For those of you in the Helsinki area, I will be giving a talk on Tuesday October 8th at Arkadia International Bookshop about Diversity in YA Science Fiction and Fantasy. This is a topic very close to my heart and one I think deserves greater discussion.
Here are the details for those interested in attending:
Science fiction and fantasy, as both a literary and movie/TV genre, has been dominated by straight white males for decades. From Arnold Schwarzenegger in his roles in Terminator and Total Recall to Charlie Hunnam in Pacific Rim, from Christian Bale in Equilibrium to Tom Cruise as ever the man’s man in films like Minority Report and Oblivion. Given that a good number of these films are based on the works by literary greats like Philip K Dick, Asimov and others, this straight white male syndrome seems prevalent in the genre, and is sadly true for Young Adult fiction as well.
Why are there so few people of colour in these leading roles? Why aren’t there lesbian heroines saving the world from alien invasion? Published author and publicity manager for Entranced Publishing, Suzanne van Rooyen, will examine why science fiction and fantasy is slow to evolve, why these genres are prone to white- and straight-washing, and why it is vital that young adult literature embrace diversity.