Science fiction/fantasy by writers of color recommendation list

Some author overlap with the lesbian list, since I naturally read a lot of writers of color regardless.

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. Non-binary protagonist, queer relationships.

  • Content warnings: depictions of gender dysphoria (ownvoices), on-page domestic violence and sexual assault

Moonlight Garden by Kang Unnie and MissPM. A Korean lesbian webcomic taking place in a fantasy Korea that’s not only just normative but lesbian-majority. Part period drama, part love story, and very graphically smutty indeed. 

Prime Meridian by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Quiet literary science fiction.

Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw. Lovecraftian noir.

The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead. Alternate history, speculative.

All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. Military SF. I don’t recommend this without reservations, but it’s a fun read.

Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi. Fabulist meta-narratives about stories and storytellers.

A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson. High fantasy; gay male primary characters.

Short fiction

Vajra Chandrasekera

Christopher Caldwell-Kelly

Troy L. Wiggins


Where’s [my favorite book/author]?

I either haven’t read them or I didn’t like/couldn’t finish the book. Feel free to make your own list.

Why’s the list so small?

Eventually it will be less small.

But [this book] isn’t really science fiction or fantasy!

Magic realism and fabulism are nice, actually.

My Hugo ballots for 2014

What would I have voted if I’d paid for a membership?

I wouldn’t have, anyway, but if I had this is what I’d have nominated. I’m doing this as a sort of retrospective to 2014, which was much drowned by white supremacists, stalkers, pro-doxing ‘ethical journalists’, attempted con-swatting and all that. I think it’s regrettable generally that yesteryear’s short fiction is stale almost as soon as the year is out, so we could perhaps use more discussion and attention for yesteryear’s short fiction rather than hastily keeping up with their award eligibility dates. I’d meant to do this post last year, but for obvious reasons other things kept me preoccupied. Plus, I’m seeing folks mention their favorites from 2014 now on twitter: cool! So here are mine. I’m skipping the fan categories, which I find fairly irrelevant and mostly indecipherable (What is a fancast? Why’s there a semiprozine and not a pro zine? What is a fanzine? What even is a ‘fan writer’?) and editor categories.

Best Novel

The Race by Nina Allan.

A Man Lies Dreaming by Lavie Tidhar. This is seeing a US release in 2015 and may be eligible again, who knows.

Best Novella

I didn’t read even one. Oops. I read Nina Allan’s Spin but that was published in 2013 (do recommend).

Best Novelette

‘From the Nothing, With Love’ by Project Itoh (Phantasm Japan, 2014). A Japanese writer remakes the Bond myth, in a way that’s wry, self-aware, subversive, and effortlessly political.

‘Women in Sandstone’ by Alex Dally MacFarlane (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 2014). Mythical, half-historical, all women.

Best Short Story

Dharmas’ by Vajra Chandrasekera (Shimmer, 2014)

‘Because I Prayed This Word’ by Alex Dally MacFarlane (Strange Horizons, 2014).

On Being Undone By A Light Breeze’ by Vajra Chandrasekera (Lackington’s, 2014)

‘Seeking boarder for rm w/ attached bathroom, must be willing to live with ghosts ($500 / Berkeley)’ by Rahul Kanakia (Clarkesworld, 2014).

Not a Hugo for Best New Writer

Vajra Chandrasekera. Vajra’s a smart writer and far underrated, and while both of these stories are 2014 you can see form his biblio that he’s very much active in 2015. He’s no longer eligible for the Campbell, but his 2015 publications are of course eligible for applicable awards. I’m always surprised when a year’s best TOC is announced and his name isn’t on it.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)

Transistor. Duh.

Ghost in the Shell: Arise.