English, Department of

 

Date of this Version

May 2002

Comments

Copyright © 2006 Gregory E. Rutledge.

Abstract

For fans of science fiction and fantasy who have sought and craved non-White voices, characters, and perspectives, the small number of Black writers in these literary genres have provided them few options from which to choose. Though forty years have expired since the first Black science fiction novelist appeared, a dearth of Black science fiction and fantasy writers still prevails, and no hard science fiction writers are Black. Nevertheless, recent developments have excited Black speculative fiction and fantasy enthusiasts about the prospects for the fiction of the new millennium to reach into the future and, just as importantly, grapple with issues centuries old and older. At the center of this fervor is the Black speculative fiction and fantasy novelist Nalo Hopkinson, who forever changed the field in the three short years following the 1998 publication of her much-acclaimed novel, Brown Girl in the Ring. Following in the thematic footsteps prefigured by Octavia E. Butler, the first Black female writing speculative fiction and fantasy, and yet writing in an inimitable style no one could have anticipated, Hopkinson makes her fiction as rich as her own background.