While this blog regularly gives voice(s) to the perspectives of self-proclaimed nerds of color on speculative media cinematic, televisual, animated, illustrated, and digitally interactive, we can’t forget that the pop-cultural expanse of fantastic worlds and stories we subsume under the rubrics of science fiction and fantasy, or speculative fiction more inclusively, or even nerd or geek culture more broadly, have their roots in the written. And so, this week on The Nerds of Color, we celebrate the written word. Literature. Books.
Recently, a perennial discussion about diversity, or lack thereof, amongst writers of speculative fiction, and their characters, storylines, settings, and perspectives, blew up on the Internet after this fall’s World Science Fiction Convention. This is not a new conversation, unfortunately, and it’s mirrored in similar conversations about diversity in the publishing industry and in other segments of the literary world, like middle grade and young adult fiction, much of which would be classified simultaneously as speculative fiction. How diverse are both the SF/F writing community and the content of the genre itself, in terms of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality, why is this an important issue for those who bring it to the fore again and again, and how are writers and readers moving to advance the issue?
This week, The Nerds of Color will address these questions head-on as well as share favorite authors of color and titles we want you to know about. We are especially happy that we count amongst our number several working SF/F writers, with experience in both traditional and non-traditional publishing, who can share their points of view on and experiences in the genre, community, and industry. All this will culminate in a special episode of Hard NOC Life on diversity in SF/F literature.
In the immortal words of our favorite starship engineer, “Take a look, it’s in a book!”