Afrofuturism

Tagged: Theme | Music

A term coined by Mark Dery in "Black to the Future: Interviews with Samuel R Delany, Greg Tate, and Tricia Rose" (1993 South Atlantic Quarterly) for a literary and cultural treatment of the African diaspora in terms of, or incorporating tropes from, the genres of sf, Fantasy and Magic Realism, as seen from a black cultural viewpoint; not a subgenre of sf but a genre that intersects sf. The sf novels of Octavia Butler and Samuel R Delany are regarded as major contributions to Afrofuturism, while older literary works by George S Schuyler and others have been retroactively adopted into the genre (see Proto SF). In SF Music, the pioneer of Afrofuturism was Sun Ra: groups following his trail include George Clinton's Parliament and Funkadelic, and more recently Deltron 3030. Genre critics who have written about Afrofuturism include Marleen S Barr and Mark Bould; the latter guest-edited a special Afrofuturism issue of Science Fiction Studies (July 2007). Relevant Anthologies are Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora (anth 2000) and its sequel Dark Matter: Reading the Bones (anth 2004), both edited by Sheree R Thomas and both winners of the World Fantasy Awards for best anthology; besides Thomas's editorial introduction, the first volume includes essays by Butler and Delany. The later AfroSF sequence of Original Anthologies beginning with Afrosf: Science Fiction by African Writers (anth 2012) edited by Ivor W Hartmann, has proved increasingly useful. [DRL]

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