Having finished my first quarter reading for 2016, I did a quick cross-check of how I’m doing on diversity. Thus far I’ve read 15 authors, not counting the monster Campbell nominee anthology (which I am not tallying are you insane). Author only counts once, doesn’t matter if it’s a single short story (John Chu) or twelve novels (CJ Cherryh), because what I’m counting is how often I try new things. It’s easy to read more of a favorite series. Harder to seek out something new. Likewise, I’m only counting the author’s identity, not the protagonist’s. Why? Because it’s well documented that women and minorities have a harder time breaking into the market and I want to make sure I’m hearing their voices, not just seeing how others speak for them (no matter how good those authors are).
So, how am I doing? In a shocking reversal of previous trends, I’ve read 73% women and 27% men. And while 60% of the authors are white and straight, I’m pleased to say that 13% of my reading is by writers of color, 20% is by LGBT writers, and 7% is by writers with disabilities. And I have plenty of awesome writers of color in my queue, so that number is going to continue to shoot up throughout the year.
Standouts so far:
John Chu, “The Water that Falls on You From Nowhere”
Laurie R. King, The Murder of Mary Russell
Mary Robinette Kowal, “The Lady Astronaut of Mars”
Joy Ladin, Through the Door of Life
Ann Leckie, The Imperial Radch Series