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5 Black Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Who Use Social Media

When most people think about science fiction and fantasy writers, black authors rarely come to mind.  However, there are several black people who have become successful science fiction authors.   Many of them are using social media to raise their personal visibility and gain wider exposure for their books.

1.  Nalo Hopskinson
Novels:  Brown Girl in the Ring, Midnight Robber, Skin Folk, The Salt Roads
New Media Platforms: Facebook, Facebook Fan Page, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, Blog

Often described as the spiritual daughter of science fiction legend, Octavia Butler, Hopskinson’s social media graph is an interesting mix of her love of writing, editing, and crafting.  She is candid about her health challenges and the way that she plows through them to complete writing activities like completing the final draft of her current novel, T’aint.

2.  Nora K. (N.K.) Jemisin
Novels:  The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms
New Media Platforms:  Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Livejournal

While Jemisin’s protagonist, Yeine Darr, is something of a black female version of Conan the Barbarian, she uses social media to discuss topics she is passionate about like the current controversy about the Ground Zero Mosque and how to approach character development in novels.

3.  Minister Faust
Novels:  From the Notebooks of Dr. Brain, The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad
New Media Platforms: Facebook, Blog

Minister Faust’s novels are an interesting mix of science fiction, comic books, Dungeon and Dragons, and ancient African mythology.  Reading his blog shows his love of the motherland such as his coverage of Afrobotics, a competition designed to encourage the development of African engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs.

4.  Charles Saunders
Novels:  Imaro, Imaro 2: The Quest for Cush, Imaro:  The Trail of Bohu
New Media Platforms: Facebook, Facebook Fan Page, Myspace

Imaro, the title character of Saunders’ three books, is black barbarian who fights his way through a quasi-historical ancient African world of magic users and monsters.  Saunders himself lives in the present day and uses his Myspace blog to discuss current topics like the recent controversy about Dr. Laura.

5.  Nnedi Okorafor
Novels:  The Shadow Speaker
New Media Platforms:  Facebook, Blog, Twitter, Myspace

Nigerian author Okorafor-mbachu writes about the futuristic Africa of the year 2070 where a young mystical Muslim woman named Ejii gets caught up in an interplanetary conflict.  The author’s social profile discusses issues like the uproar over the skin tone of a character pictured on the cover of her upcoming novel being too light.

Black authors often find that publishers let their books go out of print which shuts them off from their readers.  These black science fiction and fantasy authors use new media as a platform to publicize their work without being overly dependent on the goodwill of publishing companies.

18 Comments

Comments

Chen2win says:

I’d also like to contribute to this thread the name of a new author who has combined the culture of Hip Hop with Fantasy-Fiction. The name of the author is D.D. Turner and the title of his unique and amazing literary series is THE CHRONICLES OF A HIP HOP LEGEND with its first installment sub-titled, PATHS OF GRAND WIZARDRY. For additional information, visit http://www.chroniclesofahiphoplegend.com or http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Chronicles-of-a-Hip-Hop-Legend/124999960869348?v=box_3
D.D. Turner is near completion on the second installment and while the title has yet to be revealed, this offering is sure to be as intriguing as the first.

Eduardo206 says:

Extraordinarily good Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels by E. I. Velasquez

To buy one or more click on the weblink http://www.eivelasquez.com

You may also call theses two numbers to order. PublishAmerica 301 695-1707 Author House 812 339-6000

You can also contact by the two mail addresses below.

PublishAmerica LLLP
P.O. Box 151 Frederick, MD 21705

AuthorHouseTM

1663 Liberty Drive

Bloomington, IN 47403

Ron says:

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@Markus: Thanks for making the correction.

@Nnedi: I apologize for misspelling your name.

@Kelli: I, too, was happy to find so many black authors of speculative fiction!

@glossaria: You're welcome!

@Nalo: Thanks for leaving a comment and mentioned the other great authors that are out there!

Thank you for doing this! It's much appreciated. In defense of my publisher, I should say that they're not letting my books go out of print any faster than they are for their non-black authors. They can't keep something in print if it's not selling. They do publicize my books pretty well, and they're enthusiastic about my work. I need to keep writing new books in order to keep the interest of the reading public; that's the part that's the struggle, for me, at least. Each author has their own challenges. There are a bunch more names of SF/F writers of African heritage I'd like to add to your great list, including Nisi Shawl, Brandon Massey, L.A. Banks, Steve Barnes, Alaya Dawn Johnson, David Anthony Durham, Tobias Buckell, Andrea Hairston and Tananarive Due. For even more SF/F writers of colour (Asian, Aboriginal, etc.), people can check out http://www.carlbrandon.org

glossaria says:

I wish I'd seen this this a few months ago!

I guest-hosted a book group reading Octavia Butler's _Parable of the Sower_ (I'm a public librarian), and one of the readers asked if there were a lot of black authors in speculative fiction. I had no idea how to answer her; I had no idea WHAT the answer was. I felt really dumb for not anticipating the question, either, but I'd honestly never given it a thought. (Hey, when I'm reading about vampires and elves and aliens, human is human.) The formative years of my reading were pre-social media, and a lot of SF doesn't bother with an author picture. I couldn't even answer for most my favorite authors (in fact, three of them are on this list– when I started looking people up, I realized I'd even guessed some of their *genders* wrong). This article would have been *seriously* handy.

(Btw, it's “Nalo Hopkinson”: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/h/nalo-hopkinson/).

Sojournals says:

This is just what I've been looking for to inspire my student writers to use social media. Great information!

markusrobinson says:

Sorry about that Nnedi, this has been corrected.

Nnedi says:

please, correct my name. my name is just Nnedi Okorafor, not “Okorafor-Mbachu” (that name was on my first two novels, not the subsequent three).
also, i have more books than just the Shadow Speaker. see nnedi.com. Thanks.
nnedi

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