BBF: Structures of Power: Politics, Science Fiction, and Fantasy

Sunday September 17, 2017
01:00 pm

Tags: Event


Whether speculating on our own current political climates or those of imagined civilizations, authors of science fiction and fantasy are uniquely positioned to deconstruct structures of political power. Politically engaged science fiction considers how power struggles impact individual and collective identity, proposes intersections between technology and politics, and explores methods of resistance to oppressive governments and political technologies like surveillance and biometrics. N. K. Jemisin (The Fifth Season), Eugene Lim (Dear Cyborgs), Malka Older (Infomocracy), Deji Bryce Olukotun (Nigerians in Space), and moderator Rosie Clarke discussed how SF&F responds to both our hopes and fears for the future, offers alternatives to conventional political structures, and the ways technology can liberate or threaten our freedom.


This was an official 2017 Brooklyn Book Festival Event and took place at the Brooklyn Historical Society Auditorium, 128 Pierrepont Street at 1PM.



N. K. Jemisin is a Brooklyn author who won the Hugo Award for Best Novel for The Fifth Season, which was also a New York Times Notable Book of 2015. She previously won the Locus Award for her first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and her short fiction and novels have been nominated multiple times for Hugo, World Fantasy, Nebula, and RT Reviewers' Choice awards, and shortlisted for the Crawford and the James Tiptree, Jr. awards. She is a science fiction and fantasy reviewer for the New York Times. Visit her website


Eugene Lim is the author of the novels Fog & Car (Ellipsis Press, 2008), The Strangers (Black Square Editions, 2013) and Dear Cyborgs (FSG Originals, 2017). His writings have appeared in Dazed, Fence, Little Star, The Denver Quarterly, The Brooklyn Rail, Jacket2, Gigantic, Your Impossible Voice, The Coming Envelope, Everyday Genius, Vestiges and elsewhere. Pessimist of the intellect by night; by day, he’s house librarian at Hunter College High School. He runs Ellipsis Press, and lives in Jackson Heights, NY. Visit his website


Malka Older is a writer, humanitarian worker, and PhD candidate at the Centre de Sociologie des Organisations studying governance and disasters. Named Senior Fellow for Technology and Risk at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs for 2015, she has more than eight years of experience in humanitarian aid and development, and has responded to complex emergencies and natural disasters in Uganda, Darfur, Indonesia, Japan, and Mali. Her debut novel was 2016's Infomocracy. Null States, the second in The Centenal Cycle, is published in September by Visit her website


Deji Bryce Olukotun is the author of two novels, Nigerians in Space and After the Flare, and his fiction has appeared in four different book collections. He works in technology activism on issues such as cybersecurity and online censorship, and he is also a Future Tense Fellow at the New America Foundation. His work has been featured in publications such as Slate, Vice, The Atlantic, and ESPN. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.  visit his website

Rosie Clarke is a freelance critic and writer living in New York. She is events producer at The Center for Fiction, where she heads evening events and children’s programming. Her work has been published in Electric Literature, Times Literary Supplement, 3:AM Magazine, Music & Literature, The White Review, The Quarterly Conversation, and more. VISIT HER WEBSITE