Reviews and Essays about Kaleidoscope!
Kaleidoscope offers a powerful message to our society about difference, and about what we, as readers, want (and need) to see in our stories.
You know a story’s good when you’re compelled to share it, which happened to me several times while reading … I knew my sixteen-year-old son would love this: I had him read it to me, and we kept talking about it for days.
The table of contents is ridiculously exciting with heavy hitters like Garth Nix, Karen Healey, Sean Williams, Tansy Rayner Roberts and others. I couldn’t be more psyched for this one.
Some thoughts by Kaleidoscope contributors:
As a bisexual Mexican-American woman, I didn’t see myself reflected very often in books I read as a child or teen. To be honest, I still rarely see characters who are just like me. As a teen, especially, I really longed for some kind of affirmation that my being attracted to other girls was okay. I didn’t believe it was.
–Julia on why Kaleidoscope is important to her at Diversity in YA
More than most books, there is something here for everyone. And while diverse characters were a necessity in each story, emphasizing that diversity is not the focus of the stories. The diversity also extends to a whole range of types of stories, all under the speculative fiction umbrella… as I work my way through the collection, but each one becomes my favorite in the moment that I read it.
–E. C. Myers writing about the need for diversity in middle grade and young adult fiction for The League of Extraordinary Writers
I wished so fervently to be white with blue eyes so there would be a place for me. When I started writing, I wrote about characters like that, because they were the ones stories happened to. It never occurred to me that I had made my own brown skin an issue to be addressed in the novel of my life. Looking back, it tears my heart in two. No one should ever feel like that about any part of their identity. And for that to change, we have to change the stories we tell, to stop putting emphasis on the wrong things and framing them as weird and strange. We have to turn the spotlight onto the characters we usually leave in the shadows.
–Shveta Thakrar on Visibility Fiction talking about her story “Krishna Blue” and growing up different in a small town
When Sofia Samatar turned in a paper by a student named Yolanda (complete with section headings, footnotes, and copious misspellings), I instantly fell in love. I thought, “Yes! This is a person who remembers being in school, being clever and lonely, and using homework as a dialogue with the teacher.”
–Julia’s “My Favorite Bit” about “Walkdog” by Sofia Samatar on Mary Robinette Kowal’s site
Invisible disability has its own confining tropes. I mention this specifically because my character Mandy, in my Kaleidoscope story “Every Little Thing”, is invisibly disabled. Typically, invisibly disabled characters become divided in fiction and media into two categories: they either recover or they die.
–Holly Kench writing about her Kaleidoscope story for the SF Signal Special Needs in Strange Worlds column
I also wondered how far we would go, as Filipinos, in order to sacrifice ourselves in order to make sure that our loved ones would have a better life; how far the Philippine government might go in encouraging Filipinos to pursue work abroad and contribute to the country’s economy.
“This anthology is perfect for teens who are interested in science fiction and fantasy — but who don’t want just stories about white, straight, able-bodied rich kids and their vampire problems.”
“Kaleidoscope offers a wild ride to places both enticingly new and comfortingly familiar, and it’s a great addition to the worlds of both YA and SFF.”
“This anthology is truly kaleidoscopic and absolutely recommended.”
“Young men from all backgrounds will find something that speaks to them in the pages of this important, amazing collection, although I’d wager that young men who aren’t white and straight will draw even more strength and power from its marvelous stories. Highly Recommended.”
“Perhaps the best part about this Kaleidoscope is how genuinely entertaining these stories are. Editors Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios did an excellent job of curating this anthology. There are dystopian societies, time-travelling, parallel universes, superheroes, mythology tie-ins, aliens, and more. Chances are, if you’re at all interested in SFF, you’ll find a story in here that you’ll love.”
“… if you’re interested in an introduction to diverse YA and how it can be done, this is a great place to start, given the range of stories and settings that offer up so many different ways to see how it’s done, and how it could be.”