This article reframes a prefatory essay that was first published in Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research
Notable Black Speculative Fiction
More than two decades after the publication of Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora (2000), an anthology of short stories, black speculative fiction continues a powerful conversation in genre fiction on culture and identity, and increasingly tackles themes pertaining to colonialism, as well as feminist and queer themes that engage with difference.
Anthologies and collections have become instrumental in the proliferating Afrofuturistic writing that heroes black people in stories from Africa and the diaspora, stories whose visibility is increasingly evident in award nominations and reading list recommendations. For example, Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora– with its stories of gods, demons, magicians, dead children, refugees, taboos, apocalyptic worlds, and more – saw nominations, finalists and winners in the Hugo, British Science Fiction Association, British Fantasy, and Nommo Awards….
This warm reception of black writing in the speculative-fiction industry and readership could be attributed to the calibre of stories and authors, as well as the continued response to global events, including Black Lives Matter, that demand radical new stories. In 2018, the New York Times determined N. K. Jemisin as the most celebrated science fiction and fantasy writer of her generation, with the staggering success of her Dreamblood duology, and the Broken Earth and Inheritance trilogies, all books that have received recognition in Hugo, Locus, Nebula, World Fantasy, Tiptree, and British Science Fiction Association (2020 BSFA) awards.
Second, Fission, the new annual fiction anthology from the BSFA, will shortly open to submissions. Editors Eugen Bacon and Gene Rowe say:
We’re excited to read your original science fiction stories (genre benders welcome)! The submissions window opens at midnight on 1 February, and closes at 11:59 pm on 15 March. Please submit to firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Fission #2 submission” in the subject header. We invite original stories of up to 5,000 words, and offer a contributor payment rate of 2 pence per word. You don’t need to be a BSFA member to submit. We will also be inviting submissions for cover art.
Members of the BSFA and those registered for ConFusion 2021 — this year’s Eastercon — should receive a digital copy of the BSFA Awards 2020 Booklet together with a link to the ballot form when voting opens. All BSFA members were emailed on Monday, March 1st, 2021. If you are a member of the BSFA but have not received a ballot email, please contact Luke Nicklin, our membership officer: email@example.com. Voting will close at noon on the day the awards ceremony is held (likely to be Saturday 3 April; watch this space for confirmation).
A physical copy of the awards booklet will be mailed later this month to members of the BSFA, together with Vector #293.
The BSFA Awards will be presented at ConFusion, which will be held online 2-5th April 2021. A list of nominees is found here.
The British Science Fiction Association is delighted to announce the shortlist of nominees for the 2020 BSFA Awards. The BSFA Awards have been presented annually since 1970. The current categories have been in place since 2001. The awards are voted on by members of the British Science Fiction Association and by the members of the year’s Eastercon, the national science fiction convention, held since 1955. This year Eastercon, ConFusion, will be held online 2nd-5th April 2021, where the winners will be announced.
The BSFA Awards ceremony will be free to attend for all BSFA members, all members of Eastercon, and all shortlisted nominees: details will be released closer to the date. Members of the BSFA will additionally receive a PDF with excerpts of many of the nominated works in advance of the convention, and a physical copy of the Awards Booklet at a later date. If you are not currently a member of the BSFA and are interested in joining, please visit the main BSFA site.
Fangorn, Covers of Robot Dreams series, NewCon Press.
Iain Clark, Shipbuilding Over the Clyde, Art for Glasgow in 2024 WorldCon bid.
Nani Walker, Four Black Lives Matter Murals in AR. Using drone photogrammetry, Nani Sahra Walker produced 3-D models of four Black Lives Matter murals as memorials to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others killed by police. Published by the Los Angeles Times in collaboration with RYOT and reported by Dorany Pineda.
Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, ‘Ife-Iyoku, the Tale of Imadeyunuagbon,’ Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction From Africa and the African Diaspora, Aurelia Leo. Edited by Zelda Knight and Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki.
Ida Keogh, ‘Infinite Tea in the Demara Cafe,’ Londoncentric, Newcon Press. Edited by Ian Whates.
Over the past month or so, the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) has been hosting a series of livestream readings from SFF authors in the UK and beyond. We’re calling them the Lockdown Solidarity Salons or, if you prefer, Very Extremely Casual Tales of Optimism and Resilience (VECTOR). Authors, you are all such charmers!
You can find out more about the series on the Facebook page or YouTube channel. We hope you’ll join us this Thursday (8.15pm UK time) for Chinelo Onwualu, Fiona Moore, and on later dates for Naomi Foyle, Lauren Beukes, Temi Oh, Ian R. MacLeod, and more. Here’s Adam Roberts:
See below for Foz Meadows, Stew Hotston, Valerie Valdes, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Malka Older, Tiffani Angus, Stephen Oram, Geoff Ryman, Wole Talabi, and Andrew Wallace. This Sunday, the BSFA will be holding our annual BSFA Awards ceremony (usually held at Eastercon, the UK’s annual national SF convention) on YouTube at 7pm BST.
The BSFA would like to invite everyone to attend our award ceremony for works published in 2019. Join us on Youtube at https://tinyurl.com/BSFAawards on Sunday 17th May. We will be announcing the winners of Best Novel, Best Shorter Fiction, Best Non-Fiction, and Best Artwork from 7pm BST. Come along to hear about – and from – the winners.
When the history of science fiction fandom in the 2010s is written, the key event to be discussed will doubtless be the Puppy War. That a group of right-wing fans should attempt to take over the Hugo Awards is perhaps not surprising. The 2010s are, after all, the decade in which it was conclusively proved that democratic systems are vulnerable to attack by malicious actors. That the attack failed is perhaps a testament to the strength of community sentiment within the SF&F community. But what is really surprising is what happened afterwards.
For the last three years of the decade, every single written fiction-related award in the Hugos was won by a woman.