Feminist Sci Fi Wins Bailey’s Prize

Called an “amazing dystopian novel, a brilliant meditation on ‘What if women had all the power?’,” British author Naomi Alderman’s fourth novel The Power has won the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. It will be published in the US in October by Hachette/Little, Brown.

The power of the book’s title is literal. Teen aged girls are given the ability to electrify, shock and even kill, making men terrified of them. In her acceptance speech, Alderman celebrated another sort of power, “the support … of other women [which] has meant more than electricity to me.”

The cover features a blurb from Margaret Atwood, “Electrifying! Shocking! Will knock your socks off! Then you’ll think twice, about everything.” The two authors are mutual admirers. As part of mentoring program set up by Rolex, the pair co-authored a zombie novel on Wattpad titled The Happy Zombie Sunrise Home.

On the eve of the launch of the TV adaptation of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Alderman explored the history of feminist science fiction for the Guardian, dating the first example to Margaret Cavendish’s 1666 book The Blazing World.

Alderman, who was  has written online games for Penguin, the BBC and others told the Evening Standard that she would love to turn The Power into an online game.  She is already working on an adaptation of the book for television.

An adaptation of the author’s first book Disobedience, a best seller in the UK, is currently in post-production starring Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola.

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