Tade Thompson

British science fiction writer

Tade Thompson is a British-born Yoruba psychiatrist and science fiction writer.


  • In the ebb and flow of battle there are usually only brief flashes of bravery before the brave become the dead.
    • One Hundred and Twenty Days of Sunlight in Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond (2013), ISBN 978-0-9891411-4-7, p. 237-238
  • I bring everything I know to whatever I write, and I believe the same of other writers. A person’s complete life experience forms the basis of authorial voice, in my opinion. To hold back any part makes a narrative feel contrived.
  • When it comes to bodies, there is violence done every day. I did not think of body horror as a sub-genre when writing it, but I think the body is a source of great anxiety to each of us. So you shave (legs, armpits, or chin), taking a blade to yourself; perhaps you exercise, causing yourself pain; perhaps you fast or diet, denying yourself; perhaps your job means you have to stay awake. If you think about it, life itself consists of low-levels of body horror all the time. To write fiction, we just exaggerate some of what happens naturally…
  • If you want pure science, crack open a textbook or buy a journal. Fiction is about people. To foreground people as opposed to science does not weaken the genre, it opens it up. Insisting on one incarnation of a phenomenon is antiscientific. Science observes phenomena and incorporates new manifestations into the corpus. “Real” science fiction reminds me of certain academics who are ossified in their little knowledge fiefdoms. The human factor is messy. The human factor cannot be quantified with P-values and Confidence Intervals. This horrifies some readers and writers, but I love it. There is nothing wrong with foregrounding science, but there is room in genre for every flavour. More variety leads to more fans. That can’t be a bad thing.
  • Protagonists don’t have to be likable. They just have to be compelling. The key characteristic of a protagonist, whether they are conventionally good or evil, is that the reader must be interested in knowing what they will do next, or how they will respond to what happens to them. I’ve mentioned elsewhere how much I detest all that ‘hero’s journey’ crap…
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