For a Black Writer, Sci-Fi Offers a Reboot of Society


Friday, July 18, 2014

Title illustration for The Purple Cloud Title illustration for The Purple Cloud (J.J. Cameron/Wikimedia Commons)

Few readers of science fiction can name any African-American writers in the genre apart from Samuel Delaney and Octavia Butler. Black authors, however, have been contributing to sci-fi since its inception. 

Carl Hancock Rux is a playwright, performer, and musician; his first novel, Asphalt, was set in a post-apocalyptic New York. Where the uses and misuses of technology have been central to mainstream sci-fi, Rux believes that, “for writers of African descent, science fiction has offered a unique place to try out something unthinkable in realistic fiction: an end to America’s tortured history with race." 

Excerpts from M.P. Shiel’s The Purple Cloud were read by Reg E. Cathey; the music in this story was composed by Carl Hancock Rux and Daniel Bernard Roumain.  

    Music Playlist
  • Original Music
    Artist: Carl Hancock Rux and Daniel Bernard Roumain


Carl Hancock Rux

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