I was breathless to read the first issue of Fiyah Lit Mag, but I forced myself to wait until I finished reading my current book. That was not easy, I promise you. I’ve felt this was needed for a long time.
Finally, I opened it. I’d kept myself away from reading other reviews of the mag, although I knew it to be astounding because I’ve seen the first seven words of Tweets about its stunning portrayals of POCs in speculative fiction worlds.
I’m with those Tweeters. Believe. But first, that cover:
“Rebirth” is the theme of the first of what I hope will be many issues of this mag. And each author has wound it seamlessly into the story only they can tell. It reads like they all sat around a table, clutching their caffeinated beverage of choice, and brainstormed how to make readers stare at the page in fascination. Which authors? The ToC is below:
Long Time Lurker, First Time Bomber — by Malon Edwards
Police Magic — by Brent Lambert
Revival — by Wendi Dunlap
The Shade Caller — by Davaun Sanders
We Have Ended — by V.H. Galloway
Chesirah — by L.D. Lewis
Edward’s “Long Time Lurker, First Time Bomber” is set in a futuristic world of robotics and impermanent death.
“Police Magic” shows us boys on a quest to find a way to end a dark magic taking over the world.
“The Shade Caller” and “We Have Ended” have alternate reality versions of Africa, but hold true to the storytelling traditions and lore.
In “Revival” you think you know what’s going to happen, but the story will take you of guard.
“Chesirah” gives us a strong female protagonist and the lengths she will go to for freedom, surprising even herself.
Each author’s voice is distinct, yet they all call out from within the African diaspora. Premises of freedom, expression, love, and sacrifice abound, dancing equally as well with tech implants as they do with magical creatures. Issue #1 sings, it shouts, it resonates with who we are and what we strive to be. It is the voice of Black spec fic.
It doesn’t shy away from where we’ve been, but its head is turned toward the future, feeling the wind coming off the sea of change on its scalp. And y’all know that feels good.
So pick up a copy of Fiyah Lit Mag, Issue #1. Read these stories of where Black Speculative Fiction is and where it’s going. You’ll want to come along for the ride.