Vector 289 African and Afrodiasporic SF

Cover art by Ronnie McGrath

Vector #289 (August 2019) is a special issue on African and Afrodiasporic SFF, guest edited by Michelle Louise Clarke. It includes articles by Michelle Louise Clarke, Anwuli Okeke, and Chinelo Onwualu on the state of contemporary SFF across Africa and the African diaspora; Jonathan Hay on clipping.’s Splendor & Misery; Kate Harlin on Afrofuturism and Afro-Pessimism in Black Panther and the short fiction of T.J. Benson; Päivi Väätänen on Nnedi Okorafor’s short fiction; Lidia Kniaź on African SFF cinema by Miguel Llansó and Wanuri Kahiu; Andy Sawyer on AfroSF Vol. 3 ed. Ivor W. Hartmann; Gemma Field on Nnedi Okorafor and ecological crisis, Nick Wood on South African comics; Masimba Musodza on the experience of writing SFF in ChiShona; plus Polina Levontin interviewing Dilman Dila, Louisa Egbunike interviewing Wole Talabi, and Joan Grandjean interviewing Mounir Ayache.

Vector 288 Future Economics

Andy Sawyer’s final Foundation Favourites column, as well as our regular columns from Stephen Baxter and Paul Kincaid, plus the BSFA’s Claire Boothby on changes to the BSFA Award.

Our special economics-themed feature: Kirsten Bussière on Cory Doctorow’s Walkaway; Benjamin Franz on the movie Moon, Madeleine Chalmers on Economic Science Fictions ed. Will Davies, ‘Rapparitions,’ part-essay, part-speculative future, by AUDINT; Erin Horáková on Diana Wynne Jones’s A Tale of Time City; Josephine Wideman on Samuel Delany’s Dhalgren; Esko Suoranta on Malka Older’s Infomocracy; and Robert Kiely and Sean O’Brien on recent near future short fiction.

Lots of extras: a quiz about marvellous money and fantastic finance, economic SF writing prompts, the speculative economist’s scrapbook, recommendations from The BSFA Review, an exploration of Universal Basic Income (expanded version here), snippets from interviews with Dave Hutchinson, Laurie Penny, and Florence Okoye. It’s another bumper issue at 76 pages.

Vector #287

Cover image: Larissa Sansour and Søren Lind from ‘In the Future, They Ate from the Finest Porcelain’

An interview with Larissa Sansour by Polina Levontin and Jo Lindsay Walton, plus a review of Larissa Sansour’s work. TV in 2017 by Molly Cobb and So Mayer.

Film in 2017 by Nick Lowe, Andrew Wallace,Dilman Dila, Cheryl Morgan, Ali Baker, Paul March-Russell, Amy C. Chambers, Lyle Skains, Gary Couzens, and Dev Agarwal. 

Ricardo Suazo reflects on SF inspired trends in fashion, and Martin McGrath takes a close look at three panels from Avengers #8.

Games and AR are covered by Erin Horáková, Susan Gray, and Jon Garrad.

With also have an extensive section on audio and podcasts in 2017 with Peter Morrison, Erin Roberts, Laura Pearlman, Victoria Hooper and Tony Jones.

And of course three Recurrent columns with Paul Kincaid, Andy Sawyer and Stephen Baxter, plus the Torque Control editorial by Jo Lindsay Walton.

This one’s a bumper issue — 80 pages! If you are a member of the BSFA, a copy of Vector 287 was mailed to you in March 2018. If you’re not a BSFA member yet, why not sign up now?

Missed this issue? Don’t worry, this one is also available on Lulu.

Vector #268

Contents page of Vector special on Diana Wynne Jones

No, I think it’s more about the way to do it. With Tolkien, as I said in the book, it was “Gosh, you can write a whole three-volume fantasy – this is marvellous, let’s do this thing.” With other influences like C.S. Lewis, the “how to do it” thing that grabbed me was that he was always so completely clear about what was happening. You are never in any doubt who is where, and doing what – and much more complicated things than that.

Diane Wynne Jones

Vector #230

Another scene that would be read as mystical or magical, is the initiation ceremony where Eyvind becomes a Wolfskin, and again I’ve tried very hard not to spell out what happens in that scene. While there is something that is supremely mystical and life-changing, I don’t spell out how much of it is physically real and how much of it is in his head. Even towards the end, where the magical harp plays its music, I’ve tried not to say how it sounds, just that it’s different for each person. It’s not overtly magical, but that magical thread is there throughout.

Juliet Marillier

Litt, on the other hand, made the familiar argument (hey, I’ve made it myself enough times) that fantasy and horror is the tradition, and realism the genre-come-lately. I suspect the fantastic as a term does not make sense until you get a highly developed notion of imitative realism to contrast it with, but I more than take his point. He also riffed nicely on the engraving with the words “the sleep of reason produces monsters,” and discussed the monsters of reason, reasonable monsters. He, like the chap from Time Out, seems to be labouring under the misapprehension that science fiction is about the future, which I don’t find convincing. And because science fiction actually has a rather poor record when it comes to prediction — stopped clock being right twice a day — it only allows you to dismiss the genre. He rightly notes the technomelancholia in Gibson, but melancholy is there in many sf writers, especially the new wave and post-new wave — in particular post-imperial melancholy. Indeed, one of the tones of cyberpunk is nostalgia.

Andrew M. Butler