Janelle Monae’s music has always been buttressed by a rich supporting narrative awash in Afrofuturism — androids, time travel, and cyberpunk dystopia loom large within her work and the videos and artwork accompanying it. Next year, the Kansas City-born singer will turn that intriguing backstory into a full-on book inspired by her most recent album, 2018’s Dirty Computer. Set for release in April 2022, The Memory Librarian is an anthology of short stories by some of today’s most prominent Afrofuturist authors, telling tales inspired by the overarching Dirty Computer mythology.
“Sci-fi and Afro-Futurism have always been vehicles I use to drive my art & storytelling (no matter the medium) so it’s a dream to be publishing my first short story collection in these genres!” Monae shared on Instagram alongside a photo of the book’s cover. “Thank you to everyone at Harper’s Voyager for the support and opportunity. It’s been a complete honor to swim in creative waters with other dirty computers in our community. I’m so so thankful for these incredible writers for helping bring these stories to light.”
Among those writers are Alaya Dawn Johnson, known for her Zephyr Hollis and Spirit Binders series, Eve Ewing, who has written for Marvel’s Ironheart and Champions series since 2019, fiction writer Yohanca Delgado, veteran author Sheree Renée Thomas, and Danny Lore of Dynamite Entertainment’s licensed James Bond series.
You can find out more about The Memory Librarian and pre-order it here.