I’m sitting here, still stunned about the book I read. Warcross is…it’s beyond words, guys. Everything the first book of fandom week was, this one is not. I pushed back a review last month because I came across a book I just had to discuss, but this is different. I wrote this review so fast after finishing the book because I couldn’t do anything else. It was magical.
So, what does fandom week entail, actually? Someone asked me that the other day, and I figure I should probably explain. I’m a consummate nerd (in fact, one of my own series is an homage to science fiction, fantasy, video games, comics, anime, and all the other, wonderful nerdy things that I love). Many of my friends are also fans of these things, as are plenty of the students I work with.
Despite this, I try to read books that anyone could enjoy, since I know that every kid is different. I realized that some of the books I was reading could fit into certain categories. For example, some were based on era (books about the 1960s) or common themes (books about the immigrant experience). Since I started reading books for this blog, though, it’s become apparent to me that it can be incredibly difficult finding SF and fantasy books with diverse casts. It’s easy when translating work for the screen to say, “Oh, this random one-off character can be the ‘token’ x-category person,’ but in novels, especially SF and fantasy, most characters tend to fit certain archetypes…and body types…and racial types…and sexuality types…the list goes on. The three I found for fandom week, though, all contain characters that buck those “types.” Gena/Finn deals with mental illness and sexuality, showing that a little common interest can go a long way. Warcross deals with cultural and racial differences, making the point that, in a digital world, the mind is more important than the body. As for this week’s Saturday Morning Cartoon, we’ll see that when we get there, won’t we?
Either way, I’m still thrilled to be finding books that include a broader spectrum of characters in the genres I’ve loved since my own childhood.