Dark Matter A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora editor Sheree R. Thomas Warner Books, July 2000, $24.95, ISBN ISBN
International Standard Book Number
ISBN International Standard Book Number
ISBN n abbr (= International Standard Book Number) → ISBN m 0-446-52583-9
Like the Sputnik Sputnik: see satellite, artificial; space exploration.
Any of a series of Earth-orbiting spacecraft whose launching by the Soviet Union inaugurated the space age. launch of 1957, the publication of this anthology expands the frontiers of speculative fiction into a new dimension. In her introduction, Thomas develops an intriguing metaphor of blackness as a kind of "dark matter"--an invisible mass which exerts a gravitational grav·i·ta·tion
a. The natural phenomenon of attraction between physical objects with mass or energy.
b. The act or process of moving under the influence of this attraction.
2. pull on the entire genre. Her selections for the anthology span the twentieth century, dispelling the notion that black writers are newcomers to the field. This initial reading of a literary phenomenon heretofore rendered almost invisible promises to enhance understanding and appreciation not only of these unique voices in African Diasporan literature, but also of the speculative fiction genre as a whole.
Naturally, Samuel R. Delany Samuel Ray Delany, Jr. (born April 1, 1942, New York City) is an award-winning American science fiction author. He has written works that have garnered substantial critical acclaim, including the novels The Einstein Intersection, Nova, Hogg, , Octavia E. Butler Octavia Estelle Butler (June 22, 1947 – February 24, 2006) was an American science fiction writer, one of very few African-American women in the field. She won both Hugo and Nebula awards. , Charles R. Saunders
1. An aggressive entrance into foreign territory; a raid or invasion.
2. The act of entering another's territory or domain.
3. into the realm of the metaphysical provides an important precedent for writers like Nalo Hopkinson, who treats African-derived ritual practice as a technology of metaphysics.
Critical essays by Delany, Butler, Saunders and Walter Mosley further explicate approaches to defining "blackness" through speculative fiction. Yet, in addition to racial issues, these well-crafted stories speculate about a wide variety of themes including the AIDS crisis, the dynamics of romantic partnerships and the quest to heal childhood traumas, The prevalence of musical influence on the themes and structure of the stories suggests further exploration of "dark matter" need to include African Diasporan musical expression. Thomas has charted a rich alternative strain of speculation on the human condition which will engage readers and writers for years to come.
Paulette Richards is the author of Terry McMillan: A Critical Companion (Greenwood Press, 1999).