Some unfocused thoughts:
-By Speculative Fiction (SF) I mean Science Fiction and Fantasy, both in their widest possible definitions.
-By Other I mean LBGT, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, gender (meaning female in this context) and so on.
– There is a definite lack of diversity in SF. If you don’t believe me check out #DiversityinSFF on Twitter whenever it comes back online.
-I imagine this can become problematic for writers who a. were unaware of the bias towards white males and against the Other, and b. are determined to set things right in their work.
-It’s one thing to be unwilling to write or read diverse characters, but to be unable to enter the mind of the Other is to fail fundamentally as a writer.
-To avoid ethnic or gender characteristics in your narrative is literary cowardice.
-Don’t be afraid to get it wrong. News flash: you will screw it up. Just make a reasonable effort to get it right. Do the research. Talk to people. Listen to people. Read. That’s writing 101.
-Readers, shame on you. You can do better. Try something new.
-Here’s the thing:
Minority cultures have amazing, complex, imaginative tales of science and the supernatural. People have fantastic stories to tell from a different angle.
How can you claim to love speculative fiction and not have the brain space to accommodate anything that deviates from King Arthur and Norse Mythology?
Check out the Twitter hashtag for a more detailed discussion which includes writers, readers, agents and publishers.
When I finish the numerous projects I’m working on I intend to write an essay on the subject.