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midnight & indigo celebrates Black women writers with the second Speculative fiction special issue of our literary journal.
From haunted houses to spaceships, old worlds to new phenomena, nineteen emerging and established Black storytellers share tales of fear and discovery, redemption, and resistance.
Ugochi Agoawike | Leah Andelsmith | Tara Baldridge | Erin Brown | Lynn Brown | Ozzie M. Gartrell | Wednesday Herron | Davida Kilgore | Juliana Lamy | Jesica Lovelace | Ellen McBarnette | Mary McLaughlin Slechta | Chantel Melendez | Frances Ogamba | Jasmyne K. Rogers | Wendy Shaia | Sama Sherman | Bria Strothers | Desirée Winns
Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.69 x 8.5 inches
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A Black woman performs a strange ritual in a public space. A house has protected its beloved owner for decades. It knows better than most, that things that die don’t necessarily stay dead. A young man enters a small, mysterious Black town in 1955 Florida. A shape-shifting being experiences decades of American history.
The proprietress of a spiritual supply store receives a visitor. Immortal custodians circle Earth on a spaceship, in which a singer prepares for her longest tour yet. A man wakes to find the world caught in an eternal slumber. Is he its only conscious survivor? A woman connects with her ancestors during a storm. After the aunt who raised her disappears, a girl builds a person from river mud to cut through her loneliness. A homeowner hosts a repast for her husband.
A woman has a strange condition—whenever she’s near a dead body, she coughs up a red flower. Another buys the home of her childhood dreams and realizes it has dreams of its own. A neighborhood family gives birth to girl butterflies.
...and many more stories.
In “Every Color in the Blackness” by Leah Andelsmith, Banni’s universe fits inside a compact.
Simone is a precocious Daddy’s girl with unusual gifts and an appetite for play. When her father pulls a disappearing act, he unwittingly starts a game he can’t win in “Simone” by Sama Sherman.
“The House Always Wins” by Tara Baldridge, introduces Naye, who buys the home of her childhood dreams. When she finally gets the chance to take a tour, she realizes the house has dreams of its own.
A young Black woman is singled out to perform a strange and gently dehumanizing ritual to ensure her safety in a public space in “The Protection” by Erin Brown.
In “Come Wander With Me” by Wednesday Herron, a young man enters a mysterious small Black town in 1955 Florida.
A woman believes she has a son in “On The Brink” by Frances Ogamba. When she loses him, she grapples with the universe’s denial of her loss.
After Arbor’s only known family, the aunt who raised her, leaves without a word, she builds a person from river mud to cut through her loneliness in “belly” by Juliana Lamy.
In “Flowers” by Desirée Winns, Aisha has a strange condition. Whenever she’s near a dead body, she coughs up a red flower.
A family gives birth to girl butterflies in “Butterflies” by Davida Kilgore.
In “Break” by Jesica Lovelace, Satima lives in a society where people are cursed to live with the manifestation of their tragedies.
A long-lived shape-shifting being subsists on the essence of human life and enjoys social turmoil through many decades of American history in “Negrita” by Ellen McBarnette.
In “Smoke” by Wendy Shaia, a young woman is reluctantly drawn into the Civil Rights movement in 1950s Harlem.
For decades, a house has protected its owner, weathering her mercurial moods, chasing off undesirable suitors, and eating the corpses she leaves behind, in “Sweet House” by Ozzie M. Gartrell. When it becomes apparent that she can’t control her bloodlust, Sweet House decides to do the unthinkable. It knows better than most, that things that die don’t necessarily stay dead.
On a snowy night, Charlene hosts a repast for her husband who died while shoveling snow, in “White Flight” by Mary McLaughlin Slechta.
In “Noblesse Oblige” by Chantel Melendez, immortal custodians circle Earth on a spaceship, wherein the famous mortal singer, Felicity Malcolm, prepares for her longest tour yet.
A young woman undergoes a spiritual awakening and learns how to connect with her ancestors in the midst of a storm, in “A Storm is Coming” by Jasmyne K. Rogers.
As Wichita prepares to achieve her life’s dream of seeing the stars, she is brought back to a few important moments in her life, in “TAKEOFF” by Ugochi Agoawike. In between contemplating the human condition, she reminisces about the one thing that keeps her going: her love for Amelia.
In “The Orator’s Guide to Returning” by Bria Strothers, Man believes himself to be someone destined for an ordinary life. That is until he wakes to find the world caught in an eternal slumber.
In “The Devil in Tia Adelina’s Botanica” by Lynn Brown, the proprietress of a spiritual supply story receives a bedraggled visitor, but the young man is not at all as he seems.