Genre: Diversity in Fantasy

September 19, 2017, 9:45 am to Noon, MLS Northampton

Benchmark: The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin



Diverse books are those that reflect and honor the life experience of all readers. We Need Diverse Books defines diversity as: “including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities*, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.”

*including but not limited to physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses (this may also include addiction), as well as a social model of disability, which presents disability as created by barriers in the social environment, due to lack of equal access, stereotyping, and other forms of marginalization.

Fantasy (from Wikipedia)

Fantasy is a fiction genre set in an imaginary universe, often (but not always) without any locations, events, or people from the real world. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then developed into literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels, and video games.

Most fantasy uses magic or other supernatural elements as a main plot element, theme, or setting. Magic and magical creatures are common in many of these imaginary worlds. Fantasy is a subgenre of speculative fiction and is distinguished from the genres of science fiction and horror by the absence of scientific or macabre themes respectively, though these genres overlap.


Book Riot: 8 Asian Fantasy Books by Asian Authors

Buzzfeed: 19 Science-Fiction And Fantasy Novels By Women Of Color You Must Read

Bustle: 15 Diverse Magical Fantasy Novels To Read ASAP

Autostraddle: 8 Queer High Fantasy Books For Your Epic Sword-Wielding Needs

Barnes and Noble: 8 Must-Read Diverse YA Fantasies

The Illustrated Page: Non-white Protagonists in Fantasy and Science Fiction

The Illustrated Page: LGBTQIAP Protagonists in Fantasy and Science Fiction

Medium: Genre Fiction Books by Authors of Color You Won’t Regret Picking Up

Library Journal: Imagined Multiverses: Genre Spotlight S/F and Fantasy

Notes from our session:

Readers’ Advisory Round Table Western Mass
Diversity in Fantasy
19 September 2017
MLS Northampton

Announcements: Book Buzz in NYC 10/18, WMLA annual meeting 10/19, NELA 10/22-24, Center for the Book is being dissolved.

Diversity definitions:
“not straight white dudes”
“or straight white women”
“in a relationship with not a straight white dude”
“straight white woman who is Muslim”
“raised in a foreign country”
“otherwise underrepresented”
“assume characters are white unless told otherwise”
“issue books vs. books where people just happen to be [diverse]”
language diversity
colonial lens
exceptions to everything
look at the collections as a whole in addition to individual titles
“sensitivity readers” and the like

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
first in a trilogy, relatable to our world
glossary in the back!
trust the writer to get you there
seasons = apocalypse intervals

Second titles:

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin
Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord
Huntress by Malinda Lo
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
Arabella of Mars by David Levine
Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older
Fence magazine
The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson
Flight by Sherman Alexie
The Killing Moon by N. K. Jemisin
Ash by Malinda Lo
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn
The Reader by Traci Chee
Ironman and Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
Court of Fives by Kate Elliott
The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

Other mentions:

David Anthony Durham “more game of thrones-y”
The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M. H. Boroson
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Half Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older
Winterbirth by Brian Ruckley




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