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Speculative Fiction from Around the World

Anti-Racist Anthology? On the problems of Editing

Nick Mamatas recently pointed out new UK anthology Never Again: Weird Fiction Against Racism and Fascism (edited by Allyson Bird and Joel Lane), which is, in Nick’s terms,

an anti-fascist and anti-racist anthology, yet hasn’t managed to include stories by any prominent writers of color.”

When he asked the editors about it he was told that

“There are relatively few non-white writers of horror or supernatural fiction in the UK, and it happened that none of the writers whom we targeted on account of their fiction were non-white. Would you have preferred us to target and include writers on the basis of their skin colour, not their writing?”

The full thread and Nick’s reply can be found here. A discussion on Nick’s blog is here.

Writer and editor Maurice Broaddus, meanwhile, has dedicated a guest-post over at Jeff Vandermeer’s blog to the subject, remarking:

As editors, we don’t have the luxury of hiding behind this as a defense, because this is a straw one at best (and no amount of “my best friend is black” style waving is going to save you).  Not to mention that this is a fairly ignorant, or at least ill constructed, “defense” because it’s not like these two possibilities are mutually exclusive.

So what do you think? Comments, as always, welcome.

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July 30, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

7 Comments

  1. It’s ridiculous, especially considering the editors have posted on the same message boards with writers such as Maurice Broaddus and Wrath James White.

    Comment by Michele Lee | July 30, 2010

  2. Next: a feminist anthology with only male writers?

    Comment by Dan Goodman | July 30, 2010

  3. *howls with laughter*

    I’m sorry, that’s the only reaction I can muster without breaking down into anger.

    Comment by Jha Goh | July 30, 2010

  4. In theory, I agree with the editors that a truly non-racist anthology should be put together based on the quality of the writing above and beyond all else…

    What I find hard to believe is that they didn’t find ANY minority writers who were good enough to include in that kind of work. Did they look?

    Comment by Thomas Evans | August 1, 2010

  5. Question: Did they ever bother to look?

    Comment by Joyce | August 1, 2010

  6. I find their defence poor.

    And I agree with Joyce: Did they even bother to look for non-white authors?

    I’ve read plenty of non-white writers who are wonderful storytellers.

    I’ve also read a lot of white writers who are not.

    It would not have been that difficult to look for non-white authors who write quality tales.

    Sounds like laziness to me.

    Comment by Carmelo Rafala | August 1, 2010

  7. They should change the name from “Never Again” to “Again.”

    Comment by jenn | August 9, 2010


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