I was already a die-hard sci fi fan by age 10. A self-confessed book addict, by the time I was a teen ager, I haunted both the local library and the drug store looking for new reading material. Books were considerably cheaper then, and the particular store I remember looking in most often was a couple of blocks north of our apartment. There I came upon a copy of Samuel Delany’s first novel, “The Jewels of Aptor,” published by Ace books. I was hooked.
Delany, by the way, was a fellow New Yorker and was married to poet Marilyn Hacker.
I’ve continue to read Delany in the years since His explorations of language, race, class and sexuality continue to fascinate me.
I no longer remember my first Octavia Butler novel — I started to read her sometime in the mid to late 1970′s, but I remember my fascination with her “Lilith’s Brood” trilogy and her three-sexed aliens. The trilogy explores issues of both class, race, and sexuality. And “Fledgling” has to be my all-time favorite take on the vampire theme.
I love science fiction, and I read it from an early age Now, I’m as fond as the next guy of a good spacee battle as the next reader, but at bottom I am much more interested in personal interaction, in clash of values, than in the sweep of empires That’s one reason I pick up novels written by women before those written by men
Cavveat: back when I was in grad school — in computer science — we used to quote the following: All generalizations are potentially dangerous, including this one.
Note “potentially.” So, yes, if you disagree, if you have counter-examples — or if you agree — l;eave me a comment.
What I like about Black Sci Fi is the variety of voices, of points of view, of subject. The willingness to tackle difficult subjects And including race as a factor in a novel opens up a whole bag of oppression, exploitation, clash of values. I remember Samuel Delaney’s “The Fall of the Towers” trilogy, which I read in the single-volume edition It involved three races of humans who co-existed. I found it both completely absorbing and very confusing. I’ve requested it from Inter-Library loan. I’ll tell you all what I think of now after I finish it — providing, of course, that I actually get hold of it.
I have a stack of five novels by Black authors on my bookshelf at the moment (thank you, public library): Tananarive Due’s “Blood Colony,” about a group of African immortals is the one I’m reading now. Tananarive Due may very well be my new favorite author. The main character is seventeen, yet this is an adult novel, as far as I can tell.
I’d love to see more books by Black science fiction authors actually in stock in book stores and on the shelves in our local libraries. When I was younger, I discovered many authors — including Delany and Butler — by browsing through my local bookstore or my library. I was fortunate in my library, as I haunted the Donnell branch of the New York Public Library when I was in high school. Not many teens are so lucky.
And I’d love to see more science fiction by Black authors for young adults. And I’d love for it not to be so hard to find.
So, readers, what do you love about Black sci fi? What was the first science fiction book you read by a Black author? Did you realize they were black? Keep those comments coming.
Here, again, are the links to my fellow bloggers.
Check out the other members of this Online Black History Month Event:
Check out my awesome fellow members of this Online Black History Month Event:
Winston Blakely, Artist/Writer– Fine Arts/Comic Book artist, having a career spanning 20 years, whose achievements have included working for Valiant Comics and Rich Buckler’s Visage Studios. He is also the creator of Little Miss Strange, the world’s first black alien sorceress and the all- genre anthology entitled – Immortal Fantasy. Both graphic albums are available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and other online book store outlets. Visit him: http://blakelyworks.blogspot.com/
L. M. Davis, Author–began her love affair with fantasy in the second grade. Her first novel, Interlopers: A Shifters Novel, was released in 2010, and the follow-up Posers: A Shifters Novel will be released this spring. For more information visit her blog http://shiftersseries.wordpress.com/ or her website www.shiftersnovelseries.com.
Milton Davis, Author – Milton Davis is owner/publisher of MVmedia, LLC . As an author he specializes in science fiction and fantasy and is the author of Meji Book One, Meji Book Two and Changa’s Safari. Visit him: www.mvmediaatl.com and www.wagadu.ning.com.
Margaret Fieland, Author– lives and writes in the suburbs west of Boston, MA
with her partner and five dogs. She is one of the Poetic Muselings. Their poetry anthology, Lifelines http://tinyurl.com/LifelinesPoetry/ is available from Amazon.com Her book, “Relocated,” will be available from MuseItUp Publishing in July, 2012. The Angry Little Boy,” will be published by 4RV publishing in early 2013. You may visit her website, https://margaretfieland.com.
Valjeanne Jeffers, Author — is an editor and the author of the SF/fantasy novels: Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend and Immortal III: Stealer of Souls. Her fourth and fifth novels: Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds and The Switch: Clockwork will be released this spring. Visit her at: http://valjeanne.wordpress.com and http://qandvaffordableediting.blogspot.com/
Thaddeus Howze, Author-- is a veteran of the Information Technology and Communications industry with over twenty-six years of experience. His expertise is in re-engineering IT environments using process-oriented management techniques. In English, that means he studies the needs of his clients and configures their offices to optimize the use of information technology in their environment. Visit him: http://ebonstorm.wordpress.com or http://ebonstorm.weebly.com
Alicia McCalla, Author—writes for both young adults and adults with her brand of multicultural science fiction, urban fantasy, and futurism. Her debut novel, Breaking Free will be available February 1, 2012. The Breaking Free theme song created by Asante McCalla is available for immediate download on itunes and Amazon. Visit her at: www.aliciamccalla.com
Carole McDonnell, Author–She writes Christian, speculative fiction, and multicultural stories. Her first novel is Wind Follower. Her short fiction has appeared in many anthologies and have been collected in an ebook, Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction. Visit Carole: http://carolemcdonnell.blogspot.com/ or http://writersofcolorblogtour.blogspot.com/
Balogun Ojetade, Author—of the bestselling “Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within” (non-fiction), “Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman” (Steampunk) and the feature film, “A Single Link”. Visit him: http://chroniclesofharriet.wordpress.com/
Rasheedah Phillips, Author–is the creator of The AfroFuturist Affair in Philly. She plans to debut her first spec/sci-fic novel Recurrence Plot in Spring 2012. You may catch her ruminating from time to time on her blog, AstroMythoLosophy.com.
Nicole Sconiers, Author-is also a screenwriter living in the sunny jungle of L.A. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and she recently published Escape from Beckyville: Tales of Race, Hair and Rage. Visit her: http://nicolesconiers.com/index.html
Jarvis Sheffield, M.Ed. is owner & operator of TheDigitalBrothers.com, BlackScienceFictionSociety.com & BlackCommunityEntertainment.com. Visit him: http://www.blacksciencefictionsociety.com/profiles/blog/list?user=2stjwb1h216fd