Science Fiction as Activism: Speculating Creative Praxis reading list

A read­ing list by Ama Josephine Budge (writer/​artist/​pleasure activist).

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In May 2024, speculative writer, artist and scholar Ama Josephine Budge led a workshop that engaged in speculative fiction as a tool, method and politic for challenging the word systems that we are so-often taught are inevitabilities; and for re-claiming the kinds of near-futures and long-distant futures we want to manifest in the present.

Ama created the reading list below as a resource for writers and artists interested in this work, it includes a list of places to submit your own speculative fiction, science fiction and fantasy texts.

Some Inspiring (mostly queer and/or BIPOC) Speculative Fiction

Solomon, Rivers. Sorrowland. MCD Books, 2021.
(anything by Solomon really)

Jemisin, N.K. The Fifth Season. Orbit, 2016.
(as above, I also love the Blood Moon duology)

Suri, Tasha. The Jasmine Throne. Orbit, 2021.

Ross, Leonie. This One Sky Day. Faber & Faber, 2022.

Shannon, Samantha. The Priory and the Orange Tree. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020.

Jikiemi-Pearson, Esmie. The Principle of Moments. Gollancz, 2024.

Johnson, Alaya Dawn. Trouble the Saints. Tor Trade, 2021

Stewart, Andrea. The Bone Shard Daughter. Orbit, 2021.

Everything by Octavia Butler

Everything by Ursula K Le Guin
(especially The Word for World is Forrest)

Some Wonderful Texts on Science Fiction and Fantasy (SFF)

Le Guin, Ursula K. The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction. Ignota Books, 2019.
(first published in 1986)

Schalk, Sami. Bodyminds Reimagined. Duke University Press Books, 2018.

Delany, Samuel R. ‘The Necessity of Tomorrow’s’. Starboard Wine. Dragon Press, 1984.

Hopkinson, Nalo and Uppinder Mehan. So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2004.
(especially the introduction)

Nixon, Lindsay. ‘Visual Cultures of Indigenous Futurisms’. Otherwise Worlds:

Against Settler Colonialism and Anti-Blackness. Ed. Tiffany Lethabo King. Duke University Press, 2020.

Chan, Dawn. ‘Asia-Futurism. Artforum. Summer, 2016.

Rieder, John. Colonialism and the Emergence of Science Fiction. Wesleyan University Press, 2008.

Olufemi, Lola. Experiments in Imagining Otherwise. Hajar Press, 2021.

Syms, Martine. ‘The Mundane Afrofuturist Manifesto’. The Third Rail. Issue 13, 2013 (revised 2014).

Fisher, Mark. K-Punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher (2004-2016). Ed. Darren Ambrose. Repeater, 2018.

Places to Submit your SFF

Clarkesworld Magazine

Anathema Spec from the Margins

Fantasy & Science Fiction

Asimov’s Science Fiction

Strange Horizons

Factor Four Magazine

Uncanny: A Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Beneath Ceaseless Skies

The Dark Magazine

Apex Magazine

About Ama

Ama Josephine Budge is a British-Ghanaian speculative writer, artist, curator and pleasure activist whose praxis navigates queer explorations of race, art, ecology and feminism. Her installation, written and video art works have been commissioned, exhibited and published internationally. Ama is course tutor in Culture, Criticism & Curation at Central Saint Martins UAL, and is currently completing her PhD on Intimate Ecologies: Queer Speculations on Pleasure, Blackness and Decolonial Aesthetics at Birkbeck University of London. Ama has written more short-stories than she's ever actually counted, was nominated for the 2021 Arts Foundation Environmental Writing Award, and is working on her first novella, a speculative meditation on sentient trees, queer erotics and isolation, which was shortlisted for the 2023 Future Worlds Prize for Fantasy & Science Fiction Writers of Colour.

Insta: @amajosephine
Tweet: @PleasureProf

This resource is part of a series of writing workshops that was part of the West of England Visual Arts Alliance (WEVAA), a three year programme that includes professional development, commissioning, and support and resources. Find out more here