I’m excited to be coming off a short hiatus from the SPECULATIVE BLACKNESS #FORMATION BOOK TOUR PURPLE LEMONADE SPRING 2016 with a reading at Giovanni’s Room bookstore this Sunday! I will be the opener for the author who has put Philadelphia on the Afrofuturist map, in my opinion: Rasheeda Phillips.
But first, I will share some photos and updates from the meantime.
After an in-depth but intimate reading at the Penn Book Center, I had the pleasure of doing an interview with James Spadey for the Philadelphia Scoop.
This turned out to be an even more thoughtful and exploratory conversation than I’d expected, and it reminds me that Black media matters. We really do appreciate each other, despite what you may hear to the contrary. I’m looking forward to sharing the Scoop story here and elsewhere, so watch this space and check the Scoop website to read it. Hopefully you’ll also see the photos by Dave White in print!
More recently, it was an honor and a privilege to be featured in Shelf Life, a fortnightly (!) column in the UK’s Times Higher Education. THE, formerly known as the Times Higher Education Supplement, is widely known for its worldwide rankings of universities. I’m more excited about taking part in the vital work of talking about books, which I do in this interview in response to questions from Karen Shook. Shelf Life has previously focused on prominent scholars and authors like David Harvey, Sunil Khilnani, and Deborah Rhode, so I’m proud to be part of their effort to spotlight early career academics. And I hope this means something to Black British readers.
*title derived from John Hodgman, because who doesn’t love fake almanacs?
I was honored and geeked to the max to be invited to record with The Black Tribbles for the April episode of Tribble Nation! This monthly show is part of the glittering constellation of Black Tribbles programming helmed by Len “Bat Tribble” Cruze, in collaboration with Philadelphia’s WHYY radio. So this was the second time in my life (and the second time this month!) I’ve used a real-life radio mic in a real-life radio studio.
photo by M. Asli Dukan
We talked about Speculative Blackness, shared thoughts on the media texts I examine in the book, and then shifted to a wonderful discussion of Moments with Octavia with my esteemed colleague Dr. Vincent Williams and Invisible Universe filmmaker M. Asli Dukan, as well as co-host Charlie Brownskin, aka Lilith Tribble, the force behind North Philly’s Treehouse Books. You knew there would be selfies, right? Take a listen, and stay tuned for an update: video of my induction to Tribble Nation as Speculative Tribble!
Friday night’s event at the CUNY Grad Center was a rousing success. It’s bittersweet to hear that some people were turned away because attendance exceeded the room’s capacity! Fortunately, there’s video!
This panel discussion, convened by Dr. Philip Kadish, took its point of departure from the debacle of the 2015 Hugo Awards in which a cadre of malcontents tried to game the voting at the World Science Fiction Convention in order to forward candidates who represented their preferences rather than any favorable disposition toward the flourishing diversity among SF writers and readers in recent years. The panelists included people whose livelihood and literary reputations are indirectly implicated in these developments: authors Craig L. Gidney and Jennifer Marie Brissett. And me!
It was a truly illuminating discussion, with occasional questions from the audience and a legit revival when Jenn Brissett arrived to recount her experiences with the Science Fiction Writers of America, the tepid institutional response to her success, and the systemic nature of the genre’s slow-moving efforts at inclusion. I’ll let the video and the brilliant work of these authors speak for themselves. Many thanks to everyone who showed up. I’m proud to have sold some books, too!
A seasonal cold kept me from the Rainbow Book Fair, but the next stop on the Speculative Blackness #Formation Book Tour 2016 will be Tribble Nation on WHYY with the Black Tribbles, on Monday, April 11! Listen live and check out the podcast at http://www.blacktribbles.com.
This morning, I went to a studio at Temple University to participate in a live broadcast of Minnesota Public Radio’s MPR News with Kerri Miller. It was super-cool, not least because OMG SOUND STUDIES RADIO DRAMA #AUDIOFUTURISM KISMET. The sound quality was the business. Take a listen! (Link will open an .mp3 if the embedded player below gives you trouble)
The show consisted of a conversation between host Kerri Miller, London-based Malaysian writer Zen Cho, and me, along with live updates from Twitter & chat by Stephanie Curtis, and phone calls from listeners.
A good time was had by all, and I/we recommended some quality SF texts by authors & artists of color!
Had a blast at the Society for Cinema & Media Studies conference! I signed some books, but more importantly, learned more about Sound Studies and presented the first inkling of Audiofuturism. #secondproject