Sick of spaceships? Toured pseudo-medieval Europe too often? Try these 6 science fiction & fantasy stories from black authors. You’ll find yourself anywhere from a magical version of modern Nigeria to a post-apocalyptic Brazil. With expansive worlds and fresh perspectives, these books can freshen up any sci-fi or fantasy reader’s bookshelf.
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
If N.K. Jemisin’s deluge of accolades and unprecedented three consecutive Hugos aren’t enough to persuade you to pick up The Fifth Season, perhaps a violent world of regular nigh-apocalyptic cataclysms and a earth-shattering mage on a far-ranging quest of vengeance to save her kidnapped daughter will entice you.
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Finding just one Nnedi Okorafor book to recommend is nearly impossible – her Binti novellas, set at an off-planet university, are possibly her best known books and HBO is developing a TV series based on Who Fears Death. But Akata Witch has the most fascinating system of magic that I’d read in years, a delightful magical school setting that’s tailor-made for fans of Percy Jackson or Harry Potter, and a brilliant blending of our world and the one just beyond our grasp.
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
Lauren Olamina can feel your pain – literally. When her barricaded village is overrun by a cult, she and other refugees flee to Northern California to form a new society, where she promotes a new vision of humanity growing beyond Earth and taking its place among the stars.
House of Whispers: The Power Divided by Nalo Hopkinson & Neil Gaiman
When Voodoo deity Erzulie Fréda is ripped from her own domain and throw into the realm of dreams, she must attempt to return to her rightful place in the Otherworlds. And while her power is constrained, she sees four young girls open a mysterious book which has the power to unleash her deadly nephew, the lord of infectious disease upon the mortal realms.
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
In a futuristic Brazil, Palmares Tres is a beautiful pyramid city ruled by Queens. Every five years, a king is chosen, lives in fiery splendor for a year, chooses a new queen, and is then sacrificed. A rising artist, June Costa falls for the Summer King, Enki, and together they push to change the deeply corrupt society in which they live.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Coming of age in a land where her magi mother was killed by the zealous king’s guards along with other former wielders of magic, Zelie embarks on a journey alongside her brother and a fugitive princess to restore her people’s magical abilities. Fast-paced and compelling, this debut novel races through the world of Orïsha in a tale of magic, faith, and revolution. (description courtesy of NoveList)