A new year means a new round of “best of” and “most anticipated” lists. This year, there’s been some noise about those lists being (as usual) too large a percentage of the White and Male variety. So out of my own curiosity, I thought I’d look at my wishlist so far for the upcoming year and see how my stats fell out.
In no particular order:
- Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear – Steampunk in the wild west. Release date: 2/3/15.
- Liesmith by Alis Franklin – Norse god gets an IT job. Gay main couple. Out now.
- The Diamond Conspiracy by Tee Morris and Philippa Ballantine – More steampunk. Part of a series. 3/31/15
- Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop – Alternate world fantasy. Part of a series. 3/3/15.
- The Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber – Victorian fantasy. New series. 2/3/15.
- Hunting the Dark by Karen Mahoney – Part of a series. Out now. (1/1/15)
- The Hellsblood Bride by Chuck Wendig – NYC UF with demons and mobsters. Technically released 12/30/14.
- Hit by Delilah Dawson – New series. Young adult. About a teenage indentured assassin trying to pay off her mother’s debt. Just in time for tax day in the US – 4/14/15.
- Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – I honestly have no idea what this one’s about, but I want to read it anyway. 8/4/15.
- The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs – Nonfiction. About feminism in geek spaces, written by and for geek girls. 5/15/15.
- The Skull Throne by Peter V Brett – Epic fantasy. Part of a series. 3/31/15.
- Kin by Lili St.Crow – Young adult. Part of a series of retold fairy tales. 3/3/15.
- Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch – Part of a series. Has a male PoC protagonist. 1/6/15.
- Servants of the Storm by Delilah Dawson – YA horror. HC is already out but I’m including because I’m waiting for the paperback releasing 6/2/15.
- Pocket Apocalypse by Seanan McGuire – Part of a series. Go read it. Read it now. 3/3/15.
- Dark Heir by Faith Hunter – Part of a series about a Cherokee shapeshifter. 4/7/15.
- Gemini Cell by Myke Cole – Militiary UF. It’s billed as military sci-fi, but there’s not that much science in it. I think the UF label is shied away from simply because that’s seen as a “female” genre. (Tell that to Jim Butcher. I dare you.) 1/27/15.
- Prudence by Gail Carriger – Technically I’ve already read an ARC of this but I’m including because everyone else needs to read it. Victorian UF. 3/17/15.
- Unbound by Jim C Hines – Part of a series. Librarian mages. 1/6/15.
I’m sure there’s more, but that’s what I have bookmarked right now. So there are 19 books on that list. 7 of them are written or co-authored by men. So my list is 58% female. That’s not bad, but I had honestly expected it to be overwhelmingly female, and it’s not. I see 2 authors that I’m aware of that aren’t heterosexual. That’s a little under 12% of the list. That’s kind of disappointing, honestly. And though there are 2 books about PoC, I only see 1 book where the author is a PoC (to my best knowledge). That part is… really disappointing, actually.
I have N.K. Jemisin and Nnedi Okorafor on my radar, but I don’t know of any upcoming releases from the former and the latter’s previous work is still on my TBR list. Somewhere, I have bookmarked a list of fantasy works by PoC and I am going to go now and put my hands on it because honestly this is just pitiful.
Sometimes we have to actively SEEK OUT diversity. Sadly, some aspects of our current system mean that great books by people Not White and/or Not Straight (and yes, Not Male also) aren’t put in front of us to see them. It is our own responsibility to find these books and to be widely read. I have, obviously, not been doing a very good job of that. I hadn’t been looking for this when picking up new books. And sometimes “not seeing” race, or sexuality, or gender identity is just another way of saying you’re ignoring those people different from yourself. (Often times. Most times. 99.99999% of the times.)
I will be sure and share the list when I find it. In the meantime, if you have an upcoming or recently released fantasy or sci-fi novel on your radar by someone Not Straight/White/Male**, please share it in the comments section so we can all be aware.
**Written by someone other than yourself, please. This is a space for awareness, not self-promotion.
[P.S. – I am also looking for suggestions for authors with non-binary gender identities, but I have personally not seen anyone in the SF/F genres “advertising” this information. So if you know of any, please list them. Thanks.]