Though we love stories like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, sometimes there is a disconnect. To imagine ourselves in these worlds can feel foreign. Thankfully, now in the digital age, we can imagine ourselves in the worlds we grew up loving. The internet allows us access to writers all over the world and many women of color are now dominating the fantasy and sci-fi literature world. N.K. Jemisin is one of those women.
“Jemisin is a New York Times-bestselling author of speculative fiction short stories and novels, who lives and writes in Brooklyn, NY. In 2018, she became the first author to win three Best Novel Hugos in a row for her Broken Earth trilogy. She has also won a Nebula Award, two Locus Awards, and a number of other honors.”“About.” Epiphany 2.0, 18 Oct. 2019, nkjemisin.com/about/.
N.K Jemisin brings different voices and stories into fantasy/sci-fi. Her characters show different genders, sexualities, backgrounds, and more. How Long ‘Til Black Future Month brought black characters into the future, a world that has been denied to many people of color. She will be releasing a brand new novel on March 24th, The City We Became, based on a one-off short story The City Born Great. The premise:
“Every great city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She’s got six.
But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs in the halls of power, threatening to destroy the city and her six newborn avatars unless they can come together and stop it once and for all.”“The City We Became.” Epiphany 2.0, 8 Feb. 2020, nkjemisin.com/books/the-city-we-became/.
An ode to her city, Jemisin brings the gritty world of NYC with a fantastical twist following urban characters. In the short story, her new novel is based on, the reader followed the life of a queer black man, a character who could be any of us. He faced the struggles of a black man in NYC as well as lived in a fantastical world. The new novel is said to pick up just where the short story left off.
We are now getting stories by us and for us. The literature world is ours to explore, and it’s time to expand our reading horizons! Representation in literature opens allows young and old to discover new interests and feel more included in different fandoms. N.K. Jemisin shows us that black women have a place in fantasy and sci-fi. I am excited to read more of her work as well as many other women of color authors.