The Last Angel of History starts by introducing a musical trio of cosmic influencers — George Clinton, Sun Ra, and Lee Perry — as an extension of Robert Johnson, who received the “black technology” of the blues in exchange for his soul. Or does this legend refer to a sort of visitation? We then move forward (or backward, as these interviews date from 1995) to techno and breakbeat jungle as recent applications of this technology. Science fiction is posited as an accurate reflection of the African diaspora, and we hear from the likes of Octavia Butler and Samuel Delany. This all serves as an Afrofuturism manifesto, aided in tone by the enigmatic pronouncements of a “data thief” and director John Akomfrah’s mind-melting edits and shadowy stagings of the interview segments. A fascinating artifact with lingering contemporary significance.
The always thought-provoking Cory Doctorow recently appeared on the London Real podcast, and I enjoyed his thoughts on the process of writing and how good science fiction is influential rather than predictive. These are the kinds of words that help me realize I should get up right now and start making new stuff. Click on the image below to listen from the point he starts talking about these subjects and, if you’re into it, be sure to listen to the rest of the podcast.