Launched in 2017, this site was created with the intention to build a community space for speculative fiction (SF) lovers to discuss where to find diversity within the genre. What separates this site from that of others, however, is the fact that I want these conversations to be tailored to educators. Of course, there are various sites that work to discuss diversity in SF, but the issue is that the reviews, articles, and book suggestions are meant as recommendations for individuals, not as a discussion about how these texts can be used in the classroom setting, too. With that being said, I want this site to be a place where educators can get access to different SF texts that can be aligned with standards (if I must) so that teachers are not afraid to bring these texts into classrooms and use them with their diverse student populations.
I’m not a speculative fiction expert by any means, but I love the genre just the same. My love for it began in elementary school when I read The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley. The book is diverse because the main character is a young woman, but the most interesting aspect of diversity, to me, was the fact that many secondary and tertiary characters had dark skin and dark hair, something that I had never seen before in a fantasy book. It piqued my interest as a child, and I’ve been reading SF (diverse or not) since then.
I am currently a doctoral student in a language and literacy education program in the southern part of the United States, and as I’ve mentioned earlier, my goal is to discuss the literacy possibilities of science and fantasy fiction for educators. The one thing I want to make sure, though, is that my research doesn’t remain in “the ivory tower” of academia because the knowledge I gain throughout my reading and education journey means nothing if I don’t share it with people that can use it. So, because of this, I’m creating this space with the goal that one day other people will be willing to contribute to this effort in order to connect teachers, researchers, and educators with literature that promotes diversity in future contexts, hopefully giving them tools they can use with diverse student populations.
** I need to put a small disclaimer about my use of ‘SF’ to signify speculative fiction instead of science fiction. I want to have the space to discuss everything under the umbrella of speculative fiction – fantasy, science fiction, horror (if I don’t talk myself out of reading it because it scares me), superhero fiction, historical fiction, Cyberpunk, Steampunk, and any mix in between. The main goal is to discuss literature that isn’t as respected in education circles in an effort to show the possibilities inherent in this genre.
If you are confused about how the speculative genre works, Annie Neugebauer does an amazing job of explaining it, here.