My favorite Black SF Event is Alien Encounters, a Black SF conference that is becoming an annual event at the Auburn Avenue Research Library. Alien Encounters kind of wins by default because it is the only black-centric SF conference that I have attended since my book was first released. But let me say, what an event.
What I like about Alien Encounters is the multivalent perspective that the conference offers for engaging with black SF production. The events ranged from readings to author celebrations to scholarly presentations on black SF subject matters. So there was something for everyone: from those that enjoy the genre on a purely pleasure-reader basis to those that have a vested scholarly interest in understanding what black spec fic is and how it functions in the larger canon of African American literary production. Another thing that I liked about this conference is that it expands beyond the written word and not just to the perhaps expected mediums of film and television. Last year, there was a pretty amazing presentation on music and SF among others.
For Alien Encounters 2011, I had the pleasure of sitting on a panel with two other authors who write speculative fiction with African American characters. In the audience there were students, professors, musicians, poets, etc…. It was cool to have an audience that was so diverse and coming to genre from so many divergent points. We had a really lively discussion about the need for fantasy novels by and about people of color, the space and place of our fantasy writing within the larger arena of fantasy novels. I think that it was a really great event, particularly for the young people in attendance.
I look forward to attending Alien Encounters again this year, as well as hitting other events like OnyxCon. Have you been to any black SF events? If so, what is your favorite?
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Winston Blakely, Artist/Writer— is a Fine Arts/Comic Book artist, having a career spanning 20 years, whose achievements have included working for Valiant Comics and Rich Buckler’s Visage Studios. He is also the creator of Little Miss Strange, the world’s first black alien sorceress and the all- genre anthology entitled – Immortal Fantasy. Both graphic albums are available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and other online book store outlets. Visit him: http://blakelyworks.blogspot.com/ or http://blakelyworkstudio.weebly.com/
Milton Davis, Author– Milton Davis is owner/publisher of MVmedia, LLC . As an author he specializes in science fiction and fantasy and is the author of Meji Book One, Meji Book Two and Changa’s Safari. Visit him: http://www.mvmediaatl.com/Wagadu/ and www.wagadu.ning.com.