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.

7 thoughts on “Anti-Racist Anthology? On the problems of Editing

  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.

  2. *howls with laughter*

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

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

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