Thursday, March 05, 2015

Chicanonautica: Revolt on Black and Brown Planets

About five years ago, I was moping around, yearning for another New Wave in science fiction/speculative fiction/whatever they're calling it this week. If writers of imaginative fiction were going to survive, we were going to need some alternatives to the collapsing world of corporate publishing that just didn't have a place for a Chicano scifiista like me.

Fast forward to now – and it's happening! Plug into the social media, and blerds are calling out for more blacks in all genres, Latinos are referring to science fiction and fantasy in their discussions, and all kinds of fantastic fiction, by and about all kinds of people, is being published and finding readers.

We've come a long way from when people would say that the reading audience was white, middle class males and not get any argument about it.

The whole science fiction/fantasy/horror genre conglomerate is no longer the intellectual property of an exclusive group. Everybody's doing it. All over the planet. Maybe even out on the space station . . .

A good place to catch up with this revolution is Black and Brown Planets: The Politics of Race in Science Fiction edited by Isiah Lavender III. This collection of essays lets you know what's happening, but also tells about the past, including things I didn't know about – and I've been obsessed with this stuff for decades.

I did a Chicanonautica about a couple of the essays, the ones about High Aztech, and virtual reality applied to border issues. But since then I've been able to read the entire book, and it sent my mind soaring. It's a treasure trove of authors and titles to note and seek out. Reading it is just the beginning of the journey.

It's an expensive academic production, printed on paper that will still be around long after the first editions of my novels have crumbled to dust. It should be in libraries. Suggest it to yours. Your community will the better for it.

You'll also get the jump on the artistic/literary explosion that is just getting started.

Ernest Hogan's latest story, “Where Civilizations Go to Die” can be read free and online at Bewildering Stories.


Paul Riddell said...

Now I need to get my own copy. 25 years ago, this was the sort of future for science fiction that I was hoping to see. You know, a wait of 25 years isn't all that bad, considering what we're getting from that wait.


Yes, Paul, the future has finally arrived. And once again, thanks for all your support through it all.