Tag Archives: books

Space:Queens Interview with Susan Varo

Susan Varo is a local Queens visual artist who is also the author of the speculative science fiction book called The Happening. In the Fall of 1983, she began writing The Happening inspired by thoughts and visions she had about the future and a world in the midst of constant technological advancement. It wasn’t until 2017 that she finally published the book.

Always a lover of “science fiction, the universe, and mysteries,” writing this book was a way for her to tap into what she calls a “strange foresight;” “the future [had] presented itself to her.” In the interview below, Varo talks about her work as a visual artist and what inspires her art and writing of The Happening.

Finished Book Cover 2017
1) Tell the readers about yourself as an artist.
I am a visual artist and I reside in Corona, New York.  I primarily create my artwork from my home studio.  I began drawing from the age of eight and it has been my passion ever since.
2) What are some major themes that you explore in your art?
Some of the major themes I love to explore in my art are people, places, moments in time and the feelings and inspiration that I derive from all of it.  My artwork consists of portraiture, landscape and still life.
3) Which came first in your life: visual art or writing? How do the two interact with each other in your artistic practice?

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Moving on the Wires: Museum of Moving Image + Brown Girl Begins + More!

Happy Black History Month, or Black Futures Month, depending on who you ask! 2018 is off to a great start for Futuristically Ancient! See the news below:

*The Afrikan Poetry Theatre is hosting Past, Present and Futurism at the Museum of the Moving Image on February 24th from 2pm-6pm. The day includes film screenings, such as the Ethiopian sci-fi film Crumbs, and a panel discussion, “Afro-futurism: The History & Future of Black Science Fiction,” featuring graphic artist Tim Fielder, filmmaker Mike Sargent, filmmaker M. Asli Dukan and yours truly! Also a special award will be presented to Octavia Butler! RSVP here!


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Moving on the Wires: Book Release!


I have some great news to share with you! I will be publishing my chapbook, Lucy’s Bone Scrolls: The Black Speculative Mystery School, in August!

The book is a collection of poetry inspired by the 2015 Afrofuturism Conference at The New School and the Black Magic: AfroPasts/AfroFutures exhibitionThree Legged Elephant’s (who will be publishing my book) founder Malcolm Boyd and I will be hosting a book release/author showcase event at Jamaica Performing Arts Center on August 17th from 6:30pm-8:30pm. If you are in the NYC area, I hope you can join us!

To rsvp, either go to the event’s Eventbrite page or Facebook page.



Astro-Caribbean: CaribLit

For the second to last Astro-Caribbean post for this month, I am featuring Caribbean authors and their books!

I was unfortunately unable to attend Word!: A Caribbean Lit Fest on June 11th, but I did read through the authors and panels and saw that a few of them who have recently released works of fantasy, magic realism or other related kinds of imaginative/visionary themes. Adding to my list of books to read!

Mother of the Sea by Zetta Elliott

Summary: When her village is raided, a teenage girl finds herself on a brutal journey to the coast of Africa and across the Atlantic. Her only comfort is a small child who clings to her for protection. But once they board the slave ship, the child reveals her rebellious nature and warns that her mother—a fierce warrior—is coming to claim them all.

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M.G. Reviews: Rasheedah Phillips’ The Telescoping Effect

telescopingeffecteclipsecoverupdatedversion1-26-17_201_400sqOne of my favorite mottos is to find the magic in the mundane because in doing so you realize how interdependent we all are to each other and to the universe. When we look at the sun and moon, we are so normalized to them that we can easily forget how we are dependent on them for our existence and how much they shape our existence. It has been our ability to use our imagination to see the world beyond the mundane and search for knowledge and meaning as well as our creation of technologies to observe the universe that has allowed us to see that. As I was reading Wendy Hui Kyong Chun’s “Race is/as Technology, or How to Do Things to Race,“she writes that “According to Martin Heidegger in his 1955 ‘The Question Concerning Technology,’ the essence of technology is not technological. Indeed, by examining tools, we miss what is essential about technology, which is its mode of revealing or “enframing.” So how does the creation of technologies to look and observe also reveal ourselves? Who is watching who and who is creating who at the same time?

Warning: some spoilers ahead!

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M.G. Reviews: Kiini Ibura Salaam’s “When the World Wounds”– Breaking Open the Boundaries of Self


9780991336159-frontcoverWho we think we are is a fluid concept. We might have a stable image of ourselves but in reality we are constantly in flux as we come into contact and collide with others. And it’s not just other bodies but other possibilities of your self that disrupts who you are at this moment. The realization that we can be something else we don’t recognize or can’t control can be transcendent and can be frightening.

Kiini Ibura Salaam explores those ideas in her latest speculative short story collection, When the World Wounds, where the outside forces of the world can break open spaces that lead to the displacement and reconstructing of the body, of the self, of identity and place. Salaam’s main grounding tool in that exploration is that of the concept of desire. Through her sensual and erotic descriptive language, as a reader you are opened up as much as the characters in her stories to the point of an ecstatic experience.

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“Space:Queens:” Queens Speculative Fiction Authors

Happy Black Speculative Fiction Month. This month I will post reviews, lists of speculative works and some of my own work. By the way, please support my Go Fund Me as I raise money to get a new laptop and continue building my writing career. Today’s post is a list of speculative fiction works by authors from Queens!

*Ama Karikari Yawson‘s Sunne’s Gift

“Sunne is a magical being or “magbee”.  God imbues Sunne with the power of the sun.  Sunne’s straight haired siblings, Earthe, Watre, and Winde have unique powers of their own.  When Sunne is teased and bullied by siblings because of Sunne’s natural, kinky, curly and spirally afro-textured hair, Sunne desperately tries to change.  Join Sunne as Sunne learns that there is beauty and power in difference.  Sunne’s Gift’s message of self-love and bullying prevention, coupled with its sci-fi imager, make it a hit for people of all ages.”


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