Last month K Tempest Bradford (@tinytempest) posted this great article: I Challenge You to Stop Reading White, Straight, Cis Male Authors For One Year. The internet’s reaction was of course as you’d expect, accusing her of reverse sexism and racism and completely missing the point. A lot of them rounded on her use of Neil Gaiman as an example, though he himself thinks the article is great. It certainly got me thinking about the authors I’ve read over the past few years.
Asimov. Niven. Vonnegut. Reynolds. Iain M Banks. China Mieville. John Green. Neil Gaiman. Jeff VanderMeer. The only non white male I can think of having read recently is JK Rowling via a re-read of the Harry Potter series. Even thinking back to Star Wars and Star Trek novels I’ve read they’ve all been written by men. Not the most diverse list of authors. Even when considering the ones that are my favourite – Rowling, Asmiov, Iain M Banks, Gaiman, Pratchett – there is only one woman.
So I’m going to do better this year. From this point on – with one exception I’m going to get to – I’m only going to read books by non-white, straight cis male authors. Already read one so far this year – The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison – but I’m now reading more. So I’ve bought Ancillary Justice by Ann Lecki (finished that though it was really good and promptly brought the 2nd book in the trilogy), The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley, and The Inheritance Trilogy by NK Jemsin.
After those are done I think I’m going to go with some of K Tempest Bradford’s recommendations which she’s posting on her website linked at the start of this post.
Why aren’t I doing the whole challenge? The answer is simple. The tragic news of Terry Pratchett’s untimely death mean that I have to re-read some of my favourite Discworld books this year. His writing meant too much to me not to do that.
But who knows, maybe after this year of reading I’ll have a more diverse list of favourite authors that I do currently.