Harper Voyager Will Publish Janelle Monáe’s Debut Short Fiction Collection

Janelle Monáe’s made a splash in the science fiction world with her narrative albums like Dirty Computer, Archandroid, and The Electric Lady, and now the singer, songwriter, and actor is making the jump to print with a new collection of short fiction.

According to Publishers Weekly, Monáe has sold her book, The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories from Dirty Computer, to David Pomerico at Harper Voyager.

The collection of short fiction will build upon the world that she created in 2018’s Dirty Computer. That album features plenty of science fiction imagery, and along with it, Monáe released a 48-minute “emotion picture” that depicted this dystopian cyberpunk world, following a woman named Jane 57821, who works to escape from the systems that govern society.

Publishers Weekly notes that Monáe is collaborating with a handful of other writers that builds on that world, and that it will “how different threads of liberation—queerness, race, gender plurality, and love—become tangled with future possibilities of memory and time in such a totalitarian landscape… and what the costs might be when trying to unravel and weave them into freedoms.”

In a statement to The Bookseller, Monáe said that “as a reader and writer of science fiction since childhood, it is a dream to have the opportunity to expand ‘Dirty Computer’ into a literary project. Writers, specifically Black, queer and genderqueer, are at the forefront of pushing the creative boundaries of sci-fi and speculative storytelling.”

The book is set to be released on April 19th, 2022.


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