African American Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers
Steven Barnes, center, poses with fans at a book signing, June 2004. Courtesy of IK Archivist/www.flickr.com.
Steven Barnes (b. 1952) has written for a wide variety of publications and television shows, but his primary literary interest lies in science fiction and fantasy. Barnes began co-authoring books with respected science fiction writer Larry Niven in 1981 (Dream Park), a collaboration which produced a series of popular sci-fi thriller novels. This success allowed Barnes to publish his own work, and he has authored dozens of books in the intervening years, including the Aubry Knight series (1983–1993), featuring a mythical black martial arts champion who must learn to shed a part of his warrior's training in order to become a more fully developed man. In 2002, Barnes released Lion's Blood, an alternative history novel in which the historical and social fortunes of Western Europe and Muslim Africa have been transposed. Barnes's most recent work has seen him stepping outside of the science fiction realm into the mystery genre, where he has written a series of novels (beginning with Casanegra in 2007) alongside his wife, Tananarive Due, and actor Blair Underwood.