I’ve gotten noticed!
Thinking of adding this page to the menu. It lists indie-published new books and others that need more attention. The sorts of things I want to use my website to introduce people to, by authors who will benefit most from the readership.
I’ve changed “noneuropean” to “setting” and reprogrammed the results tables to avoid getting text boxes that are too skinny to read.
There are still a couple of bugs in the subtags- for example, I haven’t yet blocked searching with nothing selected, which returns an error.
Maybe I can put a message in for searches that return 0 results.
Other known bugs:
– Searches for “East Asian” also bring up “Southeast Asian”.
– Menu goes into mobile mode on desktop browser below 750px width.
Any suggestions for new features, pages, or book lists?
At Oberlin College, the conversation about diversity and representation is unavoidable. People are constantly clamoring for diverse media and denouncing what they see as harmful or not good enough. Fantastic fiction is a big target of this criticism. There is that stereotype: the idea that fantasy is all Arthurian white guys waving swords around and winning the helpless girl, and that science fiction is all white guys on spaceships waging wars against bug-eyed aliens.
But that conception never felt right to me. Yes, there was plenty of that, but I had seen so much more! I had stumbled on a few queer SFF books by chance, had passed around copies of The Last Herald-Mage (featuring a gay mage as his nation’s legendary hero) and Ascension (featuring a black lesbian spaceship engineer) to a few friends, told everybody who would listen about The Dark Wife (a lesbian retelling of the Persephone myth) and A Door Into Ocean (featuring an all-female planet), but to hear the way people talked, the queer and racially diverse scifi/fantasy scene was tiny. Over the summer, curious about what else was actually out there, I looked up some queer science fiction book lists— and found a whole world of books I had never even heard of.
The ones that caught my eye, I ordered from the county library system or bought secondhand online. One of the most memorable was a series called Children of the Triad, about cooperation between several species on the same planet. Most of the characters used exclusively the nonbinary pronouns id, idre, and ids. I had rarely seen alternate pronouns used in books, never mind so extensively, but there they were, on the pages of an out-of-print paperback from 1989. And that was only one of the things I discovered. I found a book about a deaf Native American woman as ambassador to aliens who used sign language. I found a book about kids in Nigeria learning magic. I found a book about a queer black girl traveling in space with a gay couple. There were scores of books with queer and diverse characters. And it disappointed me that so few people knew about these books. Even the better-known ones, like the Valdemar series, were relatively obscure. I wanted to share these with the school, and more than that, I wanted to share them with the world, make them easy to find for all the people who wanted diverse media, and all the people who said there was nothing out there. And that’s when a friend gave me the idea of making this into a Winter Term project. If I had the school’s support, I could publicize a list of diverse SFF books, and maybe—just maybe—convince them to buy a few for the library.
I’ve been getting lots of suggestions through the website!
I’ve added a new Text Search page.
The Tag Search page now greys out the Submit button and displays error messages if nothing is selected.
Subtags for race/setting are still in the works.