The state of Black Sci Fi, week 5: Cons

I’ve never been to a sci fi con of any kind, or indeed, any in-person writer’s convention, but I’d love to go. I never even made it to last year’s Mass Poetry event in Lowell – some family thing came up. I’m a sucker for workshops, though, so an event or a con with lots of books I haven’t read, authors I might want to read, forums, and discussions sounds terrific.

Last year Alicia McCalla posted about OnyxCon. This is a relatively small con, and it takes place in Atlanta, which, I’m told, is a great city to visit. The con itself seems to be a manageable size.

Other Conventions: East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention
Here’s what they have to say about themselves: America’s premiere Black comic book convention encouraging youth literacy and expression through reading, writing and drawing comic books. They have workshops — no need to register, simply show up — and other events. It takes place in August in Philadelphia. My middle son, who as a teen ager enjoyed drawing comics, would have loved this. Maybe he still would.

If you’ve been following this blog tour, you’ll know I’ve expressed my frustration on the dearth of sci fi and fantasy books available in my local bookstores or on the shelves of my local library. Yes, they’re out there. But why should there be only one — yes, only one — book by Samuel Delany in my local Barnes and Noble, nothing by Octavia Butler, Tananarive Due, or the many other fine Black writers of speculative fiction? There’s strength in numbers, and cons give writers and readers the chance to come together and encourage each other.

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:

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 or her website
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: and

Ja Ja (DjaDja) N Medjay , Author
—DjaDja Medjay is the author of The Renpet Sci-Fi Series. Shiatsu Practitioner. Holistic AfroFuturistic Rising in Excellence. Transmissions from The Future Earth can be found at: or on Facebook – or on Twitter –!/Khonsugo .

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 is available from 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,

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: and

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: or

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:

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: or

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:

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,

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:

Jarvis Sheffield, M.Ed. is owner & operator of, & Visit him:

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5 Responses to The state of Black Sci Fi, week 5: Cons

  1. Alicia McCalla says:

    Margaret, we’ve got to get you to at least one huge Con event. They are so much fun. You think you’d like to come for Dragon Con or Onyx Con this year? Let me know. Good post.

  2. Winston Blakely says:

    Excellent,Margaret… I agree with Alicia, you would definitely love either one
    of those shows. Great Post… indeed.

  3. Milton says:

    What they said. :-) If you ever find yourself in Atlanta in August, come check us out at Onyx Con.

  4. L. M. Davis says:

    I have only been to DragonCon peripherally. I went last year to hand out some promotional materials for Interlopers. It was huge, and I imagine that it takes a couple of years of attendance to find your niche and feel at home.
    I think you touch on something that is so important in these events, which is that they are nurturing and encouraging. As huge as DragonCon is now, it started with folks who were just looking to bring their community into closer contact.
    Nice post. :-)

  5. Rasheedah says:

    Great post! Thanks for listing the other events. I’m hoping to attend some in the near future and I’m really to happy to learn about the ECBACC right here in Philly. I empathize with your frustrations on the lack of options for Black sci-fi/spec-fic in local bookstores.

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