Saturday, January 26, 2019

Fourteen top SFF books with a powerful message of social justice

At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Joel Cunningham tagged fourteen SFF books or series with a powerful message of social justice, including:
The Bartimaeus Sequence (The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem’s Eye, Ptolemy’s Gate, The Ring of Solomon), by Jonathan Stroud

Though ostensibly a middle grade series for readers looking for their next magical fix after finishing Harry Potter, Stroud’s Bartimeaus books (a trilogy and a prequel) hide powerful, deeply progressive messages about colonialism, civil rights, and inequality within a thrilling, cheekily humorous adventure story. As the first book opens, the title character, a 5,000-year-old immortal djinni, is bound by magic to serve the whims of 12-year-old Nathaniel, the generally good-hearted apprentice to a middling magician. With the unwilling help of the supernatural being, who will suffer terrible pain if he refuses the boy’s commands, Nathaniel uncovers a plot to overthrow London’s ruling sorcerer class. But by the second book, Nathaniel has become a part of the machine himself, and the focus shifts to a group of young people fighting against the entrenched powers that be. As a whole, the series is as much about prejudice, injustice, and the fight for equality—sorcerers aren’t inherently powerful; they just have the money required to purchase magical equipment, artifacts, and an education—as it inventive battle sequences between supernatural beings.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Amulet of Samarkand is among Sarah Gailey's top ten sci-fi & fantasy books that will remind you that life is about more than suffering, Django Wexler's top ten animal companions in children's fiction, and Francesca Simon's top ten fictional antiheroes.

--Marshal Zeringue