Unlimited Futures: Speculative, Visionary Blak and Black Fiction edited by Rafeif Ismael & Ellen van Neerven
This collection of science fiction and speculative fiction is a conversation between local Blak and Black writing communities, as the editors state in their introduction, which itself takes the form of a conversation between the two. The writers who comprise this collection are all either Afro-Black, First Nations or identify as people of colour, with the 21 stories as varied and singular as the authors themselves. There are several emerging voices, but also well-known Australian authors, including Ambelin Kwaymullina, Claire G. Coleman, Lisa Fuller, Alison Whittaker and Sisonke Msimang. A direct intent of the collection is to resurrect or centre voices that may have been silenced in the past, and this is especially evident in the final piece: a speculative story written by Kabi Kabi man S. J. Minniecon in 1945 who taught himself to read and write. It is a fascinating story that has never before been in print.
The stories acknowledge the trauma of the past, but also imagine many diverse, eclectic futures. Themes of vengeance, anger and love resonate, always with hope for a brighter outlook. These are political stories that also engage and entertain with a sense of humour. The varied styles span prose, poetry, community newsletters, dispatches from the future, bilingual works and more. They are innovative, radical and highly imaginative.
Published by Fremantle Press, in conjunction with Djed Press, which exclusively works with creatives of colour, this is a groundbreaking collection. Marketed as young adult, it truly deserves a wider audience, particularly those who are interested in speculative fiction, short stories and reading diverse voices. It would also be of interest to study in schools. Highly recommended for readers ages 14+.