Recently, I put my mind to the question of whose histories are used to animate storytelling in science fiction and fantasy. What else might exist as a source of inspiration in this genre, beyond Nordic sagas or Christian mythology? What vistas are opened up when writers of color, or writers from marginalized communities, whose histories are so often neglected, imagine new worlds based on cultures, histories or belief systems they know with vivid immediacy?
Do writers from these communities turn to science fiction and fantasy partly because there are very few spaces where they see their stories told in ways that seem authentic and familiar? These five books are by writers who aren’t just writing their resistance: they’re writing their worlds into being.