Press and Reviews
My works in the academics
Aliens and Insecticide: Ecoambiguity in Two Stories from Dilman Dila’s A Killing in the Sun by Nedine Moonsamy
Surviving the African Anthropocene: Dilman Dila’s mutational aesthetics by Timothy Sean Wright, Bilkent University
Queering the Post-Apocalypse in Three Selected Short Stories by Dilman Dila by Edgar Fred Nabutanyi, Makerere University
27 July 2020 Charles Payseur, Quick Sip Reviews
A Fledgling Abiba…. “is a wonderful coming of age story for this woman who has a great power inside her, and who faces dangers on every side, hungry spirits and greedy humans who want to exploit or possess her. At the same time, she finds kindness and love, people who are willing to help her, who come to think of her as family. Until she can piece together the story of her life, and her parents, and step into her full inheritance. It’s a fun story, rich in its magical world building and compelling in its plotting and twists. Kuri is courageous and resilient, and not willing to sacrifice her morals for power. Her struggles are often grim, often difficult, and the novella doesn’t shy away from the difficult realities of corruption, disease, and power. A wonderful read!”
12 March 2020 Mable’s Rants
Dilman’s style of writing is seamless and very much engaging. It grips you right from the beginning that you won’t want each story to end. As you can probably tell, I am definitely going to have a problem critiquing the book because I loved it.
17 August 2018 Signal Horizon
“Obibi,” representing Uganda, from Dilman Dila is a clear triumph of the collection—in it, is the promise of everything the phrase “A World of Horror” conjures. It’s the story of a child born crippled, and the shakey ground he stands on within his community—a community that kills or casts out deformities. It combines unique monster folklore with an interesting character arc that leads us toward a strange and horrifying ending.
15 November 2017 Qmunicate
(On Her Broken Shadow) writer and director Dilman Dila deserves a lot of praise for his cinematic techniques: the lighting often creates a gloomy atmosphere; the small spaces create a claustrophobic feel throughout; and the scene in which blood flows through disparate jigsaw pieces oozes with symbolism.
2 October 2017 Los Angels Review of Books
Dilman Dila’s new film Her Broken Shadow nestles a chamber piece about authorship and identity within a chamber piece about authorship and identity, and repeatedly undermines any certainty about which chamber is located within which.
24 June 2017 Midi’s Horror Reviews PAGE
This (How to Start a Zombie Apocalypse) simple but hugely visual short, was very well put together.
I found this (Cursesd Widow Blues) short was so much more well harnessed, than his earlier effort, and the score definitely fit it much more effectively.
28 March 2017 Muuka, Another Drop of Ink
Straight up loved it….Dilman’s writing style flows off the page and I lost myself in each and every story. Seriously, I can’t praise this collection of stories enough.
March 2017 A Fantastic Librarian
Another cop story, but one of a completely different stripe is Dilman Dila’s Monwor. It’s titular monster is a succubus-like creature, whose true nature was rather surprising. But in this story the monitor wasn’t the true monster, the patriarchy and the corporations are.
5th March 2017 ABD Reviews
“Intriguing… there is rich writing… rich storytelling….”
18 Nov 2016 Hannah Onoguwe
“…as I read story after story, many times miserly-like, I kept being grateful that I hadn’t put it off any longer. It surpassed my expectations…… read A Killing in the Sun. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.”
16 Sept 2016 Wawabook Review
Dilman Dila’s ‘The Flying Man of Stone’ is a sublime blend of fantasy and science fiction. It examines the nature of power and its effect on those who wield it.
11 Sep 2016 From the Heart of Europe
“….the two that particularly grabbed me by the brain were the very first one, “The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family” by Usman T. Malik, and “How My Father Became a God” by Dilman Dila, both of which might have made it to my Hugo short list if I had read them in time.”
16 June 2016 African Writing Book Reviews, Penny de Vries
This short story collection by Ugandan writer, Dilman Dila, is sheer entertainment with a thick seam of seriousness….The beauty of these stories is that each in their own way shows a human side, of people who love, hate, fear and yearn. Dila’s wonderful imagination lifts this collection into an alien yet familiar space, where the ‘other’ is lampooned in a fantastical way.
15 April 2016. Nerds of a Feather
“Braveheart’s Homecoming” by Dilman Dila hits like a red IPA, rebellion and resistance tinged with blood, brash and bitter and reaching for something better.
8 march 2016 RRAP Magazine
Overall, this story (Monwor, in African Monsters) is just an excellent use of foil and symbolism.
3 March 2016 Strange Horizons
Indeed, another thing which is noticeable about all the stories is how urgently they demand of the reader: you will read, you must read. God knows, I’m a jaded reader. Been there, done that; and it really does seem as though a lot of Anglo-American SF is retreading familiar paths to little purpose. And yet, oddly, part of what these stories do is to retread, or rather, repurpose ideas and tropes that are quite familiar, but turn them into new things. This concept is made quite explicit in “The Flying Man of Stone,” where Baba Chuma, a metalworker, is famed for his ability to make new things out of old. When he acquires some alien technology and builds a “replicating machine,” his son, Kera, recognises that while “[h]is father had built something straight out of a sci-fi movie [ . . . ] its system was no more complex than that of a rope pulley. It had to be magic” (p. 171), which positions us neatly in familiar Clarkean territory.
2 March 2016 Quick Sips Review
An excellent read! (Braveheart’s Homecoming)
2 Feb 2016 — Bookshy Books
The Flying Man of the Stone, was another beautiful – if bloody – tale….I really liked Dilman’s writing in this story and I have really been meaning to read his collection, A Killing in the Sun.
And in the moving “The Flying Man of Stone” by Dilman Dila, 15-year-old Kera, having witnessed the slaughter of his mother and siblings by soldiers, is given a flying machine and a super-weapon by his ailing father, with tragic consequences —
31 Dec 2015 Rashi Rohatgi, Africa in Words
Dilman Dila’s 2013 Cranes Crest at Sunset, in which a Nepali immigrant and a local herdsman fall in love in the rainy Ugandan countryside, is my personal favourite – so far
4th December 2015 Apex Book of World SF reviewed by Salik Shah
“…Dilman Dila’s fantastic tale, “How My Father Became a God,”….is one of the most delightful stories in the collection…”
18 November 2015 Lois Tilton reviews short stories AfroSF v2 http://www.locusmag.com/Reviews/2015/11/lois-tilton-reviews-short-fiction-mid-november-2015/
A Killing in the Sun, reviewed in Spanish… http://www.wiriko.org/letras-africanas/dilman-dila-ciencia-ficcion-y-compromiso/
AfroSF v2. “…an interesting reflection on the results of violence and colonialism in Africa, with great touches…” https://thosewhorunwithwolves.wordpress.com/2015/12/03/afrosfv2-edited-by-ivor-w-hartmann/
08 Sept 2015 Wawa Book Review
‘How My Father Became a God’, written by Ugandan Dilman Dila is a fine blend of magical realism, fantasy and the supernatural. It is set in a time so relatable to the present day as to make for relaxed, unhurried reading. One is reminded of the feeling of sipping fine brandy as Dila weaves his tale.
24th December 2014. This is Africa. The TIA 100 – Best Books 2010-2014 http://thisisafrica.me/lifestyle/tia-100-best-books-2010-2014/
1st December 2014. The Guardian, UK. Writers pick the best books of 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/dec/01/-sp-writers-pick-best-books-2014-part-2?CMP=fb_gu
24th November 2014. This is Africa. Writers Need a Home Platform. http://thisisafrica.me/lifestyle/dilman-dila-writers-need-home-platforms/
13th November 2014. The Star, Kenya. All my stories have a personal experience. http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/all-my-stories-have-personal-experience-dilman-dila
25th October 2014. The Daily Monitor. Another Ugandan Ventures into fiction. http://www.monitor.co.ug/artsculture/Reviews/Another-Ugandan-ventures-into-fiction/-/691232/2497708/-/nn10wb/-/index.html
27th September 2014. Standard Digital News, Kenya. Soldiers story A Killing in the Sun launched. http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/mobile/article/2000136304/soldiers-story-a-killing-in-the-sun-launched
22nd September 2014. So Many Stories, by Nyana Kakoma. Dilman Dila on Being an All Round Storyteller http://somanystories.ug/authors/2014/09/dilman-dila-round-storyteller
9th January 2014
(Cranes Crest at Sunset “This is an intense love story set in rural Uganda.” Elly Kamari, Love in Nairobi
28th October 2013. Emmanuel Siguake, ImageNations
The Puppets of Maramudhu by Dilman Dila: Dilma’s story is unique, not that it is alien or experimental. It is neither of these. In fact, it is the kind of stories we love to tell, orally, but which we rarely ever write, unfortunately, perhaps because of our quest to remain realists. A story such as Dila’s could easily be found on any street across the continent. Stranger stories have been heard.
Dilma therefore did well in telling this story and his command over the narrative was interesting. The subject also lent itself to the short story genre.
9th April 2013. After a long struggle, I finally find recognition in a prestigious prize. In April of this year, I was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2013, for my story, A Killing in the Sun. You can read about that story in this blog post https://www.dilmandila.com/2013/05/ghost-tales-on-road-to-nairobi.html
July 2012. I won my first award! On Sunday 15 July, 2012, at the Nepal International Indigenous Film Festival. The Sound of One Leg Dancing scooped up the “Jury Award. Bronze Drum”.
I’m glad it’s Mina’s story that wins me my first award, for though it is a documentary, in an eerie manner it is autobiographical. Thanks Mina Pun for letting me tell your story.
July 24, 2012. The Sunday Vision. ‘Changing Lives Through Film’, by Rowan Emslie
“For some people, though, the story is what matters – before themselves and their bank balance, they desire simply to do justice to the narrative they have to work with.” Read the interview online, here, http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/638103-changing-lives-through-film.html
October 2011 Books they read. http://www.monitor.co.ug/artsculture/Reviews/-/691232/1259272/-/7ctsxz/-/index.html
I treasure these first reviews about my works, from professional reviewers. So far, they have been only kind to me. 🙂
“…Dilman Dila ends the anthology with a straight-up no-nonsense story of a corpse who returned to the site of his murder to discover who killed him.”
If We Don’t Tell Our Stories, By Fellipe Gamarano Barbos, in The Reeler
“Dilman Dila’a project, What Happened in Room 13, was particularly interesting to me…The material is absolutely fantastic…. It is pure cinema, coming from a filmmaker who didn’t have the opportunity to see 1/100th of the films that are available to us in New York.”
Maisha Film Lab: Passionate Artists of the Highest Order, by Ami Boghani, in Huffington Post.
“…What Happened in Room 13 by Dilman Dila from Uganda — were, in my opinion, examples of a very pure brand of cinema.”
If we don’t tell our stories, by Nalaka Gunawardene, in Moving Images
Moses Serugo, in The Monitor
“Alright people it is a wrap,” up and coming film director Dilman Dila called out to his cast and crew, marking the end of a gruelling day of…”
Film Festival Fund supports Film School in Haiti
Million Writers Award