Saturday, February 15, 2020
February 15-16, 2020: Fantasy Stories I Love: African Fantasy
[Since I’m teaching the Intro to Sci Fi/Fantasy class this semester, for my annual Valentine’s series I wanted to focus on fantasy authors & stories I’ve loved. Leading up to this weekend post on an emerging community who deserve more love!]
On my first experience with a genre community, and my need to read a lot more.
As I mentioned in my Spring semester preview post for my Intro to Sci Fi/Fantasy class, for this iteration of that course and syllabus I decided to include a new contemporary fantasy novel, Kai Ashante Wilson’s The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps (2015). I won’t restate everything that’s in that post, particularly about my shameful lack of prior experience (either as a reader or a teacher) with African and African American fantasy. Suffice it to say that this small first step was long overdue, and I’ve greatly enjoyed the chance to read Wilson’s book (which is awesome and I can’t wait to teach toward the end of the semester) and begin to correct these gaps in my genre knowledge.
In truth, though, one book is a painfully small start—while I’d have to start somewhere and can only read one book at a time, I’m well aware of the breadth and depth of work beyond this one (even just other works by Wilson himself, much less the vast swath of other writers), of just how much I have to read if I’m to truly begin correcting a sizeable blind spot in my love of fantasy fiction. I see lists like this one, or this one, or this one, and the size of that blind spot, and of the task ahead of me if I’m to truly correct it, becomes particularly clear. So as I do often in this space, I’m asking for the input and collective wisdom of my community of fellow readers. What African and African American fantasy and sci fi authors, books, and series would you especially recommend I start with? Beyond Wilson’s book and this first pedagogical experience, where should I go next?
Of the many things I love in 2020, this blog—and more exactly the communities to which it has connected me—is very high on the list. So let’s put that love to work!
Annual non-favorites series starts Monday,
PS. What do you think? Favorite fantasy authors or stories you’d share?