In February 2016, Fantastic Stories of the Imagination published author Nisi Shawl’s essay “A Crash Course in the History of Black Science Fiction,” an annotated list of 42 black science fiction works that are important for a readers’ understanding of that continuity and history. (For the most up-to-date version, read Nisi Shawl’s January 2020 update over on the Carl Brandon Society or on her own site).
Since late 2016, Shawl has gone in-depth on the 42 books and stories in the monthly History of Black Science Fiction column here on Tor.com. (With special guest LaShawn M. Wanak popping in when the history reached one of Nisi’s own books!)
Curious? Keep reading! Assembled below are selections from these expanded looks at important titles in the history of Black science fiction. (Note: Some of these books would be considered fantasy, and in many cases throughout the list, the two genres are interwoven.) This walkthrough is current as of March 2020, but the column continues on. Keep track of new installments here.