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Writers Against Racism: The ‘Glass Ceiling’ in Literature

…is about to crack wide open thanks to some REALLY good news I’ve read from a recent press release – sent to me from my friend and author, Cindy Pon.

Author Cindy Pon

Tu Books publishing Tobias S. Buckell and Joe Monti’s anthology Diverse Energies

By Press Release March 29, 2012
A press release from Hannah Ehrlich of Lee & Low Books:

Tu Books, a new imprint of Lee & Low Books that publishes diverse science fiction and fantasy for young readers, has announced the upcoming publication of Diverse Energies, a YA anthology of dystopian stories edited by author Tobias S. Buckell and literary agent Joe Monti. The anthology, which will be released in Fall 2012, will feature stories by several award-winning speculative fiction writers including Ursula K. Le Guin, Paolo Bacigalupi, Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon, and Greg van Eekhout.

The stories in Diverse Energies journey through many alternate histories and projections of the future, but all have one important element in common: the inclusion of people of color. At a time when some fans have criticized The Hunger Games for casting African American actors to play Rue, Thresh, and Cinna, it is more important than ever that science fiction and fantasy worlds include a truly diverse cast of characters.

“So often the future looks whitewashed in YA dystopias,” says Tu Books Editorial Director Stacy Whitman. “In general many authors, including Tobias, feel that there is a gap in which people of color looking for depictions of themselves in the future can’t find them, especially young readers. These outstanding stories show that even in a dystopian future, people of color have a place.”

Stories include Paolo Bacigalupi’s “A Pocketful of Dharma,” about a young boy in a futuristic China whose encounter with a Tibetan conspiracy changes his life. Malinda Lo’s “Good Girl” is about a girl searching for her brother in what they think is the last city on earth, a doomed, tightly controlled New York City. “It’s about manipulation and loss and the hope of possibilities,” says Whitman. Meanwhile, Ellen Oh’s “The Last Day” takes a second look at history and considers what might have happened had Nagasaki and Hiroshima not ended the Pacific Theater of World War II.

The title Diverse Energies comes from a quotation from John F. Kennedy that both Buckell and Monti felt encapsulated their desire for greater diversity in fantasy and YA: “No one can doubt that the wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men.”

“I hope Diverse Energies sends the message that multiculturalism is the future, and a strength,” says Buckell.


  1. thank you so much, amy! i’m so excited for this anthology!


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