Carl Brandon Society

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A group "dedicated to addressing the representation of people of color in the fantastical genres such as science fiction, fantasy and horror" founded in 1999 at the feminist science fiction convention WisCon in Madison, Wisconsin, largely in response to "Racism and Science Fiction," written by Samuel R. Delany for the New York Review of Science Fiction. Named after Carl Brandon, the hoax fan created by active fans in the BArea, who rose to quick BNFdom and was supposedly a black. By the time the hoax got started, it had been close to a quarter of a century since fandom had seen an active black participant: James Fitzgerald, the first president of the first New York fan club (and some say the first "real" sf club), the Scienceers, in whose Harlem home the club met.

The Carl Brandon Society presents two awards each year. The Carl Brandon Parallax Award is given to works of speculative fiction created by a self-identified person of color. The Carl Brandon Kindred Award is given to any work of speculative fiction dealing with issues of race and ethnicity; nominees may be of any racial or ethnic group. The awards have been presented by the Carl Brandon Society since 2005.

Although their numbers have grown, there still are not many blacks represented in sf’s professional or fan areas. In addition to Delany, the most prominent black professional author is Octavia Butler. In fandom, Elliot Shorter and Vijay Bowen, both of whom are black, have stood for and won the Trans Atlantic Fan Fund (TAFF).

Contributors: Dr. Gafia

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