science fiction

Reading "Tankborn"— A YA Book About Race, Class, and Caste

In Karen Sander’s dystopian young adult book Tankbornthe world is a stringent caste system where race and origins determine all status. Tankborn was a... Read more »

Dystopian Book "Partials" Imagines a Society of Forced Pregnancy

I’ve never been attracted to books set in a world in which women have been stripped of their reproductive rights and function mainly as breeders. After all, I live in a very real society in which women’s rights over their bodies are... Read more »

New Book "Orleans" Imagines a World Where Blood Type Matters More than Race

“After the storm deaths came other casualties: deaths by debris, cuts, tetanus, or loss of blood; suicide, heart attacks caused by stress or loss, or stress of rebuilding, or just as often from the lack of medicines used to treat common ailments. The list of no-longer-treatable diseases grew:... Read more »

Dystopian Book "Shadows Cast By Stars" Revolves Around Aboriginal Race and Identity

When I started this column on race in dystopian YA literature, a reader recommended I check out ... Read more »

Finally! In "Immortal Rules," One Girl of Color Survives Dystopia

I’ve never read a single books published by romance giant Harlequin and so I carried Julie Kagawa’s ... Read more »

The Good Doctor: Four Arguments For Why "Doctor Who" Should Get a Female Doctor

Recently, rumors rippled across the Internet that actor Matt Smith, who plays the eleventh Doctor on the long-running BBC series ... Read more »

A 15-Year-Old's Vision of Public School Dystopia

Last week, I looked at how Malinda Lo and Marie Lu, adult Asian-American authors, wrote race and gender into their worlds. In this... Read more »

Reading Race in Marie Lu's Dystopian YA Hit "Legend"

When I checked Marie Lu’s Legend out of the library, I hoped that the main girl character (June) would be Asian. After all, Lu herself is Chinese, born in China and influenced, as a young child, by the... Read more »

What if Cinderella Wasn't Straight and White?

In Cinder, the familiar glass slipper story is set in a dystopian future Beijing 126 years after World War IV has ended. Cinder’s author, Marissa Meyer, is white. Meanwhile, Chinese-American author Malinda Lo award-winning 2010 retelling of Cinderella, Ash, takes place in a... Read more »

Young Adult Books Too Often Present a World Without People of Color

The last (and only) time I ever read George Orwell’s 1984 was my senior year in high school. I haven’t thought much about it since. Then my daughter brought home Lauren Oliver’s Delirium from her middle school library and enthusiastically recommended that I read... Read more »


Rewriting the Future: Using Science Fiction to Re-Envision Justice

Our justice movements desperately need science fiction. Read more »