Minister Faust

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 of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad, which was shortlisted for the Locus Best First Novel, Philip K. Dick, and Compton-Crook awards.

According to The Routledge Companion to Literature and Science, “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 lifelong fan of science fiction, his earliest memories of the genre were watching Star Trek (the original series) in black & white and having his mother read to him from Robert Heinlein’s Red Planet. After deciding to become a comic book writer and artist when he was ten, he secretly changed his ambition to science fiction novelist after glancing through the glossary to Frank Herbert’s Dune. He’d planned to become an ecologist so as to gain Herbert’s ecological depth, but before his first university class switched his entire enrolment to English Literature, having concluded that learning to write was more relevant than the hell on earth of four years of 7 am lab classes.

He took his English and Education degrees in the previous millennium at the University of Alberta with a focus on creative writing. After teaching English literature and composition in Edmonton junior high and high schools for a decade, Minister Faust worked as mentor and trainer for the Keshotu Leadership Academy, an Africentric organisation whose manual he also wrote. He later taught at creative writing at Shared Worlds and Clarion West, and presented at the Science Fiction Research Association Conference in Detroit, at Georgia Tech on the topic of Afrofuturism, Imhotep-Hop, and Canada’s national journey of multiculturalism; at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Afrofuturism and the meaning of Funkadelic’s Mothership; and “The Cure for Death by Smalltalk” at TEDx Edmonton on the importance of questions and stories in genuine conversation.

He wrote the children’s 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. He 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 Maxis’s DarkSpore.

Minister Faust’s articles have appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and websites, including on iO9, and in Alberta Views, Adventure Rocketship: Let’s All Go to the Science Fiction Disco, the ACSW Advocate, Canada 150: Stories of Reconciliation Connecting Us All, the Del Rey Internet Newsletter, Engineer Magazine,, Food for Thought, The Globe & Mail, Greg Tate’s Coon Bidness, SEE Magazine, Unlimited, Vue Weekly, and Your Health.

His short stories and poetry have appeared in anthologies including Cyber World, Edmonton on Location: River City Chronicles, Fiery Spirits and Voices, Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology, High Level Lit Anthology, Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond, Particulates, and Poetry Nation.

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. He now hosts MF GALAXY, a podcast focusing on the craft and business of writing.

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 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.

He lives in Edmonton with his wife and daughters.

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