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Milton

Black readers and Science Fiction/Fantasy: Do you read it?

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I'm a writer of speculative fiction, which is an umbrella term used to describe science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and urban fantasy. Do you read speculative fiction? If so, why? If not, why not?

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If books like "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown and the "Savion Sequence" by D. Amari Jackson qualify for this genre, then I do occasionally read books in this category. I'm more into the science than the fiction of these types of books. I'm very intrigued with the aspects of the paranomal and quantum and meta physics. I'm not big on fantasy, but I am riveted by theories in regard to the true nature of reality. I also like horror stories that are really scary.

Although I am presently posting a serialized version of a novella I wrote on the Cynique's Corner forum, I am actually more into biographies and historical documentaries nowadays. As I've grown older my attention span has grown shorter and non-fiction seems to command my interest more. :wacko:

I do plan to read Toni Morrison's new book because her writing transcends all genres.

What are the titles of some of your works?

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Oh yes, yes indeed. I read it because I like it. That's my best answer... To elaborate a little, perhaps it is because since childhood, I have always had the kind of mind that appreciated the presentation of other spheres of possibilities/realities. Maybe I was a weird child to some. When I wasn't trying to be with the elders, I was reading or writing, preferably in Mama Nature. Was not a big tv watcher, but when the tv was on, I was enjoying stuff like Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Dr. Who and other stuff like that....or political stuff. Boring stuff to most little kids, boring to most adults too, I notice. lol

Having the mind to live in the box is beyond mundane, it is mentally and spiritually suffocating.

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I write what is called Sword and Soul, which is heroic fiction based on African history, mythology and culture. You can check me out here.http://www.mvmediaatl.com/. I've discovered that black people are more interested in science fiction and fantasy when they see themselves portrayed. I'm also very interested in science fiction as I am a scientist, a chemist to be exact. I like science fiction that show how the science affects peoples everyday life. And Cynique, I'm a friend of D. Amari Jackson. He encouraged me to come her

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Oh, I forgot to answer your question. My latest book is Changa's Safari Volume 2. It's the continuation of my Changa's Safari series, which is an action adventure about Changa Diop, a 15th century merchant from Mombasa. I also have Meji Book One and Book Two and Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology which I co-edited with Charles R. Saunders, one of the contributors to Dark Matter.

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I agree that the way to attract black readers to this genre is to write about characters they can identify with and it is, of course, important to show these characters in roles that portray them as ingenious and bold and adventurous. This heroic approach can serve to balance out black street lit, which is now so popular and which is more gritty in its POV. It's good to have choices in black reading matter. Which raises the question as to which section in a big chain book store would you prefer to have your work? The Sci-Fi Fantasy one, or the African American one?

And would you believe that way back when I first decided to try self-publishing, the first book I wrote was one that was about the paranormal! Jeeze! I forgot all about "The Crystal and the Mist" which I wrote over 15 years ago!! :blink:

Its sub-title was: "an urban tale of the unknown" and its characters were black. :ph34r:

Has Amari written anything new? I reviewed "The Savion Sequence" on this site when it first came out.

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Cynique, you may be interested to to know that I've begun to work very closely with Amari under the Aegis of ABLE (the Alliance for Black Literature and Entertainment). In fact I'm glad to read Milton's introducing his work here is a direct result of Amari's influence.

ABLE is in it's infancy, but the prospects and promise for it are very encouraging.

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I write what is called Sword and Soul, which is heroic fiction based on African history, mythology and culture. You can check me out here.http://www.mvmediaatl.com/. I've discovered that black people are more interested in science fiction and fantasy when they see themselves portrayed. I'm also very interested in science fiction as I am a scientist, a chemist to be exact. I like science fiction that show how the science affects peoples everyday life. And Cynique, I'm a friend of D. Amari Jackson. He encouraged me to come her

Oh my, right where my interests lie. That's wonderful, Bro. I will definitely check you out. That's really wonderful.

Also, I know that we're speaking on literature, but I just thought some of you might appreciate checking this out:

"Pumzi" (Straight from Mama Africa, Kenya to be exact.)

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I am a very avid fan of the HBO cable-tv series "Game of Thrones", and it occurrs to me that this epic could be considered speculative fiction. A couple of interesting black characters are included in its large cast of characters.

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I addition to books, a group of speculative fiction writers create a presentation entitled, 'The State of Black Science Fiction.' In this presentation we discuss the different speculative genres we each represent as well as what we think people of color bring to the genre. We did our first presentation at Georgian Tech this past February and recently did the presentation at the Auburn Avenue Research Library in Atlanta last month. We are in the process of scheduling additional presentations in the Metro area and we hope that our fellow writers in other cities will use our program as a template for creating programs in their cities.

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I am a very avid fan of the HBO cable-tv series "Game of Thrones", and it occurrs to me that this epic could be considered speculative fiction. A couple of interesting black characters are included in its large cast of characters.

I read the books this series is based on on a while back. My son went back and re-read the books before watching the series. Martin did incorporate black characters into his book and that is reflected in the HBO series. He's known for taking sword and sorcery to a grittier, more 'realistic' level. Other authors like Joe Abercrombie have followed suit. He, too includes black characters. I have two observations on this: one, it's interesting that white authors choose to include people of color in this particular genre only when they decide to make it less heroic and positive and more 'realistic and ambiguous' Two, the black characters are still portrayed as secondary characters and in some cases, like Abercrombie, the black character has some negative connotation. In Abercrombie's book the lone black female character can safely handle a certain item because she is half 'demon.'

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Yes, Milton, I would agree that the 2 black male characters in "Game of Thrones" are like time travelers who were transported from the present, and the author paints them with a stereotypical brush. The first one is a shady dealer who, in striking a bargain with one of the wanna-be king-pins, includes in his demands a chance to "get with" a (white) queen. In another story line, the second black character has weathered poverty and discrimination to ascend to a position of power and he, too, wants to "get with" a {white} queen... tsk-tsk ;)

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Better yet use the calendar: http://aalbc.com/tc/index.php?/calendar/ it will pop up reminders for others. Peace

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Most Powerful, Raw, Compelling and Uncut Novel on Heroin Addiction in the 21st Century……..Guarantee!!!!!!!!!!!

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Most Powerful, Raw, Compelling and Uncut Novel on Heroin Addiction in the 21st Century……..Guarantee!!!!!!!!!!!

FOR 75 DAYS ONLY!!!! Pre-Order your autograph copy today for $9.99 (Paperback)

Available on KINDLE E-BOOK….September 1st 2012

Every addict, recovering addict, parent, grandparent, spouse, college/HS student and professional in the field of substance abuse should not be without this soon to be a best-seller novel.

For complete information and details visit us at www.vernejohnson.com

What does heroin addiction have to do with black readers and science fiction? Why didn't you plug your book in the new release forum on this site? Or is it that if you're high when you're reading science fiction, you'll appreciate it more... :blink:

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Cynique maybe Verne just did not know how to start a new thread (conversation of his own). When I first saw his post my first instinct was to delete and ban the account -- and I almost did that until I skimmed the message as saw that it was not spam (technically)

Verne you should click the "start the new topic" at on the right hand side of the page near the top of the page. We you want to introduce new material.

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I think science fiction and fantasy are essential for our people. Expanding our imagination means expanding our possibilities. Thinking outside the box is what produces the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs of the world.

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I think science fiction and fantasy are essential for our people. Expanding our imagination means expanding our possibilities. Thinking outside the box is what produces the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs of the world.

Black people do think outside the box and expand their imagination; only they restrict this mindset to religion. They'll believe anything outlandish as long as it's preached in the pulpit by a bible-quoting wizard.

When it comes to younger Blacks, if those 2 spaced-out aliens, Kanye and Lil Wayne, ain't outside the box, I don't know who is. :wacko:

Seriously, black folks do need to ditch their herd mentality and become more innovative. Instead of being visionaries, they are consumers who are creatures of habit. It's the job of parents to encourage curiosity in their children, but too many of them are fostering the materialism that is almost as detrimental to Blacks, as racism.

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There are many black science fiction and fantasy fans, they are just scattered and many keep to themselves because of how they were treated when they were younger when they showed interest in science fiction or fantasy. There is a new generation that doesn't have those hang ups and are eating up anything you put before them. The challenge is developing the necessary effective marketing to reach them.

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i do enjoy speculative fiction particularly the work of octavia butler, walter mosley and several other writers found in sheree thomas's "dark matter" series. I agee with the comment someone made about toni morrison's work. while it typically defies categorization, the themes addressed in her novels definitely appeal to anyone enjoying speculative fiction from the diaspora. i like the term afro-futurism aqs it melds the sci-fi AND cultural aspects of the genre as it applies to reimagining our stories in futuristic social circumstances.

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So, are comic books featuring super heroes considered a type of speculative fiction?? Also the "Swept Away" series that deal with biblical prophecies? I'm familiar with all of these genres but I was never sure how to castegorize them.

A while back I also reviewed a book entitled "The Lazurus Parable by John C. Bonner. I don't consider myself a serious reviewer but I did it as a favor because the book was so long nobody else wanted to take it on. I think now that it was speculative fiction but I didn't know this at the time. The best I could describe it was that it was the type of story that required you to suspend your belief system. Is this forgivable?

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There are so many subgenre's of science fiction and fantasy that the term 'speculative fiction' is becoming popular as an umbrella term to encompass them all. Many people consider superhero comic books science fiction. The biblical prophecies wouldn't be considered science fiction if you follow the traditional definition of the title. I know many African Americans who say they write science fiction but upon reading it it is exactly what you explained, fiction that is biblical or spiritually based.

It's interesting that you would describe speculative fiction as a story that requires you to suspend your belief system. I think that definition would apply to fantasy, but some science fiction is based on actual science. The fiction involves the situation created because of the science or the characters involved. This is sometimes called 'hard' science fiction.

It's because of these different interpretations that our State of Black Science Fiction presentations are so lively.

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Lively inDEED! :)

I have been an avid reader of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror since early childhood, starting with comic books (Thor and the Fantastic Four). I now write speculative fiction as much as I read it, particularly Sword & Soul and Steamfunk - both with elements of horror - and Urban Science Fiction.

I read - and write - speculative fiction because I enjoy doing so and because I feel speculative fiction inspires us to ask "What if?" - a question that must be ask before building anything, including a better future.

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There are some mainstream publishers who publish speculative fiction by and about African-Americans, e.g. Tu Books. http://www.leeandlow.com/p/tu_submissions.mhtml

While they characterize their novels as YA, IMO speculative fiction written for YA audiences is often better and more inventive than what is written for "adults"

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