May 4th, 2009


Race and Fantasy, a curious conundrum, and laundry day

So today, I am doing laundry and hoping the nice FedEx man arrives with the book I ordered about a year and a half ago. This book is one I've been wanting to read for the better part of 7 years, but it only just published: it's by one Ricardo Pinto, and is titled The Third God.

I mention the Race and Fantasy thing in the title on this because, as you might suspect, a gent named Ricardo Pinto is unlikely to be terribly Anglo. One thing that's especially interesting about the series, to me, is that he's drawn on different sources than Western European myth for the ground-level worldbuilding: the mythology in the novels, bears a passing resemblance to Toltec/Aztec/Mayan legend. I say passing because there are a lot of things in it that are unrelated to that source, mostly of his own invention.
The curious thing to me about this is that the first two novels of this trilogy (The Chosen & The Standing Dead) have been out there for seven years... but people seemed curiously ignorant of their very existence during the recent kerfuffle about white-people's-stories-dominate-genre-fiction. These books are lyrically written, the storyworld imagined in excruciating detail. I am really hoping the third one ties the trilogy up with a nice bloody ribbon on top. So when genre fantasy that unapologetically is about and by non-whiteAnglo (thanks for the nudge on this point, fightingwords) people comes out... how come it's just sort of... ignored? I don't mean by the press: the jacket reviews are glowing and praise the author like a god. Why has this trilogy been ignored by the people who want good genre fiction bearing major nonwhite characters (in the interests of full disclosure, the main character is a white person) and speaking so very deliberately to the problem of racial bias in modern Earth society?
The reason for the 7-year delay, btw, has nothing to do with the publisher and everything to do with the author's home having burned to the ground. Putting one's life back together after losing everything is apparently not easy. Who'da thunk it?
I recommend these books strongly to anyone interested in race and genre fiction. I also recc them to anyone who would like a book in which the main character's gay- but his gayness is one of various traits about him, rather than the Defining Focus of the Book (there're reasons I can't be arsed with most gay fiction, and that'd be the biggie).

In other news, I'm doing laundry.