N.K. Jemisin Has a Scheme for Diversity in Science Fiction

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Laura Hanifin

N.K. Jemisin has something to say to the literary powers-that-be who continue to ask her to contribute to their periodicals: Try calling another science fiction novelist of shade for a change.

The three-time Hugo Award nominee and columnist of seven fictions is no stranger to success, thanks in part to her supportive love on Patreon. And with one fiction, The Fifth Season , up for the Best Novel prize at the Hugo Awards in 10 days, and another tale, The Obelisk Gate , came to see you Aug. 16, she’s got her sides full. But precisely because she’s busy, that doesn’t mean–as she pointed out on Twitter today–that there should be a dearth of other science fiction writers of dye.

Throughout the Sad and Rabid Puppies saga, in which some readers protested progressive topics in sci-fi, Jemisin has been an outspoken spokesperson preaching for diversification in science fiction.( Read her contemplates on” reactionary assholes” in the interview she did with the WIRED Book Club for more on that .) But too often, she has also observed herself unwillingly cast in another capacity: the token non-white writer.

Ever since a report from magazine Fireside Fiction called out a lack of diversification in sci-fi on July 26, Jemisin has received six invitations to contribute to collections or magazinesand shes unsure of being one of the few go-to names when panic-struck writers scramble has become still more inclusive. And in a tweetstorm this afternoon( below ), Jemisin placed the onus on the markets , not aspiring generators, to stir novelists of dye welcome. The figurehead gates are still slams, ensure ,” she wrote.” Youre just letting a few more exceptions in the side door .” Jemisin may have broken into the world of science fiction, but for other scribes to do the same, those gatekeepers need to open those openings wide.

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