SHEREE RENEE THOMAS ON OCTAVIA BUTLER, THE POWER OF SHORT STORIES, WHY AFRICENTRIC WRITERS WORKSHOPS MATTER + EASY HACKS TO BOOST YOUR WRITING PRODUCTIVITY (MF GALAXY 119)
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Sheree Renee Thomas changed science fiction publishing by editing the anthologies Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora and Dark Matter: Reading the Bones.
Those books won the 2001 and 2005 World Fantasy Awards, and along with the novels of Nalo Hopkinson, Tananarive Due, and Steven Barnes relaunched Africentric science fiction and fantasy in the world of books and gave rise to the revolution which is growing around the African planet.
Thomas grew up in Memphis, Tennessee loving science fiction, but abandoned the genre until she encountered the work of Africentric SF luminary Octavia Butler and then found her own path to expanding the genre.
In addition to being an editor, Thomas is a poet and short story writer whose work has appeared in literary journals, magazines, and anthologies including Vibe, The Washington Post, Callaloo, Ishmael Reed’s Konch, The New York Times, Meridians, Strange Horizons, So Long Been Dreaming, and Hurricane Blues.
Numerous prestigious organisations have awarded her fellowships, including the Cave Canem Foundation, the New York Foundation of the Arts, and the Ledig House Foundation. She also headed her own independent press, Wanganegresse, co-founded the journal Anansi: Fiction of the African Diaspora, served as a juror for several prizes, and taught creative writing across the US and in London.
In today’s MF GALAXY, Sheree Renee Thomas discusses:
- The enduring and electrifying power of Kindred author Octavia Butler and why Greg Bear’s Moving Mars mattered so much to Thomas
- Why short stories matter even while novels are king, and which anthologies rocked her world
- The wrong way to teach poetry
- The different ways people approach nation language—or what some people call patois or creole
- The indispensability of Africentric writers’ workshops, and
- Easy techniques to enhance your own productivity and creativity, including playwright August Wilson’s ingenious technique for jumpstarting the next project
Interviews listed on Wikipedia
- You Are Not Alone: An Interview with Sheree R. Thomas, ColoredGirls.com (2001)
- Black Science Fiction and Fantasy with Tananarive Due, Steven Barnes, and Sheree R. Thomas on NPR, News & Notes, August 13, 2007 (Audio)
- Creating Dark Matter: An Interview with Sheree Renée Thomas, Strange Horizons (2009)
- Ambling Along the Aqueduct, "Aqueduct Press: Conversation Pieces" (2011)
- Sheree Thomas Bibliography site by Hachette Book Group
- Joe Monti's Scifi.com review of Dark Matter
- Pamela Sargent's review of Dark Matter: Reading the Bones
- Steven Silver's review of Dark Matter
- AALBC Author page with Sheree Thomas
- SHOTGUN LULLABIES: Stories & Poems by Sheree Renée Thomas
- Aqueduct Press Author page with Sheree Renée Thomas
140 episodes available. A new episode about every 7 days averaging 36 mins duration .