Black Sci-Fi & Fantasy + BOOK RECOMMENDS [BHM VID #4]


If i were to ask you to name a popular black science fiction or fantasy author most people can think of two names, if that, Octavia E Butler and Samuel R. Delany. So this video is about giving you both a brief history of black authors in the genre and some books that you may not have read and should check out. So that the next time you think “well if you want diversity you should write your own stuff” you will know just how full of it you are.

Black History Month Playlist 2016:

Parable of the Sower/Kindred by Octavia Butler

Dhalgren/A.B.C: Three Short Novels: The Jewels of Aptor, The Ballad of Beta-2, They Fly at Ciron

The Vampire Huntress Legend Series #1–13 by L.A. Banks

Who Fears Death/Binti/Akita Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

The Inheritance Trilogy/The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Ghost Summer/ African Immortals Series by Tananarive Due

Inside a Silver Box by Walter Mosley

The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson

Shadow Blade (Shadowchasers Series) by Seressia Glass

Orleans by Sherri L. Smith

Lion’s Blood by Steven Barnes

Saturn’s Child by Nichelle Nichols & Margaret Wander Bonanno

Falling in Love with Hominids/ The Chaos/Brown Girl in the Ring/ by Nalo Hopkinson

Moses Man of The Mountain by Zora Neale Hurston

Octavia’s Brood Anthology

The Cambion Chronicles by Jaime Reed

Great black heroes/books by non-black authors

Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older

Ben Aaronovitch’s River’s of London

Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens/The Diviners

Jacqueline Koyanago’s Ascension–Tangles Axon Series


Darell Jackson says:

Hello beautiful Queen. Subscribed.

Joanna says:

I am so happy I watched this video. I recently watched a caucasian YouTuber talk about how she came across a fantasy novel written by a black author and how she was excited to read it cause she had never read anything by a black female author in this genre. That author was N.K. Jemsin and she was talking about the Hundred Thousand Kingdom. I immediately went to my library to get this book as well cause I was intrigued about reading this book and so I got it and started it right away. I loved that book so much I went out an bought the whole series but the thing I was now coming too was that I didn’t know anymore black authors who write for this genre until now. Thank you so much for your recommendations. I will be hitting these books up cause I am totally excited. I really would like to read Kindred. I am also shocked to know that L.A. Banks , Tomora Pierce and Libba Bray are all black authors. That’s astonishing to me. I know I shouldn’t be but I am. Please excuse my ignorance as I try my best to become more well rounded in my reading life.

Blaque Sable says:

Great video. As a person of color who enjoys writing sci fantasy, this video relates to me in so many ways. Thanks for sharing

trae triplett says:

great topic, love your commentary Sis,..Nice personality, Very well read..

Victoria Grace says:

Great vid!

4Tom4lepus4 says:

I’m always happy to see you uploading a new video! They’re always educational and always enjoyable!

Samantha Jackson says:

I noticed you have the Feast of All Saints by Ann Rice, and that’s a book that I picked up but never got around to reading. I did watch the movie back in the day. That’s the one that had James Earl Jones and Pam Grier etc. I would really like it if you would do a video pretty much critiquing either the movie or the book itself. Both preferably. If you’ve already done this, would you link it below. Thanks and sidenote, I really appreciate the fact that you are doing Flowers in the Attic series. Again, I bought the books but haven’t read it yet. I did see that lifetime movie. I actually all of them it was kind of bad but interesting. It’s the incest part of it that has people probably intrigued. It’s almost like a huge curse on the family was for real.

The Lazy Stitcher says:

So happy for these recommendations. I’ve been trying to diversify my reading and was really disappointed when I realized how little my selection of books by authors of color was. This will really help with continuing my new trend 🙂

Jamaica says:

I didn’t hear you mention anything about The Chronicles of Jamaica fantasy fiction series, which is–in my opinion–better than Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Avatar, Narnia, Thor, and the like. The twist is that the lead character is a 12-year-old female protagonist of color who is a clone, an angel, and has twice the amount of magic, plus she can dance, do martial arts, and gymnastics. Oh, and as you mentioned something you’d like to see, she has dreadlocks kept in a ponytail. She doesn’t live on earth, but she wants to because that’s where her biological mother lives, and her counter-part from which she was cloned. And there are so many new and unforgettable mythical characters it’s unreal. Some you will really love and some you will truly hate. Anyway, I’ve had the privilege of reading the first eight in this ten book series. However, only the first four are available to the public. This series is appropriate for Disney and for the entire family. Most of the characters are black. Jamaica and Tamika are the leading characters and because I share the same name as Jamaica, this is how I came across the books. Book One: The Girl inside a Crystal Ball. Book Two: The Black Diamond; which is where the Evil Duo Zi’Keke and Z’Enja live. Book Three: The Witches of Hellum. Book Four: Escape from Hellum, and the cliff-hanger here made me cry so much I got a hold of the author and asked about the next book. The answer was that there are ten and–well–like I said, I got to read the next four and now I’m dying to read nine and ten. Rumor has it that this book series may hit the big screen.

Alisha 16 says:

I love all of your videos and have for a long time . My old phone wouldn’t let me comment but now I finally can so yay !

Reggie Turner says:

Sale the black kids first. Everyone else will follow!

Santana Gonsalves says:

Thank you.

RomRose says:

Yes!! I can’t wait for the V.C. Andrews videos!!

Lynsey Curtner says:

There really is such a problem with whitewashing in sci-fi and especially fantasy. I almost jumped for joy when they cast Shadow for the American Gods adaptation and he was actually a POC. I was convinced they were going to whitewash him. We really shouldn’t have to be so grateful whenever they cast a role as it was meant to be cast. It should be a given, but it’s all-too-often not. On to the topic proper, N.K Jemisen is one of my favorite recent fantasy authors. She creates these amazing, living worlds. When I first stumbled across her Inheritance Trilogy in the library, I was just going to read it for a little bit before I went home, but sat there and read for like three or four hours because I was so sucked in. Like, hypnotized. From the way she had Yeine’s voice down to the cosmology of her world to just…everything.

Tech Age Hustle says:

have you read the third eye by sophia stewert she is the origimal creator of the matrix and terminator

Ariana Crowley says:

what i dont get it

Fair-Is-Foul& Foul-is-Fair says:

The Darkside Trilogy
Thanks you for your reviews, it’s good to hear intelligent conversation.

JaLeesa says:

I love this list! There are a few authors you listed that I knew of but I need them all in my life!

AsofohenMalik says:

You had me until you bashed LA Banks vampire huntress series which I felt was a great series

Gry Ranfelt says:

Wait? Tamora Pierce is black? Huh. (Unless I misunderstood that your recommendations were only black authors)Lots of great recommendations here. I put Foxglove Summers down as a soon-to-be read(but really I noted all the books) since my main complaint about the magicians was Quinten being such a pain (also, such a white cast. When blonde french girl is the most diverse it gets, there’s a problem.)
I wasn’t a big fan of Akata Witch, but I put that down as me being too old for that genre. Will have to read “who fears death” soon.

Melina, how do you avoid becoming too jaded? You say at the end those books are the whitest books you’ve read in a long time. Do you ever go through phases when you just give up on white authors altogether?

Kimberly Robinson says:

I’m just warning you: I am totally stealing the term “White-man-landia”. I laughed so hard, I nearly choked.

ForeverLoggedOn says:

Octavia Butler’s Kindred inspired me to write a story about time travel and slavery when I was 16 (and posted it online even though it was terrible lol), I read it about three times. I’ve read a few of her other books but Kindred really had this profound effect on me. Awesome video 🙂

J.J. Wray says:

‘literary orgasm’ haha I need to start using that phrase!

Great video again, well done to you. Keep up the good work and I look forward to next February for more of these videos 🙂

Octoctopi says:

Thank you thank you! I love your reviews! and thank you for these suggestions!!!!!!!

Just Niquol says:


I am so glad you said that 🙂

Drama High Vols. 1-10 by L. Divine (or just the first one if you don’t have the time)
Keysha’s Drama by Earl Sewell
Rain by V.C. Andrews
My Own Worst Frenemy by Kimberly Reid
Not A Good Look by Nikki Carter
Boy Shopping by Nia Stephens (would really like to hear your view on multiple endings)
Shrink to Fit by Dona Sarkar
Pushing Pause by Celeste O. Norfleet
Shadow Blade by Seressia Glass
November Blues by Sharon M. Draper
When the Black Girl Sings by Bil Wright
Blue Blood by Melissa de la Cruz

Nope Done says:

I love your videos and I’ll definitely check out these recommendations. Do you take requests for videos? Because if you do, I have one: Can you review “How Starbucks Saved My Life”? I can’t be the only one who thinks that book is ridiculous.

Thracian says:

0:43 You’re very pretty <3 Your audience appreciates you for who you are Melina ^^

J Static says:

i recommed a comic book series saga it’s feature a black female character named alana.

Alex says:


Nisi Shawl, Victor Lavelle, Elwin Cotman, Alex Jennings, Rasheedah Phillips, Milton Davis, Balagun Ojetade, Minister Faust, Valjeanne Jeffers, Bill Campbell, Dja-Dja N-Medjay, Jennifer Marie Brissette

ShiranuiReborn says:

You say thanks for taking the time to watch your videos… Girl thanks for taking the time to make them! I always look forward to more Melina 🙂

inotaishu1 says:

I would disagree with your statement regarding fantasy being based on European middle ages. It is not entirely wrong what you said, but it shows the Anglocentrism that is so common in the english speaking countries including the USA. Fantasy is usually based on the English middle ages, not any other ones. Sure there are exceptions but England is clearly the dominant cultural influence, after all how many have you seen based on Central and Eastern Europe? Or Moorish Spain or Italy? Sure there are Vikings and all but that is an exception and lets be honest here, fantasy Vikings do not even look like real Vikings. So some European regions from parts other than Great Britain do pop up here and there but they are clearly in a minority and even within Great Britain, England is clearly the dominant source of fantasy.

Norther56 says:

Very enjoyable video (I especially like the voice changes). This comment is provided by an old white lady who’s been reading SF/F for 45 years. I encountered Octavia E. Butler very early on, via Harlan Ellison’s Dangerous Visions short fiction collections (read in college), and have been a fan of her writing ever since. Kindred is brilliant, I agree. My favorites are still the two Parable books. As for Fledgling, yes, it’s a disturbing read, but I really would have liked to see where she took that whole world; sadly, she died too soon.

Minor note: Nnedi Okorafor is pronounced neh-di oh-KOR-a-for. K. Tempest Bledsoe has posted several videos on books she’s read (google her name if it isn’t familiar), including one on Okorafor, and I believe she’s met the writer in person at least once.

Do please continue your vid series, as and when you’re able. It’s very refreshing (for old pharts like me).

Joakim Mogren says:

Have you seen Brendan Easton’s Brave New Souls?

ArtEmploys says:

Everyone should read GEMINI by Artistry Employs. Millions have asked for this type of writing for decades. Go to:

hdbtftsg says:

Thanks so much for making this video! So many recommendations that I am excited about. I think I will give N. K. Jemisin a try first. I’m a slow reader, so it may take a while to tackle her books though bc the one you displayed looked kind of thick…

Kalydosos says:

The solution is to write your own stuff read it, then give it to friends and family see what think; don’t think too much about getting it published if your focused on making money your going to write shit.

Bartell Keithley says:

Thank you so much for this, I am a parent of 3 girls They are 7 years 09 years-old and 11 years-old when the year ends. I am going to get them back into reading I got so busy with my job that a culture of our house changed. What recommendations do you have the key were that you mentioned over and over was chewy so I’m looking for novels that are chewy for them I believe I will start off reading out loud to them again while incorporating books that they will read on their own this is a serious very serious request please assist.

bblurre says:

what I feel like the problem with black fiction is. is that they make the stories too serious. I don’t really know how to explain what I mean. but like let’s say it’s based on medieval fantasy, they don’t make it as exciting and adventurous as I would like. they make it about social problems or problems with them being black and the kingdom kicking them out. but without making the black protagonist fights back like if we are watching an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. instead it has an extremely serious tone and the main character doesn’t fight and go on willing adventures. I honestly don’t like that black authors and movie writers almost never do that

Ds MediaWorld says:


I’m not sure about everyone else but the Anime Couples video that you released today says that it’s available “not in my country (the U.S.) because it contains content from Victor Entertainment.” Any way that you could post that video on another platform?

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