Science Fiction from Social Movements An anthology of visionary science fiction and
speculative fiction written by organizers and activists.



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We Make Cicada Buzz!!

'For years, writers we love have named Octavia Butler as an influence. And no wonder: Butler’s novels OWN socially engaged sci-fi/fantasy. They’ve got complex dystopias, fascinating protagonists of color, alien biologies that upend gender binaries, VAMPIRES. Her novels are FOOD. Octavia’s Brood, a collection of short stories & essays, is a stunning tribute to Butler, packed with tales that stretch the imagination. (Also: THAT COVER.) Read it, friends. Read it now.'

Check it out: http://americawakiewakie.com/post/130139261688/books-that-make-cicada-buzz-octavias-brood

Sofia Samatar on Ferguson is the Future!

"The loops express a consciousness of time as cyclical and tangled, making space for the non-linear time conceptions of many African belief systems, making space to think about trauma, about the time-traveling flashbacks of post-traumatic stress, about the moment your heart will pound tomorrow for an event that happened yesterday, about bodies in time, steeped in the lifestream, floundering in it, drowning, swimming, stretching together, buoyant, changing course.

And so when I look at that definition of "lifestream" I see everything in it that rejects its own linear model. The diary reread and relived. The documents you create and the ones other people send you mingling like the thoughts that flew to and fro between adrienne maree brownand me as we discussed problems with our stories. Our unwritten stories do not yet exist, but they are documents in our common lifestream, they are moving away from the tail and toward the present. I think of the work the activists from Ferguson shared with us, work that is not complete, papers in progress. And all the materials stored in between--the films of M. Asli Dukan and Dennis Leroy Kangalee, the music of Be Steadwell and Colored Girls Hustle, those visual and aural signals that persist, reappear, ring in your head, inspire. Moving beyond the present and into the future I think of Walidah Imarisha's claim that all organizing is science fiction. I think of everything I will keep from that weekend. Rhythm. Gravity. Entanglement with others.

Every laugh, every hug, every conversation, every argument, every image, every sound represents a document in a shared lifestream--a stream of black life that persists. For yes, genocide can fail."

Read the whole beautiful thing here!

Bitch Media on Ferguson is the Future!

"On Monday, over 1,700 people tuned into the livestream of Ferguson is the Future, a day-long symposium at Princeton University. Unlike most science fiction/fantasy conferences, this one centered Blackness and social justice. "We need visions of the future, and our people need them more than most," said speculative fiction author Nalo Hopkinson, quoting sci-fi great Samuel Delany."

Read the full article here:


Bustle Magazine names Octavia's Brood as a Sci-Fi Must Read

"Octavia Butler is a giant of science fiction, but her work didn’t end with her. This anthology collects stories by twenty of the contemporary writers who continue her legacy of brilliant science fiction that takes on race, gender, sexuality, class, and inequality."

Listed with Nnedi Okorafor, Nisi Shawl, Octavia Butler, NK Jemisin, Larissa Lai and many others we admire!

Read the full list here!

Walidah and Gabriel on KBOO!

Whenever we envision a world without war, prisons, or capitalism, we are producing speculative fic-tion. Organizers and activists envision, and try to create, such worlds all the time. Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown have brought 20 of them together in the first anthology of short stories to explore the connections between radical speculative fiction and movements for social change. These visionary tales span genres, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, magical realism, but all are united by an attempt to inject a healthy dose of imagination and innovation into our political practice and to try on new ways of understanding ourselves, the world around us, and all the selves and worlds that could be. 

Today we’ll hear excerpts from the Portland Release Party of Octavia's Brood, including readings by Co-editor Walidah Imarisha, Contributor Gabriel Teodros, Contributor David F. Walker and more!

Hear the whole thing here!

Book Octavia's Brood!

We are now booking for Octavia’s Brood for Fall 2015 and into 2016. Anthology editors adrienne maree brown and Walidah Imarisha, as well as their contributing authors, are now available for:

  • Readings and book signings
  • Presentations
  • Collective sci-fi writing and sci-fi poetry workshops
  • Emergent strategy trainings
  • Sci-fi and direct action trainings
  • The “2070 People's Encyclopedia Zine” workshop
  • sci-fi themed dance parties!
  • and more!!

Black Speculative Fiction is Protest

"Speculative fiction, or “visionary fiction,” as it is termed by Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown, is all about alternatives. There is a familiar, tragic thread winding through the year of 2015. Physical and emotional violence against African American people is at an all time high. African American women, children, and men are being killed by police in the streets or in their custody. African American parishioners, in a strange twist on a deeply wounding act of racial violence, have been killed in their places of worship. This is a stark, dreadful reality that demands alternative visions, alternative universes, and radical imaginations. It demands that we work we create, if we wish it to have any lasting heft as tools of social justice, aggressively and holistically address the social ills that plague African Americans."

Read the rest here:


Five Artists with a Cultural Strategy for Change


"As an artist committed to racial and economic justice, it can be difficult to navigate the arts and activism worlds. They can range from a pressure to abandon history and have beauty be “apolitical” to a pressure to be outright, literal and dogmatic at all times. There’s few pathways laid out for those of us trying to navigate that space in between. 

For me, the role of artists in social change movements is not to just provide visuals for activists’ communication strategies and immediate needs, but rather to develop what artist Favianna Rodriguez calls a “cultural strategy” to help shift the way people think about the world. It’s our job to imagine the possibilities, shift the thinking on individuals and situations through our representations of them, to explore the grey areas that make humans complicated and interesting, and to uplift the hope and resilience of communities we are a part of to sustain them. 

Here’s a list of five artists who are people I look to as models of how to do this kind of cultural work. Each of them is creating work within their discipline to initiate the conversation with their audiences of what it would look like if everyone’s humanity was truly recognized. (There’s many others out there as well--these are just a few whose work has informed my own recently.) 

Octavia’s Brood (Walidah Imarisha and Adrienne Maree Brown)


Octavia's Brood
Octavia's Brood

Octavia’s Brood is an anthology of science fiction, inspired by writer Octavia Butler’s collection of stories Lilith’s Brood. The book’s editors Walidah Imarisha and Adrienne Maree Brown offer a series of workshops bridging the worlds for speculative fiction writers and activists, showing how these stories can offer visions for social justice movements. “Any time we try to envision a different world—without poverty, prisons, capitalism, war—we are engaging in science fiction.” Says Walidah in an interview in The Nation. “When we can dream those realities together, that’s when we can begin to build them right here and now.” 

read the rest here:


Bring Octavia’s Brood to your community or campus – readings, workshops, and trainings now available

Did you arrive at the last page of Octavia’s Brood and find yourself wanting more? Octavia’s Brood co-editors adrienne maree brown and Walidah Imarisha, as well as the writers who contributed stories, are touring with readings, presentations, sci-fi fiction and sci-fi poetry workshops, emergent strategy trainings, sci-fi direct action trainings, and more! 

Allied Media Projects is coordinating bookings for the Octavia’s Brood authors and trainers. Contact us to book Octavia’s Brood for your campus or community! Read on to learn more.


Seattle Public Library Podcast of Octavia's Brood!


Celebrating the life and legacy of science fiction master Octavia Butler

Listen to a conversation with writers from the new anthology "Octavia's Brood," Walidah Imarisha and Gabriel Teodros. They'll be discussing where science fiction and social justice meet. The event kicks off with a live music set by local hip-hop legend Gabriel Teodros.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 50.1 MB]



Ferguson is the Future Report Back

The coeditors are still floating from their experience of black sci fi heaven!

If you missed the event you can and should watch the live stream archive

adrienne also wrote up a report back on how it felt, being there. Here's an excerpt:

– we make the beautiful moments, we bring the magic with our presence and attention.

– there are many ways to build family, and none of them are fast.

– when the opportunity comes to support other artists, take it. this includes buying things, but also really listening or contemplating the art, dancing to the music, reading the book, seeing the whole.

– be present. when you are actually present you can shape the moment. you can shape by speaking truth, slowing down, letting someone know you appreciate them, suggesting what you most long for, and other small/massive actions.

– children can create the best moments. the 11-year-old and the newborn at the gathering gave me some of my favorite moments of playfulness, sweetness and equality.

– living into your gifts doesn’t take away your humanity. meeting all these sci-fi deities was so humbling. i was daunted at the task of facilitating them, and then i got there, and each one of them was kind, visionary, figuring out life, and just…just wonderful. i miss them all, i want to time travel back to their laughter. 

– to love others in this world is to see in them the same humanity and flaw-possibility that i see in myself. it’s liberating.

– we cannot change others, but we can change ourselves and in doing so change everything. complexity.

– mentoring can happen in a moment. 

– transformation can happen by witnessing someone else in their wholeness.

– being deep in my life’s work makes me feel beautiful.

– walidah imarisha is a powerful human being who has changed my life and i’m so grateful for her and for Octavia’s Brood.

– i love sci fi, i love black and brown people creating our freedom with zero apologies.

Read the rest:




Octavia's Brood Fall Preview!!

Ferguson is the Future at Princeton, Hawaii, Environmental Grantmakers Association, the Schomberg, Girl Geek Con, Virginia Commonwealth University, Twin Cities, Arts in a Changing American Queer Lit Festival at Rutgers, Badgers Bioneers Conference in Madison, Cascadia Media Convergence, Blue Mountain Center writing retreat - read all about it!!

Rickycodes Review of Octavia's BroodS

"Walidah talked about how we often write out a 5-year strategic plan and feel really good about laying out specific, measurable, “achievable” objectives. But we need a 100-year plan, a 500-year plan. What do we want the world to look like for generations to come?

This is what visionary scifi does for us."

Read the full post here

Walidah Imarisha with Chauncey deVega

"Walidah's work is so exciting because she exposes that important "hidden history", while also using it to discuss the realities of white supremacy and racism in supposedly white "liberal" communities today.

In this episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, Walidah and Chauncey talk about race, history, and migration; have some ghetto nerd sci-fi mind meld moments; laugh about "Black Peoples Employment Month", and reflect on Imarisha's various experiences with presenting the truth and reality of so-called white liberal America at museums, schools, and other venues.

Walidah Imarish is the real deal--smart, quick, funny, and insightful. This was a fun and rich conversation at the virtual bar known as The Chauncey DeVega Show."


Direct Action and Speculative Fiction - GritTV interviews Morrigan Philips

Morrigan Philips designed the incredible Direct Action and Sci-Fi workshop that Octavia's Brood has been touring in this year of incredible actions that open the way for alternate futures. Her story in the anthology focuses on the beginning of a hunger strike, a fantastical examination of the oppression of places like Guantanamo Bay. Here, Morrigan speaks on the connections between direct action and science fiction.


Walidah Imarisha's Keynote Speech at Moore College of Art and Design

Walidah Imarisha shares about time travel and speculative fiction in relationship to community organizing. Imarisha was the keynote presenter for IN/OUT: TIME, PACING AND PERSPECTIVE IN SOCIALLY-ENGAGED ART Friday, July 31st – Saturday, August 1st, 2015. Presented by the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and Moore College of Art & Design’s Graduate Social & Studio Practices program. Introduced by Paul Farber and Debbie Gibson.

Watch the full speech here!

Rolling Stone Highlights Brooder Tunde Olaniran

Tunde Olaniran’s full-length debut, Transgressor, is only the tipping point for a self-sustaining multi-disciplinary force that can sing empowerment anthems with passion, spin party raps with confidence and humor, and produce his own dance tracks. He also choreographs his performances, which often involve costumed dancers moving in unison to the beat. Offstage, his writing recently appeared in the anthology Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements

Read the full piece here!

Seattle Public Library's Octavia's Brood Reading List

Love Octavia Butler and the writers of Octavia's Brood? Check out the books, films and music on this resource list for further reading, watching and listening. This list was created in conjunction with "Pop-Up on the Plaza: An Evening with Octavia's Brood," which took place on Wednesday, August 26th, 2015, 5 - 8:30 pm.

Vue Weekly Reviews Octavia's Brood!

"“Hollow” by Mia Mingus is a beautifully structured story of a small moment of empowerment and community from the perspective of the disabled. Hollow imagines the disabled as a group literally ejected from Earth, left to live out their lives on an isolated colony. But the group coalesces to create their own empowered community, resolved to keep their independence."

Read the full review here!

Aya de Leon on Hugo Awards (Octavia's Brood Shout Out!)

"Meanwhile, it makes sense that the traditional white male core audience of SFF from decades past wouldn’t have a massive activist agenda in the world, because the structures of the society generally supported their well-being. However, with an influx of people of color, queer folks, and women into the genre—people who find themselves targets of institutional oppression in the society—visions of the future would necessarily include grappling with these issues. One of the biggest social justice coups of the year was the groundbreaking anthologyOctavias Brood by veteran SFF lovers and WOC activists Adrienne Brown and Walidah Imarisha. They began with the hypothesis that all social justice work is SFF because it’s about envisioning a different future."

Read the full (and brilliant) analysis here!

All of Shoreline Community College Reading Octavia's Brood!

Octavia's Brood has been chosen for Shoreline Community College's 2015/2016 Campus Book read - which means everyone on campus will be reading the book!

"Shoreline Community College has adopted Octavia’s Brood as it’s community read for 2015-2016 and is developing events and programming to generate conversation and action around the themes explored in its pages. The entire campus community—staff, administrators, students, and faculty—will be invited to read and discuss the stories inside Octavia’s Brood during winter quarter, and faculty are being encouraged to incorporate some of its stories into their classes in the coming year."




Walidah Imarisha on Prisons of the Future (podcast)

'What if “life in prison” could mean 100 or 200 or 400 years? Does that change the way that sentences are doled out? What happens when a person gets out of prison?

For all of you who’ve written in asking me to do an episode about longevity, this episode is for you. But instead of looking at the usual living forever stuff, we’re specifically going to talk about what happens when it gets applied to the prison system.

It turns out that there is a philosopher who thinks about exactly this. Rebecca Roache, a professor at Royal Holloway University, is heading up a team of scholars who are researching how future technology might change punishment. In this episode we also talk to Walidah Imarisha, a historian, writer and organizer, and one of the editors of Octavia’s Brood, an anthology of science fiction written by activists.'


Read the Follow Up to 22xx!

'In their debut appearance in Octavia’s Brood, Sasha, Herb, and Professor Tsai narrowly avoided capture by the military by stealing a shuttle and escaping Mars’ moon, Phobos. As it turns out, getting off-world was the easy part for our pair of teenage rebel scientists and their nanotech professor.

The way to Europa is a cold and dangerous. It would seem that every road does indeed have its toll, even in space. This excerpted portion of 22XX: Escape Velocityrepresents roughly a quarter of Sasha and company’s next adventure. More soon on when and how the complete story will appear.'

Read/download here:


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