This year Boskone features a program with a strong selection of panels and discussions dedicated to black science fiction authors, publishers, and fans. Our program includes everything from black publishers and Afrofuturism to works by authors such as Octavia Butler, science panels that include the future of medicine, writing discussions that tackle young adult fiction, and much, much more!
Here’s a quick list of some of our program items with an emphasis on black science fiction and the authors who will be joining us from across the country. For the full set of program items, view the Boskone 55 program.
Black Publishers in SF/F
Science fiction and fantasy work by black writers is thriving. The environment is slowly (but finally) changing, as more publishers, editors, and artists enter the market every day. Our panelists discuss the lay of the land, the challenges of publishing black-themed content, getting shelf space at large and/or independent bookstores, and more.
Afrofuturism started as by definition an outsider movement. But like many subgenres of speculative fiction, it has had a direct impact on the development of the larger field. Where is Afrofuturism going? Which authors should we be watching as they branch out into other subgenres? Are Afrofuturistic stories now becoming seen simply as science fiction, fantasy, or horror?
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
Octavia Butler’s prescient dystopian novel Parable of the Sower was written 25 years ago. Set in the 2020s, it presents a society beset by climate change, social and economic collapse, corporate greed, wealth inequality … need we go on? What did Butler’s masterpiece get right — and wrong? How do her beleaguered characters cope? And what can the novel teach us today?
Afrofuturism Group Reading
Boskone’s Afrofuturism Reading features a wide selection of authors who come together for this special group reading.
Meet Up: The State of Black Science Fiction Facebook Group
Join Gerald Coleman for a discussion focused on the popular Facebook group The State of Black Science Fiction and visit the group online at https://www.facebook.com/groups/blackscifi/
Award-winning author E. Ardell spent her childhood in Houston, Texas obsessed with anything science fiction, fantastic, paranormal or just plain weird. She loves to write stories that feature young people with extraordinary talents thrown into strange and dangerous situations. She took her obsession to the next level, earning a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern Maine where she specialized in young adult genre fiction. She’s a big kid at heart and loves her job as a teen librarian at Monterey Public Library in Monterey, California, where she voluntarily shuts herself in rooms with hungry hordes of teenagers and runs crazy after-school programs for them. When she’s not working, she’s reading, writing, running writers critique groups, trying to keep up with a blog, and even writing fan fiction as her guilty pleasure. Her first YA science fiction novel, The Fourth Piece, was released by 48fourteen Publishing in July of 2016.
Jeff Carroll is pioneering what he calls hip hop horror, science fiction, and Fantasy. His stories always have lots of action and a social edge. He has written and produced 3 films and has written over 5 science fiction and nonfiction books. His short stories have appeared in The Black Science Fiction Society’s anthology and their magazine as well as other anthologies. Jeff produces The Monster Panel a traveling sci-fi panel which features writers of color in a lively discussion of comic books, movies and science fiction.
Gerald L. Coleman
Gerald L. Coleman is a philosopher, theologian, poet, and author residing in Atlanta. Born in Lexington, he did his undergraduate work in Philosophy and English at the University of Kentucky. He followed that by completing a degree in Religious Studies and concluding with a Master’s degree in Theology at Trevecca Nazarene University. He is the author of the epic fantasy novel saga The Three Gifts, which currently includes When Night Falls (Book One) and A Plague of Shadows (Book Two). He has appeared on panels at DragonCon, SOBSFCon, Atlanta Science Fiction & Fantasy Expo, the Outer Dark Symposium, and has been a Guest Author and panelist at JordonCon and Imaginarium. He is a co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets and has recently released three collections of poetry entitled the road is long, falling to earth, and microphone check. You can find him at geraldlcoleman.co.
Gabriel began his career as a graduate from Berklee College of Music with an entertainment business degree. Through his seven-year career span in corporate America, he’s merged his business-minded skill sets with his creativity. In addition to being an author, he is a pianist, singer, and composer. Currently, he does finance for a media company in Brooklyn, NY. However, his crowning achievement has been The Hidden Eternity Series, a soon-to-be seven-book fantasy tale where the deceased are sorted into one of seven castles based on the crimes of their last life. There, they must go through a maze of their past lives before they can get to their next life. Since publication in early Feb 2017, he has been featured on television and radio several times! His growing fan base is calling “The Hidden Eternity Series” the next “Harry Potter”! He thanks you for your time and would love to see you at the 2018 Boskone Convention.
William Hayashi is an author, screenwriter and radio personality who hosts the Genesis Science Fiction Radio Show on Friday evenings. His Darkside Trilogy tells the story of what happens in the U.S. when it is discovered that African Americans have been secretly living on the backside of the moon since before Neil Armstrong arrived. He is currently preparing a second trilogy in his Darkside Universe, which will culminate with a seventh volume that winds up the whole saga.
Justin C. Key is a resident physician living in Manhattan with his lovely wife and two sons. His short stories have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Crossed Genres, and KYSO Flash, as well as in the revolutionary children’s iPad application, FarFaria. He held a writing advice blog for several years at Scribophile.com and worked as a professional health blogger and content editor at WellnessFX while applying to medical school. Justin’s medical training richly informs his writing, and the power of story and narrative allows him to connect with patients on a deeper level. Even as a full-time psychiatry resident, he finds ample time to write. Just don’t ask him how he does it; he wouldn’t be able to tell you.
Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Errick Nunnally served one tour in the Marine Corps before deciding art school would be a safer—and more natural—pursuit. He strives to develop his strengths in storytelling and remains permanently distracted by art, comics, science fiction, history, and horror. Trained as a graphic designer, he has earned a black belt in Krav Maga with Muay Thai kickboxing after dark. Errick’s successes include: the novel, Blood For The Sun; an upcoming novel with ChiZine Publications; a comic strip collection, Lost in Transition; and first prize in one hamburger contest. The following are short stories and their respective anthologies: Welcome to the D.I.V. (Wicked Witches); Harold At The Halfcourt (Inner Demons Out); The Last Apology (A Dark World of Spirits and The Fey); You Call This An Apocalypse? (After The Fall); Recovery (Winter Animals: stories to benefit PROTECT.ORG); A Hundred Pearls: PROTECTORS 2 (stories to benefit PROTECT.ORG) and The Elevation of Oliver Black (Distant Dying Ember). He also has two lovely children and one beautiful wife.
Erin Roberts is a writer and communications consultant from Washington, DC. Her fiction has been published or is forthcoming in Podcastle, Clarkesworld, and The Dark, and her non-fiction has appeared on Tor.com and in People of Colo(u)r Destroy Fantasy, People of Color Take Over FSI, and Cascadia Subduction Zone. She is a Staff Writer for Zombies, Run!, an Associate Editor for Escape Pod, and a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop and Stonecoast MFA program.
Kenneth Rogers Jr.
Kenneth has been living and teaching in Baltimore City since 2010 with his wife, Sarah, and two daughters, Mirus and Amare. In that time, he has taught 6-10th grade English in Baltimore, MD. Kenneth has earned a masters degree in education from Johns Hopkins School of Education, the number one ranked school of education in the country. Since growing up and moving from Peoria, IL he graduated from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH in 2008 with a dual degree in Political Science and English, he has written and published six novels. Those six novels are: Thoughts in Italics, a book of short stories that range from speculative to science fiction; Writing in the Margins, a novel that intertwines the characters of Jack Mueller and John Rubaker that makes the reader question what is reality and fiction; Sequence, a dystopian science fiction novel telling the story of Andrea Remus and Thomas Charon through each memory they are forced to relive as they are downloaded in a computer known as the Pandora Complex to save the human race; The Diary of Oliver Lee, the first in a young adult trilogy that tells the story of Oliver Lee, his ability to “stream” stories from the minds of those around him, and his search for the first couple he ever “streamed”; Love and Fear, book two in the Liturian trilogy which tells the story of Kevin and his continued search for Oliver Lee and answers to his possible future and fate; Raped Black Male: A Memoir which tells Kenneth’s story of what it means to be a male rape survivor, overcoming stereotypes of what it means to be black, and male, and that men can’t be raped; Heroes, Villains, and Healing: A Guide for Male Survivors Using DC Superheroes and Villains which uses comic books and back research to help male survivors of child sexual abuse understand and heal from their childhood sexual trauma.
Christine Taylor-Butler is the author of more than 80 commercially published books for children, including titles in the “True Book” nonfiction series at Scholastic. A graduate of MIT, she holds degrees in both Civil Engineering as well as Art & Design. Her speculative series: The Lost Tribes, debuted in 2015 followed by the sequel Safe Harbor. Book three, entitled Trials, debuts in Fall 2018. Kirkus Reviews said, “…the solid character development, strong writing, and action will appeal to sci-fi and adventure-story readers alike…..A great choice for fans of Rick Riordan and the Artemis Fowl books” She lives in Kansas City.
Kenesha Williams is the Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Black Girl Magic Lit Mag. She took to heart the advice, “If you don’t see a clear path for what you want, sometimes you have to make it yourself,” and created a Speculative Fiction Literary Magazine featuring characters that were representative of herself and other women she identified with. Kenesha has always had a love for the weird and the macabre which she has happily parlayed into Black Girl Magic Literary Magazine, finding the best in undiscovered talent in speculative fiction.
Zig Zag Claybourne wishes he’d grown up with the powers of either Gary Mitchell or Charlie X but without the Kirk confrontations. His work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Vex Mosaic, Alt History 101, Stupefying Stories, The City: A Cyberfunk Anthology, UnCommon Origins, and others. His latest novel is The Brothers Jetstream: Leviathan. Visit him at www.WriteonRighton.com.