[see also African Americans in Speculative Fiction – A Primer]

Mark Dery essay “Black to the Future” (1994) – coined the term “Afrofuturism”



Tomi Adeyemi – Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) (2018)

Steven Barnes – Lion’s Blood (2002), Zulu Heart (2003)

Jennifer Marie Brissett – Elysium (2014)

Tobias Buckell – Crystal Rain (2006)

Octavia Butler – Parable of the Sower (1993)

Bill Campbell – Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond (2013)

Samuel Delany – Aye and Gomorrah (1967), Dhalgren (1975)

Nicky Drayden – Prey of Gods (2017)

Tananarive Due – My Soul to Keep (1988)

Nalo Hopkinson – The Brown Girl in the Ring (1998), Midnight Robber (2000)

N.K. Jemisin – The Fifth Season (2015)

Walter Mosley – Futureland: Nine stories of an imminent future (2001)

Nnedi Okorafor – Who Fears Death (2010), Binti (2015), Binti: Home (2017), Binti: The Night Masquerade (2018)

Deji Bryce Olukotun – Nigerians in Space (2014)

Rasheedah Phillips – Recurrence Plot (2014)

Sun Ra – This Planet is Doomed (2011)

Nisi Shawl – Everfair (2016)

Rivers Solomon – An Unkindness of Ghosts (2017)

Sheree Renee Thomas – Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora (2000)

Colson Whitehead – The Underground Railroad (2016)





Sun Ra – “Space is the Place” (1973)

Parliament – “Mothership Connection” (1975)

Outkast – “Aquemeni” (1998)

Janelle Monae – “The ArchAndroid” (2010), “The Electric Lady” (2013), “Dirty Computer” (2018)

Drexciya – The Quest (1997)

Erykah Badu – Baduizm (1997)

Flying Lotus – 1983 (2006)



The Brother from Another Planet (1984) – John Sayles

District 9 (2009) – Neill Blomkamp


INTERVIEW with Wanuri Kahiu –

Wanuri Kahiu Ted Talk on Afrofuturism –

Janelle Monae Dirty Computer Emotion Picture –



Jean-Michel Basquiat – Molasses

Antonio Lopez – fashion illustrations

Tim Fielder – graphic artist, “Black Metropolis” exhibit

Niama Safia Sandy – curated “Black Magic: Afro Pasts/Afrofutures” exhibit

King Britt – curated “Moondance: A Night in the Afrofuture” exhibit (2014)

Joshua Mays – Tells Stories in Murals

Lina Iris Viktor – A Rising Star

Rachel Stewart – jewelry maker

Ingrid Lafleur


Comic Books

Black (Kwanza Osajyefo)

Black Panther (Christopher Priest, Reginald Hudlin, Ta-Nehisi Coates)

Destroyer (Victor LaValle)

Milestone Comics (Icon, Static, Hardware, Blood Syndicate)



Afrofuturism: the World of Black Sci Fi and Fantasy Culture (2013) – Ytasha L. Womack

Afrofuturism 2.0: The Rise of Astro Blackness (2015) – Alondra Nelson and Reynaldo Anderson

Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements (2015) – Adrienne Maree Brown and Walidah Imarisha

More Brilliant Than the Sun – Kodwo Eshun

The Sound of Culture: Diaspora and Black Technopoetics – Louis Chude-Sokei

Emergent Strategy – adrienne maree brown

Speculative Blackness: The Future of Race in Science Fiction – André M. Carrington

Black Quantum Futurism: Theory and Practice Vol. 1 – ed. Rasheedah Phillips


Misc Resources

Afrofuturism: 3 Women you need to Know

Tech and Afrofuturism on Robin Thede’s late night show The Rundown:

Pt. 1:

Pt. 2:

Mundane Afrofuturist Manifesto:

Aker: Futuristically Ancient –

House of Future Sciences

This American Life – We are the Future

Dear Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes

[I originally sent this to them privately, but I wanted to publicly thank them also]

First off, thank you so much for your time, your presence, your generosity, and your awesomeness. You have always been a role-model for me and I wanted to once again say how much I appreciate you. Things couldn’t have gone any better.


Second, the folks you were talking to were a mix of writers, fans, and community organizers. Your words continued to resonate that night. After Afrofuturism Friday, I led another workshop right now called “the Superhero workshop.” Basically me and a lady who was in attendance for your talk, lead a group of women in using story to work through issues of trauma (with the idea that most superheroes origin story are rooted in trauma). Your words kept coming back to her and we all ended up working until midnight exploring your methods of approaching stories by asking questions. And. We. Had. Such. Breakthroughs.

Thirdly, I meet with the founder of the Kheprw Institute every Saturday morning for coffee and our “sacred dialogue” (basically, we’re off the clock and talk about things other than the community organizing work). As a part of the work we’ve been doing, we’ve been dealing with gentrification issues and equity land use. As a part of the worldbuilding for the novel I’m working on, I asked him about what real equity could look like. He went on a rant about how we’ll never achieve equity, not with the systems we have in place, how we can only leaven its worse aspects, and so on. I looked at my elder and told him I was about to put on my Afrofuturist hat: if we were starting a colony on the moon, what could equity look like? He got this look in his eye, I recognize that look of a dreamer, and then he started to give me some scenarios. I say all this to remind us of how Afrofuturism creates a space of us to dream about possibilities. Even visionary leaders sometimes needs that permission to dream, if only to see where we could be.

So thank you again. Know that you have touched a lot of doers and movers in our city.

Peace and love,


[Brought to you by donations by the Indiana Humanities and CICF. Catered by the phenomenal We Run This.]

PATREON UPDATE: October Extras Month!

Dear Patreon supporters,

Thank you so much for your patience. I’m not going to lie: I didn’t get the September stuff up due to preparing and being gone for the Writing Excuses Cruise (and I realize the weeping going on for me as I offer up teaching on a cruise as an excuse for non-production).

The month off has also allowed me to think through some changes I want to make to the Patreon. First off, in an attempt to make up for things, I’m declaring October “EXTRAS MONTH!”

-for those at the $1 level, it means extra pics of Ferb (and maybe me…on a beach…or something else equally productive).

-for those at the $5 level, there will be three blog posts this month (and at least two a month going forward)

-for those at the $5 and up levels, due to a special Afrofuturism Friday that I am doing in December, there will be a chapbook of several of my stories and a novelette produced that will be sent to you as a thank you.

-for those at the $10 level more chapters of the novel in progress. There may be a publishing date attached (assuming I get all the revisions done). So around next June, you will receive a copy of the finished product.

-for those at the $20 level, I’ve made the previous reports public on my blog:

Patreon Report: A Month in the Life

Patreon Report: A Month in the Life

-speaking, community work, writing update


Patreon Report: Afrofuturism Fridays

Patreon Report: Afrofuture Fridays


Patreon Report: One Week

-I was overdoing it, even for me


Patreon Report: Community Innovation Lab, Afrofuture Fridays, and More!


Patreon Report: 18-04-25

Patreon Report – 18-04-25

-more updates on the community innovation lab and Afrofuturism Fridays


More importantly, I’m adding a profile piece to the report. Each month I will include a write up of someone I work alongside with in the community development work. Plus updates on Afrofuturism Fridays, a Superhero Workshop, a Spirit & Place event, and a profile on Imhotep Adisa, founder of the Kheprw Institute.

And there may be other sneak peeks and previews this month. YOU. JUST. DON’T. KNOW.

As always, thank you for the support.


Clarion 2019 Instructors…

I’m going to be an instructor at the Clarion workshop in 2019. I’m still pinching myself to make sure that I am not dreaming I’m a part of an amazing lineup including Carmen Machado, Karen Lord, Andy Duncan, and Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer. I’m of two minds: 1) it’s sorta surreal to be mentioned in the same sentence as so many writers I admire; and 2) SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! (a sample of the kind of quality professionalism and instruction you can expect)

[Learn more about the Clarion line up here.]

Writing Excuses Cruise 2018

Dear students wanting to know where Mr. Broaddus was all week (not that you’d check Facebook because it’s for old people),

Just know that I was hard at work on a new book and preparing to teach about writing. Because I suffer for my art.

Our first stop was at NASA. Chilling with the Saturn V rocket. 60 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty. You can’t appreciate the scale unless you can picture parking your car into one of the FIVE thrusters in the back.

Then I found myself in Roatan, going over my lesson/workshop plans when suddenly I was struck with writers block that I found a way to push through…#beachmassagesrule

Then came Belize where I was, uh, researching. #writerslife

I did meet up with a few folks: one codenamed B15

and the other group codenamed Bravo Bravo Bravo.

This exchange probably best sums up how I lived on the Writing Excuses Cruise:

Me: Let me get this straight, I can order anything off this menu and you’ll give it to me for NO extra charge.

Waiter: Yes sir. So what would you like for dessert?

Me: The roasted duck.


I want to than the entire Writing Excuses crew for inviting me out and giving me the opportunity to teach some folks who will be taking the literary world by storm before too long.


[Brought to you by donations by the Indiana Humanities and CICF. Catered by the phenomenal We Run This.]

I. CALL TO ORDER: DUST: Missy Elliott Descends from Planet Rock

Little Simz, Missy Elliott & The Genius Of Afrofuturism | @littlesimz @missyelliott

Listening/viewing Salon: videos by Missy Elliot


            Music Lab – Missy Elliott Playlist

-The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)

-She’s a Bitch

-Beep Me 911

-Sock It 2 Me


I’m Better


Sock It 2 Me

II. N.K. Jemisin


We celebrated N.K. Jemisin’s unprecedented Hugo Award for Best Novel three-peat by watching her acceptance speech for The Stone Sky, the final volume in the Broken Earth series. The series began with The Fifth Season (2015) and is followed by The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky. The Fifth Season takes place on a planet with a single supercontinent called the Stillness. Every few centuries, its inhabitants endure what they call a “Fifth Season” of catastrophic climate change.


The society of the Stillness is broken up into many “comms”, “use-castes”, races and species. Such as orogenes, people with the ability to control energy, particularly that of the ground (directly) and temperature (indirectly). In a prologue, an extraordinarily powerful orogene discusses the sad state of the world and laments the oppression of his race. He then uses his enormous power to fracture the entire continent along its length, threatening to cause the worst Fifth Season in recorded history. The story then follows three female orogenes across the Stillness from different time periods.


In August 2017 it was announced that The Fifth Season is being adapted for television by TNT


N.K. Jemisin’s speech –


Shockingly, there was a lot of backlash to her speech which was a whole lot of racist nonsense. However, of note, was N.K. Jemisin’s recent twitter rant answering the question “why do we have to mention her race?”

III. Binti: Home

In probably our most intense and personal discussion, we covered a lot of ground:


  1. Binti’s journey involves a lot of losing who she thinks she is and the idea of being exposed to things outside of yourself: Okwu, Binti’s otjize, her time at the metropolitan university, her time with the Desert People, her pilgrimage because she thinks she’s unclean. How can we, as she puts it, grow “beyond your cultural cage”?


  1. On page 125 Binti says “It’s wrong that I don’t even know of my own … my own people.” To know who you are, under what circumstances do you have to return home? What does it mean to learn of your own people (what does that look like for us)?


  1. “When you face your deepest fears, when you are ready,” [her therapist had] said, “Don’t turn away. Stand tall, endure, face them. If you get through it, they will never harm you again.” Binti’s PTSD is an on-going theme of the story. How do we walk through our past and the stories that both formed and hurt us?


  1. How do we balance the expectation community has for us (you have a gift) vs. what we want to do (in Binti’s case, dance)?


  1. “What we can’t afford to do is let one story keep us from participating in other stories. Maybe this is where reconciliation can begin.” Meduse and Khoush. Himba and Khoush. We have this idea of warring tribes. What does it take to put aside ancient angers, hatreds, and tribal histories of violence?



Also, we’ve been compiling a list of materials and resources for our Afrofuturism library. Feel free to post any of your suggestions.


[Brought to you by donations by the Indiana Humanities and CICF. Catered by the phenomenal We Run This.]






*Strange Fruit

*Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur

*Victor LaValle’s Destroyer


Music Lab – Flying Lotus

[from Wikipedia] Flying Lotus was born Steven Ellison, the grand-nephew of the late jazz pianist Alice Coltrane, whose husband was saxophonist John Coltrane. His third studio album, Cosmogramma, was released in 2010. It was a hard-hitting afrofuturistic shrine to soul, hip-hop, and jazz, and featured Stephen Bruner, aka Thundercat.

[The album was accompanied by live instrumentation (Thundercat on bass, Miguel Atwood Ferguson on strings, Rebekah Raff on harp) and live vocalists (Thom Yorke, Laura Darlington) – all picked to help communicate the spiritual musical lineage of Ellison’s family (Ravi Coltrane, himself, played tenor sax)]

His fifth studio album, You’re Dead! was released in 2014. It features guest appearances by Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg and Herbie Hancock. Flying Lotus then appeared alongside Thundercat on Kendrick Lamar’s album To Pimp a Butterfly and received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year for his credits as producer.


III. CALL TO ORDER: An intro to the history of black comics


All-Negro Comics: published in June 1947. It was the first independent comic and was also the first comic to feature black characters by black creators. Superheroes, detectives, kid characters.

Milestone Media/Milestone Comics (from Wikipedia)

Milestone Media was a company best known for creating Milestone Comics, which were published and distributed by DC Comics, and the Static Shock cartoon series. It was founded in 1993 by a coalition of African-American artists and writers, consisting of Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek T. Dingle. (Christopher J. Priest participated in the early planning stages of Milestone Media, and was originally slated to become the editor-in-chief of the new company, but bowed out for personal reasons before any of Milestone’s titles were published).


Although Milestone comics were published through DC Comics, they did not fall under DC Comics’ editorial control; DC retained only the right not to publish any material they objected to. Milestone Media retained the copyright of their properties and had the final say on all merchandising and licensing deals pertaining to them. In essence, DC licensed the characters, editorial services, and creative content of the Milestone books for an annual fee and a share of the profits. Dwayne McDuffie said that DC held up this agreement even though some of Milestone’s storylines made them “very uncomfortable” as they were from perspectives that DC weren’t used to.


All Milestone Media titles were set in a continuity dubbed the “Dakotaverse”, referring to the fictional midwestern city of Dakota in which most of the early Milestone stories were set. The first batch of titles included: Hardware, Icon, Blood Syndicate and Static.


UNFORTUNATELY: The comics market was experiencing a glut of “new universes” as several other publishers launched superhero lines around the same time (a slump would start in 1993 and a market crash in 1994), a significant number of retailers and readers perceived the Milestone books to be “comics for blacks” and assumed they would not interest non-African-American readers.


By 1997, the line folded (only the Static Shock cartoon remained). In 2008, the characters were merged into the regular DC universe. In 2016, DC Comics announced the creation of “Earth-M” within their multiverse. 2018 saw the release of five titles, including Milestone (featuring Icon and Rocket), a new Static series, Duo (based on the character Xombi), and two other new titles: Earth-M and Love Army.


[Literally, Milestone began with two brothers in a basement talking comics and possibilities]



Introductions: Nick Perry, Arric Thomas, Jamahl Crouch


-What got you into comics books/art?


-How would you describe your art?


-What is the guiding philosophy behind your art?


-What is the relationship between your art and community work?


-What would you like to do moving forward?



The Unacknowledged History of Black Creators and Black Characters in Comic Books


All-Negro Comics


The Real Reasons for Marvel Comics’ Woes


Why Milestone Comics’ Revival Matters


Intern Bella and GenCon: A Summer Recap

[My GenCon report by way of how I spent my summer vacation aka a long post]

“Mr. Broaddus, do you have any interning opportunities?”

Thus enters Bella, one of my (former) 8th graders who went through my creative writing club at the middle school who wrote me a week after graduation. I said “no,” but wanted to hear her thinking. When I met with her and her mom, her mom told me that though she tried to talk her out of it, her daughter was determined to be a writer. If that was the case, she needed to start networking now. Between her boldness in asking and her clear goals, I said yes.

We’ve had a whirlwind summer involving a reading list (Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and Nick Mamatas’ Starve Better), a dialogue seminar, writing through the lens of social activism (a project I am doing with the Kheprw Institute),

She shadowed me through project development, generating income streams, and learning the business side of a writing career (granted, I had to explain that calling up a publisher and hurling insults at one another is only the special submission guidelines between me and Jason Sizemore). We’re also writing a story together which is an easy way for me to teach the finer points of character development, plotting, deepening themes, conflict, and revision. Which means she’ll end up with a pro credit, too.

One of the things about my writing career is that I certainly didn’t get here by myself as I think of the folks who mentored me along the way and became friends (Kelly Link, Gary A. BraunbeckByron Kane, and so many more) and those who introduced me around at my first con (Wayne Allen Sallee). Since she wanted to network, her intern “graduation” was doing GenCon with me.

Intern Bella (about my red outfit): “Mr. Broaddus, it’s hard to take you seriously when you look like you should top a sundae.”

With one joke, she stole all my friends at GenCon. There’s a great community of folks who go into making the Writers Symposium such a wonderful experience (Kelly SwailsJerry GordonLucien SoulbanMonica ValentinelliMax GladstoneScott LynchTanya DePass, and so many more). But I wanted to highlight a few who made me look like a genius in retrospect by surrounding Bella with role models of powerful women:

Alethea Kontis – who basically took Bella under her wing and displayed the finer aspects of authorial badassery (Bella, like most young people, isn’t on Facebook, so I can say badass).

Melanie Meadors – who fielded all of her questions about being a publisher and editor.

Sarah Wishnevsky Lynch – who gave such a wonderful talk about the importance of resilience that I wanted to bottle it up and spray myself with it every morning.

Elizabeth Vaughan – who besides being a wonderful example of generosity, gave Bella the opportunity to see how a trusted community of peers can speak into each others’ lives with advice (even it if’s uncomfortable truths), support, and accountability.

Jaym Gates – who is not only the editor for the story Bella and I are working on, but spent time answering all of her questions and offering long term career advice.

Toiya K. Finley – whose expertise in gaming basically LEFT A (SOON TO BE) HIGH SCHOOL FRESHMAN SPEECHLESS.

Me: We’re like Batman and (very insecure) Robin.
Bella the Intern: It’s okay, Mr. Broaddus. One day you’ll be Batman. #shesgotjokes

I’m kind of spoiled by my experience with interns. And while Bella has already declared that any future intern of mine works for her, I remind each of them that we’re always in relationship (which is why Rodney Carlstrom is Intern Emeritus). As for her thoughts on me, I overheard her say this to another writer friend of mine: “He never stops teaching.” And that’s what made my summer.

[And I would have posted this yesterday, but Bella wanted approval. Something about one of my lessons about controlling your narrative.]

GenCon Schedule – Where I’ll be!!!


12:00pm Reading as Writers

2:00pm Beyond Cloaks, Corsets, and High Heels: Clothing in Spec Fic



10:00am Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

11:00am Signing – Writing Symposium Table

12:00pm All About Apex

4:00pm Urban Fantasy: Why So Serious?



11:00am Steampunk: Up in Smoke

2:00pm Signing – Indianapolis Public Library Table

Escape Pod 637: At the Village Vanguard (plus an update on Sip N Share Winery)

My story At the Village Vanguard (Ruminations on Blacktopia) is now up on the Escape Pod site, available as a read or listen. It’s one of my favorite short stories plus it lays the groundwork for much of my Afrofuturist universe.

Click here to head there.

For those who attended Mo*Con, you became familiar with the awesomeness that is Sip N Share Winery. Well, they aren’t exactly staying a secret as they were on the cover of this week’s The Indianapolis Recorder.

Click here to read Black women vintners changing the wine game