Top 10 SFF Books by Black Authors to Add to Your Reading List

Top 10 SFF Books by Black Authors - Reading List by Novels and Nebulas

Black History Month is a great time to boost stories by Black authors and today’s post is all set to do just that. I put in several hours of research to highlight books from a variety of age ranges, so I hope there’s something for everyone here. If you’ve made a conscious decision to add more books by Black authors to your TBR that you want to read all year long, this post is for you. Gear yourself up to add these amazing SFF books by Black authors to your TBR!

Middle Grade SFF Books by Black Authors

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

Genre: Fantasy

Series: 1st book in a duology

Why you should read it: Ever since Rick Riordan launched his new imprint to boost mythological stories by #OwnVoices authors, I’ve been excited to read books by Black authors from it. Mbalia weaves in gods of African-American culture into a fast-paced and exciting magical adventure. If you were curious about Brer Rabbit and Anansi, this is one book you definitely need to pick up!

Community review: Seji @ The Artisan Geek (5 stars)

Links: Goodreads | Publisher’s Website | Book Depository

Young Adult SFF Books by Black Authors

Young Adult SFF Books by Black Authors

War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

Genre: Science fiction

Series: 1st book in a duology

Why you should read it: Krisha @ Bookathon blog, one of my favourite people in the book community, swears by this book. This is set in a futuristic, war-torn and Black Panther-inspired world. If you like stories about badass women and sisterly love, make sure to check it out!

Community review: Lois @ Aquaventus (5 stars)

Links: Goodreads | Publisher’s Website | Book Depository

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Genre: Fantasy

Series: 1st in a trilogy

Why you should read it: This is one of the most popular books by an African-American author and for good reason. Set in a world inspired by African mythology, it is a grand adventure that pulls the reader along with the main character to restore magic to the land. It is well-loved by readers and has received critical acclaim, so it’s a no-brainer to add this one to your list.

Community review: Lara on Goodreads (5 stars)

Links: Goodreads | Publisher’s Website | Book Depository

Adult SFF Books by Black Authors

Adult SFF Books by Black Authors (Part 1)

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

Genre: Science fiction

Series: None

Why you should read it: This is one of the few books by a Black non-binary author that has received immense praise these days. In this novel, Solomon brings the antebellum South into a spaceship setting. This is a hard one to swallow and discusses race, class and gender identity in an unflinchingly honest way.

Community review: Kay on Goodreads (4 stars)

Links: Goodreads | Author’s Website | Book Depository

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark

Genre: Fantasy and science fiction

Series: None

Why you should read it: This is a genre-bending story set in an alternate New Orleans during the American Civil War. It has airships, orishas, scientists, secret weapons and a scrappy teenager. If the synopsis hasn’t convinced you, the sheer number of awards for which it has been nominated should do the trick!

Community review: Tori @ In Tori Lex (4 stars)

Links: Goodreads | Author’s Website | Book Depository

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

Genre: Science fiction

Series: 1st book in a duology

Why you should read it: After having read Kindred by the same author, all of her other books immediately jumped on my TBR. These books are not for the faint-hearted as Butler does not shy away from being graphic in her portrayal of young Black women’s lives. This series is set in a dystopian world with a main character who can feel other people’s pain.

Community review: Monica on Goodreads (4 stars)

Links: Goodreads | Author’s Website | Book Depository

Adult SFF Books by Black Authors (Part 2)

Lion’s Blood by Steven Barnes

Genre: Fantasy

Series: 1st book in a duology

Why you should read it: Steven Barnes is one of the pillars of Black SFF literature, so I had to put his work on the list! In this book set in an alternate America, the South was colonized by black Africans, and the North by Vikings, who sell abducted Celts and Franks to the Southerners. Barnes turns racism on its head to answer complex questions about the history of slavery and is a must-read for everyone.

Community review: Bespectacled Petal on Goodreads (5 stars)

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson

Genre: Science fiction

Series: None

Why you should read it: This is another science fiction classic and groundbreaking novel in its own right. Hopkinson delves into issues of race and class in this dystopian novel that draws on her Caribbean heritage. This is another intense book, so go into it with caution.

Community review: Stephanie on Goodreads (4 stars)

Links: Goodreads | Author’s Website | Book Depository

A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson

Genre: Fantasy

Series: None

Why you should read it: Don’t have the time to read a full-length novel? I’ve got you covered with this novella, which also features queer representation! There’s gods, politics and a whirlwind romance in it, so definitely add it to your TBR if any of these sound good to you.

Community review: Njeri @ ONYX Pages (4 stars)

Links: Goodreads | Publisher’s Website | Book Depository

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

Genre: Science fiction

Series: 1st book in a trilogy

Why you should read it: Finally, I come to the reigning queen of SFF, N. K. Jemisin. She won the Hugo for all the books in this series and created history along the way as the only author to have ever achieved this feat. I’d be surprised if this series isn’t already on your TBR, but in case, it isn’t, do it right now!

Community review: Rachel @ Rae of Books (5 stars)

Links: Goodreads | Author’s Website | Book Depository

Further Reading

Fadwa @ Word Wonders40+ Books by Black Authors for Black History Month

Chronicles of HarrietGreat Black Authors of Science Fiction & Fantasy: Past & Present

GoodreadsContemporary African American Authors You Should Be Reading

Do you have any favourite books by Black authors to recommend? Do you make it a point to read Black authors throughout the year? Do you have a post dedicated to Black History Month? Let me know in the comments section down below. Have a stellar weekend, readers from Earth!

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