#BookBingoNW2020: Afrofuturism

#BookBingoNW2020 is upon us!

One of the new categories this summer is Afrofuturism. If you saw Black Panther or watched Janelle Monaé’s emotion picture for their album “Dirty Computer,” then chances are you have already been exposed to Afrofuturism. But have you read any Afrofuturist books?

Dictionary.com defines Afrofuturism as (noun)
“a cultural movement that uses the frame of science fiction and fantasy to reimagine the history of the African diaspora and to invoke a vision of a technically advanced and generally hopeful future in which Black people thrive: this movement is expressed through art, cinema, literature, music, fashion, etc.” Here is a sample from the list to get you started!

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More Short Stories Online

Short stories are the form in which many writers hone their craft. And while each year’s Best American Short Stories and Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy anthologies compile some of the best of that year, they don’t highlight all of what gets published and is worthy of note. So much depends on who edits an edition in any given year, and no group of editors can read everything. Here are some online journals offering short stories to read online; you can be your own judge of what the best stories are!

Agni cover imageAgni, co-edited by Sven Birkerts and William Pierce, publishes literary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essays, interviews, and reviews, and has a reputation for publishing emerging as well as established writers. Check out this recent piece: “A Viral Exchange, Under Lockdown” by Charles Bardes and Tom Sleigh. Continue reading “More Short Stories Online”

Speculative Short Stories to Read or Listen to Online

Friday the 13th of March was a dynamic scene at the Central Library, with patrons queuing for help to find good books to read during the library’s closure, and the DVD aisles packed with browsers. I miss assisting patrons in person in finding a great story to read or watch – though do visit my colleagues at I at Your Next Five Books where we continue to advise readers and listeners online. Fortunately, there are many other ways to enjoy stories right now.

If you have internet access, here are some places to find speculative stories – e.g. science fiction, fantasy, horror, magical realism, slipstream, and anything in the realms of the imagination. Because it times like these, we need stories that take us away from our current realities, don’t you agree?

Tor.com is a publisher of books, yes, but they also post full-text short stories, as well as blog posts about books and popular culture weekly. Stories are updated in the carousel at the top of the site. Recent stories stories have been written by the likes of Maria Dahvana Headley, Charlie Jane Anders, Harry Turtledove, Garth Nix, and Neil Gaiman. Continue reading “Speculative Short Stories to Read or Listen to Online”

Top 10 Noteworthy 2019 Speculative Fiction Books Part 2

A continuation of our favorite speculative fiction works this year! So far…

The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz. Annalee Newitz just won a Hugo Award for the Our Opinions Are Correct podcast with their partner Charlie Jane Anders and is a writer of both science and science fiction. TFOAT is a fiercely feminist queer punk rock time travel novel that follows Tess, a time traveling geologist and her cohort of time travelers who are orchestrating a fine-tuned fight against a group of men hell-bent on stopping women’s rights from ever advancing. It’s the kind of science fiction that reminds us about how the future is happening right now and it’s up to us to collectively work towards better futures. Continue reading “Top 10 Noteworthy 2019 Speculative Fiction Books Part 2”

Top 10 Noteworthy 2019 Speculative Fiction Books Part 1

Even though it’s only October and there are still two more months left for publishing and reading in 2019 we are already assembling our “best lists”.

Here are some of our favorite speculative fiction works this year (so far):

The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders. This is a science fiction novel steeped in the politics and prose of relationships. Humanity has arrived on a cold, tidally-locked planet, January, with searing sun rays on one side and constructed societies of survival in different pockets on the dark side of the planet with different rules and regulations. Sophie and Bianca, and the itinerant Mouth narrate the novel. Sophie is spellbound by Bianca, a beautiful girl from the ruling class with bold ideas about how to change the society they are in, intoxicating with out-sized personality and revolutionary dreams. This is a story of ecological consequences, humanity’s push and pull for control and freedom, our need to have someone to believe in, how our idea of the person we love may be quite different from the person they truly are, and how it is so hard to admit when we have been betrayed by a person we thought worthy of our trust. Continue reading “Top 10 Noteworthy 2019 Speculative Fiction Books Part 1”