Dark Matter by Sheree Thomas

Dark Matter

This volume introduces black science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction writers to the generations of readers who have not had the chance to explore the scope and diversity among African-American writers.ContentsFiction. Sister Lilith/Honoree Fanonne Jeffers --The comet/W.E.B. Du Bois --Chicage 1927/Jewelle Gomez --Separation anxiety/Evie Evie Shockley --Tasting songs/Leone Ross --Can you wear my eyes/Kalamu ya Salaam --Like daughter/Tanan...

Details Dark Matter

TitleDark Matter
Release DateJul 1st, 2001
GenreShort Stories, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction, Anthologies, Speculative Fiction

Reviews Dark Matter

  • Miriam
    Sister Lilith/Honoree Fanonne Jeffers -- Didn't love the story, but opening with something set in the time of Genesis (Bible, not band) felt appropriate. The comet/W.E.B. Du Bois -- Great writing. Du Bois convincingly and succinctly conveys the feelings of the protagonist under a series of abrupt, shocking changes.Black No More/George Schuyler -- Hard to assess, as it is an early-on excerpt from a novel and I don't know where it goes. Certainly s...
  • Christy
    This anthology is a useful collection and contains some wonderful fiction. However, its subtitle, "A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora," led me to expect a collection of texts that really does attempt to represent the last century. Instead, only one third of the book is constituted by stories that were published prior to the year 2000 (ranging chronologically from 1887 to 1999). This places the emphasis of the book less on ...
  • Matthew Gatheringwater
    "Why don't they make white robots?" is the question posed by the lyrical and tragic story The Pretended by Darryl A. Smith, one of the best stories collected in Dark Matter. It works on all levels: black themes, black author, using a future setting to say something related to the present, etc. I love this story. Unfortunately, not all the other stories are equally at home in the collection. Some, like Gimmile's Songs by Charles R. Saunders are go...
  • Michael
    dark' mat''er - n: a nonluminous form of matter which has not been directly observed but whose existence has been deduced by its gravitational effects.The above citation from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab glossary is referenced in the Introduction of this captivating anthology, to great effect. Indeed, the contributions of black writers to the field of speculative fiction has often been overlooked, even dismissed, whereas this collection is a testame...
  • Cameron
    I'm awfully lated to this party - Dark Matter was released in 2000 - but better late than never, right?Sheree Thomas did a commendable job picking stories and authors for the collection. One of my favorite gems was the opening chapter or two from a book written in the 30s about one of the first patients for a new medical procedure to turn black people into white people. The only really totally missed note for me was the story by Steven Barnes, an...
  • Lucas
    As uneven as you'd expect in an anthology this length, but well worth reading. Has an Octavia Butler story that blew my mind a little. I'm in love with Nalo Hopkinson now too. Gonna read the sequel.
  • Josiane
    I love this book. The short stories are all engaging. I own this and re-read it from time to time.
  • Carolyn Nicole
    excellent read by some of your favorite authors who you may not have known delve into science fiction. Worth the time.
  • Stark King
    I find most anthologies of short fiction hit and miss, but the hits in this one were more than enough to compensate for the misses. Some standouts include:1. Chicago, 1927 - Jewelle GomezFor fans of the Gilda stories, here's a nice short one, combining Gomez's unique take on vamp lore with a queer eye view of Chicago in the roaring 20s. If you're not familiar with Gomez's other work, this is a great introduction.2. Like Daughter - Tananarive DueI...
  • Xev Author
    Best anthology of the genre that I have encountered so far. There are a few stories that demand more will to read through (due to lake of interest) but that may simply be due to my leaning more toward scifi vs fantasy.That said, if you're into afrofuturism, I wouldn't discourage anyone from picking up this fantastic read.
  • Christine
    I loved this book. My favorite short stories were Can You Wear My Eyes, Like Daughter, Chicago 1927, and The Comet, and the novel excerpt from Black No More.
  • Lisa
    This book blew my mind. There are stories in it that I have never forgotten and still think about to this day, particularly Derrick Bell's "The Space Traders". Love it.
  • Mike Franklin
    Sister Lilith: Honoree Jeffers P 4 Interesting take on the Genesis Lilith story.The Comet: W E B Du Bois 4 Classic style sf piece addressing racisimChicago 1927: Jewelle Gomez P 2 frankly rather lame and amateur urban fanatsy peice with black oh so nice and good vampire. Overtones of lesbian sexual fantasy that never goes anywhere and contributes nothing to the very weak story.Black No More: George Schuyler P 4 An interesting satirical piece on s...
  • Ethan
    I figured reading this was a good way for a science fiction nerd to celebrate Black History Month. I've been wanting to read this for a long time, and I'm glad I finally did. This anthology features superstars like Samuel Delany and Octavia Butler as well as other established authors such as Nalo Hopkinson and Stephen Barnes. There are also a few authors not normally known for science fiction like W.E.B. Du Bois and Amiri Baraka. I was also pleas...
  • Pandemonium
    An important collection that corrects former overviews of Speculative Fiction that completely ignored the extensive and ground-breaking contributions of African American authors. Incredibly, the second book in the series, 'Reading the Bones' is out of print. So wrong, Warner Books. So very wrong. This is how history is lost and writers who should be in 'the canon' get left out. It matters!
  • Elizabeth
    I've read through the first hundred pages or so of this 400+ volume of short stories, from "Sister Lilith" to "Rhythm Travel". I don't think I'm equipped to speak much to this anthology, except to say I was moved and challenged by the stories in remarkable ways. I look forward to revisiting it in the future.
  • Bekah
    Reviewed on Books Cats TeaThis is a fantastic compilation of speculative and science fiction that offers numerous inspirations from the African diaspora and, especially, black perspective and experience. I picked this book up as part of my reading parameters for Black History Month.The introduction by Sheree Renée Thomas opens up with a synopsis of Douglas Turner Ward's Day of Absence. A play about a Southern town waking up and discovering thei...
  • Susan
    A perfect antidote to the hypersaturation of straight white males in speculative fiction, though a very difficult read since the short stories are covering some very difficult themes. (It's like after you read "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" or "Harrison Bergeron" - you can't just jump straight into the next story, but sit for a while and let the story steep in your brain as you recover from literary hangover and, depending on the story, emo...
  • Babsidi
    This collection took me forever to get through, but I'm really glad I did. I loved the range of stories, from old classics like the Comet, to contemporary shorts by new authors. I'm glad for the new-to-me names and sources in there, too. And the nonfiction essays in the back were wonderfully eye opening at how truly small the SF community used to be. Favorites include The Space Traders by Derrick Bell, which remains eerily relevant to this day, G...
  • Kara
    An old(ish) one, but a good one. I'm sure there must be newer collections of African speculative fiction out there, but Dark Matter an excellent introduction to some of the biggest names in the genre, some of whom were just beginning their careers at the time of publication. As with any collection of fiction, every reader will like some stories and authors more than others, and there were definitely a few stories that I didn't care for at all, wh...
  • Mike
    Although I only really enjoyed half the short stories, the concept alone is wonderfully put together. Everything was worth reading: a solid mix of fiction and non fiction, the various authors selected were unique, the topics and stories were vast...a fantastic voyage that helps put into place the alternative world's black authors/people have imagined throughout history; and how it hasn't changed much unfortunately from now. Powerful reading that ...
  • Bruyere
    I read about half of the stories and decided to not continue. While there are some interesting ideas in the stories, they are not well presented. The writing is quite confusing most of the time. You feel like you were thrown into the middle of a novel with no context. The stories do cover a variety of topics but I think the stories were chosen by categories vs quality. The only one I enjoyed was Butlers'. I think there are just better representat...
  • Joe
    As per most Sci Fi anthologies, this one sports a few clunkers and some avant garde material plain above my reading level. However, this collection provides a great intro into two Sci Fi heavy hitters (Samuel R. Delany and Octavia Butler) as well as a few absolutely killer stories ("The Space Traders", "The Pretended", "The Comet"). Well worth the time in terms of quality fiction and viewing a genre outside of its typical white male perspective.
  • Ruth Ann
    I actually started this two years ago, read the first third, and had to put it aside for some reason. I remember that those first 5-6 stories really held my attention, and the fact that W.E.B. Dubois wrote an early science fiction story stayed with me. The remaining stories also made me want to read more by their respective authors except for one written in a style of free association, which I have to admit I gave up on after a few pages.
  • Patrick DiJusto
    This is a fine anthology of speculative fiction written by African-American authors. As with any anthology, some stories are better than others. The book ends with essays on the meaning and experience of writing speculative fiction from an African-American viewpoint. Personally, I found this the most interesting part of the entire book.
  • Marie
    So intenseI enjoyed so many of these works, but a few were deeply obscure that I had no idea what themes they were. That was fine. Some left me wanting for more, some left me wondering if there WAS more, and I put more writers and books on my To Read list.
  • Chrissy
    Found some pretty great authors:Honoree Fanonne JeffersWEB Du BoisEvie ShockleyKalamu ya SalaamNalo HopkinsonAmiri BarakaOctavia E ButlerLinda AddisonCharles R. SaundersNisi ShawlSteven BarnesKiini Ibura SalaamDerrick BellAma Patterson
  • Megan
    I have *not* read all of this. I have read "Like daughter" by Tananarive Due. It is an excellent short story. There are some confusing elements at the beginning but it does all make sense eventually and the confusion is a deliberate part of the narrative.
  • M.L. Desir
    So glad I learned about this author/editor. Naturally, I HAD to read the stories. Wish I had learned sooner. This book brought tears of joy to my eyes that recognition is real and it's important. For now, that's all I'll say.