Whenever we envision a world without war, without prisons, without capitalism, we are producing speculative fiction. Organizers and activists envision, and try to create, such worlds all the time. Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown have brought twenty of them together in the first anthology of short stories to explore the connections between radical speculative fiction and movements for social change. The visionary tales ofOctavia’s Brood 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. The collection is rounded off with essays by Tananarive Due and Mumia Abu-Jamal, and a preface by Sheree Renée Thomas.
Whenever we envision a world without war, without prisons, without capitalism, we are producing speculative fiction. Organizers and activists envision, and try to create, such worlds all the time. Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown have brought twenty of them together in the first anthology of short stories to explore the connections between radical speculative fiction and movements for social change. The visionary tales of Octavia’s Brood 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. The collection is rounded off with essays by Tananarive Due and Mumia Abu-Jamal, and a preface by Sheree Renée Thomas. PRAISE FOR OCTAVIA'S BROOD: "Those concerned with justice and liberation must always persuade the mass of people that a better world is possible. Our job begins with speculative fictions that fire society's imagination and its desire for change. In adrienne maree brown and Walidah Imarisha's visionary conception, and by its activist-artists' often stunning acts of creative inception, Octavia's Brood makes for great thinking and damn good reading. The rest will be up to us." —Jeff Chang, author of Who We Be: The Colorization of America “Conventional exclamatory phrases don’t come close to capturing the essence of what we have here in Octavia’s Brood. One 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.’ Our radical imaginations are under siege and this text is the rescue mission. It is the new cornerstone of every class I teach on inequality, justice, and social change....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 "Octavia once told me that two things worried her about the future of humanity: The tendency to think hierarchically, and the tendency to place ourselves higher on the hierarchy than others. I think she would be humbled beyond words that the fine, thoughtful writers in this volume have honored her with their hearts and minds. And that in calling for us to consider that hierarchical structure, they are not walking in her shadow, nor standing on her shoulders, but marching at her side." —Steven Barnes, author of Lion’s Blood “Never has one book so thoroughly realized the dream of its namesake. Octavia's Brood is the progeny of two lovers of Octavia Butler and their belief in her dream that science fiction is for everybody.... Butler could not wish for better evidence of her touch changing our literary and living landscapes. Play with these children, read these works, and find the children in you waiting to take root under the stars!” —Moya Bailey and Ayana Jamieson, Octavia E. Butler Legacy “Like [Octavia] Butler's fiction, this collection is cartography, a map to freedom.” —dream hampton, filmmaker and Visiting Artist at Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts Walidah Imarisha is a writer, organizer, educator, and spoken word artist. She is the author of the poetry collectionScars/Stars and facilitates writing workshops at schools, community centers, youth detention facilities, and women's prisons. adrienne maree brown is a 2013 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow writing science fiction in Detroit, Michigan. She received a 2013 Detroit Knight Arts Challenge Award to run a series of Octavia Butler–based writing workshops.
Author: adrienne maree brown
Publisher: AK Press
Release Date: 2017-03-20
Genre: Social Science
In the tradition of Octavia Butler, here is radical self-help, society-help, and planet-help to shape the futures we want. Change is constant. The world, our bodies, and our minds are in a constant state of flux. They are a stream of ever-mutating, emergent patterns. Rather than steel ourselves against such change, Emergent Strategy teaches us to map and assess the swirling structures and to read them as they happen, all the better to shape that which ultimately shapes us, personally and politically. A resolutely materialist spirituality based equally on science and science fiction: a wild feminist and afro-futurist ride! adrienne maree brown, co-editor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements, is a social justice facilitator, healer, and doula living in Detroit.
Sisters of the Revolution gathers a highly curated selection of feminist speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror, and more) chosen by one of the most respected editorial teams in speculative literature today, the award-winning Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. Including stories from the 1970s to the present day, the collection seeks to expand the conversation about feminism while engaging the reader in a wealth of imaginative ideas. From the literary heft of Angela Carter to the searing power of Octavia Butler, Sisters of the Revolution gathers daring examples of speculative fiction’s engagement with feminism. Dark, satirical stories such as Eileen Gunn’s “Stable Strategies for Middle Management” and the disturbing horror of James Tiptree Jr.’s “The Screwfly Solution” reveal the charged intensity at work in the field. Including new, emerging voices such as Nnedi Okorafor and featuring international contributions from Angelica Gorodischer and many more, this collection seeks to expand the ideas of both contemporary fiction and feminism to new fronts. Moving from the fantastic to the futuristic, subtle to surreal, these stories will provoke thoughts and emotions about feminism like no other book available today. Other contributors include Anne Richter, Carol Emshwiller, Eleanor Arnason, Hiromi Goto, Joanna Russ, Karin Tidbeck, Kelley Eskridge, Kelly Barnhill, Kit Reed, L. Timmel Duchamp, Leena Krohn, Leonora Carrington, Pamela Sargent, Rose Lemberg, Susan Palwick, Tanith Lee, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Vandana Singh.
Author: Walidah Imarisha
Publisher: AK Press
Release Date: 2016-01-18
Genre: Social Science
"There was a time I believed prisons existed to rehabilitate people, to make our communities safer. . . . When I saw for the first time (but not the last) a mother sobbing and clutching her son when visiting hours were up, only to be physically pried off and escorted out by guards, I knew nothing about that made me safer. This is the heart of this country's prison system. And the prison system has become the heart of America."—Walidah Imarisha, from the introduction. This is no romanticized tale of crime and punishment. The three lives in this creative nonfiction account are united by the presence of actual harm—sometimes horrific violence. Walidah Imarisha, a sexual assault survivor, brings us behind prison walls to visit her incarcerated brother Kakamia and his fellow inmate Jimmy "Mac" McElroy, a member of the Irish gang the Westies. Together they explore the questions: People can do unimaginable damage to one another—and then what? What do we as a society do? What might redemption look like? Imarisha doesn't flinch as she guides us through the complexities and contradictions of transformative justice, eschewing theory for a much messier reality. The result is a nuanced and deeply personal analysis that allows readers to connect emotionally with the stories she shares, and the people behind them. Walidah Imarisha is a writer, organizer, educator, and spoken-word artist. She is the co-editor of Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements and author of the collection of poetry Scars/Stars.
Author: Ytasha Womack
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Release Date: 2013-10-01
Genre: Social Science
Comprising elements of the avant-garde, science fiction, cutting-edge hip-hop, black comix, and graphic novels, Afrofuturism spans both underground and mainstream pop culture. With a twofold aim to entertain and enlighten, Afrofuturists strive to break down racial, ethnic, and all social limitations to empower and free individuals to be themselves. This book introduces readers to the burgeoning artists creating Afrofuturist works, the history of innovators in the past, and the wide range of subjects they explore. From the sci-fi literature of Samuel Delaney, Octavia Butler, and NK Jemison to the musical cosmos of Sun Ra, George Clinton, and the Black Eye Peas Will.i.am, who debuted "Reach for the Stars" on Mars, to the visual and multimedia artists inspired by African Dogon myths and Egyptian deities. Topics range from the “alien” experience of blacks in America to the “wake up” cry peppering sci-fi literature, sermons, and activism. Interviews with rappers, composers, musicians, singers, authors, comic illustrators, painters, and DJs, as well as Afrofuturist professors, will provide a firsthand look at this fascinating movement. Ytasha L. Womack is a filmmaker, futurist and the author of Post Black: How a New Generation is Redefining African American Identity and the coeditor of Beats Rhymes and Life: What We Love and Hate About Hip Hop. She is also the creator of the Rayla 2212 sci fi/multimedia series and author of 2212: Book of Rayla. She lives in Chicago.
Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond is a groundbreaking speculative fiction anthology that showcases the work from some of the most talented writers inside and outside speculative fiction across the globe—including Junot Diaz, Victor LaValle, Lauren Beukes, N. K. Jemisin, Rabih Alameddine, S. P. Somtow, and more. These authors have earned such literary honors as the Pulitzer Prize, the American Book Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the Bram Stoker, among others.
Presenting an alternative version of African American history, this novel explores what might have happened if John Brown’s 1859 raid on Harper’s Ferry had been successful. Chronicling life in a thriving black nation founded by Brown in the former southeastern United States, this dramatic story opens 100 years later, just as Nova Africa is poised to celebrate its first landing of a spacecraft on Mars. The prosperous black state will soon be tested when the granddaughter of John Brown returns from Africa to reunite with her daughter and share with her a secret that will alter their lives forever.
So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy is an anthology of original new stories by leading African, Asian, South Asian, and Aboriginal authors, as well as North American and British writers of colour. Stories of imagined futures abound in Western writing. Writer and editor Nalo Hopkinson notes that the science fiction/fantasy genre ''speaks so much about the experience of being alienated, but contains so little writing by alienated people themselves.'' It's an oversight that Hopkinson and Mehan aim to correct with this anthology. The wealth of postcolonial literature has included many who have written insightfully about their pasts and presents. With So Long Been Dreaming they creatively address their futures. With an introduction by Hugo and Nebula Award-winner Samuel R. Delany. Contributors to So Long Been Dreaming are Opal Palmer Adisa, Celu Amberstone, Ven Begamudre, Tobias S. Buckell, Wayde Compton, Andrea Hairston, Maya Khankhoje, Tamai Kobayashi, Larissa Lai, Karin Lowachee, devorah major, Suzette Mayr, Carole McDonnell, Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, Eden Robinson, Nisi Shawl, Vandana Singh, Sheree R. Thomas, and Greg van Eekhout.
Author: Greg Jobin-Leeds
Publisher: New Press, The
Release Date: 2016-01-05
Genre: Political Science
Same-sex marriage, #BlackLivesMatter, the DREAM Act, the People’s Climate March, End the New Jim Crow, Occupy Wall Street, the fight for a $15 minimum wage—these are just a few of the remarkable movements that have blossomed in the past decade, a most fertile and productive era of activism. Now, in a visually rich and deeply inspiring book, the leaders and activists of these and other movements distill their wisdom, sharing lessons of what makes—and what hinders—transformative social change. Longtime social activist Greg Jobin-Leeds joins forces with AgitArte, a collective of artists and organizers, to capture the stories, philosophy, tactics, and art of today’s leading social change movements. When We Fight, We Win! weaves together interviews with today’s most successful activists and artists from across the country and beyond—including Patrisse Cullors-Brignac, Bill McKibben, Clayton Thomas-Muller, Karen Lewis, Favianna Rodriguez, Rea Carey, and Gaby Pacheco, among others—with narrative recountings of strategies and campaigns alongside full-color photos. It includes a foreword by Rinku Sen and an afterword by Antonia Darder. When We Fight, We Win! will give a whole generation of readers the chance to celebrate and benefit from a remarkable decade of activism—a decade that shows just how ripe these times are for social transformation.
Author: Shelley Streeby
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2018-01-31
This title is part of American Studies Now and available as an e-book first. Visit ucpress.edu/go/americanstudiesnow to learn more. From the 1960s to the present, activists, artists, and science fiction writers have imagined the consequences of climate change and its impacts on our future. Authors such as Octavia Butler and Leslie Marmon Silko, movie directors such as Bong Joon-Ho, and creators of digital media such as the makers of the Maori web series Anamata Future News have all envisioned future worlds in the wake of imminent environmental collapse, engaging audiences to think about the earth’s sustainability. As public awareness of climate change has grown, so has the popularity of imaginative works of climate fiction that connect science with activism. Today real-world social movements helmed by Indigenous people and people of color are leading the way against the greatest threat to our environment: the fossil fuel industry. It is through these stories and movements by Natives and people of color—both in the real world and imagined through science fiction—that we understand the relationship between culture and activism and how both can be a valuable tool in creating our future. Imagining the Future of Climate Change introduces readers to the history and most significant flashpoints in climate justice through speculative fictions and social movements to explore post-disaster possibilities and the art of world-making.
Author: Ruha Benjamin
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Release Date: 2013-05-22
Genre: Social Science
Stem cell research has sparked controversy and heated debate since the first human stem cell line was derived in 1998. Too frequently these debates devolve to simple judgments—good or bad, life-saving medicine or bioethical nightmare, symbol of human ingenuity or our fall from grace—ignoring the people affected. With this book, Ruha Benjamin moves the terms of debate to focus on the shifting relationship between science and society, on the people who benefit—or don't—from regenerative medicine and what this says about our democratic commitments to an equitable society. People's Science uncovers the tension between scientific innovation and social equality, taking the reader inside California's 2004 stem cell initiative, the first of many state referenda on scientific research, to consider the lives it has affected. Benjamin reveals the promise and peril of public participation in science, illuminating issues of race, disability, gender, and socio-economic class that serve to define certain groups as more or less deserving in their political aims and biomedical hopes. Under the shadow of the free market and in a nation still at odds with universal healthcare, the socially marginalized are often eagerly embraced as test-subjects, yet often are unable to afford new medicines and treatment regimes as patients. Ultimately, Ruha Benjamin argues that without more deliberate consideration about how scientific initiatives can and should reflect a wider array of social concerns, stem cell research— from African Americans' struggle with sickle cell treatment to the recruitment of women as tissue donors—still risks excluding many. Even as regenerative medicine is described as a participatory science for the people, Benjamin asks us to consider if "the people" ultimately reflects our democratic ideals.
Author: Kevin Van Meter
Publisher: AK Press
Release Date: 2017-05-22
Genre: Social Science
"Few have approached radical theory with the rigor and skill of Kevin Van Meter. Empowering, lucid, and inspiring, Guerrillas of Desire provides an exhaustive (and much needed) retooling of anarchism that will align the dreams of 'becoming revolutionaries' with the reality of everyday resistance." —Alexander Reid Ross, author of Against the Fascist Creep "Looking for the political in the everyday and bringing anarchism into a productive dialogue with Autonomist Marxism, Kevin Van Meter challenges many of the left's usual assumptions and forces a reconsideration of what we mean by 'struggle.'" —Kristian Williams, author of Our Enemies in Blue Behind the smiling faces of cashiers, wait staff, and workers of all sorts, a war is being planned, usually without the knowledge of official political and labor organizations. Guerrillas of Desire begins with a provocation: The Left is wrong. It's historical and current strategies are too-often based on the assumption that working and poor people are unorganized, acquiescent to systems of domination, or simply uninterested in building a new world. The fact is, as C.L.R. James has noted, they "are rebelling every day in ways of their own invention": pilfering, sabotaging, faking illnesses, squatting, fleeing, and counter-strategizing. Kevin Van Meter maps these undercurrents, illustrating that everyday resistance is an important factor in revolution and something radicals of all stripes must understand. Kevin Van Meter is an activist-scholar based in the Pacific Northwest. He is coeditor of Uses of a Whirlwind: Movement, Movements, and Contemporary Radical Currents in the United States.