Turns out the SFF I write is pretty political? Who knew? The answer is, everybody. Everybody knew. Including me.
Art by Odera Igbokwe, from the short essay Fantasy’s Othering Fetish.
It’s been 12 years since Star Trek has had a TV series. Now CBS has brought back this tradition, with the launch of Star Trek: Discovery this Fall. Trek is on TV again–where, I’d argue, it properly belongs.
So did this new take on the iconic space opera live up to the hype and hoped dreams?
Kicking off another year, looking back on 2016 in my writing life–and what I might hope for in 2017.
“So give us your Black elves, your Black space captains, your Black heretics standing against prophecies and insurmountable odds. Send us your Black wizards and Black gods, your Black sergeants fighting on alien planets. …Because the future of genre is now. And the future ain’t going to write itself.”- writer Justina Ireland
In the wake of a controversy over who the culture of an entire continent belongs to within the context of its far-flung descendants (many quite involuntarily flung at that), I revisit a set of blog posts I wrote several years ago regarding speculative fiction, world building, “appropriation” and the Africa of our imaginations. Can one appropriate the self?
In the bleakest of moments African-American writers have turned to literature to confront racial terror and the trauma it could induce–turning to poetry, personal narratives, plays and novels. Sometimes, they even dreamed of the fantastic.
A few years ago someone told me I was a Blerd. I had no idea what they were talking about. But (as I was then told) I’m black, I like SFF, and I talk about it a whole lot. So that makes me a Blerd. Okay. Fine. Whatevs. I didn’t really expect the term to catch on. I mean c’mon. Black + Nerd? Shows how much I know. Today Blerds are everywhere. There are Blerd sites, Blerd podcasts, Blerd blogs, Blerd meetups–you name it. Blerd has become a community. Blerd can maybe even be called a movement. Blerds are also remarkably diverse. And it turns out using one story to define them, may limit the full breadth of who or what they (we) can be.
Art: Phil Noto, Variant cover, Captain America