The Diversity Pledge: Crunching My Numbers for 2013

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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:

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+

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.


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

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

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