|Thanks to Alex for creating this graphic!|
I've spoken on this blog (and in other forums) about the lack of diversity in fantasy fiction, particularly fantasy fiction of the epic nature. If epic fantasy has diversity, it is often present in a fashion that mirrors the stereotypes of Medieval Europe, with Viking-like invaders from the North and Infidels from the East and uneasy peaces and petty wars with those that look most like the heroes of the stories. This is unfair for many reasons that I hope I don't need to enumerate here. And of course, there are absolutely amazing authors whose books are populated by characters of every size, shape, color, and species. But it's still difficult and frustrating to be a fantasy reader who comes up against the same tropes in every book. Because while fantasy novels can be, well, fantastic, they can also be very repetitive and tell the same story with different character names. And I can't help but think that at least part of the reason is because of the lack of diversity in fantasy book authorship. Because it is hard to break into the fantasy genre as a new author, generally. And even more difficult if your book is about a person of color. And most difficult of all if you yourself are a person of color writing stories about characters of color.
Did you know that there are more books in publication about people of character that are by Caucasian authors than there are by people of color authors?! That means that if you are white and write a book about an Indian girl named Aarti and her life in Chicago (and perhaps a fantastical journey to Fairyland) you are more likely than I am to get that book published. That's messed up.
|Adolfo Bioy Casares|
SO, now that I've convinced you, what are the details? Well, here you go!
The A More Diverse Universe Blog Tour will take place from September 23rd to September 29th. To participate, you need only read and review one book in the speculative fiction genre that was written by a person of color. Simple, right? So do it!
|Thank you to Anachronist for creating this button!|
Once you sign up, please take the button and post it on your page and spread the word about the event - we want this to be big!
Sign-ups are open now. All you have to do is scroll down this post for the form. Sign-ups will be open until September 12th. You will be notified of your date to post by September 16th. This gives you a week to compose and schedule your post. I will have a full schedule up on here on BookLust by September 21st, so you can come check here to see all the other AMAZING PEOPLE who are participating in this FABULOUS TOUR.
Want to participate but not sure what book to read? Don't worry! We've got you covered. Check out the links below and see if anything strikes your fancy:
First, visit the Carl Brandon Society, a whole organization with the mission "to increase racial and ethnic diversity in the production of and audience for speculative fiction." Perfect!
The Carl Brandon Society is so amazing it put together a list of speculative fiction authors for Black History Month, Asian-Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, and American Indian Heritage Month. So if any of those cultures appeal to you, check out those lists!
Don't like the idea of sorting by ethnicity and want a full data dump of authors who qualify for this tour? Check out this wiki!
Recommended Reading - People of Color in Fantasy Literature. Note that this link lists not only authors of color writing in the genre, but also authors who write speculative fiction books with characters of color. For this blog tour, only books by authors of color count. So please check!
Want to participate, but don't want to commit to a full-length novel? Here's a list of short fiction.
Love YA fantasy? (Who doesn't?) Here's a list just for you.
Here's another list of YA fantasy with characters of color - but again, be careful to choose an author of color!
I will post in the next week or two a list of books that I have read and enjoyed or that I want to read and enjoy - so if the links don't spark anything for you, look out for that post!
Now, that's enough out of me. Let's get to the sign-ups, shall we? I am so excited to see what you read and your reaction to it - have fun making a positive difference!