Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Invisible Latino: Twinja Book Review's Top Ten List of Afro-Latin@s/Latinos in Speculative Fiction #BSFM

We @ Twinja Book Reviews' want to honor the diversity the Black community within Speculative Fiction. We just couldn't wait to reveal this once it was complete, so here goes!

This was by far the most difficult list to create. We went from wanting a list of three, because we assumed we wouldn't find any, to a list of definite five, that we had to dig deep to find. Paying close attention to our friends on Goodreads book labels took out the guess work for one or two, but we were actually able to find 10 books that featured Afro Latinos in Speculative Fiction.

After this search, one thing was made very clear. When representing Latinos in Speculative Fiction, Afro Latinos arent always a priority. It hurts our hearts, mainly because we're Afro Latino, and it sucks that there are so little books featuring Black Latinos as main characters.

It really took tooth and nail to find just these ten. And one is a book that isn't up for release until 2015. But we hope this list helps just one Afro Latino, hoping to find representation in this broad genre, as we celebrate Black Speculative Fiction Month.

A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliot
Zetta's time travel book features a Black Latina of Panamanian descent. Meeting her next week, so excited!

Soul Enchilada by David Macinnis-Gill
Soul Enchilada features an Afro Latina of Mexican and African American descent in this Faustian style tale.

Armored(The Te-trad Tales series) by M.A.Wilder
With a slight pinch of time travel, vampires and werewolves, this series of urban fantasy books features an Afro-Latina protagonist.

The Black Parade(Black Parade series) by Kyoko M.
Another book suggested to me by my book taste soul mate Fountain Pen Diva, features an Afro Latina heroine, who deals with angels and demons.

Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende
Typically known for her magic realism, Isabel's IBTS features a biracial protagonist of Saint Dominigue(what is now Haiti) descent. Not enough people acknowledge Haitians are Afro-Latino as well.

Afro-6 by Hank Lopez
This is actually one of the most interesting books on the list to me. It required so much legwork to find it, and it's much different than dystopian books I've read in the past. It isnt everyday in a dystopian future, that Black people are the ones running ISH. The main character happens to be Afro-Latino.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Kinda wouldn't be a list of highlighting Afro-Latinos without Junot Diaz. His Magic Realism novel features an Afro-Latino main protagonist.

The Island of Eternal Love by Daina Chaviano
 This Magic Realism/Science Fiction book highlights the many origins that make up Cuba's racial makeup, including African lore. Im ashamed to admit, the African side gets the least amount of book time, but since the main character is Cuban(like us XD ) she must have some African ancestry.

The entire Teaching By Midnight and Dawn series(Which consists of 12 books, with several different main characters whom are all Afro-Latina) by Alexandria Infante
Alexandria's paranormal series features a range of main protagonists from Colombian, to Cuban, whom are Afro-Latina.

ShadowShaper by Daniel Jose Older(This book isnt out for release until 2015!)

If Im not mistaken, his main protagonist is Afro-Boricua?It'll deal with Afro-Caribbean lore when the main character discovers a mystical world within her neighborhood of Bed-Stuy. I dont know about y'all but I've been craving something like that since "Attack The Block." People always ignore urban areas when writing spec fic, so we're curious to see how this one pans out!

Daniel Jose Older hooked me up on Twitter by letting us know his book Salsa Nocturna has several short stories depicting Afro-Latinos! As a last minute addition, we thought it'd be awesome to add it!

Salsa Nocturna Stories by Daniel Jose Older

*New Addition*
Dia of the Dead by Brit Brinson
Technically this would bring us to 11 but I just had to add it to the roster. Dia of the Dead features a Half Black/Half Latina protagonist as she races against a zombie apocalypse on the set of her hit series tv show. Picking it up, I didn't know it featured an Afro-Latina and because it does, I just want to tell the world about it! Read it and HIGHLY recommend it.

For comic book lovers!
Anything Miles Morales, or better known as Spider-man. He was as a group effort created by writer Brian Michael Bendis, artist Sara Pichelli and Marvel editor in cheif Axel Alonso.
His appearance is said to be inspired by president Barack Obama and actor/rapper Donald Glover.

I love Peter Parker and all, but I think Miles is the future of the Spider-man series most have all come to know and love. He represents what NY really looks like, and hopefully one day, we'll see the future Spider-man take the big screen.

Did we miss anyone? Let us know on Twitter! We're @dos_twinjas, or leave a comment! Let us know who we missed!


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