The State of Black Science Fiction, the popular collective of authors, artists, filmmakers, comic book creators and cosplayers who create works of science fiction, fantasy and horror by, for and about people of Afrikan descent, are bringing us the State of Black Science Fiction Convention – also known as SOBSFic Con – in 2016 on June 11-12.
This Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror convention by and about people of Afrikan descent, will take place in Atlanta and is expected to draw creators and fans from all over the globe.
Here is a glimpse at the programming thus far:
The Afroretroism Track presents programs about current and classic alternate history writings, exploring trends and issues in Steamfunk, Dieselfunk, Rococoa, Sword and Soul and other alternate-history genres expressed through a Black / African lens. Panels include discussions of race and ethnicity in alternate history; fabricating all the necessary accouterments for Steamfunkateers; Traditional African Arms, Armor and Martial Arts; Black Heroes in History and more!
Steamfunk, Dieselfunk and Rococoa: The Remixing of Black Histories and Heroes
This panel discussion explores the literary genres of Steamfunk, Dieselfunk and Rococoa, which feature Black heroes and heroines, and marries our history with science fiction, fantasy and Black cultural aesthetics.
Traditional Arms, Armor and Martial Arts of Africa
This panel discussion explores the traditional weapons, armor and fighting principles and techniques from throughout the continent of Africa.
Indigenous African Martial Arts Workshop
Expanding on knowledge gained in the Traditional Arms, Armor and Martial Arts of Africa panel, this interactive workshop teaches the use of indigenous African martial arts for self-defense, film fight choreography and as a reference for comic books, novels and graphic novels that want to feature authentic African combat techniques.
The Afrofuturism Track features programs about the cultural movement of the Diaspora that uses technology, science, and science fiction to explore the Black experience. Our panels discuss trends and themes in Afrofuturism and its subgenres of Cyberfunk and Spyfunk.
Afrofuturism and Literature
Our panelists discuss the emergence of Afrofuturistic literature; the differences and similarities between Afrofuturism and Black Speculative Fiction and recommend their favorite works.
We Want the Funk: Afrofuturism in Music
Afrofuturist musicians such as Sun Ra, Janelle Monet, Parliament-Funkadelic and Deltron 3030 tell stories of future worlds in their songs. Panelists play & discuss Afrofuturistic music and its impact on speculative fiction and society.
Emerging Subgenres in Afrofuturism
This panel explores the funky new genres of literature dubbed Cyberfunk and Spyfunk. With anthologies, novels and films in development, these subgenres are sure to take Afrofuturism to even greater heights.
BLACK HORROR TRACK
The Black Horror track spotlights Southern Gothic Literature, ghost stories, and vintage tales of terror by authors and filmmakers of African descent. In addition, the track features television shows in the genre, classic horror movies, and musical interpretations by and about Black people.
Horror on the Black Hand Side
This panel discussion, featuring horror authors of African descent, highlights horror fiction and dark fantasy genres, with a distinct Black point of view and cultural references.
Black Southern Folklore in Horror Literature
From the African Diaspora to Christian fundamentalism to Hoodoo, Southern literature has been haunted by powerful and mysterious religions, practices, and superstitions. Explore how writers use the folklore and belief systems of the Black American southern traditions to add to the disturbing dimensions of horror and Southern Gothic fiction.
Dark and Stormy: Black Horror Film Screening
This program spotlights some of the most exciting short and feature horror films created by Black filmmakers. After screenings, engage in a panel discussion with the creators.
BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION TRACK
This track explores why we love Science Fiction, Fantasy and comic books, the craft of writing speculative fiction and how to get our books, teleplays, comic books scripts and screenplays published and / or produced.
Reading Octavia Butler and L.A. Banks
If you’ve never read Octavia Butler or L.A. Banks, where should you start? Our panelists share their favorites and discuss the influence their work had on the genre and on social justice movements.
Our panelists discuss techniques for worldbuilding utilizing African settings, cultures and folklore. Learn how great Sword and Soul stories are developed and told.
Black Craft and Consciousness in Comic Books
This panel focuses on the evolution of Black protagonists and cultural references in contemporary comic books and graphic novels. It also examines the emergence of Black consciousness in the comic book industry and the growing community of artists who use illustrations and comic books as tools to explore Black culture.
The Pinnacles and Pitfalls of Self Publishing
Self publishing is no longer the stigmatized concept that once evoked thoughts of vanity presses and unprofessional writing. Today it is a growing and exciting avenue for authors to take control of their works and careers. What are the pros and cons? How do you successfully take a book from concept to completion? What happens after your book is released? This panel will explore what it takes to publish, market, and build yourself as an indie author.
The Media Track showcases the best Black independent short and feature films, animation and web series from throughout the Diaspora, specializing in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres.
We will screen these works throughout the duration of SOBSFic Con.
The Mahogany Masquerade
Come dressed as your favorite character from a Science Fiction or Fantasy book, movie or television show or, even better, create your own costume and persona and enjoy The Mahogany Masquerade: An evening of Sword and Soul, Steamfunk, Dieselfunk and Rococoa!
No costume? It’s cool. Come anyway to meet, greet and party with your fellow Steamfunkateers, Trekkies, and other lovers of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror!
Ki-Khanga: The Sword and Soul Role-Playing Game Tournament
Join in the fun and play the hottest and most unique pen-and-paper role-playing game on the market! Build your character and compete against other players in the Fighting Pits of the magical and mysterious world of Ki-Khanga.
Interviews and Readings
Come out and meet Black Science Fiction and Fantasy authors as they discuss Black Speculative Fiction and read from their works.
The Pauline Hopkins Award for Achievement in Black Speculative Fiction
This award will be given to two creators of great Black Speculative works in fiction, film, animation or comic books.
The Big, Beautiful, Black Roundtable
Some of the most exciting speculative fiction on the market today is coming from Black viewpoints. Anyone following the latest debates in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror knows that diversity also has become a controversial topic. This centerpiece discussion circle brings together the most creators and fans of Black Speculative Fiction EVER in one discussion to tackle the issues of diversity in – and the emerging global view of – Black Speculative Fiction!
Helmed by authors and event planners, Milton Davis and Balogun Ojetade, a call has gone out for volunteers and managers of the five Programming Tracks. Each Track will also feature special programming for the youth.
We will continue to update you as SOBSFic Con develops.
What would YOU like to see / experience at SOBSFic Con?