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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Walidah Imarisha wins the Tiptree!!!!

The Tiptree Fellowship program, created earlier this year, is designed to provide support and recognition for the new voices who are making visible the forces that are changing our view of gender today. Each Fellow will receive $500. The work produced as a result of this support will be recognized and promoted by the Tiptree Award.

Walidah Imarisha is working on several projects that work with the concept of visionary science fiction. One project is  a new collection of poetry called Tubman’s Uncertainty Principle. These poems explore Black women’s freedom struggles historically, currently, and futuristically through a poetic framework of quantum physics. Imarisha is also  is writing a novel that expands on her short story “Black Angel,” originally published in the anthology Octavia’s Brood.  Imarisha writes,

With characters like a big-haired grumpy Black woman/fallen angel turned reluctant superhero, a Palestinian anti-racist skinhead, an undocumented girl whose parents have been sold to a sweatshop, I explore issues of crime, punishment, gender, sexual identity, war, race, faith and religion, xenophobia, colonialism and redemption.


Read all here! http://tiptree.org/welcome-to-the-website-of-the-james-tiptree-jr-literary-award-council/whats-new


WOOHOO!!! 14,000 Copies Sold!!

We are so incredibly happy and honored to say that, including print and e-books, Octavia's Brood has almost sold 14,000 copies! To celebrate, our publisher AK Press is offering that until the end of November, people can use coupon code "WOOHOO" on their website to get 25% off anything (including however many copies of Octavia's Brood, hardcopy or ebook, you might want)! http://www.akpress.org/octavia-s-brood.html

adrienne and Walidah on Black Market Reads

Black Market Reads is a weekly talk show about Black literature, creativity, and cultural production, brought to you by The Givens Foundation for African American Literature, and featuring Black artists who love to read. - Hosts: Erin Sharkey and Junauda Petrus.

Walidah and adrienne got to sit down with them to talk about Octavia Butler and social change.

Listen here!

Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine reviews Octavia's Brood!!

Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine reviews Octavia's Brood, and says the writers have remarkable talent: "Their passionate voices demand and deserve to be heard; the fervor and confidence and power of their imaginations ensure that they will be."

We're experiencing full nerd joy about this :-)

Read the full review!


adrienne maree brown's #ArtChangeUs Speech!!

Watch this incredible speech by Co-editor adrienne maree brown at the launch of #ArtChangeUS in New York, October 26, 2015:


Octavia's Brood November Northwest 2015 Tour!! (Portland and Seattle)

Octavia’s Brood will be doing a short Northwest Tour in November – hope to see you there!


Nov. 14, 2015 

Portland, OR

Cascade Media Convergence Keynote

6 pm

Smith Memorial Union room 328

Portland State University

Free and open to the public


Octavia’s Brood co-editors Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown will give the keynote address focusing on science fiction and social change




Nov. 15, 2015

Portland, OR

Cascade Media Convergence Workshop

10-11:30 am

Smith Memorial Union Rm TBA

Portland State University

Open to the public; Need to register for conference, which is a $10-$15 suggestion donation (no one turned away)


Octavia’s Brood co-editors adrienne maree brown and Walidah Imarisha will lead a direct action and sci fi workshop where participants will use familiar stories of other worlds (such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Oz, Harry Potter, etc.) to design direct action campaigns that parallel the world we are fighting for in the here and now. By the end of the session, regimes will be toppled, evil forces vanquished and solid skills in direct action organizing developed.




Nov. 16, 2015

Seattle, WA

Seattle Central Presentation/Reading


Broadway Performance Hall

Seattle Central Community College

Free and open to the public

Public Presentation: Octavia’s Brood Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements with Walidah Imarisha, adrienne maree brown and Gabriel Teodros


Nov. 16, 2015

Seattle, WA

Seattle Central Presentation/Reading


Location: BE1110

Seattle Central Community College

Free and open to the public

Octavia Butler Emergent Strategy Training/Session: Co-editors/writers will present about emergent strategy, a way of moving forward towards collective organizing vision that focuses on resilience, adaptation, deep connections and transformative justice. Participants will then be lead through an organizing strategy session based on the works of Octavia Butler and other radical sci fi writers. 

This is a much more focused participation-heavy event. We need to know how many are attending so we can set up the breakout sessions. RSVP NECESSARY! Please email Sharon Spence-Wilcox by Thursday, November 12th at sharon.spence-wilcox@seattlecolleges.edu


Nov. 17

Portland, OR

Mt. Hood Community College Reading

12-1 pm 

Visual Arts Theater

Mt. Hood Community College

Free and open to the public


An Octavia’s Brood reading/presentation with co-editors Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown, and contributor David Walker


Nov. 17

Portland, OR

Mt. Hood Community College Workshop

3-4:30 pm 

Town and Gown

Mt. Hood Community College

Free and open to the public


Octavia’s Brood co-editors adrienne maree brown and Walidah Imarisha will lead a direct action and sci fi workshop where participants will use familiar stories of other worlds (such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Oz, Harry Potter, etc.) to design direct action campaigns that parallel the world we are fighting for in the here and now. By the end of the session, regimes will be toppled, evil forces vanquished and solid skills in direct action organizing developed.

Ferguson is the Future Slideshow


“There is nothing new under the sun,

but there are new suns.”


—Octavia E. Butler


"The first step toward re-imagining a world gone terribly wrong

would be to stop making war on those who have a different imagination…”


- Arundhati Roy


"Ferguson is the Future":
Incubating Alternative Worlds Through Arts, Activism, and Scholarship
September 14, 2015


Check out the slideshow here!


How Will The Greatest African Superhero Handle Race in America?

"Did Marvel make a mistake in entrusting the realist Coates with its most prominent black hero? Maybe not. He’s adept at creating tales built on the quest for social justice, and afrofuturism as it is embodied in fiction has been called the ultimate tool for social justice. Writer Walidah Imarisha, co-editor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, in a recent interview with The Nation, had this insight:

Any time we try to envision a different world—without poverty, prisons, capitalism, war—we are engaging in science fiction. When we can dream those realities together, that’s when we can begin to build them right here and now.

In science fiction, we don’t have to stay contained within what is possible. We can start with the question “What do we want?” rather than the question “What is realistic?”

Read the full piece here: http://lithub.com/how-will-the-greatest-african-superhero-handle-race-in-america/

How Science Fiction Deepens My Theology

"I recently picked up a fascinating book called Octavia's Brood co-edited by Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown.

In a discussion about the book, Walidah Imarisha said, "All organizing is science fiction. What does a world without poverty look like? What does a world without prisons look like? What does a world with everyone having enough food and clothing look like? We don't know. It's science fiction, and it is as foreign to us as the Klingon homeworld."

I had never heard of organizing being discussed in such a way, and it led me to reflect on the importance of envisioning and dreaming of the kind of society we fight to create. I also found myself reflecting on this statement in a different light: All organizing is also theological and spiritual. A simple explanation of this is that organizing and activism is faith in action.

- See more at: https://sojo.net/articles/new-creation-how-science-fiction-deepens-my-theology#sthash.8WgF2Sva.dpuf

We Made the Black Lives Matter Nashville Reading List!!

Octavia's Brood is proud to be listed as 1 of only 2 fiction on Black Lives Matter Nashville Reading List!!


Collective Story Writing from Ferguson is the Future (most exciting thing ever!!)

(From September 12, 2015)

While we were gathered together (for Ferguson is the Future), we (Nalo Hopkinson, Nnedi Okorafor, Sofia Samatar, Rasheedah Phillips, Nisi Shawl, Tananarive Due, Steven Barnes, adrienne maree brown, Walidah Imarisha, Daniel Jose Older, Andrea Hairston, Lisa Bolekaja) did a timed writing exercise weaving together science fiction and social justice. First we worked together to generate a scenario – here’s what we created:

our writing scenario:
topics we wanted to weave together:
race, justice, community

violence: environmental, economic, generational, emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual, etc
intraracial erasure of black queer women
violence vs women
movement/barriers to movement


1. sandra (invoking sandra bland). 13 year old storyteller. an empath who uses art to heal. lost legs as a punishment.

2. joey, the sentient lizard. carries sandra as a symbiotic relationship. receives food and companionship.

3. gbassi. 60 yr old queer woman of color. physicist.

4. kudzu. outsider, stranger, think they are bringing justice. plant based biology. believe mobility is punishment, so them being here means they are likely criminal on home planet.

5. underground superfungus


– age of punishment is 10 and above
– tech divide (smart houses and symbiotic beasts)
– not seen as dystopic
– structured to stop gathering
– nonlinear parallel earth time
– majority of people think punishment is to make immobile

– violence is normalized. sandra’s story challenges that.
– sandra is considered a criminal
– conflict around mobility! sandra vs kudzu, or sandra plus kudzu.

Then, in a total of 25 minutes, with one break for feedback, these stories were generated.

Read the stories here: https://blacktothefuture.princeton.edu/collective-story/

A Reflection on Ferguson is the Future

Alice Mar-Abe wrote a beautiful reflection on Ferguson is the Future.

Here's a taste:

"I quickly understood that this event would go beyond the usual when Professor Benjamin began with a call and response of a quote from renowned sci fi author Octavia E. Butler. Three times, she proclaimed, “There is nothing new under the sun,” and each time the audience chanted back, “But there are new suns.” This was our “clarion call” for the entire day.

In the words of Adrienne Maree Brown (sci-fi scholar, artist, healer): “All organizing is sci-fi; if you’re trying to change the world, you’re engaging in sci fi activity.” As writer and organizer Walidah Imarisha put it, “All deep social change at the time it was created was considered unrealistic.”

Read the full reflection here: http://www.nassauweekly.com/ferguson-is-the-future/

Dani McClain Interview with Midwest Black Speculative Fiction Alliance

"Much of my thinking about speculative fiction has been shaped by the Allied Media Conference community. AMC is an annual gathering in Detroit that brings together artists, organizers, teachers, journalists —anyone who makes media that responds to the world around them in creative and collaborative ways. I’ve been attending the conference for about a decade, and we understand “media” in the broadest sense of the word. It includes zines, films, dance performances, clothing — anything that helps you communicate.

In the past five or so years, a group there began incorporating sci-fi and speculative fiction into our conversations about media. I’d read sci fi before, but it was really as a result of conversations at AMC that my interest deepened and that I came to write this story for the Octavia’s Brood anthology. I was fascinated by the idea, advanced by Adrienne Maree Brown and Walidah Imarisha (OB‘s co-editors), that all social justice organizers are creating “speculative fiction” in a sense, in that they’re envisioning a world that doesn’t exist yet, putting their faith in the possibility of that world, and working toward it."


Read the rest here: https://midwestbsfa.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/interview-with-octavias-brood-contributor-dani-mcclain/

Coverage of the Schomburg Open House

"Located downstairs in the JBH reading room, Octavia's Brood  is a collection of short stories celebrating Octavia Butler and her writings. Moderated by the co-editor Adrienne Maree Brown, attendees listened to short readings of speculative fiction, inspired by Butler, that question what our relationship with the future will be. Afterward, attendees were able to purchase the book and have them signed by the authors in attendance."


Read the rest here:

Autumn Brown in the James Franco Review

Autumn Brown wrote a beautiful piece, a 'future anthropology', that gives a lot of insight on her Octavia's Brood story Small and Bright - check it out in the James Franco Review: http://thejamesfrancoreview.com/2015/10/05/a-future-anthropology-by-autumn-brown/

"I was a writer, but not a fiction writer. The story found me anyway. In 2010, I had just moved with my partner, my two year old, and my two month old infant to rural Minnesota from Brooklyn, NY. It was an intentional move and a welcome change, but nonetheless destabilizing as moving always is. Here I was, unmoored from my east coast community of radical artists and activists, living in my own private wild. Maybe my mind was looking for a way to process the change. Regardless the story hit me like a careening automobile, dragging me by the undercarriage until I cried mercy and started writing.

I had a beginning and an ending, a character about to be permanently separated from her infant son, and from the underground community where she had lived all of her life, for a shocking and mysterious crime. She was about to discover (as was I), the nature of the world on the surface of the planet, a place no one among her people in a thousand years had seen and lived to tell the tale."

Tananarive Due Releases Short Horror Film (with Octavia's Brood cameo)

After Ferguson is the Future, our friend and favorite horror writer Tananarive Due created a short horror film to blend science fiction and social justice! And we are super excited to see Octavia's Brood in a cameo appearance - see if you can find it. 


We Make Cicada Buzz!!

'For years, writers we love have named Octavia Butler as an influence. And no wonder: Butler’s novels OWN socially engaged sci-fi/fantasy. They’ve got complex dystopias, fascinating protagonists of color, alien biologies that upend gender binaries, VAMPIRES. Her novels are FOOD. Octavia’s Brood, a collection of short stories & essays, is a stunning tribute to Butler, packed with tales that stretch the imagination. (Also: THAT COVER.) Read it, friends. Read it now.'

Check it out: http://americawakiewakie.com/post/130139261688/books-that-make-cicada-buzz-octavias-brood

Sofia Samatar on Ferguson is the Future!

"The loops express a consciousness of time as cyclical and tangled, making space for the non-linear time conceptions of many African belief systems, making space to think about trauma, about the time-traveling flashbacks of post-traumatic stress, about the moment your heart will pound tomorrow for an event that happened yesterday, about bodies in time, steeped in the lifestream, floundering in it, drowning, swimming, stretching together, buoyant, changing course.

And so when I look at that definition of "lifestream" I see everything in it that rejects its own linear model. The diary reread and relived. The documents you create and the ones other people send you mingling like the thoughts that flew to and fro between adrienne maree brownand me as we discussed problems with our stories. Our unwritten stories do not yet exist, but they are documents in our common lifestream, they are moving away from the tail and toward the present. I think of the work the activists from Ferguson shared with us, work that is not complete, papers in progress. And all the materials stored in between--the films of M. Asli Dukan and Dennis Leroy Kangalee, the music of Be Steadwell and Colored Girls Hustle, those visual and aural signals that persist, reappear, ring in your head, inspire. Moving beyond the present and into the future I think of Walidah Imarisha's claim that all organizing is science fiction. I think of everything I will keep from that weekend. Rhythm. Gravity. Entanglement with others.

Every laugh, every hug, every conversation, every argument, every image, every sound represents a document in a shared lifestream--a stream of black life that persists. For yes, genocide can fail."

Read the whole beautiful thing here!

Bitch Media on Ferguson is the Future!

"On Monday, over 1,700 people tuned into the livestream of Ferguson is the Future, a day-long symposium at Princeton University. Unlike most science fiction/fantasy conferences, this one centered Blackness and social justice. "We need visions of the future, and our people need them more than most," said speculative fiction author Nalo Hopkinson, quoting sci-fi great Samuel Delany."

Read the full article here:


Bustle Magazine names Octavia's Brood as a Sci-Fi Must Read

"Octavia Butler is a giant of science fiction, but her work didn’t end with her. This anthology collects stories by twenty of the contemporary writers who continue her legacy of brilliant science fiction that takes on race, gender, sexuality, class, and inequality."

Listed with Nnedi Okorafor, Nisi Shawl, Octavia Butler, NK Jemisin, Larissa Lai and many others we admire!

Read the full list here!

Walidah and Gabriel on KBOO!

Whenever we envision a world without war, prisons, or capitalism, we are producing speculative fic-tion. Organizers and activists envision, and try to create, such worlds all the time. Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown have brought 20 of them together in the first anthology of short stories to explore the connections between radical speculative fiction and movements for social change. These visionary tales span genres, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, magical realism, but all are united by an attempt to inject a healthy dose of imagination and innovation into our political practice and to try on new ways of understanding ourselves, the world around us, and all the selves and worlds that could be. 

Today we’ll hear excerpts from the Portland Release Party of Octavia's Brood, including readings by Co-editor Walidah Imarisha, Contributor Gabriel Teodros, Contributor David F. Walker and more!

Hear the whole thing here!

Book Octavia's Brood!

We are now booking for Octavia’s Brood for Fall 2015 and into 2016. Anthology editors adrienne maree brown and Walidah Imarisha, as well as their contributing authors, are now available for:

  • Readings and book signings
  • Presentations
  • Collective sci-fi writing and sci-fi poetry workshops
  • Emergent strategy trainings
  • Sci-fi and direct action trainings
  • The “2070 People's Encyclopedia Zine” workshop
  • sci-fi themed dance parties!
  • and more!!

Black Speculative Fiction is Protest

"Speculative fiction, or “visionary fiction,” as it is termed by Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown, is all about alternatives. There is a familiar, tragic thread winding through the year of 2015. Physical and emotional violence against African American people is at an all time high. African American women, children, and men are being killed by police in the streets or in their custody. African American parishioners, in a strange twist on a deeply wounding act of racial violence, have been killed in their places of worship. This is a stark, dreadful reality that demands alternative visions, alternative universes, and radical imaginations. It demands that we work we create, if we wish it to have any lasting heft as tools of social justice, aggressively and holistically address the social ills that plague African Americans."

Read the rest here:


Five Artists with a Cultural Strategy for Change


"As an artist committed to racial and economic justice, it can be difficult to navigate the arts and activism worlds. They can range from a pressure to abandon history and have beauty be “apolitical” to a pressure to be outright, literal and dogmatic at all times. There’s few pathways laid out for those of us trying to navigate that space in between. 

For me, the role of artists in social change movements is not to just provide visuals for activists’ communication strategies and immediate needs, but rather to develop what artist Favianna Rodriguez calls a “cultural strategy” to help shift the way people think about the world. It’s our job to imagine the possibilities, shift the thinking on individuals and situations through our representations of them, to explore the grey areas that make humans complicated and interesting, and to uplift the hope and resilience of communities we are a part of to sustain them. 

Here’s a list of five artists who are people I look to as models of how to do this kind of cultural work. Each of them is creating work within their discipline to initiate the conversation with their audiences of what it would look like if everyone’s humanity was truly recognized. (There’s many others out there as well--these are just a few whose work has informed my own recently.) 

Octavia’s Brood (Walidah Imarisha and Adrienne Maree Brown)


Octavia's Brood
Octavia's Brood

Octavia’s Brood is an anthology of science fiction, inspired by writer Octavia Butler’s collection of stories Lilith’s Brood. The book’s editors Walidah Imarisha and Adrienne Maree Brown offer a series of workshops bridging the worlds for speculative fiction writers and activists, showing how these stories can offer visions for social justice movements. “Any time we try to envision a different world—without poverty, prisons, capitalism, war—we are engaging in science fiction.” Says Walidah in an interview in The Nation. “When we can dream those realities together, that’s when we can begin to build them right here and now.” 

read the rest here:


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