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Research 10 August 2018
Event photograph from the Afro-futurish academic colloquium on A4’s top floor. At the back, Dr Nedine Moonsamy sits in front of a projection on the wall. At the front, a detail of Yinka Shonibare sculpture ‘Boy Balancing Knowledge II’ consisting of a stack of books leaning to the right.
Event: Afro-futurish, August 10, 2018.
Title Afro-futurish Dates 10 August 2018 Location Top Floor Tagline An academic colloquium explores African speculative fiction. Credits

Imraan Coovadia

Kerstin Hall

JY Yang
Dr Nedine Moonsamy
Sam Wilson
Alex Latimer and Diane Awerbuck
Nerine Dorman
Andrew Salomon
Kerstin Hall

Centre for Creative Writing (UCT)

Afro-futurish explores the origins and development of African speculative fiction and considers the genre’s position within the broader field of postcolonial literature.

The event’s keynote speaker, JY Yang, reads from their Hugo-nominated fantasy novellas The Red Threads of Fortune and The Black Tides of Heaven. Specific attention is paid to the linguistic choices made while crafting their fiction, particularly with regard to profanity and the use of dialects.

Yang’s presentation is followed by a diverse range of seminars from South African authors and academics. Dr Nedine Moonsamy makes a case for Amos Tutuola's The Palm-Wine Drinkard to be read as science fiction. Author Sam Wilson explains the value of research and scientific validity in crafting plausible fiction. Alex Latimer and Diane Awerbuck discuss the challenges and benefits of co-writing a novel, while Nerine Dorman gives practical advice on crafting meaningful fantastic worlds. Using his Amazon royalties sheet, Andrew Salomon entertains the audience while demonstrating the real financial challenges of a creative career. Finally, Kerstin Hall presents a talk with a stronger editorial focus, exploring what might make short fantasy fiction saleable from a slush reader’s perspective.