Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Are There Black People In The Future? – Sci Fi & The Possibilities Of Blackness

“Science fiction … reaches out to other worlds and into other dimensions. Is it really so limited, then, that it cannot reach into the lives of ordinary everyday humans who happen not to be white?” – Octavia Butler in The Lost Races of Science Fiction (1980)

The origins and the exact parameters of science fiction or speculative fiction have conjured up a series of contrasting claims. Some historians argue that it can be dated back to the 1600s with Johanne’s Kepler’s Somnium (1608) and others regard H.G. Wells as the father of science fiction. I could go on about the many fathers of the genre but doing so will merely present you with a long list of old white men.

Sherryl Vint in her book Science Fiction: A Guide for the Perplexed summarises the genre the best. She calls it a “cultural form” which offers us an “everyday language for thinking and responding to daily life in the twenty-first century”. Daily life in the 21st century is in tandem with scientific and technological advances. Such changes are at the heart of sci-fi.