Over at the leftwing Guardian newspaper, they are fretting about the social injustice that is sci-fi/fantasy literature. The big question, you see, is “why the majority of writers are straight white males from the US and UK, and why they mainly write about straight white males.”
The author Jim C Hines sparked a conversation on Twitter after posting a picture of the all-white past, present and future chairs of WorldCon and coining the hashtag #DiversityinSFF. As the South African books blogger Lauren Smith wrote, it’s a problem often talked about in SFF circles. “These genres – or at least their English-language versions – lack diversity, with the major problem being that white male authors and straight, white, predominantly male characters are favoured,” she said, adding that it’s clear “who and what is underrepresented: anyone who is POC [person of colour], female, gay, transgendered; settings and cultures that aren’t North American or European; non-western folklore and mythology”.
The best paragraph is the following one, rife with cognitive dissonance:
Saladin Ahmed, who was born in Detroit and raised in a working-class, Arab American enclave in Michigan, was one of the non-white males at WorldCon: his novel Throne of the Crescent Moon was shortlisted for best novel at the Hugo awards, given out at the convention. He called for diversity in science fiction to be extended even further – to class. He tweeted: “Class diversity also needs to be part of #DiversityinSFF. I want fewer kings and starship captains, more coach drivers and space waitresses.”
So… an arab from Detroit has his novel shortlisted at the Hugo Awards (the biggest awards of the deplorably white, Eurocentric, sci-fi genre), and he still bitches about ‘diversity’.
I’m still waiting for the Guardian to do a story on why the majority of rappers are black. After all, where is the diversity?