Black Panther and Afrofuturism


Saw Black Panther Wednesday night. Loved it.


It’s a movie with a primarily black cast that isn’t ludicrous, exploitative, or obsessed only with the black experience in the United States. (Not that it ignores that issue. On the contrary, American blackness is integral to the plot. It just isn’t the be-all, end-all. Black Panther manages to embrace both American blackness and African blackness.)

Not being black myself, I’m not going to try delving further into that. I have no doubt the subject is covered elsewhere.

I just want to say something about Black Panther’s ultra-fucking-cool Afrofuturism. The film is absolutely gorgeous and lush. It’s visuals are tremendous and I did not mind one bit sitting through the seemingly endless VFX section of the credits. If you dug that aesthetic and wonder where you can find more like it, well:

Afrofuturism. There’s strains of it in the weirdness of Parliament Funkadelic’s albums, so it’s been around a few decades. There’s supposedly a TV adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s Xenogenesis trilogy coming (high hopes here, and if you’ve not read them you should). Alastair Reynolds gave us a trilogy (beginning in Blue Remembered Earth. Not his best work, but – being the work of a white British guy – was reasonably good.)

And then there’s Yohance. Check it out here. Yohance is an Afrofuturist space opera comic, crowdfunded, heavily researched, created by Paul Louise-Julie.

Louise-Julie studied pre-colonial African cultures to create the aesthetic of the comic, which also owes a lot to his life-long love of Star Wars. Are you hearing me? This comic is like an African Star Wars.

“Yohance tells the story of a Master Thief on the hunt of a mysterious artifact. Little does he know that he’s stumbled into the heart of an ancient intergalactic conflict… ”

Interested? The first two issues, 44 pages each, can be found here. And just look at this:

67% Off Revolt On Vesta, Limited Time


Revolt on Vesta is going on sale! For a limited time, the Kindle edition will be priced at 99 cents (67% off). This deal will last from 5pm (Eastern Time) on February 23 until 10pm the 26th. The price will then remain at $1.99 (34% off regular price) until March 2.

It’s a great opportunity to dive into the worlds of The Voidstrider Saga with this first installment steeply discounted.

When a Martian politician is kidnapped en route to a summit of leaders from the Asteroid Belt, events are set in motion which will change the face of the Solar System…

“If you like the Expanse, you’ll enjoy Revolt on Vesta…An excellent beginning to what promises to be an intriguing series.”

“…thrusts you right into the action and doesn’t let up…”

“…compelling story … leaps directly into a complex chain of events…”


Head over to Amazon and pick it up! Volume 2, An Officer of the Fleetalso available now at $2.99!

Came in the Mail Today


The inaugural issue of Spectacle … a bit steep at $20, but it’s gorgeous. The cover is lovely and printed on quality stock, unlike some genre mags… ahem, Analog, looking at you.

I have to admit, I bought the thing almost solely to find out what exactly they mean by “Classic Sci-Fi Remastered.” Turns out, it’s an excerpt of Armageddon 2419AD, the original Buck Rogers book, annotated to point out all the cool stuff P.F. Nowlan predicted in amongst his racist ramblings about Mongols and Hans. So that’s cool.

Anyway, looking forward to spending some time with this over the next few days. Am just disappointed the promised secret decoder ring did not come with the magazine. (I did get an e-mail explaining there was a production issue and the ring’s delivery would be delayed. If I find “drink more ovaltine” anywhere in this magazine, I’m going on a rampage.)

Some Things I’m Reading Lately – 2-5-18


Why the Culture Wins is an intriguing examination of one of my all time favorite series.

I’ve always appreciated Iain M. Banks’ writing in the Culture novels. His lengthy expository asides peppered with caustic observations often make me laugh aloud.

This article looks deep into the implications of the Culture and, for the first time, make me really examine it and question my own sympathies regarding the novels.

Worth a read for sure!