What is your story? Heroes come in all forms, races, and cultures. Africans and African Americans are not exceptions to this. This collection of twenty new science fiction and fantasy stories present thought-provoking themes, dramatic plots, and heart penetrating words that are both relevant and compelling for readers of urban, fantasy, supernatural, dystopian, superhero, space opera, and robot fiction. For readers of African American literature in general, each story features relatable characters, highlighting familiar experiences, struggles, and triumphs, while at the same time exploring new boundaries of our potential. The depth and breadth of the fictional stories in this collection provide varying degrees of inspiration and insights for both adults and children. Find your story!
In the Variances of the Cosmos, there are infinite possibilities. One decision can change everything. The actions of a single person truly make a difference. Everything is connected, but yet retains what makes each component, system, universe, entity, and law unique. I am Griot. I am able to cross through the barriers that separate the Variances of the Cosmos. I can see much but have even more to learn. I have been a witness of many things, but not chosen to change the outcome of anything. My calling is to tell you what has happened so that you can make an informed decision on what comes next for you. I am your storyteller sharing just a fraction of what the Variances of the Cosmos has to offer you. Also, consider me your narrator bridging the gap between worlds, and letting you know what makes someone tick. Everyone is on the clock. We must all make the most of whatever time we have left. The time you spend listening to my stories and touring the Vari-ances of the Cosmos with me will be well spent. Now is the time to relax and become refreshed. Leave behind the old reality and enter new worlds with unthresholded potential. Learn more about others and yourself through this journey. There will be both beginnings and endings. I will be with you every step of the way.
George Blacken has written and published multiple science fiction and inspirational books. His latest book, Vicenary: A Collection of Black and African Culture Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories, is an anthology of twenty science fiction and fantasy stories. He is a big fan of classic sci-fi cartoons, comics, and books, seeking to combine the wonder of fictional science with the illustriousness of the supernatural, using relatable people in extraordinary situations. George Blacken previously graduated Summa Cum Laude at Florida A&M University and Old Dominion University for his undergraduate and graduate engineering degrees. George Blacken and his wife of over fourteen years, Melissa Blacken, have four wonderful children.
Get to know the author:
Question: What inspired you to write this book?
Answer: Growing up as a child in the 1980s and 1990s, I have been a big fan of science fiction and fantasy for quite some time, but noticed that some of our unique cultural experiences and perspectives as African Americans were under represented, and in some cases non-existent. Things have gradually improved in this matter, but much work still needed to be done to address this issue. One of the impacts of this issue is the ongoing misunderstanding that African Americans are homogeneous, lacking diversity in culture, interests, and perspectives. Vicenary: A Collection of Black and African Culture Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories is one of my first steps in showcasing the richness of our heritage, breadth of our diversity, and the depth of our potential as African Americans. Even though there is uniqueness within our culture and experiences, these stories are also inspired to show that there is more intersection between the various races and cultures than previously realized. There is also a shortage of quality fiction stories that are both accessible to children while having the depth that adults can decipher and appreciate. Vicenary: A Collection of Black and African Culture Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories is working to bridge several of these gaps in ways that both inspire and entertain.
- Question: Can you tell me about the book?
Answer: Vicenary: A Collection of Black and African Culture Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories is a book containing twenty different science and fantasy stories taking place in an infinite set of variant universes that are separated by cosmic barriers that only a special storyteller, such as our narrator Griot, can travel through. Different genres are represented in this collection of new stories such as urban, fantasy, supernatural, dystopian, superhero, space opera, and robot fiction. The relatable characters, the pacing of the various plots, and the realistic themes are intended to also captivate those who are not accustomed to science fiction or fantasy.
- Question: What did you learn when writing the book?
Answer: Appreciation of where we differ is not the only purpose of diversity. In order for diversity to be successful, there must also be an understanding of and attempts to maximize where we do converge. No matter the severity of the mistake made or catastrophe experienced, as long as we are alive, we still have an opportunity to rise to greatness. Your greatest people are not those who think they are perfect, but are instead flawed individuals trying to do the right thing. Conflicts are designed to improve our character and change our circumstances. Doing the right thing forces the outcomes of conflicts to bear us these fruits.
- Question: What surprised you the most?
Answer: Many times, we mistakenly believe what we are as being who we are.
- Question: What does the title mean?
Answer: Vicenary means containing twenty. Vicenary: A Collection of Black and African Culture Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories is an anthology containing twenty short stories.
- Question: Are these short stories standalone or part of a bigger storyline?
Answer: Each of the twenty stories are narrated by Griot, but are standalone. It is intended for there to be future stories for the characters and worlds featured in each of the stories. It is planned for additional stories to be presented in a variety of media formats.
- Question: Are there any other surprises that you would like to share about this book?
Answer: After finishing the twenty stories in Vicenary: A Collection of Black and African Culture Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories, there is a bonus science fiction story on the family that is highly recommended.
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