I’m always interested when a major newspaper or other media outlet talks about SFF because it just doesn’t seem to happen all that often. Today the Boston Globe ran this article by Vanessa E. Jones about race in SFF – mainly concentrating on the scarcity of black authors in the genre. It seems likely this was inspired by the monochrome appearance of the attendees at the recent Readercon.
The article itself is a pretty good one, if being rather predictable. SFF does have too few non-white authors and there are subtle race, gender, sexual orientation, and other stereotypes are too often intentionally and unintentionally perpetuated in SFF works of both the past and present. I’m not really knowledgeable enough to write in any kind of detail about this – and I’m not going to be the one to point to all the good stuff that SFF is producing in this area. Other (likely much more informed and intelligent) responses are popping up around the blogosphere (and here's an interesting entry that's a bit older but well worth reading). But, what really got to me is the focus of this article. You see apparently the race issues are limited to the black minority. There doesn’t seem to be any other racial minority worth talking about, at least the article doesn’t mention any. Anyone else a bit bothered by this bit of tunnel vision?