Besides acting, Siddiq has interests in filmmaking, poetry, music and dance. He plans on continuing to study these crafts and working them into his establishing career. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Saunderson splits his time between New York and Los Angeles.