JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Jarvis Sheffield, author of Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction
(Graves & Sheffield Publishing)
The Black Science Fiction Society releases its long-awaited publication, Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction. Genesis, a name that evokes a sense of beginning, is the start of a new age of black science fiction that will contribute to the ever-growing, ever-changing mythos of black literature.
Within its pages, you will delve into the worlds of science fiction, speculative fiction, horror, and fantasy. Writers that are both seasoned and up and coming, African-American, as well as from the African Diaspora, have contributed 25 pieces of the most entertaining, eclectic, and enthralling stories that will capture your imagination like never before.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction?
Jarvis Sheffield: My son was the reason I actually made the move to start Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction. When we were watching a movie he asked me, “Why are all the black people bad guys?” I explained to the best of my ability but got a bit angry that a 4-year-old would notice that at such an early age.
I set out to make science fiction for him and show him positive images of Black people. Also, I needed to show others that it is time for Black people to learn to do for ourselves.
JP: What sets Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction apart from other books in the same genre?
JS: The Anthology is a perfect example of doing for oneself instead of waiting for someone else to do it. This book is not filled with stereotypes commonly found in mainstream writing. In this book, Black people run the show.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction getting out to the public?
JS: I think that it is very important to do your research. Read online and purchase material about doing you own books. Ask people who have done it already.
Never give up on your goal. You have to work on your projects daily to see them through to completion. Lastly, pray. You will need more than your own strength to complete this task.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction ?
JS: I have to admit, that varies from person to person. There is no set timeframe for someone to complete a book. You have to set your own goals and get things going. We put the anthology together in 2 years of working on it part-time.
JP: What’s next for Jarvis Sheffield?
JS: We have multiple projects that are ongoing like the website, the anthology, and Genesis Black Science Fiction Magazine. Two things in particular that are being developed are chapters of the organization, animations, and a live action movie from members of the site. Those are a few goals we have set for ourselves to accomplish over the next 10 years.
I think Black Science Fiction is of the utmost importance to our the next generation . Our children as well as other races need to see black people in a positive light. Everyone is miseducated when all anyone gets to see is negative images of black people. It’s not accurate and just not right, period.
The children alive today will be the ones running the planet when we are old. We owe it to ourselves and them to lead and help develop them. We can’t do that by continuing to let misrepresentations dominate the media we feed them.