In 2012, Haitian-American artist and writer Fabrice Guerrier, founder of Syllble Studios, created the Ayitiverse. This vast science-fantasy fictional universe unfolds through Guerrier’s interdisciplinary artistic practice across – science fiction, dark fantasy, poetry, essays, paintings and visual arts. The Ayitiverse unfurls the universal history and the vibrant legacy of Haiti, the first modern Black nation in the world. Driven by a interest with creolization, syncretism, African spiritual traditions, and Haitian futurism, Guerrier delves into intellectual and creative realms to explore Haiti’s rich legacy. The Ayitiverse challenges the lasting effects of European colonialism and celebrate Haiti’s unique cultural identity.
In the genesis, everything commenced with the emergence of the inaugural Black deity. Its origin remains shrouded in mystery, yet its essence embodies omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. Within its boundless expanse, myriad potential universes materialized as mere thoughts. Diverse entities inhabit various strata across the expansive realms of eleven dimensions, interconnected by the central membrane known as Yggdrasil—the Sacred Loa Tree. This colossal, infinite, multidimensional tree extends its roots through the very fabric of existence, influencing everything from cosmic swirls to celestial shells. It imparts the intricate design of the flower of life to sunflowers and shapes the spirals of galaxies. Functioning akin to a nervous system, The Sacred Loa Tree harbors supra-intelligent beings and lifeforms including the Loa gods existing in distinct dimensions. Among the initial divine entities were the Sky God Father Damballah and the Primordial Vodou Rainbow Goddess Ayida Wedo.
This science-fantasy world is centered around Haiti forming as the first Black ‘modern’ nation on the Earth realm and its Black gods and outerspace. Its specifically rooted around a complex history and relationships of members of the 14 African kingdoms – Senegalese, Wolofs, Foulbe, Bambara, Quiambas, Aradas, Minas, Caplaus, Fons, Mahi (Western Yoruba), Nago (Western Yoruba), Mayombe, Mondongues, Angolese- the transatlantic slave trade had brought together on the islands of Hispaniola. Each Kingdom specializes in a specific type of magic as they each worship unique gods within their own cultures only to be unified through the Haitian Revolution.
Magic exists in the Ayitiverse. These African kingdoms are full of magic very different than the Alchemical magic of European nations – The French Ministry of Magic, The Spanish Ministry of Magic and The British Ministry of Magic all the major players in Saint Domingue and the Transatlantic Slave Trade which began as a great conspiracy to locate an ancient treasure. All wizards in Europe are revered by society and endowed by the church as heavenly beings. Only specific royal blood lines and their descendants are able to use magic to the fullest yet it’s forbidden for the rest of the population. If they don’t believe it or use it then their descendants will be magical-less like the rest of the population becoming what they call “Les Riens.” For the Black Africans its the same but their magic come directly from the Loa Gods and are much more potent.
This world spans million of years from the start of the earth and pangea all the way to the futures beyond time.
Society / Groups
The Loa High Council: This is the leadership of Loa Divine Gods lead by Ogou. The LHC leads the Loa Congressional Assembly inside the Realms of the Sacred Loa Tree.
1600 – Present ~The Loa Societée: A underground-secret society of free maroon magical slaves. It began on the island of Saint Domingue as a means to create borders and boundaries for the delapitated 14 Kingdoms. It is led by the Roundtable of Black Crowns.
1980 – Present ~ Haitian Galactic Republic: A Intergalactic republic federation spread across the solar system of earth brought on by the descendants of the heroes of the Haitian Revolution. Its capital, Capois La Mort is on Mars.
Stories In The Ayitiverse
Golden Veins: Collection of Short Stories (2018)
Two stories set in the Ayitiverse are features in this collection of short stories.
In this brief Horror narrative, we accompany Queen Abiona, a youthful African queen situated in an undisclosed location in West Africa. Her story unfolds as she is taken captive by entities from higher dimensions, serving as an allegory for the transatlantic slave trade.
Moments before the eruption of the Haitian Revolution in Saint Domingue, we trace the journey of a enslaved individual compelled to return to their plantation ablaze with rebellion. Their mission: to rescue the mother of their soon-to-be-born child.
Novella: “Descendants of Medusa” (Syllble Books 2023)
In the Ayitiverse, the gorgons of Greek mythology take on a new form known as Mabouya, the first daughters of Damballah, the great sky God. Damballah, in the early days of creating Earth before uniting with Ayida Wedo, sought to shape a reality reflecting his own essence, emphasizing the divine feminine within him. Mabouya, embodied by a tribal group of African women with dreads, represents an ancient and powerful gorgon tribe that succumbed during the Great Loa War in the era of Pangea on Earth in the Ayitiverse.
Within the pages of “Medusa’s Descendant,” we encounter Emilia, a descendant of the Mabouya and an adversary to the Loa Gods. Set in 2018, this era of the Ayitiverse world features the Haitian Galactic Republic and the United States of the Thirteen Colonies.
Emilia finds herself at the heart of an ancient prophecy predicting the emergence of the chosen one, distinguished by hair made of living venomous snakes. This chosen one alone possesses the power and skill to overthrow the rule of the old gods who still hold sway over the Earth. Yet She must learn to trust and understand the power of her own magic.
The Historical Dark Fantasy Novel
Guerrier completed a historical dark epic fantasy novel in the summer of 2021. Despite the novel going on submission to several major publishing houses, it faced rejection. Additionally, it underwent consideration by a prominent United Kingdom-based publisher through their open submission process, achieving a notable position among the top 180 out of 1,400 submissions worldwide. Unfortunately, the novel did not progress to the next round in the selection process.
On This Novel: The novel is an in-world document that exists in the Ayitiverse. It is an epistolary investigation that explores the escape of the Primordial Vodou Rainbow Goddess Ayida Wedo from her eternal prison. The novel centers Haitian history, mythology and Afrofuturistic vision. Guerrier is currently rewriting the novel.
News on the Novel will be posted here
Ayitiverse Through Paintings
Guerrier, working as a painter, utilizes acrylic paint on sheets and canvas in his artistic endeavors within the Ayitiverse. Presently, he delves into the sacred and magical realism associated with the Loas in Haitian mythology. His aim is to break through the monotony of our colonized imaginaries, bringing the past into the present, and emphasizing new Black futures. These visions serve as a means to mend the fractures within Western modernity.
Understanding Haitian Futurism
In his column for Haiti Observateur, the oldest US-based Haitian weekly newspaper outside of Haiti, founded in 1971, Guerrier explores the concept of Haitian Futurism. He defines it as an expansion of the magical and invisible energetic field of radical freedom proclaimed in 1804 by Jean-Jacques Dessalines, one of Haiti’s founding figures. Dessalines declared that anyone from any background escaping oppression and slavery would find complete freedom upon arriving in Haiti. Ultimately, Guerrier believes that any act of recording and uncovering the hidden history of Haiti is an expression of Haitian Futurism, emboldened by the sentiments of renowned Haitian academic and anthropologist Michel-Rolph Trouillot in his book “Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History.”
Key readings from Guerrier’s column:
Ayitiverse In The News
“Fabrice Guerrier: Into the Haitiverse Part 1 & Part 2” in The Caribbean Science Fiction Network
Selected Resources List