5 Reasons I Won’t Read Your Work

Having reviewed books somewhat spottily for over half a decade, I've developed a mental checklist to use when deciding whether I will read or review a book.  Most often, I just don't have the time to read 159,997 novels in a year, so I turn down a lot of reviews because I know I won't be able to get to it.  Otherwise, I usually reject a novel for one of the follow reasons:

5. You write the kind of books I don't generally like to read

This one is obvious, no?  I only read certain kinds of science fiction and fantasy, with rare exception.  Anything outside of that narrow band generally gets ignored.  Most people are like this because most people aren't interested in every kind of sf/f literature.

You'd be surprised how often I get review requests for things that I've never reviewed in all my lackluster years as a reviewer.  Not nearly as often as others, I'm sure, but often enough that this is one of the top reasons I won't review a book.  I've pulled myself from a couple reviewer email lists because of this.  If my preferences are for X, I don't want to get requests for Q and G.  It's that simple.

Note:  that I have made exceptions in the past in no way means I will make exceptions all the time; if I did that, I wouldn't have to make exceptions...

4. You don't know how to do basic PR for your book

The easiest way to get me to delete an email is to send me something that reads less like a review request and more like spam.  You're in bad territory indeed if I think your email will end with you claiming that you're a prince with millions of dollars that you have bequeathed to me and that you need me to front the fee to transfer it to a U.S. bank...

You know what I want in a review request?  Simple:
a) Basic information about the book (synopsis, title, simple comparisons; book cover; blurbs)
b) Basic information about you (a bio!)
c) An indication that you're familiar with me, my blog, or my podcast (major publishers often get a pass on this because they keep big lists of reviewers).
I don't need your life story, weird attempts to make your book seem super awesome, etc.  If you put some personality into a, b, and c, that's wonderful, but leave all the other stuff out.

3. You spend too much of your time online talking about how under-appreciated you are

I've only seen a handful of authors do this.  They sit on their Twitter accounts talking about why nobody reads or buys their books and how awful that is.  Not just once, which might be forgiven.  Not just twice, which might also be forgiven.  But so many times that it becomes a semi-regular occurrence.

The problem with this has nothing to do with whether it's true.  It might be that you're not appreciated as much as you deserve.  Maybe you did write a great novel, but nobody is buying it for whatever reason.  That sucks.  But that's also the writing "game."  If everyone could sell as many books as John Scalzi, then everyone would complain about not selling more than that.  You can't control how many books you sell.  Not really.  You can push them with PR campaigns and the like (see Kameron Hurley for an example), but the market isn't something that can be easily "gamed."  Sometimes, you just won't sell as many books as you would like for reasons you'll never fully understand.

Complaining about it, however, makes you look desperate.  It might convince a few people to buy your books.  But do you really want people to buy them out of pity?

As a reviewer, I just don't play that game for one simple reason:  it's already difficult enough to be objective about a book when you are embedded in online fandom; adding a negative emotion to the reading process makes objectivity even more difficult, so it is likely to negatively affect my reception of your book.  I'd prefer to avoid that situation altogether.

2. You're a grown ass human being but behave like a child having a temper tantrum

Every so often, you'll find an author handling author life rather poorly.  They complain incessantly about reviews, they crowd fan spaces when they are clearly unwanted, and they handle criticism either of their work or their online writing in the same way as a child handles being told they can't have another piece of cake.

The line between author and work isn't as clearly defined as some would like (a fact I'll discuss in the next section).  At some point, an author's behavior begins to affect how I view the author's work.  I can't help it, and in some cases, I don't want to.  If an author responds poorly to reviews, I'd rather review something else than risk getting on that author's shitlist.  Why?  Because I don't need the additional stress, and if I have the choice between reading something else I might like or risking getting crapped on by an author with a behavior problem, I'll pick the first one.

That doesn't mean authors should shut up.  There are occasionally good reasons to talk about a review (good or bad) or to address some controversy online, etc.  Authors just need to understand the line between "appropriate" and "inappropriate."

1. You're a giant, unapologetic, raging asshole

In rare cases, the idea of separating an author from their work is fundamentally impossible.  Some people are so incapable of being anything other than rude, conniving scumbuckets that it's impossible to see their name on the book and not think about their behavior.  We all know of one or two authors who are like this.  They attack people with whom they disagree; they treat people who interact with them like worthless piles of human flesh; and they have such an air of superiority about them that you'd think their heads were really three times normal size.

This is especially so when the author's politics are involved.  It's not a matter of simple political disagreements but the character of the disagreements.  Someone who argues against women's rights or advocates for the classification of gay people as mentally ill is someone who is so fundamentally opposed to the things I believe in that they can and wish to do demonstrable harm to the people I care about.  And when that author is extremely public with those views, so much so that they are actually involved in some way with a political system, I find myself unwilling and incapable of giving the author's work any attention whatsoever.  Reviews, discussion, etc. are forms of advertising, and if you're the kind of person who falls into the "raging asshole" category, I'm just not willing to help you sell more books because I believe our actions must have consequences.  In my case, the only consequence I can provide is silence.

And there you have it.  What about you?  What reasons do you have for not reading an author's work?

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My Top 12 Books Read in 2014

I said on Twitter that I would make this list because I had such a hard time picking a winner for the 2013/2014 WISB Awards.  Basically, this list is my guilt getting the better of me, because I love so many things and hate having to pick.

So, in no particular order (because I cannot rank these books without feeling as though I have committed a great atrocity against these authors), here are my top 12 books read in 2014:

Breach Zone by Myke Cole (Ace Books)

The Violent Century by Lavie Tidhar (Hodder and Stoughton)

Hurricane Fever by Tobias Buckell (Tor Books)

Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta (Harper Voyager)

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett (Broadway Books)

Zero Sum Game by SL Huang (Self-Published)

The Three by Sarah Lotz (Little, Brown, and Company)

Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter (Jo Fletcher Books)

Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie (Orbit Books)

A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar (Small Beer Press)

Into the Grey by Celine Kiernan (Candlewick Press)

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley (Angry Robot Books)

Now this is the part where everyone piles on in the comments and tells me how wrong I am.  How could I have missed X book?  How could I have loved Y so much?  Bring on your questions and accusations.  I dare you!

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Honorable Mention:  I Am Spock by Leonard Nemoy (Hyperion)

Great SF/F Books by Female Authors: A Massive Twitter List! #sffbywomen

Earlier today, I posted seven sf/f books by women worth checking out for International Women's Day.  This led to a tweet asking folks online to list a single sf/f work by a woman that they think is exceptional.  Folks promptly ignored the "single" part and sent me a lot of suggestions.  You can add your own suggestions in the comments here or via the #sffbywomen tag on Twitter.

In any case, if you're looking for something new to read and care about gender parity, here's a massive list of great works of sf/f by women (note:  the list may be edited later; I may send the question to Facebook and Google+ to make things interesting).

Enjoy!

Alexander, Alma. Midnight at Spanish Gardens
Alexander, Alma. Secrets of Jin Shei
Alexander, Alma. The Worldweaver Books
Anderson, Laura S. The Boleyn King
Andrews, Ilona. The Kate Daniels Series
Aquirre, Ann. The Perdition and Sirantha Jax Series
Arakawa, Hiromu. Full Metal Alchemist
Armstrong, Kelley. The Cainsville Series
Armstrong, Kelley. Women of the Otherworld Series
Asaro, Catherine. The Last Hawk
Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale
Baker, Cage. The Company Novels
Baker, Kage. The Anvil of the World
Baker, Kage. The Garden of Iden
Bear, Elizabeth. Carnival
Bear, Elizabeth. Chill
Bear, Elizabeth. Dust
Bear, Elizabeth. Grail
Bear, Elizabeth. Hammered
Bear, Elizabeth. Range of Ghosts (and sequels)
Bear, Elizabeth. Scardown
Bear, Elizabeth. Undertow
Bear, Elizabeth. Worldwired
Bennett, Jenna. Fortune’s Hero
Bernobich, Beth. Allegiance
Bernobich, Beth. Passion Play
Bernobich, Beth. Queen’s Hunt
Bernobich, Beth. The Time Roads
Beukes, Lauren. The Shining Girls
Beukes, Lauren. Zoo City
Bishop, Anne. Black Jewels Trilogy
Bishop, Anne. Ephemera Series
Bishop, Anne. The Others Series
Bobet, Leah. Above
Bodard, Aliette de. The Xuya Series
Bond, Gwenda. Blackwood
Bond, Gwenda. The Woken Gods
Bradley, Marion Zimmer. The Avalon Series
Bradley, Marion Zimmer. The Sword of Aldones
Brennan, Marie. A Natural History of Dragons
Brennan, Marie. Tropic of Serpents
Briggs, Patricia. The Mercy Thompson Series
Brook, Maljean. Heart of Steel
Brook, Maljean. Riveted
Brook, Maljean. The Iron Dukes
Brown, Rosel George. Galactic Sibyl Sue Blue
Bujold, Lois McMaster. Barrayar
Bujold, Lois McMaster. Curse of Chalion
Bujold, Lois McMaster. Komarr
Bujold, Lois McMaster. Memory
Bujold, Lois McMaster. Mirror Dance
Bujold, Lois McMaster. Paladin of Souls
Bujold, Lois McMaster. The Vorkosigan Saga
Bujold, Lois McMaster. Warrior’s Apprentice
Bull, Emma. War for the Oaks
Butler, Octavia. Kindred
Butler, Octavia. Parable of the Sower
Butler, Octavia. Parable of the Talents
Cadigan, Pat. Synners
Caine, Rachel. The Weather Warden Series
Carson, Rae. Girl of Fire and Thorns Series
Cashore, Kristen. Bitterblue
Cawkwell, Sarah. The Silver Skulls Books
Cherryh, C.J. Downbelow Station
Cherryh, C.J. Foreigner
Cherryh, C.J. Fortress in the Eye of Time
Cherryh, C.J. Pride of Chanur
Chng, Joyce. Starfang
Clarke, Susanna. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
Cooper, Brenda. The Creative Fire
Cooper, Brenda. The Diamond Deep
Cooper, Elspeth. The Wild Hunt Series
Cooper, Karina. Tarnished
Cooper, Louise. The Indigo Series
Cooper, Louise. The Time Master Trilogy
Cooper, Susan. The Dark is Rising Sequence
Czerneda, Julie. A Thousand Words for Stranger
Czerneda, Julie. In the Company of Others
Downum, Amanda. The Drowning City
Elgin, Suzette Haden. Communipath Worlds
Elgin, Suzette Haden. Native Tongue
Elliot, Kate. Crown of Stars
Elliott, Kate. Cold Magic
Engh, M.J. Arslan
Eskridge, Kelley. Solitaire
Files, Gemma. A Book of Tongues
Fisher, Sharon Lynn. Ghost Planet
Flewelling, Lynn. Luck in the Shadows
Forsyth, Kate. Bitter Greens
Foster, M.A. The Morphodite Trilogy
Frohock, Teresa. Miserere: An Autumn Tale
Gentle, Mary. Golden Witchbreed.
Goldstein, Lisa. A Mask for the General
Goldstein, Lisa. Red Magician
Goldstein, Lisa. Strange Devices of Sun and Moon
Goldstein, Lisa. The Dream Years
Goldstein, Lisa. Tourists
Goldstein, Lisa. Uncertain Places
Goodman, Alison. A New Kind of Death
Graham, Ellen. Lana’s Awakening
Grant, Mira. The Newsflesh Series
Griffith, Nicola. Hild
Hall, Sarah. The Carhullan Army
Hambly, Barbara. Dragonsbane
Hamilton, Laurell K. Bite
Hamilton, Laurell K. Carvings
Hamilton, Laurell K. Never After
Hamilton, Laurell K. Strange Candy
Hand, Elizabeth. Winterlong
Hartman, Rachel. Seraphina
Henderson, Zenna. Ingathering: the Complete People Stories
Hobb, Robin. The Liveship Traders Trilogy
Hopkinson, Nalo. Sister Mine
Hopkinson, Nalo. The New Moon’s Arms
Höst, Andrea K. The Touchstone Series
Jemesin, N.K. The Broken Kingdoms
Jensen, Liz. The Rapture
Jensen, Liz. The Uninvited
Jones, Diana Wynne. A Sudden Wild Magic
Jones, Diana Wynne. Black Maria
Jones, Diana Wynne. Conrad’s Fate
Jones, Diana Wynne. Deep Secret
Jones, Diana Wynne. Homeward Bounders
Jones, Diana Wynne. Islands of Chaldea
Jones, Diana Wynne. Magicians of Caprona
Jones, Diana Wynne. Ogre Downstairs
Jones, Diana Wynne. The Dalemark Quartet
Jones, Diana Wynne. The Merlin Conspiracy
Jones, Diana Wynne. Wilkins’ Tooth
Jones, Diana Wynne. Year of the Griffin
Kane, Stacia. The Personal Demons and Magic Series
Kellog, Marjorie B. The Lear’s Daughters Series
Kennedy, Leigh. Journal of Nicholas the American
Kerr, Katherine. The Deverry Series
Kiernan, Caitlin R. The Drowning Girl
Kittredge, Caitlin. The Black London Series
Kowal, Mary Robinette. Glamour in Glass
Koyanagi, Jacqueline. Ascension
Kress, Nancy. Probability Moon
Kurtz, Katherine. The Deryni Series
L’Engle, Madeleine. A Wrinkle in Time.
Larke, Glenda. The Last Stormlord
Le Guin, Ursula K. Lavinia
Le Guin, Ursula K. The Dispossessed
Le Guin, Ursula K. The Left Hand of Darkness
Leckie, Ann. Ancillary Justice
Lee, Yoon Ha. Conservation of Shadows
Leicht, Stina. And Blue Skies From Pain
Leicht, Stina. Of Blood and Honey
Lindholm, Mega. Cloven Hooves
Link, Kelly. Magic for Beginners
Loenen-Ruis, Rochita. “Alternate Girl’s Expatriate Life
Lord, Karen. Redemption in Indigo
Lord, Karen. The Best of All Possible Worlds
Lowachee, Karin. Burndive
Lowachee, Karin. Cagebird
Lowachee, Karin. Warchild
Lowe, Helen. Heir of Night
Lynn, Elizabeth. The Northern Girl
MacAvoy, R.A. Damiano
MacAvoy, R.A. Damiano’s Lute
MacAvoy, R.A. Raphael
MacAvoy, R.A. Tea with the Black Dragon
Marks, Laurie. Fire Logic
Marley, Louise. The Terrorists of Irustan
Marr, Melissa. Carnival of Souls
Marshall, Helen. Hair Side, Flesh Side
Matthews, Susan R. The Jurisdiction Series
Maurier, Daphne du. The House on the Strand
May, Han. Star Sapphire
McCaffrey, Anne. The Dragonriders of Pern Series
McCaffrey, Anne. The Ship Who Sang
McGuire, Seanan. One Salt Sea
McIntyre, Vonda N. Dreamsnake
McKillip, Patricia A. The Riddle-Master Trilogy
McKinley, Robin. Chalice
McKinley, Robin. Hero and the Crown
McKinley, Robin. The Blue Sword
Meadows, Jodi. The Incarnate Series
Misha. Red Spider White Web
Moffett, Judith. The Holy Ground Trilogy
Monette, Sarah. The Goblin Emperor
Moon, Elizabeth. The Serrano Legacy Series
Mundell, Meg. Black Glass
Murphy, Pat. Women Up to No Good
Nagata, Linda. The Red: First Light
Nesbit, Edith. Five Children and It
Nesbit, Edith. The Phoenix and the Carpet
Nesbit, Edith. The Story of the Amulet
Newman, Emma. The Split Worlds Series
Norton, Mary. The Borrowers
Novik, Naomi. The Temeraire Series
Okorafor, Nnedi. Who Fears Death
Pearce, Philippa. Tom’s Midnight Garden
Pierce, Tamora. Terrier (and its sequels)
Pierce, Tamora. The Keladry of Mindelan Quartet
Priest, Cherie. Boneshaker
Rawn, Melanie. Dragonprince
Redwine, C.J. Defiance
Richards, Jess. Cooking with Bones
Richardson, Kat. Greywalker
Robb, J.D. The In Death Series
Robertson, Freya. Heartwood
Rogers, Jane. The Testament of Jessie Lamb
Rusch, Kristine Kathryn. Boneyards
Rusch, Kristine Kathryn. City of Ruins
Rusch, Kristine Kathryn. Diving into the Wreck
Russ, Joanna. The Female Man
Russell, Karen. Vampires in the Lemon Grove
Saintcrow, Lillith. The Dante Valentine and Jill Kismet Series
Samatar, Sofia. A Stranger in Olondria
Saulter, Stephanie. Gemsigns
Saxton, Josephine. Queen of the States
Schanoes, Veronica. Burning Girls
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus
Slonczewski, Joan. The Highest Frontier
Smith, Sherwood. Crown Duel
Snyder, Maria V. Poison Study
Spurrier, Jo. Black Sun Light My Way
Stevrmer, Caroline. A College of Magic
Stevrmer, Caroline. A Scholar of Magic
Stewart, Mary. The Crystal Cave
Stewart, Mary. The Hollow Hills
Sullivan, Tricia. Maul
Swainston, Steph. The Castle Series
Swendson, Shanna. The Enchanted Inc. Series
Tallen, Tara. Galaxion
Tambour, Anna. Crandolin
Tepper, Sheri S. Beauty
Tepper, Sherri S. Raising the Stones
Thruman, Rob. The Cal Leandros Series
Traviss, Karen. City of Pearl
Viehl, S.L. The Stardoc Series
Walton, Jo. Among Others
Walton, Jo. Farthing
Walton, Jo. Ha’penny
Walton, Jo. Half a Crown
Wecker, Helene. The Golem and the Jinni
Weis, Margaret / Hickman, Tracy. Dragons of Autumn Twilight
Weis, Margaret / Hickman, Tracy. Dragons of Spring Dawning
Weis, Margaret / Hickman, Tracy. Dragons of Winter Night
Wells, Martha. Death of the Necromancer
Wells, Martha. The Cloud Roads
West, Michelle Sagara. The Essalieyan Empire Series
Williams, Jen. The Copper Promise
Willis, Connie. Bellwether
Willis, Connie. The Doomsday Book
Willis, Connie. To Say Nothing of the Dog
Wilson, G. Willow. Alif the Unseen
Winstanley, Cam. B-Spine
Winterson, Jeanette. The Stone Gods
Wrede, Patricia C. The Raven Ring
Wren, M.K.. Gift Upon the Shore
Wurts, Janny / Feist, Raymond. The Empire Trilogy

Wurts. Curse of the Mistwraith

7 SF/F Books by Female Authors to Pick Up on International Women’s Day

If the title didn't make it clear, today is International Women's Day!  In celebration of that, here are seven wonderful books by female sf/f writers that I think you should check out, if not now, then certainly before the weekend ends.  Consider it homework...the fun kind...

Here they are:

The Female Man by Joanna Russ (1975)
As the only classic on my list, Russ' incredible feminist narrative is easily one of the most important sf/f books by anybody written in the 20th century.  The use of alternate realities to explore sexism is part of what makes this book truly a masterpiece.  If you haven't read it, you really should.  It's challenging, sometimes disturbing, sometimes confusing, but endlessly compelling.
The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord (2013)
There are two Caribbean authors on this list.  I'm biased because of my academic interests.  Regardless, Lord's interesting exploration of extinction, genetics, relationships between disparate peoples, and future cultures is worth checking out if only because you're a fan of social science fiction.  It'll also amuse those of you who love fantasy, as there are certainly some "fantasy" elements here.

For the curious, we interviewed Lord on The Skiffy and Fanty Show here.
Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson (2013)
Nalo Hopkinson is one of my favorite writers.  Her novel, Midnight Robber (2000), is easily one of the best novels of the last 20 years.  Sister Mine is nothing like Midnight Robber, but it does offer a fascinating look into the lives of a pair of formerly-conjoined twins, one of whom lost her magic when they were separated.  Orishas, magic, music, and a little punk attitude make this one of my favorite reads from 2013.

I interviewed her about Sister Mine here.
Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee (2013)
Lee is by far one of the greatest short story writers publishing today.  Conservation of Shadows is an incredible collection of stories.  They feel original, deep on a metaphorical level, and stunning in their visual brilliance.  I cannot begin to do the stories justice here.  So I'll leave you with this:  kiteships.  If that doesn't entice you, then I will just have to throw things until you read this book.  Go on, test me.

Or you can check out this interview.
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes (2013)
I've been a fan of Lauren Beukes since Zoo City (2010), which I think belongs on a "best of the 2010s" list.  The Shining Girls, however, is a very different kind of book.  Following a time traveling serial killer and one of his surviving victims (among other POVs), this book is a twisted narrative about survival, psychosis, and time.  If you're a fan of Beukes' work and missed this one, shame on you.

We interviewed Beukes about The Shining Girls here.
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (2013)
To hell with the gender binary, amaright?  Leckie's Ancillary Justice tosses old standards of sf out the window and explores a far future empire where gender pronouns are fluid and ships are manned by thousands of minds.  It's one part gosh wow and two parts sf power.  Expect this one on the Hugo Awards ballot.

We interviewed Leckie about Ancillary Justice here.
The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers (2011)
Rogers won the Clarke Award for this novel.  It was well deserved, too!  The Testament of Jessie Lamb may not be everyone's cup of tea, but its aggressive treatment of a post-disaster future in which women die when they become pregnant is noteworthy.  The point of the book isn't to agree with the narrator, but to understand her.  Fans of Joanna Russ should definitely check this one out.

We interviewed Rogers about The Testament of Jessie Lamb here.

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There you go.  Who would you add to the list?

A (Possibly Evolving) List of Great Novels by African Writers — for @jmmcdermott

I've been commanded by Lord McDermott to put together a list of great novels by African writers so he'd have some stuff to read.  And that's exactly what I've done.

I've intentionally chucked out the books everyone has likely read, such as Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (I know for a fact that Mr. McDermott has read this one, so that's an easy task).

In no particular order, here are the novels (a very VERY short list):
Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe
Ambiguous Adventure by Cheikh Hamidou Kane
Devil on the Cross OR The River Between by Ngugi wa Thiong'o (Matagari is also excellent)
The Famished Road OR Songs of Enchantment by Ben Okri
Waiting for the Barbarians OR The Lives of Animals OR Disgrace OR Foe by J.M. Coetzee
July's People by Nadine Gordimer
Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
Purple Hibiscus OR Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
In the Fog of the Seasons' End by Alex La Guma
Houseboy by Ferdinand Oyono
The Dark Child by Camara Laye
One Day I Will Write About This Place by Binyavanga Wainaina (a memoir, not a novel, but oh well)
Bound to Violence by Yambo Ouologuem

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Note:  I have enormous gaps in my reading knowledge of African writers.  You'll notice that there are no writers from places like Egypt, for example, or some of the interior nations.  Anyone who would like to suggest novels by writers from these missing countries is encouraged to do so in the comments below!

The Diversity Pledge: Crunching My Numbers for 2013

I think this is the first time I've seriously looked at my reading numbers.  And now I'm going to share them with the world.

The list only includes novels, collections, and narrative non-fiction.  I have not factored in multiple books by the same author.

Here's the author list:

Gareth L. Powell
Myke Cole
Christopher Barzak
Nir Yaniv
Brian McClellan
Paul Cornell
Michael R. Underwood
Michael J. Martinez
Nick Mamatas
Wes Chu
Doug Lain
Richard Phillips
Mike Resnick
James Anthony Froude
Stephen N. Cobham
Michel Maxwell Philip
C.L.R. James
Edgar Mittelholzer
Roger Mais
George Lamming
V.S. Naipaul
Kim Stanley Robinson
John Scalzi
Saladin Ahmed
Brandon Sanderson
Jay Lake
Max Gladstone
Chuck Wendig
Karen Lord
Merle Hodge
Caryl Phillips
Dionne Brand
Erna Brodber
Mary Seacole
Evie Manieri
Linda Nagata
Nalo Hopkinson
Rhiannon Held
Lauren Beukes
Yoon Ha Lee
Ruth Frances Long
Emma Newman
Cassandra Rose Clarke
Ann Leckie
Cherie Priest
Jean Rhys
Beryl Gilroy
Suzanne Collins
Mira Grant
Lois McMaster Bujold
Nancy Kress
Aliette de Bodard
Zen Cho
Mur Lafferty
Stina Leicht

Here are the percentages w/ commentary:

Gender
Male (50.9%)
Female (49.1%)

I'm actually surprised with this.  While I make an effort to maintain gender parity for The Skiffy and Fanty Show, that same effort does not apply to my academic work.  There, I'm concerned with a tradition of literature, which is historically male-centric.  But apparently even my PhD project is fairly equal in terms of gender.

In any case, I'm happy.  I wanted to get close to 50/50, and so I have.  A+

Diversity
White (61.82%)
Non-White (38.18%)

I'm uncomfortable with this category for two reasons:  1) I don't like the idea that there are two groups (white and non-white); 2) I don't know how to get around that without making completely idiotic assumptions about other people's race.  But this is the only way I have to measure racial diversity, and so I have to use it.  If anyone has a better idea, please don't hesitate to leave a comment.

I also wanted to include a note about LGBT authors here, but I realized that I'd have to go digging around to figure who is who.  And, well, it's really none of my business.  It wasn't something I intentionally selected for this year, though I certainly would like to read more works by LGBT authors.

In any case, I'm not dissatisfied with these numbers.  They're not as bad as they could be, and they could certainly be better, but considering that I didn't actually try, I'm genuinely pleased that nearly 40% of my reading came from people of color.

U.S./U.K. (65.46%)
Elsewhere (34.54%)(includes expatriates)

This doesn't surprise me at all.  Since my field of research is Caribbean literature, a good chunk of what I read this year would have to be from elsewhere on the planet.  In 2014, that number is going to look very different indeed thanks to the World SF Tour.

If I had more time, I'd break these numbers down by region (the Caribbean, continental Europe, etc.).  For now, I'll settle for the above.

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And that's that.  How about you?  Leave your numbers below!

My Hopes and Anticipations for Science Fiction and Fantasy in 2014

2014 is almost upon us, and I'm already thinking about what is to come.  What will 2014 be like?  Will it be awesome?  Will someone release a stunning science fiction novel or an exciting YA fantasy or an *epic* epic fantasy?  The only way to find out is to live long enough to see it, I suppose (that's my early New Year's resolution).  But I do have my hopes for next year.  Big, juicy hopes.  And they are as follows:

A World SF Sorta Year
If you don't already know, my SF/F podcast, The Skiffy and Fanty Show, is hosting a massive World SF Tour throughout 2014.  We've already lined up a lot of great folks from all over the world, and that's just for the first couple months.  This thing has barely begun.

Since the World SF blog has ended, I'm hoping this special season of the show will help fill the gap a bit.  More importantly, I really hope we'll open further dialogue between (and within) the western SF/F spheres and the equally valuable spheres from elsewhere.  We should be talking to each other, and this whole Internet thing is a great way to make that possible.  So I really hope we'll spark a bit of a discussion in the community.  That would be a great thing indeed.

No Kerfluffles
I know this dream will never come true, but I'm putting it here anyway.  I would really like to see a year in the SF/F world that doesn't include fiascos and people saying racist, sexist, or downright douchey things.  Just for one year.  Please.

Please?
The Author List
Here are all the authors whose work I'm looking forward to in 2014 (assuming they're releasing anything)
  • Myke Cole (Breach Zone comes out in a month, and I get to interview him with my bestie.  So, basically, my life is awesome right now.)
  • Stina Leicht (I don't think she'll have anything out next year, but I hear she's working on something that's super cool beans -- I may have the inside scoop.)
  • China Mieville (It better be clever.  Oh, hell, who am I kidding?  Of course it will be clever!)
  • Lauren Beukes (Will she ever stop writing awesome books?  No.  Never.  EVER!)
  • Ann Leckie (I quite liked Ancillary Justice and am eagerly anticipating the sequel.  I'm told it'll be an even stronger book.)
  • Nick Mamatas writing noir crime fiction (because that should be very interesting indeed)
  • Nalo Hopkinson (Sister Mine was fantastic, so if she releases anything next year, I'll be happy)
  • Tobias S. Buckell (more Xenowealth stuff, please!)
  • Yoon Ha Lee (I have dreams that she'll release a novel and that it will be the most amazing thing since the invention of air.)
  • Christopher Barzak (two things:  1) I demand more writing in any form imaginable, and 2) I cannot wait to see the film adaptation of One For Sorrow)
  • Karen Lord (she could release a story on a restaurant napkin and I'd probably still read it enthusiastically)
  • Brian Francis Slattery (Lost Everything was genius, so another novel would be amazing)
That's not an exhaustive list, obviously.  They're names that came up when I started thinking about this whole thing.  I'd also love to see something new from Alden Bell, Jane Rogers, and even some translated works from China and the surrounding nations (Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea, etc.).

I'd also love to see some groundbreaking SF/F next year.  I haven't the foggiest what that would look like, but I do think we're overdue for a year that really throws us SF/F folks for a loop.

Dialogue Reboot
This is somewhat related to the kerfluffle thing above.  Basically, I think it would be lovely if we could actually have a dialogue about things like sexual harassment at cons, sexism in SF/F, racism in SF/F, and so on.  A discussion.  A talk.  Not two groups screaming at each other or self-segregating out of convenience.  I realize this is a tall order, in part because disparate groups simply don't agree about things, but I think we could get a lot more done if these issues were discussed more openly without the need to simply reject every claim.

This is also a completely absurd request.
Movies
I anticipate that the following will be true in 2014:

  • Marvel will continue to dominate in film.  With X-Men:  Days of Future Past, Captain America:  the Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy coming our way, it's hard to imagine Marvel won't be king for another year.
  • Science fiction will dominate.  With Edge of Tomorrow, Interstellar, the Marvel films, Hunger Games 3, The Giver, and Jupiter Ascending expected to hit theaters next year, I strongly suspect SF will be all the rage (as it was this year, really).  Robocop will probably be a lot of fun, but I expect it to bomb.  I couldn't care less about Transformers 1132424 or The Maze Runner (it will bomb).  But I expect those other films to do quite well.
  • Science fiction will not receive any major award nominations in categories people remember (namely, best director, actor/actress (lead or supporting), or best picture), and at least one of the films released this year will have deserved to have been on those lists.
  • Hunger Games 3 will be the knockout of the year.  If Hunger Games 2 is any indicator of this franchise's success, you can expect the (supposedly two part) finale to rock the box office.
  • Fantasy will mostly suck in 2014.  There are a couple of decent movies coming, and I have no doubt the genre will make a pretty penny, but I really don't think there will be anything of serious note from the fantasy genre next year.
The Hugos (and Other Awards)
When the awards season rolls around, I suspect a lot of people will be annoyed and pissed off again.  I look forward to a thoughtful discussion about the merits of these awards that leads to something worthwhile (like changes or new, viable awards).  Or we'll just have another pissing match.  I'm getting quite good at pissing...

A Happy Year
If things go my way, the following things will have happened by Dec. 31st, 2014:
  • Attend a convention with all (or most) of the Skiffy and Fanty crew (Convergence, anyone?)
  • Have most of my dissertation written
  • Finish a research trip through the UK and elsewhere for my PhD
  • Record some of the best interviews and discussions EVER
  • Finish writing a novel and submit it
  • Get a pro-rate publication in short fiction
  • Publish an academic article that isn't a review (possible the one on steampunk OR the one on Cloud Atlas OR the one on Edgar Mittelholzer's A Morning at the Office OR the one on Tobias S. Buckell's Xenowealth Saga OR the one on Makoto Shinkai's The Place Promises in Our Early Days...you get the picture)
  • Read a lot of great books
  • Watch a lot of great movies
And I think that's a good place to stop.

What are you looking forward to in 2014?

10 Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2013

Now that I've covered movies and television, I think it's time I hit the big stuff -- books.

Here's the ten books I'm looking forward to this year (feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments):

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Lauren Beukes last year for her novel Zoo City.  And guess what?  I get to do it again for The Shining Girls!  Beukes is one of my favorite authors of the new millenium, and definitely one of my favorites of all time.  Her work is entertaining, complex, and downright beautiful.  The Shining Girls will certainly be a new milestone for South Africa's greatest genre writer!

Bonus Point:  Rumor has it that she got a six figure deal for this book.  That's freaking awesome!

The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord
Karen Lord has been on my radar since the release of Redemption in Indigo.  Maybe it's because I'm slightly obsessed with Caribbean literature (it's what I study, after all), or because she looks badass in her red jacket (we met briefly at ICFA).  It might also have something to do with the fact that Karen brought a whole bunch of Edna Brodber books from the Caribbean and had them sent to me through Mari Ness.  I'm biased like that...

But more likely it's because she's a damn good writer (who, like Beukes, will be on my little show too).  The Best of All Possible Worlds should be a standout this year.

Bonus Points:  Karen Lord was apparently a part-time soldier once.  That makes her slightly more badass than fellow Caribbean writer Tobias S. Buckell, who spends his days in a leather coat and man shades.

Ghost Spin by Chris Moriarty
Ever since Spin State, I've been waiting for Chris Moriarty to release another book for adults.  And it's finally coming!  If I'm not mistaken, Ghost Spin is set in the same world as Spin State and Spin Control, though it's been so long since I last read Spin State that I can't honestly remember where it ended.  That's a good thing because it gives me an excuse to re-read!  Ghost Spin should be one of those insane science fiction novels packed full of sensawunda and sociopolitical critique.  I can't wait.  (If I'm lucky, she'll agree to be on m my podcast!)

Bonus Point:  It's post-cyberpunk!  That means it's cyberpunk, but sexier.

Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson
I wrote half of my MA Thesis on Nalo Hopkinson, so it goes without saying that I perpetually look forward to everything she writes.  It's hard to imagine not feeling this way when I learn that Hopkinson has a new book coming.  Let's face it -- she's a fantastic writer and a wonderful person (I've met her -- and I embarrassed myself something fierce).  I expect nothing but genius from her new novel (as always).

Bonsu Point:  The plot involves a magic system which can be severed in one half of a set of conjoined twins through surgery (or so the book description indicates).  Sounds fascinating!

On the Razor's Edge by Michael Flynn
Despite some reservations about In the Lion's Mouth (see the review here), I cannot help but remain intrigued by Flynn's writing style and science fiction world.  This book continues the story from the previous three books (two of which I still have to read) and should include some of the incredible science fiction wonders that intrigued me about In the Lion's Mouth, including the fascinating character of Donovan buigh, who had his brain cut up into multiple personalities at some point in the past.  Plus, the continuation of the war with the Names should hit its all time height here, which means there'll be a lot of wicked super assassin fights!

Bonus Point:  The covers for his books are bloody gorgeous.

Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell
Most people will read this book because of Swamplandia!, which was well liked by many readers and critics.  I want to read this book because of the first line of the description:  "A dejected teenager discovers that the universe is communicating with him through talismanic objects left behind in a seagull’s nest."  That's the kind of imaginative geekery I expect in my weird literature, and this one is chock full of short stories with such weird premises.  It's bound to be an exciting ride!  If only there was some way to get her on my podcast...

Bonus Point:  The New Yorker listed her as one of the 20 best writers under 40.  That's got to count for something, right?

The Childhood of Jesus by J. M. Coetzee
I suspect a few of you are familiar with Coetzee's work, as well you should be.  His writing has spanned numerous subjects, from colonial empires in Waiting for the Barbarians to animal ethics in The Lives of Animals.  This new one promises to offer a very different look at a Jesus-like story.  Knowing Coetzee, that means it will also include some slightly fantastic elements, just as much of his other work has.  This makes him one of those hidden SF/F writers that nobody in genre really thinks about.  Well, they should.  And that's why I'm eagerly anticipating The Childhood of Jesus.

Bonus Point:  Coetzee won the Man Booker twice before winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2003.  And he deserved every single award.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Every since I saw the following TED talk by Adichie, I've been jonesing for a new novel from her.
Her new novel has a flare of the romantic epic to it, and it happens to be one of the few African novels I know about that I'll probably read despite having nothing to do with SF/F.  Brilliant writing deserves to be loved.

Bonus Point:  Her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, won the Orange Prize, perhaps the most important award for literature by women.  She was also listed as one of the best 20 writers under 40 by The New Yorker, like a certain someone on this list.

Bio-Punk:  Stories from the Far Side of Research edited by Ra Page
This collaborative work between writers and scientists looks promising.  Part of what fascinates me is that the collection will feature stories based on actual science conducted in nanotechnology, biotechnology, and so on, and those stories will sit beside explorations of scientific research.  It's not a new concept, but it does make for a collection with some sticking power.

Bonus Point:  Jane Rogers, who I had the pleasure of interviewing here, has a story in this collection.

The Curve of the Earth by Simon Morden
A continuation of the Samuil Petrovitch series, The Curve of the Earth promises a lot of cyberpunk-ish elements and dark adventure (it's set in a post-apocalyptic London full of AIs, criminals, and all sorts of almost-punkish elements).  Plus, the main character is a Russian, and the U.S. is apparently some sort of reformed hellhole not unlike its current state (tongue and cheek, folks).  Sounds like something I'd read.

Bonus Point:  Holy covergasm, Batman!

-----------------------------------------------

What are you looking forward to in 2013?  Feel free to leave your list.  There are certainly some gaps in mine, and I wouldn't mind filling them with work I might have missed.

Dear Christmas: My Favorite SF/F Re-Reads

There's still time to get to the shops and buy that special gift for your estranged husband or twice-removed cousin.  Okay, let's face it.  You're not buying gifts for them.  If you've popped onto this page, it's for one of three reasons:

  1. You read this blog.
  2. You told me to write on this topic.
  3. You've got a weird scifi and fantasy geek child or friend and you have no idea what to get them.
If you're in the #3 category, then prepare yourself for this completely uneven list of books I enjoyed enough to read more than once!  Here goes:
Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson
I'm biased, because Hopkinson (and Buckell) was one of the authors I focused on in my Master's Thesis.  It's also a novel I've reviewed for SF Mistressworks and one I've taught at the college level.  It's an enormously rich book, too.  Caribbean folklore + science fiction + twin worlds = simply stunning.

Crystal Rain, Ragamuffin, and Sly Mongoose by Tobias S. Buckell
All three are amazing.  Like Hopkinson, Buckell mixes in Caribbean references and characters, but drags them out into the wide world of Space Opera throughout the series (Crystal Rain is almost a Civil War-style steampunk novel, while Ragamuffin and Sly Mongoose are exciting Space Operas -- the latter includes zombies and floating habitats in the atmosphere of a Venus-like planet).  I love reading them over and over (plus, The Apocalypse Ocean, book four, is also damned good).

1984 by George Orwell
This is one of the few books I will read over and over and over again.  I used to read it once a year, but I haven't done that for a while.  But if you've ever read the book, you'll understand why:  it's one of those books that benefits from re-reading because you'll discover new stuff all the time.  And I mean that.  There are so many little details in this book.  Orwell was a genius!

Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
Folks will notice a trend on this post.  That trend goes something like this:  how many books written by people from other countries (originally or currently) can I stick on a single list?  Well, get over it.  Most of what I read these days are books by folks from elsewhere, in part because that's what I study.  Go figure.

Lauren Beukes is our resident South African writer.  And she's a good one!  Zoo City remains one of my favorite books of all time.  It mixes animal familiars with amateur sleuthing and social commentary, which is A+ in my book.

The Palm-wine Drinkard by Amos Tutuola
It's weird to Westerners and controversial to many African scholars.  No matter which side of the world you come from, though, I think this is one of those unique, fascinating pieces of literature.  Every time I read it, I'm amazed by the oddness, the rapid pace, the almost spoken-word style of storytelling, and the folklore.  I recommend it to anyone who loves weird stuff.

City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer
This remains, for me, one of the top three greatest New Weird books ever written (assuming, of course, that New Weird actually exists -- I'm not convinced anymore, but it's a catchy word that I find useful).  There's no way to describe this book without ruining some of its most compelling parts, so I'll just say this:  it has an appendices full of letters, documents, and other wonderful bits, all of which enhance the story.

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
I suspect most of you are familiar with this one.  Good.  You should be.  It's one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written (top ten for me).  If you haven't read it, then all you need to know is this:  a thorough examination of social change and war in a far future, military space opera setting.  It's amazing.  That is all...

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
Another great New Weird novel.  Mieville is, I think, one of the most innovative writers in SF/F right now (alongside Jeff VanderMeer).  Perdido Street Station is no exception.  The way he constructs creatures, cultures, cityscapes, and so on is admirable.  I suggest everyone start with PSS, but even works like Embassytown or The City & the City contain some interesting concepts and ideas.  He's one of the new greats (hopefully he'll keep producing new and innovative work for years to come).

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Vonnegut is another of those strange writers.  I'm still unsure if Slaughterhouse-Five is actually science fiction or some kind of PTSD novel.  It's probably both at the same time.  Either way, it's an amazing book.  There are compelling uses of "time travel," social commentary, weird digs at science fiction, and much more. If you've never read it, you should.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower nearly made me cry.  That's not small feat, if I'm honest.  Usually, I only cry while reading books in which I already have emotional investments.  Butler's work, however, is incredible.  Sower follows a young woman with a rare form of synaethesia that allows her to feel what others feel.  That might be cool in times of plenty, but this novel is set in a post-apocalyptic United States where pretty much everything has gone to complete crap and humanity is clinging desperately to its little pieces of civilization.  It's a brilliant read.

The House of the Stag by Kage Baker
I love this book more than I love breathing.  Well, sort of.  I really love breathing too...

The House of the Stag combines fairytales, epic fantasy, and awesome in one little package.  When I first read it years ago, I fell in love with it.  The way Baker plays with fairtale narratives to create something fresh and new (along with her unique way of using theater-related stuff in the narrative) is, well, fresh and new.  What more do you want me to say?

One For Sorrow by Christopher Barzak
Barzak is a beautiful writer.  One For Sorrow is probably his greatest work to date (though his recent short story collection is damned good too).  Part YA, part LGBT narrative, part ghost story, One For Sorrow is a stunning work of art.

Spaceman Blues by Brian Francis Slattery
Remember the Orpheus myth?  Well, Spaceman Blues is like that, only chock full of hilarious science fiction references and tropes -- men in black, UFOs, strange underground floating cities, and so much more.  And Slattery's prose is stellar.  If only he could write more books... Oh, right, Lost Everything came out this year, and I interviewed him here.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Yeah.  You knew there were going to be some PKD books on here, right?  There have to be.  Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is still my favorite PKD novel, in part because it has all the right SF elements:  social commentary (doubletime!), a future Earth, Mars, androids, and a lot of weird cultural stuff.  Not that these are unusual things for PKD -- look at the next selection...

Ubik by Philip K. Dick
What do you get when you take Philip K. Dick, the soul, and corporate espionage?  Ubik.  This is probably his strangest "popular" novel, featuring a ragtag bunch who discover that their supposedly dead boss is influencing the world around them...from beyond the grave.  Don't let the idea fool you.  This is science fiction at its strangest and, well, best.

Eon by Greg Bear
I first read this when I picked up a discounted copy at a department store.  Then I read it again.  If the introductory sections of the narrative itself weren't enough, then the ending certainly did me in.  It's sort of one of those mind-boggling moments where everything you think you know...isn't true.  I love moments like that in SF!

--------------------------------------------------------------

And there you go.  Now to throw the question to all of you:

What are your favorite SF/F re-reads?

The #ThoroughlyGoodBooksbyPoc Reading List

Update:  The list is now alphabetical by author!

(Note:  The following books are what was listed on Twitter under the #ThoroughlyGoodBooksbyPOC hashtag at 5:45 PM EST (the 21st of August).  Twitter will not allow me to view anything that might have appeared earlier than the morning of the 21st.

It should also be noted that some folks have expanded the list to include books featuring POC characters, even when such books are written by white authors.)

A little background:

In response to the recent Weird Tales fiasco, author Jim C. Hines decided to switch things around to get people to list their favorite novels by people of color, irrespective of genre.  I've decided to compile as many of those books as I possibly can.  The following list will, I hope, be updated over the course of the week (please understand that I am in grad school, which begins anew tomorrow, and so my time may be limited to do this).

(Note:  Some authors will not have specific titles listed.  This is either because people suggested practically everything written by those authors or specifically stated "anything by."  Please excuse any repetitions you may find.)

Now for the list:


A 
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years by Chingiz Aitmatov
The Hakawati by Rabih Alameddine
Heaven's Fate by Andre Alan
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie
How to Traverse Terra Incognita by Dean Alfar
Salamanca by Dean Francis Alfar
Anything by Isabel Allende
Krymsin Nocturnes by Joseph Armstead
No God But God:  The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam by Res Aslan

B
Daytripper by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
The Tiger Claw by Shauna Singh Baldwin
Dreampark by Steven Barnes
Lion's Blood by Steven Barnes
Cosmos Latinos:  An Anthology of Science Fiction from Latin America and Spain edited by Andrew L. Bell and Yolanda Molina-Gavilan
Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
Full Moon on the Reservation by Gloria Bird
Noughts and Crosses by Mallory Blackman
Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard
Saga de los confines by Liliana Bodoc
2666 by Roberto Bolaño
When the Rainbow Goddess Wept by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
Icon by Dwayne McDuffie and M. D. Bright
King Maker by Maurice Broaddus
The Knights of Breton Court by Maurice Broaddus
Anything by Tobias Buckell
Anything by Octavia Butler

C
32 Candles by Ernessa Carter
Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra
Red Earth and Pouring Red by Vikram Chandra
Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
Anything by Joyce Chng
Radical Equations:  Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project by Bob Moses and Charles Cobb
Shadow Ops:  Control Point by Myke Cole
The Hanging of Angelique by Afua Cooper
White Talk by Chris Crutcher


D
Wolf at the Door by J. Damask
Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis
Anything by Samuel R. Delany
Playing Indian by Philip Deloria
Anything by Junot Diaz
Black Candle:  Poems About Women from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh by Chitra Divakaruni
Acacia by David Anthony Durham
Pride of Carthage by David Anthony Durham
Anything by Tananarive Due

E
Perma Red by Debra Magpie Earling
The Budayeen Series by George Alec Effinger
Cold Magic by Kate Elliot
Cold Fire by Kate Elliot
Cold Steel by Kate Elliot
The Honey Month by Amal El-Mohtar
Blonde Roots by Bernardine Evaristo

F
Zero by Huang Fan
The Wretched of the Earth by Franz Fanon
Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad by Minister Faust
Shrinking the Heroes by Minister Faust

G
The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez
The Kappa Child by Hiromi Goto
Half-world by Hiromi Goto
Tall Story by Candy Gourlay

H
Redwood and Wildfire by Andrea Hairston
Mindscape by Andrea Hairston
The Ben January Series by Barbara Hambly
When Dreams Travel by Githa Hariharan
Girl, Overboard by Justina Chen Headley
Girl Overboard by Justina Chen Headley
Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier
Changing by Lily Hoang
Cortez on Jupiter by Ernest Hogan
Smoking Mirror Blues by Ernest Hogan
Mean Spirit by Linda Hogan
Anything by M. C. A. Hogarth
Anything by Nalo Hopkinson
So Long Been Dreaming:  Postcolonial Science Fiction and Fantasy edited by Nalo Hopkinson and Uppinder Mehan
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
God's War by Kameron Hurley

I
Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

J
Anything by Brenda Jackson
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin
The Killing Moon by N. K. Jemisin
Mona in the Promised Land by Gish Jen
Red Moonshine by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Smoketown by Tenea Johnson
Some Prefer Nettles by Tanizaki Junichiro
The Makioka Sisters by Tanizaki Junichiro

K
Atlas:  The Archaeology of an Imaginary City by Dung Kai-Cheung
Good Luck Yukikaze by Chohei Kambayashi
Yukikaze by Chouhei Kambayashi
Polar City Blues by Katharine Kerr
SNARE by Katharine Kerr
Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi
Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King
Warrior Woman by Maxine Hong Kingston
Transmission by Hari Kunzru

L
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Salt Fish Girl by Larissa Lai
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapcharoensap
Liar by Justine Larbarlastier
The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle
Lucretia and the Kroons by Victor LaValle
The Earthsea Series by Ursula K. LeGuin
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Night, Again by Dinh Linh
Ash by Malinda Lo
Huntress by Malinda Lo
Adaptation by Malinda Lo
Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

M
The Crusades Through Arab Eyes by Amin Maalouf
Anything by Naguib Mahfouz
The Dragon and the Stars edited by Derwin Mak and Eric Choi
Fire Logic by Laurie J. Marks
Anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Snakes and Ladders by Gita Mehta
Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger
Red Spider White Web by Misha
Tales from Firozsha Baag by Rohinton Mistry
Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry
Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry
Crossfire by Miyuki Miyabe
Bodies in Motion by Mary Ann Mohanraj
Anything by Silvia Moren-Garcia
Anything by Toni Morrison
Anything by Walter Mosley
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
After the Quake by Haruki Murakami
The Legend of Tarik by Walter Dean Myers

N
Priscilla the Great by Sybil Nelson
Rocket Girls:  The Last Planet by Housuke Nojiri

O
The Next Continent by Issui Ogawa
The Shadow Speak by Nnedi Okorafor
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Zahra the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor
The Famished Road by Ben Okri
Salsa Nocturna by Daniel Jose Older
The Twelve Kingdoms Series by Fuyumi Ono
Bone Game by Louis Owens
Anything by Helen Oyeyemi

P
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins
The Darker Mask:  Heroes from the Shadows edited by Gary Phillips and Christopher Chambers
Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
The Grass Dancer by Susan Power
Harmony by Project Itoh
Genocidal Organ by Project Itoh

Q
None

R
The Umbrella Country by Bino Realuyo
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
Anything by Eden Robinson

S
The Chronicles of Elantra by Michelle Sagara
Orientalism by Edward Said
All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
Ancient, Ancient by Kiini Ibura Salaam
A Strange in Olandria by Sofia Samatar
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Dossouye by Charles R. Saunders
The Imaro Series by Charles Saunders
Black No More by George Schuyler
House of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan
FilterHouse by Nisi Shawl
The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet by Vandana Singh
Flygirl by Sherri S. Smith
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
The Vampire's Beautiful Daughter by S. P. Somtow

T
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
Lauriat edited by Charles A. Tan
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum
Dark Matter:  Reading the Bones edtied by Sheree R. Thomas
Wizard of the Crow by Ngugi wa Thiong'o
The Wizard of the Crow by Ngugi wa Thiongo
Apex Book of World SF edited by Lavie Tidhar
Apex Book of World SF 2 edited by Lavie Tidhar
Pluto Files by Neil Degrasse Tyson

U
None

V
Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias
Lower Myths by Eliza Victoria
The Viewless Dark by Eliza Victoria

W
In the United States of Africa by Abdourahman Waberi
The Lion Hunter by Elizabeth Wein
The Broken Crown Series by Michelle West
Zone One by Colson Whitehead
The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
Otherland by Tad Williams
Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

X
Soul Mountain by Gao Xingjian

Y
Stories of Ibis by Hiroshi Yamamoto
Sleeping Helena by Erzebet YellowBoy
Dragon of the Lost Sea by Laurence Yep
The Deer and the Cauldron by Jin Yong
NP by Banana Yoshimoto
Ooku by Fumi Yoshinaga
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu

Z
None

Additional Anthologies or Magazines:
Expanded Horizons (magazine)
Philippine Speculative Fiction Anthologies edited by Various
Alternative Alamat by Various

Plus the short story work of:
Aliette de Bodard
Zen Cho
Tananarive Due
Xia Jia
Rahul Kanakia
Yoon Ha Lee
Ken Liu
Rochita Loenen-Ruiz
Shweta Narayan
An Owomoyela
Sofia Samatar
Benjanun Sriduangkaew
Nghi Vo