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djrashn
08-05-2012, 09:28 PM
Hi, I'm new here, but I've done some looking and have been unable to find a thread about books with POC as the protag. I could have missed it, but...
I experience this same problem whenever I walk into Barnes and Noble. It could be because I live in Montana, but ;) maybe not.
Is there a list here of books with POC as the protag?
If not, I'm confident that this group knows some great stories that I've never heard of.
Could we devote a few moments, share our resources, make a list and make it a sticky?

While I am really only looking for the kind of books I like to read, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, The Name of the Wind, Dresden Files(Mostly YA/MG Fantasy), this could be an inclusive list with authors like Walter Dean Myers, Octavia Butler, and Stafford Battle.(Just to name a few)

I know these types of books exist, I just have a hard time finding them and while I no longer wish to read thug books, overcoming racism books, POC token books, minority sidekick only books, black buffoon books, Asian martial artists stories, scifi Africa, blacks with drug problems, angry black man, drug dealer, books where the characters use the words 'brotha, sistah, homeboy', slave stories, mammy, maid, or house keeper stories, etc...................... if you like these stories I don't mean to offend. Read what you will.

Such a list would be helpful to me, and maybe others as well.:)

Thanks in advance.

I'll even start it with:

1. The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer.
2. The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan.

djrashn
08-05-2012, 11:10 PM
Okay, here's another book I really enjoyed.

3. A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

Rhoda Nightingale
08-06-2012, 12:32 AM
Just a couple more:

Moxyland by Lauren Beukes. Cyberpunk set in South Africa. Cell phones and police dogs can kill you. Sometimes in that order. Fun times.

Misfit by Jon Skovron. YA horror, protag is part-demon, Middle Eastern, struggling to tap into her powers and find out more about her family history. Really good read--definitely exceeded by expectations.

This is a slightly less current example, but Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. The modern-day adventures of the descendents of a Maori trickster god. Possibly my favorite thing Gaiman's written.

Kitty27
08-06-2012, 12:42 AM
Thank y'all for this!

The Vampire Huntress series by LA Banks.

Almost anything by Tananarive Due.

The Gilda Stories By Jewel Gomez

missesdash
08-06-2012, 12:54 AM
Could you guys specific the ethnicity of the POC protag?

Unimportant
08-06-2012, 01:19 AM
N K Jemisin's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, a fantasy whose MC is a dark-skinned/dark-haired (presumably equivalent to black/African?) woman.

Karen Lord's Redemption in Indigo, a folk-tale type of novel set (somewhere in, sorry can't remember) Africa.

Jackie Kay's Trumpet, a story about the post-death experiences of a black transgender jazz musician's family.

djrashn
08-06-2012, 01:20 AM
Sure...

The House of the Scorpion..... Matt....Hispanic from a strip of land between Mexico and the US called Aztlan

The Kane Chronicles..............Carter and Sadie Kane...Biracial....Black and white....If I remember right, Carter grew up in the US, while Sadie was raised in the UK by her grandparents. They have Egyptian heritage.

A Single Shard.....................Tree-ear....Korean

Kitty Pryde
08-06-2012, 06:27 AM
The Carl Brandon Society site has lots of good book recs as well! I could name a ton of them but at the moment my brain feels like it has been replaced by taffy. Soon though. In the meantime I bestow upon you a better thread title.

Rachel Udin
08-06-2012, 07:25 PM
N K Jemisin's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, a fantasy whose MC is a dark-skinned/dark-haired (presumably equivalent to black/African?) woman.

First protagonist is roughly half Mayan, I think. (I thought I caught kinky hair mentioned, but that might have been just me).

Protag of second book is roughly supposed to be African (Also blind for interest in other kinds of diversity--BTW, look at her blog for notes about that and how she said she messed up.)

Protagonist of third book was kind of a mess up... but I'm not quite sure how to tell her and I haven't read it yet. Third protag is supposed to be male, and CHINESE. But she modeled him after Bi (http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Bi) who is clearly NOT Chinese, but Korean... (Which is a screw up...)

Despite that, the stories are really good. (Haven't read the third one.)

Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed. South Western Asia? The country isn't very specified. There are Arabic terms used, though. Roughly Islamic South Western Asia. (I refuse to use the term Middle East. Middle East of WHERE?)
I started it, but I'm struggling through it since I'm not too keen on long descriptions of war and battles. I'm more into things like how the markets work, how to make a rug, what does it take to make a meal, social relationships to survive in a society... but I've always been like that. Also I kinda lost track of the story because there were a few flashbacks... I'm powering through it for now.

The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
Persia, set from a woman's POV. It's about Persian rug making at the height of it. The story should feel familiar since the structure of it follows Aristotle. (I recognized it was so about halfway through)

Indu Sundaresan--all of the books she writes The Twentieth Wife (And sequels, as well as other books)

Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (India or Indian-American)

Virginia Hamilton--The People Could Fly (One of my favorite books) Features several stories with African Americans or Africans. Great for kids. It started my hard core love of Anansi, the spider-trickster.

Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.
Starts out with a woman burying her husband. It's ultimately about women in Louisiana dealing with men and race, but more on love than it is on race.

Well, personally, all of Zora Neale Hurston.... but that's another story. She also has folktale collections from Creole roots.

And because it'll be mentioned... Beloved by Toni Morrison. Which is about the best treatment to date I've seen on the psychology of slavery and slavery. It's kind of an answer to "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillian Women's fiction.

How Stella got her Groove Back (Which has controversy around it, but I like the book, particularly since it features an older female protagonist and some stylistic choices that I like as well.)

http://chickenspaghetti.typepad.com/chicken_spaghetti/2007/11/i-asked-for-sug.html

Magic's Silken Snare by Elizabeth Gillian (a Romani descendant)--since they originally came from Indo-European India, I believe it counts, especially since the book is set historically. Also has a woman protagonist.

Silver Phoenix and Fury of the Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon. For the first one, if possible, support the FIRST cover, not the second edition. =P Kinda an F-you to the publisher for whitewashing....

Korea... Linda Sue Park (all books) and Marie G. Lee both write with Korean protagonists. Younha Lee is Korean, but doesn't write with Korean protags so far. Both YA, though... TT I'm the only Korean trying to write adult books based in Korea while living in the US... my fellow Koreans need to help out too. (And get off of the Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong--unless there is a drama done from her POV, then no.)

Japan? Kokoro (meaning roughly heart/mind) by Natsume Soseki. I like it for the almost every day nature of the stories. It looks at relationships and connections.

Unfortunately, contemporary, non-sci-fi/fantasy isn't being translated as much, so you'll have to hunt down for translations.

Nnedi Okorafor of Nigerian descent. A range of African protagonists.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

Amy Tan--Chinese protagonists.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden Meh. Kinda feels like a white man's fantasy... I rather read the biographies of actual Geisha.

Huntress (On my to-read list) by Malinda Lo has a Native American and Japanese protagonist with a thankfully PoC cover. Also Lesbian protags without going into the usual stereotypes.

I can't remember the one set in China with paper folding... Didn't like that one so probably better not to list it.

Ahh~ I have holes in Polynesia, Native American, First Nation and South America. Aboriginal Australia I only know light folktales about that. (I'm not a huge fan of Magic Realism... but that's what's being imported. Blech.)

Probably missing a few that I've read over time... they are in my Parent's house on my childhood room's bookshelf.

If you want nonfiction included, I have a host of other books too. Just ask.

aruna
08-06-2012, 08:16 PM
I love and admire the writing of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. (http://www.halfofayellowsun.com/content.php?page=book&n=2&f=2) Her books are:

Black Narcissus -- a harrowing story of child abuse in rural Nigeria, but not only.

Half of a Yellow Sun -- set against the background of the Biafra crisis -- younger people won't remember this, but I do, and it was great to read a book about a disaster I was too young to understand at the time.

The Noose Around Her Neck -- a book of beautiful short stories -- and I don't usually reas short stories.

All with black African protagonists.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan -- Lisa See. Chinese MCs

May I add my own books (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27124)? They are mostly out of print but still available second hand.

Of Marriageable Age - set in Guyana, England and India. Main protags are Indian, but also black MCs.

Peacocks Dancing -- set in Guyana and India. African-Indian-Amerindian mixed race MC.

The Speech of Angels -- set in India, Indian MC

FoamyRules
08-07-2012, 02:59 AM
The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns both protags are Afghan and take place in Afghanistan. IQ84 by Murakami. The first two books got the same author, I'll be back to post his name later.

djrashn
08-07-2012, 10:04 PM
There is a book titled SOLD, written by Patricia McCormick. It's about a little girl from Nepal who's sold into sex slavery. It was so sad that no one in my family would finish it, so I sent it to my oldest sister. If you like that kind of story, the first chapter was pretty good.

aruna
08-08-2012, 12:32 AM
Oh gosh. I ache for that but probably couldn't finish it either. I wrote a novel about it, but fairly mild; Peacocks Dancing. I researched girls sold into sex slavery in Indian in Bombay for that book. My interview with the doctor helping those girls is here. (http://www.sharonmaas.co.uk/html/interview_with_dr_gilada.html)

djrashn
08-08-2012, 03:26 AM
Awesome interview, but sad. Sometimes I wonder why women don't run away and start their own country.

Yorkist
08-08-2012, 12:53 PM
^ No joke.

Alma Alexander's The Secrets of Jin-Shei is fantasy with almost exclusively Asian (female) protags, and Lisa See's Peony in Love is fantasy based on Chinese culture and folklore. Naguib Mahfouz's Arabian Nights and Days is a fantasy retelling of Arabic myths.


I love and admire the writing of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. (http://www.halfofayellowsun.com/content.php?page=book&n=2&f=2)

+1

Silver-Midnight
08-08-2012, 07:59 PM
Does anyone have any suggestions for Urban Fantasy and/or some Suspense/Thriller with a black character as the protagonist? I've heard Octavia Butler and L.A. Banks mentioned before. Are there any others I've missed?

Rachel Udin
08-08-2012, 08:21 PM
Does anyone have any suggestions for Urban Fantasy and/or some Suspense/Thriller with a black character as the protagonist? I've heard Octavia Butler and L.A. Banks mentioned before. Are there any others I've missed?
Blade is the only UF I can think of with a black protagonist, but that's comic books. There are other comic books, but for a story novel-sized long, can't think of any.

If you want PoCs in a subgenre of speculative fiction where they haven't really shown up, there is Steampunk...

thebloodfiend
08-08-2012, 08:34 PM
Does anyone have any suggestions for Urban Fantasy and/or some Suspense/Thriller with a black character as the protagonist? I've heard Octavia Butler and L.A. Banks mentioned before. Are there any others I've missed?

I don't really like Orson Scott Card for a variety of reasons, but he wrote Magic Street which features a black MC in LA in an Urban Fantasy-esque environment.

Everyone else pretty much listed my other picks.

djrashn
08-08-2012, 08:40 PM
He doesn't write fantasy, but Walter Dean Myers is prolific in fiction:

Where Does the Night Go?, illustrated by Leo Carty. (Parents Magazine Press, 1969)
The Dancers, illustrated by Anne Rockwell (Parents Magazine Press, 1972)
The Dragon Takes a Wife, illustrated by Ann Grifalconi (Bobbs-Merrill, 1972)
Fly, Jimmy, Fly!, illustrated by Moneta Barnett (Putnam, 1974)
Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Stuff (Viking, 1975)
The World of Work : a Guide to Choosing a Career (Bobbs-Merrill, 1975)
Social Welfare (Franklin Watts, 1976)
Victory for Jamie (Scholastic, 1977)
Mojo and the Russians (Viking, 1977)
Brainstorm, illustrated with photographs by Chuck Freedman (Franklin Watts, 1977)
It Ain't All for Nothin' (V, 1978)
The Young Landlords (Viking, 1979) - A group of kids take over an apartment building and struggle to maintain it
The Golden Serpent, illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen (Viking, 1980)
The Black Pearl and the Ghost; or, One Mystery after Another, illustrated by Robert Quackenbush (Viking, 1980)
The Legend of Tarik (Viking, 1981)
Hoops (Delacorte, 1981) - A promising basketball player tries not to end up like his former pro-playing coach
Won't Know Till I Get There (Viking, 1982) - A 14-year-old boy, his newly adopted brother, and his friends are forced to work in a retirement home
Tales of a Dead King (William Morrow and Company, 1983)
The Nicholas Factor (Viking, 1983)
Motown and Didi: A Love Story (Viking, 1984) - A young couple's romance, and their struggle living in Harlem
Mr. Monkey and the Gotcha Bird, illustrated by Leslie Morrill (Delacorte, 1984)
The Outside Shot (Delacorte, 1984) - A talented Harlem basketball player goes to college to play
Crystal (1987) - The life of a girl who becomes a model.
Fallen Angels (1988) - Young men in the army during the Vietnam war
Scorpions (1990) - a 12-year-old is asked to lead his brother's gang
The Mouse Rap (1990) - A 14-year-old is determined to find the loot from a 1930s bank heist.
Now Is Your Time! The African-American Struggle for Freedom (1992)
The Righteous Revenge of Artemis Bonner (1994) - a 12-year-old boy goes after a man that murdered his uncle.
Darnell Rock Reporting (1994) - A 13 year old boy joins the school newspaper.
The Glory Field (1994) - A family's account of their struggle in America from the 18th century to the 1990s.
Shadow of the Red Moon (1995)
Slam (1998) - A young black teen with an attitude problem deals with life on and off the basketball court.
Monster (1999) A 16-year-old black boy is charged with murder.
We Were Heroes: The Journal of Scott Pendleton Collins - A World War II Soldier, Normandy, France, 1944 (1999)
145th Street: Short Stories (2001)
Greatest: Muhammad Ali (2001)
Bad Boy; A Memoir (2002) (a part of the Amistad Series) - Myers' life as a young boy growing up in 1940s Harlem
Handbook for Boys: A Novel (2003)
Somewhere in the Darkness (2003) - A young boy travels to Arkansas with a father he didn't grow up with
Thanks & Giving: All year long (2004)
Shooter (2004) - two friends of a school shooter give an account of him to the police
The Beast (2003) - A 17-year-old boy comes back to his home in Harlem from his boarding school to find that the girl he loves is using drugs.
Autobiography of My Dead Brother (2098) - A 14-year-old boy copes with life in Harlem by drawing
Street Love (2006) - A poetic novel of a romance in Harlem
What They Found: Love on 145th Street (2007)
Harlem Summer (2007)
Game (2008)
Sunrise Over Fallujah (2008) - A sequel to Fallen Angels, taking place in the Iraq War.
Dopesick (2009) - A teenager kills a policeman, and must contemplate his future
Riot (2009) A fictional account of the New York Draft Riots in 1863, during the Civil War, by the 15-year-old daughter of a black man and an Irish immigrant.
Amiri & Odette (2009) Myers takes classic Swan Lake ballet and recasts it into hip-hop verse.
Lockdown (2010)

This list is from Wikipedia, so I don't know if it's 100% accurate, but if not I guess it's close. I've been reading WDM since middle school and haven't found one I don't like yet, although sometimes I get tired of reading about crime, drugs, poverty, racism, and death.
Fast Sam Cool Clyde and Stuff, Game, and Handbook for Boys are my favorites. Handbook for Boys has been and is required reading for all of my kids, even the girls.

Kitty Pryde
08-08-2012, 09:05 PM
Does anyone have any suggestions for Urban Fantasy and/or some Suspense/Thriller with a black character as the protagonist? I've heard Octavia Butler and L.A. Banks mentioned before. Are there any others I've missed?

Ben Aaronovich writes a really great series. Midnight Riot/Rivers of London is amazing, and the sequel is Moon Over Soho. You notice that the cover character is shown in silhouette so nobody could ever know he's black. The protagonist is an English dude of African descent I Believe.

The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson is a great atypical YA UF about a biracial Canadian girl who identifies as black. She is the kid of a white Jamaican dad and a black Canadian mom.

Oh, and Anansi Boys! Yeah!

The trouble with UF as a whole is that it sucks at portraying PoC, queer people, ppl with disabilities, etc, because it is so big on "monster as superficial metaphor for various sorts of otherness". Which tends to have the unfortunate side effect of erasing actual minorities in most cases. (not all UF, but an enormous majority of it)

aruna
08-08-2012, 09:34 PM
Don't forget the Ladies' Detektive Club series -- which I haven't read, so this is not necessarily a rec. But black female MC.

Silver-Midnight
08-08-2012, 10:55 PM
If you want PoCs in a subgenre of speculative fiction where they haven't really shown up, there is Steampunk...

I haven't really read that much of Steampunk. I know a lot of people who like it though. I heard it was good. Any authors/books I should start with?


I don't really like Orson Scott Card for a variety of reasons, but he wrote Magic Street which features a black MC in LA in an Urban Fantasy-esque environment.

Everyone else pretty much listed my other picks. Interesting. I can look at him.


Ben Aaronovich writes a really great series. Midnight Riot/Rivers of London is amazing, and the sequel is Moon Over Soho. You notice that the cover character is shown in silhouette so nobody could ever know he's black. The protagonist is an English dude of African descent I Believe.

The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson is a great atypical YA UF about a biracial Canadian girl who identifies as black. She is the kid of a white Jamaican dad and a black Canadian mom.

Oh, and Anansi Boys! Yeah!

The trouble with UF as a whole is that it sucks at portraying PoC, queer people, ppl with disabilities, etc, because it is so big on "monster as superficial metaphor for various sorts of otherness". Which tends to have the unfortunate side effect of erasing actual minorities in most cases. (not all UF, but an enormous majority of it)

Oh. Cool. Thanks. I might look into the YA recc., but I don't know. I'm not that big of a fan of YA honestly, and I mean that in the least non-offensive way.

I don't know if it sucks at portraying PoC. Mostly because I don't see that much of them. Right now, the only two prominent UF MCs I can name that are PoCs are Jane Yellowrock and Mercy Thompson. Granted, I'm not extremely well versed in the UF genre yet. However, I seriously don't see that many PoCs as main characters, which honestly kind of makes me just a bit sad. :(


Don't forget the Ladies' Detektive Club series -- which I haven't read, so this is not necessarily a rec. But black female MC.

I read a small little section that. It didn't grab as I thought it would but I guess I could always give it a second chance.

missesdash
08-10-2012, 06:45 PM
I really liked The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by MT Anderson (YA). It's historical fiction and there are two books. A quick summary of the first (thanks wikipedia)


The greater part of the story is told by a boy named Octavian, who grew up with his mother Cassiopeia, an African princess, in a house full of philosophers and scientists in colonial Boston. Under the watchful eyes of Mr. Gitney, also known as 03-01, Octavian has received a classical education as well as a musical education which has made him into an extremely skilled violinist. Octavian eventually comes to understand the price of his powdered wigs and education: he is not only the "property" of Mr. Gitney, but he is also being used as an experiment to test whether the African race is inferior to the European race.

Also in YA Dia Reeves writes black female protagonists and her work is all dark speculative fiction, horror fantasy, even: Bleeding Violet (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6364657-bleeding-violet) and Slice of Cherry (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7812107-slice-of-cherry)

djrashn
08-16-2012, 10:47 PM
Mike Resnick....... Kirinyaga and Bwana.

Bwana is a short story by Resnick and appears in Hunting the Snark and Other Short Novels. It's a short story from the Kirinyaga world, which I truly enjoyed. It's a mix of ancient Africa and sci-fi.

Rachel Udin
08-19-2012, 03:10 AM
Tales of a Korean Grandmother by Frances Carpenter (collector)
I loved these as a kid, though it is a bit depressing to have to have someone who is white to get it to be published... :P Does that mean my overly white Jewish name can sell books.

Anyway, it covers most of the major Korean folktales. Currently using what I remember of it to build the magic system...

akaria
08-19-2012, 04:14 AM
SM, the fact that you can't really name POC in UF is proof that the genre is doing a crap job. To have multiple series that are set in major cities like NYC, Toronto, Atlanta, etc that have no POC in them at all proves that writers are doing a crappy job. But that's a rant for another day!

I just discovered Seressia Glass. She writes the Shadow Chasers series. UF with a black female protag. Marjorie Liu writes the Hunter Kiss series with a half Asian female protag.

Silver-Midnight
08-19-2012, 04:20 AM
If you want PoCs in a subgenre of speculative fiction where they haven't really shown up, there is Steampunk...

Are POCs more popular in YA Steampunk and Dystopia than anything else? I personally don't read that much YA or Steampunk or Dystopia for that matter. I'm not entirely opposed to it either. But I just haven't done it. I do like Speculative Fiction though.

Silver-Midnight
08-19-2012, 04:30 AM
SM, the fact that you can't really name POC in UF is proof that the genre is doing a crap job. To have multiple series that are set in major cities like NYC, Toronto, Atlanta, etc that have no POC in them at all proves that writers are doing a crappy job. But that's a rant for another day! Yeah, it does suck honestly. I mean there are POCs. Like I said there's Mercy Thompson and Jane Yellowrock. Both of them are Native American, if I remember correctly. I don't have a problem reading a MC who is a different race than mine but I would still like to read some who are. Or at least, some who don't fall into the normal two categories of white or Native American that I, personally, see.

I do see some black female MCs in some Science Fiction, as mentioned, as well as Paranormal Romance. However, so far, not that much UF.


I just discovered Seressia Glass. She writes the Shadow Chasers series. UF with a black female protag. Marjorie Liu writes the Hunter Kiss series with a half Asian female protag.

Cool. I'll look them up too. :)

Rachel Udin
08-19-2012, 06:48 AM
Originally Posted by Rachel Udin http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7501782#post7501782)
If you want PoCs in a subgenre of speculative fiction where they haven't really shown up, there is Steampunk...

Are POCs more popular in YA Steampunk and Dystopia than anything else? I personally don't read that much YA or Steampunk or Dystopia for that matter. I'm not entirely opposed to it either. But I just haven't done it. I do like Speculative Fiction though.
Just correcting by doing some highlighting and coloring from my original quote.

Meaning there SHOULD be PoCs in Steampunk, but I can't seem to find them. The justification for this is a bit wacky, but I think it *could* be done well.

thebloodfiend
08-19-2012, 06:57 AM
Adrienne Kress and Jay Kristoff have YA steampunk novels featuring Asian MC's coming out later this out. The first is either Chinese or Japanese, I can't remember. The second is Japanese. I'm reviewing both later on this year. Don't know if I already said that. I'm too lazy to check.

Toothpaste
08-19-2012, 08:02 AM
Adrienne Kress and Jay Kristoff have YA steampunk novels featuring Asian MC's coming out later this out. The first is either Chinese or Japanese, I can't remember.

(she's Japanese :) )

aruna
08-19-2012, 08:29 AM
I loved these as a kid, though it is a bit depressing to have to have someone who is white to get it to be published... :P Does that mean my overly white Jewish name can sell books.



I know. I feel that way too. Yesterday I read this article (http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/49-FE2-MulticulturalFiction.html) on multicultural fiction, and I felt a little glum that when you DO find an article on the subject, it's targeted at white authors writing outside their culture -- all the featured authors are white. I'm assuming they all did good jobs, and I know that Lisa See's Snow Flow and the Secret Fan is good. Still -- where are the POC authors telling these stories? Is it that we aren't writing them, or that we don't write well enough? If multicultural fiction is a growing trend (I've read that in a few places lately, including on Agent Kristin Nelson's blog) why is it assumed that these books will be written by white authors doing their research well, instead of writers from those cultures? Why are white authors addressed and encouraged to write these books, instead of authors from those cultures encouraged and invited to come out of hiding?


Perhaps you have been inspired by your own travels, a family history, or simply a special connection you feel with another culture. Whatever the reason, more writers than ever are tackling the challenge of telling a story based on a culture that’s not their own. Here’s how to take readers on that enlightening journey—and perhaps become enlightened yourself along the way.
(OK -- she doesn't specifically address white authors. But we all know that that's the default, when she speaks of "a culture that is not your own"!)

ETA: just read another article (http://www.courses.unt.edu/efiga/HistoryAndEthnography/TrendsProjects/Cynthia_Allen/callenpaper.htm)which has a rather more encouraging take:

Multicultural literature is here to stay. We are passed the times in America when most people live in a little house with their whole family and life just goes along happy. The publishing industry, educators, and members of these oft ignored cultural and ethnic groups are demanding that literature change with the times, or catch up with the times. These people have voices that are crying to be heard and the number of people who are wanting to hear these voices is growing everyday.

ETA: Don't get me wrong -- I want to see more POC/multicultural fiction out there no matter who is writing it, and may the best books get published. No ifs, ands and buts about it!

Silver-Midnight
08-19-2012, 09:14 AM
Just correcting by doing some highlighting and coloring from my original quote.

Meaning there SHOULD be PoCs in Steampunk, but I can't seem to find them. The justification for this is a bit wacky, but I think it *could* be done well.

Oops. Sorry for messing that up. :tongue

LJD
08-19-2012, 07:15 PM
Steampunk romance: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook. The MC is half-Asian...

LJD
08-19-2012, 07:24 PM
I know. I feel that way too. Yesterday I read this article (http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/49-FE2-MulticulturalFiction.html) on multicultural fiction, and I felt a little glum that when you DO find an article on the subject, it's targeted at white authors writing outside their culture -- all the featured authors are white. I'm assuming they all did good jobs, and I know that Lisa See's Snow Flow and the Secret Fan is good.

Lisa See is 1/4 or 1/8 Asian...
Her first book was On Gold Mountain: The One Hundred Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family.

Rachel Udin
08-20-2012, 07:31 AM
Lisa See is Chinese through her Father, I believe. Though I think it's a quarter since her great grandfather is fully Chinese.

http://www.lisasee.com/Bio.htm

Despite that, publishers might just being mean and saying it doesn't count because she's passing. Which just would make me sad, I rather affirm her heritage and knowledge of Chinese heritage rather an be paranoid about publishers.

=P Publishers are going to be in for a shock when they find my PoC skin with a legit whitey name. Maybe I should have use my Korean name too. :P Both are valid anyway. Or the Korean one soon will be as soon as I can make a trip to Korea.

Anyway, not to derail the purpose of the thread, but I did find Octavia Butler in my indie bookstore! And PoCs on the shelves no less. On covers. (All of Octavia Butler's covers) No joking. (I was exceedingly happy.) There were two rarer Ursula LeGuin books which all had PoC characters and so on inside. (short story collections) NK Jemisin made it--though not the book I wanted--Kingdom of the Gods. And there were several books I hadn't seen before. (One with a feminist edge) China Mieville. Couldn't see Ragamuffin, though. I kinda wanted to see that one. (Was that listed already? Jamaican characters, SF)

Of course George RR Martin (Obviously not about PoCs), but the selection was much better.

Anyway, might not have been added, but Ragamuffin has PoC lead characters. by Tobias Buckell. NOT PoC author, but frequently writes PoC characters because he grew up in Jamaica. And from what I've heard does a good job of it.

aruna
08-20-2012, 08:46 AM
Lisa See is Chinese through her Father, I believe. Though I think it's a quarter since her great grandfather is fully Chinese.
.

Yes, she passes very well. Not knowing that, I thought she was white.

As for POC covers -- with this latest book of mine, if it ever gets published, they won't have a problem -- the MC is white. But never fear -- it's absolutely and totally a POC novel. But it will be interesting to see if they like it better this way.

Kitty Pryde
08-20-2012, 10:49 AM
Anyway, might not have been added, but Ragamuffin has PoC lead characters. by Tobias Buckell. NOT PoC author, but frequently writes PoC characters because he grew up in Jamaica. And from what I've heard does a good job of it.

Tobias Buckell is a PoC actually, his father is a black Caribbean guy and his mother is a white English lady. There is a post about it on his blog. http://www.tobiasbuckell.com/2007/08/01/what-does-it-mean-to-be-this-caribbean-writer/ He can indeed pass, but he considers himself biracial Caribbean PoC I believe.

Ragamuffin does indeed have a spectacular cover. I bought it based purely on the fact that it features nothing but a super butchy brown lady shooting an enormous rifle whilst falling through a zero-gee tunnel (or something). It's a very decent book, and his others are as well. Afro-futurism SF is a vastly under appreciated subgenre.

Rachel Udin
08-20-2012, 01:36 PM
@Kitty Thanks for the correction.


Steampunk romance: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook. The MC is half-Asian...
Any straight up African American or any other kind of racial grouping/type of Asian in steampunk? I ask because I know Japan adopted steampunk before the US did by quite a few years (on this wave)

The justification for the non-steampunk was that people were afraid to deal with the inherent racism in the Victorian era, but I think that it could be pulled off, you'd just have to do it Other World Style and do a little research...

Say, Meiji Era for Japan. Late Joseon for Korea. Qing for China. Britain surely had African citizens by then. Also, steam was in the Americas. And from what I know about India in that era (or what I was told by my Hinduism professor) the introduction of trains was a big deal in India. There is a Poirot mystery set one one, after all. :P Not that hard to imagine, ya know, someone Indian on it dealing with British rule, or even retcon history into an alternative history so that India held its own into the late Mughal Empire. South America has a pretty good train system too. If my memory isn't rusty, Argentina, particularly comes to mind. (Keep in mind the book report I did for it was in fifth grade... so I might be remembering wrong. I mostly remember the Pink House.)

The only place that sucks to set steampunk is probably Los Angeles. There are train tracks that go nowhere all over the place. I don't see why it needs to be tied to Victorian England to function since steampunk is not a setting genre. It's a theme genre (or at least in the US, Japan tends to use it as a setting/time genre). And San Fran is pretty diverse, too... with plenty of history with trains, trolleys, etc.

Alessandra Kelley
08-20-2012, 02:10 PM
Awesome thread!

I'd like to second Rhoda Nightingale's rec of Anansi Boys.. Not only blak protags, but an African god is involved. Oh, and I saw Tanarive Due mentioned, and hopefully everyone has heard of Octavia Butler.

If it's not too pesty, can I ask posters on this thread to consider going to vote on AW's "100 science fiction and fantasy must-reads of all time" thread? (Link in my signature). There is still time to vote. (There's a list of nominees so far on page 5 of the thread.)

Part of what inspired the poll was people complaining that NPR's top 100 list last year was dominated by white men.

aruna
08-20-2012, 06:08 PM
Hey! My WIP has a steam train AND a steam ferry in it! Does it count as steam punl? (Set in 1908 Britsh Guiana).

Rachel Udin
08-20-2012, 06:30 PM
Eh~ I missed Samuel Delaney. I must have forgotten him. I haven't read him, yet but he's on my to-read list. PoC author. Pretty sure he has PoC protags too.

Hey! My WIP has a steam train AND a steam ferry in it! Does it count as steam punl? (Set in 1908 Britsh Guiana).

Steampunk has to have elements of usually science fiction in it for it to count. Usually, it focuses on steam-powered. A good example of this in Japan, is the anime/manga series Full Metal Alchemist, which BTW, started before the current boom. (The steampunk fad started in Japan before it started in the West (as in this cycle). It's currently died down/ended.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk

Tends to be more setting, but you still need it firmly in science fiction/fantasy.

Kitty Pryde
08-20-2012, 09:02 PM
Hey! My WIP has a steam train AND a steam ferry in it! Does it count as steam punl? (Set in 1908 Britsh Guiana).

Slap some goofy goggles and a petticoat on the protagonist and you're all set :D

aruna
08-20-2012, 09:17 PM
What a good idea! :)

Evaine
08-20-2012, 10:25 PM
The Steamer's Trunk is a good blog focussing on multicultural steampunk.

LJD
08-21-2012, 06:33 PM
Any straight up African American or any other kind of racial grouping/type of Asian in steampunk? I ask because I know Japan adopted steampunk before the US did by quite a few years (on this wave)

The justification for the non-steampunk was that people were afraid to deal with the inherent racism in the Victorian era, but I think that it could be pulled off, you'd just have to do it Other World Style and do a little research...

Well, there is this upcoming steampunk novel set in Japan (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10852343-stormdancer) by an AWer (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=203054&highlight=kristoff%2C+feudal%2C+japan).

I'm only read two steampunk novels ever. (I read very little speculative fiction.)

thebloodfiend
08-21-2012, 06:39 PM
Well, there is this upcoming steampunk novel set in Japan (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10852343-stormdancer) by an AWer (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=203054&highlight=kristoff%2C+feudal%2C+japan).

I'm only read two steampunk novels ever. (I read very little speculative fiction.)

*cough*


Adrienne Kress and Jay Kristoff have YA steampunk novels featuring Asian MC's coming out later this year. The first is either Chinese or Japanese, I can't remember. The second is Japanese. I'm reviewing both later on this year. Don't know if I already said that. I'm too lazy to check.

Rachel Udin
08-21-2012, 07:06 PM
Any straight up African American or any other kind of racial grouping/type of Asian in steampunk? I ask because I know Japan adopted steampunk before the US did by quite a few years (on this wave)

--;; Correcting again...

I wonder if my sentences are too muddled. I feel as if I failed as a writer. Either the heat is melting my ability to string together words, or I'm failing to mention context. (In which case I need to watch more Taiwanese and American TV shows instead.)

In the context of the conversation, if you followed *other* is *not* Japanese. Because using Japan would be kinda cheating it since they started the recent wave before it hit to US. China, Korea, India, etc also had steam.

(Korea is finally getting into fantasy too--not science fiction yet, though. They do like suspense and mystery now. If you're keeping an eye on international markets. China and India, not so much...)

I hope that's more clear.

thebloodfiend
08-21-2012, 07:21 PM
Don't know if you've watched Wild, Wild West, but it's a steampunk western. Will Smith stars.

Rachel Udin
08-31-2012, 05:58 PM
Just remembered a couple.

Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki (Japanese) there are debates about it being the first novel ever. However, it does use a lot of things one would call "psychology" in modern times. It's *not* the kind of novel one reads straight--you really need the literature and historicism to understand it.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong (Chinese)
Considered a classic in Eastern Asia. Also probably why Cao Cao got such a bad reputation, which shows the power of a book.

The Tale of Murasaki by Lisa Dalby Japanese kisses the line between fiction and non-fiction, but mostly Historical Fiction. Lisa Dalby is white, but also an anthropologist. She's also known for the non-fiction books Kimono and Geisha.

Rachel Udin
09-29-2012, 10:26 PM
I just bought Unyong-jon by unknown author Korean and I'll post a short review of it when I'm done. An old fiction tale about Joseon palace life. It's supposed to have lots of notes about palace life so it's part non-fiction too. I'm kinda pleased to see something translated, though like most translated things, it doesn't end well. At least I'm assured that the title character doesn't get rescued by some white dude. I'm buying it for research, but I'm still hurting for translated novels that don't have that Minority Pathology Porn.