Thursday, November 10, 2011

Salon: If Tolkien were Black

This week at Salon, the work of prose writers of color in speculative literature has gotten some attention. It's worth checking out, but I would also give a shout out to the Carl Brandon Society and a nod to recent World Fantasy Award winner, Dr. Nnedi Okorafor who are all doing significant work to contribute meaningfully to this discussion.

I appreciated the section where "Jemisin finds deeper problems in “certain expectations of the genre that are rooted in Western cultural assumptions that are not necessarily true. For example: the whole good-versus-evil focus, the binary. You see that in so much of epic fantasy. The Dark Lord is really bad, we know this. Because he’s dark. Well, did you do something to him? Doesn’t matter, he’s dark. That’s why he’s bad and that’s why you’ve got to go kill him. That kind of thinking I inherently do not trust.”

Hopefully, through the course of NaNoWriMo this month, we'll see the creation of work that will really keep the momentum going on tackling the monotony that's always lurked at the worst edges of the field.

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