On the website XOJane.com, writer, editor, tech reviewer, FluidArtist.com blogger, and fandom activist K. Tempest Bradford.recently challenged readers for one year to read books by queer writers, writers with disabilities, women writers, coloured writers, and any who overlap categories.
Put another way, Bradford challenged readers to read books by writers representing the vast majority of humanity. However, she didn’t quite phrase her challenge that way--instead, she said that readers should, for one year, read books by writers who aren’t straight White men who were cis-male (that is, born and widely accepted as male).
The result of Bradford’s challenge was so much pearl-clutching that many people outright asphyxiated themselves. Many people accused Bradford of what they called “racism,” or “reverse racism,” and said they didn’t want to be “limited” in their choices, despite the fact that Bradford’s goal was to get them to stop limiting themselves.
She was not, as she put it, coming to get their White man books.
She did, however, include a photo of herself holding a Neil Gaiman book with a big red cross-out circle over the cover.
K. Tempest Bradford spoke with me by Skype from her home in New York City on March 4, 2015. She told me about:
* her goals in issuing the challenge
* the obscene and deranged attacks her challenge drew
* what’s she’s learned from the experience
* how all of that compares to her experiences of multiculturalism vs. Eurocentrism at science fiction and fantasy conventions, and
* how Neil Gaiman himself reacted to her challenge and the backlash.
For links to Bradford's work including the Bradford Challenge, visit mfgalaxy.org.
Post your recommendations of books by writers who are coloured, or women, or queer, or disabled, and those who overlap, on MFGALAXY.org.
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