Black Speculative Arts Movement (BSAM) - Toronto 2019 Convention

October 4, 2019 | Isabel

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The Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy is proud to host this year’s Black Speculative Arts Movement (BSAM) Toronto Convention. Please join us there at Lillian H. Smith branch on Saturday, October 12, from 1-5 pm. This special event will feature a panel discussion, live music, cosplay, workshops, book signings and more. The theme this year is Celebrating the Femme of the Black Speculative Genre. Click here for more details, schedule and registration. 

BSAM Toronto 2019 poster

The Black Speculative Art Movement (BSAM) “is a network of creatives, intellectuals, and artists representing different positions or bases of inquiry including: Afrofuturism, Astro Blackness, Afro-Surrealism, Ethno Gothic, Black Digital Humanities, Black (Afro-future female or African Centered) Science Fiction, The Black Fantastic, Magical Realism, and The Esoteric.” BSAM’s many chapters host conventions and events around the world.

For more about Afrofuturism and Black Speculation, check out these works:

Cosmic Underground

Cosmic Underground: a Grimoire of Black Speculative Discontent edited by Reynaldo Anderson and John Jennings

Afrofuturism - the World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture

Afrofuturism: the World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture by Ytasha L. Womack

Mothership  - Tales From Afrofuturism and Beyond

Mothership: Tales From Afrofuturism and Beyond edited by Bill Campbell and Edward Austin Hall


Want to get a head start on celebrating the Femme of the Black Speculative Genre? Here are a few books by Black women authors you might want to check out (or re-read!).

The Book of Phoenix

The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor

The Book of Phoenix is the prequel to Nnedi Okorafor's award-winning Who Fears Death. It follows the story of Phoenix, a genetically engineered human still learning the extent of her abilities. She is content to live in Tower 7 with the other experiments. But, an untimely death shakes her world she is forced to question everything she thought she knew. (It helps to read Who Fears Death first, but this book can stand on its own.)

How Long 'til Black Future Month

How Long 'Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin

N.K. Jemisin’s first collection of short stories is a masterpiece, like all her writing. Dragons swim the Katrina-flooded streets of New Orleans. Scientists meddle in the atmosphere on a transformed Earth. In the story that inspired her next novel, a street kid gives birth to a city’s soul.

Parable of the Sower

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

The year is 2025. Lauren Olamina lives in an America shattered by global warming and civilizational collapse. When the walled enclave where she lives is destroyed, Lauren must flee Northward. On the road with other refugees she conceives an idea that might save herself and all humanity.


Everfair by Nisi Shawl

In Everfair, Nisi Shawl creates an alternate history of the Congo. The native populations there discover steam technology in the late nineteenth century. African-American missionaries buy part of the Belgian colony to found Everfair, a haven for all persecuted Africans.

Sister Mine

Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson

Abby and Makeda were born conjoined twins and raised by their demigod father. Surgically separated, Abby's magical talents drive them further apart. Magicless Makeda decides to make a life among the humans. But when her father goes missing, Makeda and Abby will need to work together to save him.

Redemption in Indigo

Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

Karen Lord draws from Senegalese folk tales for this novel. When Paama leaves her foolish husband she receives a gift from the undying ones: the powerful Chaos Stick. But not all of these immortal beings think she should have this power.

A Stranger in Olondria

A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar

Jevick has always wanted to go to the land of Olondria, a place filled with books. When his father dies, Jevick gets his wish and is soon embroiled in a struggle between powerful cults.

We hope to see you all at the BSAM Toronto 2019 Convention at Lillian H. Smith Branch on Saturday, October 12,  from 1-5 pm!

Green Man - Frank Kelly Freas

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BSAM: Black Speculative Arts Movement - Toronto 2018 Convention