The last ten months have been really productive despite the seeming acceleration of entropy world wide. I published three essays while simultaneously working on final edits for my novel. Then just today, my agent, Barry Goldblatt, told me we were ready to go on submission in August. I announced my intentions to the world and my friend Shan gave me the biggest virtual hug you ever saw. We've known each other for years. She's old school BSFW. I even got to produce one of her stories on the Keleidocast's first season, way back when.It was "Bilaadi," one of my favorite short stories of all time. Now she's bringing straight fire to the readers of epic fantasy with her Daevabad Trilogy, the final installment of which is coming out Tuesday, The Empire of Gold. (I already got my copy. Read it. Loved it. Will review it).
Needless to say, I'm super proud of her and grateful for her support. Also, happy that I can put down my novel and write something completely different for awhile. I've got a weird western alternate history with a Black conjure woman/ gunslinger burning a hole in my pocket. Well, it won't be completely different. There will be a dragon.
6/11/2020 0 Comments
A friend and ally, Louis Evans, read my Tor.com essays "In search of Afro-Solarpunk Part 1 & Part 2" and passed it on to Lydia Laureson, founder of the New Modality, a new publication that delves into experimental and speculative everything with gusto and expertise. Lydia loved it and reached out to me to do a photo essay on Afrofuturism. The concept was grand in scale: an inter-dimensional griot on a meta-fiction journey of our many Black futures through art. Unfortunately that was not to be. The story I wanted to tell and the pictures I wanted to use would have demanded a budget to rival that of a Marvel MCU tent poler. So we returned to the purity of the written word. That gave me an excuse to move this topic to the top of my to-do list.
For a while now, I've taken to seeing religion, at its core, as a kind of performative art. An expression of belief interpreted for endless audiences. It is lived in, sacrificed to, ingested, regurgitated, and coded in ways that escape casual description, easy moral pigeonholing, and demand critique. In other words, religion is pure human. It is an art that is as fundamental as gravity to so many communities. I thought solarpunk would be more beautiful and functional for integrating these perspectives into its many variable visions of the future. This essay was a direct appeal to creatives: consider the spiritual aspects of being in the near future.
I hope you enjoy it.
The essay can be found here: Promised Land: Religious Ideology and Solarpunk Science Fiction. Please, consider subscribing to the New Modality. There is SO much more where this came from.
Not my real name, but it does roll right off the tongue, doesn't it?