Expanding my Reading Mind

I have decided that for the rest of the coming year for every book or short story/novella I read by a “Straight White Dude”(SWD) I’m going to try and read at least one by someone who is not a SWD. I decided this a week or so ago after glancing over my book shelves and realising quite how many SWDs there were. Not that I have a problem with SWDs, I am one after all, but it does mean that there is a whole host of writing that I am missing out on.

Women make up only a small portion of my book collection, despite them, y’know, making up over half of the planet’s population. Which is pretty damn shocking. Similarly the vast majority of my books are by white, English speaking, people. Which means that I am missing out on reading stuff by the majority of the world’s population.

This needs rectified.

Admittedly my favoured genres, sci-fi, fantasy, horror/weird, do tend to be dominated by SWDs for all manner of reasons, from publishers pandering to a presumed target audience(something that seems to be changing), to the American audience being the single biggest market for genre fiction meaning that English is the dominant language in genre writing. But still, that’s no excuse.

As luck would happen it is also Women in SF Month which makes this April seem like a fortuitous month to start my trek out of the world of the Straight White Dude into the rest of the world of genre writing.

So, here is my reading list for the next few months.

Straight White Dude Reading

Arthur Machen(150th Anniversary read-a-thon)

China Mieville – Perdido Street Station(think I must be one of the few people who haven’t read this yet)

Partick Rothfuss – The Name of the Wind

John Dies at the End – David Wong(Jason Pargin)

Intrusion – Ken Macleod

The Quarry – Iain Banks

Jim C Hines – The Stepsister Scheme

Non-SWD Reading

Caitlin R Kiernan – The Drowning Girl

Caitlin R Kiernan – Silk

Helen Oyeyemi – White is for Witching

Octavia E. Butler – Bloodchild and Other Stories

Elizabeth Bear – All the Windwracked Stars

Danie Ware – Ecko Rising

Hal Duncan – Vellum

Hal Duncan – Ink

Any recommendations would be much appreciated.

I also read a lot of short fiction. I’ll keep track of what I read here and then tally it up in a couple of months to see how I’m doing on that front.