Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Representation in Speculative Fiction

Here's a good essay about the importance of representation in F&SF

We need diversity so that a maximum of readers can see themselves reflected in literature.  We need positive  portrayals. As much as I like reading Native American literature, I'm leery of its overwhelmingly bleak tone.  It's almost impossible to find happy characters, or ones who balance their tribal heritage with participation in wider society.  Given the sky-high suicide rate on reservations, I worry that painting such a dark future encourages people to think they have none.  Much the same happens with queer folk, trans folk, people with disabilities -- they need the reflection to encourage them to keep going, to understand they're not alone, to believe they can be the hero of their own story.

This is why I write much of what I do.  In my writing, anyone can be the hero, anyone can be the villain.  Your ancestry, skin tone, wealth, religion, politics, love life, abilities or lack thereof do not predetermine your future.  You decide what to do with the opportunities before you.  And I will show the light and the dark of all those possibilities.
Tags: ethnic studies, fantasy, gender studies, networking, reading, science fiction, writing
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