One of my ongoing projects on this site, as you probably well know if you follow me, is Sumiko Saulson’s Black Women in Horror Writing list. It’s been a really fun experience, and I’m not even 1/3rd of the way through it. It’s connected me with authors (Crystal Connor, for instance, even sent me signed copies of two of her books) and brought a wide array of possibilities for SFF/horror to my attention. In reading marginalized authors like Tananarive Due, Nisi Shawl and L.A. Banks, you see how much can be brought to your experience of the genres if you only follow the similar but over-saturated works of Stephen King, Golden Age sci-fi authors and Jim Butcher.
Anyway, one of these authors is Nalo Hopkinson. I’ve enjoyed most of the books in this reading project, but Hopkinson is honestly kind of astonishing. Her work melds horror, dystopia, space opera, magical realism, urban fantasy with thematic concerns of intersectionality, race, feminism and Afro-Carribean culture and folklore. While I’ve only read Brown Girl in the Ring in its entirety (highly recommended by the way), I’ve got The Salt Roads and others lines up and have read about her work fairly extensively. Hopkinson is really worth your time. What’s more, she’s worth your money.
Recently Hopkinson launched a Patreon page. Read the overview if you have time, but at the least take note of this paragraph:
In 2011 I became a university professor at the ripe age of 50. Before that, my partner and I were homeless and hungry for a couple of years, both too ill with different undiagnosed chronic health issues to work. But now I make a good income. With it, I support the two of us while my partner works towards better functionality. I pay the many medical expenses for us both where my insurance plan doesn’t cover them. I send some money every month to my mother in Canada, who has her own health issues and whose pension is not quite enough to make ends meet. Financially, I’m doing a lot better than I was. I can afford basic art materials and supplies. What I cannot do is save enough to get myself the live/work space I need more with every passing year. The paycheque’s gone by the middle of the month, and then I’m coasting on deficit, i.e credit. And that’s not bad at all. I can keep living like this, as so many people do. But I cannot become a more productive artist this way.
Despite quality work, many authors are still struggling. Despite an almost two-decade long career, Hopkinson could use some help. If you have a buck or two to spare each month, consider supporting her.
Again, check out the Patreon page here.