Black science fiction authors

I’m a regular SF reader but off the top of my head I can only think of three SF authors who are black: Steven Barnes, Octavia Butler, and Samuel R. Delaney. Are there others I haven’t thought of? If not, why are there so few black SF authors?

Check this out.

Jewelle Gomez springs to mind. She also happens to be a triple threat as a minority author – a black homosexual woman!

I’ve read some of Jewelle Gomez’ work. But, like Tananarive Due or Walter Mosley, I’ve never thought of her as a SF author. I hadn’t heard of Nalo Hopkinson, she’s a SF author I’ve apparently missed.

There’s Minister Faust, whose first novel, The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad was one of the best books I read last year.

As to why – early on, SF didn’t really appeal to the black community. It started as a very white middle class phenomenon. So with few readers, you didn’t get many writers.

What does a person’s colour have to do with the quality of their writing?

Who’s talking about quality, we’re talking quantity.
And I think the genre SF reflects the amount of black writers in general. I getr the impression that there aren’t the same percentage of published black writers as the percentage of blacks in the total population. I suspect this has something to do with social classes, education.

Coincidentally, I have a good friend who’s a black writer, and some of his stuff is sci-fi. One of his stories is being published next (this?) year in a collection of sci-fi stories by black writers.

His is really creepy, it’s a slightly-in-the-future tale about pedophiles who use life-like sex robots. Raises some Interesting Issues.

Nothing. Why did you raise the issue?

Octavia E Butler writes books that I can read again and again (except for Kindred, which icked me out too much), and she only got into writing with the help of established white sf authors like Harlan Ellison.

I’m whitey-white-white, but the themes running through her books - isolation, family, and loneliness, are universal.