TOD 060 State of Black Science Fiction Panel at Subsume Summit


In this podcast The Outer Dark presents ‘The State of Black Science Fiction’ Panel at Subsume Summit Atlanta moderated by Milton J. Davis and featuring Gerald L. Coleman, Marcus Haynes, Violette L. Meier, Balogun Ojetade, and Kortney Watkins, plus News from The Weird with Justin Steele and an introductory interview with Kortney Watkins. The panel was recorded live on Saturday Nov. 9, 2019, and News from The Weird and the interview were recorded Monday Nov. 11, 2019.

News from The Weird & Interview with Kortney Watkins

Justin Steele joins Anya for the latest Weird fiction publishing news from Valancourt Books, Undertow Publications, British Fantasy Awards, World Fantasy Cons 2019 and 2020, and Grimscribe Press. Then writer, poet. and educator Kortney Watkins joins Anya (0:07:52) to introduce the panel and discuss the current climate of speculative fiction from black authors, including her powerful perspective on how to break free from the “struggle” metanarrative, bypass the gatekeepers, and reshape the speculative literary canon, plus her reading recommendations including N.K. Jemisin, Milton B. Davis, and Aziza Sphinx.

Show Notes

(0:36:35) In this podcast, The Outer Dark airs ‘The State of Black Science Fiction’ Panel moderated by Milton J. Davis and featuring Gerald L. Coleman, Marcus Haynes, Violette L. Meier, Balogun Ojetade, and Kortney Watkins. This panel was part of Subsume Summit, Saturday, November 9, at Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History in Atlanta, Georgia, and is one of a series that have taken place at various events and cons since 2012. The panelists begin by introducing themselves and telling how they came to the State of Black Science Fiction writing community and Facebook group, which now has over 17,000 members. Discussion kicks off with the growth of interest in black science fiction and Afrofuturism spurred by the Black Panther (2018) movie, as well as harnessing the impact of new technology and increased access to disrupt mainstream publishing. The conversation then turns to some history, how black authors have achieved critical mass by breaking publishing norms, how to sustain and normalize spec-lit by black authors so it doesn’t become just another publishing trend but enters the literary canon, efforts to make cons more inclusive, the importance of black ownership in publishing, and the next potential cinematic/TV surge of adaptations of works by black authors. The panel concludes with the road to a time when black people can be heroes in genre fiction that is not connected with the “struggle,” defying the metanarrative, lifting up other authors, lessons learned from traditional sci-fi fandom, and how listeners can find the panelists’ works. Scroll down to Additional Links for more info on other authors and mass media mentioned on the panel.

The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird is the only annual conference centered around contemporary Weird fiction. Our mission is to foster conversation and connect communities among the diverse slate of creators and audience members under the umbrella of speculative fiction—inclusive, safe and welcoming to women, LBGTQ+, and writers of color. The fourth annual symposium will be held March 26-27, 2020 at Silver Scream FX Lab. Find out more, including a link to purchase supporting and attending memberships at TheOuterDark.org.

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Additional Links

Sorghum and Spear by Dedren Sneed

TOD 041 Patternmaster: The Legacy of Octavia E. Butler from BlacktastiCon 2018

TOD 040 Black Women in Speculative Fiction Panel from BlacktastiCon 2018

TOD 007 Big Black Beautiful Roundtable: A Panel from The State of Black Science Fiction Convention 2016

TOD 005 Black Women in Spec-Lit and Horror: Two Panels from the The State of Black Science Fiction Convention 2016

Karl Edward Wagner

Octavia E. Butler

Heinemann African Writer Series

Charles R. Saunders

Samuel R. Delaney

Tananarive Due

MultiverseCon

Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Adeyemi

Changa’s Safari series by Milton J. Davis

When Night Falls: Book One of The Three Gifts by Gerald L. Coleman

Beneath the Shining Jewel by Balogun Ojetade

Expanded Course in the History of Black Science Fiction: ‘The Comet’ by W.E.B. DuBois (Nisi Shawl, Tor.com)

N.K. Jemesin’s The Fifth Season to be developed as a TV series (Deadline.com)

Children of Blood and Bone movie (Fox/Disney/Lucasfilm) (Deadline.com)

Nnedi Okorafor’s ‘Who Fears Death being developed for HBO with George RR Martin (Chicago Tribune)

Amazon Lands Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed (Deadline.com)

Sebastion Jones Talks Niobe, HBO, and Finding Your Own Voice at Baltimore Comic Con (The Geekiary)

Show Credits

Host/Executive Producer/Founder: Scott Nicolay

Host/Producer/Show Notes: Anya Martin

Co-Host, News from The Weird: Justin Steele

Reviews from The Weird: Gordon B. White

Logo Design: Nick “The Hat” Gucker

Music: Michael Griffin


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