Janelle Monáe to release sci-fi anthology book inspired by her ‘Dirty Computer’ album

"The Memory Librarian and other stories of Dirty Computer" will drop in April.

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Janelle Monáe‘s music has always been at the forefront of Afrofuturistic storytelling. Now, the eight-time Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter is taking her stories to the page with a science fiction anthology book based on her album, Dirty Computer.

Monáe revealed the news on her Instagram page Thursday, posting the cover and title of the book, The Memory Librarian and Other Stories of Dirty Computer.

“Sci-fi and Afro-Futurism have always been vehicles I use to drive my art & storytelling (no matter the medium) so it’s a dream to be publishing my first short story collection in these genres,” Monáe wrote.

The book is available for pre-order and will be released April 19, 2022 via Harper Collins Publishing, whom she thanked in her post for the opportunity and support. Monáe also revealed the writers who will be included in the anthology, as well as the titles of their respective stories. It’s an exceptional collective of female writers and storytellers.

“It’s been a complete honor to swim in creative waters with other dirty computers in our community,” Monáe continued. “I’m so so thankful for these incredible writers for helping bring these stories to light: Alaya Dawn Johnson (“The Memory Librarian”), Eve L. Ewing (“Timebox”), Yohanca Delgado (“Save Changes”), Sheree Renée Thomas (“Timebox Altar(ed)”), and Danny Lore (“Nevermind”).”

Janelle Monáe thegrio.com
Janelle Monáe attends the 51st NAACP Image Awards, Presented by BET, at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 22, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Ewing has several projects with Marvel Comics, including Ironheart, Marvel Team-Up, and Champions. Lore’s work includes Dynamite Entertainment’s licensed James Bond comic series. Johnson is a veteran writer and author whose books include the Zephyr Hollis and Spirit Binders series. Delgado is a writer and podcaster, whose short work of fiction, “The Rat,” was included in this year’s publication of Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy.

For years, Monáe has connected many of her releases with the Afrofuturist narrative that followers a 28th-century android named Cindi Mayweather, who falls in love with a human and becomes a fugitive after escaping disassembly. The messianic android then travels back in time to try to free others while on the run, becoming a symbol of love and liberation.

Monáe began the Cindi story concept back in 2007 with her EP Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase), and has extended it to her full-length albums, 2010’s The ArchAndroid, and her 2013 double album, The Electric Lady. Dirty Computer, her most recent album, is the first to not include the Cindi Mayweather story arch, ironically.

Dirty Computer was released in 2018, peaking at number six on the Billboard 200 album chart and number four on the Billboard R&B album chart. Its lead single, “Make Me Feel,” reached number five on the Billboard Dance Club chart and was certified gold.

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