Today on Ujima – Worldcon Interviews

With so much of this year’s Worldcon centering on black women writers, and in particular Caribbean women, I was able to devote an entire show to interviews done in Helsinki. Ben the Engineer and I had a nice, quiet day, which is just as well as Ujima is in the process of moving offices within The Station and I didn’t want to be bringing in guests.

First up on the show was Stephanie Saulter who set the scene by talking about the current prominence of Caribbean writers. We also reflected on her (R)Evolution series and how the young Finns at Worldcon looked like they were cosplaying characters from the books thanks to their brightly dyed hair.

The second interview was with Karen Lord who talked about being Toastmistress and putting the world into the Hugos. We also discussed her forthcoming role as a writer on Season Three of Tremontaine, and her new book deal.

You can listen to the first hour of the show here.

Hour two opens with me talking to Tempest Bradford about AfroRetroFuturism, issues of race in the SF&F community, black people in Roman Britain, and the significance of N.K. Jemisin’s second Hugo win. We also mentioned the Writing the Other course, of which there happens to be one coming up soon.

Finally I headed out to Helsinki’s only Jamaican cafe to interview Nalo Hopkinson over a very nice “lion juice” smoothie. We discussed Nalo’s job as a creative writing teacher at U.C. Riverside, the novels that she is working on, and what she’s seeing coming from younger Caribbean writers. Nalo also talked about her medical struggles with anemia and fibromyalgia.

You can listen to hour two of the show here.

The playlist for today was all SF&F themed songs by black musicians.

  • Prince – Art Official Cage
  • Parliament – Mothership Connection
  • Jimi Hendrix – All along the Watchtower
  • Michael Jackson – Thriller
  • Clipping – True Believer
  • Janelle Monae – Dance Apocalyptic
  • Jamiroquai – Space Cowboy
  • Sun Ra – Space Jazz Reverie

I was pleased to get a Clipping track in. Most of the songs on Splendor and Misery have too many swears in them to be playable on the radio.

The show will be available at the Listen Again links above for a week or two. Once it has vanished I’ll start putting the interviews up on Salon Futura.