Today we’re so happy and proud to present the 2015 Reviewers’ Choice and Career Achievement Winners! Let us tell you, a lot of blood, sweat and tears (more tears than you might think!) went into selecting these, the best titles of 2015. Hearty congratulations to all of the winners, thank you for writing such amazing books last year. The award ceremony will take place at the RT Convention in Las Vegas next month, we hope to see many of you there!
I really enjoyed my introduction to Ms. Hopkinson’s work. From the very beginning it was clear that these stories would reflect all the contrasting emotions that make us human. She explains in the foreward "We are, all of us, capable simultaneously of such great good and such horrifying evil.“ The vivid imagery, plain language and memorable diverse characters made almost all of the short stories very enjoyable. I noticed how many times she mentioned hair, characters doing each other’s hair reminded me so much of my own life. Hearing about twisting dreadlocks and taming afros immediately made my heart glad, because it reminded me of my many friends and family members. It was refreshing to see some of my identity and culture reflected back at me.
None of the stories are connected and the different themes and settings kept me intrigued along the way. Between elephants in rooms, limitless food for the hungry, time travel and fragrant tattoos, I was righteously entertained. There were nice introductions to the stories to help orient the reader, and gain more understanding about her writing process.
Caribbean Beat: How do you define speculative fiction?
Nalo Hopkinson: I generally only use the term “speculative fiction” in academic circles. Science fiction and fantasy are literatures that challenge the complacency of our received wisdoms about power, culture, experience, language, existence, social systems, systems of knowledge, and frameworks of understanding. They make us reconsider whose stories deserve to be told, whose narratives shape the future and our beliefs, and who has the “right” to make and remake the world.
“Men make things and women magic them. Is so the world does go, ain’t, doux-doux?”
"You never wonder where them all does go, the drifters, the ragamuffins-them, the ones who think the world must be have something better for them, if them could only find which part it is?“
"You feeling pressure, eh doux-doux? Don’t worry, that normal. Not too much longer, promise you. Then a whole new life going to start for you. No, don’t fight it so, relax. Or it does hurt more. Yes, relax. And make I continue, the story will take your mind off it.“
Jamaican-American visual artist Renee Cox recently released her latest collection of work, Sacred Geometry: where she turns bodies of various people into mandala-inspired geometric fractal patterns. Given several of the stories I have heard lately in the news, her work is again relevant, reinforcing the divine power and value of ourselves, our cultures, our…
I met Janluk Stanislas at a recent Caribbeing event and found out about his 2005 Caribbean futuristic short film, Trafik d’Info. As someone of Afro-Caribbean descent, I am always looking for speculative works from the Caribbean and so this excited me. Trafik d’Info, known as the first science fiction film from the Caribbean, centers on a 20th century organization of rebels who are illegally…
Welcome back! Here is part 2 of my interview with Louis Chude-Sokei! You can read part 1 here. “…What will matter in the long term is the impact we have on the (Sci-fi) genre itself, not on its packaging or clichés…” 4) Science fiction and fantasy have in the past been centered around European/Western stories and tropes and even in Afrofuturism, it was promoted previously as mostly…