Science Fiction from Social Movements An anthology of visionary science fiction and
speculative fiction written by organizers and activists.

[Coming April 2015 - pre-order discounted copy here!!]


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Virtual Sci-Fi Writing Workshop with Soros Fellows

Co-editor adrienne maree brown recently joined the Soros Fellows via Skype to lead a Collective Sci-Fi Writing Workshop. Each of the fellows received a copy of Octavia's Brood, sponsored by the program, which brings together some of the brightest minds examining justice in the modern world. The session focused on transformative justice, looking at a magical family seeking justice after the death of the father/husband. 


We were excited to build with the Soros Fellows, and also excited to know that our workshops are possible virtually! If you have been wanting to bring us to town but unable to yet, be in touch, perhaps a virtual workshop is possible for your group!

Bao Phi 'Revolutionary Shuffle' Being Used in Schools!

Check out this amazing letter contributor Bao Phi received last week!

Dear Mr. Phi,

We are a group of 9 educators (from first grade to university) in a summer writing institute that is Michigan State University's site of the National Writing Project (Red Cedar Writing Project).  Each of the participants leads the group in a writing workshop, and today's lead, (a Birmingham [Michigan] Seaholm High School participant) led us through a lesson on writing science fiction.  He used your "Revolution Shuffle" as a primary text, and we wanted to know more about you.  We found your Loft Literary Center bio, but it didn't mention this piece.

In response to your piece, (a Okemos HS teacher) noted that the group had a productive discussion of the way in which some science fiction can spark a generative discussion of social issues.  Yours would certainly fall into this subset.

[We] chose the piece because of your heavy focus on character, and your success in developing them.

Your work inspired us all.

Thank you for responding!

Cincinnati Library has Octavia's Brood and you can too!

Cincinnati Library is now carrying Octavia's Brood!!

Make sure to request it at your local library.

If you're in Cincinnati, check it out here : http://catalog.cincinnatilibrary.org/iii/encore/record/C__Rb3052494?lang=eng&suite=cobalt

Briarpatch Review of Octavia's Brood

More than merely a “best of” collection, the anthology is a manual for organizing and resisting colonization – territorial occupation as well as what anti-colonial theorist Frantz Fanon described as internal colonization “created by the death and burial of … local cultural originality.” Fanon’s response, in 1952, was to determine his own potential rather than seek recognition from the colonial state: “I am not a prisoner of history,” he wrote in Black Skin, White Masks. “I shall not seek there for the meaning of my destiny.” Twenty years later, Octavia Butler sought not only meaning but also a sense of futurity in sci-fi. And Imarisha, in turn, hopes to achieve this futurity by “decolonizing the imagination.” She and brown explicitly avoid neutrality in this collection, while tacitly refusing recognition from the Western canon with the same determination that drives the characters in Octavia’s Brood. Notably, brown’s “Outro” also encourages us to “bring the work off the page” through emergent strategies of resistance and self-determination. 

Read the full review:


Watch co-editor Walidah Imarisha's graduation keynote

Octavia's Brood co-editor Walidah Imarisha delivered this keynote entitled "Sankofa, Survival and Science Fiction" at the Portland State University Multicultural Graduation Speech, June 12, 2015 in Portland, Oregon - watch the video.

Gabriel Teodros and Walidah Imarisha on Sci-Fi, Social Justice and the Radical Imagination


  1. Science Fiction, Social Justice, and the Radical Imagination

    Walidah Imarisha and Gabriel Teodros, with a special video discussion from Mumia Abu Jamal, examine the ways in which visionary science and fantasy fiction can inspire the radical imagination to envision the features of a socially just world.

    They discuss and read from the new edited collection “Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements” (AK Press - [http://www.akpress.org/octavia-s-brood.html]) which seeks to demonstrate a connection between speculative writing and movements for transformative social change.  

    This event was sponsored by the Anarres Project for Alternative Futures [http://anarresproject.org/] and the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion. [http://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/shpr]


The Only Fiction Recommendation from Moe's Books, in SF Chronicle

'Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements, edited by Adrienne Maree Brown and Walidah Imarisha: This collection, inspired by the writings of Octavia Butler, features almost three dozen stories that exhibit the natural affinity between writing speculative fiction and reflecting on the means of making a better world.'

Check out the list here:


Equal Time for Free Thought (radio)

'As many may already know, science fiction and speculative fiction in general can investigate and articulate the state of our nation and/or world in very direct but also metaphorical ways. We have talked about Star Trek, for instance, on Equal Time and how Gene Roddenberry was able to discuss humanism and naturalism via the small and large screen. And there have been many novels and short stories since at least the late 19th Century which have done the same.'

Check out the interview here: 


Octavia's Brood Tour Completes on Octavia's Birthday!!

We dreamed of an incredible 10-city tour for Octavia's Brood. We asked y'all to support this book getting out into the world, and you did so, helping us to book a vast and fantastic tour.
Starting in Chicago at the incredible INCITE Color of Violence gathering, and ending this past weekend with a smorgasbord of gorgeous workshops and a massive sold-out reading at the Allied Media Conference where we incubated this project for years, we have now pulled out 47 events in 22 cities!!

Nerdbrarian Reads Us For The Hugo Awards!


octavias_brood_postcard_front_final_revOn the short-story front, I’ve also been reading through the anthology Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements, which I originally encountered via BoingBoing. The majority of the featured authors hadn’t been published before in the genre and yet managed to produce some real quality speculative fiction. My favorite short stories included Bao Phi’s clever take on the zombie genre, “Revolution Shuffle,” and Morrigan Phillips’ dystopian tale about state power and the control of history, “The Long Memory.”


Read the rest here: http://www.nerdbrarian.com/2015/06/reading-for-the-hugos-2016/

'in search of our better selves' blog LOVES Octavia's Brood


Every once in a while, you come across a book that seems too good to be true. A book that almost feels like it couldn’t exist, like it’s too good for this world. Almost as if the existence of the book itself is science fiction, not real life.

I came across such a book this week. It’s called Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements.

Read the rest here: https://insearchofourbetterselves.wordpress.com/tag/octavias-brood/

Octavia's Brood Set to Rock the AMC!!

Thursday, June 18 
Friday, June 19
9:00am - 10:30am
Moving Grief Through the Body
Grief lives in our bodies, long after what we grieve has moved on. It shapes us. This session will draw on tools including Octavia Butler's Earthseed, theater, dance, and somatics. We will learn more about how grief works in our bodies and how we can reshape our grief. Participants will build more space inside of ourselves for embracing our feelings and transforming our grief into gratitude, possibility, and wisdom.
- adrienne maree brown
11:00am - 12:30pm
Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute
Learn tools to apply emergent strategy to your organization/group work. Emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of relatively simple interactions. We will look at how to align our movement work with emergence principles. Participants will walk away with tools they can apply immediately to increase adaptation, resilience and possibility in their movement work!
- adrienne maree brown
4:00pm - 5:30pm
Holding Space: Anti-Oppressive Facilitation
How can facilitators hold space for gatherings that are truly anti-oppressive? Join us as we explore strategies for facilitation that center the needs of Black, Brown, and Indigenous people, disabled people, LGBTQ+ people, survivors, and other marginalized communities. Drawing on knowledge in the room, we will explore how words, structures, technologies, and activities can build solidarity and safety in group settings. We will deepen our existing skills and leave with shiny, effective new tools for liberatory facilitation. 
- autumn brown
4:00pm - 5:30pm
For nine years, Mangos with Chili has dreamed liberatory QTPOC performance art into life. As we prepare to transition our organization, join us to hear stories about lessons learned along the way – about power, leadership, art, grief, conflict, culture-making and liberation song. Through video presentation, conversation with Cherry and Leah, and a fishbowl discussion, participants will explore the nitty gritty learnings and grief work of QTPOC performance making and cultural organization building.
- leah lakshmi piepzna-samarasinha
Saturday, June 20 
9:00am - 10:30am
Nonprofit Trauma: Transforming Harm
After experiencing work-related trauma, we are told that we cannot tell our stories for fear of becoming “unhirable.” How do we find healing when our traumas are ignored? In this workshop we explore storytelling as survival, and how strategic story-sharing enables us to change the way nonprofits function and the way harms are handled. Utilizing drama therapy, participants will have the opportunity to embody their stories and collectively generate strategies for turning their stories into resources for transformation.
- autumn brown
Liberation for Divination in HJPS - listed under the skillshare tab in the Healers Schedule
4:00pm - 5:30pm
The People's Encyclopedia 2070
How do we keep track of our vision for the better world we are working towards? The People's Encyclopedia 2070 is a web-based tool to build our collective vision for what today means for tomorrow. Participants will get to work independently and in groups to write their own entries, engage in collective visioning and contribute to the growing People's Encyclopedia of 2070. - walidah imarisha and morrigan phillips 
4:00pm - 5:30pm
Surviving the Mic: Making Safe Creative Space
The consequences of trauma can echo throughout the lifetime of a survivor. Creativity captures that echo, helping survivor artists shape the sound of their healing. We will explore our experience with Surviving the Mic, a collaborative organization creating safe and affirming creative spaces for survivors of trauma. Participants will learn how we have impacted the way that other creative spaces now welcome the voices and vision of survivor artists. Participants will walk away with a model for how to build their own safe creative spaces. - tara betts 
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Book Release and Signing Event for Octavia’s Brood
Cass Commons (Corner of Cass and Forrest)
Join Octavia's Brood to celebrate the five year journey that culminated in this year's publishing of the anthology of original science fiction from social justice movements, which is already in its second printing! We'll have a delicious local meal, readings and music! Hosts include adrienne maree brown, Walidah Imarisha, Autumn Brown, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Morrigan Phillips, Tunde Olaniran and Dani McClain 

Catered by Ora Wise. Dinner is $15.00. 

Buy tickets here: https://store.alliedmedia.org/octavia-s-brood-book-release-and-signing-event 

We're in The Nation!

OPB Interview with the Co-editors! (radio)

From Ursula Le Guin to George Lucas, science fiction has always celebrated imagination’s power to re-shape society.

Now, there’s a brand-new anthology of science fiction stories with social justice and politics at their heart. It’s called Octavia’s Brood, (the title is a nod to the fantastically imaginative Octavia Butler, who gracefully brought a diverse range of social issues into her fiction). Portland author and organizer Walidah Imarisha and Detroit writer adrienne maree brown teamed up to write and edit stories for the book. We sat down with Imarisha and brown to ask how they came to science fiction, and where they hope it can take us. 

Hear the interview here: http://www.opb.org/radio/article/science-fiction-meets-social-justice-in-octavias-brood/

How Are You Using Octavia's Brood?

We've started hearing amazing things from people doing book groups, sacred readings and study groups around the book. We want to know - how are you using it? Tell us on Twitter, Facebook or post pics of it to our Instagram!

Celebrating the Black Fantastic (adrienne maree writes from the road)

This past week has been an explosion of black science fictional brilliance, and I want to share it with y'all, these are models of how to use Octavia's Brood to catalyze and deepen local movement work.

First, in Boston, we had two days of Black to the Future, hosted by Intelligent Mischief.

The first day was an afternoon training on Emergent Strategy. You may be a mercury retrograde denier, but that can't stop a day of mishaps like this one, and still, people showed up hungry to engage the ideas. The circle was small and the training adapted to work for the people in the room. Each emergent strategy training is an opportunity to keeping adding flesh to the skeleton of concepts - in preparing for this training I realized something very simple that I hadn't quite articulated before - emergent strategies are strategies for being. Strategy is usually associated with doing, and I am realizing that what I'm focused on is how humans are. Science fiction is one place to discuss that together without the usual limitations.

The next evening started with a reading from Octavia's Brood where I read with the delightful Morrigan Phillips, whose incredible fantastical analysis of Guantanamo Bay sits at the heart of the anthology.

Following that was a panel of local artists, activists, theorists and cooperative entrepreneurs. I told them this and it's true: my jaw was on the floor most of the time. I do love to be dazzled by black brilliance. A lot of what was shared was context-exploding - do you think you're in a small world where you know the rules? You aren't, you don't, expand.

Kenny Bailey from Design Studio for Innovation questioned the idea that concepts we now accept as a right or given, including justice and race, may be outdated one day, and can we imagine that, and who we will be in that future?

Terry Marshall from Intelligent Mischief reminded us that so many are currently dying, being shot down, because in the white imagination we are dangerous.

Moya Bailey shared that in her vision of justice in the future we would all relate to each other in very different ways - attending and listening to each other, changing together from the root.

I shared that I'm longing for a future where there are no enemies. To black children, to black people, to anyone. Otherwise we are just rearranging blood.

After the panel there was a period of what I can only call black delight in the 'green room' of the SEIU building, using what we'd heard to weave ourselves together.

A couple of days later the Black Futures Fest began in New Orleans, hosted by the Wildseeds, a circle of artists, organizers, and healers working in the lineage of Octavia Butler. There was a similar sense of wonder.

Walidah and I arrived into the costume party evening. I dressed as smitten kitten because I actually travel with head to toe leopard print gear and the only other option was Jersey Shore extra. Walidah dressed as her character Black Angel, and she was 'more terrible' than anyone could have imagined, with an actual burnt wing and all leather everything.

This fest featured incredible local artists, one after another, voices to break and heal the heart. Standouts for me were Monica McIntyre, Charm, and Michaela Harris. There was also a trio of gender queer vocalists who have been touring together and offered an incredibly emotional set.

I got to offer an emergent strategy session and Walidah led a sci fi and direct action training. We also got to take in incredible sessions including writer-thinker Rasheedah Philips teaching us about afrofuturism and time travel!

The great honor of the event was getting to do a talk and reading with Kalamu ya Salaam, an Octavia's Brood local contributor and incredible accomplished writer. He was deeply generous, encouraging us to keep growing this field of work, uplifting the warrior work of women.

This practice of using Octavia's Brood to catalyze celebration of the Black fantastic yields such generative and healing space. We are growing black futures! Feeling very grateful to all of the hosts and humans embodying their dreams in action.

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