Over the last 18 years, the Internet has been a boon for my reading. I still choose paperback and hardbacks, and I increasingly choose books from the public library rather than abebooks.com. I have made buying a book from an independent bookstore a simple act of selecting a sweet gift for a friend. (And, no, I don’t buy books from amazon.com as it cannibalizes the industries of writing.)
This morning, I had a fascinating 25 minutes as I sought the name of a young adult science fiction book that I read a couple of years ago. I could remember the name of one of the supporting characters, Dikeagou, because his name is a familiar and repeated name in our home. But, the book’s title escaped me. And so teh internet searches began (mind you through duckduckgo.com where they don’t track and store your searches like they do over at “do no evil” google).
It took multiple searches, and a few marvelous stops along the way that are sure to stoke my reading this winter are:
- Best Sci Fi Books with Female Main Characters, a list of hundreds of books on goodreads. I didn’t find the book I was searching for in the first 100, and opted to not click on to the second page. But, I am pumped to know about this treasure trove and portal to critical lit.
- the White Readers Meet Black Authors blog, with a 2008 entry on black sci-fi writers.
- 8 YA Books with Black/Afrikan Teen Characters on the Chronicles of Harriet blog
- Why I Love Teen Dystopian Fiction, a 2012 post on Alicia McCalla’s Multicultural Speculative Fiction With Heroines Who Fight Back
- an annotated bibliography of five authors on Black Web 2.0 that lists Nalo Hopskinson, Nora K. Jemisin, Minister Faust, Charles Saunders, Nnedi Okorafor.
Oh, and the book I was looking for is listed on that third blog, 8 YA Books. It is The Shadow Speaker written by Nnedi Okorafor-mbachu, who lives and teaches in Chicago. Published in 2010.