Black women have written books in every genre you can think of.
But their visibility in genre fiction is criminally low.
So, we’ve decided to shine a spotlight on Black women science fiction writers.
If you like sci-fi, I highly recommend the authors below.
I don’t just recommend them just because they offer a different perspective but also because they are talented writers.
Nalo Hopkinson is a Jamaican-born author and editor.
Her books often draw from Caribbean language and history, feminism, race, and Afro-Caribbean culture.
She has won many awards, including the “Locus Award for Best First Novel.”
Hopkinson’s novels include:
- Brown Girl in the Ring
- Midnight Robber
- The Salt Roads
- The New Moon’s Army
- The Chaos
- Sister Mine
N. K. Jemisin isn’t just one of the most gifted Black women science fiction writers still active today.
She is also one of the most critically acclaimed authors in the genre (regardless of race or gender).
Jemisin is the first author in history to win the prestigious “Hugo Award for Best Novel” in three successive years, and she did this with all three novels she had written in a trilogy.
I highly recommend “The Broken Earth” series because it currently stands as the most critically-acclaimed science fiction trilogy in history.
Jemisin’s other novels include:
- The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
- The Kingdom of Gods
- The Killing Moon
- The City We Became
Octavia Butler was a legend; we wouldn’t have such driven Black women science fiction writers without her.
Everyone, including Butler’s family, told her that Black people couldn’t be writers, leave alone science fiction authors.
But she persevered, and her writing impressed Harlan Ellison, a famous science fiction writer.
Butler sold her first short story to Ellison, and soon, she started publishing novels.
Her works include:
- Mind of My Mind
- Wild Seed
- Clay’s Ark
- Seed to Harvest
- Lilith’s Brood
Butler’s books often tackled race, power, and sex, still powerful reads today.
Nnedi Okorafor is among the hottest new Black women science fiction writers.
The Nigerian-American often writes speculative stories inspired by African history and culture.
She wrote the famous “Binti” series along with:
- Who Fears Death
- Zahrah The Windseeker
- Remote Control
- Akata Warrior
- Akata Witch
Nisi Shawl is among the most outspoken Black women science fiction writers working today.
They write about how science fiction and other genre of fiction can reflect the real world’s sociocultural factors like colonialism, age, ability, gender, race, physical ability, and sexual orientation.
They often do this by repurposing alternate history to tackle issues like colonization, culture, and globalization.
Shawl is a driven author and a vocal teacher.
She is also the Artistic Director of Chrysalis Theatre.
This has allowed Hairston to create original productions in her vision.
Her novels include:
- Redwood and Wildfire
- Will Do Magic for Small Change
- Master of Poisons
Black Women Science Fiction Writers: Inspiring Originality
For the longest time, people associated science fiction with white men.
But thanks to the efforts of Black women science fiction writers, the narrative is changing.
We now have science fiction stories that Black people can relate to, which reflect the past while offering bold new visions of the future.
And the result is that the genre is evolving, and its stories are also becoming more diverse.
These are exciting times for science fiction fans everywhere!