I've been on a reading kick lately, trying to venture out of my usual but my usual is so dang good! And Amazon's Black Stars series is not helping.
If you are remotely interested in Afro-Futurism then this series of 6 books by known writers such as Nnedi Okorafor and Victor Lavalle. All 6 stories are to put it mildly...interesting, with a couple stories leaving me with eyes wide-open, others convincing me the world is coming to an end and yet still marveling at the word play by all.
I must admit that Nnedi is one my favorite short story tellers, so I went into this series because of her. I also read her contribution after reading her latest novel Noor and was conflicted and high fiving at the same damn time! I've pretty much read everything by her that's available and have solidly recommend her as one of my favorite writers though I do think her long form writing endings are always rushed and leave me irked. Still I read!
All that to say I'm a short story fan and all of these writers deliver with my favorites being Victor's "We Travel The Spaceways" and C. T. Rwizi's "These Alien Skies" for a very similar reason. Both stories are real. Or as real as life can be, depending on how you look at life, with a glint or a squint.
Victor's tale was so rooted in a reality that some would term schizophrenia that it takes you a day or two to settle on what you consider real. And the debate goes on because...it could happen, it could be true. He twists the steering wheel just enough to take you on a wild slow ride, a ride that goes thru the neighborhood you use to live in, to the neighborhood you currently live in. Picture yourself in the back seat staring out the window of what could be.
C.T.'s tale was set in the far distant future but is still human, as human as spaceships and cyborgs could be. He weaves a tale of living and loving that will never really go away, no matter who and what we are. I felt transported and rooted at the same time, duality.
I did mention Nnedi is one of my fav writers and I would be remiss not to leave out her story "The Black Pages". In true Nnedi style she leaves you wondering on the possibilities of how we think, how the world spins and what could be in a world that seems familiar, but only if you close your right eye while holding your left elbow, you see the truth.
All that to say if you don't download, purchase and share this, something is wrong with you!