Multicultural Fantasy

10 03 2009

I just discovered that Marie Brennan has put together a list of fantasy novels based on non-Norse, non-Celtic, non-medieval-English cultures.  She’s even divided it up into categories, organized by the main foundational culture for each novel.  This is completely awesome.

On a similar note, one of the positive things to come out of RaceFail ’09 (in addition to many fruitful conversations and the founding of a new press, Verb Noire) has been the sheer number of recommendations for books written by chromatic people.  Some dedicated and wonderful fans are compiling a spreadsheet of recommendations, and I know there’s been rumors of a GoodReads/LibraryThing list.  I’ll link that info here, too, when it’s finished.

Scrap that reading list

6 03 2009

I was away from the internet for a few days, and when I returned, it had all gone to hell.  Again.

I no longer plan to read Elizabeth Bear’s Stratford Man books because of her unconscionable behavior in this post.  Unfortunately, I can’t return those books and get my money back.  So instead, I plan to follow Avalon’s Willow’s excellent suggestion: sell them (and a few others) and donate the money to Verb Noire, a new press for writers and characters of color.

And I want to be clear about some things.  I am white and privileged; I try to be conscious of and fight against the racism that permeates my environment, but I know that I fail sometimes.  And I am sorry for that.  I hope that I learn better, but — and this is important — I don’t believe it is anybody’s responsibility but my own to teach me how not to be an asshat.  I need to learn.  I need to try.  I need to make the hard decisions, adjust the ingrained attitudes, and be an adult about how I write about POCs.

My promise here is that I will always work toward that goal.  And when I screw up, I will not do what Elizabeth Bear has done: trivialize, insult, marginalize, alienate, and try to silence POCs.

I will listen.  I will research.  I will learn.