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Twinja Book Reviews

January 20, 2014

Now here’s a blog whose time has come:

Twinja Book Reviews

Despite the name, this blog has nothing to do with twins and it’s only sometimes about ninjas. It’s a site dedicated to promoting multiculturalism in genre fiction. Great idea! In the 90’s, I was frustrated with how fantasy was stuck in a rut of medieval-Europe Tolkien knockoffs. We’ve made great strides to break out of that, but I still see a lot of urban fantasy with white people, paranormal romance with white people, and steampunk smack in the middle of Europe.

I’ve got a wishlist of things I’d love to see a fantasy writer try:

  • A fantasy epic that takes place in the medieval Arab world or Asia. More stuff like Across the Nightingale Floor, please! Or what The 47 Ronin could have been if only it had been a good movie. Sigh…
  • A steampunk that takes place in British-occupied India. That would be so cool.
  • Cultural mix-and-match works like Avatar the Last Airbender (the cartoon) and Firefly.

Have any of you got recommendations for good non-European fantasy writing? Anything you’d like to see?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Larry A. Taylor permalink
    January 29, 2014 7:43 PM

    I recommend Kim Stanley Robinson’s Years of Rice and Salt. It is alternative history science fiction. The historical premise is that the Black Death of our world kills off 99% of Europeans instead of one-third in our world
    The few fantasy conceits that the author adopts include reincarnation and the existence of a place called the Bardo, a transition between lives.
    Each of the ten books that comprise the work are written in a different style. Robinson has read Chinese, Hindu and Islamic literature, and uses these style in telling the overall story. In addition, much of the world narrative takes place in the New World, as native American Leagues become world powers.
    In one of the later books, there is a professor of literature explains to his students about four different ways to tell history. One of them is Karma History, where the overall direction of the world gets better, but it is only possible to make a little progress at a time.

  2. February 8, 2014 7:26 PM

    Most recently I’ve seen “Third Daughter” by Susan Kaye Quinn. It is indeed a steampunk book based in India with Indian characters.

    We’re actaully working very hard to promote some more non mainstream authors and books,and planning a diverse steampunk themed month for April. We hope you can check out the author’s book,she’s very pleasant 🙂

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