DiverSFFy is a new (sporadic) feature hosted by yours truly! The goal is to get the word out about books in science fiction and fantasy that do a good job of portraying people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives - be it race, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic levels, etc. I'd love it if you joined in - just link me to your posts in the comments or on twitter (@spidersilksnow)!
This week's pick: Partials by Dan Wells
Author: Dan Wells
Genre: Science fiction, dystopian, young adult
So what's so diverse about this book?
This is a look at Long Island after most of the rest of the world has been destroyed by biological weapons, radiation, and nuclear fallout. New York today is a melting pot of different cultures and communities; New York of the future is even more so.
There are characters from almost every race and ethnicity, many of mixed heritage. There are people with widely different political views and social standings. This book does one of the best jobs of representing humanity as a whole, instead of just a large group of similar people with a few diverse characters thrown in. You don't discriminate by race or social class or political party anymore; you can't afford to. There is so little of humanity left that there is simply no room for discrimination.
Why you should read it:
It's a fast-paced, gritty look humanity when it is on the brink of extinction. There are so many moral and ethical questions to grapple with - how far are you willing to go to save the people you care about? After a certain point are people even worth saving? What exactly makes us human?
There is also a lot of suspense and action, politics, and manipulation. You never really know what's coming next, and this book keeps you at the edge of your seat. Twists and turns abound throughout this entire series, and as more secrets are revealed, you're left with even more questions.
The author does a great job of explaining the science behind the catastrophe that has struck earth. He's not a scientist, so he obviously did his research, and he manages to make rigorous sciences like virology and pharmacokinetics accessible.
The best part? It's funny. There are a lot of light-hearted moments to balance out the every-day struggles and tragedies.