Book of the Week: 04/1 - 04/07


Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora

Edited by Shiree R. Thomas

This volume introduces black science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction writers to the generations of readers who have not had the chance to explore the scope and diversity among African-American writers. This anthology contains work from some of the best and brightest African-American writers of our time, including Samuel R. Delaney, Tananarive Due, and Nalo Hopkinson, but what really makes it stand out is the inclusion of “The Comet,” a science fiction story written by W.E.B. DuBois in 1920 in which a black man and a white woman are the only survivors of a comet’s deadly poison. As a co-founder of the NAACP, Du Bois was most well-known for his non-fiction work and civil rights activism. This story briefly speculates on what a world with a black Adam and a white Eve might do to eradicate racism—one in which two people see each other as merely human, not defined by the color of their skin.



Sheree Renée Thomas is a 2016 Tennessee Arts Fellow and was honored as the 2015 Lucille Geier Lakes Writer-in-Residence at Smith College. Her book, Shotgun Lullabies: Stories & Poems (Aqueduct Press, Conversation Pieces Vol. 28), was described by novelist Arthur Flowers as "a wondrous work like Jean Toomer's Cane." A fiction writer, editor, and poet based in Memphis, Sheree was also honored as a Cave Canem Poetry Fellow and a New York Foundation of the Arts Fiction Fellow.

Her work is published in Callaloo, Smith College's Meridians, Mythic Delirium, Obsidian: Literature of the African Diaspora, StorySouth, Harvard's Transition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other various publications. Sheree edited the groundbreaking anthologies, Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora and Dark Matter. Sheree's writing received Honorable Mention in The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror (vol. 16-17), and was nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, and two Rhysling Awards.