Sunday, March 24, 2013

African Diaspora Speculative Fiction Renaissance

The African Diaspora Speculative Fiction Renaissance is happening now, at this very moment as you read this post. The year 2013 offers Steamfunk, Sword and Soul, AFRO Futurism, Black Sci-fi, AFRO Sci-fi, and many other genres in literature, graphic arts, film, animation and music.   

There is an uprising among smart, innovative people. They represent many cultures and experiences. A tangible revolution is being lead by those who resent and rebel against the publishing, music and film making industry that has been too long controlled by narrow-minded bean counters who are dedicated to social programming and marketing for corporate profits.  

Spiderman, Superman, Batman reboots threaten to overwhelm the creative landscape. Star Wars, Star Trek, Star Gate have been endlessly recycled into an entertainment mush.  Dr. Who is now "who" really cares -- there will never be a nonwhite or female Dr. Who (although, the Dr. Who franchise should be praised for presenting nonwhite characters in supporting roles since the 1960s).

The Internet and e-books explosion has made us a truly global society.  And like the universal "Big Bang", many new centers of thought are coalescing, swirling together and birthing new bright lights. 

Writers from Africa, Europe, Asia, urban USA are emerging as spheres of influence and inspiration.

Black Science Fiction SocietyThe Black Science Fiction Society turned five-years-old on March 8, 2013. For many aspiring and established African Diaspora Speculative creators, this is a much celebrated event.  The BSFS has more than 3,000 members and is growing. It has spawned or influenced anthologies, short films, graphic arts, comics and fandom. Likewise, the Black Sci-Fi.com another coalition has offered news, interviews and commentary on the current state of African American Science Fiction. The Carl Brandon Society promotes multicultural representation in speculative fiction. There are many, many other online communities that promote Afro Futurism, African American Science Fiction, Black Sci-fi and "the other" in speculative arts -- please use Google to help push-up their rankings.

If you could hop into the time machine that you hid in the rear of your garage or closet and set the dials back to 2008, what would you tell your past self?  "Self," you could say, "Write a new speculative short story every month, and twice a year self-publish an e-book."   That  productivity would be a valuable asset, today. Many fans are seeking  Imaro, Mamba Queen, Black Panther, Static Shock, Brotherman, Changa and other characters of color for their Kindles, Nooks and I-Pads.

Hop back into your time machine and go into the future to the year 2018.  Look around and ask yourself what was the result of the African Diaspora Spec Fiction Renaissance?  Have most screen actors been replaced by digital software. Is music truly  free--we only pay for concerts and t-shirts. PCs should be nearly obsolete; most everyday devices should have the processing power of the Apollo Lunar space craft. Is everyone will digitally connected via eyewear. Will virtual reality allowing smell, touch and taste along with visual stimulation, offer exotic new literary arts.

The world will be smaller but exploration of our solar system will vastly expand our view of the universe back to its beginnings. Our creative artists will drink deeply from this river of knowledge. Our stories will take us to the edge of creation and beyond.

Back into the time machine!

It is March 2013, we can learn from the past and influence the future by participating in the African Diaspora Speculative Fiction Renaissance and shaping the course of our world, now.

In 2015, we can take the next step forward.