SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY: IMHOTEP-HOP
The Routledge Companion to Literature and Science writes, “Since
1960s, Afrodiasporic authors including Samuel R. Delany, Octavia E.
Butler, Nalo Hopkinson, and Minister Faust have become luminaries
within the SF community.”
Minister Faust refers to his sub-genre of writing as Imhotep-Hop, an
Africentric literature that draws from myriad ancient African
civilisations, explores present realities, and imagines a future in which
people struggle not only for justice, but for the stars.
A WRITER IN RESIDENCE FIRST?
Minister Faust was honoured to be serve the people of Alberta during
2014-2015 Writer in Residence at the University of Alberta.To the best
of his knowledge, he was the first Kenyan-Canadian to be appointed
writer in residence at any university in the world, and is one of the few
African-Canadians to be appointed writer in residence at any Canadian
university or college.
Valued at $50,000, the writer's residency at the University of
Alberta's Department of English and Film Studies is the cash
equivalent of the Scotia Bank-Giller Prize.
WHAT BOOKS CAN TEACH ME HOW TO WRITE?
For anyone who’s completed at least one novel and is at any career
stage (from unpublished or to a many publications), Minister Faust
strongly recommends Chris Roerden’s Don’t Murder Your Mystery: 24
Fiction-Writing Techniques to Save Your Manuscript from Turning
Up DOA (Bella Rosa Books).
Don’t Murder Your Mystery is an acclaimed writing manual from an
editor with decades of experience in the publishing industry, featuring
entertaining examples and clear instructions on what can go wrong in a
novel and how to make it right. Any novelist, regardless of genre (one
doesn’t have to be a mystery writer) or career stage, can benefit from
Roerden’s fun and educational text.
Minister Faust says that writers in any form should learn from writers in
all other forms. Novelists in particular, he argues, have much to learn
from journalists and screenwriters. And so….
For screenplay writers, Minister Faust recommends the irreverent
Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at
the Box Office and You Can, Too! (Simon and Schuster) by Robert Ben
Garant and Thomas Lennon, and Save the Cat! and Save the Cat!
Strikes Back by Blake Snyder.
Both books are by screenwriters with actual success in Hollywood.
Writing Movies for Fun and Profit offers helpful writing advice, but is
better suited to understanding the career of Hollywood screenwriters;
Snyder’s books are detailed and demystifying instruction manuals on
how to write commercial screenplays, but the advice is absolutely
applicable to structuring novels and graphic novels.
Minister Faust is a novelist, print/radio/television journalist, blogger,
sketch comedy writer, video game writer, playwright, and poet. He
also taught high school and junior high English literature and
composition for a decade.
WHAT HAS HE WRITTEN?
The critically-acclaimed author of The Alchemists of Kush and the
Kindred Award-winning and Philip K. Dick runner-up Shrinking the
Heroes, Minister Faust first achieved literary accolades for his debut
novel, The Coyote Kings, which was shortlisted for the Locus Best First
Novel, Philip K. Dick, and Compton-Crook awards.
The New York Times Review of Books praised The Coyote Kings for its
“jumpy, hold-nothing-back style,” saying that the author “anatomises
[Edmonton] with the same loving care Joyce brought to
early-20th-century Dublin…. fresh and stylish entertainment.”
The National Post called it the “most exciting Canadian debut in
decades,” and director Ernest Dickerson (Juice, The Walking Dead, The
Wire) said, “Minister Faust is Samuel Delaney, Harlan Ellison and Ishmael
Reed all rolled into one. His writing is biting, insightful and hugely
entertaining.” Robert J. Sawyer says, “Minister Faust is a genius.”
Minister Faust contributed to BioWare’s Mass Effect 2, co-wrote the
Kasumi DLC for Mass Effect 2, and wrote BioWare’s Gift of the Yeti and
Stage Writing and Sketch Comedy
He wrote the play The Wonderful World of Wangari about the Kenyan
scientist, feminist, pro-democracy activist and Nobel Peace Laureate Dr.
Wangari Maathai for the Edmonton Sprouts Festival, wrote and
performed sketch comedy for Edmonton’s 11:02 Show and Gordon’s Big
Bald Head, and wrote and directed the science fiction play The
Undiscovered Country for Montreal’s Creations, Etc. when he was 17.
Minister Faust’s short stories and poetry have appeared in numerous
collections including Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology, and his
articles have been published widely, including on iO9, and in Adventure
Rocketship: Let’s All Go to the Science Fiction Disco, The Globe &
Mail, Alberta Views, Unlimited, Vue Weekly, SEE Magazine, the Del
Rey Internet Newsletter, and Greg Tate’s Coon Bidness.
Radio and Television
A former national television host and associate producer, Minister Faust
also hosted and produced Canada’s longest-running global African news
and public affairs programme, Africentric Radio (originally The
Terrordome) between 1991 and 2012, for which he interviewed
luminaries such as Tariq Ali, Molefi Kete Asante, Martin Bernal, Noam
Chomsky, Chuck D., Austin Clarke, Angela Davis, Karl Evanzz, Tom
Fontana, Glen Ford, Nalo Hopkinson, Reginald Hudlin, Ice-T, Janine
Jackson, Michael Parenti, Ishmael Reed, Gil Scott-Heron, Vandana Shiva,
David Simon, Scott Taylor, and many more.
As a radio and print journalist, he has gone as far as the 1995 Million Man
March in Washington, DC, and to the Ain-al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee
camp in southern Lebanon, to collect stories and hear directly from
people living and making history.
In 2007-8, he also hosted and associate produced HelpTV, Canada’s
highest-rated live national daily programme produced outside Toronto,
and for two seasons was a celebrity judge on Book TV’s 3 Day Novel
Contest. He also freelanced for CBC’s OutFront and DNTO.
Minister Faust has taught at Shared Worlds and the prestigious Clarion
West (the leading science fiction and fantasy residential writing
workshop in the world), and presented at the Science Fiction Research
Association Conference (Detroit, 2012), at Georgia Tech on the topic of
Afrofuturism, Imhotep-Hop, and Canada’s national journey of
multiculturalism, and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on
Afrofuturism and the meaning of Funkadelic’s Mothership, and at many
He also presented “The Cure for Death by Smalltalk” at the 2011 TEDx
Edmonton on the importance of questions and stories in genuine
Having taught English literature and composition in Edmonton junior high
and high schools for a decade, Minister Faust later worked as mentor and
trainer for the Keshotu Leadership Academy, an Africentric organisation
whose manual he also wrote.
He took his English and Education degrees in the previous millennium at
the University of Alberta with a focus on creative writing.