There are plenty of authors from underrepresented groups writing fantastic science fiction and fantasy, and they’re equally deserving of publicity and support. It’s also important to remember that media can be powerful. It influences how we view the world, and what we think of as normal. That kind of power needs to be in the hands of people with wide ranges of perspectives, so that audiences are introduced to different ideas. So that everyone has a voice.
I’ve talked about most of these works and authors before, but I haven’t specifically compiled a list like this. So, here’s a partial one, with links back to my original posts and other sites of interest. (I didn’t include diverse works where I wasn’t reasonably certain the creator was part of an underrepresented group, or any that I didn’t personally find to be quite good. I also limited myself to ten.)
1. The Killing Moon – Hugo award-winning N.K. Jemisin is one of the better-known black women writing SFF. This is just one of the fantasy novels she’s written. I’ve also heard great things about The Fifth Season–I’ve bought it already, and have been waiting for a moment to read it. Additionally, I enjoy following N.K. Jemisin’s blog, which is candid and unapologetic.
2. Ancillary Justice – A sci-fi novel, this book follows an AI in a woman’s body whose primary language doesn’t distinguish between gender. She often has to speak other languages, which is complicated because she doesn’t know how to visually distinguish between genders. It leads to an interesting read–the only one I’ve come across where I’m often unsure about the gender of many characters. Here’s one of the interviews with the author, Anne Leckie.
4. Santa Olivia – I never wrote a post about this book, because I read it before starting this blog. It’s come up in a few lists that I made, like “Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines,” and has been sitting on my recommendations page. It’s post-apocalyptic, following Loup, who was born without the ability to feel fear, and her romance with a local girl. It’s written by Jacqueline Carey.
5. Acacia: The War With the Mein – Another book I read before the blog, Acacia is an epic fantasy written by David Anthony Durham, the first in a trilogy. He’s also written historical novels, including ones about the Second Punic War and Spartacus’ rebellion.
7. The Immortal Rules – This a post-apocalyptic book by Julie Kagawa, about a girl who hates vampires becoming one.
8. Fire Logic – I read this book back in high school, and should probably reread in the near future. This is yet another book I haven’t posted about because I read it before I started blogging, but it did come up in my “Ten (SFF) Books About Friendship” post. I remember it as an unconventional fantasy with a bit of a philosophical flavor to it, and one of the most dedicated books to portraying same-sex couples I’ve come across in SFF. The author is Laurie J. Marks.
9. Cleverman – Created by Ryan Griffen, who talks about the experience of being Aboriginal in Australia and respectfully depicting an Aboriginal superhero in the article “We need more Aboriginal superheroes, so I created Cleverman for my son.”
10. Luke Cage – Luke Cage’s showrunner, Cheo Hodari Coker, has said that the show is about an African American superhero instead of one who happens to be black.
Here are a few additional resources, many of which name books in my TBR pile:
Disability in Kidlit (not specific to sci-fi/fantasy)
We Need Diverse Book’s resource list for Where to Find Diverse Books (also not sci-fi/fantasy specific)
Clearly, this isn’t an exhaustive list. I’ve only included a fraction of what I’ve blogged about myself these past few years. On the other hand, I’m a bit dissatisfied that there isn’t more intersectionality here. So if anyone else wants to add recommendations for either media or resources to do with diversity in fiction, please feel free to post it in the comments.