Here is my weekly roundup of Twitter story and poem recommendations by diverse authors! I hope you enjoy my picks. We’ve been having a plumbing disaster that still hasn’t resolved, so this week sadly had some gaps. I’ll see what happens next week…
Jan 19: No update
Jan 20: (Novelette) The Devil in America by Kai Ashante Wilson on Tor.com, Apr 2014 (This would’ve been my MLK Day special; alas, I spent my time dealing with a flood of sewage instead.)
Jan 21: No update
Jan 22: (Poem) Nothing Writes to Disk by Kythryne Aisling in Stone Telling, Nov 2014
Jan 23: (Poem) Jörmungandr by Vajra Chandrasekera in Ideomancer, Dec 2012
Since it came up this week, I also want to reiterate that it is my very conscious decision to focus on diverse authors and not diverse themes. A focus on diverse themes tends to prioritize white straight cis American authors who write about minorities. I focus on diverse authors who write whatever they want. As you can see above in Vajra’s Old Norse-themed poem, sometimes they write about other cultures too!
It is IMO best to focus on diverse themes if one picks a particular topic – gay people, Latin@s, etc. In that case, the majority of content will probably still be by diverse people themselves, since I do estimate that the most gay stories are written by gay people, the most stories by Latin@s are by Latin@s, etc. And the person/s running the initiative will likely belong to the group in question too, and thus have a feel for who to prioritize.
But if one starts a general all-purpose diversity initiative, it is very tempting to fill it with cis white straight (etc.) Westerners who write diverse characters, since they are the loudest, the most numerous, and have the most resources for promotion. If one does a cursory search, that kind of content will come up first. If one reviews “all diverse content in major online mags”, that will happen, I know because it happened to me in 2011! It annoyed the heck out of me how many clueless stories by white Americans I ended up having to read, by my own self-declared criteria. Needless to say, I changed my criteria.
The occasional great diverse story by a nondiverse author falls victim to this, but it’s a much lesser price. And those stories are usually very well-promoted anyway, often at the expense of stories by diverse authors.
As far as I can see, there are quite a bunch of cool queer stories by straight authors (I always wonder how many are queer people in the closet!), not so much with ethnicity/race. Trans stories not written by trans authors tend to be horrible.
There will be an announcement on Monday! I’ll do a fun blogging event in February. I’ve already written the announcement post, but I’m saving it for later…