Amazon has recently partnered with six award winning science fiction and fantasy Black authors to create the Black Stars Collection of short reads and audiobooks. These are on my To Be Read list now for sure!
THE BLACK PAGES (BLACK STARS) by Nnedi Okorafor
By fate and fire, a being four millennia old is reborn in Mali in a short story of contemporary African life and ancient secrets by the Hugo and Nebula Award–winning author of the Binti trilogy. Issaka has returned home to Timbouctou and a devastating al-Qaeda raid. His only hope for survival is Faro, a stunning, blue-beaded supernatural entity who rises free from the flames of her imprisoning book as it burns. Compelled to follow Faro, Issaka is opening his eyes to their shared history and the ancestral wisdom of his own past.
2043 (A MERMAID I SHOULD TURN TO BE) (BLACK STARS) by Nisi Shawl
African-descended USians are finally obtaining reparations—underwater. Plunge into the action of a visionary future by the award-winning author of Everfair, with narration by LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation). Five miles off the South Carolina coast, Darden and Catherina are getting their promised forty acres, all of it undersea. Like every Black “mer,” they’ve been experimentally modified to adapt to their new subaquatic home—and have met with extreme resistance from white supremacists. Darden has an inspired plan for resolution. For both those on land and the webbed bottom-dwellers below, Darden is hoping to change the wave of the future.
THE VISIT (BLACK STARS) by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie
As a powerful matriarchy reshapes the world, two men—old friends—confront the past and future in a bracing speculative short story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of Americanah. One night in Lagos, two former friends reunite. Obinna is a dutiful and unsophisticated stay-at-home husband and father married to a powerful businesswoman. Eze is single, a cautious rebel from his university days whose arrival soon upsets the balance in Obinna’s life. In a world where men are constantly under surveillance and subject to the whims of powerful women, more than Obinna’s ordered and accustomed routine might be on the line.
THESE ALIEN SKIES (BLACK STARS) by C T Rwizi
Accidents happen in the strange realms of the African Union system. One of them sends two humans to the far side of a star gate in a thrilling short story of hope, survival, and new dimensions. Copilots Msizi and Tariro are testing a newly constructed wormhole jump that presumably leads to unsettled habitable worlds. Then an explosion sends them off course, far from where they started and with little chance of ever making it back. Now they’re stranded on their new home for the diaspora. It’s called Malcolm X-b. But they’re beginning to wonder how many light-years from civilization they really are.
CLAP BACK (BLACK STARS) by Nalo Hopkinson
A past struggle for racial equity could achieve a profound future victory in this audacious short story about technology, hoodoo, and hope by a Nebula Award–winning author. Burri is a fashion designer and icon with a biochemistry background. Her latest pieces are African inspired and crafted to touch the heart. They enable wearers to absorb nanorobotic memories and recount the stories of Black lives and forgiveness. Wenda doesn’t buy it. A protest performance artist, Wenda knows exploitation when she sees it. What she’s going to do with Burri’s breakthrough technology could, in the right hands, change race relations forever.
WE TRAVEL THE SPACEWAYS (BLACK STARS) by Victor LaValle
Otherworldly interference in real-world New York City? Or delusions? For the answer, follow two loving strangers in an astonishing short story of faith and hope by a World Fantasy Award winner. Grimace is a homeless man on a holy mission to free Black Americans from emotional slavery. His empty soda cans told him as much. Then he meets Kim, a transgender runaway who joins Grimace on his heroic quest. Is Grimace receiving aluminum missives from the gods, or is he a madman? Kim will find out soon enough on a strange journey they’ve been destined to share.