What is Urban Fantastic?

To hold a pen is to be at war                                                  

Francis Marie Arouet Voltaire

At first, I didn’t realize it, but as time went on, it became more apparent. My stories always tended to have a particular flavor to them. I prided myself on having a  different take on what was being done because of where I’m from, I suppose. Like most fans of the fantastic, I grew up reading comics, and alongside it, genre fiction. I devoured the Lord of the Rings through to the Foundation Trilogy. I watched the original Star Trek TV series through to Star Wars and beyond. I was influenced by the books I read, the movies I watched, and where I grew up. I wanted to do things differently in my writing career. It took time for me to find my voice, but when I did, I think Urban Fantastic was born. I asked myself the question, What if I combine all the elements that make me a passionate follower of genre fiction and add my  Jamaican point a view to it?

Why not? I don’t for a moment believe there is a conspiracy being acted out whose intention is to limit the involvement of the broader spectrum of ethnicities in the stories of the fantastic. We just haven’t been included because writers never considered our existence important. If I want to be a part of and contribute to alternative futures created in books and films, I have to do it myself. I have permitted myself to be a hero and heroine in the stories I’m so passionate about. 

I stand on the shoulders of so many giants who have made their contribution in the past, such as Octavia Butler, Charles Saunders, and L A Banks, to name a few. And to the present, NK Jemisin, Nalo Hopkinson, Nnedi Okorafor, and so many more. I’m merely choosing to add my small voice to theirs. If I had a mission statement, it would say something like; Great genre fiction is color blind. Only time will tell whether my work will strike a chord. One thing that will not change is the unique voice of a Jamaican, science-loving, comic book geek with a passion for Reggae music and literature. Now, if that isn’t a fresh voice in the stuffy world of fiction, I don’t know what is. 

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