Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements

Posted Sunday February 1st 2015 by Jen Angel

After a long break, we're pleased to announce a new book tour we are working on!

All organizing is science fiction. A world where everyone has a home, a great education, community based transformative justice, nourishing food to eat and clean water to drink, where we are in right relation to the planet, to each other, where are free to be and love ourselves as we are, to grow together?

We have never seen it.

But Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements (AK Press, Spring 2015) can help us envision that world. Octavia’s Brood is an anthology of original science fiction from social justice movements written by organizers and activists. Each of the 20 stories reimagines the world we live in, putting forth compelling futures with new questions, new visions to explore.

More about the book is below, and also at the publisher’s website: http://www.akpress.org/octavia-s-brood.html

Walidah and adrienne will be touring the US in 2015! Please email Jen if you would like them to speak in your community or at your school.


More about Octavia’s Brood:

Whenever we envision a world without war, without prisons, without injustice, we are engaging in speculative fiction. Radicals and activists devote their lives to envisioning such worlds, and then go about trying to create them. What better vehicle for them to explore their work and its possibilities than through writing original science fiction stories?

Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown brought together 20 radical writers to do just that. The result is Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, an engaging and enlightening collection that uncovers truths buried in the fantastic, and injects a healthy dose of imagination and innovation into our search for truth. It is the first book to explore the connections between radical science fiction and movements for social change, using visionary prose to weave strands of real-life experience—inequality and exploitation, struggle and solidarity—to generate innovative ways of understanding the world around us, paint visions of new worlds that could be, and teach us new ways of interacting with one another. This is visionary fiction to engage our imaginations and guide our hands in struggle.

The book includes short stories from LeVar Burton, Terry Bisson, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Alixa Garcia, Autumn Brown, Bao Phi, David Walker, Dani McClain, Dawolu Jabari Anderson, Gabriel Teodros, Jelani Wilson, Kalamu ya Salaam, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Mia Mingus, Morrigan Phillips, Tara Betts, Tunde Olaniran, Vagabond, adrienne maree brown and Walidah Imarisha, essays by Tananarive Due and Mumia Abu-Jamal, as well as an introduction by Sheree Renee Thomas.

The Octavia’s Brood website: http://octaviasbrood.com/
AK Press: http://www.akpress.org/octavia-s-brood.html


Suggestions for Octavia’s Brood Events:

Reading: The co-editors/writers read excerpts from their pieces in the anthology, and engage in a community conversation around radical science fiction and organizing.

Presentation: The co-editors/writers present about Octavia’s Brood in the context of the history of sci fi and social change, sharing tools for using science fiction as a practice ground for social justice strategizing and vision.

Collective Sci-Fi Writing Workshop: After a brief presentation on the larger themes of sci fi and social change, the co-editors/writers will lead participants through a collective story-telling/writing workshop where they create collective and individual stories based on current political issues.

Science Fiction Poetry Workshop: Poetry has often been a method of survival for marginalized groups, a way of expressing emotions and knowledge the mainstream seeks to ignore. This will be combined with the visionary framework of sci fi in this workshop. Participants will merge two literary genres, sci fi and poetry, to explore prompts generated during the workshop. There will be paired as well as large group sharing time.

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.

Sci Fi and Direct Action Training:  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.

2070 People's Encyclopedia Zine Making Workshop: It has been 50 years since the historic Civil Rights/Liberation Movements of the 1960s and 1970s. In this workshop, participants will imagine themselves 55 years in the future, and engage in writing entries for the 2070 People’s Encyclopedia about current issues/events now, as a way of imagining how the world today can lead to the world we want. At the end, each participant will have a zine made during the workshop to take with them.


About Walidah Imarisha
Walidah Imarisha is a writer, organizer, educator and performance poet. She is one half of the poetic duo Good Sista/Bad Sista. She has shared the stage with Angela Davis, Cornel West, Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni, Kenny Muhammad of the Roots, Chuck D, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Umar bin Hassan from The Last Poets, Boots Riley, Saul Williams, Ani DiFranco, John Irving, dead prez and Kochiyama. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications, including the hip hop anthology Total Chaos.
Walidah has facilitated poetry and journalism workshops third grade to twelfth, in schools, community centers, youth detention facilities, and women’s prisons. She directed and co-produced the Katrina documentary Finding Common Ground in New Orleans. She has taught in the Portland State University’s Black Studies Department, Oregon State University’s Women’s Studies Department and Southern New Hampshire University’s English Department. Walidah’s website is http://www.walidah.com/


About adrienne marie brown

Adrienne is a 2013 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow writing science fiction in Detroit, and also received a 2013 Detroit Knight Arts Challenge Award to run a series of Octavia Butler based science fiction writing workshops. She is the co-editor of the forthcoming anthology Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements with Walidah Imarisha (coming 6/2014).
Learning from her 15 years of movement facilitation and participation, she approaches Octavia’s work through the lens of emergent strategy – strategies rooted in relationship, adaptability, and embracing change. Adrienne has helped to launch a loose network of Octavia Butler and Emergent Strategy Reading Groups for people interested in reading Octavia’s work from a political and strategic framework, and is building with Octavia E Butler Legacy Network on other ways of extending Butler’s work. Adrienne’s website is http://adriennemareebrown.net