Celebrating Black History Month: Science Fiction Posted on February 22nd, 2021 by

Cover of Kindred by Octavia ButlerThe Library offers many resources that document, commemorate, and celebrate Black history and experiences in the U.S. Each week this month, we’ll feature some of these resources. Today we highlight science fiction written by Black women.

Kindred by Octavia Butler is widely regarded as modern classic, a best seller as well as a foundational literary work. The novel follows Dana as she is inexplicably transported from her home in California in 1976, to antebellum Maryland. The novel combines time travel, historical fiction, and slave narratives to ask difficult questions about family, ancestry, and the legacies of slavery.

Kindred has also been adapted as a graphic novel.

Butler is a prolific science fiction writer, a MacArthur Fellow, and winner of several Hugo and Nebula Awards. You can find more of her work by searching for her in the library catalog.

Cover of How Long 'til Black Future Month? by N. K. JemisinIf you’re interested in science fiction, N. K. Jemisin is another important author to check out. Jemisin is the recipient of numerous Hugo Awards, and is a 2020 MacArthur Fellow. You can find her works by searching for her in the library catalog.

Jemisin also penned How Long ‘til Black Future Month?, a book of short stories that juxtaposes futuristic worlds with sci-fi and dystopian reimaginings of the past and present.


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