If you hang out on the Internet a lot, you may have seen this post by K.T. Bradford:
It’s been the subject of much discussion, which I’m not going to get into here. Suffice to say that I’ve been thinking about it a lot. For several years I’ve been intending to buy and read more “authors not like me”, as John Scalzi puts it, but somehow it keeps not happening.
I do read a lot of female authors — last year was roughly 3/4 female, the year before was more like 60% — but they’re nearly all white, straight (as far as I know), and cisgendered (i.e., not trans).
I think it’s time that changed.
So here’s my highly personal variation on Bradford’s challenge:
For the rest of 2015, more than half the books I buy/otherwise acquire will be by writers not like me: women and men of colour and/or LGBTQ writers.
I’m setting the bar lower than Bradford’s because I know I’ll end up making some exceptions–for example, authors on my auto-buy list, or series I’m in the middle of. Again, most of these are likely to be women, so at least there’s that.
The fine print:
- I’ll probably keep my reading habits the same in other respects. I read mostly SF and fantasy (both adult and YA) and that’s not likely to change.
- I said acquire, not read. A lot of the books I read this year will be those that are already on my shelf/ereader, because I don’t want all of them to languish for another year. But at least some of the ones entering the queue will be more diverse, and some of them will get read this year.
- I may also add other sorts of “not like me”, such as works in translation and/or writers with disabilities — especially if they are also POC or LGBTQ.
In case you’re thinking of a similar challenge, here are some LGBTQ speculative fiction writers I’ve read and enjoyed:
- Candas Jane Dorsey (bonus: she’s Canadian)
- Kelley Eskridge (mini-review here)
- Nicola Griffith (mini-review here — and I haven’t yet read her latest, the very well-received Hild)
- Tanya Huff (also Canadian)
- Ellen Kushner
Writers of colour, ditto:
- Kathryn Anthony
- Kazuo Ishiguro
- N.K. Jemisin
- Thomas King — okay, technically what he writes is more literary than speculative, but it’s also hilarious and meta. My favourite is Green Grass, Running Water.
Finally, here are some of the SF&F writers of colour on my radar:
Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Day Al-Mohamed – Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn
Aliette de Bodard
Joyce Chng / J. Damask
Samuel R. Delany
David Anthony Durham
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Malinda Lo (YA)
Marie Lu (YA)
Tahereh Mafi (YA)
Cindy Pon (YA)
Michelle Sagara / Michelle Sagara West / Michelle West (both YA and adult)
Your turn! Would you take Bradford’s challenge or something similar? Who am I missing in that list up there?
Quick administrative note: My short story The Haunting of Heatherbrae Station is now posted at Turtleduck Press. Go! Read! Enjoy!