Saladin Ahmed: ‘They Look Like Me!’ - Why Representation Matters in Fantasy & Sci-Fi
Date/Time: Sunday 5 February 2023 13:30-14:30
Session No: 242
For fantasy or sci-fi fans in the past, the joy of the genres might be undermined by a struggle to identify fully with their western-centric heroes and heroines. At the turn of the 21st century, however, particularly with the arrival of Black Panther, Moon Knight, and Ms Marvel, cultural voices have become much more prominently represented, and different communities started to feel seen and heard in the new stories being told.
But what prompted this recent shift and how do we ensure it continues? Join Saladin Ahmed as he explores what it means to be a Muslim-American writing science fiction and fantasy in the 21st century. From growing up as huge fan of the genres to success as an award-winning writer, he will reveal how he uses rich cultural narratives to bring his stories to life, and discuss the importance of incorporating one’s self and heritage into this work.
Saladin Ahmed is an acclaimed novelist and poet with a reputation as one of the comics industry’s brightest talents. His novel Throne of the Crescent Moon, praised by NPR as ‘Lord of the Rings meets the Arab Spring,’ was nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and British Fantasy Awards, and won the Locus Award for Best First Novel. The critical praise continued with his work with Marvel Comics, debuting with Black Bolt, then going on to chart the adventures of two of Marvel’s brightest young heroes in Miles Morales: Spider-Man and The Magnificent Ms. Marvel and to co-create the Stoker-nominated horror comic Abbott at Boom Studios.