The State of Black SciFi 2012


“There's no limit to the things that you can do. . .” Sun Ra

During this month I'll be participating in a online discussion with my fellow writers about the state of Black SciFi. I hope ya'll will stick around and get involved. We'll have a lot of fun, and I'm sure it will be an eye-opening experience as well. I'm including links in my blogroll to other participating authors. So be sure and check them out. There will also be a giveaway at the end of the discussion. My contribution is one signed copy of my SF/fantasy novels: Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend and Immortal III: Stealer of Souls.

To enter the giveaway contest:
Post a comment on my weekly discussion here at https://valjeanne.wordpress.com

Tweet Tweet #blackscifi2012 #blackspecfic or #blackscifi with my twitter handle @Tehotep

Post comments on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Valjeanne-Jeffers-Immortal-Novels/113750871991936

I'll be keeping track of the names of participating readers and will select and announce the first winner on February 6, 2012, as will the other authors.

There has been a lot of change in the genre of SF. So much has happened just within the last ten years. It's no secret that 20 years ago, you'd be hard pressed to find a SF/Fantasy book written by an African American author. I myself grew up watching shows like Dark Shadows, Get Smart and Star Trek. Needless to say African Americans – peoples of Color –were few and far between on TV. In movies they were downright nonexistent. And with YA fiction, it was, pardon the clique, the same story. But that didn't stop me from falling in love with science fiction; from falling in love with the weird. The incredible. The unexplainable.

As an adult, I became addicted to the works of writers like Stephen King (for example). King at least, usually included a Black character or two. And this was like water in the desert for me. But there were no SF books, written by Black authors. At least none that I knew of. During the 1990s I discovered Octavia Butler. Later, I would discover Charles Saunders. . .Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes.

And these were the writers who first inspired me to write. So I did. I created worlds of revolutionary werewolves patterned after the 1960s. Worlds of Southern vampires who felt right at home in a jukejoint, listening to the Blues. Worlds of aliens, spacecrafts and time travel. And I peopled these worlds with folks who looked like me, with characters right out of the Black experience.

I can honestly say that there has never been a better time to be a Black writer. This is because, in part, of the rise of self-publishing. No longer are we waiting in the wings for the right agent or publishing company. No longer are we searching desperately for a nod from somebody who gets it – who gets us and where we're coming from. What this means is SF/fantasy books that are more myriad with voices that reflect the full-spectrum of our experiences

We get it. We get us. Today, Black science fiction is as diverse as the places we come from. And the best is yet to come.

Winston Blakely, Artist/Writer-- is a 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/ or http://blakelyworkstudio.weebly.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 http://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: http://www.mvmediaatl.com and http://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, http://www.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: https://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: http://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

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10 thoughts on “The State of Black SciFi 2012

  1. Valjeanne, I feel inspired reading this. We have similar experiences. I’ve always loved science fiction but could never find anyone that looked like me until Octavia Butler. I hope we can rectify that and bring stories that share our culture and interests. Great post!

  2. Wonderful post, Valjeanne. Horror was my first love too, and I grew up on the works of Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I would have loved to see a black Firestarter or Carrie of color, but I realize those novels were written with young white males in mind.

    We are desperate for representation, and we’ll create it by any means necessary. Just as in the film industry with black filmmakers investing their own money in independent vehicles and web series, indie authors are investing in their art and finding creative ways to spread the word about their projects. It’s heartening to see how these scribes will shake up the industry … and the world.

  3. You are always on point Valjeanne. I can’t thank you enough for your help and guidance. You are an invaluable team member that makes the Genesis Science Fiction Magazine a success. You all have gotten me back into blogging. I really never have much to say unless it’s about black science fiction related topics. If there is ever anything I can do to assist just let me know. As Ronald Jones says, “Long Live Black Sci Fi!!”

    • Jarvis: thanks so much! I love SF and I absolutely love the Genesis Mag and being part of the team. And right back atcha! Black science is a beautiful and flourishing movement, and I feel blessed to be a part of it. That’s real talk 🙂

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