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Monday, February 12, 2018

Best Modern Fantasy By a Woman or Gender Variant Person of Color (Nominations Needed)

What is the best modern fantasy written by a woman or gender variant person of color?  

[Edit: Thank you for all the nominations. We have moved on to the poll itself.]

A thing happens whenever I run a poll. Because of the fact that the publishing industry is whitewashed (and still somewhat sexist), white supremacy is alive and well (and always has been), neonazis and their little proto-neonazi versions, the Sad Puppies, can always be counted on to be offended if anyone other than white dudes gets recognized (For anything. Ever.).... And because, of course, for edgelords who are "only ironically" being bigots even though it looks exactly the same and does all the same institutional harm, and SQiDs who would clutch their pearls at the suggestion that they are anything but absolutely egalitarian but feel the need to balance out all these "just as bad" movements that are organizing, recruiting, radicalizing, arming, marching in the streets with assault rifles, have killed 18 people in 2017, and have major influence in the highest levels of the current administration and are using it to codify white their views into law using all caps in social media and hurting their feelings. And of course, a lot of people who aren't any of these things but are exposed to the background radiation of a culture that is don't acknowledge the influence such things are having on their choices and never think to compensate for it.

The end result: every poll that doesn't explicitly exclude white dudes becomes all about the white dudes.

Every. Single. One.

So since A) certain topics are wildly popular and B) we run the "open" versions of them every couple of years, I look forward to the chance to get some entirely different titles and excellent book suggestions here.

Rules- 

1- As always, I leave the semantics about "fantasy" to your best judgement because I'd rather be inclusive. I might arch an eyebrow at your ridiculous stretch to get, but I'm not going to argue.

2- To avoid multi-decade spanning series being on our poll because an author tossed out a recent sequel, the book (OR FIRST BOOK IN THE SERIES) must have a copyright date no earlier than 1992. If your series kicked off in the eighties, you'll have to pick one book (that came later) to nominate.

3- You may nominate two (2) works of modern fantasy. Remember that I am a terrifying megalomaniac who hates creativity and all things that hint at free will.  I will NOT take any books or series beyond the second that you suggest. (I will consider everything after your second rec in a long list to be "seconds" if the work is nominated before or after yours.)

3- You may (and should) second as many nominations of others as you wish. That is the only way they'll be making it to the final poll.

4- IF YOU DROP A NOMINATION AS A COMMENT ON FB (or wherever) IT WILL NOT BE COUNTED! Please put your nominations here. I will take nominations on reminder posts; however, they may not get the seconds you need to go onto our poll because no one will see them. But I can't can't can't CAN'T sift through all the social media cross posting. I just don't have time anymore. 

5- I can no longer handle months of of qualifying rounds, quarterfinals, semifinals all to reach the final round of our poll. So I'm hereby announcing that these polls will not go over two semifinal rounds of ten choices each. That means I'm taking the "top" twenty nominations.....at most. But if I can narrow it down to a single poll of eight choices, that's what I'll do. Or at least as close as I can get it to those perimeters. Top choices are those which get the most "seconds."  (Yes, I know that technically makes them thirds and fourths...and whateverths.)

6- "Best" means whatever you as a reader think it should. Most challenging. Most engaging. Most fun. Most literary. Most readable. It's up to you what "best" means.

42 comments:

  1. "Ninefox Gambit" and "The Raven Stratagem" by Yoon Ha-Lee, a transgender man who also is a mathematician. His writing is utterly fascinating, can't recommend it enough.

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  3. The Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey. It is a sex and sex work positive, bdsm positive, alternate earth fantasy that is so beautifully detailed and sweeping. I cannot recommend it enough.

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  4. 1) Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson

    2) The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

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    1. Fourth on Jemisin, but adding the Broken Earth trilogy in addition to The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.

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    2. Another nod for Jemisin, and a second on Hopkinson.

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  6. 1) The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
    2) What it Means When a man Falls from the Sky, (short story) by Leslie Nneka Arimah

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  7. Deborah Harkness's Discovery of Witches.
    (saving my second nomination for tomorrow - want to give it more thought).

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  8. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

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  9. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire.

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  10. A lot of good books have already been suggested I'm going to add
    1. Ember in the Ashes by Sabah Tahir
    2. Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
    Also - I'm going to add this 3rd suggestion (gasp) because I'm assuming this post will be visible for a while, and this book isn't out yet but I'm still super excited to read it & I really hope it lives up to the hype.
    3) Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

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  11. Bloodchild and Other Stories (1995) by Octavia E. Butler.
    Great author, oh my lord XD

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  12. In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker

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  13. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
    The Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson

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  14. Most of my reading lately is fanfic, but Check Please is a hockey comic written by a Black woman (Ngozi Ukazu) which we now know takes place in a universe of superpowers/magical realism though the amount of that in the comic is very slight?

    I haven't done enough book reading in the past year or two to feel like an authority on super recent stuff in any broad sense.

    I'm a huge fan of Octavia Butler though, and have been for decades.

    Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha)
    Adeyemi, Tomi -- I recently read the first chapters of this (early sneak peek) and was intrigued enough to buy the book on preorder. (just copied and pasted name and title from my amazon order page, lol)

    NK Jemisin's The Fifth Season was phenomenal. Hubby basically put that one in my hands I read it in one sitting IIRC.

    My husband has done a LOT more book reading in the past few years and may have more names. I've been on a "minimal new media" thing for a while because I've been writing.

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  15. One of my favorite fantasy authors OF ALL TIME is Mercedes Lackey. It's impossible to pick either a favorite series or book. Okay, it's easy to pick my favorite book (Kerowyn's Tale: By the Sword), but it doesn't quite make your cut off. That's cool. Favorite series? Um, all of them? Just all of the Valemar ones? Nope, because Elves on the Road and Elemental Masters are equally as awesome.

    Fine! My first nomination is Gwenhwyfar: The White Spirit by Mercedes Lackey (I'm a sucker for Arthurian legends).

    Second is... also very difficult! Patricia Briggs writes some amazing stuff. There's the Mercy Thompson series as well as Alpha & Omega. But then there's Kim Harrison's Hollows series, too. Sigh. CHRIS!!

    Fine. Patricia Briggs, Mercy Thompson series (first one published in 2006).

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  16. Darkangel Trilogy - Meredith Ann Pierce.

    This particular series is also really great at taking on the hero's journey in a very imaginative world that is steeped with its own classist and racial woes and turning it into a great commentary on resource-disparity and resource wars.

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  17. The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Choksi

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  18. The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

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  19. Kendare Blake is one of my favourite authors, but my favourite series of hers is by far the least well known. So if it's allowed, I would like my first nomination to be "Antigoddess" by Kendare Blake, and my second nomination to be "Anna dressed in blood" by Kendare Blake (although I am entirely happy to change the second nomination to "Three Dark Crowns" by Kendare Blake, if anyone should be more inclined to second that).

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    1. Kendare Blake is indeed a woman of color, in case that isn't clear from her name.

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    2. In this case, it was the lack of a second that didn't move the title on. But yeah, a Google search made this clear.

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  20. Fantasy includes Urban Fantasy, yes? _Working for the Devil_ or _Night Shift_, both by Lilith Saintcrow

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  21. I highly recommend any books by Lynn Flewelling, particularly the series which begins with "The Bone Doll's Twin". (Which is what I'm putting in as my nomination).

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  22. House Name by Michelle West
    Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar

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