minxy: Teal'c raises a hand to say "hey". (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] 50books_poc is a community full of book reviews and recommendations. The challenge is to read 50 books, any genre, by an author of color. Many wonderful people are really good at reviewing the books they read on the comm; I am not one of them. This is the only set of book reviews I've written, and I'm woefully short of 50 books, as you see, but it was so worth joining that community. I had a list of scifi/fantasy authors of color (which I link to, below) but I was making my way only haphazardly through it; if I hadn't watched the community, I wouldn't have seen the many recommendations for Colson Whitehead, and that alone has been an invaluable discovery.

The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead, Imaro by Charles Saunders, The Living Blood by Tananarive Due, East/West by Salman Rushdie, Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, For colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf :a choreopoem by Ntozake Shange, E-Mails from Scheherazad by Mohja Kahf )

That's it! Wish I'd read more, but there's always next year.
minxy: Teal'c raises a hand to say "hey". (Default)
-One ziplock bag containing little bottles of face soap, mostly. Also a toothbrush and travel deodorant. And my mouthguard (I hope. Did I get that this morning into my bag? Huh.)

-One skirt, four shirts comprising one each for very hot weather, hot weather, cool evenings and a layering piece for cooler days. One set of jammies, underwear, some socks. Also the socks I'm knitting for my Mom. I am wearing a set of jeans, t-shirt and leather jacket and pair of shoes.

-A gigantic pile of shirts, books and CDs as gifts. This is bigger than the pile of clothes I'm taking to wear, but not as large as item line #4 (following):

-A dozen books. I really can't explain this, except that it's part of a noble policy to clear *out* books from my shelves by selling them back to used book stores, and I *know* we'll be going to Powell's when I'm home this weekend and this way I can buy more books! You see how well this works? Perfectly logical. One of the books is Salman Rushdie, though, and I'm obviously Not Selling That Ever.

The Guy In My Lab Upon Whom I Am Inappropriately Crushing (well, it's not that inappropriate, as there is no chain of command issue and we seem to be mutually crushing, but my lab is six people small and I'm still waiting for someone to talk me out of this) is driving me to the airport, and wanted to help me carry my bag. Being as how I kind of pride myself on traveling *light* (har) I let him carry my work bag with laptop because my carry-on bag is easily 1/3 books and rather heavy. He actually said, interestingly, that he didn't expect me to have much luggage, but he's not surprised I have *heavy* luggage. Whazzat all about, do you think? If I weren't doing this wierd sell back books thing, would you imagine that I would have heavy luggage? Hrm. I must ponder what this says about me as a female.

I am happy to be seeing my family under pleasant circumstances. We've been gathering for sad things too much lately.
minxy: Teal'c raises a hand to say "hey". (Default)
Okay, so I consider myself a fairly well-read person, on account of I like to read, I read quickly, and I enjoy little more than getting lost in a great world. I've been as fannish about some books as television shows, back in the day.

So imagine my shame when fandom started collecting a list of non-pinkish-beige SFF authors and I realized how few of the authors on this list that I hadn't ever heard of.

This is the list, btw: Scifi/Fantasy Authors of Color, suggested by fandom and collected by matociquala )

Aside from Louise Erdrich (who was a favorite, lo 15 years ago), Kazuo Ishiguro (who has been high profile for a while) and the graphic novel The Changers by Ezra Clayton Daniels (v. cool, recommended.) I really, really hadn't ever heard of these authors. And I don't think it's for lack of paying attention.

Race issues are alive and well and living (among other places) in the publishing/PR industry, my friends. And, possibly, in my selective vision, but I'm educable.

Now, scifi writing is not always my cuppa. I lean towards fantasyish stuff, but often as not YA these days, because I want to just fall into it, you know? Plus the shorter length and quick read works well with my lack of huge amounts of free time (on account of which) And the covers can be soooooo cheesetastic on SciFi books, but I'm not really in it for the covers, (or rather, I shouldn't be.)

BUT, then I heard this from ltlj (she has it under flock, so I shall summarize): Charles Saunders wrote a story back in the 80's called Imaro, notable for being a fantastic black hero character in a sword and adventure type novel. The marketing was wretched, and despite critical acclaim from Black Gate (link goes to a review alongside Tolkien) and [livejournal.com profile] ltlj, among others, the books never gained a foothold.

Now the reprint is under threat of cancellation due to poor sales, so a grass-roots campaign is underway.

So Imaro is a mixed-race warrior in a fantastic Africa, from what I gather. His journey begins as a quest for acceptance and continues as he becomes more independent of what other people think. Saunders has been lauded for his world-building, and Black Gate, among others, say that the African setting is a character in it's own right (as well it should be, from one who has actually been there. Africa is a vast, incredible, romantic place, I'm still a little in love with it.) An interview with Saunders is here.

So, I just went to Night Shade Books and spend $14 on the first novel. It twinges a little as throwing money at the problem, but honestly, I don't think that's what it is. There was also this brilliant idea thrown about somewhere that suggested that perhaps a book by a WoC could be donated to a local library. That sounds like a marvelous idea to me.

There's a long list of WoC that I've never bloody-well HEARD OF, my people. I'm starting with Saunders.

ETA: there is a comm called [livejournal.com profile] 50books_poc for anyone who wishes to participate in the intention to read 50 books by a person of color by ibarw next year. I signed up, and others have too. You could watch that comm and catch short recs or reviews of these books if you want a little more information before running off to buy (and, of course, you want my or other's opinion.)

ETA2: The first week of October is a apparently banned books week. The lovely [livejournal.com profile] sanguinity has collected some links here.

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