The Girl and the Mountain by Mark Lawrence

The Girl and the Mountain

New Release Review

Leather and Lace by Magen Cubed

Leather and Lace

New Release Review

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

The Bone Shard Daughter



Recommendations for SFF Authors of Various Identities

Today’s society claims to be “woke” when it comes to the need for diversity, except we all know that isn’t true. The prejudice and bigotry presented on the news and in other media continues to reflect similar issues seen within the publishing industry.

While movies and television have made visual strides to present more diverse casts, it’s not always easy to determine who an author is based on the name alone. Most of the time, this isn’t an issue until a misconception of a group of people is noticed and pointed out by readers of that diverse group mentioned in the book. Yes, representation is essential, but it’s pointless when it’s inaccurate.

Hand with Paint by Sharon McCutcheon

That’s not to say writers shouldn’t include various diverse characters within their stories—remember, speculative fiction writers write about other worlds, alien species, different/new languages, mystical creatures, etc.—but, they should be aware of any cultural differences and do their research instead of making assumptions about a group’s experience based on their race, sex, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, handicap, mental health, intellect, age, etc. Recently, authors have made strides to include correct information and experiences surrounding diversity and multiculturalism but, throughout the past (and the present), the racism, the homophobia, and other biases were not subtle at all.

This doesn’t mean we should stop reading speculative fiction by Caucasian, heterosexual males and females (some of my favorite books are written by them). Instead, when we read a story and find ourselves intrigued by the setting, the characters, and/or the worldbuilding, we should pay attention to the author’s identity and background. This way readers will have a better understanding of the representation of the author throughout the story. In addition, readers will be able to see more of themselves within these stories. Or, if you just wish to sate your curiosity, then please check out these lists of recommendations of diverse authors.

Human Hands by ATC Comm Photo

Editor’s Note: This list was originally compiled by L. A. Young, the author of the article. It was added to by myself with a lot of help from people on Twitter. The list is not complete, but it is accurate to the best of my knowledge. If someone is in the wrong category or should be in multiple categories, or if someone is missing from the list, please let us know in the comments and I will fix it. Thank you! – Jennie Ivins

Black Authors

East Asian Authors

Southeast Asian Authors

Indian, Muslim & Middle Eastern Authors

Latinx Authors

Native, Aboriginal, and Indigenous Peoples Authors

Authors with Disabilities

LGBTQIA+ Authors

Title image by ATC Comm Photo.


Leave a Comment