Remembering Obscure Classics of Early Science Fiction #SciFiSunday
If you look at the history of any genre, you’ll find obscure masterpieces that you never knew existed. The fans of science fiction and fantasy love new discoveries, and it can sometimes seem as if every nook and cranny has been explored. But publishers regularly surprise us. Here’s a selection of obscure gems from the early 20th century that you may not have heard of, including a precursor to afro-futurism, Of One Blood by Pauline Hopkins. Here’s more from MIT Press:
Long before Marvel Comics gave us Wakanda, a high-tech African country that has never been colonized, this 1903 novel gave readers Reuel Briggs—a mixed-race Harvard medical student, passing as white, who stumbles upon Telassar. In this long-hidden Ethiopian city, whose wise, peaceful inhabitants possess both advanced technologies and mystical powers, Reuel discovers the incredible secret of his own birth. Now, he must decide whether to return to the life he’s built, and the woman he loves, back in America—or play a role in helping Telassar take its rightful place on the world stage. Considered one of the earliest articulations of Black internationalism, Of One Blood takes as its theme the notion that race is a social construct perpetuated by racists.
“Of One Blood returns in this new edition, celebrating a seminal work of Black speculative fiction. Over a century since its original publication, Hopkins’s classic remains as relevant today as ever.” —P. Djèlí Clark, author of Ring Shout
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