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Blavity: Octavia's Brood and other Science Fiction from Black Female Authors

"Now more than ever, it is important for Black writers to imagine a world in which there are circumstances better than those we have in front of us. It can be a way to help move us forward and develop ways to revise the world around us.Octavia’s Brood is “the first anthology of short stories to explore the connections between radical speculative fiction and movements for social change.” There are other authors who are producing similar work through their writing. Read more about them below and get into their work. After all, reading is fundamental."

Read the full piece here!

BookRiot names Octavia's Brood one of 5 must read books for April

'Though Octavia Butler’s name doesn’t seem to come up nearly as often as Asimov’s, Card’s, or Atwood’s, her mark on speculative fiction is pronounced. In homage to her, editors Imarisha and brown put together a collection of speculative fiction to honor Butler and expand our ideas of how imagination interacts with the political. Ruha Benjamin from Princeton University calls it “[O]ne part sacred text, one part social movement manual, one part diary of our future selves telling us, ‘It’s going to be okay, keep working, keep loving.’”'

Check out the list here: http://bookriot.com/2015/04/23/5-small-press-books-read-april/

Are Hugo Awards Biased Against White Male Heterosexuals?

'Whether in her time-travel novel Kindred, her vampire novel Fledgling or her alien-invasion Xenogenesis trilogy, Butler’s work deftly explores race, gender and sexuality, and it continues to find new generations of fans. Now, she’s being honoured again with Octavia’s Brood, a new collection of “science-fiction stories from social justice movements” that celebrates both her wild imagination and her unwavering committment to social justice. Each of the stories in this new paperback is, says its anarchic publisher AK Press, “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.”'

Read the rest here: http://www.m.dailyxtra.com/node/102588

why philly was all that (amb checks in from the road)

'each event brought out different kinds of people who are interested in the juxtaposition of sci fi and social justice. some want to be read to, introduced to the ideas, discuss them. others really want to engage and start applying them in writing and direct action and emergent strategy workshops. others still want to be in their bodies in an alternate universe for a while.'

Walidah Imarisha & adrienne maree brown & Mumia Abu Jamal on GritTV

Many people know of Mumia Abu-Jamal as a journalist and political prisoner. But did you know he’s also a Star Trek fan? That’s one of the many revelations in the new book Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, a collection of visionary fiction from Walidah Imarisha and Adrienne Maree Brown. Adrienne Maree Brown is a writer, organizational healer, facilitator, pleasure activist, and Science Fiction scholar, among many other roles. Walidah Imarisha is an educator, writer, organizer, filmmaker, spoken word artist, prison abolitionist and activist. In addition to editing Octavia’s Brood, she has written two books of poetry, Scars/Stars and the upcoming Angels with Dirty Faces: Dreaming Beyond Bars. They explain that for them, social change and science fiction are the same thing. Also in this episode: journalist and US political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal calls in from a prison in Pennsylvania and talks about what the film Star Wars has to say about US empire.

Listen here!

adrienne maree brown and Walidah Imarisha join Marie Choi on KPFA's Up Front

"The new anthology, Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements is out this month.  Named for visionary sci-fi writer Octavia Butler, this anthology illuminates the challenges we face today and pushes us to imagine the possibilities for liberation. Guests:

    Walidah Imarisha, co-editor Octavia’s BroodAdrienne Maree Brown, co-editor Octavia’s Brood

 

Adrienne Maree Brown will be facilitating a dialogue on science fiction and social justice at the Oakland Release of Octavia’s Brood – this Wednesday, April 22, 6pm-7:30pm at the African American Museum and Library at Oakland – 559 14th Street Oakland.  Octavia’s Brood is available at AK Press.  You can follow their national tour online."

Listen here!

adrienne maree brown and Tunde Olaniran discuss the Detroit Release with NPR

"We have authors who are not only envisioning, but they're doing the work to build a different future or to build their version of justice, their version of equity, their version of love in a world that is safe for them," says Flint performance artist Tunde Olaniran, who authored one of the stories in the anthology.

The collection hopes to explore how movement-building in social activism is different from the singular hero saving the day, as seen in most mainstream sci-fi and often portrayed in news coverage of activism within the real world.

 
Listen/read more here!

adrienne maree brown with the Black Tribbles (Philly)

The Black Tribbles are an incredibly fun collective of black sci-fi thinkers in Philly. AMB was inducted in this amaing podcast. 

"The speculative fiction compilation OCTAVIA'S BROOD has carried the Afrofuturist movement to new literary heights with its showcase of the social justice agenda inherent in many of its writing. Editor ADRIENNE MAREE BROWN divulges the backstory of its creation, the torch the book carries from its Octavia Butler inspiration and its searing piece on Star Wars Imperialism from Mumia Abu Jamal."

Listen here!

 

Our Barnes & Noble Review!!

Barnes & Noble loves the collection!!

"This powerful collection of “visionary fiction” (a term meant to represent sci-fi, fantasy, magical realism, and horror) was inspired by the work of the revered SF/F master Octavia Butler, and seeks to explore the connection between fantastical writing and real-world movements for social change. In these stories, unnatural occurrences reflect social ills and injustice, as in “The River,” by the collection’s co-editor Adrienne Marie Brown, in which the Detroit River comes to embody the violence of gentrification and displacement that has been visited upon the residents of the city. Including essays by Tananarive Due and Mumia Abu-Jamal, a roster of exciting new writers, and a few familiar names (including LeVar Burton and Terry Bisson), this is a vital, visceral, and essential collection."

Check out the full SF/F round-up here!

adrienne maree brown on the Marc Steiner Show

"Science Fiction and Social Justice. With: adrienne maree brown, Kresge Literary Arts Fellow, blogger at The Luscious Satyagraha, and co-Editor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Activists; and Dr. Lester Spence, Center for Emerging Media Scholar-In-Residence and Associate Professor of Political Science and Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University."

Listen here!

Full Stop Review of Octavia's Brood

"While some of the stories in Octavia’s Brood ask us to indulge ourselves by imagining the best and most inspiring, peaceful futures possible for ourselves and for each other, others insist that progress is a difficult and downright dirty process. As much as they beg conversation from the reader, they are too in conversation with each other about how best to achieve the highest successes for the largest percentage of the downtrodden. However they may or may not contradict each other, they are bound together in their resistance to marginalization, exploitation, and destruction."

Read the full review here!

Walidah Imarisha in Bitch Magazine

Demanding the Impossible: Walidah Imarisha Talks About Science Fiction and Social Change

"For me, that's one of my basic beliefs as a feminist—it's about moving those folks who have been marginalized to the center, not so we can assimilate into an existing oppressive power structure, but so that we can look at liberation through new eyes. Leah Lakshni Piepzna-Samarasinha's story, "Children Who Fly," is an amazing example of total liberation when it's viewed from the intersecting identities of those folks who have been marginalized. The idea being, these are survivors of trauma, most of them survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and they engage in the process of dissociation—which we're told is a problem, right? We're told that is something you should work to cure, and you go to therapy to cure. But in the story, instead of saying that these women of color, these trans folks, are broken, instead their ability to leave their bodies means that they can join their energy together and begin to heal this broken world. I think that's an incredibly powerful reframing.  What if everything we know is wrong? How do we begin to dream new worlds into the space we've cleared out?"

Read the full interview here!

Walidah Imarisha Interviewed in Bitch Magazine

Demanding the Impossible: Walidah Imarisha Talks About Science Fiction and Social Change

"For me, that's one of my basic beliefs as a feminist—it's about moving those folks who have been marginalized to the center, not so we can assimilate into an existing oppressive power structure, but so that we can look at liberation through new eyes. Leah Lakshni Piepzna-Samarasinha's story, "Children Who Fly," is an amazing example of total liberation when it's viewed from the intersecting identities of those folks who have been marginalized. The idea being, these are survivors of trauma, most of them survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and they engage in the process of dissociation—which we're told is a problem, right? We're told that is something you should work to cure, and you go to therapy to cure. But in the story, instead of saying that these women of color, these trans folks, are broken, instead their ability to leave their bodies means that they can join their energy together and begin to heal this broken world. I think that's an incredibly powerful reframing.  What if everything we know is wrong? How do we begin to dream new worlds into the space we've cleared out?"

Read the full interview here!

Fugitive Dreams (Portland Mercury)

Fugitive Dreams 

From Portland's Walidah Imarisha, a New Vision for Science Fiction, Social Justice, and the Future

"I HAVE ALWAYS been into superheroes and comic books," says Walidah Imarisha when we meet up at Coffeehouse-Five on N Killingsworth. Perhaps best known for her writing (everything from poetry to criticism), teaching (at Portland State University), and her public scholarship on race in Oregon, Imarisha's now putting a social justice lens on science fiction. As co-editor ofOctavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, out now from Oakland's AK Press, she's also written a story for the anthology, about a "grumpy" black angel.

Read more here!

IO9 Thinks We Are Essential!

We are on the floor in total nerdgirl faints because io9 has named us one of the Most Essential Sci-Fi and Fantasy Readings for April!!!! Check us out here!

The Portland Mercury interviews co-editor Walidah Imarisha

You know Walidah Imarisha: When Gizmodo ran a piece earlier this year about race in Oregon, she was the scholar quoted throughout. We've written about her revolutionary approach to science fiction and social justice right here in these very pages. And now she's co-edited an anthology of science fiction from social justice movements, Octavia's Brood, along with Adrienne Maree Brown.

Octavia's Brood: The Blurbs

People said really beautiful things about this project. We wanted to share some of those loving words with y'all.

Like Butler's fiction, this collection is cartography, a map to freedom. 

 

Our radical imaginations are under siege and this text is the rescue mission. This is the text we’ve been waiting for.

--Ruha Benjamin, professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and author of People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier

Butler could not wish for better evidence of her touch changing our literary and living landscapes. 

-- Octavia E Butler Legacy Network