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Race and Fantasy, a curious conundrum, and laundry day

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Race and Fantasy, a curious conundrum, and laundry day

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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.
  • You might want to rethink some of the assumptions you're making about Pinto's background.

    • Duly corrected; thank you!

      I based the assumption of his non-Angloness on his having a Portuguese surname, having been born in Lisbon, and the fact he looks like Iberia's where his genes come from (he's got a photo above his biography, on his website's banner).
      However, one certainly should say that Portuguese are white folks, which is what needed correcting above. I think in the UK (& more specifically in Scotland), one might encounter a degree of racial bias around being Portuguese in descent from more disreputable elements of society- but that's a different animal than in the US, no question.

      Inside the novels there's more evidence that supports your point: if the novels are, in part, autobiographical (as he's recently been noticing that they are), then they suggest that at least one of his parents would have to have been born in Britain.

      Why I brought the books up, though? It troubled me that they were unmentioned in the recent LJ-based discussion of racism & genre fiction... despite the jacket blurb carrying comparisons to Moorcock's work, & reviews by Dennis L. McKiernan & A. A. Attanasio, despite having been on shelves in stores for much of a decade. The books are a damned fine read, and I'm told by a Brit I know that they speak quite directly to the modern situation of race relations in the UK. So, I figured someone else who might hunger for genre fiction with such themes might want to know about 'em- especially since I can at last say I'm recommending a series that's actually all been published, at long last.

      If my description of what's at play in them sounds interesting, definitely give 'em a go! They're quite unusual books in a lot of ways.
      • Re: Duly corrected; thank you!

        Also, and I no someone pointed this out to you before in a thread elsewhere more germain to RF09, there are other writers of color out there and characters of color out there. Pointing at one (a Portuguese writer who was raised in Britain, wrote a trilogy featuring a white protagonist, and whose themes include something based in some way on American indigenous cultures) and saying "but none of you read THIS GUY" isn't all that helpful when it comes to 1) writing characters of color and 2) making sure that writers of color are published.
        • Indeed.

          These books are being interesting to re-read in the context of that discussion: they do touch on some of the tropes of that discussion, yet nobody in the discussion that I asked seemed to have even heard of 'em. So, figured I'd dredge 'em out and mention them somewhere people who hadn't heard of them might hear of them.

          Edit to add:
          Actually, the specific context that I was thinking of was deepad's extremely good post, titled I Didn't Dream of dragons. Seemed, from what I remembered of that post, that these would be books she would find interesting, as they aren't Western-European-centric (though dammit, Ricardo, there are dragons in them!).

          Edited at 2009-05-04 08:52 pm (UTC)
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