SteamFunk, CyberFunk, Afrofuterism, Oh My! Our Top Reasons to Funk it Up at BLACKTASTICON 2018!

Posted on: Jun 13th, 2018 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

BLACKTASTICON 2018 shouts “Welcome to the Future!” as co-founders Kool Kat Balogun Ojetade and Milton Davis bring you, Atlanta’s top-notch spec-lit convention (formerly The State of Black Science Fiction Con), this  Saturday and Sunday (June 16-17) at GA Tech’s Ferst Center. This event is chock full of Afro-futurism, steamfunk, cyberfunk, dieselfunk, sword and soul, rococoa, Afrikan martial arts, and then some! Come see why we think you should come on out and celebrate the diverse and ultra relevant voices of current Black writers, artists, filmmakers, and creators of all kinds delivering some of the most dynamic and ground-breaking speculative fiction today!

1) THE MAHOGANY MASQUERADE. Get your steamfunk, dieselfunk, Afrofuturism fix as BLACKTASTICON kicks off the weekend with a night of funktastic shenanigans! Get gussied up cosplay-style (or don’t, your choice) and boogie down to the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture & History Friday, June 15 from 6-9pm!

2) PATTERNMASTER: THE LEGACY OF OCTAVIA BUTLER. Multi prestigious award-winning (Hugo and Nebula Awards to name a few) “Grand Dame of Science Fiction”, Octavia Butler’s life and legacy is the sole focus of this much-anticipated event. Come celebrate one of the most influential Black Science Fiction writers with poet and author Linda D. Addison, Guest of Honor/author Sheree Renee Thomas, Guest of Honor/artist John Jennings, author Troy L. Wiggins and author/screenwriter Kenesha Williams, Saturday at 12pm.

3) WOMEN IN BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION. The WBSF panel, a.k.a. “2016’s most popular panel” (standing room only!) returns and with good reason. Explore the roots of Black Women in Speculative Fiction while celebrating the Black women authors, publishers and more with one helluva line-up featuring author/publisher Kool Kat Nicole Givens Kurtz, poet/author Linda D. Addison, author Sheree Renee Thomas, author Valjeanne Jeffers, author/screenwriter Kenesha Williams and author Christine Taylor-Butler, moderated by Kool Kat and BLACKTASTICON co-creator Balogun Ojetade, Saturday at 4:30pm!

4) THE RENAISSANCE: FROM HARLEM TO SATURDAY MORNINGS. Who doesn’t love comics, cartoons and animation? Roosevelt Pitts Jr., a thirty-plus year comic book industry vet and creator of PURGE, hosts this riveting exploration of the Black independent comic book scene, along with Guest of Honor/artist Mshindo Kuumba and Author Heru. Get ready to dig deep into the industry’s checkered past of Black representation in the animated medium and the exciting future that awaits generations to come, Saturday at 4:30pm!

5) FROM BLACK PANTHERS TO THE BLACK PANTHER. If you missed the historic event this past March, now’s your chance to experience a powerful discussion on the history, impact, importance and need for Creative Resistance and Heroic Black Imagery in film, fiction and artwork. Join authors, activists, actors and Hip Hop icons along with hosts and BLACKTASTICON co-creators Balogun Ojetade and Milton Davis, Saturday at 2pm!

6) LINDA D. ADDISON. Guest of Honor, Linda Addison is a poet and writer of horror, fantasy and science fiction. She is the first African-American winner of the HWA Bram Stoker Award, which she won four times for her collections CONSUMED, REDUCED TO BEAUTIFUL GREY ASHES (2001); BEING FULL OF LIGHT, INSUBSTANTIAL (2007); HOW TO RECOGNIZE A DEMON HAS BECOME YOUR FRIEND (2011); and FOUR ELEMENTS (2014). She was also recently announced the winner of the HWA Lifetime Achievement Award.

7) FROM ROMANCE TO THE VAMPIRE HUNTRESS. Celebrate the life and legacy of author L.A. Banks, known for creating diverse perspectives in horror, sci-fi, fantasy and romance. She was also involved in the creation of the popular television series, TRUE BLOOD. Catch this riveting panel discussion of the life and continuing influence of Banks with author K. Ceres Wright, author B. Sharise Moore, Diane Williams, author Stafford Battle and William Jones, Saturday at 3pm.

Linda D. Addison

8) IRON-AUTHUR. Let the wild rumpus start! Witness five authors compete for the title of IRON-AUTHOR, in the vein of IRON-CHEF (5 authors. 5 rounds. 5 minutes. 5 stories). Authors will have a chance to turn five Mystery Ingredient Words into a Science Fiction, Horror, or Fantasy short story in less than five minutes per round. Who will reign supreme? Get competitive on Saturday at 12pm!

Blacktasticon main con hours are Sat. June 16 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sun. June 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. For more info, visit the BLACKTASTICON official website here.

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