Since it’s Black Speculative Fiction Month, it seems only appropriate that this month I spotlight some awesome new work by Black writers. First up, we have “Every Good-Bye Ain’t Gone” by Eden Royce, which appears in Strange Horizons‘ recent Southeastern USA special issue. It’s a séance story about family and food with a couple delightful twists. I also enjoyed “The Unusual Customer” by Innocent Chizaram Ilo, which appears in Fireside Magazine Issue 58 (August). It’s another story about family and food, except this one has more to do with women fighting off magical bad guys rather than summoning spirits. For a powerful, genuinely disturbing story about toxic masculinity informing a patriarchy, check out “Maria’s Children” by Tobi Ogundiran, which appears in The Dark Issue 40 (September). Lastly, I recommend “Running” by Itoro Udofia, which came out in August from The Book Smugglers. It’s an insightful, immersive meditation on the experience of being first-generation Nigerian-American.
Since we’re talking short fiction, I also want to recommend The 2017 #BlackSpecFic Report, published by Fireside Magazine in August. The report assesses the state of Black representation and inclusion in short genre fiction. Fireside has also published several accompanying essays that are well worth checking out. In general, while Black representation in short genre fiction has more than doubled since 2015, Black writers remain underrepresented in the field at large, and most of the progress made toward better representation and inclusion has come from a few select publications, such as Apex, Book Smugglers, Fireside, and Strange Horizons. Given the field’s unfortunate segregation and in “an effort to keep this progress from stagnating,” Fiyah Magazine has recently introduced the Presence of Blackness (POB) Score, a tool designed to give Black writers an “at-a-glance reference point for which markets will be most receptive to their work.” POB Scores are also useful if you want to read and support Black writers and you’re looking for magazines committed to representation and inclusion. Of course, if you want to read and support Black writers, you should also check out Fiyah Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, Nightlight (a new Black horror podcast), and Omenana (a tri-monthly magazine featuring writers from across Africa and the African Diaspora). Now, on to the stories! [Read more…]