Be the Change. #WeNeedBlackBooks

Recently, in the popular State of Black Science Fiction Facebook group, which has well over 12,000 members, a new member commented “Along with a bunch of other readers, I’m starving for paranormal and sf books with more diverse characters. Skin color, background, ages, classes.”

I told her “Then, you’re in the right place, sister. Plenty of that here. Welcome home!”

Since the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign started with a simple Twitter exchange between authors Ellen Oh and Malinda Lo about the lack of diversity in children’s literature on April 17, 2014, we have seen tremendous support for more diversity in fiction on social media.

However, there is still a LOT more work to be done to make #WeNeedBLACKBooks, specifically, a reality.


There are several reasons, however, let’s begin by pointing out a couple of things when it comes to publishing’s relationship to diversity:

  1. The publishing industry is whiter than Trump, eating a mayo sandwich, at a Klan rally in Omaha.

From fictional characters, to their creators, to their editors, the publishing industry is staggeringly white, male and middle-class.

Employment-wise, the publishing industry, as a whole, is not much better than the fiction it produces, with indications things are actually getting WORSE as publishers poach executive talent from the notoriously white and male tech sector.


  1. People are the stories they tell

Fiction informs – and forms – the way we see ourselves and the world around us. If you only read about yourself as the savage, the thug, the whore, the single parent, or, if you are a hero at all, you are the sidekick, or the “Hattie McDaniel-type,” who is only there to make the REAL hero feel better about himself (yes, HIMself, because women are rarely heroes either).

Non-inclusion, or poor inclusion is what most books offer us. So, then, what do we become? What do we aspire to? Perception ALWAYS precedes action. You want to improve how a person acts, improve how they see themselves – THIS is why works of Black Speculative fiction and Black images on the cover of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror books are important and essential.

Oh, and by the way, if you truly desire to see a change in our representation in speculative – and all other – fiction, then buying Black Speculative Fiction is not enough; you have to READ the books; TALK ABOUT the books with honest enthusiasm; REVIEW them. Yep… review them.

Tweeting out that automatic Amazon link that tells the world you bought a book might get someone to go and look at it, but unless you talk about it, why should anyone be persuaded to give it a try? Buying books is about putting money in authors’ pockets, which is important – that way we can keep writing – but that is not reader enthusiasm, it is reader subsidy. Actually discussing a book, whether you bought it or got it from the library or borrowed it from a friend, is more likely to lead to new readers than just buying it.

So, readers and authors, let’s work TOGETHER to make the much needed change in our representation.

Authors, let’s write great works of speculative fiction in which BLACK  people (people of African descent) see ourselves as the heroes and sheroes; in which there are Black couples and Black families and Black people doing ordinary AND extraordinary things. It is okay. Trust me. If your story is well written, well-plotted and interesting, other people will read it, too.

Readers, once again, please discuss what you read – whether you liked the book or hated it; discuss it. Tell people what you liked; what you hated; and why. Write a review. Reviews really help authors get more readers and, in turn, write more books. A review does not have to be elaborate. You don’t have to be the Siskel and Ebert of Black Speculative Fiction. A short paragraph or two and a rating – FIVE stars for MY books, of course (just kidding; sort of) – is all that’s required.

If you don’t know where to start, I provided a list of great Black authors of Science Fiction and Fantasy. I WILL be expanding this list in the coming weeks, so check back often.

Also, join the State of Black Science Fiction group if you are a creator, fan, or supporter of Black Speculative Fiction.

#BlackHeroesMatter. #WeNeedBlackBooks.

Be the change.


The Black Power Interviews: Regency

Who are you? How long have you been a superhero?

I’m called Regency. I protect the city of Denbrook… and wherever else I’m needed.

Regency? Isn’t Regency a fictional character; the hero of The Laughing Devil: A Regency Adventure by New Pulp fiction author, Lowell O’Neal?

Well…yes and no. my adventures are told in a series of novels – and recently in Black Power: The Superhero Anthology. You ever read any of them?”

I have read Black Power: The Superhero Anthology, of course, but I have yet to read the Regency books.

There are five books in the series so far… and except for some of the names being changed and dates and locations, they’re mostly true.

How does Lowell O’Neal know so much about you?

You may have heard of Lowell’s parents. Preston O’Neal sat on the bench of the state Supreme Court and Sandra O’Neal was at one time the most sought after defense lawyers in the city. Lowell went to Harvard and graduated at the top of his class but instead of joining the family firm, he was approached by the government and opted for another kind of life.”

He  became a Postal Worker?

Funny. Lowell was not only tops in law, but he was quite an exceptional athlete. That, combined with his aptitude in several other areas made him a prime candidate to be recruited into a special team.

Black Ops?

Blacker than a million midnights; an outfit codenamed Omega Elite.

After he left Omega Elite, Lowell settled in Brooklyn and wanted to fulfill a childhood dream of being a writer. Problem was the poor guy couldn’t give his stories and novels away. He collected a stack of rejection letters six feet high and was about to go back to law when he hit on an idea. He’d always been told in his writing courses that a writer should write what he knows, so he created an alter ego…

So… you’re telling us you’re Lowell O’Neal?

I said no such thing.

Then, O’Neal’s just pretending to be you?”

I never said that either.

Well, what are you… hold up… isn’t Derrick Ferguson the chronicler of your story in Black Power: The Superhero Anthology?


Why didn’t O’Neal write it?

He gave the job to Ferguson.

Why?… Wait a minute… are Lowell O’Neal, Regency and Derrick Ferguson all one and the same person?

Are we? I never said we were. I never said we weren’t.

*Sigh* So, tell me about Derrick Ferguson, then.

Derrick Ferguson is a native of Brooklyn, New York. He’s lived there most of his still young life. He has been married for 30 years to the wonderful Patricia Cabbagestalk-Ferguson who lets him get away with far more than is good for him.

His interests include radio/audio drama, Classic Pulp from the 30’s/40’s/50’s and New Pulp being written today, Marvel and DC superheroes, Star Trek in particular and all Science Fiction in general, animation, television, movies, cooking, LONG road trips and casual gaming on the Xbox 360.

Ferguson is a native of Brooklyn. O’Neal settled in Brooklyn. Coincidence?

I, like God, do NOT believe in coincidences.

Ah-hah! So they ARE one and the same.

I never said that. I said I do not believe in coincidences; nor does God. I never said coincidences do not exist.

Moving on… so, who were some of your favorite superheroes growing up?

I’m a huge fan of the Pulp and New Pulp Heroes – Doc Savage; Fortune McCall; Lance Spearman; Dillon. As well as the superheroes of DC and Marvel.

Like Derrick Ferguson.

Ferguson has good taste; that’s all.

What do you think of Derrick Ferguson’s story, In Need of a Friend, in BLACK POWER: The Superhero Anthology?

It was brilliantly written. Action-packed and filled with intrigue and over-the-top characters. All the makings of a New Pulp masterpiece.

Well, thank you, Mr. Ferguson, for a great interview!

Nice try.

Umm… apologies, Mr. O’Neal.

Nice try again.

*Sigh* Goodbye Regency. And see you soon, dear reader. Check back later for more Black Power Interviews!

Black Power

Brotherman Creator Speaks on Black Power: The Superhero Anthology

Black PowerTwo words thrown around in popular culture with little regard for substantive reasoning: Divas and Heroes.  Merely reaching a high note doesn’t make one a diva nor does reaching supersonic speed or altering time and space make one a hero. Just as we should understand there is so much more to diva-osity, there is a social complexity to what makes and who is deemed…a hero.  Layered nuances of heroism are explored in this literary collection; layers of heroic definitions, heroic apprehensions, and consequences of heroic proportions. Complementing and complicating the layers is the infusion of soul; the clash of heroic sensibilities interwoven with perspectives from the oft-overlooked lens of the Black diaspora.

An inquiry of the word Hero in online search engines produces the typical representations promoted by mass media. Black PowerTo find an image that remotely resembled the heroic dreams and values of a people who, throughout their history, could have used someone to swoop down, puff a barreled chest, and allay fears of injustice and oppression.  The image of that hero was sparse, if not absent altogether.

Black PowerOur heroes were real. They shed blood, stood alone, and in most cases, suffered the ultimate sacrifice for the right and the righteous.  We were fortunate to have them because the heroes of our creation, the ones whose lives, philosophies, actions, and interactions from the surreal to the outlandish, rarely saw the light of day; not in print, on shelves, and definitely not in the collective cultural consciousness.

Black PowerToday is a different day! Today is a better day.  A day of greater access, control, production, and distribution. We bring to a world stage the heroes who are the hopeful manifestations of our values and beliefs.  Heroes defined by our perspectives and experiences. A heroic amalgamation of strengths, foibles, sinisterness, and folly without apologies, explanation, or need for outer-cultural approval. To date, many of the heroes given to us have existed as orphans in the world.  Nomads who appeared to serve as extensions or add-on features in an alien world that looks like ours…but today is a different day.

As you experience this anthology, page by page, you will enter spaces of the creative, inventive, and intellectual.  Within the words, the cool, hip, and ‘round the way elements adds flavor to the familiar bam, pow, and whap.  In your mind’s eye, you will hear dialects that conjure images…images without the need to be darkened by colored pencils just to make them palatable. Whether the action takes place on a different plane of existence, on one square city block, or in the infinite of space, you will know that you are there because the heroes we create…be us.


Guy A. Sims, Ed.D.

Revelation, the Brotherman Graphic Novel

Living Just A Little: A Novel

The Cold Hard Cases of Duke Denim series

Black Power

The Black Power Interviews: Tally Marks

Who are you? How long have you been a superhero?

Just call me G-Money. I ain’t no superhero, or none of that corny shit. I just put in work and get done what needs to get done.

So you’re a vigilante?

Do I look like Brotherman, nigga? You must be out your rabbit-ass mind. Vigilantes work outside the law. I enforce the law, dog. Shit, I AM the law. Like Judge Dreadz, or some shit!



You said Judge Dreadz. It’s Dred.

I know. I know, saddity-ass nigga. It’s your job to ASK questions, not answer ‘em, fool.

So, how did you come to acquire your armor and your weapons?

That’s classified, dog. Just suffice it to say, the Vice Lords, the Detroit branch of the Italian Mafia and a whole lot of other niggas wish I didn’t.

So, you murder gangbangers and other criminals?

See… you about to get yourself in trouble. You’d best think five times before you speak, dog. I ain’t no goddamn murderer. I’m a killer.

What’s the difference?

Murderers kill the innocent. Ain’t shit innocent about no gangbanger, no ho’, or no snitch. And the ‘hood got plenty of all of that. But not after I’m done.

What about crime in the white ‘hoods’? Do you deal with that, too?

Naw. I want to, but…the suit don’t see the need. Unless some white boy is an immediate danger to me.

So, the suit controls your actions?


You said the suit doesn’t see a need to eliminate Caucasian criminals…

 No, I didn’t.

Yes, you did. You said…

Next question!

Oh… okay. So, do you read comic books?


Do you read?

Oh, you funny. I’m gon’ read yo’ punk ass you’ rights, you keep talkin’.

Sorry. So, have you read Black Power: The Superhero Anthology? The story about you – Tally Marks – is in it.

Yeah, I read it. The writer, Chris Wiltz, must be a fed, ‘cause he knows a whole lot about me and I ain’t never told him shit. He’d best be careful with that snitchin’ though, ‘cause I know a lot about him, too.

What do you know about him?

A lot. I ain’t no snitch, though, so all I’ll share is the nigga’s bio. Hold up… let me check my database… here we go:

Chris Wiltz is a screenwriter, science fiction and horror writer, and journalist. He is the creator of the acclaimed web series Semi-Dead and the writer of the hit fan film Batman: Puppet Master. His award winning science and technology journalism appears on  He has also written for animation, comics, and is currently working on upcoming video game projects.

His latest work is the short story, Tally Marks, in Black Power: The Superhero Anthology.

He lives in Los Angeles, where he spends most of his time thinking up stories to keep you up at night.

Thanks, for sharing that! So, when you beat down a…

What the… Damn! They’re here! Gotta run, dog.

Wait… what’s wrong? G-Money? Wait!

*Sighs* Well… umm… Goodbye, dear reader. Check back later for more Black Power Interviews!

Black Power

The Black Power Interviews: Nikia, the Pandora

Who are you? How long have you been a superhero?

My name is Nikia Lynott. I am an Eve, an Anesidora. Americans called me Pandora, from the Greek mythos. I – and my sisters – are descendants of Lilith, Lucy, Mawu.

I am a mystical being, bestowed with magical powers of life and death, good and evil.

So you aren’t human, then?

As a descendant of Lucy, the oldest human on record – an African woman, whose bones were discovered in Ethiopia in 1974 – I am human… but much more.

What makes you much more?

Lilith… Mawu. Have you been listening?

*Clears throat* Apologies.

Accepted. I have been a “superhero all my life. It is the destiny of the Anesidora to protect the world until another takes her place.

And what do you do, then?

We live. We open businesses; we travel the world, clubbing, gambling and drinking ourselves silly; we get married and have children; we save the whales. However we choose to live and enjoy our lives.

So, who were some of your favorite superheroes growing up?

I assume you mean in comic books and other media.


Well, as an avid reader of comic books, as well as a fan of superhero cinema and television, I have many, but I really love the independent stuff – there’s more creativity there. Of course, I love the classics, like Brotherman, Urban Shogun and Bayou but I also love the brilliant new works like Ngolo, Jagunjagun Lewa, T.A.S.K. and Dasu.

Wow! You really DO know comic books.

 An Anesidora is not all about saving the world and fighting supervillains.

Speaking of Supervillains… do you have a particular villain who is your nemesis?

Yes! He is called the Black Russian. I despise him. Not because he denies his blackness while claiming Black Pride; not even because he belittles and hate on Black women to justify only dating Caucasian women – he is a hot mess of conflict and contradictions. I REALLY despise Black Russian because he is always trying to kill ME.

Is Black Russian as powerful as you?

Please. I’m Nikia, the Pandora. You’d better ask somebody. Better yet… read about me yourself in Black Power: The Superhero Anthology.

Oh, I already have and your story is amazing. Tell us a bit about the chronicler of your adventures in BLACK POWER: The Superhero Anthology.

Lance Oliver Keeble, resides in Los Angeles, California, where his blue collar experience and diverse exposure helped shape his current style.

In his youth, he dabbled in the arts: stage, music, photography, poetry, scripting, and many other passions.

His current work is Nikia, the Pandora, my story in Black Power: The Superhero Anthology and Globes Disease, the Best Book Awards Finalist in Horror/Fiction.

Thank you, for a great interview, Nikia!

Thank you, for the opportunity. Now, I’m off to save the world again…hopefully, for the last time.

Black Power

The Black Power Interviews: Are You Experienced?

Who are you? How long have you been a superhero?

Call me Foxy Lady.

The one in the black trench coat, shirt and trousers with the red scarf-bandanna around her lower face is the Red Jaw.

The luchador over there is Mr. Strong.

The woman fidgeting in her seat, dressed in the Buddhist nun’s garb and faceless mask is the Flaming Calm Before the Storm…

Umm… she’s starting to glow… are we in danger of her burning down the place?

Not as long as she keeps moving.

Finally, that ten-foot steel coil over there is Emperor Coil.

Oh, I thought that was one of your weapons.

(Emperor Coil) Hey, watch it with the anti-coil racism!

How is that racist? Coils are not a race.

(Emperor Coil) A racist WOULD say that. Next you’ll be building a wall!

Umm… like the Bata Taun wall at the border of the Canadian-Japanese Union territories?

That would only work if you had a forty-foot tall samurai wolf, like the Canadian-Japanese Union. And to answer your question, my weapons are these two rapiers… this pistol… and these two guitars on his back.

And your incredible powers.

Yeah… those, too. As far as how long I’ve been a superhero… well, for quite a while, but I had gone into retirement and was happy just being a single father when these good people convinced me the world needed me to be much more.

So they inspired you to… wait… you said single father. Don’t you mean single MOTHER… Foxy LADY?

Long story… that you can read in Are You Experienced? my story in Black Power: The Superhero Anthology.

So, who were some of your favorite superheroes growing up?

Were? Those superheroes still exist. In fact, it was those superheroes who caused the collapse… AND who are rebuilding the world and taking it back. I was one of those superheroes.

I meant in comic books. You DO have comic books in your world?

MY world is YOUR world. I’m from a different time, apparently. My grandma used to read comics, though. She mentioned loving some guy called Brotherman… and some series called Jagun Jagun Lewa, or something like that.

Tell us a bit about the chronicler of your adventures in BLACK POWER: A Superhero Anthology.

The Red Jaw can tell you better than I can. She recruited him… and me.

Please, Ms. Jaw… if you will?

(Red Jaw) Alhamdulillah! It would be my honor…

Liberty Blair Charissage is the chronicler of our story – and the story of the resurrection of Foxy Lady – in Black Power: The Superhero Anthology. He is a fan of obscure, weird fiction, surrealist films, and psychedelic 60’s music. He has been telling stories since he was three, and started writing when he was thirteen. He attends university in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.

Thank you all, for a great interview!

(Mr. Strong) Hold up! I didn’t get to say anything. (the Flaming Calm Before the Storm) Me either!

(Emperor Coil) See. Racist!

Umm… apologies. What would you like to say?

(Mr. Strong and the Flaming Calm Before the Storm) Goodbye!

*Sigh* Goodbye! And Goodbye, dear reader. Check back tomorrow for more Black Power Interviews!

The Black Power Interviews: Ghost

Who are you? How long have you been a superhero?

My name is Malik. My last name isn’t important. I have been what you would call a superhero since I acquired the Ghost tech.

You wouldn’t call yourself a superhero?

I would call myself a survivor… and sensible. Running around in a cape and a g-string isn’t sensible and will probably get a fool killed, too.

What is the difference between a superhero and a vigilante?

A superhero is crazy as batshit. A vigilante is crazy as batshit and mad as batshit on your sharkskin suit.

DO Black Heroes Matter? If so, why?

Of course, they do. Why? Because our heroes define our values. Without them, we don’t value much… not even our lives.

What do you think about the current mainstream interest in Black characters in comic books?

It’s about time folks recognized how dope Black people are; especially us. Of course, mainstream interests are fickle, so longevity is with the independent Black comic book creators.

Who were some of your favorite heroes growing up?

Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, and Buck, from that old Buck and the Preacher movie.

What about superheroes?

I really dig Luke Cage. He reminds me of my best friend Bryce – big, black, strong, smart and a ladies’ man.

You’re NOT a ladies’ man?

I’m a family man.

That’s admirable! Any other favorite superheroes?

I really like Brotherman. His only powers are his wits, his determination and his love for his people, but that’s enough to change the world and to ensure that “everything’s gonna be alright.”

Tell us a bit about the chronicler of your adventures in BLACK POWER: The Superhero Anthology.

I allowed this brother named Milton Davis to tell my story, which is entitled Ghost. I gave that allowance because Davis is a scientist, like some folks very close to me. I agreed to let the story be told in Black Power: The Superhero Anthology because the anthology is cutting edge, like my tech.

What is so cutting edge about the anthology?

First, and foremost, all the stories are about Black superheroes, which you rarely see much of. Yes, we are often the sidekick, or the advisor to the white hero, but rarely are we the hero ourselves.

Second, the stories in Black Power: The Superhero Anthology are not your typical cookie-cutter “spandex” stories. They are original, bold and deal with current issues without being preachy, or corny as hell.

Tell us more about Mr. Davis.

Milton Davis is owner of MVmedia, LLC , a micro publishing company specializing in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Sword and Soul. Milton is the author of ten novels; his most recent is the Steamfunk adventure From Here to Timbuktu. He is the editor and co-editor of seven anthologies; The City,  Dark Universe with Gene Peterson; Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology and Griots: Sisters of the Spear, with Charles R. Saunders; and The Ki Khanga Anthology , the Steamfunk! anthology, and the Dieselfunk anthology with Balogun Ojetade. MVmedia has also published Once Upon A Time in Afrika by Balogun Ojetade and Abegoni: First Calling by Sword and Soul creator and icon Charles R. Saunders.

Milton resides in Metro Atlanta with his wife Vickie and his children Brandon and Alana.

So what powers does your tech provide you with? What can you… Malik? Malik, where are you? Malik!

Umm…I guess this concludes this session. Check back tomorrow as we continue the Black Power Interviews.

Black Power: The Superhero Anthology is available NOW!

This groundbreaking anthology brings together twenty authors to craft original short superhero stories.

Black Power: The Superhero Anthology offers BANG-POW-THOOM action, searing satire, and thoughtful social commentary from a people too often overlooked in mainstream comic books and heroic cinema and television.

The superheroes in Black Power: The Superhero Anthology come from all walks of life. Some have superpowers that make them something more, or less, than human, but others face a dangerous world with only their wits and willpower to aid them. Some of the heroes fight against racism, sexism, gang violence and police brutality. Others combat evil on a cosmic scale. ALL of the stories are entertaining and enlightening.

Black Heroes Matter. Read Black Power: The Superhero Anthology and find out just how much!

Black Power

NGOLO: The Graphic Novel Is Coming!

In 2014, authors Balogun Ojetade and Milton Davis joined forces to create the near-future Afrikan Martial Arts screenplay, Ngolo. That screenplay went on to win Best Screenplay at the 2014 Urban Action Showcase competition in New York.

Today, we are happy to announce that MVmedia, Roaring Lions Productions (Atlanta, GA) and Pedastudio Ltd. (Lagos, Nigeria) are joining forces to produce the Ngolo graphic novel!

We will soon launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to produce this exciting book that will also act as the storyboards for the Ngolo movie, which will go into production later this year.

Stay tuned for more details!

Here’s a sneak peek, courtesy of Milton Davis, Peter Daniel and Balogun Ojetade:



NubiaOne Fest Rises this summer as Blacktasticon (SOBSFCon) satellite!

The Co-Chairs of Blacktasticon (SOBSFCon) have decided to present Blacktasticon every two years, so the next convention will be in the summer of 2018.

Bummed out? Cheer up…NubiaOne Fest is coming THIS June 17th and it is guaranteed to be hotter than fish grease!

NubiaOne is the next level of Black Speculative Fiction – a multi-media platform focusing on the development and distribution of Black Speculative Fiction entertainment. The platform consists of various social media sites, including the NubiaOne Channel, which will soon feature original short and feature films and webseries.

NubiaOne has partnered with the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History to bring you a full day of Black Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror created by – and about – heroes and sheroes of Afrikan descent.

NubiaOne Fest features dynamic, educational, entertaining and interactive panel discussions and workshops, an art exhibit, cosplay photoshoot sessions, and vendors of comic books, novels, Afrikan artifacts and maybe even gourmet pot pie, vegan chocolate cake and other goodies.

More details coming soon.

Don’t miss it!

NubiaOne Fest