20 legendary Black science-fiction authors you need to know

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Walter Mosley

Though Walter Mosley is best known for his crime fiction featuring L.A. detective Easy Rawlins, he’s written many other works, including literary fiction, plays, non-fiction, criticism, and sci-fi. If you find that his work is to your taste, then there’s a veritable ocean of writing by Mosley to swim through.

In between all of the detective fiction, nonfiction pieces, and more, Mosley has produced two works of science fiction. First, there’s Blue Light, a novel published in 1998. It starts off with, well, a blue light that emanates from the skies in 1965. The light moves over Northern California, passing over a few humans in the process. The effects of this mysterious illumination vary. People who encounter it might die or go insane; or, if they’re sort of lucky, they’ll be granted powers.

Those who survive the light and gain that power are known as “Blues.” They are segregated from the rest of society, as non-affected people fear these new superhumans. Eventually, the Blues come together in an attempt to understand the light and their new purpose in life.

They have a serious enemy, however: the Gray Man. He’s actually a former human, Horace La Fontaine, who was struck by the light at the exact moment of his death. Horace returned as an evil presence set on killing all of the Blues. Ultimately, this leads to an epic battle between good and evil at the climax of the story.

In 2001, Mosley also published Futureland, a collection of science fiction short stories. It’s set in a dystopian world where technology has become invasive and ubiquitous, and where society is still struggling with deep racism and social stratification.