Today I fell in love with Tor Books again, and I haven't even read the book yet. It arrived in the mail this morning, which made me very happy. Little pleases me more than a new book in the mail. I acquired the title as an ARC through a review group. When we pick titles to read, we get a one-liner description of the book's genre, the publisher, and the price of the title–that's it.
So when I requested Full Fathom Five, I didn't really have any idea what the book was about–which is okay by me. I sometimes enjoy blind readings of books. It's a little like getting a Christmas present, and it lets me vary my reading a bit.
I was expecting the typical fantasy or science fiction cover: White woman, white man, normal things.
I wasn't expecting an Asian woman and a Black woman together on the cover–and the fantasy detailing on the Black woman made it all the better. I wish I knew their characters names, so I wasn't describing them by their skin color, but I haven't even read the back of the book yet. (And for this one, I won't–I will just open it and start reading.)
Introducing Full Fathom Five's gorgeous cover (which is out now, by the way, so you can buy it right away if you'd like):
Minority groups are an interesting thing in fantasy and science fiction–interesting as in either not there or hidden. I write in a lot of different ethnic groups in both Requiem for the Rift King and The Fall of Erelith, but the predominant racial groups are based on Caucasian heritage; that's what I know. Rifters, in a way, are a mix of Native American and Black; they tan really dark, darker than Caucasian-heritage groups, although they don't share a lot of the traits of African Americans. (For example, lips–I love how robust and thick many African American's lips are, but Rifters don't have this trait, nor do they share other traits shared by many African Americans.) Skin color matters, though–like Africans and African Americans, Rifters come from a very hot climate, which is why they share skin colors.
So I find this interesting–and great fun.
One of my Requiem for the Rift King novels will feature Breton, who is one of the dark-skinned Rifters, too–very likely the final book, which has the series name. Kalen is featured on the others, so I'm hoping that the shift to Breton for the cover star makes sense. (It matches the book best. But don't worry. Kalen is in it, for those of you who do like the little firecracker.)
There is another lady who managed to get a black woman on her cover, too–Mary Robinette Kowal. She writes historical fantasy with a lot of romance, which is a genre I don't typically read–though I might, just because of the cover from Of Noble Family. I don't have a link for you for the book, unfortunately–it's so new it isn't even available for pre-order yet.
But Mary shared the cover on Google+, and it's gorgeous.
It's so lovely to see something that should have been happening ten years ago finally hit mainstream–at least for the fantasy and science fiction genres.