When watching a work of science fiction on the big or small screen, people of color often find themselves asking:
"Where did we go?"
"Did some melanin-devouring plague attack all humanity?"
"Do zombies only like the dark meat?"
But that's Hollywood. While studio executives continue to show the world's multi-hued population through its monochromatic lens, the literary field of speculative fiction has become more diverse than ever. Whether it's horror, science fiction, or fantasy, steampunk or steamfunk (and let's not forget sword and soul), writers of color are producing quality works and accumulating accolades and awards every day.
Author Bill Campbell (Koontown Killing Kaper, Sunshine Patriots), poet/journalist Edward Austin Hall (the forthcoming Chimera Island), and artist Professor John Jennings (Black Comix, Black Kirby Project) have assembled 40 extraordinarily talented writers who represent just a part of the changing face of speculative fiction.
Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism is the dynamic, genre-expanding end result.
Please help support these amazingly talented Mothership writers by donating today.
Linda D. Addison
Linda D. Addison is the award-winning author of How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend (Necon E-Books), which received the HWA Bram Stoker Award. She is the first African-American to receive this award. She has published over 290 poems, stories and articles. Catch her work in Dark Duet, a collaborative book of poetry written with Stephen M. Wilson and HWA Bram Stoker Award finalist, and Four Elementscollection with Rain Graves, Charlee Jacob and Marge Simon (Bad Moon Books). www.lindaaddisonpoet.com
Rabih Alameddine is a painter and author. He was born in Amman, Jordan, grew up in Kuwait and Lebanon. He was educated in England and America and has an engineering degree from UCLA. After university he moved back to Kuwait, then returned to Lebanon, and finally moved to San Francisco. He now divides his time between San Francisco and Beirut.
Alameddine has had solo gallery shows in cities throughout the United States, Europe and the Middle East. He began to write in `96 and his first novel, Koolaids: Or The Art of War (`98), was nominated by the Lambda Literary Foundation for the best Gay Men's Fiction Award 1999. His story collection, The Perv, was published by Picador USA (`99) and his story “Bread” was a Best American ‘Distinguished Stories’ selection. His articles have appeared in periodicals as diverse as Zoetrope, The Evening Standard, The Los Angeles Times and Al-Hayat. He has lectured at numerous universities including M.I.T in America, and American University of Beirut in Lebanon.
Alameddine’s novel I, the Divine: A Novel in First Chapters, was published by Norton in October 2001 and was a Book Sense Nov/Dec 2001 Fiction selection. Alameddine received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002.
His latest novel, The Hakawati, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in May 2008 and was an international bestseller. It is in a 4th hardback printing and will be published in fifteen countries. He is working on a novel tentatively titled An Unnecessary Woman.
An award-winning journalist, Lisa Allen-Agostini is an editor and reporter best known for her weekly column published in the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian. Lisa is the author of the teen action-adventure novel, The Chalice Project (Macmillan Caribbean, 2008), and co-edited the crime anthology, Trinidad Noir (Akashic Books, 2008). She was shortlisted for the Hollick Arvon Prize for emerging Caribbean writers at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad in 2013. She founded and chairs the not-for-profit company The Allen Prize for Young Writers, an organisation dedicated to developing the talents of writers aged 12-19.
Lauren Beukes writes novels, comics, screenplays and occasionally still gets her hands dirty with journalism. She won the 2011 Arthur C Clarke Award and the 2010 Red Tentacle for Zoo City, a black magic noir about crime, pop music, magical familiars, refugees and redemption, set in Johannesburg. Her new novel, The Shining Girls, about a time-travelling serial killer and a survivor who turns the hunt around, has been optioned for TV by MRC and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way. She’s also written a near-future political thriller, Moxyland, a Fables-spin-off J-horror Rapunzel comic for Vertigo, Fairest: The Hidden Kingdom, a non-fiction about maverick South African women through history and kids TV shows for Disney UK. She lives in Cape Town, South Africa.
Joseph Bruchac's work often reflects his Abenaki Indian heritage and his lifelong interest in Native cultures. A speculative fiction addict since his early teens (when a cousin gave him an entire attic full of paperback SF novels), he's been published recently in such anthologies as Exotic Gothic and The Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror. His post-apolocalyptic novel, Killer of Enemies, is coming out in 2014 from Tu Books.
Born in the Caribbean, Tobias S. Buckell is a New York Times Bestselling author. His novels and over 50 short stories have been translated into 17 languages, and he has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, Prometheus and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Author. He currently lives in Ohio.
Indrapramit Das is a writer and artist from Kolkata, India. His fiction has appeared in publications, including Clarkesworld Magazine, Asimov's Science Fiction, and Redstone Science Fiction, as well as the anthologies Breaking the Bow: Speculative Fiction Inspired by the Ramayana (Zubaan Books) and Bloodchildren: Stories by the Octavia E. Butler Scholars. He has work forthcoming in several athologies such as Gardner Dozois' The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection (St. Martin's Press). He has written reviews of film, books, comics and TV for Strange Horizons and Slant Magazine.
He is a grateful graduate of the 2012 Clarion West Writers Workshop and a recipient of the Octavia E. Butler Scholarship Award to attend the former. He completed his MFA at the University of British Columbia and is currently in Vancouver working as a freelance writer, artist, editor, critic, game tester, tutor, would-be novelist, and aspirant to adulthood. You can follow him on Twitter (@IndrapramitDas).
Junot Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Drown; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and PEN/O. Henry Award. A graduate of Rutgers College, Díaz is currently the fiction editor at Boston Review and the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Minister Faust is the Kindred Award-winning author of Shrinking the Heroes (formerly titled From the Notebooks of Doctor Brain), the cult-hit The Coyote Kings, Book One: Space-Age Bachelor Pad, and the acclaimed novel, The Alchemists of Kush. For 23 years he was Canada's leading Africentric community broadcaster as host of Africentric Radio (formerly The Terrordome). He taught high school and junior high for 10 years and continues to teach creative writing to youth and adults, including through venues such as Shared Worlds in Spartanburg, SC, and Clarion West in Seattle. He's lectured on his work at the Science Fiction Research Association conference in Detroit and at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. He describes his sub-genre of Afrofuturism as “Imhotep-Hop,” an Africentric literature referencing ancient African civilizations while aiming at a Pan-African technological future. The story, “The Belly of the Crocodile,” ties into The Alchemists of Kush. His website is www.ministerfaust.com.
Jaymee Goh is a steampunk postcolonialist, hailing from Nusantaran country in Malaysia. She currently resides in North America, mostly for academia, in a state of instability, wondering what will happen when she actually grows up. She has written on harnessing the steampunk aesthetic for postcolonial purposes on her blog, Silver Goggles, and her work has appeared in Steampunk Reloaded, Tor.com, Racialicious, and theApex Books Company Blog. She writes speculative fiction and essays on anti-racism, multiculturalism, and steampunk.
Kawika is currently finishing his doctorate at the University of Washington, where he also teaches literature. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming in The Medulla Review, Smokelong Quarterly, Annalemma, The Monarch Review and Mobius: Journal of Social Change. He is the Assistant Prose Editor at decomP, and a Programming Director for The Seattle Asian American Film Festival.
Carlos Hernandez roots his writing in his Latino heritage, except when he doesn't. He's the author of more than a score of short stories, recently in places like Interzone and the latest incarnation of the Exotic Gothicanthologies. He's currently hard at work on his first solo novel.
Ernest Hogan is a born-in-East-L.A. Chicano who accidentally shares a name with the Father of Ragtime. He has been selling science fiction since 1982. His work has appeared in Amazing Stories, Analog, Science Fiction Age, and many other magazines and anthologies. His novels, Cortez on Jupiter, High Aztech, and Smoking Mirror Blues are at last available as ebooks. He writes the Chicanonautica column for labloga.blogspot.com and blogs at mondoernesto.com.
Thaddeus Howze is a technology consultant, speculative fiction author, and science enthusiast. His collection of short stories, Hayward's Reach, was published in 2011. His writing, both fiction and nonfiction, revolve around environmental themes, and he questions the nature and value of humanity in a world enamored of its technological cleverness. You can read more of his speculative fiction at Hub City Blues.
Darius James is the author of Negrophobia and That's Blaxploitation: Roots of the Baadassssss 'Tude (Rated X By An All Whyte Jury). To escape debt slavery in the United States, and following the lead of notable black ex-patriots such as political cartoonist, Ollie Harrington (a black commie, if there ever was on), he lived in Berlin, Germany, for many years. Freed from the shackles of Manhattan media's ghettoizing, he appeared on German television, hosted radio, showed in sang on records, produced live theater performances, and collaborated on film. Unfortunately, his father's death brought him back to the United States, where he was promptly shackled once again with debt. His tombstone will read: “Whitey's a bitch! Then you die!”
N. K. Jemisin is a Brooklyn author whose short fiction and novels have been multiply nominated for the Hugo, the World Fantasy Award, and the Nebula, shortlisted for the Crawford and the Tiptree, and have won the Locus Award. Her latest novel, The Shadowed Sun, was published in June 2012 from Orbit Books. Her website is nkjemisin.com.
Tenea D. Johnson
After time well spent in alphabet cities—NYC, ATL, and DC—Tenea D. Johnson lives on the Gulf of Mexico, where she writes speculative fiction and creates compositions of prose to music. She is the author of the novel-in-stories, R/evolution, in which "The Taken" appears, and Smoketown, as well as the poetry collection, Starting Friction. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in various magazines and anthologies. She's currently at work on a fiction album and the second book of the R/evolution duology. She has also had the great pleasure of performing her compositions at the Knitting Factory and the Public Theater, among others. Her virtual home is teneadjohnson.com. Stop by anytime.
Victor LaValle is author of four books, including Big Machine and The Devil in Silver. He has been the recipient of the Shirley Jackson Award, the American Book Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among other prizes. He teaches at Columbia University and lives in New York with his wife and two kids.
Rochita Loenen-Ruiz attended the Clarion West Writer’s Workshop in 2009 as the recipient of the Octavia Butler Scholarship. A Filipina writer, Rochita currently lives and writes in the Netherlands. Her work has appeared in a variety of online and print publications. When she is not engaged in frantic bouts of writing, she keeps house, tends to her children, gives piano lessons, and volunteers for a Filipino women’s organization. She has a website at http://rcloenenruiz.com and can be found on Twitter and on Facebook.
Carmen Maria Machado
Carmen Maria Machado is a fiction writer and essayist whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in AGNI, The American Reader, Tin House's Open Bar, Five Chapters, Best Women's Erotica 2012, VICE,The Paris Review Daily, The Hairpin, The Rumpus, Los Angeles Review of Books, and many other publications. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was the winner of the 2011 Richard Yates Short Story Prize. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop.
Anil Menon's short fiction can be found in a variety of anthologies and spec-fic magazines such as Albedo One, Apex's Digest, Chiaroscuro, Interzone, LCRW and Strange Horizons. His novel, The Beast With Nine Billion Feet (Zubaan, 2009), was short-listed for the 2010 Vodafone-Crossword award and Carl Baxter Society's Parallax Prize. Along with Vandana Singh, he edited Breaking the Bow (Zubaan, 2012), an anthology of spec-fic stories inspired by the Ramayana. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination. Silvia Moreno-Garcia lives in beautiful British Columbia with her family and two cats. She writes speculative fiction (from magic realism to horror). Her short stories have appeared in places such The Book of Cthulhu, Imaginarium 2013: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing and Shine: An Anthology of Optimistic Science Fiction. She has edited several anthologies, including Dead North andFuture Lovecraft. Her first collection, This Strange Way of Dying, was published by Exile Editions in 2013. She is currently working on Young Blood, a Mexican vampire novel.
Iranian-born writer Farnoosh Moshiri was a published playwright, translator, and fiction writer when she fled her country in 1983. This was after a massive arrest of secular intellectuals, feminists, and political activists who were all executed by the Islamic regime in 1988. Moshiri lived in refugee camps in Afghanistan and India for four years before emigrating to the U.S. in 1987. Her novels and collections include At the Wall of Almighty (Interlink 1999), The Bathhouse (Black Heron Press 2001, Beacon Press, 2002); The Crazy Dervish and the Pomegranate Tree (Black Heron Press 2004), and Against Gravity (Penguin, 2006). Among other awards and fellowships, she is the recipient of two Barbara Deming Awards (a grant to feminist writers whose work speaks of peace and social justice); two consecutive Black Heron Awards for Social Fiction, and a Valiente (courage) Award from Voices Breaking Boundaries for artists who have taken risks to speak out and act as advocates. She has taught literature, theater, and creative writing at the Universities of Tehran, Kabul, and Syracuse. Currently she teaches creative writing at the University of Houston-Downtown.
Daniel José Older
Daniel José Older is a Brooklyn-based writer, composer, and paramedic. Salsa Nocturna, Daniel’s debut ghost noir collection, was hailed as “striking and original” by Publishers Weekly. He has facilitated workshops on storytelling, music, and anti-oppression organizing at public schools, religious houses, universities, and prisons. His short stories have appeared in TOR, PANK, Strange Horizons, and Crossed Genres, among other publications. He co-edited the anthology, Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History. You can find his thoughts on writing, read his ridiculous ambulance adventures, and hear his music at ghoststar.net/and @djolder
Chinelo Onwualu is CEO of Sylvia Fairchild and Associates, an editorial and administrative consultancy providing writing and editing services to individuals and organisations. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Calvin College in Michigan and a Master’s Degree in journalism from Syracuse University. Her writing has appeared in such publications as Saraba Magazine, Sentinel Nigeria Magazine and AfroSF Anthology of African Science Fiction. Follow her on her blog at: www.chineloonwualu.blogspot.com.
Andaiye Reeves is a librarian, author, and poet currently residing in Georgia. She's written for Music Is Life Entertainment e-zine and Adonis Men's Magazine. Her poetry can be found online at gspoetry.com under the alias Nilla Bean. This is her first published fantasy work.
Eden Robinson is a Haisla/Heiltsuk author who grew up in Haisla, British Columbia. Her first book, Traplines, a collection of short stories, won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 1998. Monkey Beach, her first novel, was shortlisted for both The Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction in 2000 and won the BC Book Prize’s Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Her most recent novel is Blood Sports.
Kiini Ibura Salaam
Kiini Ibura Salaam is a writer, painter, and traveler from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her work is rooted in eroticism, speculative events, women’s perspectives, and artistic freedom. She has been widely published and anthologized in such publications as the Dark Matter, Mojo: Conjure Stories, and Colonize This! anthologies, as well as Essence, Utne Reader, and Ms. magazines. Her short story collection Ancient, Ancient—winner of the 2012 James Tiptree, Jr. award—contains sensual tales of the fantastic, the dark, and the magical. Her micro-essays on writing can be found at www.kiiniibura.com.
Sofia Samatar is the author of the novel, A Stranger in Olondria (Small Beer Press, 2013). She holds a PhD in African Languages and Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she specialized in twentieth-century Egyptian and Sudanese fiction. Her short stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld, and Apex, among others. She is Nonfiction and Poetry Editor for Interfictions: A Journal of Interstitial Arts, and blogs at sofiasamatar.blogspot.com.
Charles R. Saunders
Charles R. Saunders was born in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, and now lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. He has published four novels about Imaro, the sword-and-soul warrior-hero of an alternate Africa called “Nyumbani,” with a fifth on the way. He has also published two novels about a black woman-warrior named Dossouye, as well as Damballa, a new pulp novel set in 1930s Harlem. His short stories have appeared in anthologies such as Griots, Black Pulp, and The Sword And Sorcery Anthology. His website is www.charlessaunderswriter.com.
Nisi Shawl’s collection, Filter House, was one of two winners of the 2009 James Tiptree, Jr. Award. Her work has been published at Strange Horizons, in Asimov’s SF Magazine, and in anthologies including Dark Matter, The Moment of Change, Dark Faith 2, and The Other Half of the Sky. Nisi was WisCon 35’s Guest of Honor. She edited The WisCon Chronicles 5: Writing and Racial Identity and Bloodchildren: Stories by the Octavia E. Butler Scholars, and she co-edited Strange Matings: Octavia E. Butler, Science Fiction, Feminism, and African American Voices with Dr. Rebecca Holden. With classmate Cynthia Ward, Nisi co-authored Writing the Other: A Practical Approach. She is a co-founder of the Carl Brandon Society and serves on the Board of Directors of the Clarion West Writers Workshop. Her website is www.nisishawl.com.
Vandana Singh is an alien from the third world, currently living near Boston, where she teaches physics at a small state university and writes non-Euclidean tales of science fiction and fantasy. Her work has been published in numerous venues, including Strange Horizons and Lightspeed, and in seminal anthologies such as So Long Been Dreaming (eds. Hopkinson and Mehan), and The Other Half of the Sky (ed. Andreadis). Many of her stories have been reprinted in Year’s Best anthologies, and her novella, Distances (Aqueduct Press), won the 2008 Carl Brandon Parallax Award. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed ALA Notable children’s book, Younguncle Comes to Town (Viking). Apart from writing and teaching, her passions include environmental issues, music, and mangoes.
Born in Bangkok, Somtow Sucharitkul grew up in Europe and was educated at Eton and Cambridge. His first career was in music, and in the 1970s he acquired a reputation as a revolutionary composer, the first to combine Thai and Western instruments in radical new sonorities. Conditions in the arts in the region at the time proved so traumatic for the young composer that he suffered a major burnout, emigrated to the United States, and reinvented himself as a novelist.
His earliest novels were science fiction, but he soon began to cross into other genres. In his 1984 novel, Vampire Junction, he injected a new literary inventiveness into the horror genre, in the words of Robert Bloch (Psycho), “skillfully combining the styles of Stephen King, William Burroughs, and the author of the Revelation to John.” Vampire Junction was voted one of the 40 all-time greatest horror books by the Horror Writers’ Association, joining established classics like Frankenstein and Dracula.
In the 1990s Somtow won the World Fantasy Award for his novella,The Bird Catcher. His 53 books have sold roughly two million copies worldwide.
C. Renee Stephens
C. Renee Stephens is an African historian and assistant professor of history at Bard High School Early College–Newark. She holds a first degree black belt in Uechi-Ryu Karate-do, a martial art originating from Okinawa. C. Renee’s science fiction is inspired by spiritual writings from across Africa and Asia, the historical encounters between Europeans and Africans, as well as technological advance and its impact on human society. “Culling the Herd” is her first published science fiction short story, appearing first in the 2013 edition of Metropolarity. She is currently working on a science fiction trilogy entitled The Amentetan Renaissance. She and her partner have two amazing daughters and live in Philadelphia.
Greg Tate is a writer and musician who lives in Harlem. He was a staff writer at The Village Voice (1987—2004). His books include Flyboy in the Buttermilk, Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking From Black Culture, and Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience. In 1985 he helped co-found the Black Rock Coalition with Vernon Reid and several other firebrands of the era. Since 1999, he has led the Conducted Improv ensemble Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber, who've released 16 albums on their own Avant Groidd imprint. Tate has taught at Yale's Graduate Art Program and Columbia University's Jazz Studies module. He is currently a Visiting Professor at Brown University, where he teaches The History of AfroFuturism and Black Science Fiction.
Tade Thompson’s roots are in Western Nigeria and South London. His short stories have been published in small press, webzines and anthologies. Most recently, his story “Notes from Gethsemane” appeared in the Afro SF Anthology, and “Shadow” appeared in The Apex Book of World SF 2. He lives and works in South England and is old enough to remember watching Captain Scarlet on TV. He works under a unified influence field comprised of books, music, theater, comics, art, movies, gourmet coffee, and amala. He has been known to haunt coffee shops, jazz bars, bookshops, and libraries. He is an occasional visual artist and tortures his family with his attempts to play the guitar.
Katherena Vermette is a Metis writer of poetry, fiction, and children’s fiction. Her first full length collection of poetry, North End Love Songs, was released in 2012 (J Gord Shillingford), and her first children’s story book series, The Seven Teaching Stories, is forthcoming with Portage and Main Press (estimated release 2014). Her work has appeared in several literary magazines and compilations, including Manitoapow – Aboriginal Writing from the Land of Water (Highwater 2011) and The Exile Book of Native Fiction and Drama (Exile 2010).
George S. Walker
George Walker is an engineer working in Portland, Oregon. He has sold stories to periodicals such as Ideomancer, Bards and Sages Quarterly, Stupefying Stories, Perihelion SF, Steampunk Tales, eSteampunk, Comets and Criminals, Helix SF, Reflection's Edge, 365 Tomorrows, Defenestration Magazine, Spectra Magazine, Ray Gun Revival, Science Fiction Age, Tomorrow SF, and elsewhere. Paperback anthologies containing his stories include Bibliotheca Fantastica, Mirror Shards, Gears and Levers I and III, and Heir Apparent. His website is https://sites.google.com/site/georgeswalker/.
Ran Walker is the author of four novels (The Keys of My Soul, B-Sides and Remixes, 30 Love, and Mojo's Guitar), two novellas (Afro Nerd in Love and Beat Bop), and two short story collections (Secrets & Cures and 16 Bars). His short stories and poetry have appeared in a variety of anthologies.
He is the recipient of both a 2005 Mississippi Arts Commission/NEA artist grant and a 2006 artist mini-grant, and he has also served as an Artist-in-Residence with the Commission. Ran is a past participant in the Hurston-Wright Writers Week Workshop and is the recipient of a fellowship from the Callaloo Writers Workshop.
He lives in Virginia with his wife and much better half, Lauren, and his awesome daughter, Zoë. He can be reached via his website, www.ranwalker.com.
Ibi Zoboi is a native of Haiti and a graduate of the Clarion West Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop. Her story, "At the Shores of Dawn," won the Women Writers of Haitian Descent Fiction Award. Zoboi's work has appeared in the journal One Respe! and the anthology Dark Matter: Reading the Bones. She and her family live in Brooklyn. Her website is ibizoboi.blogspot.com.
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