Tag Archives: Daniel Jose Older

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. Recap: The Legacy of Octavia Butler


51svc6qifblAs a speculative fiction author, Octavia Butler broke new grounds in the genre, going beyond the patriarchal Eurocentric and white supremacist framework of a lot of early speculative fiction. In her novels, she explored underrepresented topics like the continuing impact of American slavery and racism on black bodies and minds and larger society, and the seeds of late capitalism leading to dystopia. She also gave us stories from the perspective of black people, specifically black women (herself being a black woman writer), something that was rare in these genres.

Last Sunday, I attended Brooklyn Book Festival and the panel, “The Legacy of Octavia Butler,” featuring author Ytasha Womack (Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-fi and Fantasy), author Daniel Jose Older (Shadowshaper), artist John Jennings (Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation) and author Ben Winters (Underground Airlines). Each panelist talked about the mega influence of Butler on their work and what was possible to write about and focus on in speculative fiction. Like me, all the panelists wished they found out about her work earlier because her work validated them and the truths of our histories and realities in ways other novels in the same genre did not. As Jennings expressed, Butler’s skill was destabilizing the stereotypes and categories that we place on ourselves and others; she was centered on exploring the liminal spaces and identities. Butler herself didn’t fit the stereotypes of a typical black woman — she was reclusive and reserved, and she was willing to go into and engage with spaces that others did not dare.

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Moving on the Wires: This Week’s News and Posts


“Invisible Man” by Hank Willis Thomas Source: T Magazine

*Please DONATE to the blog! Any donations will be appreciated! Either click on the donate button on the side or send them via paypal to my email svfreebird87@gmail.com. Thank you!

*”Newly Discovered Octavia Butler Stories to be Published in June!:” “Two newly-discovered Octavia Butler stories are coming out this summer! “A Necessary Being” and “Childfinder” will be compiled in a single volume titled Unexpected Stories. The ebook will be released by Open Road Media on June 24, and will feature an introduction from Walter Mosley, who previously praised the author’s novel Kindred as ‘everything the literature of science fiction can be.’ ABC News, quoting Open Road Media, reports:

‘A Necessary Being” tells of how the leaders of two ancient tribes “must broker a delicate peace to ensure that their peoples are to survive.” In “Childfinder,” a young woman “locates children with budding psionic powers and teaches them to protect themselves from society.'”

*A new reading series at the University of Chicago called Speculating Darkly, or The Folk Surreal Future, began today with Duriel E. Harris and Francine J. Harris. Based on poet Roger Reeves essays on Poetry Foundation, the series “features emerging African Diaspora writers from the Midwest who focus on the black fantastic, the grotesque, the Afro-surreal, the Gothic, the speculative, and science fiction” and the other readings will be on May 18, June 8 and June 22.

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Moving on the Wires: This Week’s News and Posts


*Please DONATE to my blog! Any amount will be appreciated! Either click the donate button on the side panel of the blog or send them via paypal to my email svfreebird87@gmail.com. Thank you!

*Dreamworks (I just saw their film, Rio 2, by the way and I did enjoy it. I also saw the preview short for this upcoming movie) is producing a movie, Home, that will feature a black female character, Tip, in the lead and she will be voiced by Rihanna. So, I will definitely be seeing this and I guess it is safe to say the character is Afro-Caribbean! Yay! Here is the synopsis:

“When Earth is taken over by the overly-confident Boov, an alien race in search of a new place to call home, all humans are promptly relocated, while the Boov get busy efficiently reorganizing the planet. But when one resourceful girl, Tip, (Rihanna) manages to avoid capture, she finds herself the accidental accomplice of a banished Boov by the name of Oh (Jim Parsons). Equally stubborn and set in their ways, these two fugitives realize there’s a lot more at stake than intergalactic relations as they embark on the road trip of a lifetime. Good thing they have a flying car.”

*Tonight Black Girl Nerds featured The Afrofuturist Affair‘s Rasheedah Phillips on their podcast.

*Kiplyn Primus and The Local Take on WCLK deidcated their program to The Octavia Butler Celebration of Fantastic Arts Symposium on Art and Activism event on April 16th. Tananarive Due, Adrienne Maree Brown and Dream Hampton join the “discussion about Afro Futurism, science fiction and fantasy, and the role of African Americans in fiction and in art.” Here is the broadcast. Also, you can watch some videos from the event here.

*Daniel Jose Older’s post, “Diversity Is Not Enough: Race, Power, Publishing:” ““The publishing industry looks a lot like these best-selling teenage dystopias: white and full of people destroying each other to survive.”

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Moving on the Wires: Articles and Posts from This Week


Afua Richardson’s “Komaid Queen”

Below are some news stories and opinion pieces that I collected over the week. Since Facebook is changing up its system of how posts are viewed and is fishy with what it considers as “violating community guidelines,” I will post the articles I come across during the week on Sunday along with posting them there throughout the week.

* Storify post of mine and other attendees’ tweets from the Black Comic Books Festival panels.

* Rich Johnston’s “An Oncoming Storm” (about the possibility of the X-Men character Storm’s monthly comic book and wishing artist Afua Richardson would draw it) on Bleeding Cool.

* Afropunk Interview with fantasy artist, Fabiola Jean-Louis: “Interview: Photographer Fabiola Jean-Louis – Magic & The Machine:” “It’s believed that there lies a fine line between

Fabiola Jean-Louis Photo Art

genius and insanity. But what is the case when reality and fantasy stumble upon one another, uniting the ultimate contrasts? Perhaps, creativity? In all my adventures and stumbles upon wonderful artists, I’ve never came across any like photographer, Fabiola jean-Louis. Somehow she’s found a connection between the Victorian era and whimsical urban legends like unicorns and Black fairies. Oddly enough, the two unique cultures mesh well together; not to mention the beautiful people she uses as her subjects to create what I like to call, Afro Magic, her being the Alchemist. In our interview below, Fabiola gives me a deeper understanding of her creative process and provision. Get ready to dive into a an exotic and beautiful mind!”

* Daniel Jose Older’s “12 Fundamentals of Writing ‘The Other’ (And The Self)”  (I especially thought the part about American Horror Story: Coven was interesting. Why is it religions outside of the Abrahamic religions don’t receive as much respect and are thought of as fantasy. I don’t see the mainstream religions treated the same way; for example, the talking snake is probably not real.)

*Net Neutrality Ruling Will Affect Communities of Color: Truth Out Article 1 and The Root Article 2.

* Saul Williams Tribute to Amiri Baraka: ” Amiri Baraka: Poet Laureate:” “The real power of influence occurs when you influence people who don’t even realize that they’ve been influenced by you. They may not even know who you are. This mainly happens when your art is so deeply embedded with love and your desire to see change in the world that the message becomes detached from the author and travels on its own. From heart to heart. We felt Amiri Baraka. I wasn’t even born yet and I felt him. I felt my mamma feeling him. He was part of the reason my mom turned to my dad, after having already birthed two mid-complexioned daughters, and said, “I just want a dark, dark boy with curly, curly hair.” Presto. Black Magic.”

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