Alternative Futurisms Series Continues

Authors Daniel José Older and Walter Mosley to speak in February, followed by March panel on Caribbean writers of science fiction and fantasy

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A yearlong exploration of ethnic futurisms continues this month. Art work by John Jennings

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A yearlong exploration of ethnic futurisms continues at the University of California, Riverside in 2016 with appearances by luminaries in the world of science fiction and fantasy literature.

Authors Daniel José Older and Walter Mosley will speak on Wednesday, Feb. 3, followed on March 3 by a panel of award-winning authors discussing the expectations of science fiction and fantasy produced by Caribbean writers.

“Throughout 2015-2016, the Sawyer Seminar on Alternative Futurisms is helping to build bridges amongst the various zones of scholarship and creation in people-of-color futurisms and fantastical narratives,” said Nalo Hopkinson, co-organizer of the yearlong seminar, a professor of creative writing and an award-winning author of science fiction and fantasy. “Following a successful fall quarter, which included a conference, film screenings and panel discussions, the winter quarter is focusing on creators of people-of-color science fiction and fantasy.”

The program of scholarly discussions, graduate-level courses, and public lectures, panels, readings, and performances – Alternative Futurisms – is funded by a prestigious $175,000 Sawyer Seminar grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It builds on the success of a Latino science fiction conference UCR’s Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies program presented in April 2014, an event believed to be the first of its kind in the country.

“The Sawyer Seminar has brought together faculty, students and the larger community around the important question of imagining a diverse future,” said Milagros Peña, dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS). “I am proud of CHASS’s continuing commitment to science fiction studies.”

Events scheduled this month and in the spring include:

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 5 p.m., Interdisciplinary 1128 – Public reading by Daniel José Older, author of the upcoming Young Adult novel “Shadowshaper” and the “Bone Street Rumba” urban fantasy series. Publishers Weekly called him a “rising star of the genre” after the publication of his debut ghost noir collection, “Salsa Nocturna.”

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m. Interdisciplinary 1128 – Walter Mosley, award-winning African American/Jewish writer most known for his historical mysteries featuring black protagonist Easy Rawlins. He has received an O. Henry Award, a Grammy, and the PEN America Lifetime Achievement Award. He was recently inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame.

Thursday, March 3, 3:30 p.m. Interdisciplinary 1113 – Panel discussion on Caribbean science fiction and fantasy. Panelists are: with Karen Lord, an award-winning Barbadian author (“Redemption in Indigo,” “The Best of All Possible Worlds”) and research consultant; Karin Lowachee, an award-winning author (“Warchild,” “Cagebird”) who was born in South America, grew up in Canada, and worked in the Arctic; Nalo Hopkinson, award-winning author (“Midnight Robber,” “Falling in Love With Hominids”) who was born in Jamaica and teaches creative writing at UCR with a focus on the literatures of the fantastic such as science fiction, fantasy and magical realism; and Tobias Buckell, a best-selling author who grew up in Grenada and whose work (the “Xenowealth” series, “Hurricane Fever”) has been nominated for numerous awards.

Monday, April 11, 4 p.m. Interdisciplinary 1113 – Readings by Ted Chiang, whose work (“Tower of Babylon,” “Exhalation,” “The Lifecycle of Software Objects”) has won numerous awards; and Charles Yu, whose debut novel “How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe” was a runner-up for the Campbell Memorial Award.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-7847
E-mail: bettye.miller@ucr.edu
Twitter: bettyemiller

Additional Contacts

Nalo Hopkinson
Tel: (951) 827-5424
E-mail: nalo.hopkinson@ucr.edu

Brian Hudson
Tel: (951) 827-1451
E-mail: brian.hudson@ucr.edu

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