This is a conversation with Rob Cameron, a teacher, linguist, and writer on the search for Afro-Solarpunk.
He has poetry forthcoming in Star*Line Poetry Magazine and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. His essays and short fiction have appeared in Foreign Policy Magazine, Tor.com, the New Modality, and Clockwork Phoenix Five. His debut middle grade novel Daydreamer is forthcoming from Labyrinth Road, Summer ’24.
We spoke about his 2019 essay “In Search of Afro-Solarpunk“.
You can also find our episode on YouTube. I don’t release video episodes on YouTube, but many episodes are available as video exclusives on Patreon.
Rob Cameron’s Book Recommendations:
- Multispecies Cities: Solarpunk Urban Futures edited by Christoph Rupprecht, Deborah Cleland, Norie Tamura, Rajat Chaudhuri
- Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future edited by Ed Finn, Kathryn Cramer
- Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction edited by Sheree Renée Thomas, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki and Zelda Knight
- Cities of Light: A Collection of Solar edited by Joey Eschrich and Clark A. Miller
- Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman
How to Support:
The Fire These Times is independent, ad-free and self-funded. Since March 2020, I’ve produced weekly episodes averaging anywhere from 60 to 110 minutes.
With a small amounted donated monthly or yearly, you can help expand this project into video essays, public panels, newsletters and more. I also wish to release episodes twice a week. Your support can be for as little as $2 or $5 a month or $20 or $50 a year, which is what most people contribute.
The best way to do so is through Patreon, which will also give you early access to audio episodes, exclusive video episodes, merchandise, monthly hangouts, access to the upcoming book club and more.
But there are also options through BuyMeACoffee.com, PayPal or Ko-fi.com.
If you can’t support financially, you can still help get more listeners to this podcast by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Castbox, Podchaser, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to podcasts.
What goes into one episode:
The steps from research to finalized episodes can take a lot of time!
Here is usually what that means:
- Designing previews images through Canva which appear on podcast apps like Spotify
- Creating video previews through Headliner which appear on social media sites like Mastodon or Twitter
- Audio editing through Audacity, unless mentioned otherwise in the credits
- Preparing exclusive video episodes on iMovie for Patreons
Before any of the above is possible, I need to research a topic and/or the potential guest(s) which:
- Sometimes means getting a hold of a book
- Reading it as well as any online source that can help, maybe listening to a few podcasts if they’re available etc
- While doing that I prepare questions and reflections on a notebook, which I usually send to the guest(s)
- This sometimes leads to back-and-forths to refine the topics we are going to discuss
- I then create a room on ZenCastr and schedule the episode with the guests via Google Calendar
And when all of that is done, I need to promote!
- Scheduling on Anchor and YouTube
- Promoting video previews on Mastodon, Twitter, Instagram and/or Tiktok
- Coordinating on the main website to make sure every episode has a permanent online home, like this one
- Asking the guest(s) to also promote if they can
- And more
Thinking of doing your own podcast?
I’m really passionate about what I do and over the years I’ve picked up a number of fun and useful skills.
If you’re thinking of doing a podcast but don’t know where to start, I am available for hiring and can help you along the way. My fee will depend on your capacity and needs. I can help you create a meaningful podcast that is oriented towards creating a better world.
How to Follow to Get Updates:
I’m currently in the process of re-orienting this project away from a dependency on the social media corporations as I find the algorithm they use unethical, not to mention their predatory business practices.
The most reliable ways to get updates of The Fire These Times are through directly subscribing on your favorite app podcast, Patreon, on this website (to subscribe simply add your email at the bottom of the page) or via RSS.