What is the Steamfunk! Anthology and why did the editors, Milton Davis and Balogun Ojetade, decide to create it?
Steamfunk can be defined as a subgenre of SF/Fantasy that is aligned with Steampunk. Like Steampunk, Steamfunk resides in an imaginative alternative world in which electricity does not exist; machinery is powered by steam and (sometimes) gas, such as with gas streetlights.
Of course, as anyone whose ever read it will tell you, the above is a bare bones definition. Steamfunk is full of marvelous creations…of steam-powered robots, fantastical flying machines and worlds separated by layers of technology and class.
And herein we come to the divergence of paths for while Steamfunk exists in dimensions powered by steam it is, in contrast to Steampunk, written from an African American and/or POC perspective. This is not to say that the writers of Steamfunk! have simply replaced all of the European characters with Peoples of Color or that all of the contributors to the Steamfunk! anthology are Black/POC.
No, the quintessential difference within this anthology is of a cultural worldview. These are stories which emerge from the Black/POC experience
This is precisely why the editors chose to create it. They wanted to fill a space which so desperately needed to be filled—to embrace and celebrate the voices of those of us who are so often silent and marginalized.
And these stories are incredibly imaginative stories of oppression, slavery, resistance, freedom…stories of agent provocateurs like Harriet Tubman and my own Simone2, of inventors like George Washington Carver…of witches and wizards, scientists and seers.
I am honored to number myself among the contributors to the Steamfunk! Anthology (with my story, The Switch). History has been made. We stand on the cusp of an era, a new renaissance of Black/POC speculative fiction.
For the second time during this century a fresh subgenre of fiction has been created. The first came from the mind of the legendary Charles Saunders: Sword and Soul. Now, editors Davis and Ojetade have given us: Steamfunk.
I strongly urge you to check out this Anthology. I strongly urge you to prepare to have your mind blown. These tales truly are the new “sound and fury” of Science Fiction and Fantasy…of Steamfunk!
Preorders available at MV Media
Valjeanne Jeffers – is an editor and the author of the SF/fantasy novels: Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend and Immortal III: Stealer of Souls, Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds and The Switch: Clockwork. Visit her at: https://valjeanne.wordpress.com and http://www.vjeffersandqveal.com
Valjeanne Jeffers is a graduate of Spelman College and has been published in numerous anthologies including The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, LuneWing, Griots: An Anthology of Sword and Soul, Griots II: Sisters of The Spear (in press) and Say It Loud: Poems About James Brown.
Milton Davis – 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 andwww.wagadu.ning.com .
Ronald T. Jones is the author of Subject 82-42, Warriors of The Four Worlds and Chronicle of The Liberator. He is also the template from which an army of powerful clones of insurmountable intellect arose to impose order on a restless universe. He is also an enthusiastic science fiction fan, author of three novels, and contributor to a number of scifi/fantasy anthologies, including Steamfunk. He currently resides in Chicago when he’s not brooding in his underground Venusian fortress. To read his ramblings visit: http://blacksciencefictionsociety.com/profiles/blogs/intersection-of-steamfunk-and-history-the-real-world-roots-of-a
Ray Dean – Growing up in Hawaii, Ray Dean had the opportunity to enjoy nearly every culture under the sun. The Steamfunk Anthology was an inspiration she couldn’t pass up. Ray can be reached at http://www.raydean.net/.
Malon Edwards – Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Malon Edwards now lives in the Greater Toronto Area. Much of his speculative fiction features people of color and is set in his hometown. Malon can be reached at eastofmars.blogspot.com.
Rebecca M. Kyle – With a birthday on Friday 13, it’s only natural that the author is fascinated with myths, legends, and oddities of all kinds. Ms. Kyle lives with her husband, four cats, and more rocks and books than she cares to count between the Smokies and Cumberland mountains. Visit her at http://bexboox13.blogspot.com/.
Carole McDonnell – is a writer of Christian, supernatural, and ethnic stories. Her writings appear in various anthologies, including So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonialism in Science Fiction, edited by Nalo Hopkinson; Jigsaw Nation; and Life Spices from Seasoned Sistahs: Writings by Mature Women of Color among others. Her reviews appear in print and at various online sites. Her novels are the Christian speculative fiction, Wind Follower, and The Constant Tower. Her Bible study is called: Seeds of Bible Study. Her website is http://carolemcdonnell.blogspot.com/.
Balogun Ojetade – Author of the bestselling “Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within” (non-fiction), “Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman” (Steamfunk); “Once Upon A Time in Afrika” (Sword and Soul); “Redeemer” (Urban Fantasy) and the films, “A Single Link” and “Rite of Passage”. Finally, he is Co-Author of “Ki-Khanga: The Anthology” and Co-Editor of “Steamfunk!” Visit him: http://chroniclesofharriet.com/.
Hannibal Tabu – is a writer, a storyteller, and by god, a fan. He has written the novels, “The Crown: Ascenscion,” “Faraway” and the upcoming scifi political thriller “Rogue Nation.” He is currently the co-owner and editor-in-chief of Black geek website Komplicated at the Good Men Project, and uses his Operative Network website (www.operative.net) to publish his poetry, market what he’s doing, rant at the world and emit strangled cries for help. Check out his fantastic blog, The Good Men Project, for his Steamfunk! thoughts.
Geoffrey Thorne – Geoffrey Thorne has written a lot of stuff in a lot of venues and will be writing more in more. It’s his distinct pleasure to take part in another of these groundbreaking anthologies. Thanks for letting me roll with you folks. For more (and God knows why you’d want more) check out http://www.geoffreythorne.com/.