For Juneteenth: Recommended Readings by Black Authors

Black Stories Matter

What follows is the beginning of a living document listing the Clarion West community’s recommended reading by Black and African American authors. These authors are our alumni, instructors, staff, friends, and heroes, and they include writers of Clarion San Diego as well.

While we wish to keep this list focused on science fiction, fantasy, and horror, we recognize that these categories have been historically defined by white Western publishers and others who profit from writers’ work. Thus, there is room to include work beyond a rigid, postcolonial, capitalist definition of speculative fiction and SF/F/H.

This list is by no means comprehensive; please comment below with your suggestions to add to this guide.

CW Graduates:

Celeste Rita Baker (19)

Back, Belly and Side (Aqueduct Press, 2015)

De Motherjumpers” in Strange Horizons

Glass Bottle Dancer” in Lightspeed

Woody Dismukes (18)

The Way the Cowries Fall (Fall 2020)

Zombie of Palmares” in FIYAH: Magazine of Black Speculative Literature, April 2020

Rafeeat Aliyu (18)

“58 Rules to Ensure Your Husband Loves You Forever,” Nightmare, 2019 Locus Recommended Reading List

Gabriel Teodros (16)

“Lalibela” from Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements (AK Press, 2015)

Evidence of Things Not Seen (album)

Cadwell Turnbull (’16)

A Third of the Stars of Heaven” in Lightspeed

Loneliness is in Your Blood” in Nightmare

The Lesson (2019)

Justin C. Key (’15)

One Hand in the Coffin” in Strange Horizons

Afiya’s Song” in Fantasy and Science Fiction

Nana Nkweti (’15)

The Devil is a Liar” in The Masters Review

It Just Kills You Inside” in the New Orleans Review

Chinelo Onwualu (14)

“The Fine Print” New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color (Solaris, 2019)

An Owomoyela (’08)

And Wash Out by Tides of War,” Clarkesworld Magazine (2014) and Warrior Women (Prime Books 2015)

Jasmine Silvera (Rashida J. Smith CW ’05)

Death’s Dancer (2016)

Tempest Bradford (03)

“The Copper Scarab” in Clockwork Cairo, 2017

Sunspot Jungle: The Ever Expanding Universe of Fantasy and Science Fiction, 2019.

Ibi Zoboi (01)

My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich (2019)

American Street (2017)

Kiini Ibura Salaam (01)

Ancient, Ancient (2012)

Andrea Hairston (99)

Will Do Magic for Small Change (Aqueduct Press, 2016)

Craig L. Gidney (’96)

A Spectral Hue (2019)

Nisi Shawl (92)

Everfair (2016)

Filter House (2008)



New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color (Solaris, 2019) (ed. Nisi Shawl)

Octavia’s Brood: from Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements (AK Press, 2005) (ed. Adrienne Maree BrownWalidah Imarisha)

Dark Matter: A century of Speculative Fiction (2000) (ed. Sheree Thomas)

Dark Matter: Reading the Bones (Aspect, 2004) (ed. Sheree Thomas)

So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction and Fantasy (2004) (ed. Nalo Hopkinson)

Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany (Rosarium, 2015) (ed. Nisi Shawl and Bill Campbell)

Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond (Rosarium, 2013) (ed. Bill Campbell and Edward Hall)


Samuel R. Delany

Babel-17 (Nebula Award 1966)

The Einstein Intersection (Nebula Award 1966)



Return to Nevèrÿon

Octavia E. Butler (Clarion Writers Workshop, 70)

Kindred, the Xenogenesis trilogy

Parable of the Sower

Parable of the Talents

“Bloodchild” and Other Stories

Minister Faust

The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad

From the Notebooks of Dr. Brain

Nalo Hopkinson (Clarion Writers Workshop, 05)

Brown Girl in the Ring

Skin Folk

The Salt Roads

Nnedi Okorafor (Clarion Writers Workshop, 01)

Who Fears Death


The Shadow Speaker

Akata Warrior

N.K. Jemisin

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

Broken Earth series

Karen Lord

The Best of All Possible Worlds

Redemption in Indigo

Tobias S. Buckell (Clarion Writers Workshop, 2000)

“The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex” in New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color (March, 2019)
reprinted in The Year’s Best Science Fiction Vol 1 (Sep. 2020)
audio version podcast at LeVar Burton Reads (May, 2019)

Hurricane Fever (Tor, 2014)

Xenowealth series (Crystal Rain et al.)


Compiled by Rashida J. Smith, 6/2020

Have suggestions for more? Corrections? Please let us know in the comments below or at