Good Read: 12 Science Fiction Books Written by Black Authors



‘Visions of the Third Millennium’

The 2002 work by Sandra Grayson analyzes how writers of African descent use the codes of science fiction to explore race and gender, myth and language, slavery and freedom, alienation and difference. Focusing on established and relatively new writers such as Octavia E. Butler, Samuel R. Delany, Steven Barnes and Nalo Hopkinson, Grayson’s groundbreaking study looks at how Black science fiction writers interweave the memories of enslaved Africans in their works, revealing journeys in time through Africa that are both metaphorical and literal in their span of physical space, traditional beliefs and African history. The writers reflect a construction of time that represents a link among the past, present and future.



‘My Soul to Keep’ 

Tananarive Due wrote her first novel, “The Between,” in 1995. Since then she’s gone on to create a number of novels that span multiple genres including the “African Immortals” series. There have been reports that a film version of “My Soul to Keep” (1997) is currently in production and will star actor Blair Underwood. It is the first book in Due’s “African Immortals” series and is followed by “The Living Blood.” In 2012, she became an endowed Cosby chair of the Humanities at Spelman College.





Andrea Hairston has written a handful of science fiction plays. Her first novel, “Mindscape” (2006), was awarded the Carl Brandon Parallax Award and was shortlisted for the Philip K Dick Award and the Tiptree Award. She also wrote a short story for the anthology “So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy.” She currently teaches at Smith College.

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