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Medievalpoc: Fiction Week!

Back by popular demand, starting this Monday (June 30), Medievalpoc will be showcasing works of Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Speculative Fiction and much, much more. Book reviews, thematic essays, discussions about representation in these genres, and resources for writers will all be included.

Previous Fiction Week Posts

Submit your favorite works of fiction here! Your original works of fiction are welcome, as well as links to stories hosted online, book reviews, thematic essays, or your favorite book covers featuring characters of color.

And by diversity I don’t just mean white writers including other places and races in their fiction – that has its importance, but I don’t consider it here. What I am really interested in is the fiction of authors from different countries, cultures, races, genders, sexual orientations, physical abilities and experiences. The former is – emphatically — not a substitute for the latter. We are still in a situation where the origin (in a geometrical/ Cartesian sense) of the global SF scene is firmly planted in the West, and the ‘norm’ thus defined.

If speculative fiction is about dealing with otherness, with difference, then these voices should be an integral and essential part of the body of speculative fiction, not pushed to the margins.


Books on Science Fiction and Black Speculative Critical Analysis

1. The Black Imagination: Science Fiction, Futurism and the Speculative (Black Studies and Critical Thinking) (2011) by Sandra Jackson - This critical collection covers a broad spectrum of works, both literary and cinematic, and issues from writers, directors, and artists who claim the science fiction, speculative fiction, and Afro-futurist genres.

2. Black Space: Imagining Race in Science Fiction Film (2008) by Adilifu Nama - The first book-length study of African American representation in science fiction film, Black Space demonstrates that SF cinema has become an important field of racial analysis, a site where definitions of race can be contested and post-civil rights race relations (re)imagined.

3. Race in American Science Fiction (2011) by Isiah Lavender III - Race in American Science Fiction offers a systematic classification of ways that race appears and how it is silenced in science fiction, while developing a critical vocabulary designed to focus attention on often-overlooked racial implications. These focused readings of science fiction contextualize race within the genre’s better-known master narratives and agendas.

4. Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from 1890s to Present (2011) by Robin Means Coleman - Horror Noire presents a unique social history of blacks in America through changing images in horror films. Throughout the text, the reader is encouraged to unpack the genre’s racialized imagery, as well as the narratives that make up popular culture’s commentary on race. Offering a comprehensive chronological survey of the genre, this book addresses a full range of black horror films, including mainstream Hollywood fare, as well as art-house films, Blaxploitation films, direct-to-DVD films, and the emerging U.S./hip-hop culture-inspired Nigerian “Nollywood” Black horror films.

Even without active use, the presence of mobile technologies has the potential to divert individuals from face-to-face exchanges, thereby undermining the character and depth of these connections. Individuals are more likely to miss subtle cues, facial expressions, and changes in the tone of their conversation partner’s voice, and have less eye contact.


Héctor Mediavilla

Grande Hotel I

The Place

The Grande Hotel was opened in 1955 with the claim to be the most luxurious hotel in Africa. It had an area of 21,000 square meters, more than 130 rooms, an olympic swimming pool, several restaurants and dance halls. Located just 5 hours off Rhodesia, it was the ideal place for the rich neighbours settlers, a spa with all kind of comforts and luxuries. The Grande Hotel ceased to function as such on February 28th, 1963 and eventually became a ghost building.

At the beginning of the 80’s the public pool, which had been open from the 70’s, was closed and the building gradually began to be squatted by low income families. Today, more than 2,000 people live in the ruins of this majestic hotel with no running water or electricity. A building that has been stripped of its elevators, glass and wrought iron railings. Any piece of the hotel could be sold to raise some money was sold by some of its own people.

Most of today’s residents of the Grande Hotel come from the northern provinces of Mozambique, from the bush. This rundown hotel is their first stop in Beira, which in the 50’s was a pintoresque bustling city with elegant cafés, international restaurants, luxurious hotels and boutiques with a cosmopolitan glamour.

This is a photo story about present and past of the colonial megalomania, the failed dreams of the independence process and the basic need of home for every human being.

Beira, Mozambique

Your generation has been colonized by electronic media and technology, has atrophied in capabilities that a previous generation perfected, and surrounded itself by a culture of flakiness. YOU MUST DECOLONIZE.

Fred Ho (composer/musician/activist)