Browse By

Writing The Other Shouts-Outs – June 2010

At WisCon this year I participated in a panel called Writing the Other: Shout-Outs wherein the panelists named fictional properties they liked where the writers(s) wrote characters that were “other” to them. Not just white people writing POC, but also able-bodied people writing disabled characters, men writing women, etc. We had a great time on the panel giving each other recs and getting them from the audience. And I thought this would make a good regular post here on the ABW.

Each month we’ll have an open thread where people can list and discuss books, short stories, TV, movies, and comics where the writer(s) successfully wrote the Other. List as many as you like (just watch out for adding too many links, else the spam catcher grab thee!) and tell us why you think that media is a great example of writing the other.

To get started, here are some of the books and shows mentioned at the panel. Big thanks to coraa for posting this list on her journal.

  • Richard Morgan’s Black Man, published in the US as Thirteen
  • Peter Straub, The Hellfire Club
  • Gwyneth Jones, Life
  • Tananarive Du, The Good House
  • Tobias Buckell, “In The Heart of Kalikuata”
  • Tamora Pierce, Circle of Magic and The Circle Opens, Daja and Briar
  • Alexander McCall Smith, Ladies’ #1 Detective Agency (and the TV show)
  • Nnedi Okorafor, She Who Fears Death
  • “The Pirates of Dark Water” (TV)
  • “The Closer” (TV)
  • “Dexter” (TV) (there was some lively discussion on this one)
  • “Leverage” (TV)
  • Catherynne M. Valente, The Orphan’s Tales
  • “Gargoyles” (TV)
  • Adrian Drake, Null Void
  • Okasha Skat’si and Susanne M. Beck, The Growing
  • Karin Lowachee, Gaslight Dogs
  • China Mieville, Un Lun Dun
  • Robert V. S. Redick, Rats and the Ruling Sea, published in the US as The Ruling Sea
  • Justina Robson, “Silver Screen”
  • Jon Muller and Krista Brennan, Virtuoso
  • Maureen McHugh, China Mountain Zhang
  • Kathryn Erskine, Mockingbird
  • Ursula LeGuin, Powers series
  • Elizabeth Moon, Remnant Population and Speed of Dark
  • “Avatar: The Last Airbender” (TV) (not, as many people emphatically pointed out, the movie)
  • “She-Ra” (TV)
  • “Lincoln Heights” (TV)
  • Samuel Delany, Babel-17
  • Mike Shepherd, Kris Longknife
  • Shannon and Dean Hale, Rapunzel’s Revenge

Leave your shout-outs in the comments or co-sign any of these.

11 thoughts on “Writing The Other Shouts-Outs – June 2010”

  1. Gunthera1 says:

    I was also at that panel and I love the huge list of books and other media generated there. I don’t have any to add to the list but I just wanted to co-sign on Tamora Pierce’s books. The Circle series are wonderful for sooo many reasons: discussions of gender, class, and race.

  2. says:

    cosign on Leverage; add Fringe (there are problematic issues with Fringe, particularly WRT mental health issues, but overall.)

  3. NWHiker says:

    Lois McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan.

  4. P. G. Dudda says:

    I can co-sign on China Mountain Zhang. I didn’t like the book itself overmuch (despite its popularity), but McHugh’s depiction of the gay main character was pretty accurate.

    Also Speed of Dark, at least from the perspective of exploring what it means to “cure” a disability (in adulthood) that one is born with.

  5. rejiquar says:

    Seconding the Bujold—_Mirror Dance_ in particular, it seems to me, explores ableism, fat and mental illness in what strikes me as a believable and sympathetic way, at least afaict.

    She’s a bit weak on race (& I say this with LMB being my favorite sf author, but I was really disappointed that everyone in the WGW series ended up being white—thought, *at last*, gonna see this author tackle CoC, but nope.)

    However, Tamora Pierce does that well, particularly in her later books. I’m thinking particularly of the duology set on the Copper Isles.

  6. rejiquar says:

    Oh, sorry for the double-posting (I just woke up) but what about Robin McKinley’s Damar stories, or her latest, splendid _Chalice_? Her approach is much like LeGuin’s in Earthsea, but if you’re paying attention, it’s pretty obvious, pale blonde on the cover notwithstanding, that the people in the book are likely brown.

  7. Wild Clover says:

    Co-sign to Speed of Dark, though in retrospect, while in most of her novels the hero is female, the males all work equally well as people when the viewpoint changes (though as a girl, I may be missing something). David Webber’s Honor Harrington series- I’ve met him, he is definitely male, yet Honor is very female.

    Oh, and thanks for the reminder of “The Pirates of Dark Water”- I love that cartoon (and am introducing my kids to it now that I’ve been reminded :))

  8. kimstrauss says:

    This is my first comment here, but I wanted to mention a few as my personal intro:

    –Robin Hobb’s Soldier Son trilogy
    –Lynn Flewelling’s Night Runner series
    –Stephen Erickson’s Malazan Tales of the Fallen series

  9. Rob Hansen says:

    I spend a lot of time wincing when reading what American authors fondly believe to be convincing British dialogue, and without fail spot at least a couple of cultural howlers in books they set over here. In decades of reading, I’ve only come across *one* book by an American where this didn’t happen: ‘Scholars of the Night’ by John M. Ford.

  10. Brittany Fuller says:

    In this white girl’s opinion, Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys is a fantastic example of a book by a white author in which all the main characters (and secondary characters, and tertiary characters with only a few exception that I can think of) are black. He turned the concept of “the Other” around, only specifying when a character is white, making black neutral.

    1. Brittany Fuller says:

      And apparently HE’S making the movie script for it and has the clout to make his choices stick – none of that Avatar ridiculousness, I’m hoping.

Comments are closed.