It began a year ago and within two weeks, it spread like wildfire. Author Milton Davis posted this in the State of Black Science Fiction Facebook Group:

The CityOkay y’all, here’s an anthology idea…

‘The City. No one knows how it began or when it will end. No one knows how we came to be here, 20 millions souls, 1500 different species all crammed together in plascrete and biosteel. No one’s been in or out of the city in 20 centuries. Some have their theories why, some don’t care. But no matter who you are, or what you are, you have a story, don’t you? The trick is finding someone that cares to listen…’

Y’all interested?

The reply he received was nothing short of astronomical. Writers in the group started posting snippets of stories set in The City. Then, several writers wrote tie-ins to other writers’ snippets, character from snippets made cameos in other people’s snippets and the readers loved it.

The already popular group grew by 200 members once the snippets started rolling in and many snippets have been shared across social media.

The City, scheduled to release worldwide September 25, 2015, is now a thing. Cyberfunk is a thing!

What is Cyberfunk, you ask?

The CityLike the genre from which it gains inspiration, Cyberpunk, Cyberfunk is a genre of Speculative Fiction centered on the transformative effects of advanced science, information technology, computers and networks (“cyber”) coupled with a breakdown or radical change in the social order. Unlike Cyberpunk, however, Cyberfunk is expressed through an Afrikan / Black lens (“funk”).

Often possessing a dark, gritty and cynical tone, Cyberfunk includes elements of Film Noir, hard-boiled Detective Fiction and postmodern deconstruction.

What might seem to be forward thinking in science fiction, in many Cyberpunk works, Afrika is a popular setting. Oddly, though, in Cyberpunk, Afrika often seems to be the one place in fiction that never gets better as time goes on. Occasionally in Cyberpunk, Afrika catches up to the rest of the world technologically, but, of course, it still doesn’t get any better. Technology is advanced, but there is still no reduction in widespread poverty; the continent still suffers from diseases the rest of the world seems to have gotten under control. Poor Afrikans…we just can’t seem to get it together no matter how advanced we are.

This is not the case in Cyberfunk, of course. At least not the case in The City – which may or may not even be set on earth, but one thing is sure, the majority of its inhabitants are of Afrikan descent and in some parts of The City, time and place are described using Afrikan languages and principles.

The City RPGHeroes are often actually antiheroes and…

Well, you’ll find out when you pick up your copy from MVMedia, or on Amazon, or Kobo, or B&N.

However you get there, I’ll see YOU in The City soon, Cityzen!

Below is a list of The City’s authors and their Cyberfunk stories.Be sure to check out my story, The Verdict, in this Blacktastic anthology.

Darkest Light – Natiq Jalil
Move – Zig Zag Claybourne
The Verdict – Balogun Ojetade
Welcome to Liberty – Gene Peterson
Collard Greens, Humming Birds and Spider Silk – Malon Edwards
Washed Pure, Washed Clean– Ray Dean
Mission: Surreality – K. Ceres Wright
Glitch – Brandee Laird
Street Moon’s Revolution – Valjeanne Jeffers

Dreamer’s Recall – Jeff Carroll
The Man with no Name – Keith Gaston
The City Mole – Alan Jones
How High the Moon – B. Sharise Moore
The Score – Chanel Harry
The Runners’ Ball – Tabitha McQueen
Edge of Innocence – Ced Pharaoh
Hunter’s First Rule – Gerald Coleman
Free your Mind – Kai Leakes

About Balogun

Balogun is the author of the bestselling Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within and screenwriter / producer / director of the films, A Single Link, Rite of Passage: Initiation and Rite of Passage: The Dentist of Westminster. He is one of the leading authorities on Steamfunk – a philosophy or style of writing that combines the African and / or African American culture and approach to life with that of the steampunk philosophy and / or steampunk fiction – and writes about it, the craft of writing, Sword & Soul and Steampunk in general, at https://chroniclesofharriet.com/. He is author of eight novels – the Steamfunk bestseller, MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2); the Urban Science Fiction saga, Redeemer; the Sword & Soul epic, Once Upon A Time In Afrika; a Fight Fiction, New Pulp novella, Fist of Afrika; the gritty, Urban Superhero series, A Single Link and Wrath of the Siafu; the two-fisted Dieselfunk tale, The Scythe and the “Choose-Your-Own-Destiny”-style Young Adult novel, The Keys. Balogun is also contributing co-editor of two anthologies: Ki: Khanga: The Anthology and Steamfunk. Finally, Balogun is the Director and Fight Choreographer of the Steamfunk feature film, Rite of Passage, which he wrote based on the short story, Rite of Passage, by author Milton Davis and co-author of the award winning screenplay, Ngolo. You can reach him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Afrikan.Martial.Arts; on Twitter @Baba_Balogun and on Tumblr at www.tumblr.com/blog/blackspeculativefiction.

3 responses »

  1. Natasha says:

    Thats awesome! Where could i buy a copy? Is it a graphic novel or a book?

    I found your website 2 days ago and I’ve been reading through it ever since. I used to love writing, but i had a very hateful/racist English teacher that shattered my confidence. I’m trying to get back into it again, but this time i want stories that centre around black characters. I was interested in steampunk but i never saw any black representation, so that was actually the search that sent me here. Thanks for a great site. It’s been really informative.

    One more question, after i build up my writing abilities, will there be any more collaborative publications in the future that i could be a part of?

    One more thing, do you have a list of good black sci-fi, futuristic, steampunk authors i could check out? Or a top 10, 20, 30 book list?

    Thanks again.

  2. Fujimoto says:

    It’s good to see that cyberfunk is now official.

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