A recently published anthology titled Our Move Next features new African writing in sci-fi/fantasy. The free, open-source digital anthology contains works by 19 writers and 8 visual artists from across the African continent. The editors see the works in the collection as folkloric in their engagement with mythic and ancestral themes.
The anthology is curated by the South African company Backyard Pitch Productions, led by the artist and activist Sarah Summers and the Actor/Director Kelly Eve Koopman with support from Vasti Hannie. Some of the contributors include Oyedotun Damilola, Xabiso Vili, Kneo Mokgopa, Tolo LikaKheswa and Masiyaleti Mbewe.
The anthology is an exciting contribution to the rapidly growing trend of speculative fiction in African literature. The pieces feel urgent in their exploration of timely issues, as well as using African knowledge systems to imagine the future. The editors note that this blending of mythology and ancestral images with science fiction is the core attribute of the collection.
The contributions offered in this book reflect a pervasiveness of speculative fiction interpretations that focus on exploring ancestral connections, spiritual alternative realities, and the generational interrelations between progeny and ancestry from varied African perspectives. We have come to understand the work as possible digital folklore.
The editors also see the collection as a step towards engaging the “painful and occasionally healing excavation of intergenerational legacies,” which they hope might “imbue the current moment with presence, compassion and momentum towards futures of our own imaginings”
The collection is unique for being a multi-genre anthology of speculative writing, a field that tends to skew in favor of fiction. Making space for us to think about not just fiction but also art and poetry through the lens of speculative genres is enriching and innovative. Our Next Move is a brilliant and well-curated collection.
It is free to read. Download the anthology here.