Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's reading rant

I know this is an old argument, but how come of the last ten books I read, only one major character was anything but white? That, btw, was Shadow from American Gods. Seriously, people, there are other colours, cultures, and socioeconomic situations out there. Not everyone is a lightly tanned noble running from his European duties.

Okay, that's the end of this New Year's rant. May your hangovers be merciful, and your inboxes free from spam!

ETA: If anyone's interested in a fantastic series that breaks the traditional mould, check out Elizabeth E. Wein's Arthurian/Aksumite books. A realistic Camelot, a major female character with real sense and power, and a wonderful YA protagonist in the later books, Telemakos. I highly, highly recommend the books to anyone between the ages of 10 (or a mature 8) and 1,000.


  1. That bothers the heck out of me, too! It's often so much worse in fantasy than any other genre, too.

  2. Just read THE WARDED MAN by Peter Brett, and he has a whole country full of non-white people. Also, ACACIA is pretty realistic in its depiction of race. But I've noticed that a lot of urban fantasy is pale city.

  3. Hey, Susan! :) Happy New Year!

  4. Well, since this didn't post on my first try....

    Cory: Yeah, fantasy is especially bad. SF by its very nature encourages a wider range of cultures (or at least a more unified humanity), but fantasy all too often involves almost no travel apart from Epic Quests, and a surprising lack of trade. I'm sure that saffron yellow fabric was dyed using plants grown on an English bog, though. Certainly. Of course.

    Colleen: I need to get both of those books. I almost picked up Acacia a few weeks ago, but through some moment of stupidity, I put it down. Sigh. I need book-shopping time.

    Kelly: Happy New Year to you, too! :) It should be a very happy one for you--your book is out later this year, isn't it?