Hold it, Black Speculative Fiction has a month?
Sure does. And that month is October. Not even the shortest month either. Like any other “month” this is a chance for folks interested in the field (a.k.a. nerds) to generate buzz, have events, release books, and generally promote the genre. It is in its second year and is growing. You can read more about it over at Chronicles of Harriet, one of my favorite sources for books and information of Black Speculative happenings.
Speculative Fiction (Spec Fic to its friends) as a term is coming in to general use because saying “I’m a Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror/Alternative History/anything else that is not just plain Fiction fan” is so long that it doesn’t leave much room in your Tweet for the @ mention and the # commentary. Like all genre labels, it has some squishy edges. How does it relate to Afrofuturism? Post-colonial literature?
That’s a fight I’d rather stay out of at this point. But I do choose my own books. So here’s what I do know.
You’ve seen that guy on the subway or street corner who’s working his self-produced CD?
Sister Dread, Sister DREAD! Hey hey, I’m working here to move these tracks, you know? Is me and a few of my aces, all positive rap, you know, no bitches on here, just a little booty. We trying to move on up, you know? You want one? Five dollars, five dollars for a listen you won’t regret!
I’m the Sister Dread that buys those CDs.
I’m also the one who wanders the Internet and finds new authors who you might not otherwise hear about. Then I pitch them to you like a friend lending you that curb-purchased CD. We’re all creatures of habit, and cheap ones at that. We want to buy tried and true things we know we’ll like. But that means that new authors struggle to get noticed while readers stand in line for the next Harry Potter rip-off. So I make it easier for you to read something new. Getting off the beaten path will have some danger – I have bought street-side CDs that were so bad I threw them out after the 3rd track and books so bad I was mad that I’d spent Starbucks’ bandwidth downloading them. But there are also some amazing stories out there, just waiting to be found.
I hope to expand the readership for Black Speculative Fiction by encouraging more people to try new books. I hope to circulate the names of Black Speculative Fiction creators, so there’s never any question that we’re here and we write, and write well. I hope to encourage those creators that their readership is out here, ready and willing to spend some money on their tales. Most of all, I hope to keep finding new books to love and to share them with you.
Hey hey! I’m working here to move these books, you know? Me and a few folks I know, just trying to move on up in the world.