poc in sci fi

10

Afro-Futurism In Music

Sun Ra- Space Is The Place

Parliament Funkadelic- Mothership Connection

Outkast- ATliens

Deltron 3030- Event

Kode9 & Spaceape- Memories Of The Future

Janelle Monae- The Archandroid

TheeSatisfaction- Earthee

Clipping- Splendor And Misery

Shabazz Palaces- Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star

Shabazz Palaces- Quazarz: Vs The Jealous Machines

Writing With Color – Featured Research Guides

Although WWC shares resources when we can and bring some to the table ourselves, we don’t exist to seek outside sources for one’s writing; this is ultimately the writer’s job. Even so, we’re more than happy to offer guidance on the What, Where and How of doing research for your inclusive writing. 

Take a look at some of the research help & resources complied below:

Research

Research Sources

WWC Tags and Help

General Research

Cultural and Religious Research 

Historical Research

Fantasy Sci-Fi & Research

Name Research/Resources

Resources

Cultural and Religious Resources

WWC Naming Resources/Guides

–WWC

You know what’s a shame?

When your favorite VOD streaming service cancels  one of their most diverse Shows right at the beginning of Pride Month!

I mean srsly…..

When was the last time I saw a Show that wasn’t either dominated by white folks or kinda exclusive to POC? Instead Sense8 has a mix of 8 wonderfully different main characters, such as…

Will Gorski:

The cop from Chicago, the loyal friend, the lover; a man confident enough to trust the woman by his side with his whole conscious & unconscius being to save him. 

Riley Blue:

The DJane from Iceland, the mother, the lonely spirit; the woman who would walk trough hell and back to save the ones she loves.

Capheus Onyango:

The Matatu driver from Nairobi, the optimist, the one who won’t let himself be defined by poor or rich but just his courage to make a difference. 

Sun Bak:

The Warrioress from Korea, the unbent, betrayed by those closest to her but not even prison could break her. Now she’s on her way for justice.

Lito Rodriguez:

The closeted telenovela star from Mexico, the passionate dreamer, along his career he learnt to be the hero of his own destiny. Can he make it big beyond the borders of his homeland?

Kala Dandekar:

The Pharmacist from India; the believer, once she learnt that traditions are not necessarily the safest option she finds the courage to fight for her happiness.

Wolfgang Bogdanow:

The safecracker from Germany, raised by a brutal and bullying father he found family much closer then bound by blood and even love where he least expected it.

Nomi Marks:

The transgender hacktivist from San Francisco, rejected by her family who refuse to accept her new Identity as Nomi, she made herself a name by blogging about political issues. Her fiancee Amanita a beautiful WOC with 3 father figures have her back in all this.

Now imagine these 8 completely different characters living their individual life finding out that they’re mentally connected with one another. Called a cluster  they explore step by step each others world by visiting one another. Visiting means they can only use the regular given senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting etc from the person they visit. Another ability is sharing. Sharing means they can use each others skills  regardless of their own but this works only within the cluster.  So in short word that means Capheus can share his driving skills with Nomi who can’t drive as much as Lito can feel Sun Baks menstruation symptoms sometimes. Yes they have very a lot of funny and emotional moments together along they way. 

Originally posted by amanitacaplan

Other Characters:

Angelica Turing:

Better known as the mother she appears to be the one capable of giving birth to clusters by releasing/activating their connection to each other. When her last cluster awoke she commited suicide. She was in a relationship with Jonas which whom she released several clusters.

Jonas Maliki:

He shows up when Angelica’s last born cluster awoke to guide and teach them their abilities as sensates. He’s doing this mainly through Will Gorski. Jonas and Angelica were in a relationship and part of the same cluster. 

Dr. Whispers:

He’s the main antagonist of the Show goes by several aliases but best known as Whispers. Although as a sensate himself he’s part of an organisation that hunts down other sensates. He can only connect with a cluster by making direct eye contact. 

Amanita Caplan:

Amanita works in a bookstore, supports LGBT charities, she has a mother named Grace and three father figures because they never cared to find out who’s the biological one. They loved her all the same. She is Nomi’s fiancee.

Hernando Fuentes:

He’s an Art professor, loves to cook and is the lover of Lito. Despite his relationship with Lito needs to be kept a secret due the career of Lito he’s very supportive. Nontehelss he has strong beliefs of its own and is mostly the more grounded part in their relationship.

Daniela Velasquez:

She comes from a wealthy background, is an actress and Lito’s friend as well as his cover at events. Later she finds out about his secret and formes a close bond to both Lito and Hernando based on her fascination with gay men in general.

Felix Berner:

He’s Wolfgangs best friend since they were kids. Although he’s having the talent to getting himself in trouble and Wolfgang along with him hes fairly loyal and the only one who knows about Wolfie’s abusive childhood.

Despite this amazing concept of 8 fully developed individual characters forming a worldwide bond to defeat a greater enemy who’s after them for experiments and killing them in the process Netflix canceled this Show after only 2 Seasons. Sure filming in 8 differerent cities all over the globe is expensive but that makes the quality even better and so much more authentic. There is no need to kill off characters for the shock effect, no need to sideline anyone for the sake of one major pairing. They’re equals, they’re individuals, not dependent on each other but stronger together if it’s necessary.

If you don’t believe me go and watch it for yourself on Netflix if you have it!

Here’s a little preview:

FEEL FREE TO SHARE, ADD TAGS OR CORRECT THINGS! 

SHOW AWARNESS ~ #BRINGBACKSENSE8 ~ SIGN THE PETITION (x)

BOOK REC (Sci-Fi with PoC and wlw)

Why you should read The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers:

  • IT HAS A HUGE EMPHASIS ON FOUND FAMILY and also on moving forward and how you sometimes need different people at different stages of your life
  • The alien cultures, man, they are like nothing I’ve ever seen before on this scale. It’s not just surface stuff, it’s down to the belief systems and social interactions and how they view things like motherhood and violence and even board games! Also, FEMALE ALIENS WITHOUT BREASTS WHO ARE CONSIDERED VERY ATTRACTIVE TO HUMANS CAN I GET A HELL YEAH
  • Gender and sexuality are definitely way more fluid, one of the crew members is a species that changes gender across their lifetime (plus there is a crew member that goes by they pronouns, though not exactly in a nb way, it’s hard to explain)
  • Imagine Firefly, except in a universe full of aliens like Guardians of the Galaxy, and the crew aren’t criminals (for the most part) and are just generally a bit nicer. And by nicer I mean, as someone else more eloquent than me said about this book “they’re not all good people, but most of them are trying to be”. They care about each other despite all the cultural differences that sometimes have them screaming
  • most of the humans on the crew are not white
  • TWO FEMALE MEMBERS OF THE CREW BECOME A COUPLE I’m not gonna say which because it totally took me by surprise and that was an incredible thing cos I already adored this book and then it gave me the one thing it was missing that I hadn’t dared hope for 
  • polyamory is discussed frequently and is a base part of one of the alien cultures and it’s very normalised and respected
  • seriously everyone does their hardest to be respectful of each other’s culture and all the differences and even though sometimes they fail or really struggle they really TRY and that’s what makes it so great
  • the book is genuinely hilarious (“What do your crazy speciests do?” “Live on gated farms and have private orgies.” “How is that any different than what the rest of you do?” “We don’t have gates and anybody can come to our orgies.”)
  • there’s plot but it’s very character driven in a way that works really well
  • Kizzy - my favourite character who is just a joy (imagine Kaylee Frye if she was Chinese, hyped up on extreme amounts of caffeine, and totally eccentric)
  • REALLY AMAZING PLATONIC MALE/FEMALE RELATIONSHIPS
  • like seriously every damn relationship in this book is so incredible and important and well done
  • I’ve never done a book rec on here before and the fact that I feel the need to do this should in itself say something about how amazing it is

In summary: 

  • SPACE GIRLFRIENDS NEED I SAY MORE
  • amazing and compelling alien cultures
  • a crew/found family that are so beautiful in their differences and how they do their best to respect and accommodate them
  • it’s really fucking funny
  • “Ninety percent of all problems are caused by people being assholes.” “What causes the other ten percent?” “Natural disasters.”
10

Kati Kati(2016) directed by Mbithi Masya

“Bereft of earthly memories, a new arrival in the afterlife struggles to recover the past, in this poetic fantasy that offers a dark reflection on personal atonement in the shadow of Kenya’s violent past

Imagine waking up one day in a barren wasteland. Amnesia leaves you clueless as to your whereabouts, your identity, and how you arrived. A small group of strangers welcomes you to a nearby oasis resort, and they reveal to you the nature of this new reality. You are dead. And this is the afterlife. This is what happens to Kaleche (Nyokabi Gethaiga) in the enigmatic opening sequence of Kati Kati, writer-director Mbithi Masya’s poetic first feature film.

Kaleche is a new arrival with no recollection of her life or death. A dozen other young Kenyans are all caught in the same eerie dormant state. They want for nothing; they simply write down whatever their heart desires and it appears at their bedside the next morning.

The group’s unofficial leader is Thoma (Elsaphan Njora), who is passionate about helping the dead remember and reconcile with their fragmented pasts. But Kaleche’s presence triggers a transformation in Thoma. Their mutual enchantment with each other unearths a sinister secret of his, forcing him to confront his own denial and pain.

Masya is one third of the alternative house-funk trio Just a Band, and his musical background clearly informs the film’s lyrical rhythms — to say nothing of the way the script by Masya and co-writer Mugambi Nthiga crescendoes to a climax. With echoes of Wings of Desire and After Life, Kati Kati offers a dark reflection on personal atonement in the shadow of Kenya’s past.”

*Sister* “Don’t you ever worry about the future, Sharon?” *Me* “I would, sure, but Donald Trump is in charge. Thus, I assume WW3 and the nuclear apocalypse are imminent. At this point ‘planning for my future’ would be learning to drive a tank around a desolate wasteland, watching Mad Max: Fury Road 100x, and getting over my fear of cockroaches.”

*Me* “Admittedly, I haven’t planned for zombies. But I will take one thing at a time.”

#Pocfantasy reminder!

What is #pocfantasy? #Pocfantasy is an event created by myself and @witches-ofcolor to broadcast people of color in fantasy and sci-fi. This  is purely a week of visibility for characters of color in fandom fantasy/sci-fi fandoms.

How to participate: There are many ways to participate in this event and many parts of this event. To contribute all you must do is post pictures/comics/edits/gif/graphics of diverse high-fantasy or sci-fi characters. These characters can be apart of a series, or your own ocs. They can be any type of creature/character but they must be poc or poc coded.

Another way to participate is cosplay—this is only exclusive to people of color. People of color (preferable dark or non-white passing poc)  are allowed to cosplay as any fantasy/sci-fi character they choose—it can even be an original character. Writing is also allowed as long as your writing exhibits diversity.

When does it take place: It starts October 24th and ends October 31st.

When you post your material (whether it be art, cosplay, etc), please use the # pocfantasy or @ this blog so I can reblog. You are also allowed to submit to this blog as well.

Please if you see this post, reblog it to spread the word.

If you have any questions please ask!

2

Young Adult Books with Black Protagonists

The Diamond Thief (1) by J.A. Mclachlan

On his deathbed, Kia’s father discloses a secret to her alone: a magnificent diamond he has been hiding for years. Fearing he stole it, she too keeps it secret. She learns it comes from the distant colonized planet of Malem, where her father caught the illness that eventually killed him. Now she is even more convinced he stole it, as it is illegal for any off-worlder to possess a Malemese diamond.
When 16-yr-old Kia is training to be a translator, she is co-opted by a series of events into travelling as a translator to Malem. Using her skill in languages and another skill she picked up after her father s death, the skill of picking locks - she unravels the secret of the mysterious gem and learns what she must do to set things right: return the diamond to its original owner. But how will she find out who that is when no one can know that she, an off-worlder, has a Malemese diamond?

The Salarian Desert Game (2) by J.A. Mclachlan

What if someone you love gambled on her life?

Games are serious business on Salaria, and the stakes are high. When Kia’s older sister, in a desperate bid to erase their family debt, loses the game and forfeits her freedom, Kia is determined to rescue her.

Disguised as a Salarian, Kia becomes Idaro in order to move freely in this dangerous new culture. When she arrives on Salaria, she learns it’s a world where a few key players control the board, and the pawns are ready to revolt. Kia joins the conflict, risking everything to save her sister. As if she doesn’t already have enough to handle, Agatha, the maddeningly calm and unpredictable Select who lives life both by-the-book and off-the-cuff shows up to help, along with handsome Norio, a strong-willed desert girl with her own agenda, and a group of Salarian teens earning their rite of passage in the treacherous desert game.

What can an interpreter and former thief possibly do in the midst of all this to keep the people she loves alive? 

ALMOST SPOILER FREE REVIEW OF THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US

(It will tell you who the Love Interest is and a bit about where Cas ends up for the majority of the book. No big plot twist reveals. Minor spoilers will be crossed out.)

I let it settle for a day, but I am ready to share my thoughts with you.

 @bee-fabulous @cinnaminyard You wanted to know what I think. I wrote a book about it. <3


THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US

1. The sci-fi part:

Y’all clapping? ‘Cause I’m clapping.

The technology is very reasonably combined with the needs of the characters. We don’t get overwhelmed by chapters filled with robots and AIs and the fabulous mechanized reality where all you need to do is send a brainwave and food appears in synthesized form on a plate. Nope.

This is a world where humanity is still—human, very much so. We feel connected to the characters and wowed by the technology, which makes it easy to understand and helps us relate. Familiarity is important, at least to me. No matter how amazing sci-fi authors can be, creating elaborate overly-mechanized worlds, there is something comforting about seeing advanced tools used to survive and tame the world around us, rather than replacing everything natural with a synthetic equivalent.

 2. The monsters:

Technically, this could still be considered part of the sci-fi-ness of the book, since the Reckoners are genetically engineered. The book handles the background of the beasts very well, giving us information one peace at a time. I love the pacing here, because what we need to know is revealed when we need to know it, rather than info-dropped on us so we don’t feel lost.

I’m happy this happened so. The Reckoners were a mystery at first, but I guess that’s why the author chose to start slowly, and not launch us into action right away.

 3. The world-building:

Clapping again? Clapping again! This was approached in the same way the info about the Reckoners was and I loved it! We took small bites of the history of this dystopian sort of world, and we got to see different parts of it: both rich and thriving, and poor and struggling. They were both alive with emotion, experienced brilliantly through the eyes of a very exciting protagonist!

4. Ok, ok. The Protagonist:

Love Cas. Love her. You know why? She’s not some ridiculous moral compass figure who has to stick to what she’d been thought.

We watch her struggle, yes. We read about her conflicted emotions but when it comes down to it, she takes to action and does not apologize for who she is or has become. Bottom-line: Cas is allowed to doubt, to make mistakes, to fear, to question, and to grow. 10/10 character badassery.

5. The Love Story:

This is dealt with under the radar a lot in the beginning. There are hints of the attraction and some interactions that further the relationship.

The truth is, the author deals with this realistically. She doesn’t overwhelm the character, who is busy surviving, with distracting emotions, and she keeps the relationship clean of any toxic themes. This means the love story takes a while to take off, but by the time Cas starts actively wishing to kiss Swift, my heart was there with her, hoping she’d get the chance.

6. Equal footing? Equal footing.

This is what I wanted to talk about most. It is addressed several times, and both characters are so intensely clear on it. When we read about damsels kidnapped by pirates, usually they fall for their protector, who is rough but cares for them - *sigh* so swooning. That automatically creates an imbalanced power-dynamic. It’s like falling for your teacher: yes, it’s sounds like a cute or romantic thought, but in the end of the day your future depends on them and you are not equal.

In this book, this does not happen. I mean, not even a little. I was applauding like my hands don’t have nerve-endings, because not for a moment does either of the girls allow the possibility that they would not be 100% equal.

7. Representation:

Folks. Let’s talk about this. So far, almost every key character has been a woman. The antagonist (WOC) has been given the promise of an exciting backstory, which the author already began telling. WOC Main Character. The Love Interest seems to be Caucasian, but to me it sounded like the rest of the respected members of the crew were POC. (Correct me when I am wrong.)

It was a short book, but with the second one suggesting that we might see more of the pirates, I hope we’ll get more stories about the others as well.


 8. Final thoughts:

It takes a while to take off. It was really hard for me to get beyond the first few pages, because of my unfair wish that books can always start with a kick. This one gives you the chance to get to know the protagonist and the world first – it only takes two short chapters before it all kicks in anyway, and any patience on your part is rewarded tenfold by the time the first shot is fired.

Give it a go.


This is, indeed, the lesbian sci-fi we’ve been waiting for. It has no reason to not be about a million times more popular than it currently is!!!