With 2018 in the rear-view mirror, 2019 lies ahead, bringing with it a ton of new science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels that will bring us to new worlds and introduce us to our next favorite characters. 2019 is shaping up to be a really exciting year for readers. There are books coming from authors that we’re huge fans of, and debuts from up-and-coming novelists that we can’t wait to delve into. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the upcoming books that we’re really excited to see on our bookshelves this year. And before you ask — yes, this could be the year that George R.R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss get around to releasing their long awaited The Winds of Winter and The Doors of Stone, but they don’t have a release date just yet. We’ll let you know if and when that happens. But in the meantime, there are tons of other, excellent looking novels hitting stores this year. Here’s what we’re the most excited for. … [Read more...] about All the science fiction and fantasy books we’re looking forward to in 2019
Fantasy and science fiction
For many years, one of the few African Americans publishing in fantasy and science fiction, and the first genre writer to be awarded a MacArthur “genius” grant, was Octavia E. Butler, a widely popular and highly acclaimed writer who died unexpectedly in 2006. This week, two of her unpublished stories are available in e-book form as Unexpected Stories, featuring an astute introduction by Walter Mosley. An intellectually omnivorous polymath, the woman variously known as Estelle, Estella or Junie was indeed a genius, and when she died in the prime of an already illustrious career at age 58, she ostensibly took with her a treasure trove of ideas. Or did she? With her sudden death began a long process of sifting the sand of her creative life—endless notes on everything from American politics to insect biology; correspondence with Toni Cade Bambara and Toni Morrison, and with other sci-fi writers like Vonda McIntyre, Nalo Hopkinson and Tananarive Due; and what … [Read more...] about Octavia Butler Fans Psyched Over 2 New Science Fiction Tales
Last week, Marvel unveiled a line of Black Panther character posters that snatched the souls out of every living melanated human being. Black Panther (1966) was the first black superhero in mainstream American comics, later followed by characters such as Luke Cage (1972) and Black Lightning (1977). Although Marvel’s comics feature myriad characters varying in gender, race and sexuality, since the launch of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe nearly a decade ago, its first 17 movies have centered on white men. Wakanda and its inhabitants are the bliggity blackness we have been waiting on to arrive at center stage, impatiently tapping our watches like, “What’s good, Marvel?” While representation and the expression of our narratives’ well-known franchises are significant, is is equally important to support the wealth of fantasy and sci-fi literature, comic books, graphic novels, TV and web series, movies, platforms and events created for black people, by black … [Read more...] about A Guide to Fantasy and Science Fiction Made for Black People, by Black People
Over the weekend I binge-watched 3%, a dystopian sci-fi Netflix original set in Brazil. The plot was rife with quirks and unexpected turns, but the biggest surprise of all was that the diversity in the show reflected the diversity in Brazil. The cast featured myriad shades and races, absent the stereotypical casting, such as the confinement of black and brown actors and actresses to supporting characters with botched, surface-level backstories. This is what accurate representation looks like. This show reminded me of other shows on Netflix, like Sense8 and Black Mirror, whose colorful casts and stellar ratings demonstrate that diversity works. So what’s wrong with the rest of Hollywood? I grew up on fantasy and science fiction, devouring books, television shows and film built under their umbrella. I stood in hourslong lines at bookstores waiting for sequels to be released, finishing thousand-page novels before the sun came up the next day. I went in full costume to midnight … [Read more...] about Why Is Society Intent on Erasing Black People in Fantasy and Sci-fi’s Imaginary Worlds?
We’re living in a world that looks increasingly like science fiction, so I find myself looking to the genre not for predictions of what the future holds but for some guidance for dealing with this strange and changing world. 2016 was a difficult year, but a bounty of fantastic science fiction and fantasy novels were helpful in not simply escaping the present, but confronting it. Here’s the best of what the year had to offer. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders All the Birds in the Sky is as witty as it is smart. I used to work with Charlie Jane Anders when she was the editor-in-chief of Gawker’s io9. The novel affords her a length and creative freedom so different from the blog, and yet with both she deftly explored the murky boundaries between fantasy and science fiction, and how the world has evolved. The book follows a pair of childhood friends, Patrica and Laurence, who hadn’t expected to reunite as adults. After growing up together, Patricia … [Read more...] about The 11 best science fiction and fantasy novels of 2016