Oakland Public Library has books to help you celebrate Black Speculative Fiction Month. Listed below are some titles released during the past few years, in case you missed them, and several released just this year.
There are many opinions and conversations taking place about the Black Speculative fiction genre. It's Lit offers an informative and engaging short video describing the history of Black Speculative Fiction, Afrofuturism and Africanfuturism. You can also read more about these genres in the Los Angeles Review of Books article Afrofutursim, Africanfuturism, and the Language of Black Speculative Literature.
In 1915, The Birth of a Nation cast a spell across America, swelling the Klan's ranks and drinking deep from the darkest thoughts of white folk. All across the nation they ride, spreading fear and violence among the vulnerable. They plan to bring Hell to Earth. But even Ku Kluxes can die. Standing in their way is Maryse Boudreaux and her fellow resistance fighters, a foul-mouthed sharpshooter and a Harlem Hellfighter. Armed with blade, bullet, and bomb, they hunt their hunters and send the Klan's demons straight to Hell. But something awful's brewing in Macon, and the war on Hell is about to heat up. The prey of gods / Nicky Drayden
Deathless divide / Justina Ireland
The sequel to the New York Times bestselling epic Dread Nation is an unforgettable journey of revenge and salvation across a divided America. After the fall of Summerland, Jane McKeene hoped her life would get simpler: Get out of town, stay alive, and head west to California to find her mother. But nothing is easy when you're a girl trained in putting down the restless dead, and a devastating loss on the road to a protected village called Nicodemus has Jane questioning everything she thought she knew about surviving in 1880s America. What's more, this safe haven is not what it appears--as Jane discovers when she sees familiar faces from Summerland amid this new society. Caught between mysteries and lies, the undead, and her own inner demons, Jane soon finds herself on a dark path of blood and violence that threatens to consume her.
Black leopard, red wolf / Marlon James
Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: "He has a nose," people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard. As Tracker follows the boy's scent--from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers--he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?
Every great city has a soul. Some are ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York? She's got six. When a young man crosses the bridge into New York City, something changes. He doesn't remember who he is, where he's from, or even his own name. But he can feel the pulse of the city, can see its history, can access its magic. And he's not the only one. All across the boroughs, strange things are happening. Something is threatening to destroy the city and her six newborn avatars unless they can come together and stop it once and for all. Riot baby / Tochi Onyebuchi
The deep / by Rivers Solomon with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes
Yetu holds the memories for her people - water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners - who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one - the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu. Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities - and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.
Everfair / Nisi Shawl
Everfair is a wonderful neo-Victorian alternate history novel that explores the question of what might have come of Belgium's disastrous colonization of the Congo if the native populations had learned about steam technology a bit earlier. Fabian Socialists from Great Britian join forces with African American missionaries to purchase land from the Belgian Congo's "owner", King Leopold II. This land, named Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven, an imaginary utopia for native populations of the Congo, as well as escaped slaves returning from America and other places where African natives were being mistreated.
Nine bar blues : stories from an ancient future / Sheree Renée Thomas
The stories collected in Nine Bar Blues weave emotion, spirit, and music, captivating readers with newfound alchemy and the murmurs of dark gods. Rooted in rhythm, threaded with magic, these tales encompass worlds that begin in river bottoms, pass through spectral gates, and end in distant uncharted worlds. These stories describe the pain that often accompanies the confines of sanctuary and the joy that is inextricably bound to the troubles of hard living.
Remembrance / Rita Woods
Remembrance...It's a rumor, a whisper passed in the fields and veiled behind sheets of laundry. A hidden stop on the underground road to freedom, a safe haven protected by more than secrecy...if you can make it there. Ohio, present day. A refugee struggling to rebuild her life in America after the devastating Haitian earthquake is suddenly inexplicably bound to a mysterious old woman who is not at all what she seems. Haiti, 1791, on the brink of revolution. When the slave Abigail is forced from her children to take her mistress to safety, she discovers New Orleans has its own powers. 1857 New Orleans-a city of unrest: Following tragedy, house girl Margot is sold just before her 18th birthday and her promised freedom. Desperate, she escapes and chases a whisper.... Remembrance
All descriptions are provided by the publishers.