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.
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.
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.
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.
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.