ISBN 9781942876700
Pages 150
Dimensions 216 x 140mm
Published 2021
Publisher Spears Media Press, Cameroon
Format Paperback

The Vacuum Chamber

by Ba'bila Mutia

The Vacuum Chamber recounts the intriguing encounter between investigative journalist, Fondo and mysterious scientist, Dr Tanda Matanda, who heads an elusive Futuristic Institute of Science and Technology (FIST) where he carries out strange experiments in the Mendankwe mountains. Fondo eventually discovers that Dr Matanda's experiments reveal profound but dreadful insights on the question of life and death and indeed, the future of the country.

A Handful of Earth details the unusual friendship between Veke Lucasi and Saddi Tegene, both enthralled by the affections of the school belle, Bridget Bijanga. Lucasi and Tegene's rivalry follows them through their adult life, climaxing in a brief romance and terrifying involvement with mystical forces. A Handful of Earth is intriguing, disturbing, and haunts the reader from the beginning to the end. Mutia is a master at weaving plot, creating suspense, and building petrifying horror.

Book Preview


"The Vacuum Chamber is a mesmerizing revelation of the workings of a writer and true patriot's mind on how to deal with the stifling, stagnating, and frustrating essence of his nation's lackluster existence in a bid to reclaim his fallen country from a failed leadership wanting in administrative astuteness. A Hand Full of Earth will intrigue, disturb, and haunt the reader from start to finish. Mutia is a master at weaving his plot, creating suspense, and building petrifying horror."

Emmanuel Fru Doh, PhD, Century College, Minnesota, USA

"Babila Mutia is a master storyteller but he is a poet too, and his poetic sensibilities are not far off in these two masterpieces. We, the readers are at his mercy, devouring every word, and when we get to the last page, we are forced to confront the unstable nature of what we call our reality."

Joyce Ashuntantang, PhD, author of Beautiful Fire

"These stories glide effortlessly in between genres and are inextricably rooted in a unique kind of political realism, unafraid of pushing boundaries."

Dzekashu MacViban, Bakwa Magazine

"The Vacuum Chamber, a form of Magical Realism incorporates science and technology with imagination and alternate forms of reality. It is so excellently paced that one cannot put it down. A Handful of Earth is a dark cautionary story, with a warning that will instruct and intrigue."

Mary H. Bruce, Professor Emerita, Monmouth College, IL

About the Author

Ba'bila Mutia

Ba'bila Mutia is an award-winning Cameroonian author, poet, and playwright. He holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Windsor, Canada. His short stories and poetry have been featured in anthologies and reviews worldwide. He is the author of Whose Land? (Longman children's fiction); "Rain" (short story) in A Window on Africa; "The Miracle" (short story) in The Heinemann Book of Contemporary African Short Stories; "The Spirit Machine" (short story) in The Spirit Machine and Other New Short Stories from Cameroon, Coils of Mortal Flesh (poetry) and The Journey's End (2016). In 1993, Mutia was a guest of the Berlin Academy of Arts for an international short story reading. In September 2011, Mutia's play, The Road to Goma, was among six winners of the African Playwriting Project sponsored by the London National Theatre Studio where excerpts of his play were staged by professional actors. He has lived in Lagos and Benin City (Nigeria), Windsor and Halifax (Canada). He currently resides in Yaoundé, Cameroon where he is professor of African literature and creative writing at the École Normale Supérieure.