cover image Sweep of Stars

Sweep of Stars

Maurice Broaddus. Tor, $27.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-26493-0

Broaddus (Buffalo Soldier) opens his Astra Black trilogy with this powerful, sweeping Afrofuturist space opera that introduces Muungano, a cooperative society of pan-African people stretching through the solar system and founded after seceding from the oppressive governments of Earth in 2050. Now in 2121, shadowy forces threaten to destabilize Muungano’s leadership, and Wachiru and Amachi, son and adopted daughter of one of the seven founding families, along with security officer Maulana Buhari, must choose between preserving Muungano’s founding values, or meeting violence with violence. Meanwhile, on the other side of the galaxy, a unit of supersoldiers led by Maulana’s sister Fela stumbles into an alien conflict, with far-reaching consequences. Broaddus brings to bear his experience as an educator and community organizer as the principle characters struggle to build and maintain a Black utopia even as the legacies of colonialism and the Maafa—the trans-Atlantic slave trade—still lurk in the background. He draws a direct line in global Black history from the kingdoms of precolonial Africa, through the American civil rights movement and into an imagined future, making this a hugely ambitious and notable work of postcolonial science fiction. This takes the genre in an exciting and challenging direction. Agent: Jennifer Udden, New Leaf Literary. (Mar.)