Iconic Black Speculative Fiction Authors you should read and be inspired. In August, 2015, an online Moodle course called "Architects of AFROFuturism" will become available.
The first 100 enrollees will have free access. To receive important announcements about the opening of the course and other activities in African American Science Fiction click here.
Black People in Science Fiction and Fantasy
You will find many faces in AFROcentric Speculative Fiction -- especially people of color. Tales of the Black fantastic have been published since the 1800s. Men and women of African descent were escaping hideous social oppression through literature -- it became possible in stories to build black empires, discover secret societies, travel to the true heart of Africa, construct rayguns and pilot military airships to dominate the skies and liberate continents and the mind.
In the realm of fantasy, stories used magic and faith to rise ultimate heights. Writers combined myth and history to inspire, encourage and enlightened. Romance and mystery as well as horror brought forth courage and resilence. These inspirational stories are being read and created today.
Science fiction, fantasy, horror and all the many subgenres fall under the generalized category of Speculative Fiction.
“Speculative fiction is a broad literary genre encompassing any fiction with supernatural, fantastical, or futuristic elements. The popularity of the term is sometimes attributed to Robert Heinlein, who referenced it in 1947 in an editorial essay, although there are instances of speculative fiction, or its variant ‘speculative literature’.”— Wikipedia
AFROFuturistism is not a new phenomena. Its roots go back to the time of Nubian civilization that gave rise to the Pharaohs in Africa. The belief in the fantastic survived the transatlantic voyages.
Sword and Soul are stories in ancient lands where people of color were the heroes and the villains. Occasionally, you would see the Northern white hordes attacking. And, yes, monsters and demons of indeterminate race were always lurking in the shadows. Thomas Mofolo wrote Chaka in the 1930s making it one of the earliest Sword and Soul fantasies.
SteamFunk takes place as steam-powered engines connected people across vast distances. SteamFunk is one of the many derivatives of the speculative gems rising out of Cyberpunk which lead to Steampunk, Dieselpunk, and other “punks”. Essentially, each subgenre focuses on a particular technology (such as using steam to power flying warships) or an alternative world (i.e., freed Africans ruling regions of America after the Civil War).
Meet some of the faces of AFROCentric Speculative Fiction. These are "random hits".
The African Roots of Science Fiction
By Scott Key
The roots of modern science fiction can be traced back to ancient Africa. Africa has a long tradition of literary speculation — oral and written. AFROFuturism has been around for a long time.
Enslaved Africans did more than sing gospel hyms while being oppressed by sadistic plantation owners. Blacks created inspirational tales of freedom and heroics that painted pictures of a fantastic future if they were courageous enough to take the challenge. These writers are the Architects of AFROFuturism.
Sci-Fi story collections span Africa, America, the Carribean and Europe. See visions of the past, present and future. Sword and Steam, SteamFunk, Black Weird West, AFRO Horror are just a few of the new genres gaining popularity. See a selection of Anthologies short story collections.