Sunday, September 22, 2013

[TSS] A More Diverse Universe, Revisited


Exactly one year ago, the A More Diverse Universe blog tour began!  A More Diverse Universe celebrates diversity in speculative fiction by encouraging people to read books in the fantasy or science fiction genres that were written by people of color.  It is so very important to read diversely, to read books by and about and for people who have different life experiences than you.  The fantasy and science fiction genres are especially poorly represented by authors of color.  The fantasy shelf at libraries and bookstore is stocked full of epic fantasy series that take place in quasi-Medieval settings where Winter is Coming or massive castles climb to the clouds or peasant girls have godmothers and all the rest of the tropes.  As much as fantasy is about magic and other worlds and quests, it's also heavily influenced by our own experiences.  But most authors in fantasy have the same experience.  What about the rest of the world, with different cultural norms, societal structures, religions, traditions, and yes, skin color?  If you went to a library and saw no books on the shelf that spoke to you and your own life experience, do you think you would have become such a voracious reader?


The world deserves library bookshelves filled with books that can speak to many different people.  And that's what #Diversiverse is all about.  It's weird and self-aggrandizing to quote myself, I know, but I wrote a very impassioned post last year to introduce the event, and I what I said then still rings true today:
I know your TBR list is huge.  I know your commitments are many.  I know that there are so many things on which you must take a stand, and it can be exhausting to make reading a political activity.  But this is so important to me, and I really think it should be important to you, too.  None of us lives in a monochromatic world, and yet the fact that terrifying hate crimes still occur makes it clear that we do not fully understand or trust each other.  And maybe part of the reason is because the media we consume does not accurately reflect the diversity of our society.  And books are such a massive part of the media we consume that we should demand and fight for those that do represent minorities and those that do present the world from a different perspective than the one we are used to.  So please - participate.  You may just discover a character or an author or a setting or a story that will completely change your life.
I tried to get a head start on A More Diverse Universe this year.  It didn't work out.  The group of us who planned and executed last year just don't have the bandwidth to plan and execute such a large event this year.  There's no way we can take sign-ups, send out email assignments, pull together a schedule, and then update with links every day.


That said, I really believe that #Diversiverse is a very valuable event in blogopshere and I want it to happen again.  And I want it to be a massive success and for dozens or even hundreds of readers to participate.  But I don't think the only way for that to happen is to have a very organized and structured week-long event.  I think we can do it a bit on the fly.  As in, I create a Mr. Linky on a blog post in say, seven weeks - November 15th-17th - and then everyone who participates just puts a link on that blog post with their blog name and the name of the book being reviewed.  Simple, right?


I hope it's a small enough ask that you can fit it into your reading schedule without a blip.  I hope it's an impactful enough weekend that you will think critically about your reading going forward.  If we vote with our dollars (or euros or yen or rupees), then think about the votes we are casting.  As book bloggers and book readers and book advocates and book evangelists, we truly do have the ability to influence others' reading choices, and I urge you to urge others to read a brilliant book they might never have come across if not for your influence.


So what should you read?  The kick-off post last year had some links that may be of use.  I put up some suggestions last yearHere is a list of all the titles that people read and reviewed for the event last year.  I also created a #diversiverse label on my blog for the books that I've read and identified as qualifying for the challenge.  And here's a list specifically for YA authors of color.  And I'm sure people will start populating the comments with their recommendations as well!

Please note:  Books only qualify for this challenge if they were written by a person of color, not if they are about a person of color.  They also only qualify if they are in the speculative fiction genre:  that includes fantasy, science fiction, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, superhero comics - anything is game.  If you aren't sure, just ask!


Alright, that's all!  If you want to be reminded in a few weeks of the event occurring, just sign up via the Mr. Linky below and I promise to post on your blog reminding you to pick a book and start reading!  I'll keep talking about the event over the next several weeks, too, so don't worry - I won't let you forget!  Please sign up and tell all your friends!  And keep telling them!


58 comments:

  1. Good-o! I'm in! I've been meaning anyway to try more Octavia Butler, so this can be my opportunity to do that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Which book by her will you read? I've only read Kindred as well, but so many people like Wild Seed as well.

      Delete
    2. So glad you are doing this. I do believe it is important, if also overwhelming. Can we add fantasy/diversity books that we have read during this last year? Such as Alexis Wright's incredible Swan Book? mdbrady.wordpress.com

      Delete
    3. Well, technically, the event is to read a book and review it during that weekend. But I see no issues with bringing attention to other books that deserve attention. Maybe write a highlight post and post that during the week? Or, really, if that's too much work, feel free to link to a previous post you've written, as long as you do another one for the event :-) The more the better!

      Delete
  2. Hooray! I was hoping this would happen again this year and had even remembered to check your blog a couple weeks ago to see...I made sure I brought a qualifying book with me to college this semester, so I'm all set to go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent! Well done planning ahead :-)

      Delete
  3. I'm in - I was hoping this would be back again this year! I think I already know which author I'm going to read, to....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, which one?! I haven't decided yet myself. So many options!

      Delete
  4. I'm in for sure! I think keeping it simple is the most feasible way to make it work, and hopefully it's going to be as hugely successful as last year. (I'm sorry I vanished from the e-mail thread where we were trying to get it organised, btw. After you-know-what happened this summer I kind of lost grip of everything for a while.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope it's a massive success as well! And no worries at all. I completely understand that you've had other things to deal with, and this way is easiest for everyone. Unless you happen to have the time and skills and inclination to create a button, which I have zero idea how to do ;-)

      Delete
  5. aw yay I'm so glad you are doing it again and simple sounds good, it's in no way less effective imo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope that's the case! I took inspiration from your toned-down version of BBAW, which I think was fantastic this year, and hopefully less stressful for you to plan.

      Delete
  6. I can't say I know which color authors are, but yup pretty sure most of mine are male and white

    Too bad I read Saladin Ahmed's book earlier this year ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can read one other author, surely? You read so much SFF, I think it would be great for you to try another one! There are so many good ones.

      Delete
    2. I just can't buy...but I will see what the library and m,y shelf has to offer and check those lists. Was it only POC as the author, or in the books too?

      Delete
    3. Oh, I see. Yes, I remember you telling me your library has limited offerings in the diversity sense. It only counts with POCs as the author, yes, not just the characters.

      Delete
    4. Ok so I have gone through those lists and came across Carlos Ruiz Zafon....really? I mean he is only Spanish. But he was on the YA list. So I wonder cos I have not read his yA book yet....what do you think? Would he really count

      if he does not then I went through every book on my library list and found this one
      http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9663940-the-girl-who-leapt-through-time

      Sci.fi ish?

      Sorry to bother you so much Aarti!

      Delete
    5. Ohh or this one
      http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10215800-fairy-tales-for-angry-little-girls

      I would just have to borrow it and see if they are really fairytale remakes and could fit the genres there has to be

      Delete
    6. Ruiz-Zafon does not qualify as he is Spanish, not Latin American. But the other one works! So try that one :-) Fairy tale remakes definitely fit the genre. I would call those fantasy based on all the crazy stuff that happens.

      Delete
  7. Thanks for conducting this Aarti. I've submitted the blog link & I've a few books under consideration. Once I finalize my choice, I email it to you for confirmation. Many thanks :)

    Mihir

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No need to email me, Mihir - you can just put the link up that weekend when I have another Linky for the event's participants. Though I'd love to see what you have under consideration!

      Delete
  8. Did we not have a button for last year? huh. Also, any opinion of whether or not Like Water for Chocolate would satisfy the requirements? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We did have buttons last year. I just, er, don't know how to update them for *this* year. Is that easy to do?

      Delete
    2. And yes, I think Like Water for Chocolate would definitely qualify! Lots of magical realism in there.

      Delete
  9. I'm going to try to participate this year. I know I have some books on my TBR that qualify (including Green Grass Running Water)--it's just a matter of whether the timing will work out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Teresa, I think you would SO ENJOY Green Grass Running Water, so I hope you read it and I hope you read it in time to review with this event. But if not - you would enjoy it, regardless.

      Delete
  10. Yay! I just made an impulse buy in the Kindle Daily Deals section the other day of Nalo Hopkinson's Sister Mine, so I'll just put it on the list. And I've actually got a little chunk of my backlog that I got excited about during last year's Diversiverse that I haven't gotten to yet (Redemption in Indigo, The Killing Moon, Huntress). This is going to be so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bought that one, too! Specifically with this event in mind, though not sure if I will read it for the event. Redemption in Indigo sounds great, too. I think I may do a graphic novel and regular novel.

      So glad you're looking forward to it!

      Delete
  11. I'm so in! I read Parable of the Sower last year, so this year, I'll finish the series with Parable of the Talents; and why not finish another 2 book series with The Shadowed Sun by NK Jemisin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, great! Always nice to finish off a series you are in the midst of, too!

      Delete
  12. Huh, I was sure I'd left a comment yesterday. Maybe it gotten eaten by the web-fairies.
    Anyways, I can update the button for you if you'd like? Or if you have a different image you'd like to use let me know, it's no trouble.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohmigosh, I would LOVE that! Thank you, Fence. I would love for you to update the button! It would be nice to have a new image but I don't really know what image I would want to use, so just updating the ones from last year is totally fine - let me know if you need anything from me for that.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  13. I LOVE this concept! Can't wait to get started!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I was just thinking about this the other day and I'm really looking forward to doing this event again.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I think this is my year to read Octavia Butler! Probably Kindred, finally. Sorry not to sign up right away, but November seems a long way off to me in my blog planning, which tends to be more like, "what can I post today, if anything?" ;)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I loved this last year although I'm pretty sure I didn't manage to post it on time. That's a great cover for Green Grass Running Water! That was a pretty fabulous book, I highly recommend it.

    So I'm definitely in again and with any luck, timely this year.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Just now getting around to signing up. I look forward to choosing a book to read for this!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I enjoyed it very much last year, Aarti, and your suggestion for this year looks great. The House of the Spirits - I loved that and you have got me thinking....

    ReplyDelete
  19. This coincides nicely with my IRL November fantasy book club selection of N.K. Jemisin's "The Killing Blood"

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'll be reading N.K. Jemisin's "The Killing Moon" this month for my IRL fantasy book group anyway, so I might as well write about it as part of the blog tour.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank you for hosting this wondrous event again, Aarti, and thank you so much for stopping by Novel Niche to let me know that it's recurring! I'm delighted to sign up -- this year, I'll be reading Karen Lord's latest, The Best of All Possible Worlds. (I picked her Redemption in Indigo last year, and utterly enjoyed it.)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Please count me in again for this year! I'm not sure which book yet- possibly Jacqueline Koyanagi's Ascension which I recently acquired or Michelle Sagara's Into the Dark Lands, which has been waiting on my TBR pile for its chance for a couple of years now.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm in! Now I just need to figure out what to read! :D

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm in.
    I found the blog button on the internet and was so sad to have missed this event last year. This time, I will join in the fun.

    Until I read the comments, I was sure I would read Octavia Butler's Wild Seed. Now Koyanagi's Ascension also really looks good, and let's not forget how wonderful Nalo Hopkinson is... ah, decisions, decisions.
    Whatever I'll end up reading, I look forward to talking to you guys and getting more recommendations.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm in.
    I found the blog button on the internet and was so sad to have missed this event last year. This time, I will join in the fun.

    Until I read the comments, I was sure I would read Octavia Butler's Wild Seed. Now Koyanagi's Ascension also really looks good, and let's not forget how wonderful Nalo Hopkinson is... ah, decisions, decisions.
    Whatever I'll end up reading, I look forward to talking to you guys and getting more recommendations.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have had Moses: 'The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman,' a steampunk alt history by Balogun Ojetade on my to read pile for quite a while. Thanks to twitter finding this I have finally moved it to the front. Not sure if I will hit the tours' deadline, but love the event.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I didn't get a Mr Linky reminder or anything. Are we still on for November 15-17?Is there somewhere we should post the URL of our review?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry, life got away from me and I wasn't able to send reminders out. Yes, we are still on for this weekend. There will be a Mr. Linky posted this Thursday, so look for it then!

      Delete
  28. Thank you for this wonderful event. We need more of this :) ! I have a Filipino-authored book I'd like to review. I've put the banner on my blog too! Will be back to link up next week.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi, sorry things have so gotten away from us this year with many real life drama llamas, but we do want to take part albeit very late. We have already read some books recently that I think would be really approrpiate: Kabu-Kabu in particular http://www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2013/09/kabu-kabu-by-nnedi-okorafor.html which we put up earlier than the date because it was a new release.

    We will also read Black Redneck vs Space Zombies by Stephen Roy http://www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2013/11/black-redneck-vs-space-zombies-by.html

    We will try to read another for this weekend to add to the list

    ReplyDelete
  30. I've been reading through Angles of Ascent (Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American poetry), in the wake of Carl Phillips' visit to Kenyon, and I found a poem about Flash Gordon that I thought I could write about for A More Diverse Universe. Does that qualify? Poems and SF haven't always had a good relationship (ever read any of Zelazny's?) so I thought maybe I'd come at it from another tack this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that sounds like a great idea! You will probably be the only person reviewing spec fic poetry, so go for it!

      Delete
    2. great! turns out it's not Flash Gordon (a 1934 spinoff of Buck Rogers) but The Flash (a 1940 spinoff of Superman's superspeed), so I've learned something already.

      Delete
  31. Aarti, I'm sure you hear the Screeeeeeeeeeeeeech as I get in right under the wire. November is kicking my butt so far, but thank you so much for the reminder email. I read ORLEANS by Sherri L. Smith, thank you for organizing this again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Tanita! I've linked to that post in the link post I put up yesterday.

      Delete
  32. ALSO - I haven't written a review of this yet, but people, you've got to read Paige Daniels' NON-COMPLIANCE: THE SECTOR. So, so good - cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic diverse romance... so, so good. Check it out! It's available for Kindle, too.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time and effort (I know word verification is MISERABLE) to comment here! Unless you are spamming me, in which case, thanks for nothing.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails