“Initiate 16 lay paralyzed, face-down on a glass table. Scores of blood-stained, shiny metallic needles, attached to snake-like arms, jutted from her back, neck, arms, legs, and even the backs of her heels.  Her whole back was peeled open, revealing her spine.  The bright lights in the ceiling above her shone on the slick, pink sinew of her back and upon several links of bone that composed her spine. Upon each link was carved an ancient rune – “the Odu,” her teacher had called them.

She didn’t know what an Odu was but she knew it gave her power… and pain.

The nerve-blocking chemicals coursing through her blood, bones and sinew numbed the pain, but she didn’t like them inside her body.   She didn’t particularly enjoy initiation either, but it was a step closer to godhood – and only a god would dare tread where she would soon have to.”

Afrofuturism meets “Into the Badlands” meets “28 Days Later” in this post-apocalyptic, biopunk thriller.

It’s the year 2057. Ikoko, a physically weak, abused and psychologically disturbed young woman is selected against her will to become the first physically-enhanced hunter of “mutes” – people infected with the horrific Midway Mutagen. If the procedures go well, Ikoko will be transformed into the first of many Ologun – human killing machines – through genetic engineering. But such a powerful creature must be controlled and she will be… via an invasive memory-implantation program.

But the plan goes awry when the products of a top-secret project gone wrong, break out of the facility where they are being held and flee into the nearby city of Atlagos.

In the ensuing panic, the scientist in charge of implanting Ikoko’s memories inserts a program of her own making – one that teaches independence rather than obedience, and turns Ikoko into a modern-day African warrior – part Shaka Zulu, part Mino (“Dahomey Amazon”).

Ikoko must face monsters – of meat, metal and combinations of both – to save herself, those she’s tasked with protecting, and maybe even a world gone absolutely mad.

Initiate 16 is available NOW in e-book and paperback formats.

About Balogun

Balogun is the author of the bestselling Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within and screenwriter / producer / director of the films, A Single Link, Rite of Passage: Initiation and Rite of Passage: The Dentist of Westminster. He is one of the leading authorities on Steamfunk – a philosophy or style of writing that combines the African and / or African American culture and approach to life with that of the steampunk philosophy and / or steampunk fiction – and writes about it, the craft of writing, Sword & Soul and Steampunk in general, at https://chroniclesofharriet.com/. He is author of eight novels – the Steamfunk bestseller, MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2); the Urban Science Fiction saga, Redeemer; the Sword & Soul epic, Once Upon A Time In Afrika; a Fight Fiction, New Pulp novella, Fist of Afrika; the gritty, Urban Superhero series, A Single Link and Wrath of the Siafu; the two-fisted Dieselfunk tale, The Scythe and the “Choose-Your-Own-Destiny”-style Young Adult novel, The Keys. Balogun is also contributing co-editor of two anthologies: Ki: Khanga: The Anthology and Steamfunk. Finally, Balogun is the Director and Fight Choreographer of the Steamfunk feature film, Rite of Passage, which he wrote based on the short story, Rite of Passage, by author Milton Davis and co-author of the award winning screenplay, Ngolo. You can reach him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Afrikan.Martial.Arts; on Twitter @Baba_Balogun and on Tumblr at www.tumblr.com/blog/blackspeculativefiction.

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