Whether we all know it, diverse books are all around us. Many of us have been saying it for years. Some have only started to notice. There are authors and/or books who’ve been present for decades, and there are books and authors who make waves for themselves in our present.
When I started writing science fiction, I thought it was the best that had happened to me. I was only a child, almost at the cusp of teenage-hood. Science fiction – in the form of Japanese cartoons (or properly termed “anime”- had opened my eyes to many worlds inhabited by different people. Likewise, I had also started reading voraciously and my worlds were dragons, spaceships and androids.
I do not believe I am a racist. And yet I can make thoughtless comments, be oblivious, be hurtful without realization or intent. Like when I offered a hairdrier to a black friend. Hey, I thought I was being helpful. Forget color-blind. I can be down-right blind.
I don’t classify people by race. Why? I grew up with parents who were from the deep south. They would whisper things like, “well, he’s black…” as if that would explain something. Those comments made me ill. I grew up in Silicon Valley in the middle of the dot com boom. My early jobs were so multi-cultural that to me the world was a rainbow. I tour guided at a museum that drew international tourists and tried to learn phrases in as many languages as I could.