Blerd Takes
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Blerd Takes

Black Women in Science Fiction Are Building a Better Future


The Verge kicked off its new story project “Better Worlds” a couple of days ago by dropping the first in a series of ten short stories that envision a future where technology is used to shape a better world. Modern science fiction stories have become synonymous with dystopian futures wherein plot lines are largely concerned with making protagonists suffer… a lot. This is not that; these stories are supposed to be a breath of fresh air amidst the pollution of the nuclear fallout that is modern science fiction.


The first story that The Verge released was a visual adaptation of Justina Ireland’s short story A Theory of Flight. Ireland is a Black woman and she is a boss in the writing game. She is the author of Vengeance Bound, Promise of Shadows, Star Wars: Lando’s Luck, and the New York Times bestselling novel Dread Nation. She writes about black people and takes on multiple genres handily including science fiction, historical fiction, and horror.

A Theory of Flight is dope on all levels the only negative thing that I have to say about it is the video adaptation of it was too short. Once it was over I wanted more! I hope that this story gets adapted into something bigger but outside of that, it was amazing. The animation was done by All in Pixel Studio so it had a retro futuristic vibe to it that fit the story perfectly.

As a writer I know how challenging writing short stories is especially when you are building worlds, Ireland does it superbly, her writing is punchy yet heartfelt. Science fiction is hard in and of itself but when you have the constraint of length, it’s that much more challenging. I instantly connected with the story’s main character Carlinda a revolutionary singularly focused on her mission to challenge the status quo by effectively subverting a caste system that has become interplanetary in nature. She is a genius with a plan to literally and figuratively uplift her community.

This story gives me hope on so many levels, as a black author, as a BLERD, as revolutionary, etc. Check this story out as soon as you can, read and watch it more than once!

Originally published in BLERD Takes on January 23, 2019

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A curious pastiche of think-pieces addressing all things fantastical from a ceaselessly opining BLERD. Yes, all caps.

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