Did you know that every time you don’t buy a book, your favorite character dies? According to Ali T. Kokmen, bookseller, man of fabulous bowties (his own words), and panel moderator, that is exactly what happens. But I doubt many of the attendee’s at the #OwnVoices Worlds: How Writers Build Authenticity Into Their Diverse Worlds panel needed to be encouraged to buy more books, or to seek out diversity in the fantasy and sci-fi that they love.
But what does it mean to write a diverse book? Why does one choose to explore diversity; is it for the author? For the reader? What does diversity bring to a fantasy or sci-fi world, and what is the burden of authenticity on the author?