Review essay on Afro-Futurist anthology

I’ve written a review essay on a recent Afro-Futurism anthology, Afro-Future Females, in the current issue of Extrapolation.

“Debating the histories and futures of black science fiction.” Review of Barr, Marlene S., ed. Afro-Future Females: Black Writers Chart Science Fiction’s Newest New-Wave Trajectory (Ohio State University Press, 2008). Extrapolation 52.2 (2011): 246-68.

Barr’s edited collection is worth a look, as one

whose aims in reading black women’s sf are to re-imagine sf, to advance anti-racist critique, and to reckon with slavery’s legacies.

And it invites teaching uses by taking creative liberties with the edited collection format,

gathering fiction and interviews together with research and criticism … the collection’s dialogic mix invites the reader to a seat at the table where the histories and futures of black sf are being intensely discussed and debated.

But it’s also a book to argue with.

To claim—and I quote—that “Bill Cosby is the father of black science fiction” (18) is to do a gross disservice not just to Delany but to Sun Ra, to Lee Perry, to George Clinton … [and] is symptomatic of the book’s need to engage more closely with the extant literature on Afro-Futurism.

Either way, there’s lots of productive reading here. Find out more in the full version, or check out the book itself.

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