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The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture


224 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Formats: Trade Paper, Mobipocket, EPUB, PDF

Trade Paper, $16.95 (CA $18.95) (US $16.95)

Publication Date: October 2013

ISBN 9781613747964

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Oct 2013)
Lawrence Hill Books


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An educational and entertaining guide to sci-fi and fantasy within African American culture

Comprising elements of the avant-garde, science fiction, cutting-edge hip-hop, black comix, and graphic novels, Afrofuturism spans both underground and mainstream pop culture. With a twofold aim to entertain and enlighten, Afrofuturists strive to break down racial, ethnic, and all social limitations to empower and free individuals to be themselves. This book introduces readers to the burgeoning artists creating Afrofuturist works, the history of innovators in the past, and the wide range of subjects they explore. From the sci-fi literature of Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, and NK Jemisin to the musical cosmos of Sun Ra, George Clinton, and the Black Eyed Peas’, to the visual and multimedia artists inspired by African Dogon myths and Egyptian deities, topics range from the “alien” experience of blacks in America to the “wake up” cry that peppers sci-fi literature, sermons, and activism. Interviews with rappers, composers, musicians, singers, authors, comic illustrators, painters, and DJs, as well as Afrofuturist professors, provide a firsthand look at this fascinating movement.


"At last! A real book about a deeply elusive topic—Black people and the possibility of what Sun Ra used to call the Alter Destiny. Ytasha Womack takes us on a quantum romp through the Afro-Multiverse: she explains some of the biggest,  brightest, fastest, heaviest and loudest things in the known world—and beyond!  At heart, Afrofuturism gives you a vast and intuitive feel for some of the most pressing issues facing young progressives in the early 21st Century.” —DJ Spooky

“Ytasha L. Womack’s book Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture is one of the most comprehensive and relevant reads in the black science fiction realm to date. I highly recommend this book as it masterfully covers the genre’s humble past, its flourishing present and promising future. This is definitely a fantastically, engaging read. I couldn't put it down.” —Jarvis Sheffield, The Black Science Fiction Society

“When I coined the term "Afrofuturism" in 1992, who knew young cultural critics like Ytasha Womack would make it their own? Accessibly written, with an emphasis on the politics of the here and now, Afrofuturism beckons us through an intellectual wormhole, into a universe where dark matter is, at last, visible.” —Mark Dery, cultural critic, author, lecturer

“This book is the gravity that holds the universe of ideas that define Afrofuturism. Finally, the starting point for our welcomed explorers.” —King Britt, universal sonic architect

"A smooth blend between a personal memoir and a reference source for those interested in delving into the world of afrofuturism." —Futuristically Ancient

"Provocative and highly detailed, accessible to both geeks and laymen... a fascinating glimpse into what Sun Ra called 'the Alter Destiny.'" —Smooth Magazine

"A great introduction to the genre." — Booklist

Author Biography

Ytasha L. Womack is a filmmaker, futurist, and the author of Post Black: How a New Generation Is Redefining African American Identity and 2212: Book of Rayla. She is the creator of the Rayla 2212 sci-fi multimedia series, the director of the award-winning film The Engagement, the producer and writer of Love Shorts, and the coeditor of Beats Rhymes and Life: What We Love and Hate About Hip Hop. She has written for many publications including Ebony and the Chicago Tribune and has appeared on E! True Hollywood Stories: Rappers Wives. She lives in Chicago.