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[personal profile] delfinnium
(recommended to link here by Deepad. First post, first review thing!)

Thanks to [personal profile] deepad, I'm currently reading the series Gameworld Trilogy by Samit Basu. (can be found here. It can be bought here!)

And it does start off a little slow, in the beginning, especially if you're like me, and have very little familarity with the Ramayan other than a very vauge understanding of 'something happens, Demons evil attack! Princess is involved, there is a vanar, Lord of monkeys and a damn good archer, involved somewhere, there is a lot of fire, and a chariot happens to be there somewhere', you might be a little thrown by all the terms there.

And it's GOOD!

I like that!

I mean there are some books (like the God of War series) that use terms so obscure and strange that it is hard to actually understand what is going on in the world unless you read it several times (and I'm not so sure I'm drawn into it), but this world is not like that!

I mean there are creatures whom you don't know what they are - vaman, pashan, vanar (though since I know passingly from School the ramayana, i know what vanar are), khuldran, and so on and so forth, and Samit doesn't explain, not at first.

But then as the story opens up, you start to realise what they are. Vaman are the equivalent of dwarves, vanar are monkeys/apes, pashan seem to be troll types, asur are... I'm not sure what they are, really, other than that no one likes them and they do all the dirty shitty jobs that no one wants.

( Yet longer incoherent flailing review here! )


You like POC cultures and fantasy? Sick of male dominated Generic White Medieval Fantasy?


Genre: SFF, fantasy, parody
Subject: parody, trope inversion, non-white fantasy
Author nationality/ethnicity: Indian
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
We had a big post last year with suggestions for Hugo nominations that are [community profile] 50books_poc eligible. Nominations have opened up again- anybody have suggestions?

Among the novels I'm aware of, in absolutely random order as they occur to me:

Terminal Point by KM Ruiz
Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
Fair Coin by E.C. Myers
Quantum Coin by E.C. Myers
The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin
The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin
Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders by Samuel Delany
Wicked City by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Emperor Mollusk Versus The Sinister Brain by A. Lee Martinez

There must be more. Please recommend novels, novellas, short stories, related works, dramatic presentations, editors, graphic novels, etc...


Jul. 17th, 2012 11:52 am
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
I've been reading Elmore Leonard lately and was wondering if people had recommendations for authors of color in a similar vein- gritty settings, colorful characters, a bit of a light touch? Other writers in a broadly similar vein might be Florida Crime writers like Carl Hiaasen or John MacDonald. Doesn't need to be crime stories, though, if you feel it's similar in other ways.
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
The Hugo Awards are a major SFF award, distinctive for being fan-driven: fans nominate works for the award, and fans have the final vote on the award. "Fan" is defined as "anyone who springs $50 for a ChiCon 2012 supporting membership before January 31st". ([ profile] theferret summarizes why one might want to become a Hugo voter: a chance to boost the career of your favorite creators, and ebooks of the works on the final ballot.) Nominations for the Hugo ballot are currently open; nominations are due March 11.

Some have expressed interest in knowing what poc-created works and which poc SFF professionals and fans are eligible for nomination: this is the post! Rec and discuss your favorite works below (or, alternatively, just name poc-created works that are eligible, whether or not you are actively recommending them); I'll pull the recs up into the main post. And yes, go ahead and rec works or people for the non-book-related categories, if you wish. Just make sure that the people or creators that you are nominating are chromatic/non-white/people of color.

(And please feel free to signal-boost this around! Crowd-sourcing is good!)

Best Novel )

Best Novella, Novellette )

Best Short Story )

Best Related Work, Graphic Story )

Best Dramatic Presentation: Long Form, Short Form )

Editors, Artists, Zines, Fan Works )

John W. Campbell (new writer) )
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity

As promised, here is the ability, disability, and ableism recommendations post.

  • Both books and blogs are eligible for this post.

  • As always, the authors of the books or blogs must be poc/chromatic, and should also be people with disabilities or non-normative abilities. (Note, not all people with non-normative abilities identify as disabled.) Disabilities and non-normative abilities include, but are not limited to: physical disabilities, non-normative body structure or function, chronic illnesses, mental illnesses, and non-neurotypicality.

  • Recommended books and blogs do not have to be about ability, disability, or ableism. There are far more ways for one's identify to inform one's writing than to explicitly discuss it in non-fiction, but even if one's identity didn't inform one's writing, it would still be worth noting that authors of color include authors with disabilities and non-normative abilities.

Anonymous commenting is still turned off, but those without LJ logins can comment with OpenID, Facebook, Twitter, or Google logins, or you can email me your recommendations (this username at gmail) and I'll add your recs manually.

Recs Post!

Feb. 28th, 2011 12:40 pm
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
It's been a long, long time since we've done a recs post. Some of you have been asking for recs as we've gone along (and please continue to do so!), but just in case anyone has been hesitant to start a post of their own, please feel free to use this one. :-)

But first...

  • Tehelka, an Indian newsweekly, did a special Pulp and Noir short fiction issue a little while back.

  • Did you know that Expanded Horizons ("speculative fiction for the rest of us") has an authors of color tag?

  • Over at Tumblr, WildUnicornHerd has a roundup of Ted Chiang's works, with links for what is available for free online.

  • Unusualmusic at Angry Black Woman is asking for recs for technology-heavy SF books by POC authors -- go forth and recommend!

    She's also got some links to news about Nnedi Okorafor and Zadie Smith, just in case you want to know such things. ;-)

Got a rec? Need a rec? Is there any particular thing that you've been looking for that you haven't been able to find? Ask in the comments!
[identity profile]
I read a lot of microhistories (which I also call cultural histories of a noun). These are books like "Salt," "The Fortune Cookie Chronicles," "Code Name Ginger," or even "Stiff" that look at one relatively small or very specific thing (salt, fortune cookies, Segways, death) and trace their history and cultural impact.

I like food-related microhistories, but any recommendations are good. John McWhorter is already on my list.
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
I am seeing much commentary on the ahistoricity of the news coverage of Haiti, especially with respect to U.S. imperialism, Haiti's legacies to the rest of the Americas, and the interlinked histories of Haiti and the Dominican Republic (no link; that's mostly me yelling at Robertson on the TV).

Through all this discussion of what isn't being talked about, most of the book-recs I've seen have been for white U.S. academics. I am very much feeling the lack of recs for POC authors. After several hours search this morning, I've been able to come up with:
  • Edwidge Danticat, novels and memoirs (in-comm posts here)
  • The Butterfly's Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora (edited by Danticat)
  • Jean-Bertrand Aristide
    • Aristide: An Autobiography (1993)
    • Dignity (1996; memoir of his three years in exile after the 1991 coup)
    • Eyes of the Heart: Seeking a Path for the Poor in the Age of Globalization (2000)
  • Jean-Robert Cadet, Restavec: From Haitian Slave Child to Middle Class American

Can anyone chip in and make some more recs? I myself am preferentially looking for English-language histories, but please recommend fic or nonfic, in French or English, especially if the book is by Haitians themselves.
[identity profile]
The ALA's Banned Books Week is coming up in a few weeks. It falls September 26th- October 3rd. More information can be found here: .

I was wondering which banned books are written by authors of color. The ALA's list of banned or challenged classics here cites Alice Walker's The Color Purple, Toni Morrison's Beloved and Song of Solomon, Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man, Richard Wright's Native Son, James Baldwin's Go Tell It On the Mountain, and Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses. Given the relative paucity of books by authors of color in the Western Canon, it's kind of shocking (and yet, not really surprising) that nearly all of them have been banned or challenged at some point.

And this is the ALA's list of banned or challenged books from just the last year: Right here. I started typing out the authors of color on this list, but there are a lot of them and so I figure it's better to send you to the source.

Banned Books Week is about focusing attention on the way liberal democracy is shaped around the ideas of an informed, open-minded populace. It's designed to remind us that the First Amendment really is the cornerstone of the American way of life. Growing up the son of a librarian, Banned Books Week is more important in my house than Christmas (well, I'm Jewish). I encourage all of us to seek out banned books during the week and especially banned books by authors of color.

And if anybody else knows books by authors of color that have been banned, please post them.
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
A week ago I asked y'all to go chip in on Angry Black Woman's effort to compile a list of mindblowing science fiction by POC.

The final list in now published, over at Tor. Go have a look-see! (Not everyone on the list is a person of color, just so's you know -- white women were included in the round-up, since the "inspiring" anthology was both 100% male and 100% white.)

She also posted a commentary on her blog, expressing her thanks and giving her reasons for publishing it at Tor. She concludes:
When we’re confronted by people who claim that there just aren’t very many outstanding women or POC writers in the field, we can point to this and say: bullshit, bucko. Try again.

We have to be responsible for keeping track of and highlighting and celebrating and giving notice to our own and recording the accomplishments of our best. Because no one else is going to do it for us. If they’re not ignoring, they’re actively suppressing. Neither of which is acceptable.

Make lists, write reviews, pass on books, stories, and authors you love. Be heard.
[identity profile]
I just finished reading Wizard of the Crow by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o and felt compelled to post about it to this community and extol its virtues to anyone who would listen.

Summary from In exile now for more than twenty years, Kenyan novelist, playwright, poet and critic Ngugi wa Thiong’o has become one of the most widely read African writers.

Commencing in “our times” and set in the fictional “Free Republic of Aburiria,” Wizard of the Crow dramatizes with corrosive humor and keenness of observation a battle for control of the souls of the Aburirian people. Fashioning the stories of the powerful and the ordinary into a dazzling mosaic, this magnificent novel reveals humanity in all its endlessly surprising complexity.

The summary doesn't even begin to describe how amazing this book is. Thiong'o himself says the aim of the novel is "to sum up Africa of the twentieth century in the context of two thousand years of world history", and the novel depicts "a battle for the control of the souls of the Aburĩrian people" by the competing forces of a corrupt dictatorship, folk wisdom/religion, fanatic Christianity, and self-serving capitalism. The novel is a gigantic political satire that strikes with great accuracy because by reducing these entities into farcical imitations of themselves, it exposes the truth about them. This novel is funny and touching and fast-paced and just *O*.

This book also follows along the tradition of African story-telling in its construction. It weaves distinct threads that eventually come back to the main narrative to create a cohesive whole, and I was amazed at the ability of Thiong'o to create a narrative of hope out of a story of chaos. This is possibility some of the finest fiction I've ever read, and although it is pretty long (768 pages in hardcover), it's worth every single minute. The time went by so fast for me because I was completely immersed in the novel, just wanting to know how it all ends, and that's what I love about this novel—it's an engaging tragicomedy that really gets into what Africa is. This novel is peopled by real Africans, men and women, all of whom are complex and none of whom are passive "victims" awaiting rescue, even if they are farcical at times.
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
Mindblowing Science Fiction by POC @ The Angry Black Woman
In comments, please list authors or stories or novels you would include in a list of mindblowing science fiction. If you’d like to include a bit on why you feel these choices are mindblowing, feel free. There is no restriction on time period, both modern and decades long past authors and fiction are desired. If someone has already mentioned an author, story, or book you were going to, co-sign.
The suggestions list is running shorter than I expected; anyone want to go chip in?
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
Hm. It seems the last time I did a delicious + recs extravaganza was, er, May, which must mean that you have a very lazy mod. Or something.

Interesting and/or useful things that we have been collecting at delicious:
If you have a link to add, either drop it in the comments here or:
  • Add 50books_poc to your network.
  • Save the link to your account with the tag "for:50books_poc".
And... on to the recs! If you're looking books in a particular genre or on a particular topic, or simply want to say, "Hey, I liked THIS book, what else would you recommend?" leave a comment. With luck, someone might have just the rec for you.
[identity profile]
I don't know if this has been mentioned yet (I looked through the "recs" tag and didn't see it), but I just ran across the blog White Readers Meet Black Authors. They have a ton of recommendations of books by black authors, and it's a fun blog.

Went on my NewsGator for sure :)
elf: Quote: She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain (Fond of Books)
[personal profile] elf
If this is inappropriate to post, just let me know and I'll remove it (or a mod could delete it); I'm not sure of the protocols for posting lists of books I haven't read.

The World eBook Fair is offering a collection of over 2 million ebooks, mostly in PDF format, until August 4th. (Most, perhaps all, of these are available on their original sites; right now, World eBook Fair is hosting all of these. After Aug 4, they'll be scattered again.)

The following collections include many, sometimes all, authors of color:
ACIP, BuddhaNet, e-Asia collection, eBooksBrasil, ETANA, Classic Chinese Literature, Himalayan Academy, Islamic collection, Japanese collection, Logos, Project Madura )
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
It's time for our monthly recs post! Usually I make this a space for members to ask for recs that interest them, but this time [ profile] oyceter and I want to do something different.

Dunno how many of you have been following the dustup over a certain pair of white SFF authors? (Briefest of summaries: one author wrote a "shiny" alternate-universe U.S. "frontier" story in which Indians never existed and the U.S. never had slavery; she also characterized that as a history that wouldn't be "wildly divergent". Another author made statements that, among other things, imply that POC are new to SFF.) Notice, please, that this isn't a post about the two authors: we don't write posts about white authors on this comm.

Given that we don't write posts about white authors, here's the reason I'm even bringing up that hot mess: while browsing nahrat's link round-ups, I've been noticing that now and again someone asks for recs of books that give the lie to the assumptions those two authors made. Unfortunately, the rec-making has been a bit thin, and sometimes is pretty heavily tilted toward white authors.

Happily, reccing POC authors is something this comm does really well. Let's make some recs! I'd like to see recs for the following:
  • Alternate histories or universes that are indigenous-centric and/or anti-colonialist. There is no need for the AH/AU to focus on the Americas, and I'd love to see recs that don't.
  • Books that oppose the notion of an Empty Continent -- again, books can focus on either of the Americas, Australia, Africa, or anywhere else that has had to deal with that lie.
  • Books about how indigenous peoples have been an integral part of shaping the history of the world, and aren't just optional background scenery.
  • Books which document and/or demonstrate that POC have a long history with SFF, or a history that's independent of the Verne/Heinlein/Asimov/Campbell anglophone tradition.
If you have other themes that seem appropriate to the discussion, do feel free to start a comment-thread for them.

Additionally, here are two existing POC-author rec-making posts in the discussion:Remember, please: this is not a post for discussing white authors; this is a post for reccing POC authors. Let's make some recs!

ETA: I set up some category-specific comment threads below, but if you've got something that needs to be rec'd and the categories seem to be too constraining, DO feel free to ignore the categories. The recs are the important thing here, not the categories.
[identity profile]
I hope this post is okay--I haven't seen many books of the type I'm looking for recommended or reviewed here and I'm running into Google trouble.

A lot of what I normally read is nonfiction history books, mostly pre-18th century. I mostly read about Europe and Asia, but I'm happy to branch out. I have a particular soft spot for books dealing with art, science, trade goods, and women's history.

The problem I'm running into is that the vast majority of these books are written by white people, even when they're about, say, China. I'm having trouble finding books about history written by POC in English--when I try searching I mostly come up with books about POC, but not usually by them. Unfortunately, I only read English fluently, or this might be easier.

Short of browsing shelf by shelf through the history section at the library and hoping I can figure out author ethnicities from the back cover, does anyone have ideas for how I can find history books written by POC?
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[personal profile] vass
I'm taking the opportunity, while doing this challenge, of reading some books for young readers, and planning on buying them and giving them to my seven-year-old niece for Christmas and her birthday. I'm definitely going to give her Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's The Conch-Bearer, which I read a few weeks ago and loved, and Madhur Jaffrey's Seasons of Splendor, which my parents gave me when I was about her age.

Anyway, it occurred to me that I should be giving her books by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors, since we're Australian, and it's their land. The only books I'm familiar with are either too old for her (My Place, which I'm embarassed to admit I haven't read myself yet - that's definitely on my list) or too young (picture books of Dreamtime stories.) So, does anyone have some recommendations for me and Niece? Any Aboriginal Australian authors would be great, but Wurundjeri authors would be particularly meaningful, because we live on Wurundjeri land.
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
It's been nearly a month since the last one -- let's have another recs post!

First, a reminder that book club is coming up -- next weekend, April 19th, we're going to discuss Octavia Butler's Kindred. (Much thanks to [ profile] nightchik for organizing it!)

Second, we've been adding stuff to the 50books_poc (Again. Still. More.) Here's a bunch of the new stuff:
  • Booklists
  • POC-centric publishers:
    • Huia Publishers -- Māori books: novels, plays, histories, biographies, politics, and language; both adult and children.
    • Magabala Books -- Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, "Australia's oldest independent indigenous publishing house."
    • Indij Readers -- literacy materials for indigenous and non-indigenous Australian children learning to read and write.
    • African Writers Series -- UK publishing imprint
    • Peepal Tree Press -- Caribbean and Black British fiction, poetry, lit crit, memoirs, historical studies.

  • Awards (children and young adult):
  • Awards (adult):
  • Online Literary Journals
    • Sable -- for new writers of color; international. Mostly print, but occasional full-text stories and articles are published on the website.
    • African Writing Online -- creative short fiction, essays, poetry, drama and art primarily from African writers and artists; published in the U.K.
    • Meskot -- Ethiopian online literary journal.
    • Kwani? -- Kenyan online literary magazine.
    • Sea Breeze -- Liberian online literary magazine.
    • One Ghana, One Voice -- blog for Ganaian poetry; new poem published every week.

  • Other Resources for African Writers
  • Publishing Industry
    • WriteBlack -- "Welcome to WriteBlack, where I write about the vagaries of the publishing industry and occasionally praise, occasionally criticize and always pick the nits of books written by black authors — with special attention paid to genre writers. "
    • GalleyCat - People of Color -- weekly column featuring people of color in the publishing industry: books, authors, agents, publicists, etc.

  • Other Stuff
In addition to the ebooks tag (which has new links as of April 3rd, not all of which are listed above), there's now an eshortworks tag. I added an academic tag because I know someone (sorry, I've forgotten who!) was looking for academic-voiced resources, and there's a poc-centric-booksellers tag for people who are trying to make conscious decisions about where they spend their money.

If you have a link to add, either drop it in the comments here or:
  1. Add 50books_poc to your network.
  2. Save the link to your account and tag it "for:50books_poc".

On to the recs! If you're looking books in a particular genre or on a particular topic -- or simply want to say, "Hey, I liked THIS book, what else would you recommend?" -- leave a comment. With luck, someone might have just the rec for you. ;-)
[identity profile]

I have already gone on about this in my LJ and other networks so apologies to those I know from other places who will be seeing similar posts twice.

Today is the International Day of the Roma.

Now, my SEE country hasn't got a fantastic record in its treatment of our Roma compatriots, so when I try to keep up I do so through immediate means: newspapers, journals, debates, or other involvement. To my shame I have not, before I came across this community, thought of looking for fiction as another way of learning about the culture(s). Amazon is offering me "The Roads of the Roma: A PEN Anthology of Gypsy Writers" (no reviews) and Ian Hancock's - himself Romani - "We are the Romani People", and I am getting those, but I much prefer hearing recommendations from people in focused forums than from bookstores. Has anyone read something by a Romani author?

Thank you!


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