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May 27, 2014 9:03 AM   Subscribe

Some Musings on Diversity in SF by Vandana Singh: "The best speculative fiction, like travel, does that to you – it takes you to strange places, from which vantage point you can no longer take your home for granted. It renders the familiar strange, and the strange becomes, for the duration of the story, the norm. The reversal of the gaze, the journey in the shoes of the Other, is one of the great promises of speculative fiction. " (Previously)
posted by dhruva (10 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
Word. The essay is long, thought-provoking, and has a bajillion links to writers that I'm now investigating. Many thanks!
posted by Mogur at 9:26 AM on May 27, 2014

Thanks for posting that essay! I really like her work, and what a great list of writers - even now, I feel like it can be difficult to find work by writers of color and writers from outside the US or sometimes even find out lists of names.

On the subject of science fiction written by people who are not white dudes from the US, I was just recently reading this interesting essay in the DePauw Science Fiction Studies journal - Future Histories and Cyborg Labor: Reading Borderlands Science Fiction after NAFTA. It really did absolutely blow my mind, because it turns out that there's this branching of, basically, cyberpunk from Mexico which deals with all kinds of stuff about labor and borders. This seems to date back to the early nineties, when (IMO) cyberpunk had sort of spread out so that you were getting a much greater variety of stuff in the genre, ranging from Kathleen Ann Goonan's weird (and unjustly overlooked, IMO) work to Snowcrash and a bunch of other stuff like Trouble And Her Friends.
posted by Frowner at 9:33 AM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

N. K. Jemisin's Guest of Honor Speech at Wiscon is a must-read.
posted by kmz at 9:40 AM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

That's a great essay. Not much to say about it other than fuck yes.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:52 AM on May 27, 2014

And Trouble and Her Friends is arguably the greatest cyberpunk novel ever written, perhaps the only one who got the politics of hacking right.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:54 AM on May 27, 2014

Having a high melanin content and no y-chromosomes does not mean one is naturally well-informed about diversity outside of one’s own experience.

If only everyone understood this.

posted by hal_c_on at 9:57 AM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

If only everyone understood this.

Indeed. It would be nice if everyone understood that just because they haven't experienced something doesn't mean that that experience can't possibly have happened to anyone.
posted by rtha at 10:32 AM on May 27, 2014 [5 favorites]

Also, thank you for this link - except that BOY HOWDY do I not need any more books on my to-read list. Seriously, my kindle is starting to hide when it sees me.
posted by rtha at 10:52 AM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

Thanks for posting that, makes it easy to put off work!
posted by mrunderhill at 12:57 PM on May 27, 2014

Great post. Kinda glad that SF wasn't another San Francisco economic diversity threnodies, just because that's half my FB feed.
posted by klangklangston at 1:57 PM on May 27, 2014

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