We started this reading group as a way of promoting and enjoying the work of Black authors and Black editors in science fiction and fantasy. As you know, our publishing industry has a long history of racism and is in desperate need of reform. It routinely passes over Black authors for publication. Black authors in our very white community also face institutional and interpersonal racism on many fronts, and that needs to change. In spite of this, Black science fiction and fantasy writers such as Octavia Butler, Samuel R. Delany, N.K. Jemisin, Nalo Hopkinson, Nnedi Okorafor and Nisi Shawl, to name a few, have made incredible contributions to this genre and we are here to engage with, learn from, promote, and appreciate their work.
To this end, a couple of ground rules, that most of you probably already know, but we want to verbalize in case anyone here is unfamiliar with the tone of our events: this is not a forum for writing critique (we have one of those if you’re interested, but this is not it). The authors we read are highly esteemed, some have featured for us or in joint events we’ve hosted, and we can safely say that any stylistic choices they have made are quite intentional. That said, it’s just fine to express a negative reaction (feeling hurt, attacked, confused) to some of this material, just mind your framing.
This is a great place to talk about the path you took through the novel we are discussing. People construct diverse meanings from stories, which is one thing that makes discussions about them so interesting. We’re hoping for a robust discussion that goes deep and includes your experiences, thoughts, and creative connections.
Let’s talk about racism for a moment, as it may come up in our discussion. Please be aware that we are a predominately white group discussing novels written or edited by Black authors and editors.
Our policy will be to dialogue around any accidental racism we see brought into this conversation, instead of letting it slip by in foot-shuffling silence. If there’s something you notice, that we don’t, please let us know, and we’ll address it. This is not a forum for hate and we will remove anyone who intentionally weaponizes racism, with no pause, dialogue, or followup.
We select each new book by voting via the Two Hour Transport Slack. If you would like a link to join, please contact us via the ‘send us a message’ form under the ‘contact’ button. We announce each new book via WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at our monthly readings.
The Two Hour Transport Reading Group meets quarterly. See the sidebar for upcoming event dates.
Books We’ve Read So Far / Are Currently Reading
- New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color edited by esteemed Black author and editor Nisi Shawl. (Discussion on Thursday, February 11th, 2021)
- Trail of Lightning written by esteemed Black and Native American author Rebecca Roanhorse. (Discussion on Thursday, May 13th, 2021)
- A Master of Djinn by esteemed Black author P. Djèlí Clark. (Discussion on Thursday, August 12th, 2021)
- Nine Bar Blues: Stories of an Ancient Future by esteemed Black author and editor Sheree Renée Thomas. (Discussion on Thursday, November 11th, 2021)
This is a list of books members have nominated to read. Whether or not they end up being selected for the reading group, many of us have added them to our reading lists and hope you’ll enjoy reading them as well!
- Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa
- Nine Bar Blues: Stories of an Ancient Future by Sheree Renée Thomas
- The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin
- A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark
- Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
- Walking on Cowrie Shells by Nana Nkweti
- The Conductors by Nicole Glover
- The Black Veins by Ashia Monet
- Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
- New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color edited by Nisi Shawl