K. Tempest Bradford

K. Tempest Bradford

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Realms of Fantasy: Full Of Some Ethnicity You Don’t Care To Read About

Realms of Fantasy: Full Of Some Ethnicity You Don't Care To Read About

An io9 commenter on why she won’t renew her subscription to Realms of Fantasy:

I really don’t like the ethnocentric view a lot of the short stories have. I don’t really care about reading their multitudes of hispanic fantasy, or their african american fantasy. It’s just not culture I’m interested in, so I end up flipping past half the magazine because they, without fail, -always- focus on some ethnicity I don’t care to read about.

I can’t even begin to unpack the racefail here because I’m too busy going: wait, is that true? I don’t even read the magazine (despite having multiple free issues pushed on me) but I don’t remember anyone saying to me recently “Have you seen all the wonderful ethnocentricity going on in Realms, lately?”

Regular readers, care to enlighten?

Via Nick Mamatas. In the comments someone points out that it may just be a case of them seeing one non-white protag and going OMG the mud people took ovah!


  1. Isabel S. Isabel S. on 04.06.2010 at 18:45 [link] (Reply)

    Damn, I don’t usually read short stories, but if this is true, where can I sign up for Realms?!?

  2. Alexandra Erin Alexandra Erin on 04.06.2010 at 18:51 [link] (Reply)

    I find myself somewhat amused at the idea of “ethnocentric” apparently being used to mean “not focused on any one ethnicity to the exclusion of all others”.

    1. Dw3t-Hthr Dw3t-Hthr on 10.06.2010 at 02:43 [link] (Reply)

      I’m pretty sure that’s because “ethnicity” is something those minorities have. It’s why white people have to appropriate culture from indigenous peoples and immigrant minorities, don’tchaknow; they aren’t real people on their own, because they’re normal.

      (I hope my sarcasm is obvious here.)

  3. Nick Mamatas Nick Mamatas on 04.06.2010 at 18:51 [link] (Reply)

    Eh, you know, naked orange fish lady, Harlan Ellison…they’re just like black people!

  4. Samantha Henderson Samantha Henderson on 04.06.2010 at 19:01 [link] (Reply)

    That, and a truly outrageous comment on the Black Gate forums makes me want to subscribe.

  5. JoSelle JoSelle on 04.06.2010 at 20:01 [link] (Reply)

    What. :O

  6. Saladin Ahmed Saladin Ahmed on 04.06.2010 at 20:07 [link] (Reply)

    I’d say they do a reasonable job of drawing stories from various cultures, incl. nonwhite ones. Not necessarily with the aplomb or intentionality of, say, Strange Horizons Horizons, but enough so that someone scurred of brown people germs might feel cheated by an average issue’s contents…

  7. Lori S. Lori S. on 04.06.2010 at 20:13 [link] (Reply)

    Oh, you get the free issues, too? That’s reassuring to know.

  8. yeloson yeloson on 04.06.2010 at 20:44 [link] (Reply)

    Multitudes? I guess because even ONE is too many, yeah?

  9. Janet Chui Janet Chui on 04.06.2010 at 21:06 [link] (Reply)

    LMAO–”I can’t be ethnocentric! I’m white! You, magazine, stop publishing stories that aren’t about white people–that’s being ethnocentric!” My insides hurt because this is hilarious.

  10. RebeccaS RebeccaS on 04.06.2010 at 21:42 [link] (Reply)

    Are the io9 comments heavily moderated? Because I’m surprised that there are only three replies to that so far.

  11. Julia Su. Julia Su. on 04.06.2010 at 21:48 [link] (Reply)

    How dare you harsh my exoticized Orientalism about Japan with all of those Latin@ and black people! LET ME HAVE MY WHITE WEEABOO FANTASY OKAY

  12. Shveta Thakrar Shveta Thakrar on 04.06.2010 at 22:03 [link] (Reply)

    Oh, Tempest, this makes me want to cry. *sigh*

  13. Shveta Thakrar Shveta Thakrar on 04.06.2010 at 22:04 [link] (Reply)

    But it makes me smile to see I’m Hiro. :D

  14. Julia Rios Julia Rios on 04.06.2010 at 22:25 [link] (Reply)


    I… I just don’t even know.

  15. Arachne Jericho Arachne Jericho on 05.06.2010 at 01:43 [link] (Reply)

    My mouth is open for the flies to come in.

    Holy gods.

  16. Josh Josh on 05.06.2010 at 04:49 [link] (Reply)

    The Nation‘s good, but The Monthly Review keeps printing articles on remote places that don’t interest me, like Rwanda.”–an Old Leftist in Ohio (the same part of the world that made Harlan so defensive about his ethnicity), in 1995. IOW, people feeling free to express that kind of attitude is not a novelty in my experience. Heck, I got a student comment here in Philadelphia last month that said, “The course spends too much time addressing African-American material,” “too much time” having been two weeks.

    1. Minister Faust Minister Faust on 13.07.2010 at 11:09 [link] (Reply)

      “(the same part of the world that made Harlan so defensive about his ethnicity”

      Don’t know this story. Can you help me out, maybe even with a link? Thanks.

  17. ErinK ErinK on 12.07.2010 at 16:51 [link] (Reply)

    Damn, where is white privilege* when we need it? ;-)

    * (specifically, the ability to not “see”/notice race other than your own…)

  18. Carapace Carapace on 12.07.2010 at 17:15 [link] (Reply)

    Is Realms really the go-to place for unmainstream fiction? ‘Cause heck, I’ll subscribe. I’d love to have a regular fix.

    Also, why the heck is this guy reading specfic at all? Is he just looking for tips on knitting his own tinfoil hat?

  19. Lou Lou on 12.07.2010 at 18:15 [link] (Reply)

    What’s the link to Realms so I can subscribe?

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I'm a writer, most often committing acts of genre (fantasy, science fiction, and other stretches of the imagination). You can find my short stories in many and various magazines and anthologies and podcasts. In addition to being a writer I also engage in activism and fandom -- often both at once.