Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Black Speculative Fiction Month, Day 1: Author Balogun Ojetade #BSFM

It's his third time around on Twinja Book Reviews, but he's always full of great stuff! Black Speculative Fiction Month was created by Balogun Ojetade and his associate and fellow author Milton Davis. October is a month of celebrating Black Authors in the Speculative Fiction genre. It was created last year, but hopefully there are many more to come, the more awareness we give the month.
Hear how Balogun celebrates Black Speculative Fiction Month!

What is Black Speculative Fiction Month? What prompted its initial start up?
Why is it important? What are themes you expect from Black writers who write
Speculative Fiction? Are there any rules to follow?

Black Speculative Fiction Month is a celebration that takes place every October. During
the entire month, authors and fans around the world put on and / or attend events that
highlight Black authors of speculative fiction, which includes books, comic books,
graphic novels, screenplays, stage plays, teleplays and radio plays in the science fiction,
fantasy and horror genres.

What prompted its initial start up was a meeting author Milton Davis and I had with
Morris Gardner, program coordinator for the Auburn Avenue Research Library. We
were discussing an upcoming Alien Encounters program that October. We talked about a
similar event being organized in the DC area the same month, and another event that was
to take place in Philly. At that point Milton brought up an he and I were contemplating:
designating October Black Speculative Fiction Month! Morris loved the idea. “Let’s
claim it!” he replied. And there you have it.

Black Speculative Fiction Month is important because every day we meet Black people
who have never imagined Black folks writing and reading speculative fiction; especially
science fiction, even though a recent poll of young Black and Hispanic people found that
the most popular genres among them were science fiction and fantasy; which means they
are most likely reading about heroes who do NOT look like them, but are most certainly,
yearning for heroes of color, which is why many turn to street lit to satisfy that yearning
– they are able to read about characters they relate to, even though it street lit is not their
first choice of book.

We must change this and Black Speculative Fiction Month is one way to introduce Black
youth and adults alike to some great works of speculative fiction in which THEY are the

I don’t expect any particular themes. I expect great stories in all genres of speculative
fiction. The only rule is don’t be wack!

How do you define "Speculative" Fiction? When did you know you were a fan of
Speculative Fiction?

Speculative Fiction is an umbrella term for all the genres and subgenres of Science
Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. I knew I was a fan at two years of age, when I fell in
love with the television show The Wild, Wild West, which is really the first work of
Steampunk on television.

What can Black Speculative Fiction Month do for the future of Black authors?

It can give authors great exposure and introduce a large readership to our work, which
will increase our popularity, thus increase our book sales.

Who are some of your favorite Black Speculative Fiction authors?

I have so many, but those who have had the greatest impact on me as a writer and / or
as a fan are Charles Saunders, father of Sword and Soul and author of the Imaro and
Dossouye series and one of my favorite books of all time, Damballa; Derrick Ferguson,
author of the Dillon series of New Pulp books; Milton Davis, author and publisher of
several hit Sword and Soul and Steamfunk novels and anthologies and co-creator and
curator of several Black Speculative Fiction events with me; and Valjeanne Jeffers,
author of the Immortal erotic horror series and of some great Steamfunk novels, too.

What can authors, book bloggers, or anyone who seems interested in BSFM, do to
spread awareness?

They can create or host a book signing, panel discussion, film screening and / or book
sale or contact libraries, encouraging them to spotlight speculative fiction books by and
about black people during this month.

Want more? Promoting an event? New book release just in time for BSFM? Join the fun going down @ State of Black Science Fiction!


Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving awesome comments!We appreciate and reply to everyone!