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Black writers

Review: Rosewater by Tade Thompson

by Paul

To describe Rosewater as another alien invasion story (as it is on the cover, for instance) is, strictly speaking, accurate; but it is wildly misleading. For a start, it is not so much an invasion as an infestation. True, there is an amorphous blob, which acquires the name Wormwood, that crashes with devastating effect into Hyde […]

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14 more Afrofuturists you should be reading

by Paul

For the last month we’ve celebrated Black History Month by looking at some of the great black science fiction writers (Afrofuturist is now the vogue term for black sf writer). So far we’ve considered Samuel R. Delany, Octavia E. Butler, Steven Barnes, Nnedi Okorafor, Nalo Hopkinson and Tobias Buckell, but that barely skims the surface […]

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Tobias Buckell

by Paul

Nalo Hopkinson isn’t the only Caribbean writer to have emerged in recent years, there’s also Tobias S. Buckell who was born on Grenada, but his Caribbean roots have affected his science fiction in very different ways.           He first came to prominence with his Xenowealth or Benevolent Satrapy sequence. The sequence begins […]

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Nalo Hopkinson

by Paul

If the stories of Nnedi Okorafor retain the cadences and myths of West Africa, the voice we hear in Nalo Hopkinson’s work is Caribbean, both in the language and in the characteristic use of voodoo and other mythic figures. Hopkinson was born in Jamaica but moved to Canada while still in her teens, and the […]

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Nnedi Okorafor

by Paul

So, last week in our survey of black science fiction writers, we looked at some of the long-established black writers. This week, it’s time to turn to some of the writers who have emerged in the last decade or so. We begin with Nnedi Okorafor, an American writer of Nigerian extraction who has, throughout her […]

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Steven Barnes

by Paul

I suppose there’s an impression that black writers should write about black issues: after all, that’s the life they inhabit. But it’s no more the case than the idea that writers of any other particular group should write exclusively about that group. Steven Barnes is a case in point, because the science fiction he’s most […]

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Octavia E. Butler

by Paul

Okay, choosing Samuel R. Delany to kick off our survey of black sf writers was maybe a little obvious. But then, so is Octavia E. Butler. Yet you can’t really talk about modern science fiction without mentioning either of them. And because they are essential, sometimes you have to be obvious. The differences between them […]

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Samuel R. Delany

by Paul

Okay, starting our survey of black sf writers with Samuel R. Delany is probably too obvious. I mean, if you’re not already reading Delany, what are you doing here anyway. Yet his importance, as both a black writer and a gay writer, is almost impossible to overestimate. For many black readers and writers of science […]

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Black History Month

by Paul

It’s Black History Month (and why pick the shortest month of the year for such a momentous subject), and that seems like a good excuse to look at the black contribution to science fiction. Black writers have made a pretty big contribution to the history of science fiction, but as in so many things (the […]

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