Tuesday, July 23, 2013

If You Support More Inclusiveness In Speculative Fiction...

Over the last few months, there has been a big kerfluffle in the world of science fiction, fantasy, and horror about inclusiveness. Most of that pertains to gender, but there has been some controversy about race/ethnicity as well.

Well, if you want to support inclusiveness in speculative fiction, I would like to recommend to you some of my independently-published short stories:

Ten Davids, Two Goliaths-Set in Lindsay Buroker's Fallen Empire science fiction universe, the lead character Geun Choi is a Korean Buddhist fighter pilot in the distant future. The other POV character Tamara Watson is a female fighter pilot who is recovering from drug addiction and is a practicing polytheist to boot. Five reviews, all pretty good.

Discovery and Flight-Also set in Buroker's Fallen Empire universe, this continues Choi and Watson's adventures in the rebellion's early days, and brings them into contact with Buroker's canonical characters.

√úbermensch-This came from a "Southern superheroes" anthology my writing group attempted that didn't go anywhere. The protagonist is an irreligious half-Indian biomedical engineer who lives by the creed of Nietzsche and provides cybernetics services for Atlanta gangs in the vein of David Duchovny's character in the film Playing God. Superhero stories are pretty common--how about a supervillain story instead?

The Beast of the Bosporus-I started writing this story when I was in college after I realized that most of Lovecraft's fiction takes place in rural New England in the early 20th Century. I decided I was going to be a bit different and write a Lovecraftian horror tale set during the glory days of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th Century. Although the protagonist Sokollu Mehmed Pasha is a white man (he was a Serb by birth), he is a Muslim and the setting is distinctly non-Western. One of my writing friends Matthew Stienberg gave it a very good review.

Illegal Alien-Protagonist Patrido Guzman is a Mexican who seeks a better life in the United States and employs the services of a coyote--an immigrant smuggler--to get him there. Guzman himself is mestizo (I don't really get into racial politics in the story--this is Word of God) and another major Mexican character is more distinctly Indian. And never is the word "illegal" used in a pejorative fashion. Stienberg reviewed it on Amazon and gave it high marks too.

I am the Wendigo-Although the Wendigo is a monster, I drop some hints that when he was a human being, he had at least some Native American ancestry. For starters, he knows that the Algonquin language is more properly called Abenaki.

Although I am a straight, white Protestant male (and therefore get a lot less crap from society than those who aren't), most of my independently-published short fiction has protagonists who are minorities, at least in my own country. Ironic, isn't it.

And I've already had a cover made for a second Andrew Patel story, "Needs Must." I will keep you posted.


  1. I enjoyed the Patel stories. He's not your typical hero, on top of not being a WASP. I hope you can find them a home. :)

  2. Me too. I think I've still got a few potential markets (got to get some use out of Duotrope considering I'm paying for it now), but my self-pub numbers are imploding and I might need to "churn and burn."